- Posted by Lino
- On June 27, 2017
- 0 Comments
For many of us the linoleum is a low quality, low-grade flooring straight out of the Soviet Union, a symbol of total absence of both choice and taste. This stereotype, however, is both outdated and completely wrong: modern linoleum is both a stylish and high-quality flooring.
Multitude of colors, various surface types and the ability to withstand everything starting from spilt juice and boiling oil to cat scratches and fallen knifes makes the linoleum a perfect choice for your kitchen. So, how can you avoid losing yourself in all this variety and what linoleum will be the best for your kitchen?
Main Requirements for Kitchen Linoleum
Any kitchen is a zone of increased danger. There’s always something spilling or dropping, forks and spoons falling, children and pets running, not to mention evelated humidity. So, when you choose linoleum for your kitchen and dining room, make sure to take multiple flooring specifications into consideration. Your linoleum must be:
- Moisture proof: The flooring must be resistant to any liquid. It must not rot or cause any fungal growth on the floor;
- High mechanical abrasion resistance, especially to falls or movements of various items: Something always happens at the kitchen, be it falling silverware or breaking plates, moving tables or chairs. These actions must not damage the linoleum floor. It must remain without any scratches, dents and cracks;
- Anti-slip properties: We’re always moving while at the kitchen, rushing from the table to the fridge. If you have children, the whole thing with constant activity at the kitchen just gets much more complicated. So, the ideal kitchen flooring must be raised and have an anti-slip surface, so that the spilled liquid won’t be dangerous for you and your family;
- Detergent tolerance: Chances are you’ll be using various detergents, including chlorine, to clean the kitchen linoleum. As such, any high-quality flooring must tolerate any aggressive chemicals;
- Ecological safety: We spend a lot of time at the kitchen. The flooring must be safe for your health and environment. For examples, many cheap floorings release toxins in the air, and as time goes on, the owners start to feel progressively worse;
- Wear resistance: Elevated activity levels require your linoleum to be both durable and wear resistant. It is especially important if you have children or pets, or if you constantly have guests.
Classification of Kitchen Linoleum
Before we decide what type of linoleum will have the biggest chance of settling in your kitchen, it’d be better to learn the various types of this flooring. Nowadays we use several types and classes of linoleum. Take a look at the spreadsheet below to familiarize yourself with the various properties of this flooring:
- Natural linoleum is a perfect “future material” for your cozy kitchen. Natural jute, textile or even unwoven layer substrate, natural oils and resins will make the floor completely safe for you, your family and your pets;
- Natural flooring is extremely resistant to wear and abrasion. It is invulnerable to dirt and fat, water and detergents, and you’ll have to be Hulk to rip the natural linoleum apart;
- Natural linoleum is a great heat and sound insulating material. It also has bactericidal properties, which means the natual linoleum will not rot and suffer from various fungi;
- Natural linoleum is extremely durable. It will serve you for at least 30-40 years.
PRO TIP: High-quality natural linoleum emits a slight pleasant aroma of linen oil. It will disappear some time after the linoleum has been laid out.
- Natural linoleum is expensive;
- Natural linoleum can’t tolerate alkaline detergents;
- Natural linoleum isn’t elastic enough. It might be harder to install it.
Synthetic linoleum is made of various materials – for example, PVC, alkyd, colloxylic and rubber. The specialists recommend that you focus on PVC linoleum, as all other types aren’t a great fit for your kitchen.
- High-quality synthetic linoleum is safe for your health;
- Synthetic linoleum is easy to cut and install. It can hide small floor defects; in addition, synthetic linoleum can be installed on uneven surfaces;
- Synthetic linoleum is resistant to damages and rot and is very easy to clean. Various manufacturers add antifungal additives to their products, making them almost indistinguishable from natural linoleum;
- Extremely affordable.
- Most models do not have anti-slip capabilities;
- Synthetic linoleum can be damaged with acetone or aggressive detergents;
- Synthetic linoleum is vulnerable to mechanical damage;
- Synthetic linoleum will only last for 5-15 years.
Kitchen Linoleum Designation
You must always consider the class of linoleum before buying it. When it comes to your kitchen, domestic and commercial linoleums will be a good match.
Domestic linoleum is one of the most affordable types of linoleum. It has a wide variety of colors and textures. It is also very elastic, so you’ll have no troubles installing it. However, it has its share of disadvantages as well: domestic linoleum will not withstand high loads and will easily get stained with dirt and liquids, in addition to being very fragile. If you’re going to install domestic linoleum at your kitchen, be ready that it will last for 3, maybe 4 years. So, you should only buy domestic linoleum if you plan to make an overhaul of the building.
This is basically the best option for any kitchen. It combines both the affordability and rich variety of designs of domestic linoleum with high durability and reliability of commercial linoleum. It is resistant to most types of damage, can withstand any fat, dirt and detergents, while the variety of designs allows you to pick the right model for literally every kitchen design. You’ll have no problems with commercial linoleum, provided that you’ve chosen a high-quality manufacturer.
Kitchen Linoleum Structure
This material consists of single PVC layer and is usually up to 3 mm thick. It is easy to lay out and mound. This flooring has a rough non-slipping surface, high resistance to wear and mechanical damage. However, homogenous linoleum has several drawbacks: its design and color selection is quite narrow, and the sound/heat insulating qualities aren’t as good. In addition, the width of homogenous linoleum sheets rarely exceeds 3 meters, so you might have to use several sheets.
PRO TIP: Homogenous linoleum is usually made of limestone, making it more fragile in the process. Bend a corner of the linoleum while you’re in the store, and if you’ll see a white stripe, avoid that type of linoleum.
This material consists of several layers: base (cork, foamed PVC, felt, etc.), fiberglass skeleton, PVC with image, and a transparent protection layer. Heterogeneous linoleum is usually 2 to 6 mm thick (sometimes even 7 mm thick). This linoleum has a rich color palette. It is very durable and will serve you for a long time without losing its form and brighness of the paints. The sheets are usually up to 5 meters wide, so you’ll be able to avoid any junctions while installing the linoleum.
Kitchen Linoleum Durability
When shopping, make sure to take two parameters – wear and abrasion resistance – into consideration. Abrasion resistance class 2 or 3 (depending on how much time you’re going to spend on kitchen) linoleum will fit right in onto your kitchen. Aim for Class 31 / 32 linoleum.
PRO TIP: You can find the class in the product certificate. In addition, you can do a little manual check: just squeeze the linoleum with two fingers. The smaller the resulting hole, the harder it will be to damage the linoleum.