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Linoleum:  Not Your Grandma's Flooring

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Not Your Grandma's Flooring

Key Features:
  • Glueless installation, tiles and planks snap together
  • Tiles measure 12" x 12"; planks are 12" x 36"
  • No sealing or waxing required
  • 24 colors
  • $4 to $5 per square foot, uninstalled (2009)
  • Pricing as of 2009.
Ask For:
  • Marmoleum Click Tiles and Planks
Learn more about Forbo Linoleum:
by Deborah Holmes, Ebricks.com

Good news for DIYers: Forbo's increasingly popular linoleum flooring now comes in snap-together tiles and planks.

Marmoleum Click installs without the industrial strength glues and heat required by the company's traditional sheets and tiles. And if that's not enough to like, here's something more: You'll never have to wax or seal this flooring.

Like all Marmoleum, Click is made of a combination of linseed oil, wood flour and limestone dust and pine resin.

A surface that's naturally bacteria resistant, and the glueless installation make the flooring a natural for folks with allergies and chemical sensitivities. In fact, the flooring is certified as allergy and asthma friendly under a voluntary program administered by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.

A factory applied protective top sealer removes one of Marmoleum's drawbacks – the sealing, waxing and rewaxing required in days past. Topshield protects against dirt and scuff marks, and Forbo says all that's needed for maintenance is dry dusting and an occasional damp mopping.

Always popular with schools and hospitals, linoleum flooring was used extensively in homes through the 1950s. As American homeowners embraced wall-to-wall carpeting and vinyl flooring, linoleum fell out of favor. The last American linoleum factory shut its doors in the last decade.

Then the “retro” 50s look became popular again. That, along with an increasing concern about indoor pollutants and a related interest in natural products, led to a resurgence in interest in linoleum.

Click and other Marmoleum products are now widely available throughout the US and Canada. Manufacturers of vinyl tiles have noticed the popularity of linoleum and many now offer vinyl look-alikes.

Marmoleum comes in a dizzying array of colors from bold reds to subdued earth tones. Click is available in 24 of those colors.

At $4 to $5 a square foot, uninstalled, Click competes with mid-to-high end resilient flooring planks and tiles. It's backed by a 25-year warranty.

Click can be installed on any clean, dry, structurally sound subfloor, including concrete (vapor barrier required).

Forbo's website has detailed information on measuring, creating patterns and installing Click. But you might want to hire a professional (Forbo has a certification program for its flooring) if the following terms aren't part of your DIY vocabulary: level, hammer, straight back hand saw, keyhole saw or jigsaw, tape measure, pencil, wedges, fitting wedges, tapping block, tension iron (pry bar), angle or adjustable bevel, and underlayment.

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