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Marmoleum - FAQ

Listed below are the most frequently asked questions about our Marmoleum collection.

If you would like to download technical/environmental specifications, BRE results, NBS specification, please visit the Marmoleum downloads section.

For installation, cleaning & maintenance guides and videos, please visit the Installation & Floorcare section.


Do I need to weld my new Marmoleum floor covering?

The decision to weld Marmoleum is a purely aesthetic decision. A tight edge fitment along the seam will provide a secure and serviceable join for general purpose locations. For healthcare and specific location requirements, welding may be the most appropriate option.

Net fit seams

What is the weight of a roll of Linoleum?

2.5mm thick linoleum weighs 6.4lbs per sqm. So typically, a 32 linear meter roll would weigh 410lbs.

Do you have recommended cleaning products for your linoleum products?

Full cleaning and maintenance guides are available to download from the Marmoleum Installation & Floorcare.

We also have a number of online videos on this topic:

Marmoleum cleaning & maintenance - Scrubber dryer

Does Marmoleum share the same flexibility properties as vinyl?

Marmoleum has a degree of flexibility to allow fitting after templating. Once acclimatized (between 18 to 27 degrees Celsius) the product has moderate flexibility to allow placement on the floor. Excessive bending or folding of the product is not possible do the construction of the product as this will cause cracking.

All resilient flooring uses the standard to comply with EN-ISO 24344 (test method EN435). For linoleum, the standard is 40mm as declared in our Marmoleum technical specifications.

Can Forbo floor coverings be installed in conjunction with third party acoustic underlays?

Forbo Flooring offer a range of acoustic underlay systems that offer improved impact sound reduction properties.

These include:

• Corkment which can be used under any Forbo Sheet linoleum or vinyl floor covering offering an impact sound reduction value of 14dB
• Vinylbase which can be used under Forbo sheet vinyl floor coverings offering an impact sound reduction of 18dB.

In addition, single stick acoustic solutions are available in:

• Linoleum, offering impact sound reduction values of 14 or 17dB
• General purpose sheet vinyl, offering impact sound reduction values of 15DB to 19dB
• Vinyl Safety flooring, offering impact sound reduction values of 18dB

All Forbo products are supported by system performance test data, product compatibility, installation guidance, and wear life warranties.
For further information on product compatibility and installation guidance please contact us.

Forbo uses flax seed, which is essentially foodstuff. How do you justify this when there is still hunger in the world?

Flax is a versatile plant that produces fibers and seeds that serve as raw materials in various industries. For linoleum we press linseed oil out of the seeds and use it as a main ingredient for our Marmoleum floors.

What remains of the seed is used as animal feed. Flax is grown as an annual crop that is abundant in its presence and can be harvested as long as the sun shines and rain falls and as such, it is the most sustainable start of any floor covering you could wish for.

What makes Marmoleum a CO2 neutral product?

The majority of raw materials used to make Marmoleum are derived from plants and trees that absorb an enormous amount of CO2 during their lifetime. This is done through photosynthesis of the leaves. When the crops are harvested, the CO2 remains embedded in the vegetation. This process is continuous, each year a new crop can be harvested (making it rapid renewable raw materials). During transportation of the raw materials to the manufacturing site, and in the production process itself, CO2 is emitted. However, as Forbo makes use of modern and efficient manufacturing methods and uses green electricity, the amount of CO2 emission stays within limits. Over the past year we have improved our process, including those of some of our suppliers, further reducing the CO2 impact during the production chain. The result is the sum of the absorption of CO2 and the CO2 emissions, which in the case of Marmoleum, even out; i.e. are neutral.

CO2 absorption:
The plants and trees used for the raw materials of Marmoleum absorb a huge amount of CO2 during their growth (through photosynthesis).

CO2 exhaust:
While the amount of CO2 created by the raw material transport and production process has been reduced in the past years, mainly by process optimization and the use of 100% green electricity.

The results:
CO2 absorption minus CO2 exhaust even out resulting in a CO2 neutral proposition.

What is the process used to determine if a product like Marmoleum sheet is CO2 neutral?

This is done using the information obtained from the Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) methodology. An LCA calculation is a third party verified document that, by a standard methodology, measures the environmental impact categories of the life cycle of a product. All factors are included from the extraction of raw materials (and their footprint), transport, manufacturing, use and the end of life stage of a particular product. At Forbo, we typically take a measure of Cradle to Gate, as this is where we have a direct influence on the product’s footprint.

From the LCA, an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) can be created for one particular product. In the EPD you can find the Global Warming Potential for a particular product and this relates to the amount of CO2 that is concerned with each stage in the life cycle of the product. EPD’s are set up to conform with ISO 14025, are third party verified, and certified by UL, Underwriters Laboratories. Here you can see that the absorption of CO2 by the plant and trees that deliver the raw materials for Marmoleum outweighs the amount of CO2 that is emitted during the production of the product.

What is the difference between CO2 neutral and circular?

CO2 neutral implies that the processes that are being used or the product that is produced, in the end is not adding any additional CO2 to the atmosphere. For a building you can consider the use of the material, the way the building has been built, but also the way the building operates (on green energy, using earth warmth instead of natural gas etc.)

Circular is a term that is used in connection with many products and processes such as ‘material’ or the ‘economy’ where focus lies on the efficient use of materials, reusing materials, lengthening the lifetime of products and preventing materials to become ‘waste’ after the end of its life span.

How do I evaluate a CO2 neutral product versus a product/manufacturer using CO2 offset?

A CO2 neutral product is a product that is produced in such a way that the result in terms of Co2 emissions does not add any additional CO2 to the environment.

A CO2 neutral status can also be achieved when the product itself is not CO2 neutral but when the manufacturers takes action to compensate for the CO2 that has been used through offset schemes. Carbon offset schemes allow individuals and companies to invest in environmental projects around the world in order to balance out their own carbon footprints. The key issue with offset is whether the scheme they are funding actually achieves the carbon savings promised. This can be somewhat alleviated by using certified offset programs. These include the Voluntary Gold Standard (VGS) and the Voluntary Carbon Standard (VCS). VGS-certified offsets are audited according to the rules laid out in the Kyoto protocol and must also show social benefits for local communities.

What’s more, Marmoleum sheet is a CO2 neutral product and does not achieve this status through offsets or other means.

There are other floor covering manufacturers, they also claim to have a CO2 neutral floor covering. Is this correct?

When using CO2 offsets and paying particular attention to one specific product out of your total product offers this is possible. For Marmoleum it is important to realize that Forbo has created an entire product category of floor coverings (Linoleum), the 2.5 and 2.0mm sheet products as a CO2 neutral offer. Marmoleum in itself is the CO2 neutral product and does not achieve this status through offsets or other means.

We know that an average carpet tile emits around 10kg/m2 of CO2. For this 8 trees need to be planted, you can make your own calculation what is required in terms of planting trees for the annual production volume of those carpet tiles.

How do you measure environmental impacts and what is an LCA?

We do this by undertaking a Life Cycle Analysis (LCA).

An LCA is a method of determining the total environmental impact of a product during its entire life cycle. A standard LCA will consider the impacts from 5 phases, these are production (including raw material extraction), transport, installation, in use and end of life.

The life cycle assessment is a complex process and judgments are not exact. For example, people do not always follow the disposal advice from the manufacturer.

Disposal methods may have both drawbacks and benefits. For example, incineration may emit harmful gases into the environment, but the energy released can be used to generate electricity.

At each stage a life cycle assessment:
• use of raw materials (including water)
• use of energy
• release of waste substances into the environment

Is an LCA different to an EPD?

Yes.

An Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) is an independently verified and registered document that communicates transparent and comparable information about the life cycle environmental impact of products. EPD’s are set up conform ISO 14025 and third party verified. As a voluntary declaration of the life cycle environmental impact, having an EPD for a product does not imply that the declared product is environmentally superior to alternatives.

What impacts does an LCA measure?

The impacts measured and reported on by Forbo are

1. Global Warming Potential (GWP)
2. Ozone depletion potential (ODP)
3. Photochemical Ozone Creation Potential (POCP)
4. Acidification Potential (AP)
5. Eutrophication Potential (EP)
6. Depletion of Abiotic Resources (Elements) (ADPE)
7. Depletion of Abiotic Resources (Fossil Fuels) (ADPF)

These impact categories are found on the EPD download center which shows the results but also explains the production process, describes the raw materials, stages of life cycle and impact categories.

What are governments doing in terms of taking care of climate change?

This varies per country, however as all countries have ratified the Paris agreement they all need to act and they all need to produce a plan that ultimately prevents the temperature of the earth to rise above 1.5 degrees from its current level, and this inevitably means that something would need to be done in terms of reducing greenhouse gases such as methane and carbon dioxide (CO2).

Most countries have formulated a policy which over time should lead to reduction of CO2. The big gain in all markets is through energy transition, the move from fossil (fuel) resourced energy towards sustainable energy like solar, hydro or wind energy. Taxation is another popular measure. But also looking at means to change transportation and investments in the way buildings are constructed and operated have the attention.

The Paris agreement is comprehensive and has a series of checks and balances included in the agreement document. As such, governments are required to make a plan, are required to act and are required to report on progress. 2030 and 2050 for many countries are defined milestones. Officially we are still in the preparation phase, the real action takes place from 2020, but no one is waiting for this.

How can a flooring product in a building contribute to achieve the goals my government has set in terms of Sustainability.

The floor covering product of course is only one part of the building, but together with other measures, energy and water consumption of the building, the building materials, the location of the building it all takes care of a building that is environmentally sound as less of a burden towards the increase of the greenhouse effect. This is also the reason why in building (sustainability) ratings like LEED the choice for Marmoleum will give additional points towards reaching a LEED silver, gold or platinum status.