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Linoleum is not Vinyl and Other Misconceptions

School is back in session and this year was particularly eventful for us because my youngest started kindergarten this year. We had a rough scary day with me leaving the classroom blowing kisses to my sobbing, screaming child followed with a call from the school after school that my boys didn't get on the bus because there was confusion about which bus to get on. Needless to say, on September 7th, I was a wreck. 

Waldron Designs has taken on the task of focusing our continuing education this year on Aging in Place and Universal Design. We are learning so much and find this to be such a beneficial area of concentration. The Specifier night for Albert Lee is coming up and while it may not sound exciting to many, it's a chance to view all the up and coming appliances, take some classes, and experience futuristic kitchen environments. I will share all the photos that I am allowed to on Instagram (there are top secret areas- really!!).

Our biggest news is that we have finally launched an e-design platform worth sticking to! It is simple, easy to navigate, and easy for us to use on the design side. So, if you're one of our long-distance folks, on a tight time or money budget, take a look at our e-design services!

Let's Talk about Linoleum

Getting to the point here... I really, really want to talk about linoleum. No, it's not going to float everyone's boat. But, this is a FANTASTIC finish that I personally find quite lovely and it has so many wonderful qualities that it seems such a waste to push it aside due to some old stigma from the 1970's.

1. Linoleum is Healthy

healthy linoleum.jpg

This is not a plastic surface. Where vinyl flooring is a synthetic product made of chlorinated petrochemicals, linoleum is made from clay, cork dust, wood flours, tree resin, and linseed oil (giving it that wonderful smell!) and backed with jute. What does this mean for you and your home? It is a healthy product. It is environmentally friendly. Sustainability is not just a trend, it's an issue of our well-being and the well-being of the planet. It also increases resale value if we need to get into the money talk, to have a sustainable home.

 Where vinyl will melt if a lighted match or cigarette lands on it, linoleum can't. And where most vinyl patterns are printed into the surface, linoleum's colors go all the way through. 

2. Linoleum is Durable


Vinyl is that cheap stuff we think of when this confusion happens... the stuff that melts, gouges, scuffs and peels. Linoleum's colors go all the way through, so a scratch or a dent will simply show more of the same color, the same patterning. Though, after designing several schools that used this as flooring and bulletin material, I have not seen a single gouge yet. After years of abuse from stomping feet, scratchers, pickers, sliders, these floors retain their original beauty.

3. Linoleum is Affordable

The price of the material itself can be compared to that of vinyl. Installation is another story. You will need a proper subfloor and a certified installer for sheet linoleum particularly. The tiles are quick and easy and click together with a much lower installation cost. 

This does not make it a "cheap" option. When purchasing linoleum, we are getting a top quality surface that will last, continuing to look beautiful for years to come. I have seen this surface in several high end residences, so please, don't let that "cheap" stigma sway you!

4. Linoleum is Comfortable

This is a hard floor surface, making it easy to clean, but it is one of the softer hard surfaces, meaning it compresses and bounces back when walked on, giving it a slight cushioned effect.

Linoleum (left) vs. Sheet vinyl (right)

Linoleum (left) vs. Sheet vinyl (right)

I always preach honesty in materiality, and consistently hear that vinyl is needed for "x" or that the faux tile is needed for "y", but I'm telling you, linoleum will serve those purposes and do so in a way that will last with class and integrity.