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Marmoleum: Combining Aesthetics and Function

Shopping for floors these days can sometimes feel overwhelming. Should you go for wood because of its durability, cork for its eco-friendliness or sustainability, or vinyl for its various designs and affordability? What kind of floor is best when you have children or pets or when you want to save time and money on cleaning? Is there flooring that goes well in all parts of the house?

If you’re looking to combine some of the best features of different floor materials or you want an answer to these questions, consider getting Marmoleum flooring.

What Is a Marmoleum Floor?

Basically, it’s a natural stone vinyl tile. It is made from linseed oil and jute (cloth) and contains no plastic or adhesive. If you were to drop some Marmoleum flooring on the ground, for example, then it would not shatter into pieces like ordinary vinyl tiles do.

This natural raw material is combined with calcium carbonate and limestone to form the Marmoleum sheet flooring, which is then coated with a wear-resistant finish.

The linseed oil makes the material flexible (and helps keep it waterproof), while the jute backing gives the material its strength. It’s similar to how cloth can be both flexible and strong at the same time.

Linoleum vs. Marmoleum Floor

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Linoleum is a type of durable floor covering made from natural materials such as cork, linseed oil or pine rosin, wood flour, and limestone. Many people believe that Frederick Walton, an English inventor, created linoleum in 1860 after observing linseed oil forming a rubber-like layer in a can of paint. In fact, the word “linoleum” comes from Latin words meaning “linen” and “oil.”

Back in the day, hospitals and public buildings used linoleum often due to its resistance to chemical disinfectants. It’s perhaps most famous for being the floor covering found in many kitchens and bathrooms throughout America during the mid-twentieth century.

Marmoleum, meanwhile, is a brand name for a type of vinyl flooring made by Forbo. The main difference between Marmoleum and linoleum is that Marmoleum contains only 100 percent linseed oil (linoleic acid). In contrast, traditional linoleum consists primarily of cork (containing 30 percent to 40 percent linoleic acid), pine rosin, wood flour, and limestone, with some formulations containing jute.

Thus, Marmoleum flooring has more of a matte finish with few visible markings, while traditional linoleum often has a shiny look with distinct flecks on the surface. Marmoleum is softer and easier to install than traditional linoleum, but it’s also more expensive.

The durability of both types of flooring is comparable. You can find both types available in sheet goods or tiles, which are then glued down over an appropriate underlayment.

The Benefits of Marmoleum

Marmoleum floors are popular not only for their durability but also for their benefits compared to other floor types. So what’s so good about a Marmoleum floor?

  1. It comes in many beautiful colors, giving you endless possibilities to create your unique style. That’s why some prefer them over typical linoleum, which can look drab or boring.
  2. It can be used both indoors and outdoors with success, making it perfect for any room in the house, including kitchens or bathrooms.
  3. The variety of shades ensures that they will match perfectly with your desired interior design scheme.
  4.  It is water-resistant, contrary to most other natural stone materials that can crack when exposed to heat or cold. This also makes the material perfect for households with pets and children. Moreover, being water-resistant means that the floor is less likely to gather mold and mildew.
  5. It’s extra durable. It may even become stronger over time, unlike other types of flooring that will experience wear and tear. This is because the linseed oil will continue to cure and harden.
  6. Marmoleum floors also repel water, making them easy to clean up spills.
  7. These floors are made out of natural materials, making them more sustainable or eco-friendly. They can even be made from recycled materials.
  8. It’s hypoallergenic, being dust-mite-resistant, and antibacterial.
  9. The flooring has high sound insulation qualities. Due to the denseness of the surface, sound travels on Marmoleum flooring slower than on other surfaces, so noise disturbances are reduced.
  10. Since it is flexible, it can be installed on uneven floor surfaces without any problems. You won’t even need adhesive for it.
  11. It also has a high degree of softness, making it more comfortable under feet than traditional hardwood floors.
  12. Marmoleum floors can be combined with radiant heating systems, making them suitable for year-round use in colder climates.
  13. Cleaning Marmoleum floors is easy, both manually or using specialized cleaning equipment. High vacuum cleaners are not recommended on these floors, however, since they tend to clog the flooring fibers and create small bumps on the surface of the material.
  14. When properly taken care of, they can last up to 40 years.

Marmoleum doesn’t have the charm and the cozy feel hardwood provides, or the glossiness and elegance of stone floors. But if you like a good combination of aesthetics and function, this product will do.

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