How to: linoleum class or room class?
In fact, classes do not apply to floor coverings, but to rooms where these coverings will be laid.
To indicate which class of premises this or that coating is suitable for,
manufacturers supply their products with special labeling. On the packaging are two-digit digital indices - 21, 22, 33, 41, etc.
The first digit encodes the type of room, which corresponds to a specific type of coverage. “2” - residential premises, “3” - public, “4” - industrial.
In the second - the degree of intensity of use. From low - “1” to very high - “4”.
Classification of premises
The generally accepted European classification - both for linoleum and other floor coverings - divides them according to their suitability for laying in rooms with varying degrees of floor load.
On a note! The flooring for a room with a high class can be laid in rooms with a lower class. For example, class 32 linoleum can be used indoors in a class below. Thus, the FORUM and ULTRA collections are perfect for home, especially if the family has children who like to play cars, or big dogs.
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Classification of linoleum types
In addition to the class of the room where the coating is mounted, linoleum manufacturers use an additional classification.
It is based on the thickness of the protective layer - transparency. It is he who is responsible for the wear resistance and abrasion of linoleum.
Depending on the thickness of the transparency, the following types of linoleum are distinguished - household, semi-commercial (or “easy commerce”) and commercial.
On a note! It is quite difficult to visually distinguish household linoleum from commercial. Therefore, before buying, study the characteristics on the manufacturer’s website or consult with the seller to know exactly whether you chose the linoleum that you wanted.
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Transparency thickness - up to 0.4 mm.
Where it is used - premises of classes 21, 22, 23 (residential) and 31 (public with low load intensity).
In the household linoleum segment, B.I.G. offers a wide range - from high-end products to budget options.
Among the latter, it is worth highlighting the FLASH collection for class 21 rooms with a wide variety of designs and the HOLIDAY collection for class 23 with a deep embossed pattern.
The so-called improved household linoleum deserves special attention. In it, the transparent layer is increased to 0.3-0.4 mm. Thanks to which it is allowed to be placed in rooms up to 32 class. And when used in residential premises of 21-23 classes, it will have a longer service life.
Collections on the duplicated basis - FORUM, ULTRA and GLORY are considered the favorite for sales among improved household linoleum. They are distinguished by a beautiful pattern with a “living structure” imitating natural materials, as well as comfort, good heat and noise insulation and high resistance to temperature extremes.
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Semi-commercial linoleum, or "easy commerce"
The thickness of the transparency is from 0.4 to 0.6 mm inclusive.
Where used - public and office premises of 31–33 classes, as well as industrial premises of 41 classes.
Semi-commercial linoleum is characterized by increased density due to the special formulation of the raw materials used, as well as good abrasion resistance due to the increased thickness of the transparent layer.
Since products of the “easy commerce” category can be used in preschool educational premises, special “children's” designs with funny cartoon drawings were created - the VECTOR PROFI brand collection.
As for shopping and business centers, a collection of semi-commercial SIRIUS linoleum with PVC chips that create a flicker effect has been specially developed for them.
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Transparency thickness - from 0.7 mm and above.
Where used - 34 class public and office premises and production rooms of classes 41, 42, 43.
Its main features are high material density, transparency thickness and a wide variety of products for the specific needs of industrial premises. Thanks to this, commercial linoleum is suitable for different types of premises: from medical institutions to industrial workshops for the assembly of heavy equipment.
On a note! The perception of "the thicker the more reliable" is erroneous. For example, household linoleum reaches a thickness of 4.8 mm, while commercial linoleum with a protective layer of 0.7 mm has a total thickness of only 2 mm. However, it is the protective layer that ensures the resistance of linoleum to abrasion, therefore for public and industrial premises a thinner commercial linoleum with thick transparency will be a more reliable solution than a thick household one.
Among commercial coating options, linoleum with antistatic properties is found - it is in demand for laying in rooms with sensitive electronic equipment. In addition, there are products for rooms with high acoustic requirements, linoleum for sports facilities and vehicles.
An additional important property of products for the commercial and semi-commercial segments is the fire hazard level of linoleum. So, the collections PREMIUM (class 43 of premises) and PREMIUM AS are linoleum with a high fire safety class KM2.
What is the fire safety class of a coating?
Floor coverings are tested according to 4 parameters - smoke formation, flame spread, flammability and toxicity.
According to the test results, linoleum is assigned classes KM2, KM3, KM4, KM5.
Of all the classes, KM2 is separately distinguished. The presence of this characteristic is especially important for public and industrial premises. For residential, this is not considered critical.
1. Classes do not apply to flooring, but to rooms.
2. The class of the room is indicated by a two-digit digital index, where the first digit is the type of room, the second is the degree of intensity of use.
3. Linoleum, in turn, depending on the thickness of the protective layer is divided into household, light commerce and commercial.
4. In order to choose the right coating, it is important to choose not the class of linoleum, as it is mistakenly believed, but the class of the room, and only then determine your requirements for the properties and behavior of the product during operation.
In this article, together with the experts of the company B. I. G., we will look at the most common of them and find out which linoleum to choose so that it will last for more than one year.
Myth 1. Wears out quicklyWhen choosing a floor covering, it is important to find the right balance in the coordinate system "purpose-characteristics".
If you put linoleum in a room with an intense load on the floor covering for rooms with a low load (bedrooms, offices, dressing rooms), then, of course, it has all the chances to fail and wear out prematurely.
If you correctly evaluate the class of the room, the features of its use and then choose the appropriate linoleum, it will last at least the manufacturer's stated service life.
In addition, you need to remember that any floor covering is demanding to the quality of the base on which it is laid.
It should be smooth, dry, firm and clean. Otherwise, the laid linoleum will repeat all the contours of defects-pits and bumps. In such places, there will be an increased load during operation. And, consequently, the linoleum will fail before the due date.
Myth 2. RottingModern linoleum does not contain components that are subject to rot. Its upper part is made of polymer materials, while the lower part uses foamed polymers or a duplicated base that combines a foamed base and non-woven polyester. Both of these materials are inert to moisture.
However, due to the fact that linoleum does not absorb and does not pass moisture, it is extremely important to lay it on a dry base. Otherwise, water locked under a sealed coating will create a favorable environment for the formation of fungus.
Myth 3. The thicker, the longer it isLinoleum does not directly depend on the service life of the total thickness of the product. The service life is mainly affected by the thickness of the protective layer — the transparency, but it is difficult to assess visually.
In the most durable commercial linoleum samples, the transparency reaches 0.7 mm or more, with a total coating thickness of only 2 mm. While household linoleum has a transparency of 0.2-0.4 mm with a total thickness of 1.5 to 5 mm.
The thickness of linoleum is a characteristic that has a greater impact on comfort, sound and thermal insulation.
So, if you are interested in walking comfort, choose collections with a thickness of 3 mm and higher, designed for rooms from 21 to 32 classes. For example, Glory or Forum. This linoleum will also serve as an additional barrier from the noise of neighbors and the cold of concrete floors in rooms that are not equipped with a warm floor.
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Myth 4. Deteriorates from heels, furniture legs, animal clawsThere are many types of high strength linoleum. They perfectly withstand heavy and regular loads.
If the question is - which linoleum is better for an apartment where large pets live, the owners prefer to walk in slippers with heels, and the furniture stands on thin legs, then it is better to choose dense linoleum with a small thickness of 2-2.5 mm with a room class of 23 and higher. For example, the Ultimate and Strong Plus collections.
Read more about room classes in the article - What you need to know about linoleum classes?
Myth 5. Not suitable for Underfloor heatingThis is not true. Linoleum is allowed to be used in conjunction with warm floors. But it is important to consider two requirements.
· the heating system must be sunk into the screed, as the linoleum is attached to the base with glue;
· the temperature at the junction of the floor covering and the base must not exceed +27 °C.
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Myth 6. PVC chips fall out or are trampledSome linoleum collections, such as Sirius from light Commerce, use special PVC chips that create a flickering effect.
The production technology of such linoleum looks like this. After applying a transparent layer, before it solidifies, polymer particles are poured on it — the same PVC chips. They are not glued on top, and, crumbling, are immersed in a transparent and securely sealed inside.
As a result, it is impossible to extract chips from the transparency layer during normal operation of the floor covering.
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Myth 7. Smells badThis is one of the most popular stereotypes, and it is absolutely not relevant for modern coverage.
Today, the production of good linoleum is an environmentally safe process. B. I. G. has the highest requirements for both raw materials and the production process itself. Every year, the plant conducts an independent environmental assessment, which results in the company receiving a certificate of environmental safety.
In addition, all products of the B. I. G. plant undergo a voluntary sanitary and epidemiological examination, where, among other things, it is checked for the possibility of releasing various harmful fumes and odors. Therefore, the products are completely safe both for the environment and for humans.
Linoleum itself is still at the factory with a separate procedure to get rid of possible unpleasant odors. To do this, linoleum is heated in an oven to 200 0C, removing from it all volatile compounds that can evaporate into the surrounding atmosphere. And the smell in the room where repairs are being carried out can come from new furniture; wall coverings; floor bases, if the process of preparing the base is violated; glue for gluing the floor covering, if the technology of gluing is violated.
Especially for rooms that have high hygienic and sanitary requirements, there are options for linoleum with an antibacterial coating.
Myth 8. Not suitable for large roomsThe days when linoleum was only in the format of rolls 3 meters wide are long gone.
In the assortment of the company B. I. G. you can find rolls of different widths - from 1.5 to 5 meters. At the same time, the unique large-format collections of Pietro, Supreme and Stars have no analogues in the world. This size ensures quick installation and a minimum number of joints. At the moment, there are no analogues on the market.
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Conclusion1. Modern linoleum is a high-quality finishing material that has nothing in common with the coating, which has been the subject of many myths since Soviet times.
2.Before you start choosing, you need to decide what exactly you want to get from the future floor covering (comfort when walking barefoot, durability under any loads, etc.), where it will be used and how intensively. With this information, sales consultants will be able to offer you the most suitable options.
3. to independently understand what kind of linoleum will fit your requirements, you need to study the official information from manufacturers and rely on the recommendations of experts on floor coverings. Or see our recommendations for suitable collections for different rooms here.