The Truth about Linoleum Flooring

By Casey Johnson

Do you have customers that want a resilient flooring that is made from raw materials and is reliable, strong, hygienic and safe for both the indoor environment and planet?

Look no further than linoleum.

With more than 150 years of heritage behind it, linoleum is extremely durable, lasting upwards of 30 years. This makes it an ideal choice for a variety of applications, from healthcare facilities to education institutions to public buildings.

The floor covering is manufactured on a circular platform with predominantly natural and renewable raw materials, such as linseed oil, wood flour, limestone, rosin and jute, making it carbon neutral from cradle to gate. This means carbon dioxide emissions are neutral during the first stages of the product life cycle, from the growing of raw materials to the end of the production process. When combined with green cleaning and maintenance programs that maximize the flooring’s performance and appearance, linoleum is truly one of the most environmentally-conscious flooring options on the market.

The absence of plasticizers in linoleum and, subsequently, the off-gassing of these chemicals also helps improve indoor air quality. Studies show good indoor air quality has a positive impact on the health and well-being of a building’s occupants, resulting in higher productivity and better concentration and focus.

Most linoleum produced worldwide derives from flax plants grown in the Prairie provinces. As linseed oil makes up 30 per cent of the content of linoleum, using linoleum directly supports farmers in Western Canada, who utilize no-tilt processing in fields. This significantly reduces erosion, improves moisture retention in the soil and, through the carefully balanced use of fertilizer, minimizes or even eliminates eutrophication, which causes algae in water bodies.

Linoleum’s smooth, non-porous surface makes it easy to keep dust-free. What’s more, it is allergen-free and clinically proven to inhibit the growth of various types of bacteria, including MRSA and C. difficile.

Linoleum has come a long way since its early days. Advancements in technology have resulted in a limitless pallet of sheet, tile and plank options in a variety of colours and designs, ranging from marble to linear to concrete. What can be done today with this flooring material is only limited by the imagination.

Casey Johnson is director of healthcare business development in North America for Forbo Flooring Systems. Forbo is a leading producer of commercial floor coverings, including vinyl, flocked flooring and Marmoleum, the company’s brand of linoleum. Casey can be reached at [email protected].

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