Linoleum Flooring | Cost | Buying Tips | Installation | Maintenance

Linoleum flooring
Linoleum flooring. Photo courtesy of

If you want kitchen flooring that’s warm and easy to walk on, then you must consider linoleum flooring. The wide array of colors and designs and the fact that it’s natural make it very popular. The composition is linseed oil, cork dust or wood flour, ground limestone, and color pigments. This mixture is placed over a jute, burlap or canvas surface. Linoleum or lino gets its name from the Latin equivalents for flax (linum) and oil (oleum). This flooring doesn’t break porcelain and it’s not damaged easily by water.

Because the entire flooring layer is homogenous – the shade and the design are the same all over the floor – chipping the floor wouldn’t reduce its beauty. Linoleum flooring is great for areas with heavy traffic and this is why it’s commonly used even in office spaces.

If you don’t have too much cash to spend on kitchen flooring but are still looking for elegant options, then a linoleum floor is a good choice for you; the floor is highly durable and cost effective.

Whether you want a plain or a floral pattern for your floor, linoleum flooring offers you a lot of choice. The designs are artistic and creative. Because the raw materials used in linoleum floor are eco-friendly and anti-bacterial, if you have people suffering from respiratory disorders such as asthma, this floor is a good option.

Cost of linoleum flooring

  • The thickness, quality and design are some of the cost determinants. A more intricate design using many colors would be more expensive than a plain pattern. Linoleum flooring runs around $2-$3 per square foot.
  • Installing the linoleum floor would cost you up to $7 per square foot. Only if you’re absolutely certain of your floor laying skills should you try it as a DIY project.
  • The warranty could be from 5 to 25 years.
  • Armstrong and Forbo are the two popular makers of linoleum flooring.

Tips for buying linoleum flooring

Linoleum flooring in a kitchen with white cabinets
Linoleum flooring in a kitchen with white cabinets. Photo courtesy of Trsek.

1. Depending on where the linoleum flooring would be used, you could get one with a protective coating. Because the kitchen area sees a lot of traffic and you don’t want to spend all your time cleaning it, linoleum floor must be coated with a high performance stain and scratch resistant layer.

2. Concrete with a high water content cannot be the underlying surface for linoleum floor.

3. Linoleum flooring comes in different shapes, sizes and thicknesses. The tiles could become warped and have curved ends after a few years.

4. Interior design magazines are great places to look for ideas on how to make your linoleum floor look more creative.

5. A traditional, natural and woody design works best with linoleum flooring.

Installation of linoleum flooring

The underlying surface should be made even and dry before laying the linoleum flooring. Using a Calcium Chloride test you can find out the rate at which moisture is emitted by the concrete subfloor. This should be less than that prescribed by the linoleum floor maker. A pH greater than 10 can damage the adhesive and the floor would be ruined. With a bond test you can find out if the concrete floor has a sealer; this is important as the performance of the adhesive is affected by the sealing substance.

Because linoleum shrinks in length and expands in width, hiring a professional to lay the floor is the best option. You don’t want to do the job yourself and then realize a few years later that it has to be completely redone because you didn’t understand the basic characteristics of the floor.

To keep grime and moisture away, the seams must be protected with seals.

Linoleum flooring has a very long life; it could last up to 40 years.

Maintenance of linoleum flooring

As with any other flooring, even your linoleum flooring has to be maintained just the way the maker insists.

If not sealed with a protective layer, this floor could become porous and hence look dull very quickly. The stains could make the floor lose its sheen; this is when you should polish the linoleum floor.

Sweep and mop the floor regularly. Use a cleaner that has been approved by the manufacturer. This is because the surface requires a pH neutral cleansing agent.

Standing water, moist underlying floor, or constant exposure to moisture could all damage the floor.

If there’s heavy furniture in the kitchen, there could be bumps and dents on the floor. This is why you must use floor protectors.

Area rugs would prevent scratches from appearing on the floor.

12 thoughts on “Linoleum Flooring | Cost | Buying Tips | Installation | Maintenance”

  1. Thanks for providing such good information. I am a Linoleum fan in particular. I would add info about new tiles and panels – click system – in linoleum flooring. Marmoleum click especially… It’s so easy to install. These are about $6-7 per sq. ft. but the end result is worth the cost.

    Here is my blog:


  2. William L. Brantley

    Where can I find linoleum that is 24 feet wide and 50 feet long? I would like to install linoleum in my kitchen, laundry, and breakfast nook, all in one piece and eliminate all seems. The house that I am living in now has this width with no seems, but the finish is beginning to fade and not have a good shine.

  3. Brandy Meetington

    It was rather interesting for me to read this blog post about linoleum flooring. Thanks for it. I like kitchen related themes and everything that is connected to them. I would like to read more soon.

  4. William,

    Forbo Marmoleum is, I think, the only remaining manufacturer of traditional linseed oil linoleum. As far as I am aware, it is only produced in 2 metre (6 foot approx) wide rolls. However, seams can be hot welded on site by a competent fitter. Also, since it expands widthways after fitting, ordinary butt joints should remain tight and not very noticeable.

    Maybe this helps a little.


  5. Linoleum is very affordable, which is always something positive. It is a natural product, biodegradable and environmentally safe and with an increase in environment issues, it is an old option for new homes. Aside from being extremely comfortable it does not create static electricity and the repairing damage is not difficult. The one thing you want to remember with linoleum is that any moisture in the subfloor material must be kept away from the linoleum. For this reason, we do not recommend you choose this option for concrete subfloor material or basements. While you can use it in bathrooms, it is important you choose your linoleum from a manufacturer that states it is okay.

  6. I need to repair the filling between seams in a linoleum floor in a kitchen. What is used and where can it be purchased?

  7. I had linoleum installed in my kitchen 40 years ago. With a family of six and many visitors it is showing slight signs of wear on it only at the kitchen sink area.

  8. Linoleum’s longevity: In the mid-1960s, the company my dad worked for needed to put in a room-sized computer–now we have iPads that do much more–so the company needed to raise the floor by six or so inches so the computer could have more ventilation. My dad got permission to remove the battleship floor tiles, which he installed on our kitchen and hallway floors.

    When my mom sold the house 40 years later–and despite our family of ten kids with skis, horse tack and more–it still looked good, with all seams holding firm.

    I now work at a flooring store, which doesn’t sell linoleum, but people still refer to it when they mean vinyl. There’s no mistaking the quality of linoleum over vinyl, however.

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