Linoleum Floor Care Tips
Cleaning professionals may be a bit surprised to hear that linoleum floors—first introduced more than 120 years ago—are making a comeback. But while this flooring material used to be found mainly in homes and residential facilities, it is now becoming popular in commercial locations. The key reason for this trend is that many types of linoleum floors are considered a green or more sustainable floor covering option, especially when compared to the more traditional and very popular vinyl composite tile (VCT).
Vinyl is a synthetic product made of petrochemicals and other components, most of which are not sustainable. Linoleum, on the other hand, is typically made of a variety of ingredients including linseed oil, cork dust, tree resins, and wood flour (finely pulverized wood that is finer than sawdust), all of which are renewable resources. Linoleum has two other features that commercial property developers and owners appreciate: it is fire retardant and water resistant.*
Linoleum floors can be very sensitive to chemicals, especially the kinds of traditional cleaning chemicals used on VCT floors. In general, it’s best to use pH-neutral cleaning solutions following manufacturers’ recommended dilution ratios.
High-pH or high-alkalinity cleaners can damage linoleum floors. In fact, frequent use can not only impact the look of the floor, but can also cause cracking, shrinking, and even discoloration. Additionally, using too much water to clean these floors can cause problems. Linoleum is installed in sheets, and there may be small openings between each sheet. Water can seep into and under these openings, which can result in mold and mildew and even cause the floor to rot.
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