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Yes! This is another sustainable flooring option that I would recommend. If a client insists on having a carpet, in say a bedroom, I suggest to go with Flor carpet tiles. These are easy to work with as compared to traditional carpet, and provide design flexibility with lots of colors and pattern choices. These tiles are made out of renewable and recyclable material, so manufacturing of this product has lesser impact on the environment.  One can do a custom design rug or have a wall to wall carpet for a cozy feeling.

A 26 tile rug kit

The tiles are easily installed, attached to each other using the non-toxic adhesive “dots” and is very much a Do-it-Yourselfers’ product. At the perimeter of the room, the edges can be trimmed using a rug knife. A notch can be made with little skill to fit the carpet tile around a door frame. The best part I like about this is there is very little wastage.  You can order just enough tiles as per your square foot requirement, even use the Design Tool from Flor website so you can not go wrong! Also, if your kid happens to stain the floor, you can just remove the damaged tile, send it to the cleaner or replace just that one tile with the new one.

Flor has been a pioneer in providing a Recycle your old Carpet program, where you can call their customer service and they will suggest ways to reuse or send the carpet tiles back to them, which is recycled to manufacture new tiles.

Martha Stewart has endorsed this product and introduced new designs for Fall.

Designing your own personalized floors is the most exciting part of replacing your floors with a product like Marmoleum Click.

While designing your new floors, take into consideration the utility factor of the room – if it is a kids’ room or a adult’s bedroom, overall size of the room. If it is a huge space you may want to break it visually in 2 areas, for example Living and Dining, or Living and Family or Media room. You can achieve this either by changing the colors or the pattern design. Think about the natural light source in the room, the direction of the traffic – circulation paths. Consider the style of existing furniture in the room. What kind of ambiance you want to achieve. You don’t want to end up with hodgepodge mix of too many styles. Also, it is a good idea to stick to 3 or 4 colors in the room at the most. The overall effect should be soothing to the eyes, and not a jumble of conflicting hues.

Remember, as a rule of thumb it is best to stagger the joints while using panels. Make sure your design pattern allows this staggering. With some designs it may not be possible to achieve this, though. For example, while using all 1’x1′ squares, you obviously have continuous joints. This is something an expert will help you with.

Think of what kind of sub floor you have, check if it is fairly leveled, and go for the floors of your dreams!

P.S.  Non-residential applications is a different ball game.

Forbo, the manufacturers of Marmoleum Click floating floor system claims that their new design for the joints is almost waterproof. The tongue and groove joints are pretty tight and when installed correctly form a snug fitting. As mentioned in the earlier post, they mention if the spills are wiped dry right away, one should not worry about water penetrating through.

However, you raised a very good point. The sheet linoleum just like vinyl, being a monolithic surface acts as a very good water barrier. Even though it is stated that Marmoleum Click can be installed anywhere in the house, one has to be careful while laying this floating floor system next to bathtub or next to sinks where kids may spill some water and there may be a possibility of it going unnoticed for several hours. If your situation allows you to use a “J” mold flashing next to the bath tub or such, that would help keep water from flowing down on the floor.

I came across one instance where we had installed Marmoleum Click in the kitchen for one client here in Bay area. They happened to have a leak in the sink pipe underneath and did not notice it right away. The water leaked through the cabinets, under the floating floor for what seemed like couple of days. The cork base on Marmoleum Click readily absorbed water and eventually the floor swelled with moisture. They actually had to take the floor apart, dry the panels all the way, and re-install after few days.

With such fancy floor materials one has to be vigilant especially in areas like kitchen and bathrooms.

Some linoleum colors may be more prone to fading due to  exposure to direct sunlight than others. Over a period of time you may see subtle, slightly darker patches say underneath a chest. If you move such furniture though, the newly exposed area will fade in a short time, so you will not be able to tell the difference.

There is another phenomenon called “Ambering” that occurs during the manufacturing process of linoleum, though. While the linoleum is curing in the drying room, a yellowish film may appear on the surface of the linoleum due to the linseed oil oxidation process. So you may see some “yellowing” on your newly delivered product. But this film will disappear after the linoleum is exposed to either natural or artificial light. You don’t have to worry about dissipation of this yellow film prior to installation or prior to applying floor finish after your installation.

When we did Marmoleum Click floors at home, we did not really see any yellowing on our new product, even though we had dark and light colors. And as far as fading due to sunlight exposure is concerned, I am not too worried about it, because with a few hours of exposure, the darker patches will go away anyway!

Marmoleum Click floating floors can be very easily installed over a residential concrete sub floor. First thing you will do is, examine the concrete slab to determine its condition. Use a carpenter’s level or a straight edge to see if the floor has any significant mounds and dips. If it is not fairly leveled, you will identify the low spots where you need to fill. Begin with cleaning the concrete slab by removing the dirt and debris. Then you can fill the major low spots and dips with either quick-set mortar or one of those liquids that sets in such low areas. Use a trowel or straight edge to level the surface. If you notice any large cracks in the concrete slab, that may mean there is a underlying structural problem. Such cracks should be repaired prior to installing any new floor.

After you have prepared concrete sub floor, you can begin with a moisture barrier underlayment. Lay down a standard underlayment you would use for any type of floating floor system. At this point take a few minutes to lay your Marmoleum Click panels to see how your pattern is going to be laid out. I actually put the individual squares and panels to see how my design will start out. If you have any door entry or adjacent floor lines you need to match, this is the time to decide how your new panels will coordinate with those existing parameters.

Ideally, it would be nice to start with a row of whole squares and panels at the edge of the room. This way you ensure minimum cuts and may save time. But this may not be possible in every case. For example, you may have to start laying out your Marmoleum Click squares in the middle of the room if you need to match the frame lines in the doorway or a kitchen island. In such case you will go on laying squares in both direction in a room. Even if you end up with bunch of half panels, you may be able to use those on the other end of the room towards the edges.

This may sound harder than it actually is. I will try to explain this with visual aids at a later time.

In short, if you follow the guidelines provided here, this product can be easily installed by someone who has some experience in installing floors at home.

Have fun!

Now that we are on the topic of Linoleum and Cork, let me suggest this video with step-by-step instructions:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b9cMfmJOOAE&feature=related

Here you can see, what difference the floors make in your room decor. You do not need a Interior Designer to identify what floor works for your space. A few visits to the floor stores, and some internet browsing, and (a little bit of math, of course) you should be able to visualize your dream floor!

Linoleum and Cork are both well known for their sound absorbing qualities. If you use linoleum sheets they will provide better sound reduction as compared to floating panel system. Same goes with Cork glue less plank system. Both linoleum and cork are naturally heat resistant, and hypoallergenic materials. Both of these resilient flooring products are warm to touch underfoot. Because of the strong heat barrier qualities of cork, though, it is not recommended over “in-floor radiant heating” system. Marmoleum Click, on the other hand, has been engineered to work well over in-floor radiant heating used in extreme climate conditions. Both materials are prone to scratches if not handled well. If moving furniture with sharp edges, it is recommended to have felt pads underneath.

Linoleum sheet, tiles and Cork tiles have been successfully installed in various building types, such as Commercial, Healthcare, Restaurants, retail, and Fitness. Visit this site to see some examples of Cork flooring: http://www.duro-design.com/index.cfm/page/cork.installations/installationId/86/

Just like linoleum, cork is available in many different colors and sizes. One can achieve a personalized space by creating their own floor design unique to their taste.

Linoleum and Cork floors are both easy to install, easy to maintain and durable. The cork needs proper sealant though to be resistant to stains and is more susceptible to dents if a heavy piece of furniture stands on it for a long time. It is also recommended to avoid direct sunlight on your cork floors depending on the color pigments used in the product.

I would suggest, see some examples where they have installed cork and linoleum. Walk on those floors. The touch and feel and look of these materials are distinctly different. You really have to like the texture, pattern that cork comes with. Your floors are your major investments, and you do not want to regret your decision for any reason later on.

Good Luck!

Marmoleum Click can be very easily installed on stairs. The stair nosing is available in coordinating colors that blend well. One thing to consider though, any hard floor material installed on stairs will provide less friction as compared to carpet. The edge molding / stair nose trims are meant to provide some grip underfoot. If you have young kids or elderly person at home you should consider putting a stair runner rug to avoid falls with any hardwood or hard surface material.

We have been talking about linoleum, but Bamboo is also another eco-friendly product for flooring. Strand woven bamboo floor especially, is a high density flooring material and is great for day-to-day wear. If you are looking for easy to clean, elegant, hardwood style floor then Strand woven bamboo is your option. Make sure you buy a genuine product from a well established branded company, to avoid any disappointments later on.

Refer to Durodesign website for more information:

http://www.duro-design.com/index.cfm/strand-bamboo-flooring/

Here is my favorite blog entry:

http://hubpages.com/hub/Why-Strand-Woven-Bamboo-Flooring-Is-a-Good-Choice

Like many other building materials, Bamboo has some drawbacks. In general, Bamboo is a softer material.  It does tend to dent if you drop a heavy pot on it or something. You also have to be careful while moving furniture and such. Bamboo is bad with stains if the flooring is not sealed properly. Also, depending on the product you choose, the color may fade over time with exposure to sunlight. Here is a link you may find informative:

http://hubpages.com/hub/Bamboo-FlooringPros-and-Cons

I would suggest, do your homework, see what really appeals to you before making such a big investment. For things to consider before buying Bamboo, go to:

http://hubpages.com/hub/BambooWoodFloors

There is no problem in having Marmoleum Click in all the bedrooms and continuing in hallways, as long as the length of the floor in any one direction does not exceed 26′. If the length of the floor exceeds 26′, it is advisable to have an expansion joint.  Expansion joints are created to allow the movement in the material due to temperature changes. (Contraction in winter, and expansion during summer.) This means if any continuous segment of the floor measures more than 26′ in length, you should consider breaking it up with a transition strip. Ideally, this can be done in a door threshold for a bedroom or similar locations in case of large spaces.

In our home, we were just below 26′, and so enjoy the continuous flow without any break!