This is your parent's linoleum flooring, now branded as Marmoleum, made with 100% natural ingredients, just like before. However, the colors and designs have been updated in the form of Marmoleum Sheets, Marmoleum Tiles as well as an easy DIY Marmoleum Click Cinch Loc Click. Marmoleum is a cost-effective and easy-to-maintain solution for kitchen flooring and any other room in your home or office.
Most people still confuse Marmoleum with kitchen vinyl flooring made in the ’50s which was synthetic and petroleum-based. Marmoleum was and continues to be made from renewable bio-based ingredients that are highly durable, non-toxic, naturally anti-microbial, and anti-bacterial. It is a natural flooring solution that is highly moisture resistant, very long-lasting, and easy to clean.
Marmoleum tile and Marmoleum Click Cinch Loc panels and squares are fun to design with because the colors are bright, happy, and easily customizable into numerous combinations that suit any decor. Whether you’re adding a new floor in your kitchen, bathroom, laundry room, RV, tiny house, or basement, consider Marmoleum sheet, tiles, or floating Click Cinch Loc for your next project.
Green Building Supply’s mission and passion is sustainability. We’ve researched and tested hundreds of flooring products over the past three decades and Marmoleum continues to be our most popular green floor. Check out our handy Marmoleum buyers guide, reviews, questions and answers, and other technical data located on each product page.
How is Marmoleum installed?
- Marmoleum Sheet –glued by professionals over a perfect subfloor.
- Marmoleum Modular Tile—glued by professionals or DIY over a perfect subfloor.
- Marmoleum Click—floated by professional or DIY over moderately perfect subfloor.
Marmoleum Sheet and Marmoleum Tile are both glued (with Forbo’s Sustain 1195 adhesive) over any smooth, level, dry subfloor whether it’s made of concrete, plywood or other stable surface as long as they are free of dips and bumps. Cracks and sloping subfloors need to be filled and leveled; this can be costly, as it usually requires professional installation. If there are gaps or height variations on your existing subfloor, a ¼” plywood underlayment or leveling compound might be needed in order to create a smoother surface.
Note: Marmoleum Sheet and Marmoleum Tile should not be glued directly to underlayment or subfloors made of luan, particleboard or chipboard because these materials expand and contract too much and are not stable. Neither should they be applied over vinyl, asbestos or ceramic tile. If asbestos tile, please consult local authorities about abatement.
Tip 1: If you live in an apartment or condo with concrete subfloors, make sure that it's Portland cement (grey) concrete and not gypsum (white, lightweight) or Gypcrete. Special priming will need to be administered if it's gypsum-based.
Marmoleum Click panels and squares are floated over most subfloors such as concrete or plywood without any glue. They require no underlayment because 1/16” cork is already built into the backing. Marmoleum Click can tolerate a slight unevenness in the subfloor, up to 3/16" over an 8' span. Larger variations in your subfloor will cause too much stress on the click mechanism and eventually wear it out. Click panels and squares can even be applied over most vinyl, ceramic tile and most other solid subfloors, including some (not all) short commercial carpet.
Marmoleum Click is faster and cheaper to install than either Marmoleum Sheet or Marmoleum Tile, especially if you do it yourself. It requires less floor preparation, no glue and can often be installed right over existing tile, vinyl, hardwood or even some (not all) commercial carpeting.
Tip 3: Marmoleum Click requires a vapor barrier in the form of 6 ml plastic (e.g. Moisture Block). However, if it's applied over existing vinyl, no vapor barrier is required.
More information and details can be seen in our handy Marmoleum Buyers Guide.
Can I use Marmoleum in a bathroom or basement area?
Just to give you some background on this question, if you are old enough, you may recall the term “battleship linoleum.” That term was popular during both World Wars because linoleum was used on the decks and in the cabins of battleships. Not convinced?
Here’s another example: recently the sinking of the Titanic celebrated its centennial anniversary with the retrieval of some additional relics from the cabins of that famous vessel. One of them was some linoleum flooring which was still intact after being underwater for 100 years!
Forbo allows installation above or below grade for all its products, as long as moisture is controlled and does not get underneath the glue. They don’t recommend their products for those bathrooms that are plagued with excessive moisture, or wherever there is poor ventilation. Although Marmoleum can handle water on the surface, it does require responsible moisture control.
Marmoleum Sheet and Marmoleum Tile are very popular in commercial bathrooms and locker rooms such as schools, hospitals, and office buildings. They are also widely popular in residential kitchens, bathrooms and basements. We generally don’t recommend the Marmoleum Click floor in kid’s bathrooms or anywhere there is excessive moisture.
Can I install Marmoleum by myself?
Marmoleum Sheet normally requires professional tools and lots of experience primarily because of the seams and the floor prep. However, if your room is less than 79” wide (such as in a small bathroom) and the subfloor is smooth, there may be no seams, and installation will be easier. Some reliable contractors are often able to successfully install Marmoleum Sheet in these situations.
If you're nervous about seams or handling large pieces of sheeting, but you want to do this yourself, we recommend using Marmoleum Tile (MCT or Dual). The tile is much easier to work with and offers some unique design options. It still requires the same floor prep, glue and careful planning, but it's much more manageable. Even easier is the Marmoleum Click.
Be realistic about your skills. While Marmoleum Click may be a DIY product, it requires some experience with construction equipment and patience. We can help walk you through most of the installation process, but if your subfloor needs special attention, it's best to consult with a professional.
What’s the overall cost of Marmoleum?
The initial cost of Marmoleum Click is more than Marmoleum Sheet and Marmoleum Tile. However, Marmoleum Click installs in 1/2 the time, which can save hundreds of dollars on installation costs. Also Marmoleum Sheet and Marmoleum Tile may require extra sub-floor preparation in order to make the floor perfectly smooth and flat. Marmoleum Click, on the other hand, floats over most slightly imperfect subfloors and can require much less prep work, saving extra time and money. It's because of this reason, that Marmoleum Click has become so popular in residential applications.
When compared to hardwood, bamboo, cork, vinyl, or wool carpet, Marmoleum products (Sheet, Tile and Click) are within the same initial price range of $3.50-$6.50 per square foot. However, when you consider the life cycle cost of Marmoleum, you need to include the cradle to grave costs of floor preparation, installation, maintenance and eventual removal. Although the initial cost can be higher than vinyl flooring, for example, Marmoleum lasts almost three times as long. In addition, the regular maintenance of Marmoleum is generally much less expensive than vinyl. When viewed long term, Marmoleum can be a less expensive option.
Marmoleum is also 100% biodegradable. After its useful life of 30-40 years, it can be returned back to the earth from where it originated without any negative impact to the environment. When carpeting or vinyl is burned in a landfill, for example, they can cause serious air pollution; this takes a big toll on our health and our environment. That may not translate into an immediate cost to our pocketbook, but contributing to the pollution of our environment eventually costs us all.
Which product is best if I have kids and dogs?
For those of you with dogs, cats or children, it's important to know that Marmoleum flooring, whether Sheet, Tile or Click, will wear well. That's because it's a solid through-body product. Forbo does not claim that it will never be scratched, because it certainly can. But, it can be easily and inexpensively repaired and re-sealed creating a long-lasting finish unlike laminate, or vinyl, which can be scratched or cracked and not easily repaired.
Making quick and easy repairs is far less expensive, time consuming and sustainable than sanding or refinishing an entire floor. Please see the Marmoleum maintenance guide for more details .
Some of the largest users of Marmoleum Sheet and Marmoleum Tile are schools and hospitals. The primary reason is because these products hold up to heavy foot and wheelchair traffic of all types, is colorful, completely non-toxic, anti-microbial, anti-static and repairable.
Which product has the most color and design options?
- Marmoleum Sheet offers designers a huge palette of 150+ colors and textures.
- Marmoleum Modular Tile offers 60+ colors and four sizes (10x10, 10x20, 10x40, 20x20).
- Marmoleum Click offers 28 colors and two sizes (12x12 tile, 12x36 plank).
More information and details can be seen in our handy Marmoleum Buyers Guide.
Where else can I use Marmoleum products?
Marmoleum can also be used on counter tops, desks, wall panels, bulletin boards, furniture and more. Check out Whole Food's check out lanes or Taco Bell’s front desk and surrounding walls which are covered with Marmoleum Sheet and wall panels.
Where can I get design ideas and assistance?
Once you've looked through our website, feel free to contact us for additional help. We can answer most of your questions and can also speak with your contractor.
If you need samples, estimates or just want to bounce some ideas off of us, please call 800.405.0222 or email [email protected].
Back to the top!
This page was written by Joel Hirshberg