When it comes to sustainable flooring, some manufacturers are pulling out all the stops to create a never-before-seen, material-of-the-future product for architects and designers. There’s nothing wrong with that, but why reinvent the wheel — which is to say, why did everyone forget about linoleum?
Linoleum may have been invented nearly 160 years ago, but that doesn’t make it antiquated. Indeed, in today’s sustainably-minded A&D industry, linoleum has a real edge over its twenty-first-century counterparts — it's 100% recyclable and biodegradable. The only thing that seems to get in linoleum’s way is its aesthetic associations with the homely suburban architecture of the 1950’s.
Gerflor, a premier European manufacturer of commercial resilient flooring, has updated the veteran material’s look with a new, biophilic collection that connects back to linoleum’s organic origins. The DLW Landscape sheet flooring collection features 43 colorful patterns drawn from some of the most stunning landscapes and natural wonders across the globe: California’s iconic coastline, the Grand Canyon, volcanoes, fall foliage, and sweeping deserts, among others.
"Biophilia is the foundational base of the collection," explains Catherine del Vecchio, Gerflor USA's senior director of marketing. "Our goal was to stay true to the nature of linoleum, believing it to be the perfect material for designers to elevate sustainability and creativity in their projects. We like to think of the DLW Landscape collection as both inspired by and made from nature."
The technical aspects of this product are just as intriguing. Gerflor's linoleum is derived from 100% recyclable and biodegradable linseed oil, wood flour, limestone, jute, resin, and natural coloration pigments. It is manufactured in an ISO 9001 and 14001-certified factory that boasts 100% energy and waste recycling. Coincidentally this factory, located in Delmenhorst, Germany, is the very first and only remaining linoleum factory in that country.
For all this careful attention to both ingredients and process, Gerflor's DLW Landscape Collection has racked up an astounding amount of environmental accreditations. Specifically, the collection has a USDA organic label, a Blue Angel certification, FloorScore® certification, and a Declare label. "The labels and certifications are a huge honor, but we are most proud of being able to offer our customers a smart alternative that can bring positive change to the built environment," says del Vecchio.