linoleum kitchen flooring

Is linoleum flooring good for kitchens?

Linoleum kitchen flooring is not the first flooring product that comes to mind when choosing a kitchen flooring material as it brings with it old memories of sterile hospitals and school hallways.  So can linoleum be used in a kitchen and why? 

Linoleum flooring is often over looked as materials like hardwood, laminate and tile are chosen typically for their durability and resell factor however, this 100 year old flooring material has a lot to offer and may be the perfect choice for your family.  Linoleum like all other construction materials has evolved over the years and today linoleum manufacturers provide homeowners with endless style opportunities to create a sexy, one-of-a-kind kitchen.   Photo from Forbo Flooring Systems

Is linoleum kitchen flooring expensive?

Linoleum flooring is a fairly cost effective product. It compares with that of high-end vinyl flooring and generally starts at $4.00 a square foot but can get much higher. Sheet linoleum flooring also requires professional flooring installation at an additional cost.  Its resistance to wear and tear, and its life expectancy makes Linoleum flooring for the kitchen, a leader in cost effectiveness.


Why Use Linoleum Flooring?

Pros of Linoleum Kitchen Flooring

  1. Linoleum is a sustainable flooring product – With more and more homeowners choosing to make more environmentally friendly choices for their home, linoleum checks the box for sustainable flooring materials.  Take Forbo’s brand Marmoleum for example.  Their product is made from 97% natural raw materials.  They also claim that 70% of those materials are renewable while also using 43% of recycled content.
  2. Linoleum is a design wonder – Looking for something unique?  Wanting to create a one-of-a-kind kitchen?  Look no further.  Linoleum is available in more than 300 colors and can be arranged in unlimited fashion.  Linoleum is available in tile and sheet where any style can be imagined and achieved.
  3. Linoleum is Durable – Linoleum flooring with proper care can last upwards of 40 years. Color pigment is developed throughout the floor so it holds up to wear from sun and traffic.
  4. Cost Effectiveness – Linoleum is often quite affordable.  It can be sold in tile form starting anywhere between $3.00 and $5.00.  Sheet linoleum and custom design can be more expensive but worth the look!
  5. Linoleum is Comfortable – These floors offer a cushion underfoot, great for sensitive feet and crawling infants:)

Cons of Linoleum Kitchen Flooring

  1. Durability – As linoleum is soft to the foot, it can also be damaged by sharp objects, furniture legs and high heals.  While it can hide scratches well, use with care.
  2. Moisture – Since linoleum is made of almost %100 natural products, it is more susceptible to moisture.  Linoleum flooring should be professionally installed and be properly sealed to help with moisture damage and if done correctly your linoleum floor should be impervious to water.  When cleaning linoleum, only a damp mop is required.
  3. Sunlight – If you are using linoleum in the kitchen and your kitchen receives plenty of sunlight, you will want to consider the color you choose and how it will look if it darkens over time.  While linoleum is made with protection from light, it can darken when exposed to sunlight, something worth considering in your design plan.


Construction & Installation of Linoleum Kitchen Flooring

Be aware that the only disadvantage of linoleum could be the installation process. When installing this product it is imperative that no moisture be underneath the floor. Generally in most cases, linoleum should be installed by a professional especially when dealing with sheet linoleum.

There are a few choices to be made regarding installing Linoleum flooring:

  1. Linoleum Tiles – Can be done by DIY but again this is a much trickier product to deal with than other floor tile products. It is possible to tile over an existing floor, though it must be smooth and very secure to the sub floor. Linoleum tiles are available in fewer colors than sheet linoleum.
  2. Linoleum Sheets – Unless you are experienced with this installation process you may put yourself and your kitchen floor at risk without professional help. Linoleum rolls are very heavy and the creation of a perfect sub floor is a vital process in order for this product to become a 40 year floor.
  3. Floating Linoleum – Today linoleum is also available in the popular click floating floor style. This is a very successful product now in laminate and wood flooring as the installation process is much more simplified. This is a better option for those wanting to install their floor themselves. This particular product also has another advantage as it does not require any adhesive. These floors are backed with cork which also aids in noise control.

Linoleum Flooring, the Environment & Your Health

Another area in which linoleum excels as a material for your kitchen floor is in the health department. Linseed oil is a natural ingredient found in linoleum flooring. Its presence allows for linoleum to succeed as being a naturally anti microbial floor. As linseed oil oxidizes it prevents bacteria such as Salmonella Typhimurium, and Staphylococcus Aureus from breeding and multiplying.

Other flooring receives chemical agents in order to achieve the same affect however these agents will wear off over time. No matter the age of linoleum or the finishing that it may receive, this product will always remains anti microbial It also repels dust, and dirt which is why this product is commonly used in hospitals and schools.


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