Thursday, January 06, 2022

There's Nothing Wrong with Linoleum

Frederick Walton patented his invention called linoleum in 1863. It was a game-changing floor covering. It was warmer than stone, quieter than wood, and easier to clean than carpet. With a few tweaks, it also became the most affordable floor covering, so it was a huge hit. Linoleum's popularity in the first half of the 20th century eventually gave way to other flooring material, and people began to see it as old-fashioned, cheap, and industrial. Just because something has been around for 150 years doesn't mean it's lost its benefits. Linoleum is still comfortable, affordable, adaptable, easy to clean, and now we find out it's even sustainable. Vox gives us the history of linoleum and how it's making a comeback in homes.


Debra She Who Seeks said...

I'm old enough to remember when linoleum was KING!

Jim said...

I was manager of a fast food joint in Houston and the health inspector noticed a little rust spot on the floor of my walk in cooler.
I went out with the dimensions needed to the millimeter and spent $20 for a sheet and for the adhesive. Worked like a charm.

Marco McClean said...

Soundstages where the action occurs in many of my dreams are often paved with seamless slightly lighter than khaki linoleum.

When I was little in the early 1960s a waitress in my grandparents' Italian restaurant broke a high heel off in a hole through a black-and-beige-wiggly-pattern linoleum tile. She claimed it hurt her back and neck and demanded money or she would sue. My grandmother laughed and told her, Get the hell outta here! It was behind the bar. They put a sheet of plywood over the rotted section of floor and just carried on.

The smell of the bar sink there is one of my earliest memories. The earliest machine that I adored, for no reason at all, was a tiny shiny metal shaved-ice machine. It was like a cross between a spaceship and a pencil sharpener. You'd put an ice cube or two in the top, close it, and it spat slivers of ice directly into the customer's drink. It was so beautiful. My grandfather would take it out and let me play with it. I still love to eat ice.

They had a floor polisher machine too, but I was too small to control that. I tried when no-one was around but there was no way. You'd tip it a little one way or the other and it would jerk itself right out of your hands and spin around and crash over and pull its own plug out. Again!

Krusty Walk said...

it's still widely used, forbo make lots in the UK.. It's one of the most environmentally friendly flooring materials out there. It also works really nicely as a desktop finish.

xoxoxoBruce said...

Marco, I just gave away one of those shaved ice machines. Capacity was a maximum of two ice cubes at a time. The crank and lid were polished but the aluminum body had some sort of very tough red coating. Makes ice taste twice as good.