What is Linoleum? (with photos)

Linoleum is made from linseed oil.

Linoleum is a type of floor covering invented by Frederick Walton, who set up the first factory to produce the material in 1859 in Staines, England, and patented the formula for making this flooring in 1860. In the late 1860s, flooring The penthouse was becoming particularly popular and the Walton factory made a steady business of selling the product to English and American consumers.

Modern linoleum is usually made of PVC.

Walton’s basic recipe for linoleum combined linseed oil, also called linoxyn, with wood dust or cork and then coated that material with canvas or burlap. This recipe produced some of the most durable floors available that were water resistant, easy to clean, and a great replacement for carpet or hardwood floors. Especially covering the kitchen floor with linoleum soon became popular, although many people also used the floor covering in bathrooms or to protect hallway passages or to surround carpeted areas.

There are some interesting uses of linoleum that are worth mentioning. The most durable and high-quality material was used in warships, giving rise to the name “battleship linoleum”. The material has also become very popular for use in commercial stores and buildings of various types. For the most part, it was easy to clean and could withstand a lot of foot traffic, and it became preferred over carpet, tile, or wood floors, as they tended to be cheaper.

In a home in the 1940s, you would likely see some linoleum, but the product’s heyday passed as polyvinyl chloride (PVC) floor coverings became more popular. In recent times, PVC flooring has gained a bad reputation due to the other chemicals it contains that can be harmful to health. In addition, burning PVC creates dioxins, which tend to accumulate in the human and animal body and can have mutagenic, tetrogenic, or carcinogenic effects. A return to using older flooring has been suggested by many and reflects the current “green” attitude of many consumers. This is because it is generally less harmful to the environment and its components are considered to be much less toxic than PVC flooring.

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Linoleum can come in a variety of patterns and is usually sold in rolls, just like rug. Prices per square foot vary. The “battleship” types are more durable and generally more expensive. Specific floor covering projects may also command a higher price depending on how intricate they are.

There are a few things to note about flooring that are less common with PVC products. Some linoleum is not particularly stain resistant unless given a protective coating finish. You will definitely smell the linseed oil when the product is placed on the table and some people claim to continue to smell the linseed oil for several months after the floor covering has been installed. You can occasionally buy product tiles, but they have a tendency to age poorly and can gradually curl over time.

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