Invented in the 1860s – with a number of improvements since then – linoleum as a floor covering has been largely replaced with vinyl flooring which has similar properties of flexibility and durability but with greater brightness and translucency. The term “linoleum”, often used as a generic term for resilient flooring, is a very specific type of flooring. Linoleum is experiencing a revival in popularity, due to its natural ingredients and environmental properties. Linoleum is manufactured in Europe and imported into the United States.
Linoleum is made from all natural ingredients. Included in these natural ingredients are linseed oil, wood flour, limestone, cork, and tree resins. Linseed oil is derived by pressing flaxseed that is dried and ground into a powdery binder. This is combined with limestone, which is extremely abundant, pine resin, and cork and wood flours to form a doughy material to which color is added. Once pressed, it is rolled onto a jute backing and dried. Jute is spun from fibers of jute plants grown in India and Bangladesh. Available in a variety formats including: