Answers to Common Questions About Linoleum Flooring: A Quick Guide

Linoleum flooring has been a popular choice for affordable flooring. It is an all-natural resilient flooring that is eco-friendly and biodegradable. Below, I’ve compiled all common questions related to linoleum flooring and their corresponding answers to give you a quick guide about this material.

What is Linoleum Flooring Made of?

Linoleum flooring is made from all natural ingredients that includes wood flour, powdered cork, ground limestone, jude, and linseed oil. Even its color are made naturally with mineral pigments.

It is considered as a sustainable, environmentally friendly, and green product you can use for your homes.

Is Linoleum Flooring Slippery?

American Disabilities Act (ADA) recommends a COF of 0.6 or greater for any flat or horizontal floors both wet and dry. Based on ADA, standard commercial linoleum flooring is then considered as slippery having a low coefficient of friction (COF) between 0.30 and 0.50. This number is based on Floorcare USA, and CNA confirms this by saying that linoleum floors have a naturally low COF. Even test results done by Pollet has yielded a low COF for linoleum flooring.

Linoleum floors get more slippery when it gets wet. Exposure to dust, cleaning chemicals, wax, or floor polish can also add to the slick factor of a slippery linoleum over time.

How Do You Make Linoleum Floors Less SLippery?

Linoleum floors can be made less slippery by applying a non-slip or non-skid coating that will increase the coefficient of friction of the floor. Below are some solutions you can try to make your linoleum flooring anti-slip.

Slip Doctors Floor Grip is a roll-on anti-slip coating for interior and exterior floors including linoleum. It not only provides an anti-slip solution, but also adds scratch and chemical protection as well. It is available in matte and glossy finish. Floor Grip is available for purchase on Amazon.

Skid Safe Water Based Sealer & Finish is a durable clear sealer and finish that can make your linoleum floor slip-resistant, especially when it’s wet. It is covered by a 5-year warranty. It also makes the surface water-proof and stain-proof as well.

Mix magnesium powder or rock climbing chalk, with water, and then mop this on to the floor. When it dries, the magnesium powder will leave a thin layer on the floor that will add a level of traction to the floor. You might need to apply this weekly to keep it slip-resistant. Rock climbing chalk is also available in Amazon.

Watco’s Vynacoat can be applied to linoleum floors with just one coat. It not only adds slip resistance to the surface, it also protects form UV and fading, and from abrasions and chemicals as well.

Slip Nomor, by Stagestep Flooring Solutions, can be applied to different surfaces including wood, vinyl, and linoleum. It provides a matte, and clear finish and makes your floors anti-slip. Apply it weekly to keep your linoleum floors anti-slip.

Dr. Schutz Quick Fix Antislip is a water-based lacquer, quick-drying solution that you apply with only one coat and then can be walked on after just two hours. You would need to reapply this product every 3 to 6 months to retain the linoleum floor’s slip resistance.

Is Linoleum Flooring Waterproof?

Linoleum flooring is not waterproof, although it is water-resistant to some degree, it doesn’t hold up against standing water. It is susceptible to water damage and needs to be sealed and resealed regularly to maintain its water-resistant property. Excessive moisture can penetrate its surface and cause irreparable damage.

It can be installed on areas with mild exposure to moisture such as in kitchens but is not recommended for frequently wet areas such as in bathrooms or basements. You need to wipe linoleum floors dry as soon as it gets spills or splashes to prevent the liquid from penetrating. Technically you can still install linoleum flooring in wet areas but it will need extra care.

Is Linoleum Flooring Porous?

Linoleum flooring is porous and can absorb liquid. It is important to have it sealed to protect it from water damage and from staining. Re-sealing it periodically is also important to keep it protected.

How Do You Seal Linoleum Floors?

Linoleum floors should be sealed and resealed every 2-6 months, or at least once every year to keep it protected. You normally use a liquid acrylic floor polisher or liquid wax for sealing linoleum floors. To properly seal linoleum floors, you need to clean it first, removing any dust or debris on the surface. Then with a mop, spread the liquid wax evenly across the surface.

There’s a highly rated liquid floor wax in Amazon you can purchase. You might want to give it a try.

Is Linoleum Flooring Durable?

Linoleum can be quite durable with the proper care and maintenance. Warranties for residential are often for 25 years or more. Water and moisture is its biggest enemy. If you are able to keep it dry, cleaned, and well maintained, linoleum floors could last for over 40 years.

Does Linoleum Flooring Scratch Easily?

Linoleum floors are prone to scratches and can easily accumulate them. It is not ideal for homes with large dogs as their sharp claws can scratch, dent, and gouge the floors. It is also not ideal for heavy-traffic areas.

Applying some protective coating will help mitigate the scratches but you would need to reapply the coating periodically to keep it scratch resistant.

Does Linoleum Flooring Have Asbestos?

Linoleum flooring doesn’t contain asbestos. It is made from all-natural products that are safe for humans. The confusion started with the term “linoleum” being associated with “sheet flooring” but not all sheet flooring is linoleum. Some 1980’s “sheet flooring” products do contain asbestos but it does not include linoleum floors.

If you have a sheet flooring and you know that it is a linoleum sheet flooring, then you don’t have to worry about it having asbestos, because it doesn’t. And most flooring products stopped using asbestos in the 1970s. Present-day floor products are much safer.

Are Linoleum Floors Toxic?

Linoleum floors are not toxic and are one of the safest floorings you could use. It is a natural, eco-friendly product made from natural ingredients that will not off-gas or emit any Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) to your homes.

Adhesives used to install linoleum floors could contain high levels of VOC. There are however adhesives with low-VOC that are available for you to use on linoleum floors.

Can Linoleum Flooring be Painted?

Linoleum flooring can be painted but you need to clean and strip it off first of any dirt, wax, coating, or sealant previously applied to it. These layers of coatings if not stripped off will prevent paint from sticking well to linoleum. A latex primer should also be applied right before you paint over it. The primer will help paint to stick much longer to your linoleum floors. View along the way shows exactly how this is done.

What Kind of Paint Can You Use on Linoleum Floors?

Any floor or porch paint, such as Valspar’s Porch & Floor or Kilz’s Porch & Patio, can be used to paint on linoleum floors. Both can be purchased from Amazon.

Before you apply paint though, make sure to use a good primer to get a good adhesion of the paint to the linoleum surface. The primer will prevent the paint from peeling off. Any latex primer, such as Kilz’s All Purpose Primer, will work on the linoleum floor surface.

Do Painted Linoleum Floors Last?

Painted linoleum floors can last a few years before it fades. Clean the floor with mild non-abrasive cleaning products to prevent the paint from fading faster. Depending on the type of brand or product of paint you used, fading can be noticeable around a minimum of 5 years.

What is the Best Way to Clean Linoleum Floors?

For normal situations, the best way to clean linoleum floors is by using a damp mop with a simple solution of mild liquid soap and water. Sweep or vacuum your floors to remove any dust or debris on the surface before mopping. Dust and dirt can contribute to scratches and if you don’t clean the floor off them first, you might create those micro scratches when you start dragging the mop across the floor.

To create the soap solution, you basically add 1/4 cup of liquid soap to two gallons of warm water. Dip your microfiber mop into the bucket of the solution, wring it dry until it’s just a bit damp to the touch. Start mopping from the far end of the room then move across the floor towards the door.

Remember to use a clean solution every time. If the soap solution becomes murky, make a new batch of it.

You can also add a cup of vinegar to your soap solution above when you clean your linoleum floor. The vinegar will act as a disinfectant that can help kill any bacteria on your floor.

Do You Have to Wax Linoleum Floors?

To keep your linoleum floors looking new and shiny, you need to apply wax regularly. A good floor wax can help fill in scratches and restore the shine on your floor. Use the right kind of product for your linoleum floors though as the wrong product can make your floors slippery or dull out the look and finish.

Look for liquid acrylic floor wax types. Never use paste wax on it. I found a highly rated liquid floor wax in Amazon that is good to be used for multiple surfaces including linoleum. You might want to check it out.

Floor wax should be applied to your linoleum floors every 2 to 6 months depending on the level of traffic, or at least once a year just to keep it protected and prolong its life.

Are Linoleum and Vinyl Floors the Same?

Linoleum and vinyl floors are worlds apart, though they can look the same at times, they are quite different on many levels. Firstly, linoleum is a green product made purely from natural ingredients. It’s biodegradable and a very sustainable product. Whereas vinyl floor is virtually a synthetic material made out of plastic. Both, however, have their own pros and cons, and neither is necessarily better than the other.

Both linoleum and vinyl floors are available in sheets, tiles, and planks, although linoleum is commonly sold in sheets.

Linoleum is water-resistant to some degree and needs to be sealed and re-sealed regularly to keep it that way. Vinyl floors on the other hand are 100% waterproof. It can’t get damaged even if it gets submerged in water or get stains.

Higher-end vinyl floors have a harder wear layer that can resist scratches, dents, and gouges better than linoleum floors.

Both are easy to clean and maintain, but being susceptible to water damage, linoleum needs a bit more care and attention.

Because of its composition, vinyl flooring may emit some amounts of volatile organic compound (VOC), that could be harmful to your health. Most luxury vinyl floors, however, have a very low VOC. Linoleum floors, on the other hand, is very safe, and does not emit any VOC in the air.

Both types of flooring would need to be installed with adhesives, and some adhesives have high-VOC levels. There are available adhesives with very low-VOCs too which you can use.

Vinyl floors are said to be more DIY friendly than linoleum. They are much easier to install without the help of any professionals.

Vinyl floors has a shorter rated lifespan of around 20 years while linoleum, if properly cared for, can last for more than 40 years.

Is Linoleum Flooring Expensive?

Expensive is a relative or subjective term and most people can have different perceptions how something is more expensive or cheaper than others. But to give you a general idea, if you consider cost for materials and labor, it’s relatively cheaper to install linoleum floors compared to hardwood, or ceramic tiles by almost half their price.

Is Linoleum Flooring Recyclable?

Yes linoleum flooring are recyclable. They can be collected and recovered, re-processed, and made into new products again. It’s a very sustainable product that can be reused or recycled. And even if they don’t get collected, they can be composted since it is 100% biodegradable and it does not release any harmful gases and substances.

Is Linoleum Flooring Easy to Install?

Linoleum flooring, especially the sheet types, can be a little bit challenging to install. Professional installers are usually needed to install linoleum sheets for you. The challenge is fitting the sheets exactly to the shape of your floor, with all the edges. Cutting and positioning it in place can also be difficult.

There are linoleum tiles and planks that are available that are much DIY friendly which you can use. Sheets are better though in terms of water protection and protecting the subfloor against water damage. As there are less seams for water to get through to the subfloor compared to linoleum tiles.

Is Linoleum Flooring Glued Down?

Yes, linoleum sheet floors are typically glued down. Gluing it in place prevents linoleum sheets from sliding and also prevents air pockets from developing beneath the floor which can become a tripping hazard.

How Long Does Linoleum Flooring Last?

A well taken care of and maintained linoleum floors can last up to over 40 years. Re-sealing it regularly to keep it protected against water and scratches and taking care that it doesn’t get exposed to extreme moisture will contribute to its long life.

On Choosing Linoleum Flooring for Your House

Is Linoleum Flooring Good for Bathrooms?

Linoleum flooring is not the best flooring material you can use for bathrooms. Although you can install it, it will need extra attention and care to make it last long. Linoleum’s biggest enemy is moisture, and if it gets soaked too long in water, it can get damaged. If you used linoleum flooring for your bathrooms, just make sure to wipe it dry after using it.

It can also become very slippery when it gets wet, though you could place an anti-slip mat to walk on to avoid any slipping accidents.

I’ve made an article of the 15 best floor options that you can use for your bathrooms. You might want to check it out if you’re still deciding for a good flooring for your bathrooms.

Is Linoleum Flooring Good for Basements?

Since basement often get wet, and sometimes flooded, it’s not ideal to use linoleum flooring as its floors. Linoleum will be seriously damaged if your basement suddenly becomes flooded.

I’ve made an article about the 8 best flooring options for wet basements. Check it out to see the floors that I recommend you use for basements.

Is Linoleum Flooring Good for Kitchen Floors?

Yes, linoleum flooring is a good affordable option for kitchen floors. Just make sure to wipe it dry at once as soon as liquid spills on it to protect it from possible damage. I’ve included it in my previous article as one of the 14 durable floorings to use for kitchens. If you want to know other flooring options you can use for your kitchen, check out the article.

Is Linoleum Flooring Good for Bedrooms?

Yes, linoleum flooring is definitely good for bedrooms. It’s not as cozy or warm as hardwood floors, but it is as durable and much more affordable for your bedrooms. Just take care not to move heavy furniture around too much as linoleum floors can easily get scratched and dented. You can, however, put furniture pads under your furniture legs to protect your floor.

Is Linoleum Flooring Good for Pets?

No, linoleum flooring might not be a good option for homes with pets. Linoleum flooring is susceptible to scratches. It can get scratched easily by your pets’ claws. Maybe if you have smaller animals you could use this flooring, but a big heavy dog will most definitely make some gouges or dents to your floors.

You might want to check out my previous article on the 14 best floor options for pets to give you better options you can go with.

Can You Put Radiant Heat Under Linoleum?

Yes, you can put radiant heat under linoleum floors. You would need to hire a professional to lay the radiant heat system and the linoleum floors for you to make sure everything is installed properly.


He is an architect for more than 20 years. He is passionate about design and architecture and enjoys sharing his knowledge and information with people as well.

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