Marmoleum Flooring: The New Linoleum
Marmoleum flooring is the new floor of choice for people interested in green building materials.
You may remember it as linoleum, but this is not the linoleum you might recall from your grandmother's house. Marmoleum comes in a wide spectrum of beautiful colors to compliment all home styles and decors. It can be bought by the roll or in sections (often called Marmoleum Click flooring). There are infinite design possibilities. Best of all, unlike vinyl, it does not off-gas VOCs.
Benefits of Marmoleum
From the standpoint of an average homeowner, marmoleum flooring is durable and easy to clean. It looks beautiful for years in areas with heavy traffic. You can dust mop regularly, damp mop when needed, and wipe the messiest spills away. The floor does not stain, and there is no need to wax.
The flooring has antibacterial properties. This means that microorganisms like salmonella and staff aren't spread. This property comes from one of the ingredients, linseed oil. Linseed oil continues to oxidize in the floor and the bacteria can't multiply as with other types of flooring. As the linseed oil oxidizes it hardens making the floor even more durable. Estimate life of one of these floors is fifty years. You had better use a color you like. A lot.
These reincarnated linoleum floors resist burning. If your entire house was on fire, the floor would go up, too, but the floors don't melt at high heat under normal circumstances. This means that a cigarette, glue gun, curling iron or hot grease dropped on the floor will not create the need for a whole new floor. It means you will need to pick up or clean up what you dropped. If there is a slight mark it can be buffed out. The color goes all the way through the floor so any deeper damage that does happen can be easily sanded out.
Cut for Custom Design
The material can be cut and borders can be created by fitting different colors and shapes of marmoleum together. By using small checkerboars, for example, you can create a vintage look. With large circles and rectangles you can have a Pop 60s look.
Dirt Won't Stick
It has anti-static properties. This means that dust and dirt won't stick to the floor and less cleaning for the homeowner. This is great for people with allergies of all types. Many hospitals are beginning to use marmoleum flooring for these reasons.
It can also be used as a countertop.
Yes, you heard that right. This flooring is made with natural materials that do not off gas toxic VOCs. It can be applied with solvent free adhesives so even the installation is clean.
There are virtually no dangerous health issues linked to the flooring, from production to installation and even in disposal. The flooring is 100% biodegradable.
Marmoleum is sustainable. It is made from linseed oil, color pigments, pine rosin and pine flour, which is responsibly collected from planted forests in Europe. Linseed oil is a natural product of the flax plant. The mixture is heated and then run through rollers that press the hot mixture into sheets and then onto a jute backing. It is then cured for a time before use.
Completely natural ingredients that completely biodegrade; and to think it has been considered old fashioned all these years.
Are There Any Negative Aspects?
There are a few downsides to marmoleum.
It is extremely heavy and it is not going to be something the average do-it-yourselfer can manage. It is best installed by an experienced contractor and that does raise the cost of the floor. However, when you are looking at a floor that is going to last two to three times as long as vinyl it is actually a small investment.
Needs a Good Subfloor
It needs a good sub-floor. Defects in the sub-floor will show up on the surface of the marmoleum. Again, this will mean, more than likely, that you will need a professional installation.
Not Made in the USA
It is manufactured in Europe. This means that there is a large environmental impact when it comes to transporting it. This may or may not be offset by the many eco benefits of the marmoleum; it depends on your point of view.
Linseed oil has a particular scent that some people dislike. The floor emits an odor for a short period of time after it is installed.
Marmoleum Click is an easy to install version of the large sheets of marmoleum. It comes in several colors. It can sometimes be set over existing flooring.
The tiles come in either 12 x 36 or 12 x 12 panels. With it you can create numerous patterns on your floor. It does not require adhesive but simply clicks into place. It can be installed wherever marmoleum can be installed and is just as durable. The floor can be walked on immediately after installation. The cost averages about $5-6 dollars per square foot, uninstalled.
Whether you are building a new home or contemplating a remodel of your old one, marmoleum flooring may be just the floor covering that you are looking for. With so many colors available, and so many possible patterns and borders you can create a unique, custom look that will last for generations.