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Chroma Global Flooring Solutions

Linoleum and Marmoleum vs Rubber

You will all have heard of the term "lino". Whether the breakdancers were using it in the 90's, or Gran was complaining about the lino in the kitchen being a colour she didn’t like, we know the term from years ago. You might also know the name Marmoleum which is actually a brand name for Linoleum, both are actually the same product. Both, it has to be said are quite dated when it comes to design and usability, so Chroma doesn’t supply it. We advise our architects and designers to look at ARTIGO RUBBER, the new kid on the block.


Design and look is a big part of selecting a product but it also needs to be fit for purpose and as high performance as possible so it can stand up to everything the environment it is installed in will throw at it. However before we talk about that, let’s go back to the design. If you think of marmoleum or linoleum you have a picture in your head (a solid colour with a marbled look) and beyond this there is not much more in design terms. Due to marmoleum’s dimensional characteristics it is hard to make many different surface finishes...unlike our Artigo rubber, offering numerous design options and textures.


As we just touched on let’s start with its dimensional stability. For those of you that are not familiar with the installation process of marmoluem or linoleum, so many processes have to happen to get a decent job, this involves back rolling, oxidising, shrink cutting and the list goes on. If you unroll a roll of marmo and cut it to a shape straight away and draw a line around the perimeter onto the floor and come back the next day. You will be in for a surprise. We can pretty much guarantee you will come back the next day and the marmo will have shrunk to around 3-4mm short of the line. This is because marmo has natural shrinkage and if the installer doesn’t carry out the shrink cutting properly it can cause many problems. Due to rubber's natural elasticity and awesome dimensional stability... this is not the case. So much so is this true that when installing Artigo rolls, the joints do not even need to be heat welded but simply butt joined.


Being so dimensionally stable also helps with Artigo’s flexibility. Artigo, Linoleum and Marmoleum are products which can be used in commercial environments and this can sometimes include staircases where the client may want to wrap the material from the tread up to the riser to eliminate a join. For those of you who are not familiar with the industry flexibility test, this involves bending a product 180 degrees over a mandrel (bar pretty much) and seeing how the surface and backing reacts and if they crack or warp. The mandrels are measured by their diameter and as you will understand, having a better tolerance over a smaller mandrel will show that the product can absorb a sharper, harsher bend. It comes as no surprise then that marmos rating is that of a 30mm mandrel. Artigo's UNI is 20mm - showing that Artigo performs better to being bent/wrapped.


Other things that are important is "is the floor going to be noisy?" These sorts of products are known to be used in schools and particularly corridors. So if you think about it, the last thing teachers want is for it to sound like a scene from Jumanji when the kids are running through the corridors to lunch. With this in mind, a high reduction in impact sound is important and while marmo gives a 4 db reduction... Artigo UNI provides over double that at 10db reduction.


And following on from that kids running story, common sense says that the areas where these products are laid will take a heavy amount of footfall. This is where indentation ratings are very important as a product with a poor rating can over time look like a pimpled surface and totally take away from the intended aesthetic. As you may know marmo uses a small amount of natural products and thus finds it less easy to recover from indentations, this is shown with its 7% indentation rating (equating to 0.15mm for the 2mm product.) This is where Artigo’s stability really shines again as our 3mm UNI product, returns a rating of 0.08mm which equates to 3%. Just over a quarter of the marmoleum and linoleum rating.


So in our mind there is a clear winner' with less shrinkage, more stability, more flexibility and the ability to help reduce impact noise - all together with some of the most unique and modern looks available. Give Artigo a try.

Chroma Global flooring rates Artigo rubber highly
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