Friday, January 23, 2009

Consider Marmoleum

Homeowners these days are often considering the environmental impact of their choices when remodeling or updating their homes. From low VOC paints to reclaimed cabinetry, there is a wide range of sustainable products out there.

One area that is generating some press is flooring. Floors are one area of homes that are often overlooked even though they make a huge difference in the general feel of a home. There are many choices for sustainable flooring including recycled fiber carpeting and sustainable bamboo and cork floors.

People are also turning to a very old option again - linoleum. These days, it goes by the name marmoleum, but the product is the same. It is made in a process that is mostly unchanged in the last century and a half. Linseed oil (from flax) is combined with things like pine rosin, natural pigments and wood flour. Heat, roll, press and cure.

There is no off gassing associated with marmoleum, and there appear to be no health concerns associated with the creation of marmoleum, its use or disposal. Marmoleum outlasts many other flooring options because it hardens and becomes even more durable over time.

From an allergy perspective, marmoleum beats recycled fiber carpeting hands down. Carpeting will always trap allergens, unlike wood and tile floors. Marmoleum has the benefit of being anti-static, so dust and dirt do not stick to it when you clean. The anti-bacterial properties of linseed oil are also present in marmoleum.

If you are changing the flooring in your home, give marmoleum a look. Unlike a few decades ago, the current variety of colors is extensive, and you can chose from planks, tiles and sheets.

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