In this type of flooring ground cork is a principal ingredient. The cork is pulverized almost to the fineness of flour and is mixed with oxidized linseed oil and various gums, fillers and pigments. The mixture is compressed under huge heated calender rolls onto a burlap backing employed as a measure of reinforcement on the underside. A process of curing the cork composition aids in producing a firm, homogeneous material of considerable resiliency which will not buckle or crack and which is practically free from odor. Cork composition floorings are available in many forms and in a number of distinct types. The sheet forms may be classified as Battleship Linoleum, Jaspe, Inlaid Linoleum, Embossed Linoleum and Marbleized Linoleum.
Battleship Linoleum is a high quality, plain color cork composition flooring in sheet form, which earned its name from its original use as a decking material over the steel decks of warships. It is available in various thicknesses from slightly less than 1/8-inch to a full 1/4-inch.
Jaspe Linoleum is distinguished by its striated pattern in two tones of a single color, giving a variegated effect and a characteristic appearance of graining. It is otherwise similar to Battleship Linoleum in its composition, and is usually available in three weights. Small insets of contrasting color are frequently used in Jaspe Linoleum with interesting effects.
Inlaid Linoleums have various patterns in which each individual color runs through to the burlap back. In surface appearance these linoleums often resemble a floor laid with individual tiles, but possess the advantage of lower initial cost and considerably lower laying cost because of its sheet form. This type of linoleum is available in many combinations of colors and in a wide variety of patterns, some of the small tile forms resembling mosaic tiles, and some patterns resembling quarried tiles or blocks of cut stone or slate, as well as other designs.
Embossed Linoleums are usually inlaid linoleums in which an apparent joint is introduced between the tile units of the pattern, and this joint is compressed below the surface of the sheet to give the appearance of a masonry joint in a hard tile floor. The tiles themselves may also be embossed for decorative effects.
Marbleized Linoleums are classified separately because of their special appearance. Ingenious processes of manufacture result in producing a variegated color effect which resembles with remarkable fidelity the color and appearance of fine marbles, there apparently being no limitation to the manufacturing process in the reproduction of all types of colored marbles. Marbleized Linoleums may be in either full sheet forms, in which the marbleizing effect is carried out over the entire sheet, or of the inlaid type, having the appearance of blocks of marble laid in pattern.
The tile forms, which are sold under various distinguishing trade names, are essentially the same as the sheet forms in composition but are usually available only in plain colors or in marbleized effects. There are in addition a number of newer types constantly being developed which produce various special flooring effects, including a reproduction of wood plank floor, accomplished by using the Jaspe Linoleum with inset joint strips, pegs and butterfly wedges of darker color. The tile forms are in plain colors and in marbleized effects. Some manufacturers are producing an embossed tile for special uses which have the appearance of decorative faience tiles and which are employed to introduce variety and interest in the pattern of a floor. The architect has at his disposal, in these materials, floorings to harmonize with any designs.