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Linoleum Flooring Materials - History, Components, Identification: this article provides information about linoleum flooring: the history of linoleum, linoleum ingredients, and the properties of linoleum resilient or sheet floor coverings.
Green links show where you are. © Copyright 2013 InspectAPedia.com, All Rights Reserved. Author Daniel Friedman.
Prior to the development of linoleum sheet flooring, floor coverings were made of painted canvas.
Linoleum is a term invented in 1860 by Frederick Walton to describe sheet flooring. Original linoleum products were made using linseed oil as an ingredient. According to Rosato, "The original resilient floor coverings were developed during the latter part of the Nineteenth Century by Frederick Walton. The original covering was linoleum for use as a floor decking on British naval ships." The composition of the original products included asphaltic binders to which an asbestos filler was added by mixing on a rubber mill.
We noted at ASBESTOS FLOOR TILE PHOTO ID GUIDE that Linoleum may be used as a generic term for older sheet floorings (sometimes incorrectly). Linoleum was invented as a ship deck, later floor covering in 1860 by Frederick Walton to describe sheet flooring.
"Linoleum" as a name as well as a product was invented by Walton from his observation that his original linoleum products were made using linseed oil as an ingredient (linseed oil forms a thick flexible skin when it dries), often with a jute, burlap or fabric backing (see our photo just below). Descendents of Linoleum include Anaglypta and Lincrusta (many writers spell it "Linocrusta or linacrusta", an embossed patterned covering used on walls and ceilings.
According to Armstrong Flooring, in Portugal (no coincidence as you'll read below)
Linoleum is still in modern production (we describe the ingredients in linoleum just below), and it is a very durable product. Armstrong Portugal asserts that "Commercial reference projects laid with Armstrong DLW Linoleum are in use up to 90 years". This age, combined with the observation that because of its constituent products linoleum is biodegradable, gives modern linoleum floor coverings a very low life-cycle cost. 
As we discuss at Congoleum Flooring History, Linoleum flooring advertised in 1955, here the Congoleum Gold Seal series, was sold in both sheet and tile forms. At below left is Congoleum Gold Seal Jackstraw pattern, and below right, Congoleum "Square Dance" sheet linoleum sold in a 9" x 9" tile pattern. Congoleum also marketed linoleum sheet flooring in color flecks or scatter such as their Sequin Pattern.
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