By Chris Moline, LEED AP
Marmoleum Click flooring is made from all natural ingredients,
including organic pigments.
Warning… if you do not have a sense of humor, stop immediately!
We’ve installed Marmoleum Click in our showroom and many customers have found out just how comfortable and clean it is. And that leads us to the reason for this post. I’ve been told by more than one person that Linoleum is so natural and safe that you can actually eat it. Now, I’ve been gullible, but I wouldn’t go off and eat just anything. We ate some crazy stuff when I was in the Marines years ago, so this is pretty docile as those things go, and I did some serious research, the results of which follow. Then, keep reading because there is a video at the bottom of this post.
Just for the sake of it, let’s review what Marmoleum Click flooring is made of:
Natural, Raw Materials
Following is a breakdown of the renewable materials used to produce Marmoleum: linseed oil, rosins, wood flour, jute and ecologically responsible, organic pigments. Even the carbon footprint of the product is smaller because these ingredients require so little energy to produce.
Linseed oil – This oil comes from seeds of the flax plant. In fact, the “Lin” in linoleum comes from the word linseed and, according to Forbo, it’s the most important of the ingredients. Although linseed oil has many purposes, we’ll focus on its flooring use here.
Rosin – Have you ever seen how maple syrup is harvested and produced? That’s pretty much how the rosin from pine trees is obtained to be used as a binding agent in the manufacturing process. The tree lives another day to clean the air, while still providing the rosin. When combined with linseed oil, the mix results in both strength and flexibility without necessitating the use of harmful, potentially high-voc binding agents.
Do I have your attention so far?
Wood flour – The reason for using wood flour, which is really just super-fine sawdust, is its ability to bind with the organic pigments and enhance the color-fastness of the product. However, Marmoleum will amber over time (because it is photo-reactive like many natural floorcoverings).
Cork flour – Cork comes from the bark of the cork oak tree, and you’ll see it used for flooring and underlayments as well as an ingredient in Marmoleum. Cork is sustainable in that it is basically tree bark, but the tree does not suffer from the harvesting which occurs about every 9 years. Generally, the cork oak can be harvested 20 times over its lifespan, providing vast amounts of raw material.
Limestone – This is the one ingredient that made me hesitate (to munch a piece, not to use it as a floorcovering), but then I just thought about how much dust we breathe in every day. In fact, our lungs eliminate approximately 2 teaspoons full of particulate matter daily, so a pinch or two of limestone dust couldn’t hurt. As far as its function in Marmoleum, I’ll have to check on that.
Organic Pigments – Aren’t they stunning?! The first time I saw the color pallette I was hooked. Then, once it was clear that they were organic and contained no heavy metals or other non-environmentally-friendly substances, I was sold.
Jute Fiber – This comes from jute plants in India and is a very renewable resource. In fact, jute is the preferred backing for fine wool carpets as well. On their website, Forbo adds that the use of jute “…provides critical export opportunities for these developing economies.” Sounds like a win-win situation to me!
So, now that you’ve read about the ingredients, it’s time for a laugh. Enjoy the embedded video below and please do call with your questions or stop by our showroom to see the section we’ve developed and devoted exclusively to “green” products such as Marmoleum, un-dyed wool carpet, bamboo, FSC-certified wood, cork and other flooring types.
Christopher Moline, LEED AP
Residential Group Manager
Alexandria Carpet One Floor & Home
Commercial Carpets of America