Yes, I think you are going down the right path there, but the problem you are encountering is that traditional Linoleum or ‘lino’, which is indeed made from solidified linseed oil, with natural additives like cork dust (great insulation) and pine rosin (to stick it all together!) on a canvas or hessian backing, has largely been supplanted by vinyl, made from PVC (plastic), which is cheaper and easier to produce. So, if you search for lino in Ireland, what you will find is actually vinyl.
Natural Linseed Flooring
BUT, there is a product which may be perfect for you! Marmoleum is a flooring product that is sold in Ireland and based on the traditional linoleum recipe of linseed oil. Forbo Flooring are the international suppliers, and Forbo Ireland are the distributors here. It claims to be ‘97% natural raw materials, 72% rapidly renewable, 43% recycled content ‘ on the Forbo website, so all good! I asked the CEO of Forbo Ireland, Paul Carney, if the product would be suitable for a domestic kitchen with small children.
Biodegradable, Bacterially static and good for Asthma sufferers
He tells me that Marmoleum is made with a natrual linseed base, is carbon-neutral and biodegradeable, so environmentally, it’s pretty sound. Carney also mentions that it is ‘bacterially static,’ which I don’t understand and ask him to explain. It means bacteria doesn’t grow on it, say in humid conditions……think shower curtain? The black mold which can appear on them? A kitchen can be humid, so ‘bacterially static’ is good. He also mentions that Marmoleum doesn’t harbour dust mites, and has a Seal of Approval from globally recognised British medical charity, Allergy UK. ‘Marmoleum is perfect flooring for children’, is Carney’s conclusion.
Tough, warm and non-slip
From my own experience of the product I would tend to concur. It’s pretty widely used in used in schools and nurseries, hospitals, sports facilities, leisure centres, hotels and retail outlets. It’s very tough and non-slip, warm underfoot. I haven’t seen it used that often in homes, but I have seen it. It comes in 2-metre-wide sheets which are welded together, and can be turned to run up a wall replacing the skirting board, although Carney is a little startled at the idea of using this feature in a domestic application, I have seen it done (a lovely home renovation in Navan.) This gives a dream low-maintenence finish!
What’s the cost?
Enough with the words, what does this stuff look like? Actually, you’ve probably walked on it often in doctor’s surgeries, hospitals, shops and swimming pools, but the good news is that it seems to come in an endless array of colour and pattern. And by the way, before you think that if it’s used in those application it’s probably hugely expensive, Carney assures me you kitchen Marmoleum would retails around €45-€50 per square metre, plus VAT, which is not that bad.
This is fun!
So what the link below does is to offer you a series of photos of different rooms, (in your case pick kitchens, and select the one most like your style), then you can change the wall colours, and select any Marmoleum that takes your fancy in any colour or pattern, and there are some mad colours up there! The project in Navan I mentioned earlier was deep purple…