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A Lesson In Linoleum – The History Of Lino

It’s been some time since linoleum flooring was at the peak of its popularity, but it does seem to get a revival once every decade or so. Now, with the world shifting its view on the environment and taking a look at our ever depleting resources, linoleum flooring – or lino as it’s sometimes called – is making an even bigger comeback than before.
Because of this miraculous rise in popularity once more, we thought that it would be a good time to provide a history lesson on how the flooring material – one of the most loved throughout the ages – has lasted so long and why it could prove to be the answer to our environmental issues.

The Invention of Linoleum

It’s fairly well documented now that an Englishman named Frederick Walton was the inventor of linoleum. In 1855 he was experimenting with different materials in order to create a new flooring material which could be as durable as other materials but which was cheaper to make. In one such experiment he used a linseed oil in combination with cotton sheets, when this was exposed to the air it created a film which was then perfected to become linoleum.
The name of this invention was initially Kampticon but it bore too many similarities to another flooring material of a similar nature. Instead, the latin words “linum”, meaning flax, and “oleum”, meaning oil, were used to create what we now affectionately call “lino”.

The Rise Of Linoleum

Acting swiftly to further the development of his invention, Walton created the Linoleum Manufacturing Company Ltd in Middlesex in 1864. From this point onwards the company grew and was exporting its goods to Europe, the next decade would even see the company open a manufacturing plant in America and one in Scotland. The Fife factory became the largest producer of Walton’s product and although it was demolished, Kirkcaldy was still home to a linoleum production factory until last year.
You might be thinking that the 1860s isn’t the decade you would usually associate with linoleum flooring, and that’s down to the vibrancy of the 1960s, which is where everyone can picture bright, patterned linoleum in the kitchen and in diners. Of course, this period is where we all know it from, but only because of the nostalgia we get from seeing it in photographs, TV shows and films.
The fact is that linoleum has been popular for a long time, presenting a cheaper, durable alternative to the more expensive materials. You can get a variety of colours and patterns – businesses can even get their logo placed into the design – showing that it’s versatile in both design and function.
Now, with everyone striving to make their homes greener, this long lasting, cheap and relatively simple flooring is once again making a comeback.
If you’d like to learn more about lino flooring for your home then simply contact us today and we’ll be happy to help. We have years of experience with this revered material and can provide full fitting services.

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I contacted Pyramid Carpets to supply and fit Karndean to my new refurbished narrow-boat based in Daventry. The estimator Paul and the fitter Mark carried out a magnificent job to a tight budget and within a short timescale. I am highly delighted with the finished floor. 

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