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linoleum flooring

Did you know?
  • Linoleum is made of natural materials.
  • Linoleum is discouraging to the growth of bacteria.
  • Linoleum is a natural dust repellant.
  • Linoleum is capable of lasting 30 to 40 years.
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Visit our FAQ's & Glossary.

Linoleum is extremely green. Not its color, although that could be true, too. Linoleum is green in the sense that it's environmentally friendly. Please take note: Although linoleum is often confused with sheet vinyl, the contents of linoleum and vinyl are very different. Vinyl flooring is made from chlorinated petrochemicals while true linoleum is made from all natural materials like linseed oil (pressed from flax seeds), pine rosin, and wood and cork flours.

The eco–friendliness of its ingredients generates a lot of interest in linoleum these days. Perhaps not coincidentally, linoleum sales in the U.S. have risen substantially in the past couple of years. Until recently, linoleum had been thought of as a little old–fashioned, maybe even boring. The manufacturing process – which is pretty much the same as it was when Frederick Walton developed it in 1860 – doesn't lend itself to elaborate patterns, and the traditional colors have been dull. Green consumers are catching on to linoleum's natural advantages, and manufacturers are responding by offering new, more vibrant colors. They've also developed attractive borders and corner patterns that create new design opportunities.

Featured Linoleum Floor Products

Some of the advantages of linoleum flooring:

Image of
Linoleum Flooring

  • Cost effective. There is a range of products and pricing, of course, but in general the price of linoleum is comparable to that of high–end vinyl flooring. The cost to the environment, though, is much more modest.
  • Durable. Properly maintained linoleum can last for 30 to 40 years. And when it does reach the end of its useful life, linoleum can be disposed of –perhaps even composted – without harm to the environment.
  • Antimicrobial. Linseed oil, one of linoleum's main ingredients, is inherently resistant to germs and bacteria. This makes linoleum an especially good choice for kitchen and bathroom floors.
  • Easy to maintain. Linoleum requires very little regular care other than sweeping and an occasional damp mop. With solid color throughout its thickness, wear is barely visible.

Installation of large sheets of linoleum may be a job best left to professionals, but new click–in–place products make it possible for almost anyone to install linoleum flooring.

Linoleum does produce some out–gassing of aldehydes (organic compounds) from the linseed oil. People with certain acute chemical sensitivities may be affected by these fumes.

If you're in the market for reasonably priced, durable, truly green flooring, take a close look at eco-friendly linoleum.

Alternatives to Linoleum Flooring – Other Green Flooring Options

Linoleum is most often used in high–traffic areas that are frequently exposed to moisture, such as kitchens and bathrooms. It's one of the more popular options in regard to "resilient flooring"; flooring that has a hard surface yet gives slightly in response to pressure. In areas where linoleum would be appropriate, you might also consider these other types of resilient flooring:

Image of Cork and Recycled Rubber Flooring

  • Cork. Harvested every 9 or 10 years without harming the trees, the bark of cork oak trees produces attractive, durable, eco–friendly flooring.
  • Recycled Rubber. This flooring boasts up to 87% recycled tire rubber yet contains little to no VOCs*. It's durable, comfortable to walk on, and can be recycled at the end of its useful life.

*VOCs (short for volatile organic compounds) are carbon–based chemical compounds that can be found in certain flooring materials, adhesives and cleaners.

Linoleum Flooring Information | Help
  • Questions – Find out what you should ask at your local flooring store.
  • Lifecycle – Let us tell you how long linoleum flooring would last.
  • Buying Guides – Everything you need to know before you buy.
  • Flooring Estimator Tools – Use our estimator tools so you can price before you go.
  • Installation Guide – Learn about the basics of linoleum flooring installation, including all the tools you'll need.
  • FAQs – Get all your nagging questions about linoleum flooring answered.
  • Glossary – Look up common terms you'll run into when researching linoleum flooring.

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