question for Marcolo

dianaloApril 6, 2011

Hi Marcolo,

You posted the following on my thread about Marmoleum:

"I believe Consumer Reports said that Marmoleum was better for wear, worse for scratching, than Armstrong's linoleum."

I am trying to decide what to do about our floor. We are in the home stretch with discussing with Forbo about proceeding, but nothing is settled yet. I believe they understand (as of today) that their cleaner is who damaged the floor and since we all seem to agree the wrong materials were used to make the pattern, that the dealer should have sold me other choices to get to the end result we wanted.

I am worried about the scratching and would consider Marmorette by Armstrong if it were less likely to scratch, but can't figure out what you mean by "wear" if it scratches less than the Forbo product. Can you please expand on that? I am torn about how to proceed so clarification would really help.

Thanks ;)

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Here I am!

I was just quoting from an old thread on the flooring forum. I never saw the original Consumer Reports myself. Summary of the review:
"Linoleum varied widely. Often confused with vinyl, which is plastic, linoleum is mostly linseed oil and wood products. Two brands we tested were best at handling dents and sunlight. But one was vulnerable to scratches, the other to wear."

Wear: Fair
Scratches: Excellent
Dents: Excellent
Stains: Average
Sunlight (UV fading): Excellent

Wear: Very Good
Scratches: Poor
Dents: Excellent
Stains: Average
Sunlight (UV fading): Excellen

I have no idea how to interpret CR. I rarely do. I also don't know if they know what they're talking about. I can't get to the article anymore because I let my online subscription lapse.

I'm considering Marmoleum myself, oddly enough in the same pattern as yours, from a picture I saw while Googling a year or two ago. Frustratingly, the reviews range from "My floor looks like new 7 years later!" to "It always looks dirty unless I mop constantly!" So I don't know what to make of that. Especially the "mop constantly" comment. Um, in my family we always mopped the floors after dinner, so I'm not sure what the big additional burden would be. Do people expect a floor with muddy footprints, lasagna spills and dog pee to look clean? Also frustratingly, I get the sense that different colors show wear and scratches differently, but nobody seems to have the Secret Key to the best colors.

I still walk into places and find 80 year old linoleum on the floor that looks good. If this new stuff is real linoleum, why doesn't it hold up like that? Or does it?

Sorry if you're overwhelmed with the incredible specificity and helpful detail in this comment, LOL.

Here is a link that might be useful: Short Flooring forum thread from '07

    Bookmark   April 6, 2011 at 10:17PM
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Out of curiosity, I looked up CR online, and it gives the ratings for Armstrong Marmorette Oak Brown - G VG VG VG E and Marmoleum click - G G G VG VG. The other product tested was Nova Klik - VG F E F E.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2011 at 11:02PM
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Jumping in here...hope you don't mind... but this is how CR describes their 'wear' report:

The Forbo Marmoleum Click is part of the flooring test program at Consumer Reports. In our lab tests, flooring models like the Marmoleum Click are rated on multiple criteria, such as those listed below.

Wear denotes how quickly surface wear was noticeable after abrasion machine was used.

Scratches indicates the ability to withstand dragged-object simulation.

Dents show resistance to blunt and pointed weights dropped from various heights.

Armstrong Marmorette Oak Brown 19066 was the favorite and least expensive based on MSRP. It scored 69/100.
Breakdown: Good: Wears. Very Good: Scratches, Dents, Stains. Excellent: UV/Sunlight

Forbo Marmoleum Click scored a 59/100 and was the most expensive.
Breakdown...Good: Wears, Scratches, Dents. Very Good: Stains, UV/Sunlight

The middle brand was Nova Linoleum Klick Item 6615 scoring 54/100.

Hope this helps you out.


    Bookmark   April 6, 2011 at 11:04PM
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Marmorette only shows 7 colors in the residential flooring section of the website. The commercial linoleum shows many, many more. Reminds me of the way Marmoleum offers multiple lines, all of which you have to find through Google because they're impossible to locate on the website. It seems like both companies have invested heavily in sales prevention.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2011 at 11:08PM
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I investigated Marmorette and Marmoleum (what's with the "marm"?) for my new sunroom, after reading that comparison on CR. I had a difficult time finding any retailers that sold the Marmorette for residential purposes. In the Chicago area, at least, it seems to be sold primarily for commercial applications, and none of those dealers wanted to take on my dinky sunroom project.

I ended up with sheet Marmoleum from the Vivace line, in a pattern called Sunny Day. It's been in the sunroom since January, and has survived lots of furniture movement and dog/cat nails with no visible scratches.

I don't know if the sheet product is somehow tougher than the Click, or if I just have a pattern that's busy enough to hide scratches. It doesn't show dirt either.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2011 at 11:58PM
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My click floor is almost 2 years old. It shows scratches, but frankly considering the abuse it takes as a mudroom floor with wet/muddy/snowy shoes and dog claws I am impressed it doesn't look worse.

We expected as a "softer" floor (not ceramic) we'd probably see some damage.

I'll add that we have never used any of Forbo's cleaning or sealing products on our floor; don't know if that makes a difference.

I find it cleans VERY easily with a little vinegar and water. I think some people may think it reads "dirty" because of either the variation in pattern or perhaps the matte finish--this isn't a floor that ever looks shiny in my opinion (though again, maybe Forbo's sealer/protectant adds some shine?) and lots of people seem to equate shiny with clean.

Still glad we went with it even with the scratches!

    Bookmark   April 7, 2011 at 10:30AM
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Fori is not pleased

Dianalo, do you still have your mangled floor in place? Put on your roller skates and grab all the neighborhood dogs and get some kids on plasma cars in your kitchen right now. I think every color is going to show flaws differently and you have a good place to test your colors (let's pretend it's a silver lining). Put on those pumps you forgot to throw away from when you were a teenager that only have a nail for a heel. DANCE!

My floor isn't shiny and I don't have the cleaning kit or sealer. I was supposed to get something but for some reason after 4 installations I didn't feel the need to ever see the floor guys again. I guess it's got a mild patina, not too different from the new, matte look though. I am about to move and have to (get to?) do the kitchen again and I will absolutely do Marmoleum again. Click though--if I'm gonna have an installer that is clueless it might as well be ME!

    Bookmark   April 7, 2011 at 11:40AM
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I am picturing fori dancing in dianalo's kitchen. I do not wish to.

It's a great idea but I'd wait until after the dispute is settled, but before the floor is removed. I'd love to be a fly in the wall as dianalo explains to Forbo's insurance adjuster where the stiletto marks and wheel tracks came from.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2011 at 11:52AM
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Thanks Marcolo and other helpful posters ;)

Our Marmoleum floor took on scratches where our sons rolled cans of tomatoes across the floor. Is that considered "wear" or just plain "scratching"? These do not buff out with a scrubbie sponge. I would have thought scratches would come from some pressure and a rough edge, not from rounded unopened can sides. We have visible scratches on most of the tiles despite having no furniture on either floor. It has all come from walking and the can rolling they did one day (in a few minutes) on one part of the floor. I never would have imagined that something so innocuous as rolling a can (not dropping, just rolling) would cause a permanent mark on a floor. I expect some wear over time on hardwood, but not to this extent on a floor that will be in my kitchen.

I sent away for Armstrong commercial samples yesterday and will go to a comprehensive floor store that was recommended twice to me in the past few days. I don't know if Armstrong or any other manufacturer does a floating floor in linoleum like Marmoleum is. I had my installer by last night and he suggested that we put a new floor over the existing Marmoleum because to take it out will disturb the cabs, counters, etc... He had a plan for working it in front of the dw to not block it in (we can adjust the dw legs). The floor would be 3/8" higher than the adjacent hw, which is no worse than if someone had done a ceramic floor. The current Marm would serve as another subfloor and help with noise control. The only downside would be if we need to use glue down tiles. The Armstrong site seems to say you can't use them in that situation. I will ask the flooring people I meet with today. I hear they are quite knowledgeable.

On our current floor, the scratches are more noticeable on the Volcanic Ash and Eternity. The Raven seems to not be scratched, however, it is only approx 25% of the floor, so might just not show because there is less of it. All of our colors are rather mottled (although not the crazy multi colored mottled look). Click did not give us other choices of colors that would work in our kitchen other than those 3.
Armstrong's commercial choices were much greater than the Click. We need to re-do approx 340 sq feet (since we don't need to do all the way under all the cabs this time). My installer is a handyman/contractor who can purchase for me if they give me a problem about using them in a residence. I could also order and have it delivered to my office if need be.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2011 at 11:53AM
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You guys crack me up!

I hate to say it but it did not take high heels or anything sharp to scratch the floors, either before or after the sealing. We had hoped the sealing would solve the problem, but it hasn't. I was talking to my installer about how to put it down again and he keep looking skeptical and blurted out that he can't understand why I'd want more of the same stuff that is already looking beat on at less than 2 months and before even being in full use. Forbo has not come to an agreement with me, but there has been talk of at least replacing the materials. I got the sense they'd reimburse me for the materials rather than ship me a new bunch, but I am not certain.

No one has used any type of shoes other than the rubber sole kind. Neither has anyone dragged anything across the floor. I screeched at my son the other day as he went towards it with his backpack rolling then realized that this is a problem if normal type use has me such on edge (I caught him before it was on the Marm). I would have hoped that normal walking and backpack rolling would do no harm but now I am afraid of my own floors at times. I really hope to find a better solution later today. Tile is just not an option and I almost was considering hardwood floors yesterday, but I know the main part of the kitchen would show wear in a few years and then I'd have to redo the entire living areas at the same time since our plan is a wide open layout. It also is not the look I had wanted for our kitchen. The den would not be a problem with wood, but it would have to go in a different direction than the adjacent dining room one, otherwise the transition would be harder. Maybe I can find a wood border of sorts to help it transition. That would solve only half the problem though.
I really want what Marmoleum was supposed to be.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2011 at 12:06PM
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Dianalo, it does seem strange that the activities you describe (walking, rolling cans) would scratch the floors. I hope that Forbo resolves the problem to your satisfaction, as you definitely should expect more durability from the product.

If you decide to go with Marmorette, I wish you the best of luck. I definitely would have tried it if I could find good residential dealers in my area.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2011 at 1:30PM
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We need to re-do approx 340 sq feet (since we don't need to do all the way under all the cabs this time).

I'm confused. Why did your contractor install the Marmoleum under the cabinets? I was under the impression that floating floors need expansion areas all around the room, so they aren't suppose to be under cabinets. The Marmoleum installation instructions state: IMPORTANT: Please note that a gap of 3/8â (10mm) is required for expansion on all sides between the floor construction and the wall. This distance must also be provided at all columns, heating pipes, steel door frames, etc.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2011 at 7:40PM
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Fori is not pleased

That ain't right.

Did all colors/lot numbers react the same? Either you got some bad flooring or some REALLY bad tomatoes. These are actual scratches? Crazy.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2011 at 7:50PM
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deke - there was never a question about putting the floating floor under the cabs, but another flooring person mentioned it as a concern yesterday. The Forbo people did not say that was a mistake either... Does it make a difference that our cabs are on legs and the toekicks are not structural? In any case, those will be removed as much as possible and the new floor guy will work his magic somehow (I find out on Mon. when he gets here to see it in person), so we shall see. We are still not sure what to use for flooring next time. Hoping for some divine inspiration because I just don't know! My Armstrong samples are a few days away still.

fori - my thoughts exactly!

I took some pix this afternoon of the scratches but one of my darling sons ruined the charger that connects my iphone to the computer (as if we don't have enough things breaking/going wrong). I will upload them and post tomorrow. I guess I was wrong as the black color shows scratches just as much. I had thought it had less but when I got closer to photograph, the dark tiles were as bad as the other ones. I look at the floor and just wish it were fine again. I really hate this whole mess and all the added stress. I love how they looked when installed and before anyone walked on them. If you look in areas without direct light, they seem fine still. It is when light shines on it, that the scratches get noticeable. It may help that I need glasses for distance so can avoid seeing clearly when I want to, lol....

    Bookmark   April 8, 2011 at 11:18PM
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Here are a few pix. I had to only take where the natural light was shining in as the overhead light made it hard to catch with the camera (when lit enough, all I saw was the light in the pix and not the scratches).

    Bookmark   April 9, 2011 at 10:45AM
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Fori is not pleased

I just don't get it. Was this after the floor was sealed or waxed or treated somehow? If so, was that stuff fully cured (or whatever) before the tomato incident?

It looks shinier than mine which could be due to lighting of course. I have a scratch like that that you can find if you really want it, but it's from a small child dragging a heavy cat tree thing to the sink so he could use it as a stool. Cans are the only thing that don't get rolled around but they certainly get DROPPED frequently.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2011 at 1:15PM
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fori - these pix are how it looks now, after the similar scratches were buffed out and it was resealed. It was not shiny prior to the sealing. There was no warning about not letting anyone use the floor and the sealer had several hours to dry before anyone else stepped foot on it. The can rolling was not that day, but a few days after. They only rolled the cans in one area, and only briefly, and the rest of the floor looks like this too. Dh told them to stop rolling the cans right away (we were both there when they started). I told him it was harmless and then he pointed out the tracks each roll was making, so that ended that.

I just don't get how mine can be so scratched up both before and after treatment and yet it seems some people don't have that on theirs. I have seen some people complain about scratches too, but I would guess if it were all like mine, there'd be more outcry and from more people.

No one has ever been more sure about getting this floor and more disappointed than I am. It kills me that we went through so much to buy it and have it installed only to have it now be a continuing problem and to know we will be going out of pocket to remove it, even if they cover our previous costs of materials and installation(which is not a sure thing yet). We spent over $4k to do these 2 rooms and it was our biggest "splurge" in that we could have done flooring far more cheaply, but didn't. I felt like I was paying for quality and function. People around here would never guess that this was not an economical choice. It was done for our enjoyment of the look and even more so, the function of not standing on rock hard floors when I cook. Color me disillusioned.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2011 at 7:00PM
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Thank you for documenting this, dianolo. This is causing me to reconsider my own flooring choice. Have you sent these pix to Forbo? You may have answered that question already; I forget.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2011 at 8:09PM
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I sent them the pix of the water damage, but not of the scratches. When I complained about the scratches, they sent the cleaning crew, who were able to buff the previous scratches out. Once the floor was ruined, the new scratches were the least of its problems.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2011 at 8:44PM
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hi dianalo,

wow... i was just checking in to see what's up. now you have these scratches. my gosh, this must be incredibly crazy-making!

just curious, did you ever abuse "samples" of this floor when you were in your original planning stage?

yeah, it's just not right that you should have to be on edge about everyday wear... something's wrong.

now you're stuck with what to choose instead. it must be so hard when you've planned around this for so long.

i wish i could help, but i'll just have to send you good thoughts and a *hug*. you're holding up amazingly.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2011 at 10:02PM
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I feel sheepish to say so, but did not test drive the samples in any way. I looked at the colors, laid them on the floor for perspective and kept them to the side for when I needed them as swatches. I did not try to abuse them as I would have if they were counter material. You can bet I will try out any new surface we consider! I am hoping to receive the Armstrong samples any day.

Thanks for the encouragement. It does not feel like I am being stoic. I think I am more worn out than anything at this point. The burner guy is here as I type because the plumber and electrician could not figure out how to fix our heat situation. Dh turned off the thermostat completely upstairs yet the baseboards are still cranking out heat. At least it is down to 77 today. We must be wasting so much oil. I have a leak under my kitchen sink, so haven't been able to use it other than for filling for the past 4 days. My venthood is a nice nightlight only as it stopped venting when they fixed the height. It just never seems to end. I have a perpetual list and when one thing comes off one or 2 new things go on. The floor is a huge one, but not the only thing. I spend so much time on dealing with the problems that making progress on my own list is slow.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2011 at 1:08PM
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I like linoleum and its smell of linseed oil and pine. Afaik the other ingredients are cork specks and marble dust. Maybe the manufacturers want to move to other ingredients to make it more manufacturable.

i find the new naming convention to be confusing. Is linoleum somehow disappearing? MARM0leum is the new term. Is there or is there not a difference?

    Bookmark   April 12, 2011 at 5:36PM
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Fori is not pleased

"Marmoleum" is Forbo's trade name for their product.

As far as abusing countertop materials--sheesh I only JUST got rid of my linoleum countertop after about 19 months (finally picked out a stone). It was a great countertop too! I dragged my 30 pound mixer back and forth over it, hammered my stone samples on it, brilloed it (no wait that was tree sap on the floor, but still), cleaned off food coloring that had sat for literally MONTHS (it was under something, honest), and was generally disrespectful of what turned out to be a very nice top.

And then you go and get a bad batch. Maybe it was stored/shipped incorrectly? Ug. Is Forbo going to be helpful? Or are you still waiting for a resolution?

    Bookmark   April 12, 2011 at 6:03PM
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I am still waiting for a resolution and have not heard anything since last week. We are at the 4.5 week mark since it happened.
I had a flooring guy come in to estimate how much it will cost to remove the floor because our previous installer really seemed to not want the job (and his estimate made it clear, ouch!). This new guy told me that linoleum from years ago was a thicker product than today's choices. I can't compare what I got to sheet linoleum, like the old ones were, but he could be on to something.
I just want resolution. I am so torn as to what choice to make for our next floor. I still get a thrill when I look at the colors and pattern in my doomed floor, but then reality pushes in and makes me scared of redoing it the same way. I have not found anything I like more since this all happened though. If this had gone as planned, I'd have gratefully kept this floor for decades.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2011 at 12:16AM
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hi dianalo,

good grief. your sink, vent, heating, too?! i'll stand by "amazingly".

i just received my marmo samples. they are so tiny, you can't roll cans on 'em anyway. ;)

i'm wondering, didn't you put a finish/sealer on your floor? could this have (chemically) weakened the floor material somehow? (honeychurch mentioned this, too.)

honeychurch posted she did not seal the floor. fori, did you? anyone else?

i gouged my fingernails in the samples straight away, because of your woes. i could only see faint marks if i held them to the light at a certain angle. i still can't think how a rolling can of tomatoes would do worse.

next i took a metal paperclip and put some serious scrapes in them. hmm, i wonder if "what" you buff them out with makes them more susceptible to scratches afterward?

not that you have the spare energy, but do you have any leftover pieces that weren't "treated" with sealer or cleaner that you can roll a can across?

    Bookmark   April 14, 2011 at 1:37AM
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ironcook - my floors scratched up before they were buffed and sealer was put on to fix the initial problem. That, of course, corrected the scratches and ruined the floor. I then thought, well, I'll at least get to see if sealing it would make a difference and if I should use sealer next time (carefully applied by hand, lol).
That did not make any difference as far as I can see. In fact, I notice the scratches more because the sealer made them more glossy.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2011 at 1:29AM
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dang. how frustrating. :(

we were going to do cork click floors before i saw your gorgeous floor.

but now... so i can only imagine how you must feel!

(are you listening, Forbo?!)

    Bookmark   April 15, 2011 at 1:55AM
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I'm not sure this helps much, but that last picture of your dark tile is just what the scratch in our Volcanic Ash tile looks like. In our case I know that it was from the edge of the refrigerator dragging across the tile (since we did it....d'oh!)---but we don't have any other scratches like that on our tiles, even with an 85-pound Dane mix whose nails scratch our wood floors terribly, and who skids across the kitchen floor every morning. I think there has to be something more going on here---is there any possibility that some of these could be from the work crew moving things? (Our floor scratched through the paper that was covering it at the time, because the fridge was heavy enough.) Our floors also aren't sealed in any way.

Good luck with the decision---and I'd follow up with Forbo for sure, since this doesn't look normal at all.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2011 at 2:41AM
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ironcook - we have considered cork but are afraid it won't wear well over time. Every floor person I have asked about it says they would not use cork for a kitchen floor. Since our flooring is in a very large and open area, I'd hate to have it wear more in spots and have to be replaced.

artemis - we had the floor completely covered with heavy drop clothes and cardboard. I can understand if they had made one or 2 big scratches in error, but it was mostly smaller scratches and all over the place. Since they fixed it, no one has done anything heavy duty on it. It has scratches on it just like before.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2011 at 9:27AM
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I haven't used Marmoleum (but am considering it, which is why I am reading this). I did use cork click tiles in my last kitchen--held up beautifully. I did seal it, as suggested.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2014 at 8:59PM
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Helen, how long was your cork floor down?

    Bookmark   June 15, 2014 at 11:24AM
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I have had marmoleum for a year and a half, and I'm not sure I would do it again. Our contractor goofed on the the nails used--you HAVE to follow the installation instructions to the letter--and now some nails are busting through. Also, I have a couple of scratches and the joint isn't as "clean" as I'd hoped.

On the positive side, I do love the way it feels on my bare feet and it's very easy to clean. Easy on the eye, too.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 1:30AM
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Reviving an old thread to find out what happened.

I'm curious because we ripped up the awful carpeting in our 1949 home and found beautiful linoleum underneath in part of the house. Believe it or not, Marmoleum has some that is virtually identical and I was thinking about putting that in the laundry and kitchen areas.

Now I'm having second thoughts.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2014 at 1:48AM
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I'm just wondering what ever happened to Marcolo. Long time, no post!

    Bookmark   September 29, 2014 at 9:54AM
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