Here is the answer: what most often lies on our floor? Parquet? Laminate? Carpet? That's right, linoleum. For example, at first I had a simple domestic, light green, which was then replaced at a combat post with a new one with the pattern "a'la artistic parquet with daisies". Mom, however, does not like this, in her opinion, "terrible drawing", but I really do that! And in general, I am personally convinced that the matter is not at all in the colors, but in the convenience. And how many people like me in Russia are ready to sing him an ode? Therefore, we decided to finally find out the whole truth about linoleum, so beloved to my heart. And understand what kind of material called "artificial linoleum" by experts?
Linoleum began its triumphant march across our vast country back in the 60s. But first, let's understand what other alternatives exist. Suppose what is the best place to lay on the kitchen floor? So that it was cheap and cheerful. It is known that some of our compatriots contrived to put a parquet board in the kitchen. Moreover, the managers of some companies claim that it was simply created for the kitchen floor. Others, on the contrary, say that in no case should this be done, because the board will quickly fail.
Linoleum with a pattern "like parquet", at first glance, is absolutely indistinguishable from real parquet
I'm still more inclined to believe the latter. And the price for such a dubious pleasure, in my opinion, is completely unjustified. Parquet board and installation will cost $ 56 / sq. M., Which means $ 560 for an ordinary 10-meter Moscow kitchenette. In general, whatever you say, this option is for aesthetes.
There is, however, another option for decorating the kitchen floor, but it is rather good for owners of a tight wallet. Do you want to show that your chickens don’t peck money? Put parquet in the kitchen. My upstairs neighbors did just that. To be honest, it looks stylish, especially when combined with kitchen cabinets made of mahogany merbau. By the most conservative estimates, such chic (including styling) cost my dear neighbor $ 90 / sq. M. That is, for our average kitchen of 10 sq.m. the floor will pull $ 900. But now he has a concern - not to drip greasy onto the parquet and often cover his natural treasure with protective mastic. Then, they say, he will serve forever. True, it still seems to me that parquet will last much less in the kitchen than in the room.
There is another flooring that is suitable for a kitchen floor - laminate. We have already told in the magazine that the basis of the laminate is fiberboard (fiberboard), on which something like a photo wallpaper with the image of marble, wood or other pattern is glued, and covered with a protective film on top. This pleasure, together with installation, will cost 35 - 45 $ / sq.m. That is, to use a ten-meter kitchenette, you have to unfasten $ 350 - 450. It will be beautiful and stylish, I repeat, for about five to ten years!
You can lay ceramic tiles on the floor. Looks, no words, beautiful. But in no case choose glazed tiles. Otherwise, your kitchen will become an area of increased risk and injury: you will slide over it like a cow on ice. Even if none of the household members breaks anything for themselves, they will curse you forever and ever. I will never forget how my friend and I decided to wash the dog. The dog did not want to wash. She escaped from our weak female hands and flew wet into the kitchen, where the very glazed tiles lay. We began to catch the unfortunate animal. I fell first, my friend fell on me … Fortunately, I escaped with a dislocation, and it could have been worse.
The tile, together with the installation, will cost about $ 30-40 / sq., That is, $ 300-400 for the kitchen. Sane people advise to make a heated floor with the "tiled" option (and this is an additional cost), otherwise it is cold and uncomfortable to walk with bare feet on the icy surface of the tile on a cold winter morning.
I believe that I am subjective and have a bias towards all other coatings. But no one will argue that today artificial linoleum is perhaps the cheapest and most practical option for kitchen flooring. Wait, don’t wry your nose and say that it’s only good for poor and backward people. Fortunately, in our market, along with the miserable linoleum of frightening colors, a completely worthy imported one has appeared. Moreover, there is a fairly good selection of domestic linoleum, jointly produced by Europeans. In this regard, I remembered an old anecdote from stagnant times. About how a citizen calls the store and says: "Do you have linoleum in cheerful colors?" - and she is answered: "Come, we have all the colors - you will laugh!"
So, this is in the past. And today even the Mytishchi plant, which has been producing linoleum all its life, has abandoned the production of "cheerful" and ugly linoleum and has finally purchased and installed imported equipment. So now Mytishchi linoleum is not much inferior to imported linoleum, and in terms of quality as well.
Now let's calculate the costs. The price for linoleum ranges from 1.5 to 40 $ / sq.m. Obviously, linoleum for $ 1.5 and linoleum for $ 40 are, as they say in Odessa, two big differences. For $ 1.5 you will most likely buy the very "funny" not of the highest quality. You shouldn't mess with the $ 40 either: it will not justify the money spent on it. True, the instructions say that graphite has been added to it, which has antistatic properties, and it is also impregnated with an antiseptic. In short, this coating is more suitable for the operating room of the intensive care unit than for your kitchen. But this is already a matter of taste and personal understanding of cleanliness.
In fact, the red price for a good artificial linoleum is $ 6–20 / sq.m. Plus another 6-10 $ / sq.m. to level the floor (you want the linoleum to lie perfectly). The price fluctuates depending on which material you choose for leveling the floor - concrete screed or vetonite. Listen to the opinion of professionals: they say that hardboard and plywood are generally inappropriate here. As a result, an average ten-meter kitchen with linoleum will cost about $ 120-300 (which adds up to such a wide range of prices, you will find out later).
Linoleum will last at least three years (cheap), and a maximum of forty years (expensive). True, in Europe, they say, the same linoleum is not kept in the house for more than 5 - 6 years. But what to take from them, the bourgeoisie?
So, if we take as a basis the statement that the most economical floor covering is linoleum, then let's talk about it in more detail.
Linseed oil or PVC? Debunking the stereotype
In general, what is linoleum? In the "Explanatory Dictionary of the Russian Language" in 1938 it is written: "Linoleum is a thick oilcloth, a fabric impregnated with a mixture of cork powder and linseed oil, used to cover floors and walls." But over time and the development of technology, the concept of linoleum has changed. Therefore, what our grandmothers called linoleum, now you will not find it with fire during the day.
In the "Soviet Encyclopedic Dictionary" of 1982 we already read: "Linoleum is a polymer roll material for flooring." Who is right?
In fact, the compilers of the 1982 dictionary were greatly mistaken. Linoleum has nothing to do with polymer material! Since real linoleum is an exclusively natural material. And what we mean by this word today is PVC linoleum (or, as it is also called, artificial linoleum).
Commercial linoleum with such an intricate application is more suitable for public spaces than for a kitchen of 10 square meters.
By the way, about the terms. The word "linoleum" comes from the Latin oleum lini, which means linseed oil, which is one of the components of natural linoleum. The recipe was simple: a mixture was cooked from oil and resin, to which cork, wood flour and chalk were added, after which the mixture was rolled onto fabric. This resulted in a dense, uniform and not too flexible canvas. However, I do not advise you to cook it at home. Natural linoleum is used mainly in public spaces (hospitals, kindergartens, schools). And at home, in the kitchen, despite the widespread preaching of "naturalism", people still prefer to lay PVC-covering. So do I. Do you know why?
Natural linoleum is placed in public places, because it has increased wear resistance, and you will not trample it at home. And it is called all because of the proud name "commercial coating" (not to be confused: commercial coating is made of PVC, but I will talk about this below). Anything commercial is usually sold in bulk. Our natural linoleum is no exception. Especially after the well-known default, sellers of natural linoleum do not contact small wholesale. They say that it is unprofitable, expensive, and therefore it is almost not in warehouses in Moscow. We have to order in Europe. In addition, natural linoleum is not as easy to install as PVC flooring, so you need to call a professional installer from a company selling this natural linoleum.
There is one more difference between natural linoleum and PVC coating: natural linoleum can only be monochromatic, without patterns, except perhaps with light marble stains or blotches. Although it is possible to color a single-color coating with the help of appliqués and inserts. But only specialists can do this. And for extra money.
For home, for family
In general, oddly enough, I came to the conclusion that "for the home, for the family" PVC coating (that is, artificial linoleum) is more suitable. Although, of course, the guys from Greenpeace strongly object to it, motivating it by the fact that it does not decompose, in the first place. And secondly, when burning, it releases harmful substances. Regarding decomposition: indeed, it would probably be nice to build several plants for the disposal of linoleum in Russia. As for combustion, linoleum is not the only material with such "harmful" qualities. Take a look around: it all burns, and obviously does not ozonize the air. In addition, no company will sell linoleum without a hygiene certificate. And there it is written in black and white that it is suitable for use in residential premises.Otherwise, the penalties will be several times higher than the company's turnover. You understand that this is not profitable for sellers.
Another version of "parquet" linoleum
The PVC floor covering (artificial linoleum) we have chosen is divided into three types: commercial, semi-commercial and household. Commercial, as in the case of natural linoleum, is more often used in public places (offices, restaurants, hotels). Semi-commercial will do both there and there. Only in offices it should be laid not at the entrance or in the corridors. Well, as for everyday life, you know, for the home, for the family. By the way, when buying household linoleum, I advise you to pay attention to the fact that there are no creases on it. If they are, this material is of poor quality.
As the experts explained to me, PVC coatings differ from each other in the degree of wear resistance. But how can you tell them apart by touch and by sight? It's very simple! Household artificial linoleum is softer and thinner than commercial and semi-commercial linoleum, and is much easier to bend than "commercial" brothers. Commercial artificial linoleum is dyed from top to bottom, "to the very bottom." We are talking about a homogeneous, that is, one-layer, coating.
However, there is also a multilayer, heterogeneous one. It is much stronger than multi-layer household PVC linoleum (see below). Homogeneous is good because it does not change the pattern with wear. The same cannot be said about the heterogeneous one: there is only 0.7 mm of the upper protective layer, and hence the pattern.
And further. As for the commercial PVC coating, like natural linoleum, it is not very much sold in ordinary stores today, only to order and in bulk. So, whatever one may say, the share of the common buyer remains mainly household and semi-commercial linoleum.
To each his own
This morning I suddenly thought: what, in fact, will happen if you still put a commercial PVC coating in the kitchen? He will not be demolished! The idea came to my mind after talking with the manager of a company that sells commercial linoleum. After one construction exhibition, they had a small piece of commercial linoleum at their booth - 15 x 15 m in size. They wanted to throw it out, but the manager, as they say, hurried in advance - and now proudly steps on this linoleum in his kitchen. He says: it can't be stronger! And on the floor it looks very unusual, stylish, solid, sometimes almost "marbled".
I conducted my "investigation" - and what did I find out? Commercial PVC linoleum at home behaves quite reliably. But before you start it, try on such costs and difficulties.
A drawing on a household PVC linoleum can imitate a stylish tile
The first difficulty: buying. As I said, commercial PVC flooring is mostly sold in bulk. The fact is that it is usually brought from Europe. You understand, no one will drive a car for the sake of your "square". Or you will have to wait until some firm makes a large order for themselves and you get a piece of 10 sq.m. for the kitchenette. The question is: how long will you have to wait?
The second difficulty: the condition of the sexes. Before laying a commercial PVC flooring, you need to PERFECTLY level the floor, otherwise the flooring will repeat all the roughness of the floor. It is clear that this will not be done by you, but by specialists. For clarity, I can tell you how it will look. First, the specialists will lay a cement-sand screed on the floor. It will cost $ 6-7 / sq.m. Plus glue like "Bustilat" - 80 cents per square meter. Plus the cost of the most commercial linoleum - $ 10-20 / sq.m. The total for our ten-meter kitchen is $ 168-278.
The third difficulty: styling. Commercial PVC flooring must be glued to the leveled floor. Otherwise, it will lie badly, because it does not have a lower layer (base), like a household one, which we will talk about a little further. In principle, you can do this yourself, but if you are too lazy to mess around and feel sorry for spending the whole day on this, it is better to turn to specialists. And they charge $ 7 / sq.m. That is $ 70.
If, after a few years, you need to rip commercial linoleum off the floor, you will need to level the floor again when installing new linoleum or lay new linoleum on top of the old one. True, experts do not advise doing this - after all, the previous linoleum will give a new yellowish tint. So you still have to re-level the floor. But if you put commercial PVC linoleum "for centuries" ("centuries" will last for 50 years), then this is what you need.
The fourth difficulty: footage. Commercial linoleum is sold in rolls two meters wide. It is clear that it is impossible to lay it without seams. Scars are known to adorn only a man. However, at the junction, the seams can be welded by hot or cold welding. But this is a whole business and additional costs.
The fifth difficulty: the price. Commercial PVC flooring is more resistant to wear and tear than household PVC flooring and therefore more expensive. Tell me, do people walk around your apartment in herds? And why, one wonders, then pay for this very strength? It's like buying a tractor and plowing a couple of parsley and dill beds with it. But, again, if you put it on for a long time, it makes sense.
Difficulty six: aesthetics. Commercial PVC flooring is virtually patternless. That is, it looks pretty monotonous. But, however, this is a personal matter for each tenant. As I said, some people find this understated color scheme very stylish.
… Well, my friends. It is clear that commercial linoleum is much stronger than conventional, household PVC coating. For example, we tested such a commercial PVC coating in the editorial office: I solemnly put out a cigarette on it. And there is no trace left! And I was also told that furniture can be moved on a commercial coating even from early morning until late at night - nothing will happen to it and there will be no trace left. With household linoleum, such jokes will not work: it will immediately wear out. Therefore, if you have already chosen it, then the furniture must be lifted when carrying. Or "put on" chairs and stools in special protective "shoes".
A semi-commercial coating is essentially the same for everyday use, but with a thicker protective layer (from 0.4 mm). His drawing is the same as that of a household one, and in terms of wear resistance it is slightly inferior to the commercial one. True, knowledgeable people still do not advise laying it in an office where there are too many people. Here is a "personal" study - a more suitable place. The price of such a coating is $ 12-14 / sq.m.
Linoleum in section
The color options for household PVC coating are very diverse. For example, "marbled"
Perhaps I will seem monotonous, but I cannot resist repeating again: I am convinced that it is better to have at home, and especially in the kitchen, a household PVC coating. Also because you can put it at home in one day. Beauty: no glue, no welding! It is enough to fix it with plinths around the perimeter of the room (unless, of course, it is more than 20 sq.m., otherwise you still cannot do without glue). You can, of course, and "put" on glue, but then, as in the case of commercial linoleum, when laying new linoleum, you will have to re-level the floor.
But wait, wait. Because household linoleum is not the same as household linoleum. As it turned out, it is of three types. And all are multi-layered. So.
Household PVC Foam Coating
Its thickness is 1.1 - 5 mm. Here, of course, each manufacturer has its own recipe. However, cutaway, the product looks about the same. The first (lower) layer consists of compacted PVC (polyvinyl chloride), which protects the linoleum from the rough "harassment" of the concrete floor. The second layer - foamed PVC - insulates from extraneous noise. Are your young downstairs neighbors funny guys? So put such a PVC coating on their "head" - and a peaceful night's sleep is guaranteed. In addition, "foam" retains heat well, so it is pleasant to walk on such linoleum with bare feet. The third layer is fiberglass. It is this that does not allow the coating to deform over time. In addition, as experts explained to me, without a fiberglass layer, printing rollers cannot apply a pattern to linoleum. The fourth, top, layer - a drawing for every taste: "under marble "," under artistic parquet "or in general with ducklings and chickens - for the nursery. And, finally, the very top, fifth, layer - protective, or working (its thickness is 0.15 - 0.4 mm). also a PVC layer, only transparent.By the way, the thicker this layer, the more expensive the coating.
In the West, 35% of housewives prefer linoleum with an additional layer of polyurethane. It creates the effect of a freshly washed floor
Sometimes, as it turned out, the sixth layer is a protective polyurethane layer. It perfectly protects the working layer from abrasion. But such a layer does not exist on every coating. On some types of linoleum, it is made shiny, as if varnished. By the way, 35% of European housewives prefer exactly "lacquered" linoleum. Why? Because it gives the effect of a freshly washed floor. In other types, on the contrary, polyurethane is not visible, since the coating is matte.
Now I propose to calculate how much it will cost to change this type of linoleum. The floor that needs to be leveled is $ 6–8 / sqm, then the material itself is $ 6–10 / sqm. And no glue for joints (unlike commercial). True, the joints will be visible, but oh well! As a result, the replacement of the coating in the kitchenette of 10 sq.m. it will cost me $ 120-180. And for a long time, ask? This is an interesting question. The most controversial rumors circulate about the service life of household linoleum. Some say that ten years as new will lie, others are limited to three years.
"Little brother" of PVC linoleum on a foam basis
Let's call it conditionally "thin linoleum", because the thickness of such a PVC coating is from 1.1 - 2 mm. There are as many layers in this coating as in the "big brother", but it is thinner. Such coverage of imported production will cost about $ 5-6 / sq. M. But for quite reasonable money (with leveling the floor and glue - only 118-148 dollars per ten square meters).
Covering "in felt boots"
I got the impression that such artificial linoleum on a non-woven, felt or jute basis is now being made only in Russia. Because in almost all stores I saw only domestic production of such linoleum. But in fact, it is also produced by the Yugoslavian company Sintelon. In addition to the low price (50 - 100 rubles / sq. M.), In most stores and firms I was no longer named any of its advantages. True, some sellers have a different opinion. At one construction exhibition, the managers of a certain company (though, as it turned out, they were not employees of the manufacturer of the given product) told me that the price and quality here are in full compliance. In other words, I get exactly as much as I pay. But in the store, the sellers were not so optimistic: "Over the past two months, at least one meter of these"felt boots "bought ?!"
In fact, the disadvantages of linoleum "in felt boots" are obvious. If the seams are not closed very well, then dirt will clog into them and water will get into them. After all, the kitchen is such a place where something must be spilled or spilled on the floor. As a result, the water will saturate both the canvas and the felt, and it will wear off faster. In addition, the felt will wear out under the weight of our "iron heel". In general, in a couple of years this coating will no longer (properly) protect us from noise and cold.
How to choose it?
I am sitting writing this article. And I think: the more I talk about the delights of artificial linoleum, the more I want to change the floor in the kitchen. At the same time, however, I know myself: it’s always like that, about what I’ll write an article, then I urgently want to change, redo or update. I wrote about plumbing - I really wanted to buy new mixers, talked about plastic profiles - I already imagined how cool the new frames would look in my apartment. Now I can't wait for a household PVC coating (it's artificial linoleum) to bed in the kitchen. I even know how I will choose it. I will act in the following way.
First, I will ask the sellers for a hygiene certificate.
Secondly, I remember linoleum in my hands. If there are no creases left, then I can be sure that the quality is not bad.
Third, I will check for a PVC foam backing that looks like a thin, opaque film. If there is no backing, the linoleum will wear off very quickly from contact with the concrete floor.
Fourthly, I will carefully study the pattern of linoleum: if there are flaws (offset pattern, different thickness), then I will think about whether to buy or not to buy.
As they say, everyone chooses for themselves. But my advice: don't skimp. Because if you lay linoleum for fifty rubles, then for the difference you will get a splinter in the heel, disappointment and unnecessary trouble.