Marmoleum is the Forbo brand name for linoleum and this flooring type is known as resilient flooring: made with materials that are elastic. Resilient flooring refers to flexible floor coverings that occupy a middle ground between soft floors (such as carpets) and hard floors (such as stone or hardwood). There are 4 different types of resilient flooring: linoleum, vinyl, rubber and cork.
On this page, we will explain the similarities and differences between resilient flooring types. In general, each resilient floor offers long-lasting and durable performance, but there are definitely differences in terms of environmental friendliness, cleaning procedures, design options and number of manufacturers (and therefore price).
Linoleum floors are associated with sustainability, durability and high quality. It is made from natural raw materials and therefore a sustainable flooring choice that contributes to a healthy indoor environment. The main ingredients are linseed oil, recycled wood powder, cork powder, and limestone. During the production process different colours can be added, to create all kinds of designs.
Linoleum is made from natural ingredients and doesn’t use plasticizers, is free of allergens and prevents the growth of bacteria. Marmoleum can resist water when correctly installed. It requires an annual protective coating and waxing, which is why it lasts longer. This makes it largely beneficial for commercial environments with high-traffic like education, healthcare, and public building segments.
Usually linoleum will be offered in rolls (or sheet material), but it is also available in tile formats to mix and match different colours.
Vinyl and PVC flooring are the same product as the names are often mixed. With this name it is commonly meaning a floorcovering that is composed of PVC and other additives.
This flooring type is available in a wide variety of colors, patterns and formats. Because you can buy vinyl floors in tile, plank or sheet format it is really easy to install. In terms of maintenance this is the best flooring solution, because it's completely resistible to water and you don't need to use protective coating and waxing.
Because of the large number of different manufacturers worldwide, there is a wide choice in quality of vinyl floors (with related pricing). More expensive vinyl floors are produced with an environmentally better production process than cheap vinyl floors, but because PVC is always one of the ingredients of vinyl this is not the best flooring choice in terms of sustainability.
Rubber flooring used to be made from a rubber tree, a 100% renewable resource. Today styrene-butadiene rubber (SBR), a general-purpose synthetic rubber is produced from styrene and butadiene. Most rubber flooring is made from synthetic rubber coming from recycled vehicle tyres for example.
Rubber is a material that’s extremely slip resistant and it is long-lasting in areas with a lot of traffic. Rubber floors are available in many different colors, patterns and designs, which makes this product highly versatile for projects.
Cork is a completely natural, recurring, and easily replenishable material. To create flooring products, cork is ground up, compressed, and formed into sheets bonded with resins.
It's a natural flooring solution with a soft, cushioned surface. This resilient flooring type is easy to install and maintain (it requires only regular sweeping or vacuuming to remove small grit and dirt particles). If direct sunlight beams down on a cork floor every day, then discoloration may occur and a patch of the floor can end up taking on a different hue than surrounding areas. This can be prevented by blocking sunlight with curtains or blinds, but it will require constant vigilance and care.
One of the best things about a cork floor is that you can refinish its surface periodically, just as you can with hardwood, to give it a fresh new look. Cork floors are susceptible to damage (by furniture or pets for example), so it's good to know that this flooring type can be refinished easily.