For those of you old enough to remember traditional linoleum flooring, you probably remember it peeling up in the bathroom and under the kitchen sink; remember it becoming discolored when water seeped under it; and remember the gouges, scrapes and indentions at the front door. Traditional linoleum came in long, thin sheets and was manufactured using pine rosin, wood flour, cork dust and linseed oil. Yesterday’s linoleum was glued to the floor using a semi-adhesive silicon that rarely stuck for more than a few years.
In relation to yesterday’s, today’s linoleum that we offer at Floor Coverings International Pittsburgh is an entirely different product.
Today’s linoleum is made of a vinyl/micro-ground limestone combination that is mixed into a thick paste and colored with powerful dyes. At the beginning of the manufacturing process, the paste is heated, then fabricated as a fiberglass-like product which is produced in sheets and layered one upon another to make a thick, strong product that is highly resistant to warping, impacts, abrasion and cuts.
The resistance qualities of today’s linoleum more closely resemble those of Kevlar carbon fiber than traditional linoleum.
Modern Linoleum Versus Wood, Tile and Traditional Linoleum
Contemporary linoleum is so durable, strong and rheumatic, that it is available in tiles and planks as-well-as traditional rolls. Unlike tile and wood, linoleum has six layers: a top coat; a wear layer; a pattern layer; a cushion layer; a fiberglass layer and a base layer. The layering system gives linoleum a softer feel than wood or tile, a quality that reduces foot and back pain. Today’s linoleum has a much better R-Value than ceramic or wood, which means linoleum keeps a house cool in the summer and warm in the winter. And, unlike wood, tile and traditional linoleum, contemporary linoleum is easy to install quickly and correctly. Someone with no flooring experience can install today’s linoleum.
The Look of Today’s Linoleum
Linoleum is easily the most versatile flooring available with respect to appearance. Even traditionally, colors, patterns and offsets were linoleum’s biggest selling point. With respect to that, very little has changed. A few of the pattern categories include: print, forbo, flooring and retro. From modern art patterns to linoleum that has images of river rock, water, granite and marble, almost anything a person can imagine can be found in a linoleum pattern. Simple geodesic patterns are popular as are complex Indian art motifs — both Asian Indian art and Native American. Linoleum with M.C. Escher’s Art can be purchased as well as Andy Warhol’s.
Even the lowest quality modern linoleum comes with at least a five year warranty. The vast majority come with a warrenty that is good anywhere from 20 years to as long as you live in your house.
Linoleum is no longer second rate flooring. It is often more durable that wood and more beautiful than ceramic. Contact our flooring experts at Floor Coverings International Pittsburgh to learn more about our selection. We offer free consultations and estimates to the Pittsburgh, Wexford, Cranberry area.
Photo Credit: Iriana Shiyan