When you want to know more about linoleum flooring, some people might confuse you by saying that linoleum and vinyl are the same things. That is actually not true.
Linoleum flooring and vinyl flooring are sometimes used interchangeably whereas, in reality, they are quite different from one another.
Where vinyl flooring comprises synthetic sheets or tiles, linoleum is made 100% from natural elements. The main ingredient of linoleum flooring is linseed oil which comes from flax seeds. It is combined with ground stone, jute, wood or cork powder, and tree resins.
Linoleum is an eco-friendly flooring option where it is available in a partially recyclable content. With linoleum flooring, your choice of designs is limited since it is not available in a variety of colours and designs.
Here we will describe the various types, colours, 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. These huge linoleum sheets are heavy and difficult to manage and thus, 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 much smaller as compared to linoleum sheets. They are easy to install and manoeuvre, so can be a good choice for you if you want to install them yourself. They can also be installed on any type of existing subfloor; the only requirement being that the floor is smooth without any bumps or dents.
Although they are easier to install than linoleum sheets, they do not come in many designs and colours. So your choice of patterns is limited with linoleum tiles.
Linoleum Click And Float Style
These are the type of linoleum planks that do not require any adhesive to be installed on the floor.
Rather they have a click and lock mechanism through which the various planks can be joined together easily. Usually, these click and lock linoleum planks are available in two sizes: 12 by 12 inches and 12 by 36 inches.
Using the click and lock mechanism, you can easily create the floating linoleum floor without any professional help.
How Much Does It Cost To Install Linoleum Flooring?
You can check out the prices of flooring options in Singapore in our cost guide.
Below are some of the factors affecting the cost of your linoleum flooring installation project:
- Linoleum flooring cost – based on the number of square feet
- Labour costs – based on the number of hours
- Supplies needed for the job – typically based on number of square feet
- Equipment allowance – by project basis
- Linoleum flooring debris disposal – typically on number of square feet
- Remove flooring (optional) – typically based on hours
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:
● Linoleum flooring is available in a solid colour form with colours spanning a wide range of hues and tones. These solid colours are applied to the linoleum planks throughout their thickness which helps them to retain their original colour for years and years. The colours do not fade like the way they do in vinyl or laminate flooring.
● Linoleum flooring is also available in the look of marble. This 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 colour are embedded in the surface of the linoleum planks which give a sparkling effect. This effect is available in a variety of colours and patterns.
● Apart from these specific colours and designs, linoleum flooring is also available in different patterns and colours.
Linoleum Cleaning And Maintenance
Linoleum is easy to clean and maintain as it only requires sweeping or vacuuming regularly to remove dirt and dust particles. Since linoleum is water-resistant to some extent, you can use a damp cloth to mop the floor 2-3 times a week. This will pick up any left-over dust or debris which the vacuum or broom might have missed.
One type of linoleum flooring comes with a protective urethane coating which should be polished or waxed after every few months to retain its shine.
It is best to ask the 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 affordable flooring option when compared with solid hardwood, ceramic, or stone floors. It also incurs a much less installation cost as compared to these different types of floors.
● Linoleum flooring comprises natural elements, hence it is an eco-friendly option for people who are environment-conscious.
● Linoleum flooring is made from renewable materials and is biodegradable.
● Linoleum does not emit any harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
● Usually, linoleum flooring 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 throughout its thickness, 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,
● Linoleum flooring requires minimum maintenance. You should only sweep the floor regularly and mop with a damp cloth to clean it.
● Because of the thick pigmentation in the flooring, linoleum flooring is able to disguise scratches and scuffs rather well. 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.
Disadvantages Of Linoleum Flooring
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 tendency to turn yellowish or slightly darker when exposed to sunlight for long periods. This can, however, be 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 since that can make the floor lose its antibacterial properties.
● Although linoleum flooring is considered water-resistant, its underside can get damaged from humidity and moisture.
● The installation of linoleum flooring is a difficult task that requires great care and medication especially if linoleum sheets are used.
● Another drawback of using linoleum sheets is that even if a small portion of the floor gets damaged, you will have to replace the complete linoleum sheet.
● The subfloor beneath the linoleum flooring can cause warping or loosening in extreme weather conditions.
● Linoleum flooring can require regular 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 sheets as well as 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 removing any old floor, levelling 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 moulding 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 in a similar manner as those 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?
The main difference between vinyl and linoleum flooring is that vinyl is 100% synthetic whereas linoleum sheets or tiles are 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 colouring pigments.
Another difference between linoleum and vinyl is that linoleum is not as flexible as vinyl. Also, the colour and design options in linoleum flooring are limited as compared to vinyl. Vinyl can get scratched easily whereas scratches do not show readily on linoleum.
Is Linoleum Flooring Water-Proof?
Linoleum is water-resistant but not water-proof. This means that a linoleum floor will be able to resist the penetration of water to some degree but not entirely as is the case with water-proof substances. 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 colour 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: