Take Another Look at Linoleum Flooring

Budget-friendly, functional, and stylish—linoleum could be the triple-threat flooring your home needs.

Forget what you think you know about linoleum flooring. Modern-day linoleum is ready to wow with its low cost, low maintenance, and eco-friendly ways, all while making your home look fresh and full of style.

The Lowdown on Linoleum

When you're a family that is always busy and on the go, you need a flooring that can keep up. Let linoleum take on the job. To keep it clean, you'll only need a quick sweep and mop so you won't get stuck spending time on upkeep—add in its durability, and antistatic and antimicrobial qualities and linoleum is a fabulous flooring option for messy kids and pets. But the linoleum benefits don't stop there—it is also eco-friendly. Linoleum is made completely from natural materials, including linseed oil (from flax seeds), pine rosin, cork dust, wood flour, and jute backing.

As one of the most inexpensive flooring options, it's hard to beat linoleum on price. To install this budget-friendly flooring, you can expect to pay between $700 and $1,900, depending on the size of the room and the style and quality of the linoleum you choose.

Let Linoleum Shine in Your Home

Ways to Wow with Linoleum

Don't be afraid to get creative when deciding where to install linoleum in your home. From large rooms to small areas, you can get a luxury look for less by selecting linoleum styles that mimic wood, tile, or even marble.

Entryway and Mudroom Flooring

If you love welcoming friends and family into your home, let linoleum help. Linoleum works well in areas that see a lot of traffic, like entryways and mudrooms, because it's durable and colorfast. This way, you won't have distracting, overworn areas or faded colors. To warm up your entryway, try a herringbone pattern—or opt for a grand entrance with modular marble tiles.

Kitchen Flooring

Frequent family time in the kitchen won't wear out linoleum flooring. Stray splashes from dishwashing or food that falls on the floor are no match for linoleum's water and stain resistance. Have a farmhouse kitchen? Try a linoleum that mimics the look of a dark wood for the ultimate rustic chic design. Have a more contemporary or modern home? Linoleum that mimics a cool tile floor could be the right choice.

Basement Flooring

If you're thinking about remodeling or finishing your basement, linoleum flooring could be a good fit. Get wood-style linoleum to transform a cold basement into a cozy den, or use linoleum tiles to create a bright and bold pattern for the kids' basement play area. When using linoleum, keep in mind that it is water resistant—not waterproof. It can withstand splashes and spills, but if a room has high humidity, frequent leaks, or a flooding problem, it's best to look for another flooring option such as concrete.

Secrets for Getting Long-Lasting Linoleum

Getting quality linoleum doesn't happen by accident—it takes proper consideration before, during, and after installation. As with other flooring, before your linoleum is installed, the subfloor needs to be in good condition. This is especially important with linoleum, as its flexible material means unsightly bumps can show through. A flooring contractor can inspect your floor to see if you need to budget for subfloor repairs, leveling, or replacement before installation.

The linoleum installation tips don't stop with the subfloor. It's important to make sure the pieces of linoleum are properly fitted together with clean seams. This will not only make your floor pop but will also ensure its water resistant seal, giving you linoleum that lasts—with no wet, warped flooring, or curled-up edges. Once your flooring is properly installed, it will need to be resealed throughout its life to allow it to stand up to water and wear.

Better Homes & Gardens Tip: Your flooring contractor can help with more than proper installation—they can help you get one-of-a-kind flooring too. Since linoleum comes in both tiles and sheets, you have greater flexibility in how you want the flooring to look. Some ideas are accenting with borders or inlays, a bold tile pattern design, or an intricate layout made from custom cut pieces.

Have a Pro Help with Linoleum Installation

Keep Your Linoleum Looking Like New

Don't mistake low maintenance for no maintenance with linoleum flooring. Proper care will keep your linoleum looking great for years to come and make it last its full 20- to 40-year life span. One way to protect your linoleum is by using the right cleaner for your flooring. Heavy chemicals can degrade the linoleum and sealant, so using neutral cleaners is best. Besides everyday cleanup, your linoleum floor may need resealing and maybe even polishing, depending on the manufacturer's recommendation. Some floors will require these treatments yearly, while others can go up to five years before resealing is needed. If you want the lowest-maintenance option, high-quality linoleum is the best choice.

Linoleum Repairs
Hopefully your linoleum flooring won't sustain any damage during its lifetime, but sometimes accidents happen and your linoleum gets left with divots, cuts, or stains. These can be repaired, but at some expense. Fixing flaws in linoleum flooring can cost anywhere between $150 and $670, depending on the extent of the damage. To help with this cost, save leftover pieces from installation so finding a matching material down the line won't be a problem.

Reseal and Repair for Fresh Looking Linoleum

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