Linoleum and its properties

Linoleum has lost much of its importance with the spread of PVC flooring. Today, however, it is increasingly being re-valued as a natural floor covering and, due to its excellent properties, increasingly used again. What makes linoleum so special, you can read in this article.

Pure natural product

Linoleum is in contrast to the opinion of many no "ancient plastic" but actually a natural product. Its ingredients are all natural materials except for some added substances for special properties.

At the beginning (about 1870), production took several months and was very time-consuming. Today, linoleum is already completed in about a day, and then only has to mature.

linseed oil

The most important ingredient in linoleum, which gave it its name, is linseed oil. The linoxin, as the linseed oil is also called, is oxidized and polymerized and makes up about 35% of the linoleum floor.

The precursor for the linoleum flooring is the so-called linoleum cement, which is used in production as an intermediate stage. He is responsible for the most important properties of linoleum.

natural resins

Linoleum is made only with the help of natural resins. Among other things, it mainly uses:

  • Rosin (a product derived from a tree resin balm of pine, spruce and fir and also used for sealing and very hard)
  • Copal (tree resin products from different trees, with correspondingly different properties and slightly lower hardness)
  • Dammar (a resin from Indian deciduous trees with a lemon-like fragrance and high hardness, such as rosin)

The natural resin content of linoleum floor coverings is around

Cork flour or wood flour

Cork flour or wood flour make up about 40% of the finished linoleum. Depending on the manufacturer and method of production, either cork or only wood flour or both are added.

Inorganic fillers

About 20% of the lineoleums are inorganic fillers that are added during production. These are limestone powder and titanium oxide (as a white pigment), various dyes and occasionally also rubber components.

support material

The support material is usually a jute fabric in linoleum. The jute shrub is a fibrous plant, which is mainly native to India and Asia, but also occurs in Africa.

Physical properties of linoleum

Resistance to deformation

Linoleum is very resistant to mechanical stress. It can easily return to its original position even with massive deformation (pressure points). Due to its high elasticity, it is also ideal as a joint-protecting floor covering.


Linseed oil is antistatic, meaning it does not charge electrically. This is especially important in industrial companies, but less important for the private household.

fire retardant

Linoleum is flame retardant and resistant to fire. So you can easily express a cigarette on linoleum. Even the smoldering of a cigarette on linoleum leads at most to very slight color changes, but no fire.

Chemical properties of linoleum

Linoleum is resistant to a great many chemicals, including acids and solvents. Linoleum is also resistant to gasoline. It is sensitive to soaps and alkalis with a pH above 9.

Hygienic properties of linoleum

Linoleum inhibits bacterial growth and is therefore particularly hygienic. It also acts fungicidal (but only slightly) and can be cleaned very easily and thoroughly.

Video Board: Vinyl vs Linoleum Flooring