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Old 04-14-2009, 09:03 PM  
brasilmom
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Default Marmoleum??

Hi all,

We are yet to make the final decision concerning the flooring for our current project. since it is a sunroom and there is a pool, we need something that will deal with some water and also craft stuff.

I saw some marmoleum in the internet and sounds interesting. We also saw some linoleum tiles over the weekend but those are not floating and they seem rather hard and not at all flexible.

So, have anyone used marmoleum? How do you like it? Is it the same as the floating linoleum? Any other choices for me to consider?

Thanks. Be well

Miriam



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Old 04-14-2009, 11:19 PM  
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Well, you lucked out, Brazilmom.

On the most recent site I used to answer questions on there was a guy wanting to know how to repair his shiney bathroom Marmoleum floor after his wife spilled nail polish remover on it.

I'm quite familiar with the subject of paint, and so I'm quite familiar with linseed oil which is essentially the prime ingredient in making both the old "oil based" paints and linoleum.

I know that nail polish remover is most commonly acetone and/or amyl acetate in various proportions; both will dissolve acrylics of all kinds, including acrylic nail polish. However, linseed oil based paints are quite slow to dissolve in acetone, and this guy was saying that it damaged the floor by leaving a white streak after his wife immediately tried to wipe it up. That sounded fishy to me, and so I did some digging to find out what was on that Marmoleum flooring that would have been damaged that quickly by nail polish remover.

And the result was that I've determined that Marmoleum is basically just REAL linoleum, and Marmoleum with Topshield is nothing more than real linoleum with EITHER:
a) one coat of Johnson Wax's "Technique" sealer applied first and then one coat of Johnson Wax's "Carefree" floor finish applied over the sealer, or
b) two coats of Johnson Wax's "Carefree" floor finish over the linoleum.

That is, you can make your own "Marmoleum with Topshield" by applying Carefree (which I buy by the 5 gallon Enviropac) to anyone's real linoleum.

And, since I use a different company's sealer and Johnson Wax's "Carefree" on all the VCT floors in my apartment block, I'm very familiar with the "Topshield" protective coating that Forbo puts on their Marmoleum.

To read the question and answer for yourself, go to:
1. go to DIY Chatroom - DIY Home Improvement Forum,
2. use the Search tool to find any thread with the word Marmoleum in it
3. read the thread called "Marmoleum and Nail Polish Remover"

Anyhow, to cut to the quick, if you like Marmoleum, I would buy anyone's real linoleum, but stay away from the acrylic finish they may offer to put on it for you. Or, stay away from any real linoleum that comes with an acrylic finish already applied. There are better options for a residential setting if the home owner wants real linoleum.

Marmoleum is simply Forbo's trade name for the real linoleum it makes.

It's the acrylic finish they put over that real linoleum that makes it unsuitable (in my opinion) for a residential setting. It's fine for a commercial setting or for use in an apartment, but not in a house.

The reason why is that the acrylic finish they put over the linoleum (and Forbo calls theirs "Topshield") is exactly the same acrylic coating floor sealer and finish I put over the vinyl composition tile floors in my apartment block. And, I can assure you that dirt does get embedded in the surface of that acrylic finish (which in this case is Johnson Wax's "Carefree" finish). I see it every time I clean a floor with my floor scrubber; the cleaning solution I put on gradually turns greyish from the dirt embedded in the acrylic finish that's been scrubbed off.

In fact, about the only way you can remove this dirt is by something called the "Scrub and Recoat Method" or by stripping the finish off the floor entirely and applying multiple coats of Carefree acrylic floor finish to replace what you stripped off.

In a commercial setting like a retail store, there will be aisles between the rows where the food is stacked, but the floors between those aisles won't have anything on them that needs to be moved. So, grocery stores will hire janitorial companies to come in at night when the store is closed to scrub off the surface layer of floor finish with a floor scrubber, and put down a new coat of acrylic floor finish. So, you're essentially scubbing off the top surface of the coat of finish in which all the dirt is embedded, and putting on new finish to replace what you scrubbed off.

You can do the same thing in apartments because tenants will typically only stay 2 to 4 years before they move. And when the suite is empty you can go in and "Scrub and Recoat" the floor in that apartment.

Or, if you don't have a floor scrubber (mine cost me $1700 $Cdn), the only other option is the let the floor get progressively more and more embedded with dirt, or to strip all the acrylic finish off and replace it with new floor finish.

The problem is that the floor has to be empty to do either the Scrub and Recoat or stripping the finish off entirely. You need to move all of the furniture off the floor, and that simply isn't practical in a house where people live for many many years. You might be able to do one hallway like this, but to do a bedroom you'd have to remove the bed and dresser and night stands and any area rugs. To do the kitchen you'd have to remove the table and chairs and you couldn't walk on the floor to get anything out of the cupboards while the new finish is drying. And, so having acrylic floor finish on any floor in your house means that you need to maintain it or it'll look like he11 in 10 years or so as the dirt accumulates in it's surface. You need to either periodically scrub off that dirt embedded surface layer and mop on a new coat of acrylic floor finish to replace what you scrubbed off, or if you don't have a floor scrubber, strip off ALL of the floor finish layer and replace it entirely with several coats of floor finish (I typically apply about 8 to 10 coats on a floor after stripping.)

And, most people would consider the maintenance of the acrylic floor finish to be a major nuisance even if you only have to do it every 5 years or so to keep the floors looking clean and shiny. That's cuz moving all the furniture in each room in the house onto the living room carpet so that the flooring in each of the other rooms can be maintained is a lot of work, especially since people nowadays are busier than ever.

Now, you mentioned some vinyl tiles that you thought were hard and not flexible. Those were probably vinyl composition tiles. Vinyl composition tiles are generally considered to be commercial flooring, and part of the reason is that acrylic floor finish like "Carefree" are applied to them as well. And, of course, the gameplan whenever you put down an acrylic floor finish is to periodically scrub off the dirt embedded surface layer and apply a new coat of floor finish, and that's the part that makes it kinda impractical for a house.

If you like real linoleum, you can just have real linoleum installed that doesn't have an acrylic top coating like "Topshield".

Alternatively, if you like the look of "Marmoleum with Topshield", you can have real linoleum installed, and then apply 8 to 10 coats of an acrylic SEALER like Johnson's Wax "Technique" acrylic sealer.

Acrylic sealers dry to a much harder film than acrylic finishes so they don't get embedded with dirt like floor finishes do. When I installed vinyl composition floor tiles in my sister's kitchen I applied multiple coats of acrylic sealer ONLY with no acrylic finish on top. The job of a sealer is to protect the vinyl composition tiles from stains, so a thick coat of sealer will ensure that the actual flooring material is never stained almost no matter what you spill on it. Often the sealer itself is stained, but generally not all the way through so that you can remove the stain by removing the top surface of the sealer. You can do that by applying a chemical stripper meant for acrylic floor finish to the affected area with a small paint brush, giving it time to work, and then scraping off the softened sealer with a sharp paint scraper. Then just rinse with clean water, dry and apply another several coats of sealer to the area to replace what you removed.

Sealer will eventually wear off just from erosion. When that happens the flooring in that area will begin to look dull and dirty. Just clean the area with a "Magic Eraser" (made by the same company that makes Mr. Clean detergent), rinse with clean water, dry and apply another 8 to 10 coats of sealer to that area.

Or, just leave the linoleum floor uncoated, and let it age naturally.

Real linoleum makes for a fairly durable floor because linseed oil cures by crosslinking when exposed to oxygen in the air, and this crosslinking will theoretically continue forever, gradually making the floor harder and stronger. What I would be a little concerned about is that linseed oil will yellow in colour unless you have direct or indirect natural sunlight in the room. So, if you're intending to install this flooring in a basement bathroom with no windows, I'd ask about the yellowing in colour that would presumably result in that situation.



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Old 04-15-2009, 12:06 AM  
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PS:
You should also be aware of what Forbo says about Marmoleum before and after the sale, and the difference between the two:

BEFORE THE SALE Forbo says:
"Thanks to Topshield, Marmoleum’s unrivalled richness in color
and design stays as sharp and striking as the day it was installed.
This water-based finish ensures that your floor covering maintains
its perfect appearance at low floorcare cost."
and
"Topshield ensures a perfect appearance of Marmoleum throughout its whole lifetime."

AFTER THE SALE Forbo describes the recommended maintenance regimen as follows:

DAILY CLEANING
1-3 times per day, depending on the application, type of traffic, and hours of operation.
1. Clean the entire flooring surface with a treated dust mop.
2. Stains or spills should be wiped or mopped up immediately with a damp mop using a neutral pH detergent, such as Johnson Wax Professional Stride. Be sure to allow the floor to dry thoroughly before allowing traffic.

REGULAR CLEANING
Approximately every 3-7 days, depending on the application, type of traffic, and hours of operation.
1. Clean the entire flooring surface with a treated dust mop.
2. Damp-mop the floor with a neutral cleaner, such as Johnson Wax Professional Stride.
or
1. Use JohnsonDiversey PACE Cleaning System with microfiber pads (JDI Healthy High Performance Cleaning System).

That is, in order for Marmoleum's unrivaled richness in colour and design to stay as sharp and striking as the day it was installed, Forbo expects you to dust mop your Marmoleum every day and to damp mop it at least once a week. So, be warned that if Topshield doesn't keep your Marmoleum looking perfect it's because the lifetime of the Topshield is over cuz it's embedded with dirt and it's your own dam fault cuz you didn't clean the dirt off the floor before it became embedded in the Topshield by foot traffic.

Basically, they're telling you that you need to clean that Topshield every day to prevent dirt from becoming embedded in it, and it'll only keep the Marmoleum looking perfect as long as it's not embedded with dirt.

Anybody that cleans their floors the way Forbo expects would be considered to have an obsessive/compulsive mental disorder, and Forbo knows that. It's just Forbo's way of getting rid of former customers who complain that their Marmoleum no longer looks perfect, like it did when it was installed.

Forbo Ingredients
Forbo Top Shield and Marmoleum
http://www.floorsbyphoenix.com/english/pdf/FORBO%20Maintenance%20Manual.pdf

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Old 04-15-2009, 06:24 AM  
brasilmom
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Thank you so much Nestor_Kelebay. That was a real education. I guess we are back to square one, however it is better be safe than sorry. We lived in a house a while back that had floating floor in the kitchen that was meant to look like ceramic tile. It was great because it was not a cold flooring. I do not know what type of flooring it was. If I had to guess I would say that it was one of those "click" type of tiles. I am still to find something similar. The room in which the floor will be installed is a sunroom. Natural light is not a problem and it does get a good bit of sun shine in the morning year around. It will get a bit of wetness as it opens to the outside where there is a pool. The room, while it will have many uses, it will also be used as our school room, as we homeschool. So, little craft material (paint, glue, playdogh, etc) may spill. The materials are normally washable, but since we are on the research phase I want to make sure that this will not be a problem. The linoleum floor I found online so far seems to be available in sheet and I would prefer the click type so we can do it ourselves and in the event it get a damage we can replace it.

Research keeps one. Thanks again for the education. Oh, by the way, not I would not spend that much time caring for a floor, as recommended by Forbo.

Be well

Miriam

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Old 04-15-2009, 09:45 AM  
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From what you're describing, I'd say your best bet would be to install 100% Olefin commercial carpet, or a solution dyed nylon commercial carpet.

Here's why:

Olefin fiber cannot be dyed by conventional means. Conventional dyes simply won't stick to the stuff. So, the only way of dying Olefin fiber is to add tiny coloured particles (called "pigments") to the molten Olefin plastic before drawing it into a fiber. Consequently the colour of the carpet comes from the coloured particles suspended in the fiber very much like raisins in raisin bread.

Now, Olefin fiber is also the most naturally water resistant fiber that carpet is made from, and so that also makes it the most naturally resistant to water based stains, such as finger paint, easter egg dye any chemicals that are water soluble like tannic acid, etc. BUT, because Olefin carpets get their colour from pigments that are encased in plastic, you can also use bleach straight out of the jug on the carpet to remove otherwise impossible stains that are attracted to hydrocarbon materials, such as candle wax dye.

(Candles can be coloured by EITHER adding pigments OR dye to the wax before casting the candles. If the wax is dyed, then any molten wax dripped on the carpet will also dye the surface of Olefin fiber. But, since that dye will be on the surface of the fiber, once you remove the wax with a freezing aerosol (which you can get at any janitorial supply store, you can then apply bleach to the carpet to remove the dye without affecting the colour of the carpet.)

Nylon is typically dyed by conventional means. It's a stronger fiber than Olefin and so it makes for a longer wearing carpet. But, nylon is a polyamide and the amide sites on the nylon fiber's surface are polar and so they attract water molecules (which are also polar) and are attracted to water molecules. (This is why water spreads out on a nylon jacket whereas it beads up on Olefin fiber.)

DuPont has spent a king's ransom trying to make their Antron IV nylon fiber stain resistant, and really haven't been very successful. So, now many chemical companies that make nylon fiber for the carpet industry are making "solution dyed nylon" to get the benefits of Olefin carpet combined with the durability of nylon.

That is, they add pigments to the molten nylon before drawing it into a fiber, and then they dye the surface of the nylon fiber with a clear and colourless dye to occupy all those polar sites on the nylon's surface so that water based chemicals don't have any sites that they can cling to. That makes the surface of the nylon more stain resistant.

The problem here is that by using bleach on a solution dyed nylon, it seems to me that the bleach would break apart that clear dye, leaving the nylon exposed and vunerable to water based stains. However, because the nylon fiber is still solution dyed and any stain will stick to the surface of the nylon fiber, you'd still be able to remove the stain with bleach just like an Olefin carpet. That is, bleach would harm the clear dye on a solution dyed nylon making it vunerable to water based stains, but you'd still be able to remove any stain from the vunerable spots with bleach.

And, of course, carpet is about the warmest softest flooring available. I'm not sure about it's UV resistance tho. My understanding is that Olefin has good UV resistance because it's chemically very similar to polypropylene, and polypropylene is used for indoor/outdoor carpets as well as "marine ropes" used on boats. (That's also cuz polypropylene is less dense than water, so if you drop the rope into the lake, it'll float.)

You have little to lose by buying one of those car floor mat samples of 100% Olefin carpet and torturning it with bleach. The two solution dyed nylon carpets I use in my apartment block living rooms are the Shaw "Franchise" series at $16.00 $Cdn per square yard and the Shaw "Reward Power" series of carpet at about $18 $Cdn per square yard. Ask to speak to the commercial sales department at any carpet retailer and they'll show you both of these level loop carpets. Solution dyed carpet is only available in level loop (that I know of) because it's made for commercial settings.

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Old 05-02-2009, 03:34 AM  
Jim McClain
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brasilmom, if you want to know more about Marmoleum or other brands of linoleum, you really should talk to a flooring professional who specializes in those products. Barry Carlton is just such a pro and he can prob'ly give you excellent guidance. I know he enjoys helping consumers and do-it-yourselfers. I'm not sure if he's a member here. Here is a link to his website: Linoleum Master - Barry Carlton Use his contact form or just browse his website for ideas. You won't be sorry. He also is proficient in other types of flooring also.

Good luck,

Jim

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Old 05-23-2009, 05:10 PM  
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If you are still looking for a floor covering that you can install yourself. Check out Wisonart laminate floors. They have a large varity of products to choose from. Including laminate tiles that look like any ceramic or natural stone out there. The installation instructions are easy to follow and if you run in to a problem there customer support is top notch. Wilsonart is one of the best laminates out there if not the best. They are more expensive and you will have to use there adhesive for your application. But it will never scratch,fade, or stain.

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Old 05-24-2009, 06:43 AM  
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Indeed I am still looking for the flooring, as the project is still on going. I found out about a flooring by Johnsonite that seems to be a good choice, but cannot find where it is available for sale. at the Home Depot I found a floor called Allure that is sort of like a rubber with a look alike wood or tile. It is not stuck to the subfloor, instead it glues one to another. Now I need to research on that too.
Thanks for the info. I will look further into Wilsonart and hopefully arrive at a conclusion soon.
Be well

Miriam

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Old 10-02-2009, 08:18 AM  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brasilmom View Post
Thank you so much Nestor_Kelebay. That was a real education. I guess we are back to square one, however it is better be safe than sorry. We lived in a house a while back that had floating floor in the kitchen that was meant to look like ceramic tile. It was great because it was not a cold flooring. I do not know what type of flooring it was. If I had to guess I would say that it was one of those "click" type of tiles. I am still to find something similar. The room in which the floor will be installed is a sunroom. Natural light is not a problem and it does get a good bit of sun shine in the morning year around. It will get a bit of wetness as it opens to the outside where there is a pool. The room, while it will have many uses, it will also be used as our school room, as we homeschool. So, little craft material (paint, glue, playdogh, etc) may spill. The materials are normally washable, but since we are on the research phase I want to make sure that this will not be a problem. The linoleum floor I found online so far seems to be available in sheet and I would prefer the click type so we can do it ourselves and in the event it get a damage we can replace it.

Research keeps one. Thanks again for the education. Oh, by the way, not I would not spend that much time caring for a floor, as recommended by Forbo.

Be well

Miriam
Dear Miriam,
Wow.. I have had my Marmoleum click floor for over 4 years in my kitchen and I would be beyond miserable if I had to clean it 3 or 4 times a day??? First of all let me say that I have worked for Forbo for over 19 years and unfortunately I have heard many mis statements about our product so please allow me to clarify. Residentially all that is needed is simple dust mopping/ damp mopping. For full details see the full brochure on our web site Forbo Residential.
The topshield is not a Johnson carefree acrylic. It is a factory applied innovation that has served to improve the cleanibility of our Marmoleum. Marmoleum is a natural linoleum made with linseed oil, pine rosins, wood flour, limestone and backed with a natural jute. It is a sustainable, healthy and yes, easy to care for floor. In my "Italian" kitchen I have spilled pasta sauce, wine, etc. and everything wipped up beautifully. Now regrading acetone, lets be realistic... Acetone was formulated to remove layers of nail polish! If spilled, it will remove the floor finish and perhaps damage the floor if not removed immediately. Image if acetone was spilled on your wood dining room table! Not good. Because Marmoleum is repairable, you can remove any acetone residue with a scrubbing pad and then apply a few coats of an acrylic finish to even out that area where the topshield finish was eaten through.
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Old 10-06-2009, 09:48 PM  
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Pmarotto:

I'm quoting from the "Healthy High Performance Cleaning and Maintenance Guide" published by Forbo. This is the link I referred Brazilmom to in an earlier post.

On page 14 it describes the cleaning regimen for Forbo Marmoleum flooring:

START QUOTE:

DAILY CLEANING
1-3 times per day, depending on the application, type of traffic, and hours of operation.

1. Clean the entire flooring surface with a treated dust mop.
2. Stains or spills should be wiped or mopped up immediately with a damp mop using a neutral pH detergent, such as Johnson Wax Professional Stride. Be sure to allow the floor to dry thoroughly before allowing traffic.

REGULAR CLEANING
Approximately every 3-7 days, depending on the application, type of traffic, and hours of operation.
1. Clean the entire flooring surface with a treated dust mop.
2. Damp-mop the floor with a neutral cleaner, such as Johnson Wax Professional Stride.
or
1. Use JohnsonDiversey PACE Cleaning System with microfiber pads (JDI Healthy High Performance Cleaning System).

END OF QUOTE

Doesn't that say the floor needs to be dust mopped at least EVERY day and damp mopped at least every week? What is it that I'm not understanding about this that leads me to believe this is what Forbo expects the housewife to do?

Also, on page 15, regarding "Renovation" of a Marmoleum floor with "Top Shield":

START QUOTE

RENOVATION
As needed if the flooring has been damaged or when periodic cleaning procedures no longer produce the desired result.
1. Clean the entire flooring surface with a treated dust mop.
2. Heavy Scrub the floor using a stripper solution such as Johnson Wax Professional LinoSafe Stripper, mixed according to label directions. Apply the stripping solution with a mop and bucket and, following label directions, allow the solution to remain on the floor, then scrub with a rotary electric scrubber or automatic scrubber with a green or blue scrubbing pad. The use of brown or black stripping pads is not recommended.
3. Do NOT over-saturate the floor.
4. If not using an autoscrubber, pick up the scrubbing solution with a wet vacuum (preferred) or a mop.
5. Rinse the entire floor surface with a clean mop using clean, cool water & allow the floor to dry thoroughly.
6. Apply 2-3 thin coats of Johnson Wax Professional Carefree Matte finish or, for a higher gloss, Johnson Wax Professional Carefree finish.

END OF QUOTE

What those instruction describe is stripping the dirt embedded "Top Shield" off the Marmoleum and replacing it with 2-3 thin coats of Johnson Wax Carefree. Carefree is an acrylic floor sealer/finish. If the Top Shield comes off with Linosafe stripper, then Top Shield is a floor finish just like Carefree or any other that can be removed easily with a stripper. If Top Shield can be replaced with 2-3 coats of Carefree, then it is an acrylic sealer/finish similar to Carefree. If it was a sealer like Johnson Wax "Technique" you wouldn't be able to remove it with this Linosafe stripper.



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