What Exactly Is Linoleum Flooring, and What Are Its Advantages and Disadvantages?
Linoleum was one of the most common flooring choices of homeowners in the 60s and 70s. But this flooring has a long history. Over time, as technology and materials advanced, some other flooring options entered the scene, moving lino into the background. Luckily, only for a short time.
In the last decade, linoleum flooring has experienced its “second youth” and found its way to modern homes, where it can enhance the look of every room. So if you’re looking for new flooring for your property, you might want to learn more about linoleum to make the right decision.
How Is Linoleum Made?
Linoleum contains materials like linseed oil, resin, wood flour, grounded cork, and jute, which are all-natural matters. Their mixture should sit in metal barrels for up to a month. Then it goes into press machines where it’s pressed between heavy rollers. The result of this process is thin lino sheets.
Is Linoleum a Common Kind of Flooring?
Yes, linoleum flooring is quite common since it has wide applications in residential and commercial buildings. You can install it in every room in your house, but it’s also a good choice for high-traffic public areas like offices, healthcare facilities, and schools.
Are There Many Types of Linoleum Flooring?
Three types of linoleum flooring are available on the market: sheet, tiles, and clickable or floating lino floors. There are no significant differences between them regarding quality, but they differ in price, method of use, and installation.
Sheet Linoleum Flooring
Linoleum sheets are made in bulk and packed into rolls. When you buy this flooring, you can choose any length you need, while it comes in a pre-set width of 6 to 12 ft. You can cut it into any shape, making it suitable for rooms with fixtures coming out from floors, like bathrooms and kitchens. But its installation is too demanding to be a DIY project.
|Professional installation required
|Slippery when freshly laid
|Variety of styles
|Fewer visible seams
Tile Linoleum Flooring
Linoleum tiles are cut in squares and come in a standard size of 12×12 inches (30×30 centimetres). You can also find them in other dimensions from different brands. These tiles are thicker and have more visible seams than lino sheets. As you adhere them one by one on a subfloor, you can lay linoleum tiles any way you want, thus creating unique flooring designs.
|Great for bathrooms
|Tiles can curl around the edges
|Better for DIY installation
|Almost effortless removal
Floating or Clickable Linoleum Floors
These are long and thick linoleum planks, making them an excellent choice for high-traffic areas. They use the so-called click-clack method. You just stack them over the subfloor or underlayment without adhesive. It means their installation is fast and effortless, with no mess and scraps, but replacing a single plank can be a problem.
|Easy DIY installation
|Planks might shift
What Are the Advantages of Lino Flooring?
Here’s why linoleum flooring is a good choice:
- It’s sturdy, durable, and resistant to high traffic.
- This flooring is water-resistant, meaning no spills and leaks will damage it.
- It’s eco-friendly since it’s made of natural and biodegradable materials, which can be recycled.
- It’s non-toxic, meaning it’s free of harmful VOCs (volatile organic compounds).
- Lino flooring repels dirt and is low-maintenance, requiring only mopping and sweeping.
- Unlike most other floors, lino is easy to install, even as a DIY project.
- Linoleum is a great fit for all interiors as it comes in a variety of colours and designs.
- Linoleum is affordable and provides great value for the money.
What Are the Disadvantages of Lino Flooring?
There are some cons about linoleum flooring which might give you a second thought on it.
- Linoleum flooring isn’t waterproof.
- It’s not scratch-resistant, so avoid dragging furniture over it.
- The colours of these sheets or tiles can fade away over time, especially in sun-exposed spots.
- Some lino flooring, like tiles, requires professional installation.
- If linoleum has no protective coating, it requires annual buffing and polishing to maintain water resistance.
What Are the Uses of Lino Flooring?
Due to its long life, durability, and flexibility, linoleum is a desirable flooring option in commercial and residential areas. It’s great for busy spaces where many people pass every day, as well as for moisty rooms. Some of lino’s applications are in:
- Houses and apartments, especially kitchens, bathrooms, and hallways.
- Schools and day nurseries.
- Hospitals and other healthcare facilities.
- Care homes.
Linoleum Flooring for the Home
Linoleum is natural and sustainable, so it’s safe for home use. And since it can withstand water and moisture, it’s one of the best options for kitchens, bathrooms, and basements. When properly installed, this floor doesn’t bend, so you can lay it in more “busy” rooms such as hallways and living rooms.
This flooring is highly versatile, available in many colours and patterns, allowing you to find the perfect match for your interior design. If you’re into DIY projects, you can install lino tiles or clickable planks all alone. And if you’re eco-conscious, you’ll be thrilled by the fact that linoleum is all-natural and eco-friendly flooring.
Linoleum Flooring for Commercial Use
With remarkable durability and resistance to heavy foot traffic, linoleum flooring is perfect for commercial areas with high activity levels. It’s an excellent solution for offices, retail, healthcare, and educational facilities.
Lino flooring designs can fit into any commercial space, thus creating a visually appealing and customised environment that aligns with the company’s image. Plus, its low maintenance requirements make it a practical and cost-effective solution for businesses looking to cut upkeep expenses.
What Are the Various Lino Flooring Styles and Effects?
Linoleum consists of natural materials which contribute to its unique appearance. Manufacturers add pigments to make sheets, tiles, and planks in various colours and styles, ranging from plain, uniform looks to marble and wood-like patterns. These are consistent throughout all the flooring layers, so the pattern will be visible even when the floor is scratched.
What Colours of Lino Flooring Are Available?
Manufacturers offer a wide selection of lino flooring in solid colours, so everyone can find something for their preferences. In most cases, these are neutral and contemporary shades that’ll match any interior, but you can also find this flooring in more vibrant colours.
Popular colour choices are:
What Finishes Does Lino Flooring Come in?
The finish on linoleum flooring is both decorative and functional. And since it’s the surface you walk on, it must be durable and resistant. The linoleum finish doesn’t differ much from the rest of the sheet or tile. It can only be enhanced with an extra coating that’ll make the surface rugged and less slippery. The common finishes manufacturers use are:
What Patterns Does Lino Flooring Come in?
Linoleum offers a diverse range of patterns and designs, allowing you to enhance any commercial and residential area with this affordable flooring solution. Even if you opt for solid colours, you can combine them any way you want, creating unique designs.
Some popular prefabricated patterns are:
- Stone or Brick-like
Which Lino Flooring Is the Best?
There’s no one-size-fits-all linoleum flooring, as it comes in different types, styles, designs, and prices that meet different buyers’ needs and budgets.
What Are the Many Lino Flooring Brands?
There are many reputable linoleum manufacturers in the UK, and also a large number of importers who deliver top-quality lino floors to this market from all over the world.
Some of the most popular lino flooring brands are:
What Is the Price of Lino Flooring?
For a square meter of linoleum in the UK, you’ll spend between £21 and £48, depending on the flooring quality, pattern, and brand.
Is It Possible to Get Low-Cost Lino Flooring?
Yes, you can find cheap linoleum offers, starting from £7 per square metre. These low prices are usually for cheaper-patterned tiles and planks, which aren’t as thick as high-quality ones.
Is It Possible to Purchase Expensive Lino Flooring?
Yes, you can buy top-notch linoleum with improved features. More expensive linoleum has upgraded design and functionality, like more layers that make it more durable or extra coating for a more rugged appearance, which is an excellent choice for commercial areas.
How Much Does It Cost to Install Lino Flooring?
You won’t have extra costs if you opt for DIY installation (except maybe buying adhesive), but if you need to hire professional floor fitters, you’ll pay £15-£20 per hour.
Does Lino Flooring Add or Subtract Value to Your Home?
Linoleum flooring won’t affect your home’s value. If you buy high-quality lino resembling hardwood, it can look elegant and costly for a fraction of the hardwood price. Some buyers appreciate the sustainability and eco-friendliness of linoleum, but that won’t add to your property’s value.
How Do You Fit Lino Flooring?
If you don’t want to hire professional floor fitters but decide on DIY lino flooring installation, you have to prepare everything and do it with the utmost attention.
Make sure to follow these steps when fitting lino flooring:
- Bring the Linoleum in to Acclimatise: By letting lino flooring stay inside for no more than two days, you’ll prevent its over-expanding or shrinking and ensure better fitting to the subfloor.
- Prepare the Room: As you need space to put linoleum sheets or tiles, it’s advisable to remove all the furniture from the room and remove old flooring or clean it if you’ll lay linoleum over it.
- Prepare the Subfloor: If there are any holes, cracks, or bumps, fix and level them. If the underlayment is in good condition, skip this step.
- Measure, Mark, and Cut: Mark linoleum sheets before cutting and, if necessary, use a tape measure to ensure a straight cut. In the case of laying lino tiles and planks, you might also need to cut them to adjust room dimensions.
- Apply Adhesive: Starting from the room corner, spread the thin layer of adhesive with a trowel in small sections. Skip this step if you lay clickable linoleum flooring, as you just have to click them together on the subfloor.
- Lay Linoleum Flooring: You have to glue the sheets and tiles down. Press down firmly to ensure proper adhesion. Remove excess glue with a damp rug.
- Roll and Seal: As soon as you lay the tile or sheet down, use a floor roller to ensure there are no wrinkles. Use proper floor sealant to fill in the gaps between tiles or sheets, especially around fixtures and doorways, and provide it with a glossy finish.
- Trim the Edges: Use a utility knife to cut off the excess linoleum around obstacles. Ensure a snug fit by leaving a small gap around the edges to allow for expansion. You can also use a hair dryer to warm the linoleum slightly for a better fit around corners or curves.
- Final Touch: After linoleum installation, wait at least 24 hours for the glue to harden before stepping on it. Then, clean everything with a proper cleaning solution and bring the furniture back.
What Are the Various Methods for Installing Lino Flooring?
There are two installation methods for linoleum flooring, glue-down and click-clack. If you use non-adhesive sheets or tiles, you need to apply glue before laying them down. You can do this even if you use self-adhesive (peel-and-stick) lino tiles, as the extra adhesive will ensure better durability and stability. The click-clack method implies stacking tiles as if they were a puzzle.
Is Underlayment Required for Lino Flooring?
No, underlayment isn’t always necessary if your subfloor is in good condition. You can add extra foam underlayment or vapour barrier to ensure linoleum longevity, but it’s not mandatory. For extra noise insulation, you can lay a quality carpet over linoleum.
Is Hiring a Professional to Install Lino Flooring Necessary, or Can You Do It Yourself?
No, hiring professional linoleum installers isn’t necessary if you have DIY skills and proper tools. Installing this flooring isn’t a time-consuming project as it takes only three to four hours to lay a 20-square metres room.
How Do You Maintain Lino Flooring?
Linoleum flooring requires regular maintenance that’s not too demanding or time-consuming since it mainly boils down to sweeping, mopping, and timely removal of liquids and stains, with occasional polishing. Here’s what your cleaning routine should look like:
- Sweeping: Use a fibre broom or a vacuum cleaner to remove dirt and crumbs.
- Mopping: Dampen the rug and mop the floor gently. Add linoleum-friendly cleaning solution and use as stated on the package to remove stains.
- Polishing: Adding polish or a wax solution is required once a month to keep the linoleum looking as good as new. Apply these products on small areas, and wait at least half an hour before adding another coating.
What Is the Best Way to Clean Lino Flooring?
Besides regular maintenance, linoleum flooring requires occasional deep cleaning. You need to apply a proper cleaning solution and avoid over-dampening the floor. Here’s how to do that:
- Prepare the Floor for Cleaning: Sweep or vacuum dust and debris, not skipping the areas under the furniture and corners. Wipe the floor one more time with a microfibre cloth to remove all the dust.
- Prepare the Cleaning Solution: Use water and dishwashing soap or pH-neutral linoleum cleaner to make a mild cleaning solution. Avoid harsh chemicals and ammonia-based products, as they can damage your linoleum flooring.
- Mop the Floor: Soak the mop or a cloth in the solution and squeeze the excess moisture out. Wipe one floor at a time, then dampen the cloth again and repeat.
- Rinse the Floor: After mopping the floor with the cleaning solution, do the same with clean water to wash away soap residues.
- Dry the Floor: You can leave linoleum flooring to air dry, but it’s faster to wipe it one more time with old towels or dry cloths.
Is It Possible to Restore or Repair Lino Flooring?
Yes, you can make your old linoleum look much better. If it’s yellowed or faded, you can remove the old polish and re-apply the new acrylic or urethane-based polish. For cracks and scratches, you can use shellac sticks.
What Is the Lifespan of Lino Flooring?
The average lifetime of linoleum flooring is between 20 and 40 years. It depends on the quality of material, usage, maintenance, and environmental factors in rooms (moisture, temperature, and light exposure).
How Efficient Is Lino Flooring?
Linoleum flooring is resilient, long-lasting, affordable, and easy to install. With regular maintenance, it can achieve and even exceed its expected lifespan. When the time comes, its replacement won’t be a significant cost, even if you’re on a tight budget.
Is Lino Flooring Environmentally-Friendly?
Yes, Lino flooring is environmentally friendly since it’s all-natural, biodegradable, and recyclable. These features make it highly desirable in buildings following green construction.
Is Linoleum Flooring a Good Choice?
Yes, linoleum can be a good choice to install in a wide range of rooms and buildings. Due to its many benefits, it’s suitable for both high-traffic and less-busy areas. Since it’s durable and versatile, it provides good value for the money.
Is Lino Flooring Suitable for Pets?
Yes, linoleum might be a good choice for pet owners as this surface repels dirt and animal hair. But since it’s not scratch-resistant, you might want to cut your pets’ nails regularly to avoid floor damage.
Is Lino Flooring Suitable for Children?
Yes, this flooring is a good choice for children’s bedrooms, play areas, and daycare since it’s all-natural, non-toxic, and easy to care for. Linoleum is water and mite-resistant, which makes it a safe flooring for kids with allergies and asthma.
Is Lino Flooring Appropriate for High-Traffic Areas?
Yes, you can install linoleum flooring in residential and commercial areas with high foot traffic. It’s durable and resilient, but it’s prone to scratches, which is why it requires regular restoration.
Is Lino Flooring Suitable for Moist Areas?
Yes, linoleum can be laid in moist rooms like bathrooms and kitchens since it won’t buckle or warp due to water exposure.
Is Lino Flooring Water-Resistant?
Yes, linoleum is water-resistant, meaning surface spills and leaks can’t damage it. But it’s not waterproof, so if water gets underneath, mould can develop, and this calls for urgent floor replacement.
Linoleum flooring offers a wide range of benefits, including durability, sustainability, and affordability. With a range of designs and patterns, lino floors can enhance any space. Whether you choose linoleum or explore other flooring options, reach out to Clever Carpet company, whose experts will help you find the best floor for your needs.