A Different Kind of Amber Alert

A Different Kind of Amber Alert

Yellow cast on new linoleum is no cause for alarm

Q. I wanted to install Marmoleum Click flooring in my daughter’s room because it is supposed to be very good for healthy indoor air quality, and my daughter has allergies. But when the installer from the flooring company started taking the flooring out of the boxes, the color did not look like what we chose. Instead, it looked like the material had yellowed, like something does when it gets old.

The installer said this was normal and that it would go away. But with the price of this product already being higher than many other options, I did not want to take the chance. I sent the flooring back and cancelled the job.

I really wanted this floor. Is it possible that I just got a batch that was defective?

A. The problem you are describing is not a defect. It is called “ambering,” which is a yellowish cast that appears on Marmoleum – and the competing brands of linoleum. As the installer said, it is normal. It goes away entirely after the flooring comes out of the box and is exposed to light for a few days.

Ambering  is evidence of the constant oxidation of Marmoleum’s main ingredient – linseed oil. It is this oxidation that prevents bacteria growth and repels dust and dust mites. Long before Forbo developed the click floor, the company’s sheet Marmoleum, a competitor to vinyl, came into high demand in hospitals because it naturally inhibits bacteria growth.

More recently, the click product has gained recognition, getting Asthma & Allergy Friendly certification from the Asthma & Allergy Foundation.

Making the product available in more colors and self-locking planks also has made installation more practical for some people, and has increased residential installations. Many customers, however, still choose the sheet goods — which also are made by Armstrong and Johnsonite — because of the continuous look. The sheet product requires a certified installer who is experienced in heat-welding the seams.

The installer who came to your home was correct in what he told you. He just didn’t tell you enough. The ambering means you are getting what you asked for. ©

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