Anatomy of a Linoleum Floor
Made to be trod upon, linoleum flooring provides an aesthetic barrier between indoor dwellers and sub-floors. We maintain high expectations for our linoleum flooring. During its' life-span we expect durability, color stability, stain resist-ability, and usability. Some of us even want it to look nice. Manufacturers impose endless tests on their products in a never-ending struggle to maintain market share. All hail the linoleum floor.
Invented in the late cretaceous period by the Lino people, linoleum provided a basis for burgeoning economies on the great home-improvement trade routes of the far east. Archaeologists have unearthed crude cave drawings depicting early linoleum patterns. A particularly interesting find in the Gobi Desert tells the tale of subtle battles fought between the typically docile Lino tribes and a neighboring tribe of Formica people. Although the tribes once cohabited in relative peacefulness, the drawings represent a time of strife during which raiding parties routinely made off with patterns and color schemes while the unsuspecting Lino artists shopped at Whole Foods. Eventually peace broke out when tribal elders negotiated a strong truce that lasted until the early 1950s. Formica tribes people agreed to limit their creations to counter-tops as long as the Lino craftsmen kept their work underfoot. Formica flooring showed signs of catching on, but the formica artisans were willing to make the sacrifice. Unfortunately the truce collapsed during the housing boom in post World War II America. Architects and traveling salesmen conspired to adapt flooring designs into counter-top and table designs. For more information, read about the Great Levittown Engineered Surfaces War.
The famous Linoleum Flooring mills of Northern Georgia attract visitors and art critics from as far as two counties over. Teased by the aroma of warm petroleum byproducts, tourists leave the expressway and tarry briefly for the daily tours through the sprawling manufacturing centers. Central to their attraction is the exquisite laminate tracing facility. Here, artistic renderings from museums the world over are reduced into nearly incomprehensible geometric patterns rendered in neutral colors. Free hot dogs are also provided.
Linoleum Flooring offers a great bargain for the homeowner or slum lord. Rather than carefully applying a durable attractive decorative arrangement of ceramic tiles that enhance the value of any home, lay down some linoleum.
Color and design choices often present a challenge for do-it-yourselfers. Browsing the immense selection of shades of teals and greys leads to slight frustration and in some cases chronic color blindness. Rest assured that professional re-modelers experience the same emotions and urges to run screaming from the showroom. These dedicated people overcome their feelings of hopelessness by consoling themselves with an industry secret which will now be revealed. No amount human intervention in the area of color matching or pattern matching will ever cause a linoleum floor to complement any live-able decor.
Linoleum in Pop Culture
Virtually every sitcom in the 1960s and 1970s featured linoleum flooring. Mr. Ed was an exception; the surface was tragically too slippery for equine hooves. However, for the most part linoleum and indoor-outdoor carpet provided the floor covering yin and yang so badly needed by major TV production companies. On more more than one occasion, filming was halted due to visual confusion between the floor and the kitchen counter tops. Even the famous Techni-color reproduction process failed to accurately reproduce differences. Bored historians casting about for thesis statements believe the problem evolved from long-standing schisms between manufacturers in east and west Hollywood. Other historians prefer to study important topics.
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