Linoleum is generally an unexpected choice in living rooms and dens. More commonly found in kitchen flooring, there are a number of characteristics that are inherent to this versatile material which makes it particularly suited to social settings. This is combined with an array of design options and functional choices, which can serve to make this an intriguing choice when searching for living room floor surface coverings.
Linoleum is known as a type of resilient flooring because it is manufactured to be extremely durable and resistant to damage, dents, and stains. The colors found in the surface run true through the entire tile, so it doesn’t suffer from wearing and fading, and even scratches will often be lost in the mottled surface of linoleum tile designs. This makes it particularly attractive for heavily used living rooms.
More Reading About Linoleum
Even in very busy environments, and places where water and stains are a problem such as a kitchen, most linoleum floors will still come with a manufacturer's warranty of 10-15 years with proper care and normal use. In living rooms, which tend to be low to mid traffic level areas, a properly installed linoleum floor can last upwards of 20 - 40 years, or even longer, saving you the expense and hassle of having to replace it.
Linoleum is one of the easiest floors to care for, especially in a low impact environment such as the living room. Regular cleaning just requires sweeping or vacuuming away any small grit that could scratch its surface. On occasion, you can also use a mild detergent for the set in stains.
Otherwise, the floor should be proof against most messes.
Carpet, one of the more common living room floor choices, has one very distinct problem. The fibers in the floor will tend to catch stray particles of dirt and dust, holding and enfolding them, and then releasing them into the air in bursts of debris. This can be terrible for people with allergies. Linoleum, by contrast, is anti-static, and will actually repel those particles right out of the room.
Another advantage of linoleum flooring that its surface is naturally anti microbial, and it tends to inhibit the growth of bacteria, mold, and mildew, making it a very safe, and sanitary choice.
This is one of the easiest floors to install, and often you can do the work yourself. Linoleum comes in tile, sheet, and floating floor options. Tiles are generally self adhesive backed and can be installed directly over any stable, solid flat surface. Floating floors are even easier, and just click together over any solid subfloor setting. Sheet materials are a little trickier, and require precision cutting to match the size and shape of the space.
Ecologically Friendly Linoleum
This is where these floors are really spectacular.
On top of being low maintenance, durable, and easy to install, they are also extremely eco friendly. The material is made mostly from naturally renewable linseed oil, and the process of manufacturing the tiles is relatively low impact. These floors are also long lasting, do not release toxic gasses, and they can be easily recycled at the end of their life cycle.
Why Are Linoleum Living Room Floors So Rare?
Design: The biggest problem that linoleum has is one of image. In the 1950’s this material was extremely popular in kitchens, bathrooms, and other areas around the home. However a string of shoddy manufacturers producing cheap, knock off materials, led to the perception of linoleum as something that fades, scratches, curls, and discolors. It’s only recently with improvements in manufacturing technology and industry standardization that its use is on the rise again.
Linoleum is also still associated more with kitchens than with living areas. This is due both to marketing initiatives, as well as the fact that the material does not seek to mimic natural materials. The look of linoleum varies, but it is generally a linoleum look, not one of hardwood, or natural stone, which are more popular in living rooms and dens.
More About Living Room Floors
Linoleum tiles and sheets tend to be quite thin, and they show whatever surface imperfections may exist on the subfloor beneath them. That also means that a hard subfloor will produce a relatively hard linoleum surface to walk and stand on. This can, of course, be offset by using padded underlayment made from cork or foam. While this will drive up the price, it will also give you many of the benefits of feel and warmth that make carpeting popular.
Linoleum costs about $3 - $6 per square foot which makes it comparable to carpeting. However padded underlayment will add another $1 - $2 per square foot to the price, making it relatively expensive as far as a living room flooring option.