Linoleum floors have been in use since the mid 19th century after its invention by Englishman Frederic Walton. Linoleum is a flexible flooring material available in a wide range of colors and designs that is created with a variety of ingredients including linseed oil, cork dust and rosin. Its popularity seemed to peak in the 1950s, but it is enjoying a resurgence once again with economy-minded homeowners. Like any flooring application, it has both pros and cons to recommend its usage. Any homeowner considering the installation of linoleum floors would be wise to review both sides of the coin.
One of the most attractive benefits to installing linoleum floors is its affordable price tag. Compared to other flooring choices such as ceramic tile or hardwood, linoleum is a lot less costly to install. Linoleum is one of the most versatile flooring choices because it is available in a wide array of colors, sizes and thicknesses. Some linoleum offerings feature textured surfaces designed to imitate more expensive flooring choices such as marble, granite, stone and wood.
Another feature in the pro column for choosing linoleum is its ease of installation compared to other floor options. Many linoleum floors are made up of self-adhesive tiles which can be attached directly to the existing floor without the need for any grouting in between the tiles. There is also no need for a tile cutter to create an exact fit around edges or corners because the flexible linoleum tiles can simply be scored and cut using a razor.
Linoleum is also the perfect flooring choice for kitchens and dining rooms where spills are common because wet or dry spills can be easily mopped up without damaging the flooring. Linoleum is an easy maintenance flooring choice that only need a dry or damp mop daily to remove surface dirt and debris, and a weekly wet wash using water and mild detergent or a bit of vinegar.
One of the biggest drawbacks to installing linoleum, however, is its soft, impressionable surface which tends to be less durable than harder flooring materials such as stone or wood. The surface can be easily cut or marred by heavy sharp objects or scratched if furniture or chairs are dragged across its surface. Also, linoleum tends to yellow or get a dingy cast over time if not properly cleaned or maintained. Some people tend to associate linoleum with cheap or economical flooring, which is not very desirable when trying to sell a home that has liberally used linoleum as a flooring choice. Depending upon the style or color of linoleum chosen, this type of flooring can give a room a cold, institutional look rather than a warm and fashionable decor.
Homeowners seeking a versatile and affordable flooring choice for kitchens, dens, family rooms and dining rooms that is easy to maintain as well as easy to install should investigate the possibilities available with linoleum floors.