How do you take care of linoleum flooring? This question surfaces frequently and the first step before implementing a program is to identify if you actually have linoleum flooring. Names are often interchangeably used to describe linoleum. Linoleum can look like vinyl flooring and vinyl flooring may be called sheet vinyl, and sheet vinyl may be referred to as linoleum and so forth. Are you confused yet?
There is an easy way to properly identify if you have linoleum. Linoleum is made from natural ingredients such as linseed oil, wood flour, and other materials. When linoleum is manufactured, the pigment is added to the mixture that is then rolled out making it solid in color throughout the substrate. Find an inconspicuous area on your floor and carefully cut into the flooring with a razor blade and observe to see if it is a solid color all the way through, and if it is, chances are you have linoleum. Other materials like vinyl have the design or color on the top layer only.
How to Care for Linoleum Flooring
Caring for linoleum is easy when you have the right products in place. Start with a “safe” floor stripper that has a pH lower than 9.0 at dilution. Conventional as well as “green” strippers can permanently damage the linoleum because strippers with a higher pH can cause the linoleum to “yellow” or “burn”.
Next, use a good sealer that is resistant to chemicals such as iodine or Betadine, which is commonly found in healthcare facilities. A good sealer makes an excellent foundation for the finish, protects the linoleum and provides excellent stain and chemical defense. A sealer should also protect the flooring throughout multiple “strip outs” and does not need to be re-applied every time you strip the floor.
Finally, a finish with Scuff Resistant properties or “Scuff Resistant Technology” is ideal for linoleum because it will help you save on labor since black heel marks do not need to be physically removed. Adding a floor finish to linoleum enhances appearance, protects the floor, improves safety and makes the surface easier to clean.
Look for a system that includes all three of these products so that you can care for your linoleum flooring with confidence.
Rob Dodson is the Product Manager for Floor Care & Retail at the Betco Corporation. Rob is an avid sports fan and hopes to one day experience a championship. In his free time he enjoys hanging out with his wife and 3 kids. Click here to contact Rob directly.
*Top image via SierraClubGreenHome.com