Linoleum Flooring: Bright and Modern Bathroom Flooring

by Raymond Alexander Kukkee


Remember the linoleum flooring your parents used to have? Linoleum, perhaps one of the oldest and hardest-working flooring types in North America, has a very long history of reliable service. Homeowners either loved or hated the old sheet flooring. Today, new, improved versions of linoleum products are available. As a potential flooring material for your bathroom floor renovation, linoleum now offers a bright and modern look .

Linoleum deserves another chance to please; improvements in the quality of contemporary linoleum design and performance make it another top candidate for almost any floor. Check it out –it doesn’t even seem like it should be related to the unusually tough but somewhat drab residential flooring of the past.

Linoleum sheet flooring was historically the most-often chosen flooring in many bathroom, kitchen, and commercial installations for it’s tough performance, lower cost, then-contemporary look,  variety of design and quick installation.
Linoleum manufactured today is actually a modern, green engineered product and an environmentally sound choice.
Modern linoleum products should not be confused with vinyl . Although they serve a similar purpose and are often mistakenly thought to be one and the same, linoleum is not the same product as sheet vinyl flooring and is not chemically similar.

Linoleum is tough, flexible, and extremely durable. It is manufactured from all-natural materials including natural limestone, recycled wood waste converted to wood flour, cork, and other components including resins, pigments and the linseed oil from which linoleum gets it’s name. Linoleum manufactured today is actually a modern, green engineered product and an environmentally sound choice.

Modern linoleum can last 40 years and is highly resistant to scratching, wear, and gouging. It is anti-bacterial, resists mold and is totally biodegradable. It is warm to walk on, and absorbs sound. It does require a bit more care than vinyl, which can be easier to clean; but perhaps the wear limitations of decorative surfaces may be linoleum’s only detractor.

It is recommended that installation of linoleum products be left to trained professionals. Linoleum is more difficult to install than vinyl because vinyl sheet is quite flexible, but linoleum is not. If you do tackle a small job, for small one-piece installations, keep that flooring warm. Room temperature or warmer is best before trying to install it to avoid cracking.

Preparation of substrate is key to a great installation of linoleum. Make sure the plywood is in good shape, free of loose nails, lumps and holes. Fill those with a suitable filler and sand it smooth. Clean up all bits of old tile, lumps of adhesive and other materials, since these can be visible on a new installation if left on the surface.

For large installations requiring seams, special techniques are required to seal the seams using heat weld sealing equipment and linoleum color-matched ‘rod’. Special adhesives may also be used to close up the seams. Unless you’re a bear for punishment, you should leave bigger installations to the pros who already have the equipment and the training to make those heat-welded joints and seams for a picture-perfect installation.

Warranties offered for linoleum do not appear to reflect the overall durability of this product.  For example, the limited residential warranty offered on Armstrong Marmorette™ is only five years.  Why? Even though they are tough, esthetically decorative wear layers only a few millimeters thick can be worn or damaged eventually , cut by sharp objects or abrasion — and with most products, only manufacturing defects are covered.  It is always a good idea to read the fine print on any warranty offered for the product you have chosen.

Linoleum products offer the homeowner yet another excellent choice for flooring renewal in the bathroom or elsewhere in the house.

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