Home>Discussions>KITCHENS>Can you identify this old flooring?
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Can you identify this old flooring?

My husband and I bought an 1894 Victorian late last year and the kitchen floor was disgusting, so we've decided to lay an inexpensive floor to hold us over until we can actually redo the kitchen (I'm not holding my breath). So here we go, pulling up a plywood subfloor because it'll be easier to replace the plywood than to disengage the old vinyl.

But what to my wondering eyes should appear, but this really neat (though worn out in places) green floor! But I don't know what it is! It is green with darker green and white squiggly bits running through, and has a narrow black band around the perimeter of the room. The green is kinda fake-marble looking.

[[blast. I can't post photos or links cause I'm a new member. I know this is absurd, but if you want to see it, go to flickr and search people for jcameron76, the most recently added photo is the floor]]

Now, from the basement, it looks like there is a wood floor under everything. This is laying over that wood floor, so I'm certain isn't the *original* floor, but could easily be from the 60s, the 40s, the 20s, I have no idea.

When it is scratched, it is still green, but the most worn places seem to show black through, so could that still be linoleum? Does anyone know if there is any likelyhood that I might need to check for asbestos?

I guess I'm also wondering how old it is cause if it's anywhere near as old as the house (maybe as late as the teens or 20s) I might try to recreate it when we DO redo the kitchen.

Thanks all!

Re: Can you identify this old flooring?

It looks like linoleum to me.


Re: Can you identify this old flooring?

Way way back in the day, linoleum came in huge, heavy, thick sheets. There may or may not be tacks around the perimeter. Usually it was just laid on the floor. Some folks put down newspaper first. We once found several sunday comics from 1946. I dunno if it contains asbestos, but if you don't sand it you should be fine. Just use a sharp box cutter to make sections easy enough to roll up and carry without getting a hernia.

Re: Can you identify this old flooring?

Thank you! Further work has revealed that this linoleum was laid with some sort of sticky black substance, I don't know if it would be called a glue as it's still kinda soft and tacky. In any case, I think we'll be leaving it down and covering it for now. Maybe someday we'll attempt to pull it up - the floor beneath appears to be a pretty old wood floor, but that black stuff may mean it isn't worth it, maybe ever.

Thanks again!

Re: Can you identify this old flooring?

The black substance is an old petroleum-based underlayment substance which will have permanently stained the wood underneath. If you are really lucky you may have enough flooring surface left so that a heavy sanding will cut past the staining but I wouldn't count on that. Plus you'll have to pay the sander for the work even if it doesn't work, so I'd plan on something else. Engineered flooring should be the way to go here giving you the look and the durability yo seek.


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