When you want to know more about linoleum flooring you may be told that linoleum and vinyl are the same things. That is actually not true.
If you care for the environment and are looking for cost-effective flooring, Linoleum flooring may just be chosen for you! It is environmentally friendly and is made up of linseed oil which comes from flax seeds. It is made up of cork powder ground stone, jute, and tree substances such as resins This is unlike vinyl flooring, which is often mistaken for linoleum.
Sometimes, the addition of limestone dust may be done to make the material harder and more durable. A coating may be applied on the surface of the flooring in order to provide protection against wear and tear from scratching and even exposure to sunlight.
Due to the chemical properties of linseed, the lifespan of this material increases due to the formation of a natural covering. Not only that, it is available in partially recyclable content. However, with this material, the choice of designs is limited since it is not available in a variety of colors and designs.
Here we will describe the wide array of colors, pros, and cons of linoleum flooring in the following sections.
Types Of Linoleum Flooring
Linoleum flooring is available in three different styles which are described below.
Linoleum sheets are available in the form of rolls with a length of 6 feet and a width of 7 inches. They are rigid and heavy which contributes to the higher difficulty in handling may require professional help for installation if you choose them.
The subfloor needs to be completely smooth before linoleum sheets can be installed otherwise all kinds of bumps or irregularities will show through the linoleum floor.
Linoleum tiles are relatively compact than linoleum sheets. They are easy to install and maneuver, so can be a good choice for you if you want to install them yourself. Furthermore, they can be installed regardless of the type of existing subfloor as long as it is smooth.
Although they are easier to install than linoleum sheets, they do not come in many designs and colors. So your choice of patterns is limited with linoleum tiles.
Linoleum Click And Float Style
These are the type of linoleum planks that have a click and lock mechanism through which the planks can be joined together easily. Usually, these click and lock linoleum planks are available sizes such as 12 by 12 inches and 12 by 36 inches.
Using the click and lock mechanism, you can easily create the floating linoleum floor by yourself without employing the help of contractors.
How Much Does It Cost To Install Linoleum Flooring?
It would have similar pricing to that of Vinyl. Typically, it cost between $3 to $5 per square foot. Unfortunately, there have not been packages for linoleum as of July 2021.
There are other costs that have not been included in the total pricing of getting a linoleum floor. This includes material cost, labor cost, supplies and tool cost, and floor removal. For more information, you can check out the prices of flooring options in Singapore in our cost guide.
Designs And Textures Of Linoleum Flooring
There are several different options when it comes to the design and textures of linoleum flooring. Some of them are listed below:
- It is available in solid colors that contain a large spectrum to choose from. The colors are applied to the linoleum planks using pigmented dyes which allows them to retain their original color for years. The colors are retained better than vinyl or laminate flooring. Furthermore, due to this quality that it possesses, physical flaws are better hidden by you and your visitors.
- Marbled linoleum is also available which will give you the visual appeal of a marble floor at a much affordable cost.
- Another design in which linoleum flooring is available is the flecked design. In this style, tiny beads of color are embedded in the surface of the linoleum planks which give a shimmering and unique characteristic. This effect is available in a variety of colors and patterns
- Apart from these specific colors and designs, this flooring may also come in patterns that offer a similar visual aesthetic to that of wood, stones, etc.
Linoleum Cleaning And Maintenance
Maintenance and cleaning of linoleum is simple and only requires regular sweeping or vacuuming to remove dirt and dust particles. Since linoleum is partially water-resistant, you can use a damp cloth to mop the floor 2-3 times a week.
One type of linoleum flooring has a protective urethane coating which should be polished or waxed after every few months to retain its shine. Usually, for types without a coating, it is recommended to have it waxed every two years or so.
It is best to ask professional linoleum companies for more tips and advice on maintaining your specific type or brand of linoleum flooring
Advantages and Benefits of Linoleum Flooring
Linoleum flooring has its own set of pros and cons which need to be considered if you want to make a decision of choosing this type of flooring for your house or not.
Some of the advantages of Linoleum flooring are listed below:
- Linoleum flooring is an relatively more economical alternative when compared with solid hardwood, ceramic, or stone floors. This could be partly due to its cheaper installation cost.
- Linoleum flooring is made up of natural elements, hence it is a green option for people who are environment-conscious.
- Linoleum flooring is made from renewable materials and is biodegradable.
- Linoleum does not emit any toxic and dangerous volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
- Usually, it comes with a warranty of 25 years. This makes it a durable and long-lasting choice of flooring. If maintained properly, they can last even for 40 years.
- Since linoleum flooring has resins and pigments used in the coloring of the whole piece, it is able to maintain its natural and beautiful appearance for a longer period of time. Compare this with vinyl or laminate flooring that have a separate veneer layer which can be worn off with use to reveal the ordinary-looking synthetic flooring underneath
- It requires minimum maintenance such as regular sweeping and mopping.
- Because of the thick pigmentation in the flooring, linoleum flooring is able to disguise scratches and scuffs effectively. This makes it a good choice to be used for houses with small children and pets.
- Linoleum floors are highly resistant to water and moisture. This makes them a good choice to be used in the kitchen or bathroom.
Apart from the advantages of linoleum flooring, it has certain disadvantages which one should be aware of before making a decision of choosing linoleum flooring. These disadvantages are listed below:
- Although linoleum floor can be considered quite resilient, it is still prone to scratches and scuffs from heels, sharp objects, pets nails, and other heavy objects being dragged on the floor.
- Linoleum floors have the problem to turn yellowish or slightly darker when exposed to sunlight for long periods. This process is often known as “ambering”. This can avoided by applying a protective coating on the floor.
- When the linoleum flooring is freshly polished or waxed, it can be quite slippery which can increase the risk of slipping and injuring oneself.
- You cannot use chemical-based solutions for cleaning linoleum flooring as it can make the floor lose its antibacterial properties.
- Although it is considered water-resistant, its underside can get damaged from humidity and moisture.
- When a small segment of the linoleum sheet gets damaged, it will need to be replaced completely.
- The subfloor beneath the linoleum flooring can cause warping or loosening in extreme weather conditions.
- Linoleum flooring may require timely and prompt polishing or buffing if the unsealed or unpolished type of linoleum is used.
- Linoleum flooring can give a foul smell of the linseed oil content if the flooring is new. The foul smell, although harmless, can be disturbing. It will take almost a month for this smell to go away.
- As compared to vinyl and laminate flooring, linoleum flooring designs and colors are limited.
How To Install Linoleum Flooring?
As described earlier, linoleum comes in the form of both sheets and tiles. The sheets are quite big in size which makes it difficult to install them as a DIY project.
You would need to call professionals to install the linoleum sheets on the floor. However, if you have linoleum tiles, you can easily install them yourself. The process of installing linoleum tiles is listed below:
- The first step is to prepare the floor on which linoleum tiles have to be installed. This includes taking apart old flooring leveling it, and trowel smoothing it.
- The next step is to acclimate the linoleum tiles to the temperature of the room where it is to be installed. The linoleum tiles should be kept in the room for at least 24 hours before installation.
- To start the installation, take one tile and place it on the floor followed by a few more tiles to create the pattern that you desire. Once you are satisfied with the pattern, it is time for applying the adhesive.
- Start by removing one tile and applying the adhesive to the floor. Put the tile back to let it glue with the floor. Remove the next tile, apply adhesive, and put the tile back. Continue this until almost the entire floor is covered.
- For the edges near the wall, measure the distance between the tile and the wall and transfer this measurement to a new tile. Cut the tile accordingly, apply adhesive on the floor and stick this cut out the tile in its place. Continue until all the floor has been covered.
- For the edges, you may want to nail the shoe molding in place to cover the edges and give a neat final look against the wall.
- As the last step, use a heavy roller to roll over the tiles so that they stick completely with the adhesive.
The click and lock linoleum tiles can be installed similar to that of the tiles. Instead of applying the adhesive, you just have to lock the tiles together and continue in a similar fashion to install the complete floor.
What Is The Difference Between Vinyl and Linoleum Flooring?
Unlike vinyl flooring, linoleum is made from natural and biodegradable materials. The main ingredient of linoleum flooring is linseed oil along with pine rosin, limestone, cork flour, wood flour, jute, and coloring pigments.
Vinyl on the other hand is made largely of synthetic materials. Another difference between linoleum and vinyl is that linoleum is more rigid as compared to vinyl. Also, the color and design options in linoleum flooring are less diverse than vinyl. Vinyl can get scratched easily but for linoleum, physical damages do not show readily. Lastly, linoleum is more prone to damages when exposed to moisture and a yearly addition of sealant is needed for its upkeep.
However, despite the differences, they do have certain positive qualities that both share. For example, they are both easy to clean and a consistent cleaning (sweeping and wiping) is sufficient to maintain their quality. Not only that, both these materials come in both sheet and tile form which allows for more freedom when choosing how and where to place them.
Is Linoleum Flooring Water-Proof?
Linoleum is water-resistant but not water-proof. This means that a linoleum floor will be able to partially resist the penetration of water but not entirely. You can clean the linoleum floor with a damp cloth.
However, since it is not waterproof, humidity and moisture buildup for a long period of time can cause damage to the flooring.
Although linoleum flooring provides limited color and design options, it is still considered a good choice of flooring, especially for humid and moist environments.
The water-resistant properties of linoleum flooring make it a good choice to be used for bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms, and the basement.
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Cost of Other Home Improvement Areas
Flooring is an integral part of a home design, and should you have spare budget and would like some unique designs of your own, you can try speaking to a few interior design companies or renovation contractors for more designs ideas.
Some of the usual home improvement cost guides can be found below:
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