What is Linoleum?
In 1855, English inventor Federick Walton noticed a sticky, stretchy material settled on top of a can of oil paint. It was linseed oil, and Walton quickly used the substance to invent linoleum flooring, which was durable, flexible, and easy to manufacture. By the 1950s, linoleum was an international sensation and a staple in homes, schools, and shops across the globe. It was waterproof, easy to install, and came in an endless array of colors and patterns
Asbestos was used in the manufacture of vinyl sheet products up until the mid-1970s. After its use was banned, remaining stocks of asbestos-containing flooring continued to be sold into the late ’70s or early ’80s, so there is a possibility that the vinyl floor in a house built in 1981 could contain asbestos.
But like all design trends, linoleum fell out of favor…hard. The very traits that had propelled its popularity were now seen as liabilities. Its durability backfired, the flooring looked dated, and builders started to use vinyl instead.