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(lĭnō`lēəm), resilient floor or wall covering made of burlap, canvas, or felt, surfaced with a composition of wood flour, oxidized linseed oil, gums or other ingredients, and coloring matter. An English rubber manufacturer, Frederick Walton, patented linoleum in 1863. It replaced Kamptulicon, a costly rubber composition. In the manufacture of linoleum, linseed oil is exposed to the air in a succession of thin films until it is of a rubbery consistency, or it is thickened by heating until it becomes a spongy mass, after which it is ground, mixed with pulverized wood and other ingredients, and then applied to the foundation and rolled smooth. The final process is a thorough seasoning in drying rooms. In inlaid linoleum the pattern is built up from the base in the colors of the design and is therefore permanent. Linoleum is made in several thicknesses and in the form of tiles. It is sometimes surfaced with a durable pyroxylin lacquer. Although large amounts of linoleum are still produced, other materials such as vinyl are now more widely used as floor coverings.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.


1. A green surface composite made from organic, biodegradable materials consisting of linseed oil as the binder, lime as the filler, and organic pigments as the color for the material. Natural fibers such as jute are used for stabilizing the material. Organic linoleum has significantly low-embodied energy, creates little waste during manufacturing, does not require constant maintenance, and can be fully recycled and reused. It has very low-VOC emissions when installed with low-VOC adhesives, and it does not contain formaldehyde, asbestos, or plasticizers. See also: Biomaterials
2. A resilient flooring product developed in the 1800s, manufactured from cork flour, linseed oil, oak dust, and jute. Linoleum’s durability, renewable inputs, antistatic properties, and easy-to-clean surface often make it classified as a “green” building material.
Illustrated Dictionary of Architecture Copyright © 2012, 2002, 1998 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a polymeric floor covering in roll form.

Industrial production of linoleum began in 1864 in Great Britain. Linoleum was originally produced from vegetable oils (linseed, sunflower, and tung oil), cork powder, and other materials applied to a fabric (jute) substrate (it was called glyptal linoleum). In the 1950’s glyptal linoleum was replaced by polyvinyl chloride linoleum because of a shortage of vegetable raw materials (vegetable oils). The new type of linoleum became the most widely used material.

A distinction is made among polyvinyl chloride, glyptal (al-kyd), colloxylin (nitrolinoleum), and rubber (relin) types of linoleum, depending on the basic raw material (binder). Linoleum may be without a substrate (single-layer and multilayer) or with a reinforcing substrate (Pergamyn or fabric) or a sound-insulating substrate. It is produced in plain or multicolored forms (marble-finished, speckled, or patterned).

Linoleum is produced in the form of rolls, which may be 6–20 m long, up to 2 m wide, 1.5–4.0 mm thick. It is attached to a smoothed base by means of polymeric mastics and adhesives. Linoleum floors are sanitary, noise-free, wear-resistant, easy to install, attractive in appearance, and easy to maintain.

Linoleum on a heat- and sound-insulating substrate is used in large-scale housing construction, since it may be installed directly on concrete surfaces. Efficient use of polyvinyl chloride linoleum is achieved through installation of wall-to-wall coverings by joining linoleum panels by hot air welding (using a welding gun) or high-frequency current.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


A floor covering made by applying a mixture of gelled linseed oil, pigments, fillers, and other materials to a burlap backing, and curing to produce a hard, resilient sheet.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


A resilient floor-covering material made by combining an oxidized linseed-oil binder and ground cork and bonding to a burlap or canvas backing; relatively low in cost; has poor stain resistance and low abrasion and dent resistance.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. Copyright © 2003 by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Maintaining proper film thickness of glue helps with the space between the jute on the bottom of the linoleum, eliminating pockets that could be torn by the router."
The linoleum industry was at one point the town's largest employer and it started with the opening of Kirkcaldy canvas trader Michael Nairn's "floor cloth factory of Scotland" in 1847.
* describe how the quality of lines affects the quality of their drawings and their linoleum prints.
Melissa Breyer of the green lifestyle website recommends sweeping, dust-mopping or vacuuming your linoleum floor frequently in order to cut down on the amount of abrasive dirt around that can build up and mar the finish.
The only "linoleum expert" I've known was a 92-year-old neighbor lady born and raised in the Texas panhandle.
In the present work, linoleum flour from the wastes of industrial production was utilized as reinforcing filler in NBR compounds.
LOS ANGELES-Housewares wholesaler/retailer notNeutral has developed a linoleum rug with manufacturer Westling Design, both based here.
Scottsboro, Alabama: A Story in Linoleum Cuts is a disturbing if visually stunning record of an episode that should not be forgotten.
* This decorative floor mat, made from a linoleum remnant, is striking and sturdy.
Inside the school, with its worn linoleum floor and bleak walls, people mingle in two large adjoining rooms, some chatting casually over the coffee machines while others, absorbed in intense conversation, quickly down their lunches at cafeteria-style tables.