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How Marmoleum Works

Marmoleum's Environmental Footprint
Linoleum is made with linseed oil, a renewable resource.
Linoleum is made with linseed oil, a renewable resource.

True linoleums are considered environmentally friendly because the ingredients are made from raw, renewable materials. That means linoleum is nearly CO2 neutral throughout its lifetime. Forbo claims that Marmoleum is 96 percent organic [source: Forbo]. No toxic chemicals or volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are used in the manufacturing process.

One study looked at how flooring products contributed to global warming. Carpeting ranked high while linoleum was at the low end of the spectrum. [source: Petersen] Oak flooring has the fewest emissions.

The linseed oil in Marmoleum continues to oxidize after installation, making the flooring stronger over time. That's why the product, and all linoleum, is so long-lasting, making it a good flooring for both high-traffic commercial operations and residences. Supposedly, the Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall danced on the same linoleum floor for more than 20 years [source: Wilson].

The same chemical change helps produce the flooring's anti-bacterial properties, which is why linoleum is so often used in health-care facilities and schools. The oxidization process either kills bacteria or provides an uninhabitable place for it to thrive.

Linoleum is naturally anti-static, so dust doesn't have a chance to cling to or embed itself into the flooring, unlike wool or synthetic carpeting. That makes it appealing for modern housekeepers. Marmoleum Click requires no adhesive to install, making it popular with people who have asthma or allergies.

Forbo and other green builders contend that Marmoleum doesn't release foul-smelling chemicals that can be associated with other floor coverings, especially vinyl. The company says its cleaning products for Marmoleum are water-based and don't emit chemicals, either.