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How Does Linoleum Flooring Promote a Healthy, Eco-Friendly Home?

What is linoleum flooring? Many people confuse it with vinyl flooring or even (probably more due to the ‘l’ at the start than any other factor) laminate flooring. However, natural linoleum is distinctly different from both of these alternatives.

We say ‘natural’ because, though you may sometimes see synthetic forms of linoleum on the market, genuine linoleum comprises entirely natural materials — including linseed oil, jute, wood flour, powdered cork and ground limestone.

In contrast, vinyl is made of the plastic known as polyvinyl chloride (PVC). At the same time, laminate also features a plastic element: a transparent coating layered across a printed image of a wood grain. The resulting flooring looks like hardwood but is easier and cheaper to maintain.

Linoleum flooring can also take a lot of hassle out of your life — by being easy to clean and helping you stay healthy. This type of flooring is also environmentally friendly.

 

Health Merits of Choosing Linoleum

The most prevalent plasticisers in vinyl flooring have been suspected to be endocrine disruptors. In other words, there’s a chance that the human body could mistake them for natural hormones. This situation, in turn, could have adverse implications for embryo development and reproductive health.

Typically, roughly 27% of vinyl sheet flooring’s weight can be attributed to plasticisers. Of the plasticisers in vinyl flooring, the most worrying are phthalates. 

Research suggests that exposure to high levels of phthalates could lead to early death in older people. Though there is a need for further research into how phthalates affect human health, these plasticisers are also known to be harmful to unborn babies and children.

Fortunately, linoleum flooring does not contain any phthalates or other plasticisers. From a health-related standpoint, another big bonus of this flooring is how easy it is clean, meaning that the bacteria that does end up on it doesn’t have to linger there for very long.

 

What Makes Linoleum Eco-Friendly? 

For a start, linoleum is largely made up of renewable materials. One good case in point is linseed oil sourced from the flax plant. Meanwhile, cork is stripped from Mediterranean oak trees and used to make bottle corks and gaskets, leaving powdered cork that goes into linoleum.

Though linoleum contains some zinc drying agent and is typically coated with acrylic, these are the flooring’s only non-biodegradable ingredients.

The Collins English Dictionary explains: “Something that is biodegradable breaks down or decays naturally without any special scientific treatment, and can therefore be thrown away without causing pollution.” 

On the green front, linoleum certainly compares favourably to vinyl flooring, which contains the chlorine-based compound of PVC. As PVC is made or incinerated, it can release organochlorines that subsequently bioaccumulate in the environment and harm animals.

 

Our Linoleum Flooring Installation Expertise

At homes and workplaces across London, we can install linoleum flooring. In each case, a dedicated staff member will supervise the entire job to ensure that it is undertaken smoothly. To enquire about our linoleum flooring solutions, please call 0207 609 1234.