Floor covering made from linseed oil, tall oil, rosin, cork, wood flour, chalk, clay, and pigments, pressed into sheets with a jute backing. Oxidation of the oil is accelerated by heating, so that the oil mixture solidifies into a tough, resilient material. Linoleum tiles have a backing made of polyester and glass fibre.
Linoleum was invented in England in 1860 by Frederick Walton. In the early 20th century he invented a straight-line inlay machine which was able to produce patterned linoleum. Today, the manufacture of linoleum still follows the basic principles of Walton's process although production is much faster.
Good reasons for specifying linoleum:
- made from natural raw materials
- withstands heavy loads and wheeled traffic
- fire-resistant and difficult to ignite
- resists cigarette burns
- can be invisible welded
- permanently antistatic
- permanently bacteriostatic