Though often lumped in with synthetic materials like vinyl, linoleum is make using natural substances like linseed oil, limestone, and recycled wood flour. Its use as a flooring material goes back to the 1860s, and when high-quality linoleum is properly installed, it can be very durable as well as attractive.
According to the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors, the average linoleum floor will last about 25 years, putting it about on par with the life expectancies of vinyl and laminate flooring and well beyond that of carpet. Very high-end linoleum--like any other high-end material--can become expensive; in most cases, however, linoleum is a very affordable option for bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms, and any other area of the home where moisture levels are likely to be higher than normal.
...watching a pro at work certainly makes the discipline seem deceptively easy...
Less popular than its sheet linoleum cousin, linoleum tile is certainly the easier of the two materials to work with. On a clean, dry surface, linoleum tile is simply adhered to the subfloor with an appropriate glue, then the next tile is placed snuggly against it in the same manner.
Rolled sheet linoleum takes much more attention to detail to install, as the large sheets must be carefully measured to fit the room (and any obstacles therein) exactly before it is put down with adhesive. Like many professionals who are good at their craft, a seasoned linoleum specialist can make this job look easy. While most would certainly consider installing linoleum sheets or tiles a good project for do-it-yourselfers, watching a pro at work certainly makes the discipline seem deceptively easy.
2.Resurgence of Linoleum
Very popular for decades, linoleum flooring saw a significant lull in sales once vinyl products were introduced to the market. Today, however, the more classic material is seeing a resurgence in popularity for several important reasons.
First, linoleum produced today is available in far more colors and styles than it was when vinyl came into the spotlight. Linoleum products that simply could not compete with the variety offered by vinyl decades ago now sport enough looks to satisfy nearly any homeowner. Next, linoleum has certain physical characteristics that vinyl lacks, making it very appealing. Linoleum is naturally antibacterial, a property that hospitals have recognized for years. Additionally, linoleum is easier to repair, harder to scratch, and far more difficult to burn than its vinyl competition.
One of the single biggest reasons for linoleum's recovering popularity is its all-natural make up. Unlike competing products that are petroleum-based, linoleum incorporates readily-available, renewable, and often recycled materials into its composition. In fact, many green builders (as well as quite a few green homeowners) have chosen linoleum because it no environmental toxins are used in its production or in its disposal.
People who live in classic homes and do not want to upgrade using materials invented well after the structure was built have also been jumping on the linoleum bandwagon. Unlike other materials that have been around for more than 150 years, linoleum is very affordable as well as historically accurate. This is a big benefit during restoration and remodeling projects, as the number of affordable classic materials that can handle significant amounts of moisture is limited to say the least.
If linoleum has any major drawback, it is its poor reputation when it comes to durability and looks. Inferior products that didn't go the distance and linoleum manufactured before the availability of today's extensive palette did their part in damaging the material's reputation. However, as the public becomes more aware of the benefits and characteristics of linoleum, the idea that it is a "cheap" material is beginning to fade.