Linoleum is a popular floor covering, appreciated for its low cost, wide range of textures and colours, easy handling and multipurpose applicability. To be able to select the best option, you should know some details.
Linoleum types by material:
- Polyvinyl chloride, or PVC, is the most common coating: the elastic PVC layer may be applied to a textile, foam or heat-insulating nonwoven substrate.
Further, PVC linoleum can be single-layer (homogenous) or multilayer (heterogeneous), can have diverse tints and patterns, can imitate the appearance of natural materials and various textures. The disadvantages of PVC covering include potential shrinkage and specific odour which can be inherent in cheap variants.
- Natural linoleum consists of natural, but not synthetic materials: wood tar, lime, granulated cork, linseed oil, pinewood tar, natural colorants, etc. It is considered to be eco-friendly and suitable for children’s rooms. Disadvantages: rarity and high cost.
- Rubber linoleum, or relin, consists of two layers: the bottom of rubber crumbs in bituminous binder, and the top of a mixture of synthetic rubber, fillers and pigments. Advantages: elasticity and sound waterproofness.
- Kollokeilin, or nitrocellulose linoleum, is a substrate-free nitrocellulose based covering. Thin, elastic, glossy and smooth, the material is resistant to moisture, but combustible and toxic when heated.
- Giftal, or alkyd linoleum, consists of alkyd resins and pigments on a woven substrate. It is less wear-resistant than other types of linoleum, but has better noise and heat insulation properties.
Linoleum types by wear resistance and applications:
- Consumer linoleum applicable to low-traffic areas, homes, small offices. Cheap and affordable.
- Semi-commercial linoleum which is similar to consumer grade, but has an extra protective layer. Applicable to small offices and residential premises.
- Commercial linoleum is the most wear-resistant option, applicable to commercial premises with high traffic load: shops, transport, sports and recreation centres.