A compound material made of natural ingredients, Linoleum was a commonly used item in many old buildings. It was trendy when linoleum was first brought to everyone as floor covering material. In the 19th and 20th centuries, the business of the linoleum floor flourished.
After the 1950s, linoleum started to lose its fame. Then real estate developers used to choose other cheaper options instead of linoleum. But over time, those vintage linoleum floors are again of great interest to architects. The retro vibe and excellent durability make them more palpable.
You are either looking for the best option to design your floor or can be an enthusiast. But this article will give you a clear idea about these retro linoleum floors. I will also try to clear out most of your confusion about this.
10 Benefits Of Installing Vintage Linoleum Floor
Retro linoleum floors prevailed before the origin of PVC. For a long time, they superseded other floor covering options. What particularly makes them unique that’s questionable. But the benefits of these vintage linoleum floors are excellent.
1. Water Resistant:
Compared to other materials, linoleums are more water and tear-resistant. It has also been found that linoleum floors can last up to 40 years under proper maintenance. This vows for their durability too.
2. Safe Usability:
Linoleums are more water-resistant than others. So, choosing them for the bathroom and kitchen is always a safe and efficient option. They will be able to last for several decades and will be comfortable for usage too.
Linoleum floors are made from natural and eco-friendly materials. The ingredients used in the manufacturing of linoleum are renewable. At the same time, unlike other flooring styles, linoleum is also biodegradable.
The vintage linoleum floor is safe to use at home and in its surroundings. It is made of natural ingredients, and thus none of them emits any volatile organic compound(VOC). Again, since linoleums are not as hard as other floors, they have lower risks of hurting your feet.
Linoleum floors are very flexible and easy to maintain. That’s why the installation of linoleum on building floors is very convenient. In situations where rigid floor covering might crack, linoleum can be of great use. Its affordability is also higher than other options.
6. Unique Texture:
Only the top layer is of color or texture in vinyl and other flooring alternatives. But on linoleum floors, colors go through thoroughly from the top to the bottom of its thickness. This texture protects linoleum from fading away.
7. Scratch Resistant:
Linoleum floors’ scratch resistance is relatively high. That’s why they can handle scratches easily. And even if there are scratches on the surface, linoleum will blend the scratch itself because the color and design from the surface go through.
8. Low Maintenance:
The vintage linoleum doesn’t require high maintenance. If you occasionally sweep and mop them, that’s enough for accompanying you for a very long time. And thanks to their structure, their beauty will not fade easily.
One of the significant ingredients of linoleum is “linseed oil.” It protects linoleum from bacterial attack by continuous oxidizing. We know that kitchens and bathrooms are prone to bacteria. Linoleum can be an excellent choice here.
Last but not least, the retro linoleum floors have a wide range of colors, styles, and designs. Recent linoleums like Marmoleum and Marmorette have impressive collections. They have 120+ colors and many designs.
10 Amazing Vintage Linoleum Flooring Patterns Idea
Linoleum floors were sophisticated and eye-soothing from the beginning of their journey. Over the years, hundreds of variations appeared and won the heart of real estate developers and interior designers. Here, I will present 10 vintage linoleum floor designs that are mind-blowing.
Idea 1: Embossed Inlaid Linoleum #5352
Embossed inlaid was first developed in 1926. But this particular 5352 model from Armstrong Cork Company was the most popular among all embossed inlaid designs. In 1949, it came up with 38 different colors of this model. So, it can be regarded as a top-notch idea of vintage linoleum floors.
Idea 2: Seamless Inlaid Linoleum
It was a product of Congoleum-Nairn Fine Floors and was first found in their catalog in 1960. The design is like a mosaic pattern, and it was very smooth and glamorous.
Idea 3: Decoray Linoleum
This vintage linoleum floor was first introduced in 1955. Here colors were more natural-looking but in an artistic way. Different shades of red, blue, and green colored Decoray linoleum were available. This vibrant color and shades make Decoray more elegant and eye-soothing.
Idea 4: Marbella Linoleum
From the 1940s, Marbella linoleum became widely spread. It had its unique design and different gauge options. The blissful warm, colorful patterns harmoniously produced a mesmerizing result. They could be used in the entrance and hallways and the usual kitchen.
Idea 5: Straight Line Inlaid Linoleum
Straight Line Inlaid Linoleum of Armstrong Cork Company was a classic linoleum pattern. This design is still visible in many architectural beauties. It was a combination of the checkered pattern and Marbella linoleum. Sun porches, libraries, and dining rooms were decorated with this design.
Idea 6: Quaker Rug
Instead of geometric designs, Quaker Rug combined modern style trends with blended colors. This vintage linoleum floor design was unique because of its large-scale size. This allowed it to be used in large rooms without sacrificing any part of the design.
Idea 7: Quaker Floor Covering
This one is very similar to the Quaker Rug in the name. But it comes with one uniqueness – covering from wall to wall seamlessly. It was possible by producing linoleum floors of 4 yards in width. It was outstanding when it was developed back in the 1940s.
Idea 8: Standard Rug
Both Quaker Rug and Quaker Floor Covering had a particular issue, costly. But with quite similar quality, the standard rug was introduced. It contained floral, tiled, modern geometric designs. But it was inexpensive compared to other choices. There was also a typical floor covering a larger width like the Quaker Rug.
Idea 9: Royelle Linoleum:
Royelle linoleum was first invented and brought to market in 1955. Instead of using warm colors, Royelle tried to bring harmony between darker colors and abstract designs. However, it was not ultra-wide like rugs. With similar size to other linoleum floorings, its width was 2 yards.
Idea 10: Raybelle Linoleum:
My list of 10 vintage linoleum floor ideas ends with Raybelle Linoleum. It is another product of the Armstrong Cork Company. They started selling this design in 1955. Raybelle linoleum and Decoray linoleum seem pretty similar. But only experts can detect each of them from their texture and structure.
4 Recommended Places Where Vintage Linoleum Suits The Best
Vintage linoleum floors are most suited for places where you will need both beauty and durability at the same time. Though you can use them anywhere, I will give you some heads up so that it becomes helpful for you to choose.
1. Bathroom & Kitchen
Linoleums are famous for their water-resistant capability. Bathroom and kitchen floors undergo the most amount of water and stains. These can easily make the floor dirty. Vintage linoleum floors are waterproof and stain-resistant. So, they can save you from this problem.
2. Hallways & Entries
Vintage linoleum floors can be of versatile colors, shades, and designs. That’s why you can use them for the entries and hallways of your house. These are the heavy-traffic areas, and that’s why durability is also important. Vintage linoleum floors can be mind-blowing here with their gorgeous beauty.
3. Kid’s Room
A noteworthy fact of the vintage linoleum floor is that they are anti-bacterial and quiet. So, if you have kids in the house who spend most of their time playing on the floor, you can use linoleum floors as a safe option for them.
4. Laundry Room
If your house has a separate laundry room, then you can use vintage linoleum floors in that room. They will be affordable and durable at the same time. Again, they are reticent and easy to maintain, which will make you more comfortable.
5 Tips To Restore Your Old Vintage Linoleum Floor
Restoring a vintage floor requires more of your attention and special care. If it is not done correctly, the color or the texture might get ruined. So, here I’m going to give you some tips to make the whole procedure a piece of cake.
Tip 1: Clean Dirt With A Good Cleaner
Always remember to extract the existing wax and other dirt. You can use lukewarm water and a regular-use cleaning solution. Don’t use ammonia-based cleaners. They are alkaline, and though highly durable, linoleums are susceptible to them.
Tip 2: Follow Proper Steps To Clean Regularly
For regular cleaning, use a microfiber mop to remove the dust. While doing the wet cleaning, make a cleaning solution first. It will help to clean without losing its quality. To make it, use ¼ cup of vinegar, a few drops of the dishwasher, and five gallons of water.
Tip 3: Use Of Shellac
If the cracks on the linoleum are not very severe, in that case, you can use shellac or shellac sticks. They come in a variety of colors and choices. So they can be used to fill out cracks easily.
Tip 4: Waxing
After cleansing, always wax the vintage linoleum floors. The process is like car waxing, and it enhances the durability of the linoleum. Here, the best option is to choose a pH-natural floor wax. You can use carnauba-based floor waxes. They are natural and originate from plants.
Tip 5: Remove And Replace
If you find the old one yellowed and cracked in many places, it’s better to remove and replace it. You should not restore it because it can hurt children and older people with mobility issues.
Evolution Of Vintage Linoleum Floor: From Start To Now
The name “Linoleum” originated from two different Latin words, “Linum” and “Oleum.” “Linum” and “Oleum” stand for flax and oil. All the core materials used in linoleum are natural elements. That’s why even today, linoleum is the greenest possible floor covering.
In 1860, English inventor Frederick Walton invented linoleum. It became a prevalent material for covering the floor within a brief period. It substituted other possible alternatives on the market. At that time, it was mainly used for flooring in the kitchen.
Today, two major companies are in charge of the production of linoleum. They are Forbo and Armstrong, who produce Marmoleum and Marmorette, respectively. These linoleums use the same formula, and their quality is also unquestionable.
Does Vintage Linoleum Have Asbestos?
Modern linoleum floors are asbestos-free, but the vintage ones have asbestos. Asbestos was added to the production level of the vintage linoleum floors. Later on, due to the ban on asbestos, the manufacturer stopped adding it.
Old linoleum floors are one of the primary sources of asbestos. If you rip them, they will release a good amount of microscopic asbestos into the air. And that’s why extracting asbestos from linoleum takes special care and attention.
Is Natural Vintage Linoleum Still Available?
Vintage linoleum floors from the 1950s or even earlier are not available today. Though you will find them in ancient palaces or buildings, it would be sporadic. The average lifespan of linoleum floors is 40 years so you can make the calculation.
But modern linoleums can contain any custom design. Here you can add both aesthetics and a vintage vibe. They have a wide variety of colors and designs which are eco-friendly and comfortable.
Is Vintage Linoleum Thickest Than Others?
Vintage linoleum floors were thicker than other materials at that time. But it is not valid for all. The plank-based linoleum floor is the widest among linoleum sheets. It is even thicker than vinyl floors.
To get a clear idea about the thickness, check the numbers. Generally, linoleum sheets’ thickness stands between 2 to 8 mm and, on average, 2.5 mm. But in the case of plank-based linoleum, it goes between 8 to 10 mm.
How Can You Tell If Your Floor Is Vinyl Or Linoleum?
You can tell the difference by looking at their texture. If the design is embossed on the top layer, it is a vinyl floor. But on the linoleum floor, the color goes all the way through.
Another way to find out is to land a lit match on the edge of the floor. The vinyl floor will melt if brought near to heat. But linoleum floors will be able to survive.
What Are The Disadvantages Of Vintage Linoleum Flooring?
There are some disadvantages of linoleum flooring. For example, furniture legs can cause damage to the linoleum floors. Those damages might become very difficult to repair. Again, the installation of linoleum flooring requires the touch of professionals. This leads to extra cost and makes the procedure expensive.
Direct exposure to the sunlight can make the linoleum darken or turn yellow. Again standing water can create permanent damage to some of the linoleums. Finally, newly waxed vintage linoleum floors can be hazardous for slips and falls.
Vintage linoleum floors are beautiful architectural materials. They are aesthetic and, at the same time, very comfortable. After losing popularity once, linoleums are getting popular again. They are eco-friendly and have versatile colors and designs, including vintage styles.
At first, it might seem a bit expensive, but linoleum floors will serve you very well in the long run. With a natural feel under the feet, you can remain tension free for several decades. So, you can give them a thought.