When you think of linoleum, you may picture a brightly colored kitchen floor from the 1960’s or 70’s. However, linoleum flooring has been in existence since the mid nineteenth century. And today it is making a comeback, with attention being drawn to it as an eco-friendly flooring option made from renewable, natural ingredients. Read on to see if linoleum is the right choice for your San Antonio home or commercial space.
Linoleum is made from all natural materials including: linseed oil, tree resins, jute, cork dust, and mineral fillers like calcium carbonate. Invented by Englishman Frederick Walton in 1860, linoleum was given its name from the Latin words “linum” (flax) and “oleum” (oil). It originally referred to Walton’s brand name, but quickly became generic. Starting in the 1950’s linoleum began to be replaced by other hard flooring options, and today, it has largely been replaced by vinyl.
Since its invention, linoleum has gone through numerous improvements in its manufacturing process. Several grades or gauges currently exist, with high quality pieces being extremely durable. This makes linoleum a great choice for commercial areas with heavy foot traffic. Also when compared to vinyl flooring, linoleum has its coloring dyed throughout the material rather than just printed on the surface. This makes it long lasting and resistant to wear. Scuffing will not scratch away at the image.
Another benefit to linoleum is its flexibility, which makes it a useful flooring material in certain building applications. Unlike rigid materials, such as ceramic tile, linoleum will not crack under movement. It is also naturally insulating and has low VOC (volatile organic compound) emissions.
Linoleum is not without drawbacks. Changes in humidity cause it to expand and contract, and linoleum is a more flammable flooring option. It ambers in direct sunlight, so window coverings should be used to protect it during the brightest periods of the day. Lastly, since linoleum is a softer material, it can be prone to dents and scratches. Although this is somewhat dependent on the gauge and type of coating used.
Customization and Design
Linoleum is highly customizable. It comes in both sheet and tile forms and has a wide range of color choices. Because it is easy to install and is a softer material, you can create unique shapes and patterns in your design. Choose bold, bright coloring to create a fun, energizing design. Or instead opt for a soothing palette with natural, stone-like coloring.
If you are shopping for new flooring for your San Antonio home or office space, call Floor Coverings International of Northwest San Antonio and schedule your free consultation. We partner with national flooring manufacturers to bring you a wide selection of products at a low cost to you.
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