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Today, we’re going to talk about what you need to know before installing linoleum flooring. If you’ve not kept up with it in recent years, a lot has changed – and for the better. Linoleum now takes on more than one form for more customization and easier installation.
Of course, it didn’t always used to be this way. At one time, big rolls of the material was all that was available. You didn’t have much flexibility or say-so. You either made the sheets work or you didn’t.
We want to begin by discussing the various types of linoleum that you can get. This will help you better decide what will look and work best in your home. Whether you plan on doing it yourself or hiring someone else to do it for you, we’re here to point you in the right direction.
Gone are the days when you were stuck with rolls and rolls only. That option is certainly still available, but now you can get planks and tile, as well. You can find linoleum in a plethora of colors and unique designs.
This is what started it all. If you’re doing a small room that isn’t seen or trafficked by many, sheet linoleum is a great option. You don’t get the character that you find with tile or plank. But for a guest bathroom or an attic, this stuff is great.
Just keep in mind that out of all the types of linoleum, this is the most difficult to install. And yet, it’s also the most affordable. Go figure.
From beautiful, rustic stone to elegant marble, tile linoleum can be found with many designs. The graphics and textures have only gotten better in modern times, and the pricing is fairly moderate.
There are a couple of different ways to install tile, but this largely depends on how the manufacturer produces it.
This is, of course, personal preference, but plank linoleum is excellent. This type can be made to look like authentic woods, breathing new life into any room. By having natural textures and interlocking construction, you can get real wood looks for a fraction of the cost. Plus, it’s a lot softer to walk on, adding more comfort at the same time.
The easiest of all types of linoleum to install, you’re a bit limited on styles. But what is available looks absolutely brilliant.
You can’t just pick out any style of linoleum and be on your merry way. Well, you could, but you’d likely be stuck with the wrong kind. There are quite a few things that factor into linoleum. Depending on your floor and its frequency of traffic, you need to consider thickness, underlayment, if padding needs to be purchased with it, warranties, and more.
So with that being said, let’s take a closer look at some things you would do well to consider before buying. This will help to prevent potential headaches later on down the road.
Related: Linoleum vs Laminate
New linoleum looks sharp regardless of its quality. That’s why it’s important that you pay special attention to its warranty, thickness, and surface. Manufacturers use different materials when treating linoleum, and you want to ensure that it’s safe for you and your family.
Some linoleum manufacturers put more effort into this aspect than others. It’s just the way it is; it’s up to you to research each brand to make sure it meets your personal standards. Interestingly, most linoleum from yesteryear was made with asbestos.
Fortunately, that is no longer a concern. In fact, today’s linoleum is one of the safest flooring options available. But keep in mind that the brands using the highest standards usually cost a bit more.
Most linoleum brands are going to provide a residential warranty of 5 to 10 years, although it’s possible to find lifetime coverage, as well. Commercial warranties are sometimes available, too, depending on brand, format, etc.
Format and Pricing
The format you ultimately decide on is going to be the key factor in how much linoleum costs. Sheet linoleum is sold in rolls, while planks and tiles come in boxes. Planks are usually the most expensive of the three types, with sheet being the cheapest.
It’s important that you factor in everything associated with your installation, from additional tools to hiring a professional, should you decide to go that route. Pricing the linoleum itself is fairly straightforward, however.
Sheet linoleum typically runs anywhere from $4 to $8 a square foot. Tile is in-between and can usually be found for about $3.50 to $6 a square foot. Interlocking planks will cost you $3.50 to $7 a square foot.
You’re not limited to buying by the square foot, either. Linoleum is also sold per square yard or by the roll, as well. Keep in mind that the prices listed above can be greatly affected by thickness, warranties, and design.
Once you have measured the total square feet of the room you plan on flooring, simply take that number and multiply it by linoleum’s square-foot cost.
Let’s take one of the brands below to give you an idea of what it would cost to do a 50 square-foot room.
Armstrong LinoArt (Sheet) – Glue-down – Tree Bark – $3.45 sq. ft.
Armstrong LinoArt (Tile) – Glue-down – Granola – $3.73 sq. ft.
Armstrong LinoArt (Sheet) – Glue-down – Macadamia Nut – $4.54 sq. ft.
Forbo Ink Marmoleum (Sheet) – Glue-down – Walton – $5.49 sq. ft.
Forbo Marmoleum (Tile) – Glue-down – Malibu Beach – $5.75 sq. ft.
If we choose Armstrong’s LinoArt Granola glue-down tile at $3.73 a square foot and multiply that number by our 50 square-foot room, we’d end up paying $186.50. Again, you’ll want to factor in other costs on top of what you spend on material. This will help you budget a lot tighter.
Lastly, if you’re ordering your linoleum online, don’t forget to factor shipping into your budget.
Installing Linoleum Flooring
If you’ve had any experience installing other types of flooring, chances are you’ll do just fine installing linoleum by yourself. Planks especially can be installed with relative ease.
Doing It Yourself
Now, that being said, sheet linoleum can be a bear to work with, experience or not. If you absolutely have to go with sheet linoleum, you may want to consult with a professional and hire them to do it for you. It’s very easy to run into problems during installation, causing your floor to be uneven and unsightly.
Planks and tiles are much more straightforward. But if you’ve never worked with flooring, you may still be better off having someone else do it instead. A little bit of familiarity goes a long way and will serve you well when going it alone.
Tools You Will Need
Let’s talk about some of the tools you’ll need for the job when installing it yourself. One of the most beneficial tools in ensuring the linoleum is installed correctly is a roller. Linoleum rollers can be pretty steep. If you don’t plan on doing more rooms in the future, you might want to consider renting one.
A roller around 100 pounds should serve you nicely. Handle or floor rollers will help to make sure your seams are done correctly. These are quite affordable and worth investing in. Everything else is pretty common, which we’ll list below.
- Measuring tape
- Linoleum roller
- Speed square
- Handle roller
The only other thing you’ll want to consider is cutting the linoleum. A simple razor blade will cut through most linoleum. But if you’re using thick planks, you might want to have a good jigsaw handy.
The only other items you might need to consider are registers and baseboard. Depending on the style of linoleum you have chosen, it might be best to replace these to better match your new flooring.
Much of older linoleum can simply be covered by your new flooring. That being said, it may benefit you more in the long run if you rip up the old. This will allow you to see the health of the floor. If there’s a problem, you’re better off addressing it now as opposed to later.
Imagine finding out part of your subfloor is rotting and having to tear up that fresh, new linoleum you just put down.
You may also encounter uneven flooring that needs to be remedied before moving forward with installation. There are many products on the market that make it easy to get your floor suitable for linoleum installation.
If you’re looking at issues far worse than that, it’s best that you hire a professional to fix it for you. Bad subflooring can be a rather nasty job to take on by yourself. It’s costly, sure. But fixing it now will serve you well in the coming years.
Going With a Professional
While sheet linoleum is the least expensive to buy, it’s the most expensive to install. This is because it’s much more difficult to work with, especially if you don’t have any experience working with the stuff.
Hiring a professional will not only save you a lot of hassle and aggravation, but your floor is also likely to get installed a lot sooner. It’s an extra cost that you’ll have to factor into your budget, but at least it will be easy to do so.
This is because a contractor’s total fee usually includes not only labor but materials, as well. There shouldn’t be any hidden surprises along the way if they are a reputable – and respectable – businessman.
Now, it’s going to serve you well by doing some prep work before you call a professional. If it’s something you are capable of doing and feel comfortable with, by all means take care of it yourself. It’s always going to be cheaper doing on your own instead of the installer. Most are going to charge you for each and every individual task.
You want to limit this as much as you possibly can. Some preparations are easier than you think. You may just need to do some reading to plot the proper course of attack. Also, you might be better off getting some family and friends to help with moving furniture to accommodate the installation process.
Again, most contractors aren’t going to strain their backs for free. So the more you can do on your own, the better off your budget will be.
On average, a professional installer will charge around $5 to $8 to install sheet linoleum by the square foot. And if you’re going with plank or tile, you can expect to pay $6 to $9.
Where Can I Find Linoleum?
With newer flooring alternatives flooding the market, linoleum isn’t as easy to find as it once was. While your local Lowe’s or Home Depot may have a small supply, your best bet is going to be to order it online.
This will give you a lot more options to choose from, ensuring you’re getting what you want without compromising. If your town has a specialty flooring store, then certainly try them first. It’s good to buy local when you can.
But if that’s out as an option, simply visit one of the many linoleum manufacturer’s websites. There, you’ll have an easier time zeroing in on the floor you want.
Is Linoleum Waterproof or Water-Resistant?
Water-resistant. This means that it will repel water from absorbing for a while, but not indefinitely.
How Long Is Linoleum Good For?
If it’s a quality brand of linoleum, it’s going to come with a guarantee that spans anywhere between 15 and 25 years. However, if it’s well-taken care of, your new linoleum floor can last for decades and beyond.
We hope you found our guide helpful in deciding whether linoleum is the right fit for you. You can get great linoleum flooring that will last for years at a fraction of what you’d pay for hardwood or stone tile. With all the advancements it’s seen over the years, you can choose countless styles that rival even the most expensive flooring.