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Linoleum Flooring

Is This Retro Floor Covering Right For Your Modern Kitchen?

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Blue Linoleum Flooring

Blue Linoleum Flooring

For years, linoleum was a dirty word among homeowners. Nobody used it for flooring; everybody tore it out in favor of resilient tile, laminate, engineered wood, hardwood. Now you find linoleum popping up even in expensive remodels. What's going on here?

What's linoleum made of?

It looks like vinyl flooring, but it isn't. In fact, if environmentally friendly flooring is an interest of yours, you might like linoleum. As the name implies, linoleum is made of linseed oil--along with wood flour, tree resins, cork dust, a touch of ground limestone, and pigments for color. Okay, so we should say environmentally friendlier. It's pressed onto a jute base. The name is a concoction of the "lin" from linseed and "oleum" from oil.

What do you think the best thing of linoleum is?

Durability. It isn't uncommon to see a house--fifty, sixty or more years old--with original linoleum floors? Linoleum wears incredibly well. It's also a little bit softer to walk on than ceramic tile, but about the same as vinyl tiling.

Why did linoleum die out in popularity?

Vinyl flooring came along after World War II. It was cheaper and offered a wider range of colors. Linoleum looked pretty drab compared to vinyl. Additionally, no-wax vinyl flooring looked very attractive to the homeowners who spent countless hours waxing their linoleum floors.

Why the renewed interest in linoleum?

Two reasons: 1.) new types of linoleum that offer more vibrant colors, 2.) the urge of many homeowners nowadays to accurately copy original flooring.

Any drawbacks with linoleum?

Maintenance. Start a new linoleum floor with two coats of acrylic sealer. Then every year, apply another coat of sealer. Also, new linoleum has an oily smell that bothers some people.

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