Linoleum

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Linoleum
Bailey Baldwin
Linoleum is Made From All
Natural Materials
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Linoleum is made of solidified
linseed oil in combination with wood
flour or cork dust over a burlap or
canvas backing.
Pigments can be added to the
material.
‘Inlaid’ is the finest linoleum floors. It
is extremely durable and is made by
joining and inlaying solid pieces of
linoleum.
Good quality linoleum is extremely
flexible.
Cheaper patterned linoleums came
in different grades or gauges, and
were printed with thinner layers
which were more prone to wear and
tear.
The Materials in Linoleum
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Linseed oil: It is the most important material
used to make linoleum. It is obtained by
pressing the seeds of the flax plant. Tall oil, a
recycled post-industrial by-product, is a resin
based fatty acid. In combination with linseed oil,
it optimizes the oxidation process in the
production of linoleum.
Rosin: It is the binding agent in linoleum. It is
tapped from pine trees, without affecting growth.
Together with linseed oil, rosin gives linoleum its
strength and flexibility.
Wood flour: It is used to bind the pigments and
to ensure colorfastness. It also helps to optimize
a smooth surface.
Cork flour: It is made by grinding the bark of
the cork oak, which is grown around the
Mediterranean. The bark is peeled every seven
to ten years without affecting the tree's growth.
Pigments: The most beautiful colors are
created by using ecologically responsible
pigments that do not contain heavy metals such
as lead and cadmium.
How it’s Made
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Linseed and rosin are
mixed with wood flour or
cork dust to form linoleum
granules
The mixture is pressed onto
a jute backing, making
sheets.
Then it is hung in drying
rooms to allow them to cure
and to acquire the required
flexibility and resilience.
To achieve maximum waste
reduction all linoleum
remnants are recycled back
into the production process.
How to Apply Linoleum
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1. Prep the floor. The floor needs to be smooth, clean, and dry without any bumps,
dirt, oil, or paint that could prevent a tight fit. Linoleum tile can be installed over
existing flooring if it is securely attached to the subfloor. If it isn’t, you’ll need to rip it
out.
2. Use a water-resistant Portland-cement filler to create a smooth surface. Apply the
cement with a mud knife. Keep it smooth to avoid having to sand more than
necessary.
3. Sand to a smooth, even surface.
4. While working on the floor preparation, put the linoleum tile somewhere nearby for
a couple days to acclimatize to room temperature. (It tends to be brittle if it’s too
cold.)
5. Use a chalk line to determine placement of tile.
6. If installing borders, precut edges with a utility or linoleum knife, then dry fit pieces.
7. Apply adhesive according to manufacturer’s instructions, then apply tile, then use
a hand roller to ensure a good seal. A 100-pound roller is recommended.
8.Once all the tile is laid, apply sealer according to manufacturer’s instructions.
History of Linoleum
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Linoleum was invented by Englishman Frederick Walton who patented his
formula in 1860.
In 1864, he formed the Linoleum Manufacturing Company
By 1869 the factory in Staines, England was exporting to Europe and the United
States.
In 1877, the Scottish town of Kirkcaldy, in Fife, became the largest producer of
linoleum in the world, with no fewer than six floorcloth manufacturers in the town
In 1864, Linoleum was first manufactured in the United States by the Joseph
Wild Co., in a town, christened Linoleumville, on the western shore of Staten
Island.
Between 1860 and the 1950s, linoleum was considered to be an excellent,
inexpensive material for high use areas.
In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, it was favored in hallways
and passages, and as a surround for carpet squares. However, most people
associate linoleum with its common twentieth century use on kitchen floors. Its
water resistance enabled easy maintenance of sanitary conditions and its
resilience made standing easier and reduced breakage of dropped china.
Synthetic vs. Natural
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Because vinyl and linoleum are similar in appearance, a common misconception
is that many people think that linoleum and vinyl are virtually the same, but in
actuality they are fundamentally very different.
Vinyl is completely synthetic, petroleum-based material. It is composed of
layers, starting with a vinyl (or felt) backing and is overlaid with a top layer of
urethane which helps resist scuff-marks, scratches, stains, repel dirt and
moisture.
Linoleum is completely natural. It is composed of entirely natural materials from
highly sustainable sources and thus is 100% recyclable. Which means all of the
leftover or waste products from its production can be re-used in future
production.
It is argued that linoleum is durable because the color is embedded throughout
its construction whereas in vinyl floors, the colors and patterns are simply
printed onto the surface and then protected by a urethane top layer.
Health benefits of linoleum is due to its natural properties. Linoleum flooring has
a healthier living environment because it does not emit volatile gases and other
toxic chemicals. Linoleum is believed to be hypoallergenic and naturally antistatic which means that it easily repels dust, dirt and other allergenic particles.
Linoleum is even believed to have naturally antibacterial properties.
Benefits of Linoleum
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Available in many different colors, prints and styles
Fully biodegradable
Inexpensive
Extremely durable
Requires little maintenance
Sustainable
It is a thermal and sound insulator
Non-toxic
Installing Linoleum
Vintage Linoleum
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