When you say the word "linoleum", the first thing to come to mind is a drab kitchen floor that was last replaced in the 1950's. But what exactly is linoleum, and how does it fit into the modern world of flooring?

Although linoleum is similarly resilient to sheet vinyl, it also bears some important distinctions to factor in when deciding if it's the right material for your home.
 Unlike vinyl, which is composed of synthetic materials, linoleum is a mixture of natural ingredients- a recipe of cork dust, linseed oil, wood flour, ground limestone, tree resins and pigments that was discovered back in the 1860's and is still used today. Because of this combination, linoleum production does not produce environmental toxins. It is widely regarded as a sustainability friendly material due to its chemical makeup and ability to withstand decades of wear.  

Aesthetically, linoleum has evolved from the forgettable colors of yesteryear. It is now available in a rainbow of hues that go through the entire material, rather than being printed on the surface. It also boasts the ability to resist dirt, stains, and even damage, as it is relatively easy to repair nicks with wood glue and burns with steel wool. 

There are so many reasons to install linoleum, but as with any material, its continued resilience also depends on regular maintenance and care. It's recommended that to protect linoleum's porous nature, it should be recoated with acrylic sealer once a year after installation. This is a small price to pay for the convenience of only needing to sweep, wipe down with water, or occasionally clean your linoleum with natural ingredients. Considering the wide range of possibilities enabled by linoleum's sustainability and design options, it's safe to say that the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks of the material.