armstrong marmorette floors??

Molly BrownMarch 30, 2008

Anyone have these linoleum floors? I've been trying to find a floor for our bathroom remodel...If we go stone or porcelain we would have to heat the floor, which will require major electrical work. (Can't have cold floors in Maine, no way, no how...) We may still go that route, but it will also raise the floor up higher than the door threshhold. Our house is almost 200 years old and has some issues under the floor in the corner of the bathroom where the toilet is, which will be addressed as best as they can, but I'm concerned about the weight of stone or ceramic.

I've been reading that linoleum (NOT vinyl) is making a trendy comeback in period houses. Marmoleum is supposed to feel warm and last forever.(well, a long time) (Marmorette is Armstongs Marmoleum). The flooring store told me that Armstrong is much more user friendly for folks with small spaces. Marmoleum is known big time for their commercial uses and charges more to cut small pieces. These floors are very 'green' and earth friendly, I'm also told, in their manufacturing.

There have been a couple of websites I've found where a few people did not recommend this for bathroom use, but didn't say why not. Yet other sites said it was fine for bathrooms.

One thing that I don't like about ceramic and porcelain, some of the tiles actually look like the designs have been printed on with like a silk screen or something. They are trying to imitate stone, yet many, imho, are not successful.

I've looked at vinyl, too, thinking if I found one that I really liked, I'd have no problem with it, rather than stone or ceramic. But one sample I brought home had a little 'design' image printed on it that was a particular shape, no bigger than 1/2 inch in size, if that, and my eyeballs spotted that one pattern everywhere. Drove me nuts. (Don't need to be driven nuts while sitting on the toilet.)

I'm going to put this post on the bathroom and flooring site, too.

I hope someone has Marmorette in a bathroom and loves it, but who knows!

Thank you for taking the time to read this long post.

(of course, in my many months of research and looking around at stuff, what are my favorite floors? Marble and Honey Onyx. Both poor choices for practicality. Story of my life..)


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Hi elenkao,

We have a Marmorette floor in our mudroom. It's fantastic--not cold, easy to clean, a tiny bit soft, and looks perfect in a period house. However, when we looked into the same flooring for our porch, we found that the companies themselves (Forbo and Armstrong) recommend against using linoleum in what might be a very wet environment. We ended up forgoing the linoleum with sadness, and going with porcelain tiles for the enclosed porch.

In both of our bathrooms, we have vinyl that looks like wood. The upstairs bath is a wood-look sheet vinyl by Armstrong--the pattern is call Highland Park, and it looks amazing. It is adjacent to an old fir floor, and from the hallway, the floors are indistinguishable. It is very comforting to us not to have to worry about the floor, especially as we have a young child. So the vinyl, which is sealed with silicone, is very practical. And yet it looks really good in our 1913 home. Close up you can tell it's vinyl, but the patterns and repeats on the high end vinyl are really really good. Good luck!

    Bookmark   March 30, 2008 at 4:36PM
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Elenkao --

I used Marmorette in my kitchen reno ~ 4 years ago and love it. No regrets/favorite part of the kitchen. [A search on my user name should bring up several old posts about my experience.]

In fact, we're using lino in our upcoming bath reno. Like you, I'd read varying things about using it in a wet environment but I've spoken to several respected installers and am not worried.

ps You may want to check around re the Forbo/Armstrong "cost for small spaces" -- seems like that may not be a manufacturer issue. Now, I could see INSTALL costs being more per square foot for small spaces than large, but material costs for me are equal no matter which brand. [We're prob doing Forbo this time due to wanting a specific color.]

If you check with flooring stores that do a lot of lino work you may be able to pick up a remnant on the cheap!

    Bookmark   March 30, 2008 at 9:27PM
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^^ Armstrong Marmorette ^^

Sorry, couldn't resist. Who names these floors anyway?

    Bookmark   March 30, 2008 at 10:07PM
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Baby marmorettes, er... marmosets... whatever...

I mean, how can you take the name of this flooring seriously?


    Bookmark   March 30, 2008 at 10:11PM
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If your floor isn't smooth/flat you'll have to lay down subflooring. The hardware store can advise.

My daughter is doing a Marmoleum floor in her sun room/laundry room off her kitchen in her old house. She designed a pattern she is going to cut and fit together out of several colors. I think that's the fun thing about Marmoleum (or its cousins) that you can do... make a pattern.

I don't see why it wouldn't wear like iron in a bathroom.

Got pictures?

That said, I think anyone who could make a floor out of those darling little creatures is just heartless. ;)

    Bookmark   March 30, 2008 at 10:34PM
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Oh, I have a zillion pics, ha. I always advise trying to see a roll (or better, an installation) to get a sense of the pattern.

I agree doing inlays and patterns are a wonderful feature of lino!

That said, due to budget and a kitchen with quite *a lot* going on, we went subdued with our floor (Cream Marmorette).

It reads as monolithic from across the room, but you notice the marbling beneath ya.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2008 at 11:30PM
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I know a lot of folks don't care for resilient flooring, but I just find the various marbled patterns of natural lino so gorgeous!

Our bathroom is turning out to have quite a lot of texture (for me, anyway!) and I'm a bit bummed -- I don't think I can "go there" with a Forbo Vivace pattern. [IIRC, a fair number of GW kitchens have the Vivace "Asian Tiger."]

So if anyone falls in love with Aurora Hour (3414) and installs it, please do send me a pic so I can live vicariously! Here it is in crummy warehouse lighting:

But as we've got a small bath that's getting a strongly-grained zebrawood vanity

and a shallow-cab-to-be that incorporates to-be-cleaned-up pattered doors

and a small amount of patterned tile, Forbo's Concrete (3136) -- which definitely shows (a peachy-yellow) marbling but is more sedate than the gorgeous Aurora Hour -- is about all we think we can handle!

    Bookmark   March 31, 2008 at 12:04AM
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Hey, House vixen! Long time!

Real linoleum is most beautiful and fabulous, and should be fine as long as you don't leave puddles standing on it for too long. The installer of the Marmoleum kitchen floor in our last house did not charge extra for cut-outs because we only had him do three. I think this must be somewhat negotiable.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2008 at 12:44AM
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Hey yourself, Woodlander! There are still a few topics that can get me going these days...Lino Luv being one of 'em.

Know your floor's great; hope you are doing well?

    Bookmark   March 31, 2008 at 2:00AM
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Molly Brown

House Vixen, How are seams handled?? Do they show a lot?

    Bookmark   March 31, 2008 at 6:24AM
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re. pricing, our installer, who is really good and honest, steered us toward Marmorette rather than Marmoleum because of warehouse locations and shipping costs. Like the OP, we are in the Northeast, and for a small install, we were told there was no comparison in terms of price.

re. seams, with a good installation they are barely visible at fist, and become invisible over time. Amazing stuff. Our mudroom is a deep deep blue, and we did a counter in the same room in the same material. No tiny primates were harmed in the installation.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2008 at 9:06AM
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Ah, I defer to the East Coasters then re: Forbo/Armstrong material costs. I didn't know about the warehouse locations.

Echoing what Lynnski said about seams. Though of course you want to minimize them in a bath/wet location, which is why with a good installer sheet lino is viable. [Bonus of having a small (6 x 10.5) seams for me this go-round!]

Good luck with your project; let us know what you decide/how it works out!

    Bookmark   March 31, 2008 at 10:40AM
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We have sheet Marmoleum in our kitchen. I think it would be great in a bathroom. It is a very warm material. I agree about minimizing the seams - I believe we have only one seam in our kitchen. If you get an expert installer I believe that they can heat the seam so it becomes totally invisible. Ours was not heated but it still doesn't really show too much. (The seam is in the picture I posted here but it's fairly invisible).

There is a product that can be used on marmoleum that goes on like a wax and I think that can further protect from water.

By the way, installing sheet goods is a dying art - there aren't too many guys out there who can still do it. That's real shame because it's a great product.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2008 at 2:13PM
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Hey HouseVixen: We have Aurora Hour in our DDs' bathroom (they picked the color out of a limited number of choices I gave them....mostly they just liked that that "Aurora" is the name of Sleeping Beauty!) We do love the color and how it blends with our MCM pink tile. (Not for everyone, but perfect for little girls!) I think you made a good choice with Concrete for your room. Anyway, here are a couple quick pics I just snapped:

elenkao: we have marmoleum (similar to marmorette) in both bathrooms and love it. Just make sure that you have your installer caulk the molding to ensure that the edges are waterproofed, and any joints with a tub are caulked. Also, I took the second picture, above, to show what we did underneath our dds' shower -- we put cove base tile all around that side of the room and caulked it. We felt that was better than regular molding for such a potentially wet area. HTH!

    Bookmark   March 31, 2008 at 2:59PM
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Oops...forgot to post the pic of our other bath where you can actually see the line of caulk where the marmo meets the tub. Color is Rosato.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2008 at 3:15PM
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Do you know how wide the roll of this product is? I was toying around w/ using a linoleum product rather than vinyl in my kitchen. I currently have vinyl, and whoever put it in did a horrible, horrible job in seaming! To go top to bottom w/o a seam, the roll would need to be 14 ft wide, and I know most vinyls are 12 ft wide.

I have 2 seams in my kitchen floor. One is right in the walkway between the kitchen and LR. There is a 1/8" gap! They must have filled them with something (or painted it) when I first bought the house (it was a new home) that eventally wore away. I bought some almond colored caulk and go over them once a year or so to hide them.

What REALLY kills me is my guest bath floor is only like 4X6, and there is a seam in there, too! Big ol gap right in front of the doorway, and I use the caulk in there, too. They were too cheap to cut another whole piece and used leftovers.

Of course, these were the same people who installed my carpet that got wrinkles in it about 2 months after I moved in and wouldn't come out and fix it w/o me paying them!

    Bookmark   March 31, 2008 at 5:01PM
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Molly Brown

Hey, Jerzeegirl, (I'm an x- jerzeegirl !) lol
Your floor looks great!!!! How is it to keep clean?? I'm liking linoleum (the real stuff) more and more. Thanks for the pix everyone, I think they look really nice and the fact that it's 'warm' really appeals to me!

    Bookmark   March 31, 2008 at 7:15PM
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I find my marmoleum (in kitchen and both baths) unbelievably easy to clean. Nothing seems to stick to it, and I love having no grooves, pits, or grout lines to clean. I vacuum up any loose particles first, and then damp mop with the product provided by my installer.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2008 at 8:05PM
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Cleaning is so easy. Lino has anti-static properties, which means pet hair seems to just fly off it into the dustpan.

I've had light vinyl floors that just never looked clean even after hands-and-knees scrubbing, but sweep/vacuum/occasional vinegar-and-water mop keeps my kitchen floor in great shape.

We used the suggested "sealer" when the floor was installed, took off the sealer with the Forbo cleaning product 1.5 years later, reapplied sealer...and did that process all over again at the year 3 point. The above is a bit of a PITA, but I take a few hours of PITA on occasion over weekly heavy-duty cleaning!

Jerzeegirl, love that floor with your choices.

Amsunshine, thanks so much for sharing your photos!

Both choices look great in their respective settings, and I love that you all either worked with your existing fixture or did an amazing job sourcing repro ones. [Alas we have nothing so pretty in our 1905 baths...the worst of the 70s/80s, I think.]

The Aurora Hour is such a beauty; your pics are really making me waver (we've yet to BUY the Concrete, after all). I do think it might be a bit too much for our room, but-but-but...ha. I prob need to stay strong and remember we still have an upstairs bath that will likely get a lino floor!

    Bookmark   April 1, 2008 at 12:09AM
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elenkao: It is so easy to clean. I use either a wet mop or if I am really cleaning it a spritz of Simple Green. I have never had an easier floor to clean.

And it's true about it's anti-static qualities - pet hair comes right up.

housevixen: This is funny but your linoleum floor was the "inspiration" floor for my floor. I remember trying to replicate your color :-)

Something I just thought of - the guy who came out to measure my job was a marmoleum installer in California and he said that in was fashionable there to cove the marmoleum under the lower cabinets. I guess they create a concave (?) wooden form and then wrap the linoleum around it so that four inch area under the cabinet has this cool look. I would have done it but apparently it's expensive and hard to find installers who know how to do it. I wish I could find a photo.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2008 at 12:32AM
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Straitlover, sheet linoleum is only 6'7 wide. However, what I was told (grain of salt) is that lino seams grow *together* over time while vinyl ones grow *apart*. Can't say if mine has done the former in 4 years but at least it hasn't done the latter.

That said, seems like your poor vinyl got some crap installers.

Jerzeegirl, too funny; of course, I *did* think I might be biased since it looked close to mine. With all our kitchen's "glamour dont's" it's nice to know we were an inspiration for something!

    Bookmark   April 1, 2008 at 12:46AM
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