How to Use Marmoleum for a Countertop
Many homeowners seek out eco-friendly building materials to complement their green lifestyles. Such materials are biodegradable, low-emission, made from natural materials or otherwise not harmful to the environment. Among the variety of choices available to homeowners is Marmoleum, a material similar to linoleum and made from linseed oil, rosin and wood flour, all natural and sustainable materials. This material, in some situations, can make a sturdy countertop.
Marmoleum has many benefits as a countertop material. It does not emit any volatile organic compounds, which are gases that can pose a health hazard. It does not contain any toxic chemicals, so food contamination is not an issue. It's also naturally anti-bacterial and easy to clean. Marmoleum is consistent all the way through, meaning that the color and texture is not a surface coating, so scratches don't easily show. There are some drawbacks for using Marmoleum as a countertop, though. It's somewhat softer than other choices and can be damaged by knives. So it works better for eating areas rather than cooking or food-preparation areas.
While you could potentially use either sheet Marmoleum or Marmoleum tiles on your countertop, large sheets of the material are more suited for countertops. Companies that manufacture this product typically offer sheets in a very wide variety of colors, and sheets are usually 79 inches wide. Sheet Marmoleum comes in rolls.
Marmoleum should be thought of as a coating for another material. You can't simply use a sheet of Marmoleum as a countertop, as it lacks the strength and durability on its own. Marmoleum therefore needs to be adhered to something more durable. The surface underneath needs to be flat, stable and sound, so you may or may not need to do some sanding, smoothing or repair prior to adding the Marmoleum on top of your counter.
Marmoleum sheets need to be unrolled and "relaxed" prior to cutting and installation. After cutting Marmoleum to the correct size and shape, apply an adhesive designed for Marmoleum to the countertop using a notched trowel. The Marmoleum is then placed on top of the adhesive. The Marmoleum then needs to be pressed into place with a roller. The edges of the counter will need to be covered; this can be done using wood or metal molding.
- Green Building Supply: Using Marmoleum for Countertops and Wainscotings
- The Bigger Pockets: Marmoleum Green Flooring: Benefits
- U.S. Environmental Agency: An Introduction to Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)
- U.S. Green Building Council's Green Home Guide: What is the Best Material for Green Countertops That Are Not Too Expensive?
- The Natural Abode: Marmoleum
- Forbo: Installation
- Contempo Floor Coverings Inc.: Marmoleum Installation Tips and Facts