Though it is often confused with vinyl, linoleum is a completely different material. Linoleum flooring is made up of linseed oil, wood or cork powder, and ground stone. It is a recyclable material, and is available in partially recycled content.
The Positives of Linoleum Flooring
The most noticeable benefit of a linoleum floor is its price. It is much more affordable when compared to natural materials such as ceramic, wood, or stone. The price of linoleum flooring is comparable to vinyl flooring in both installation costs and also initial purchase price. Linoleum flooring can last up to 40 years.
It can be found in a wide array of colors, patterns, and styles. You could even buy vintage linoleum if you want to have a more old-style look to your home. Since it is so easy to cut, it’s possible to mix and match several different colors and patterns of lino to create a truly personalized floor.
Linoleum floors are extremely resistant to water and make an excellent choice for kitchens, bathrooms and laundry rooms. They are very easy to clean and are nearly maintenance free. Linoleum flooring can also handle high traffic without significant damage to it; this makes them a great option for households that have children and/or pets.
The Negatives of Linoleum Flooring
While there are certainly many positives of having a linoleum floor, the biggest negative is probably the installation. It requires quite a lot of skill and effort to put in a floor of this type. Linoleum flooring requires not just a steady hand to cut, but it needs to be applied with a spread adhesive. Those without experience will find that the situation gets sticky very quickly. Unlike vinyl or laminate, the DIY route is extremely difficult and sometimes not worth the pain, so hiring a professional to install it is usually the best option.
Though linoleum floors are very low maintenance, it is possible to stain them. They also need to be polished once or twice a year to maintain a great looking finish. If a stain occurs, it is possible to strip the floor and re-polish it. Linoleum that is polished regularly will have a much longer life expectancy than poorly maintained flooring.
Despite its water resistant qualities, a linoleum floor that is exposed to pools of water for extended periods of time can be permanently damaged. It should be noted, however, that standing water is a problem for many other flooring materials, both natural and synthetic.
A big reason why linoleum is not installed in some houses has to do with its cost effectiveness. Though it is not a flimsy material, many consider it “cheap”. While this says nothing about the performance of linoleum in a given situation, it does make it a less desirable material when it comes time to assess property value.