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Peggy White, CSI, CCS, CCCA, LEED AP
Senior Member
Username: peggy

Post Number: 16
Registered: 07-2007
Posted on Tuesday, July 15, 2008 - 06:46 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

To those who were bringing up the issue of sustainability and linoleum who want to learn more about it, HDR has an article in the Summer 2008 issue of EcoNews, Page 9, written my our sustainable materials expert, Bruce Maine: http://www.hdrinc.com/15/33/default.aspx?PublicationID=778

There are issues and concerns with production being outside of the United States, for now. As with any material, you have to make flooring product selections based on project goals, requirements, budget and aesthetics. The choices are not always simple.
Posted on Tuesday, July 15, 2008 - 06:57 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

And for those that want to really educate themselves about this floor covering material, read a recent LCA study done in Europe. Pay particular attention to the associated problems with disposal:


Not so green a material afterall.
Peggy White, CSI, CCS, CCCA, LEED AP
Senior Member
Username: peggy

Post Number: 17
Registered: 07-2007
Posted on Tuesday, July 15, 2008 - 07:59 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Are you following me around Mr/Ms Anon? Stalking me from post to post? Should I get some protection from the Green Mafia?

Ah yes, LCA. As one green gadfly who advises manufacturers on greenwashing strategies likes to say when clients ask for ways to describe their material as green when it really isn't: "Throw Life Cycle at them." Smoke and mirrors.

We would ALL love for LCA to be the instant panacea for evaluating the sustainability of materials, but it isn't there yet. Getting there, wants to be there, but not there yet.
Posted on Monday, July 21, 2008 - 12:39 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

The LCA study that anon provides a link for is the same LCA study referenced in the HDR article Ms. White offers.

According to the LCA study, landfilling is not the best thing to do with this material. The study concludes that incineration of linoleum is more environmentally friendly than landfilling, even though incinerating the material results in the emission of heavy metals and dioxin.
Anne Whitacre, FCSI CCS
Senior Member
Username: awhitacre

Post Number: 805
Registered: 07-2002
Posted on Monday, July 21, 2008 - 06:17 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

don't forget that linoleum requires 30% more maintenance (ongoing) while it is installed than a vinyl floor or a rubber floor.
Suzanne Drake, CID, LEEDap (Unregistered Guest)
Unregistered guest
Posted on Monday, July 21, 2008 - 07:43 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

No material is perfect, much less perfectly green. I happily spec linoleum over vinyl or even rubber because I personally believe the current benefits outweigh the current pitfalls. I have never heard of linoleum (un-polished)as being more expensive to maintain, but am always looking out for new information. Can you post your source?
John Bunzick, CCS, CCCA, LEED AP
Senior Member
Username: bunzick

Post Number: 932
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Tuesday, July 22, 2008 - 08:13 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Plus it stinks for quite a while after installation.
Posted on Tuesday, July 22, 2008 - 01:14 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Recommneded maintenance for linoleum floors is provided by individual manufacturers. Here is the one for Armstrong:


Linoleum does require more maintenance than PVC-based flooring both for appearance and durability.

Armstrong will tell you that linoleum requires more maintenance compared with vinyl flooring. But don't take my word for it... Call an Armstrong flooring rep and ask (Armstrong sells both linoleum and vinyl floor coverings, so you are more likely to get the straight dope from them rather than a Forbo rep).

And it does stink quite a bit for several months after installation. Some people can smell it years after. Putting this in a hospital is a really, really bad idea. Think about it...

Anne Whitacre, FCSI CCS
Senior Member
Username: awhitacre

Post Number: 810
Registered: 07-2002
Posted on Monday, August 11, 2008 - 02:26 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Armstrong was my original source for the "30% more maintenance" than even a rubber floor. Linoleum needs to be stripped and waxed, and rubber does not. the one real benefit I know of for linoleum (and the reason we used to use in it hospital operating rooms) is that its non-sparking in a highly oxegenated environment. In a surgical suite, it will be cleaned at least daily, but there are some materials that will stain linoleum.

Rubber flooring, on the other hand, is made in the US; usually has high recycled content; does not need waxing; and doesn't stain, even from the things that stain linoleum. And, it lasts as long as (or longer) than linoleum without all the hype. it also doesn't dry out, like badly maintained linoleum does.

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