Sorting Out Your Linoleum Flooring Options

Monday June 02, 2008
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Linoleum flooring is durable, moisture resistant and comes in a variety of style and color options. Before you run out and buy linoleum floors for your kitchen, laundry room or other area of your home, however, there are some factors to consider.

  • Linoleum or vinyl? – Make sure that you know the difference between linoleum and vinyl flooring. They are similar, but are also very different. Do some research so you know the advantages and disadvantages of each type of flooring. Linoleum and vinyl have distinct characteristics that can help you determine which is a better fit for your home and budget.
  • Sheet or tiles?Sheet linoleum flooring is the most popular choice, and it comes in rolls of six or 12-feet widths. The other linoleum option is tiles that normally come in 12- or 18-inch squares. Tiles are often the better choice for smaller rooms that do not easily accommodate the larger width of rolled linoleum. One concern with linoleum floor tiles is to be sure that the seams are tight and are sealed properly to prevent moisture from reaching the sub-floor.
  • Thickness matters – Price is often the determining factor in a flooring selection. The old adage "You get what you pay for," however, applies to linoleum flooring. The thinner the linoleum, the less expensive it is. Thin linoleum flooring is also more difficult to install and will not last as long under heavy foot traffic as thicker linoleum. Talk to a flooring professional to ensure that you know the finer points of linoleum and its relation to thickness, pricing and durability.
  • Do it yourself or hire a professional? – Linoleum flooring is not considered easy to install for a variety of reasons. Measurements have to be exact to ensure that the linoleum will fit perfectly along the edges of a room. When linoleum floors are installed in kitchens, it often requires special measuring and cutting around islands and odd-shaped counter configurations. If there are seams in your linoleum flooring, these have to be sealed properly to prevent moisture from reaching the sub-floor. Linoleum can be installed by the do-it-yourself crowd, but there are many factors to consider before making this decision. When installing linoleum floors, the surface below it must also be free from protruding nails, thresholds and other things that can prevent a smooth finish. There are certain instances when plywood must be laid down before the linoleum flooring is installed.

As with any flooring choice, linoleum brings with it a plethora of styles, colors, prices and more. Doing the proper research and talking to flooring professionals is the best way to ensure that you know all of your options before deciding that linoleum flooring is right for your home.

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I agree
I agree...the thicker the better - from a pro that has been installing linoleum for 20 plus years
September 5 2008
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