Linoleum Flooring Cost, Tips, & Free Contractor Quotes

In our linoleum flooring cost guide you will find all the relevant info in regard to choosing the right type of linoleum flooring, how much it costs and free contractor quotes.

Most people might consider linoleum a flooring material from a bygone era, but it is slowly making a comeback owing to its durability and the fact that it is eco-friendly. Surprisingly 100 years after the Titanic sunk, the tiles were discovered still intact after an expedition to the famed wreck. Often confused with vinyl flooring, linoleum has been around for more than 150 years. Over the years though, and more so in the 60s, it fell out of favor with homeowners owing to vinyl which was pitched as a “no wax” flooring. Lino, on the one hand, had to be finished on site and required annual resealing with a liquid wax while vinyl was more comfortable to maintain seeing as it came with a thin coat.

Lino Types

Technology advancement has resulted in three main linoleum types produced by three companies. Forbo, Armstrong, and Tarkett. The cost and installation techniques depend on the flooring type.

Linoleum Sheets – These are 61/2 feet wide sheets backed with jute. Lino sheets can be laid over any level subfloor whether above or below grade as long as it is impermeable. The sheets are then glued down with a water-based adhesive, after which they are with a 100-pound roller. Finally, and as a precaution, avoid placing heavy furniture so as not to create dents.

Lino Modular Tiles – These are often available in 10” by 10”, 20” by 20” inch squares, or 10” by 20” rectangles. Unlike the sheets, they are backed by polyester for stability, and the edges are beveled allowing the pieces to fit tightly. You can install these modular tiles if you are want to make seams all but invisible.

Lino Click-Together Tiles – The last linotype to consider are the click-together tiles. They are DIY friendly and don’t require the sub-floor to be entirely flat. The click design allows the tiles to fit together without glue. Finally, unlike linoleum sheets, and the modular tiles, you can place furniture immediately after.

Before we get into the costs, and maintenance tips, here are some reasons why you should invest in linoleum floors and several thoughts on why you shouldn’t.

Pros of Linoleum Flooring

Eco-Friendly

One of the top reasons why you should invest in “lino” is that it is environmentally friendly. Almost all the components are renewable, recyclable, and the process is natural. The linseed oil is sourced from flax which is grown organically, while the jute backing on which the tiles/sheets lie is made from is a vegetable fiber spun into strong threads. By and large, most of the raw materials are sourced from plants, trees, and mineral sources which are mostly renewable. It’s also biodegradable, and will not take up space in landfills.

Pocket- Friendly

Another top reason why you should consider installing a lino floor is its cost-effectiveness. It is much cheaper than most other flooring options, i.e., wood, ceramic or stone. Its price is more like that of vinyl.

Resilient

Thanks to the linseed oil and cork powder, “lino” is one of the most durable flooring options available. It is resistant in that it has a slight cushioning effect (it compresses and bounces back when walked on) thanks to the linseed and cork powder. Limestone dust also adds hardness and durability. As for the warranty, most of these are available with warranties between 20 and 25 years. The floor itself can last for 40 years with the correct maintenance. Also, they are impermeable which makes them ideal for kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry rooms. Finally, they can handle loads of traffic without much wear and tear. They are therefore suitable for households that are expecting kids or has pets.

Appeal

First, “lino” is available in many patterns and colors thanks to the different pigment dyes. With a bit of designing, you can create an elaborate floor plan. Also, the appeal will last throughout the life of the material since the pigment dyes are throughout the linoleum and not on top of the material like vinyl and laminate. Therefore, if you are looking for a flooring option that will maintain its luster despite wear and tear, invest in linoleum.

Drawbacks of Linoleum

Skill

One top shortcoming of linoleum is that it needs highly skilled persons to install. It not only requires a steady hand to cut, but also an individual qualified to work with the adhesive. You will find out that the situation can become sticky quickly if you lack the requisite skills. Consequently, you have to engage the services of a professional.

Maintenance

Though linoleum is low maintenance, it stains easily. Also, you have to clean and polish them semi-annually to keep them in top condition and increase their life. Finally, you will have to avoid sharp objects. Despite it being resilient, high heels and furniture dent it easily.

“Ambering”

Linoleum should not be exposed to sunlight for extended periods of time. It tends to darken or turn yellowish brown through a process known as “ambering.” Ensure the supplier takes the necessary precautions and store it in a dark place before installation. In conclusion, purchasing coated materials may help prevent

Moisture

Though linoleum is highly resistant to water in any of its forms, it is susceptible to standing water. However, this is not a problem unique to linoleum, and standing water is a problem with most other flooring types.

Property Value

Most people consider linoleum as a “cheap” flooring option. Despite its durability, aesthetics, and resilience, it will not increase the value of your property.

Linoleum Installation Cost

Don’t let your house remodeling costs break your bank thanks to hidden expenses. Linoleum might be one of the cheapest flooring options but the installation costs, sill set you back a decent amount of money. The cost will depend on the design you pick, and the quality. Linoleum tiles will set you back around $3.50 for every square foot, while sheets and commercial grade “lino” costs $2.00 to $2.50 and $3 – $5 respectively.

As for the quality, you will pay less for essential lino than for top quality materials and installation. For basic facility (i.e., materials and labor), expect to pay around $4.85 per square foot, $6.80 for better quality and $8 per square foot for the best.

You also need some job supplies that will help in the installation. Jobs supplies include adhesives, underlayment fasteners, and surface sealants. Often these will set you back between $30 and $55 for 100 square feet. Also, set aside some equipment allowance. There is money associated with hiring specialized equipment, e.g., a floor roller. The cost for these is often between $15 and $30 for one job.

Cost According to TypeCosts
Tiles$3.50
Sheets$2 - $2.50
Commercial Grade$3 - $5
Cost According to QualityCosts
Basic$4.85
Better$6.80
Best$8

Additional Costs

Finally, some costs can be unique to your project but don’t apply for all lino installation.

Floor Removal – Expect a fee between $400 and $2,000 if the contractor has to remove the old flooring. They first have to detach it from mounting surfaces, break it into haulable pieces and remove from the house. A task that often takes 24 hours.

Debris Disposal – Debris refers to any and all old materials, installation and any associated waste. Be ready to pay between $118 and $150 for a 500 square foot floor.

Sealant – Finally, you need to invest in some sealant. Linoleum needs to be site-finished to make it water-proof. Also, it needs to be resealed semi-annually or annually. Be ready to foot these bills.

Trim – Another hidden flooring cost is the trim and molding. The trim is the material used to create a continuous look between the floor and the rest of the interior. It covers the gaps and hides the imperfections. When looking into trims, you can either reinstall your current trim or upgrade to maximize beauty. The former is cheaper as it will only set you back $36 an hour in labor while the later costs between $300 and $700. The amount will depend on the quality of trim, and the size of the area being covered.

Job supplies$30 - $55
Floor Removal$400 - $2,000
Debris Disposal$118 - $150
New Trim and Molding$300 - $700

Final Considerations

First, expect the material cost to fluctuate between companies and suppliers. Different organizations have different operational expenses and overheads. Also, you might want to install your floor during late fall or winter. These are the contractor’s down seasons, and you can expect aggressive discounts. Shopping around for materials can also help you get a better price. Visit various suppliers and always try and get a better price from the next supplier. You can save between 10% and 20% on materials. Finally, budget an extra 7 – 15% on top to cushion you. The budget isn’t set in stone and can change. The additional amount will cater for these unforeseen expenses.

The costs indicated above don’t cover the following issues.

Permits – Each state, local authority has ordinances regarding new flooring. You might, therefore, be required to pull a license or not.

Finally, you might incur more money in removing, repairing, or modifying the current framing, HVAC, and plumbing system or bringing them into accordance with building codes.

How to Clean and Maintain Linoleum

“Lino” is a durable all natural flooring material. It can withstand abuse which is why homeowners love it. However, it is quite sensitive to chemical-based cleaning product and susceptible to standing water and spills which can stain or damage it. Nevertheless, with the correct maintenance and cleaning, you can keep your floors in top condition.

Maintenance

First, always wipe spills immediately. Since linoleum is from natural elements, it can warp or loosen if water or spills are left to sit for extended periods of time. Clean spills immediately they happen. Also, use a damp mop or paper towels lest you scratch the surface with abrasive pads or sponges.

Second, you want to avoid commercial cleaning products. Often, these products contain chemicals that can make pits or discolor your floor. We advise that you only use water to clean spills. If water isn’t adequate, add a mild dishwashing detergent. The result is a cleaning solution that is strong enough to get rid of tough stains but without damaging the floor.

Another way to keep your floor in top condition is to sweep or vacuum loose debris as needed. Though “lino” is resistant to dust particles and mite sweeping will help maintain the appearance. Use a soft broom or vacuum with bristles to remove the dirt, and place a welcome mat to prevent shoes from carrying excessive dust into the house.

You also want to remove scuff marks as soon as they occur. Linoleum is easily by black marks left by shoes. So as not to ruin the appeal, use a pencil eraser to rub the marks until they disappear. If the eraser isn’t sufficient, apply some baby oil and allow it to penetrate the dots for 2 minutes, then use a paper towel to wipe it off.

Finally, wax your floor as instructed. Application of wax solutions will vary depending on the manufacturer, but, waxing will maintain the appearance and increase the life of your floor. Other than waxing, you may need to shine your deck in between waxing sessions. Add baby oil to warm water and mop the floors with the solution. The amount of baby oil required will depend on the floor to be cleaned.

Cleaning

There are instances where you might be forced to strip your floors. Often, this occurs when routine cleaning cannot get your floor looking new again. You will need to purchase a stripper with a pH level less than 10.

How to Get a Credible Linoleum Flooring Contractor

Installing linoleum requires a particular set of skills. You need an individual with a steady hand, and one qualified to work with the adhesive. Therefore, getting a proficient individual is the first step to ensuring that you have the perfect floor.

Research

Researching will help you understand linoleum flooring as well as narrow your list of potential contractors. First ask colleagues, family, and friends who have renovated their floors for referrals. Preferably, find colleagues who have put in linoleum flooring in the last six months.

If referrals aren’t a viable option, you can check third-party websites for reliable contractors or our own partnering contractors.  Also, past clients are allowed to review and rate a contractor depending on their experience. We advise you pay attention to these reviews and more so the negative remarks, as they might highlight certain pitfalls. Finally, you can check Google reviews to get a feel of the company you will be working with.

Stay Local

Working with companies from out of state increases your chances of being scammed. Most homeowners who have often been conned report that the individual or organization was from out of state. The reason for this is that it is difficult to verify the company’s credentials. Therefore, you end up taking the company’s word for it which is a recipe for disaster. Staying local on the other hand allows you to verify the company’s details. You can check with the local authorities to confirm that the organization’s details are correct. Also, since they are nearby, you can verify their address. You reduce your chances of being scammed by hiring a local contractor.

Phone Interviews

Once you have narrowed your list of flooring contractors, you need to conduct some quick phone interviews. First, work with companies that have hired a professional to pick calls, and not a generic answering machine, as it is a sign of professionalism. Afterward, go through the following questions as they will help you know how reliable and available the contractor is as well as the attention s/he can give your project. Ask for references from financial institutions, suppliers as well as past clients. Second, ask how many projects they have going at the same time. Finally, you want to know if they handle projects your size.

Meet Face to Face

Based on the phone interviews, and the follow-up activities, pick three contractors for the estimates. Only work with institutions that provide in-person quotes. Remember, every job is unique, and it is impossible to give a correct bid over the phone. Also, the contractor should answer questions satisfactorily and puts you at ease. Finally, you have to be comfortable with the individual as they will be in your house for hours if not days.

Call Suppliers

The reason for this is to determine the material costs. Part of the estimate includes material costs. However, for a full accounting of the project, contractors will consist of an outline of the materials with mark up prices. However, some get carried away with marking up and overcharge you. Calling the suppliers, on the other hand, allows you to know how much the materials cost and thus the contractor’s mark up. You can, therefore, tell if it’s reasonable or not. Watch out for prices that are too low. We all want a discount, but there is a very low likelihood that material costs are going to vary wildly.

10 Questions to Ask Your Flooring Contractor

Are you licensed and insured?

You want to work with an individual who has legally allowed to operate and has taken the precautions to protect you from any liability. Also, it is a sign of trustworthiness. In most states, contractors are required to include their license number in the business cards, but you can ask for the number or call the consumer protection agency. Finally, ensure the license is current as some contractors cannot afford to renew it.

Are you licensed for flooring installation?

So, yes the individual is allowed to operate, but is he licensed and insured for the specific task (flooring installation)? Seeing as installing new flooring will affect other house elements, you want to ensure that only a qualified individual deals with them. Say disconnecting and reconnecting gas lines, plumbing, and HVAC. It would be a disaster if an amateur handled these tasks that require specialization.

Do you have workers compensation?

The idea here is to protect yourself from bills should a worker be injured on your property. Some states require contractors to have workers compensation. Therefore, seeing that this is not a requirement in all states, ensure you ask your contractor.

Is there anything that can make the price increase?

The price indicated on your contractor is not set in stone. A lot can go wrong, and there are unforeseen issues. Yes, the contractor can try the best s/he can, but you can take care of all problems. However, you still want to be prepared.

How are surprises handled?

Despite knowing about the different issues that might increase the price, you want to know how surprises are handled.

How long will the job take?

This question will help you know the downtime on your place allowing you to make the necessary arrangements. The contractor, however, should assure you of the downtime. Finally, you should decide on what the penalties will be should s/he not honor the agreement.

What can you guarantee?

Most homeowners want to know what to expect after the installation, and the contractor is required to provide these guarantees. Only work with institutions that are willing to warrant a specific result. It shows they have enough confidence in themselves, and in what they are doing.

What are you’re after sales services?

Sure, a contractor may be qualified to install the “lino” floor, but what about maintenance and repairs. You want to work with a company that will care and maintain the linoleum albeit for a fee.

How long have you been operational and under what names?

This question will help you gauge the expertise of a company. You want to work with an organization that has been around for several years. It is not a guarantee that older companies have better services, but the chances of them being scams are low, and they have streamlined their services than new companies.

Will you clean?

Finally, ask who is responsible for cleaning up. If the institution will take up the task, will it be for an extra amount, or is it catered for in the estimate?

Conclusion

Linoleum sure is resilient seeing as it is still considered a viable flooring option more than 150 years later. If you are looking for durability but at an affordable price, then we encourage you to invest in these. Remember though that it has its shortcomings. Finally, ensure you take the necessary steps when hiring a contractor. It is the first step towards getting a fantastic floor.

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