How can I reuse or recycle vinyl flooring/lino?

Vinyl FlooringWe’ve had an email from Penny:

I have some relatively new – but damaged – strips of vinyl flooring. Can they be recycled and if so how/where?

Penny doesn’t say how big the strips are or whether they’re completely damaged or just in part – if only bits of the strips are damaged, the good bits could be used to cover a desk/work bench to make it easier to wipe clean.

They could also be used in the garden – on top of a compost heap perhaps or if you’ve got an open-bottomed compost bin like ours, underneath it in case you want to move it in the future (we have a piece of wood under ours at the moment but I suspect the flexibility of vinyl flooring would make it easier to drag if needed).

Any other ideas? Anyone know about whether it can actually be recycled?

(I added “lino” (as in Linoleum) to the subject since I suspect a lot of re-uses would apply to either.)

(Photo by Maffu)

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16 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle vinyl flooring/lino?”

  1. Karlie says:

    You could tile them. Just cut out the good parts and glue them down.

    If you have a variety of colors and styles, maybe something that looks like a patchwork quilt so it doesn’t look so scrappy?

  2. Leanne says:

    We lined the floor of our kids cubbyhouse with a lino offcut. Much easier to clean out – you can either sweep it or take out the lino and hose it down.

  3. Delusion says:

    A “carpet tile size” piece is good for going under cat/dog food bowls to keep the floor clean!

  4. jen says:

    cut them into strips and weave doormats from them, the ends can be stapled.

  5. Annisa says:

    Use the back of the vinyl flooring to paint your own floor cloth. Here is how ; use the back side and paint with a light house paint, then when dry paint the color you want for your background with acrylic paint, then trace your design & paint it with acrylics. Lastly then seal it with multiple coats ( 5 or 6 ) of a good sealer. These will last for years.

  6. Jane says:

    I have a long narrow piece of lino rolled up in a cupboard, I use as a pasteboard when Im decorating.

  7. CTP says:

    if it’s truly vinyl, i wouldn’t want it anywhere near my compost heap – pvc can leach out toxins.

    vinyl/linoleum flooring makes good shims, small or large: they are soft enough that they will give a little, but not soft enough to lose their depth in compression. i use them in construction when furring out walls to install new drywall, to build up subflooring, to add depth to shelving/cabinetry, and small pieces make great shims behind door hinges.

  8. Rubber Man says:

    I am one of those people lucky enough to have a second home with a small cottage on a lake. What I usually end up doing is recycling all my old furniture and salvageable goods from my regular house into there. An example is I recently took the vinyl flooring out of my kitchen in my regular home and used it as a taped down floor in my utility room in my cottage.

  9. Kris says:

    Cut it to fit cupboards under your kitchen and bathroom sinks.

  10. Janet says:

    Use as insoles for shoes

  11. Pete Thomas says:

    Vinyl flooring can be recycled either back into new flooring or into long term heavy duty applications such as bases for security fences or sleeping policemen for controlling traffic.
    If you contact either or Axion Recycling they can tell you who is prepared to collect and recycle the material

  12. A further update to Pete Thomas’s post is that Axion Recycling have just got 2 big vinyl flooring manufacturers on board; Altro and Polyflor. This is the first UK vinyl recycling scheme of its kind. This is a great step in the right direction for recycling which we fully encourage. Lets hope the other suppliers get on board too.

  13. Omer Moran says:

    Nice article about very important issue.
    mor about vinyl

  14. I use any old lino I have as a flooring in my garage, stops it getting stained form any oil leaks my car has.

  15. Janser says:

    You could also use them to create plastic bags that you can use when going out in the market. Just clean it up thoroughly and sew the edges roughly.

  16. Shelving covers, thats apopular idea both for decor and to keep them clean

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