Nowadays, there is a large variety of flooring materials available in the market. There are different types of flooring that suit any kind of budget and the needs of a customer.
Linoleum flooring is one of the most commonly used material for flooring. More often than not, it is mistaken for vinyl flooring. They have differences which should be taken note of. The composition of linoleum include linseed oil, tree resins, ground limestone, cork or wood flour and some organic pigments. On the other hand, petrochemicals are the main elements that make up vinyl flooring. Unlike linoleum flooring, vinyl flooring is composed of three layers namely the backing, the middle layer and the sealant.
Linoleum flooring is made up of natural components that makes it more durable and resistant to wear and tear. It is also hypoallergenic which makes it safer for those with allergies. The colour of linoleum is also more pleasant-looking because of what it is made of. When it comes to design, the linoleum only comes in simple patterns and solid colours.
Linoleum Flooring Uses in Australia
Compared to other types of flooring linoleum is less expensive which makes it more affordable, especially to homeowners. It is used widely in Australian homes because of it flexibility and as well as the fact that it is water resistant. Having a linoleum flooring is more convenient for many because it can easily be changed compared to having a more permanent kind of flooring. Many manufacturers in Melbourne produce linoleum not only for homes, but also for science laboratories and classrooms. Skilled installers are usually assigned to set up this flooring for customers.
Linoleum Flooring Pros and Cons
Linoleum Flooring Pros
- Linoleum flooring is known for its durability. If properly taken care of, it can last for up to 40 years.
- For its maintenance, it does not need anything special. Mopping and sweeping it as needed will do.
- Linoleum flooring is easy to install
- It is generally soft which makes it comfortable to walk on.
- The pattern and colours of linoleum flooring lasts longer because it is infused in the flooring itself, it is not merely a design sticker like vinyl flooring.
- Linoleum flooring is biodegradable which makes it eco-friendly.
- It is safe for the health of the people who use it because it does not produce hazardous indoor pollution.
Linoleum Flooring Cons
- Linseed vapours are discharged by linoleum floors for about a week when it is first set up. However, you do not need to worry because these fumes are completely harmless, though this may bother some people.
- Because of its natural components, exposure to light creates a tendency for the linoleum flooring to “amber”.
- It can be easily damaged when furniture is dragged over it, or even torn by stiletto heels.
- Poor maintenance can turn linoleum flooring to look dingy.
Linoleum flooring is amongst the cheapest flooring options which can last for decades. It is also easy to install, and if you are looking for an option where you can save a lot, linoleum flooring is your best choice. However, it can also be installed by a professional. For one square meter, linoleum flooring costs around $30 for supply. If you need a professional to install it for you, it can cost up to $55 per square meter. Discounted linoleum flooring can be found on regular flooring shops, especially if they are awaiting another new batch of products. There are also overstock items the can be found on flooring stores online.
Because of its resilience and its waterproof characteristics, linoleum flooring is the most likely choice for schools and hospitals; as well as the basements, kitchens and bathroom of homes. Linoleum flooring is also used in recreational vehicles or RVs. It is resistant to stains and requires low maintenance. Regular polishing and buffing can keep it in a tiptop shape. Linoleum tiles can be bought instead of linoleum sheets, which makes it easier to install in oddly shaped rooms.
How to Maintain Linoleum Flooring
Aside from being inexpensive, linoleum flooring does not require meticulous maintenance. You only need to sweep it a few times a week and mop it with warm soapy water. However, it depends on the level of traffic that the linoleum flooring endures. Unlike vinyl floors which should never be waxed, linoleum flooring require waxing. There are waxes that are specially formulated for linoleum. If you prefer to use liquid acrylic floor polishes, it works just as well as the wax. Polishing is done every 3 to 6 months. Wax paste is not recommended because it does not shine a linoleum flooring that well.
Different Designs of Linoleum
Compared to the number of designs and patters the vinyl flooring has, linoleum has more limited and simpler options. To ensure that you will purchase the choice of linoleum flooring that fits your preference, you can order for samples of it from several manufacturers. It can also be ordered online where you can see the images of the linoleum flooring designs. From the samples, you can see if the quality and the style of linoleum flooring will fit the needs of the room where you are going to install it.
How to Install Linoleum Flooring
Installing linoleum flooring is easier compared to other types of flooring. Linoleum flooring can be bought in either sheets or tiles. Make sure that the floor is properly prepared – clean and free from debris. The holes and cracks of the floor should also be repaired and filled. Linoleum has the tendency to shrink because of the change of temperature. It is best to store the linoleum flooring inside the room you are going to install it to for about 24 hours prior to installation. Plywood can be used as an underlay, but this is just optional. For either the sheet or the tiles, you should always start in the middle of the room.
When cutting linoleum, be conservative and make room for allowance in case there are some mistakes on the measurements. Slowly peel the adhesive at the back of the flooring and carefully press it down onto the floor. However, for linoleum flooring that requires glue or other adhesives, make sure to place the glue all over the underside of the linoleum flooring. Spread sufficient amount of glue – not too much and not too little. Leave at least 2 inches on the edges without glue, and wait for the glue to settle in before pressing it down the floor.
Use a heavy roller to ensure that the linoleum flooring has completely adhered to the floor. There are approved linoleum sealants you can use to create a protective sheen over your new flooring. Use only a small amount of the sealant when using a roller or a brush.
How to Remove Linoleum Flooring
If your linoleum flooring has become too old, or you simply want to replace your flooring, here are some easy ways to remove it without damaging the original flooring underneath it.
- Score the linoleum with a heavy-duty cutter or knife into strips. Use a floor scraper to pry the linoleum strips while it is being pulled. Two people can speed up this process.
- To remove the adhesive, you can use chemical adhesive solvents that can be bought in hardware stores. However, if you prefer something else, you can use boiling water. Let the boiling water sit for 10 minutes or so. Again, make use of the floor scraper to remove the loosened up adhesives.
- Once the floor is dry, you can now sand the floor to completely remove the remaining adhesive.