Tag Archives: marmoleum

Battleship Linoleum: Where Did It Go?

Battleship Linoleum. Why did it go out of style?

Battleship Linoleum seems to be the term that a lot of the empty-nesters use to describe the flooring they grew up with. Why did the stuff go out of production and why did it become hard to find? There really are three reasons…

1. Plastics… everyone of a certain age remembersBattleship Linoleum Plastics “The Graduate” where Dustin Hoffman’s character is given the tip of a lifetime to go into the plastics industry. Plastics certainly made a lot of companies and a lot more people rich by bringing cheaper imitation products to the marketplace. Unfortunately Marmoleum was one of them. All the other linoleum companies went under or practically died eventually because of good old, cheaper, faster American vinyl plastic.

2. Lasts too long… unfortunately back in the fifties and sixties with the amazing boom in prosperity, Americans wanted to upgrade everything they owned to the newest and most advanced luxury option. Many were still standing on linoleum floors from the 1920’s and 1930’s and were just plain sick of it. In a nutshell, linoleum simply lasted too long for many people’s tastes.

3. Complex installation… with the advent of click together lino there is a resurgence of natural flooring being installed. Too few trained installers in the marketplace means that prices go up with supply and demand and many folks are priced out of the market when they get a quote for sheet goods. Tile installations and click are a good compromise when the budget is limited.

4. Battleship linoleum… the navies of the world Battleship Linoleumalso have a desire to be fashionable. Sadly, that often means that toxic and hazardous epoxy paints are often being used in place of naturally durable and beautiful battleship linoleum. Happily, the armies of the world are still specifying old fashioned lino roll goods for their barracks and we already know that schools and hospitals are crazy about the stuff because it holds up.



Marmoleum, in the Bathroom?

Bathroom tile flooring choices? Here was the original question asking about Marmoleum. :

Our house has 6 month old sheet marmoleum in the new kitchen, 6 year old marmoleum tile in entryway and laundry room. Absolutely love it!! We’re about to lay new flooring in two small bathrooms and would like to know which bathroom tile flooring would be best for our project?


First off, Lisa, I LOVE that you LOVE Marmoleum. Here are your considerations:

Colors: When comparing “MCT Tile”, which is a little thinner than the traditional “Dual Tile” the colors for MCT are a little more muted, pastel and institutional. That doesn’t mean you are not going to find colors that work for your project. Also for folks that may want to mix tiles with sheet goods or borders like in this bathroom photo then you would need to go to the Dual Tile since it is the same thickness.

Cost: Lots of people are attracted to the lower price of MCT but when you factor in that it only comes in 54 sq ft boxes, you may want to compare the cost of the Dual which also comes in boxes of 9. Even though you are paying more per square foot, you may not have much leftover after accounting for cutting and possibly a few errors. The real economical beauty of Dual for bathrooms comes into play when you want to add random colors or do patterns of multiple colors. Buying full cartons of 45 tiles in MCT just isn’t practical for this situation. NOTE: When it comes down to it, unless you are really pinching pennies, you should buy what you like!


Blue Marmoleum with a Border

A serene blue with a border is a true flooring artisan’s touch and invites you to fill it up and stay awhile.

Durability: If you were to remove the Top Shield finish from Marmoleum, you would be left with the exact same linoleum that your great-great-grandmother had as her bathroom tile flooring. Without Top Shield, grandma had to wax and periodically strip her yellowed wax floor to protect it, or she could just let it wear naturally and gradually amber. If you did that, the Dual because it is 2.5mm thick would last longer than the 2.0mm MCT tile, but that is really not a concern today with the protective coating that you can apply as periodic maintenance.

UPDATE: Forbo has revised their finish formula and now offers TopSheild2 which is one of the most durable and long lasting coatings on the market for flooring today, especially for Marmoleum bathroom tile flooring. This top layer of finish will protect your Marmoleum for a very long time no matter which product you select. Find out more on the Forbo page about TopShield2.

Forbo Top Shield 2 for Bathrooms

Lastly, here are the Forbo Flooring General Guidelines for Installing Marmoleum Tiles.

Bathroom Tile Flooring Marmoleum General Guidelines a

Hope that helps


So Many Colors

Overwhelmed by All the Colors of Marmoleum?

Even though we are overwhelmed by the patterns and Colors of Marmoleum we would like to use marmoleum click throughout our main hallway and through our open-concept kitchen / family room / den. How can people ever pick from all the choices of Marmoleum that are available. What are the most versatile shades and where is the best source of ideas and designs? Should the design be consistent throughout all of these areas?

South Bend, IN

See the answer below….

Hi Carol

The rule of thumb is that when picking colors you should have something in each room that you absolutely love and start there. That first piece of the puzzle should be something you won’t consider changing. It can be furnishings, wall art, window treatments or the colors of Marmoleum flooring.

As far as patterns go, many of the more varied samples are the older, original, marbleized linoleum patterns from 150 years ago.  The really great news is that for 2013 Forbo has brought out whole new Generation of Colors. There are also embossed varieties, speckles and flatter, more mono-chromatic options too. Very simply….do you love any of them? Pick something and then test your other choices against it.

Colors of Marmoleum Floor-Pictures

Do you have to use the same color throughout for the floor? Usually a good indicator is whether the ceilings are continuous from one room to the next. If they are then the walls generally don’t have a logical place to change colors either. The floor color can be a unifying element from one room to the next or the colors can change and be complimentary. If you are brave with colors, you can pick contrasting colors but they usually require a more developed sense of style as to how to fill in the palette of colors so they all work together. It’s never bad to share pictures or ask for opinions, but you may as well own the decision, since you are going to live with it…. until you decide to repurpose your Marmoleum Click to another space.

Hope that helps.