Lino – for the future, not the 70′s!
Linoleum doesn’t get talked about much any more as a floor covering choice and we are here to change that. For some reason it does not rate alongside modern day preferences like tiles, stone and resin floors which have largely become more acceptable in the northern hemisphere climate with the popularity of under floor heating.
Flooring may not seem like the most interesting of topics however after I got speaking to a representative from Forbo (the oldest and largest manufacturer of linoleum in the world) at Ecobuild recently I became very interested when she explained to me how it is made!
Lino, as it is affectionately known, is one of the, if not the, most sustainable of any flooring product available. It is made from all natural and renewable materials such as solidified linseed oil (linoxyn), pine rosin, ground cork dust, wood flour, and mineral fillers such as calcium carbonate, and the manufacturing process, although lengthy one uses minimal processing and no chemicals!! It doesn’t get much better than that!
The one point to note and perhaps why lino does not get the write ups in any of the eco building magazines, is that in the modern era it has largely been replaced by polyvinyl chloride (PVC) (but is sometime still colloquially known as linoleum). It has similar properties but is made from toxic chemicals and harmful CO2’s are released during its production. It should be avoided at all costs!
But if you are looking for ‘the real thing’ then lino is made of organic materials and is purportedly non-allergenic in nature and it is therefore still used in many health care facilities and hospitals however sadly has fallen out of favour in residential applications.
Companies such as Forbo have just released a modern new range of colours and styles that would compliment many modern homes, and are definitely ‘with the times’.
Lino is perfectly functional if laid over under floor heating so would work fantastically well over the top of any floor thermal mass giving a room a warm comfortable feel.
It will definitely be a floor covering that features in our Eco House.
So ‘eco friendly’ are the materials from which it is made that if a house were ever to be refurbished or you wanted a change of colour/style the Lino, if torn into smaller pieces will breakdown in your compost along with the other organic matter – it wont if thrown into landfill as it is but by simply breaking it up it can be sent ‘back to nature’.
Linoleum is therefore deserving of its recent resurgence in popularity due to its sustainable properties and we feel it should be one of the first floor covering considerations for any discerning green home owner!