Marmoleum, Forbo’s brand of linoleum flooring has been around for over 150 years. It is not surprising that some common myths and misconceptions have arisen over time. Marmoleum is still by far the sustainable flooring champion and remains as natural and durable as ever with the basic raw material formulation remaining mostly unchanged. However, over the years many refinements and technological improvements have been made along the way. Marmoleum for one, is produced carbon neutral and without the need for offsetting. Secondly, is now easier to install, maintain and offers modern design and colour options in both sheet, tile, and plank.
Marmoleum has also never been in more demand as it meets the requirements of truly sustainable focused buildings and clients who prefer biobased, plastic free options and are aiming to limit the amount of CO2 emissions and embodied carbon they are including in their homes or buildings.
Myth 1: Marmoleum is more sensitive to subfloor moisture than vinyl or rubber flooring and is more likely to fail
If the subfloor has excessive moisture content, then Marmoleum could fail, but so will any other floor covering in this situation. The fact is, Marmoleum is no more sensitive to subfloor moisture than other resilient floor coverings. Subfloor moisture test methods according to the AS 1884:2021 define the test methods and set moisture limits that are safe for all resilient floor coverings. High moisture content under any floorcovering is unhealthy and a breeding ground for mould and mildew.
Myth 2: Marmoleum is absorbent and therefore not resistant to penetration by surface water
Surface water on Marmoleum is not an issue. Tests were carried out in which sheet Marmoleum was adhered to the base of a fabricated water bath using our standard Eurocol 414 Marmoleum adhesive. The sheet (with unwelded cross seams right in the centre) was completely submerged in water for several days. The test has since been repeated on numerous occasions for demonstration purposes and that same sample of Marmoleum remains completely intact showing no signs of lifting or degradation. Our experience suggests that flooring failures due to moisture penetration are almost always at room perimeters and due to poor adhesion at the edges rather than any product weakness.
Myth 3: It is always best to weld Marmoleum
Whilst welding of PVC sheet floor coverings is standard practice as PVC will shrink at the seams over time, it is not appropriate to apply the same thinking where Marmoleum is concerned.
It is often said that, unless welded, Marmoleum will shrink at the seams, allowing dirt and water to penetrate, causing the material to lift. In fact, the reverse is true and hessian-backed Marmoleum actually expands slightly in the width during installation. This means that a skillfully cut seam will close tightly by the time the adhesive has cured, to bond the Marmoleum in its final position. A correctly cut seam will not open during the long life of the Marmoleum and is often considered to be aesthetically nicer than a welded seam.
There are of course particular applications where standards or regulations dictate that the floor covering seams must be welded, the most common being clinical areas in hospitals or childcare. In these cases, using the correct grooving, welding, and trimming tools and techniques will ensure a physically sound and visually great result. The multi-coloured weld options are perfect in these instances.
Myth 4: Marmoleum is inflexible and difficult to install
Over the years Marmoleum has been improved and refined in many ways and the Marmoleum of today is far more flexible and installer-friendly than ever before. Two of the most important prerequisites for a good installation are correct acclimatisation and appropriate site conditions. These requirements for Marmoleum are no different from those for any other resilient floor covering.
It would be wrong to claim that Marmoleum is as flexible as vinyl but, installed in the correct conditions, standard methods of scribing, back rolling, and templating are easily applied and will all result in a high-quality finished installation.
Myth 5: Marmoleum should always be polished
There has been no requirement to polish or strip and seal Marmoleum for years. Modern surface technology protects the floor from the day of installation onwards. Ready to use immediately. The latest surface technology Topshield Pro is a surface finish designed for easy cleaning and protecting the floor from day-to-day scuffs and scratches. It also offers improved resistance to chemicals and solvents such as acetone and alcohol-based hand gels. Other than a generic post-installation clean and standard maintenance, Marmoleum requires no additional surface finishes.
To bust any other myths or if you have any technical queries regarding any Forbo floor coverings and their installation please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Article by Forbo Flooring Systems