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Old 11-17-2008, 12:10 PM   #1
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Marmoleum and Nail Polish Remover


My wife has spilt some nail varnish remover on our lovely Marmoleum bathroom floor, and some of the (black) coloring effect seems to have come off after she wiped it!!

Does anyone know how to repair it?
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Old 11-17-2008, 10:59 PM   #2
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Marmoleum and Nail Polish Remover


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Originally Posted by AnotherDiyNovice View Post
My wife has spilt some nail varnish remover on our lovely Marmoleum bathroom floor, and some of the (black) coloring effect seems to have come off after she wiped it!!

Does anyone know how to repair it?
Yeah, I think I prolly do.

First off, take a damp sponge or rag and wipe down the damaged area to see if the damage seems to disappear, or become much less visible, when that area is wet. And, of course, the area should return to the way it looks now as it dries.

Maybe wet down a large area or even the whole darn floor with the sponge or rag and see if the "damage" seems to largely disappear under those conditions.

If it does, then what you're actually seeing isn't so much "damage" as it is an optical illusion. The roughened surface of the TopShield protective coating on top of the Marmoleum is scattering light and your eye sees that scattered light as the colour "white". When you mix white with any other colour you get a lighter tint of that same colour, like red + white = pink or black + white = grey.

If you can temporarily remove that problem by wiping down the floor with a wet sponge or rag, then it's not damage at all, but merely the roughened surface of the floor that's creating white light that's changing the apparant colour of the floor in that area.

If the floor looks much better when wet, then you just need to put a few coats of acrylic floor finish on that area, and you're good as new. Acrylic floor finish is completely transparent, so getting it on the surrounding undamaged area won't do any harm.

You're Marmoleum seems to be nothing more than a thick linoleum with an acrylic sealer and/or acrylic finish on top. I put acrylic sealer on ALL 21 of my bathroom sheet vinyl floors. The purpose of the sealer is to protect the flooring from stains. It's basically a highly crosslinking acrylic resin that dries very hard and is equally hard to remove with chemical strippers. It does dissolve in strong solvents like acetone, tho.

PS: You don't really need to read the rest of this post. It just explains why acetone caused the problem and why recoating with floor finish should correct the problem.

According to this web site:
http://www.forbolinoleumna.com/default.aspx?MenuID=867
marmoleum is made much the same way that real linoleum is made. They dissolve a natural resin (in this case, pine tree rosin) in linseed oil to make a liquid that will dry to a solid when exposed to the oxygen molecules in the air. The purpose of the pine tree rosin is to add strength and hardness (or durability) to the linseed oil when it dries. The pigments add colour. The wood flour, cork and limestone are all just fillers which bulk up the stuff up so it's thicker. (Lowering the density of the stuff by adding wood flour, and ground cork means that it won't asborb or lose heat as quickly, and that means it'll feel warmer to stand on in bare feet.) Limestone is calcium carbonate. It's a highly colourfast material that's naturally white in colour and so it reflects light well. This would help prevent light coloured linoleums from fading, and the presence of plenty of light inside the linoleum will help reduce yellowing of the linseed oil inside the linoleum. (Yellowing in oil based coatings and materials is worst in low natural light conditions, like inside closets and under furniture where it's generally pretty dark.)

Next, Marmoleum is different than regular linoleum because it comes with a factory applied sealer called TopShield as discussed on this web page:
http://www.forbolinoleumna.com/Default.aspx?MenuId=879
In fact, a graphic in about the middle of that page describes "Marmoleum with TopShield" as consisting of linoleum covered with either two coats of a "high performance finish" or one coat of a "cross linking primer" and another coat of "top layer" (which is undoubtedly a single layer of "high performance finish"). It occurs to me that without this "TopShield" on it, that graphic says that Marmoleum would be ordinary Linoleum. Also, my guess would be that the "cross linking primer" is S. C. Johnson's "Technique" which is just an acrylic sealer meant for vinyl composition tile and vinyl floors. So far as I know, EVERYONE's sealer meant for vc tile and vinyl floors is a cross linking acrylic product. Sealers are much harder to strip off than finishes, but they will dissolve in acetone. Sometimes sealers aren't compatible with one-another and they'll "bead up" if you put one company's acrylic sealer over another company's sealer.

Finally, on page 15 of the Forbo Floor Maintenance Manual or page 16 of this PDF file:
http://www.floorsbyphoenix.com/engli...e%20Manual.pdf
Step #6 in the procedure to "Renovate" the top layer or "high performance finish" on Marmoleum flooring says to:

"Apply 2-3 thin coats of Johnson Wax Professional Carefree Matte finish or, for a higher gloss, Johnson Wax Professional Carefree finish."

WELL HELL !

Johnson Wax Professional Carefree is the S. C. Johnson Wax Co.'s standard run of the mill acrylic floor finish. I use it in my building, and I've used approximately 5 "enviropac"s of the stuff over the last half dozen years or so, with each enviropac being about 22 liters or 5 gallons of Carefree. I like it a lot. I use it a lot.

"Carefree" is an acrylic floor finish, which means it's made out of a plastic called "polymethyl methacrylate", which you probably know better as "Plexiglas". In fact, depending on who made the stuff, polymethyl methacrylate can be sold under the name Plexiglas if it was made by the Rohm & Haas company, Lucite if it was made by Du Pont or Perspex if it was made by ICI (Imperial Chemical Industries) of Britain. It's all the same stuff being sold under different names, it's just that Plexiglass comes as a solid film, but Carefree comes as tiny particles of clear Plexiglass suspended as a slurry in a solution of water and a water soluble low volatility solvent called a "coalescing agent". That's also what a good quality paint is, but paint will typically have pigments in it to give it colour and opacity.

Nail polish remover, which is either acetone or amyl acetate will dissolve polymethyl methacrylate. So, when darling dearest spilled some on the floor, it softened (and probably partially dissolved) the factory applied top layer of Carefree, and when she went to wipe it up, the rag left that softened area with a rough surface on it instead of a smooth one. That rough surface is scattering light, and your eye sees scattered light as the colour "white", and when you mix white light with any other colour of light, you get a lighter version of that same colour. That's why your Marmoleum looks "milky whitER" in the area of the spill.

By putting another coat of floor finish over that roughened area, Fresnel's Laws of reflection says that you'll see no (or almost no) light reflected from the old rough surface. Almost all the light you see will be reflected from the new smooth surface over it. Since there will be almost no light reflected from the rough interface between the new and old finishes, you won't "see" anything different in that area at all. That is, eliminating the rough surface by putting a coat of floor finish over it will eliminate the problem you're "seeing" by greatly diminishing the amount of light reflected from that interface.

This web site won't let me post anything over 10,000 characters long, so I will continue this explanation in the following post.

Last edited by Nestor_Kelebay; 11-18-2008 at 12:54 AM.
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Old 11-18-2008, 12:41 AM   #3
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Marmoleum and Nail Polish Remover



All you need to do is clean the area GENTLY with a Magic Eraser to remove any dirt on it and apply another coat of anyone's acrylic floor finish, preferably Johnson Wax's "Carefree" in either the matte or gloss finish, depending on what you have now. Just phone up any place in your yellow pages that is listed under "Janitorial Services" and ask to buy a photographic film container full of floor finish off them for $1.00 or a cup of the stuff for $5.00 or a whole gallon of the stuff for about $40. In each case, they'll be making a good profit off you and they'll know it. Bring your own container because floor finish is typically sold by the gallon or 5 gallon pail, not by the fluid ounce.

If the damaged area is less than a square foot or two, then you don't need more than a film container full of it. You should be able to fix a good 20 square feet of "damage" with a cup of Carefree.

Then...

1. after cleaning with the Magic Eraser,
2. Take a clean white cotton rag and soak it with water, and then squeeze it out so it's just damp.
3. Lay the wet rag on the damaged area and pour a half a photographic film container (or more) of Carefree onto it. (you don't want the Carefree to be dripping out of the rag, but you want it to be wet with Carefree). Wipe the area down with the rag, and then put the rag in a clear plastic bag with no printing on it. It doesn't really have to be a clear bag, but that's best to use if you have one. What's important is that you remove any printing ink from the bag with nail polish remover or acetone which you can buy at any hardware store. Otherwise the coalescing solvents in the acrylic floor finish will dissolve the printing ink and tint your acrylic floor finish the colour of the ink, so you might end up with a slightly greenish or blueish or yellowish patch on your Marmoleum.
4. Apply several coats until you see that the affected area is as glossy as it's surroundings (or you can't find the damaged area any more), keeping the rag in the plastic bag between coats so it doesn't dry and harden up.

As long as your warrenty has expired, you'd do well to clean the whole floor and apply a few coats of floor finish over the whole floor as well.

Post again if you didn't understand anything posted above.

G'Luck
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Old 11-18-2008, 10:33 AM   #4
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Marmoleum and Nail Polish Remover


Thanks Nestor for your reply. I'll try out your suggestions and post back on the result (just for reference for others).
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Old 12-09-2008, 09:03 AM   #5
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Marmoleum and Nail Polish Remover


I have been applying the Forbo polish and its gradually getting better... I've applied about 3 coats of polish so far on the damaged tile, and am likley to need a couple more i'd say. Thanks for your help.
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Old 12-09-2008, 09:46 PM   #6
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Marmoleum and Nail Polish Remover


Post again if you want to know how that milky white Forbo polish you bought dries to a clear colourless solid film. That is, why doesn't it dry to a milky white film?

Last edited by Nestor_Kelebay; 12-09-2008 at 09:50 PM.
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Old 12-09-2008, 10:29 PM   #7
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Marmoleum and Nail Polish Remover


Quote:
Originally Posted by Nestor_Kelebay View Post
Post again if you want to know how that milky white Forbo polish you bought dries to a clear colourless solid film. That is, why doesn't it dry to a milky white film?

I'm game, how do the acrylic co-polymers go on milky and dry clear?

Jamie
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Old 12-09-2008, 11:29 PM   #8
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Marmoleum and Nail Polish Remover


Jamie: I'm not sure if Plexiglas is a copolymer or not.

From Wikipedia:

"The identity of the monomers comprising the polymer is generally the first and most important attribute of a polymer. The repeat unit is the constantly repeated unit of the chain and is also characteristic of the polymer. Polymer nomenclature is generally based upon the type of monomers comprising the polymer. Polymers that contain only a single type of monomer are known as homopolymers, while polymers containing a mixture of monomers are known as copolymers. Poly(styrene), for example, is composed only of styrene monomers, and is therefore classified as a homopolymer. Ethylene-vinyl acetate, on the other hand, contains more than one variety of monomer and is thus a copolymer."

Anyhow, from my original post to AnotherDIYNovice:

"It's all the same stuff being sold under different names, it's just that Plexiglass comes as a solid film, but Carefree comes as tiny particles of clear Plexiglass suspended as a slurry in a solution of water and a water soluble low volatility solvent called a "coalescing agent"."

And most of the explanation lies in the quote above, specifically that Carefree is a slurry of tiny clear solid particles (called "resins") suspended in a water based solution.

In the liquid form, the Plexiglas resins create gazillions of plastic)/water interfaces that both reflect and refract incident light just like the water droplets in a clowd. Those interfaces aren't flat, but they're contoured and they both reflect incident light and refract it so that the various frequencies of light get refracted in slightly different directions, just like a prism, breaking up the incident light into all the different colours of the rainbow, and sending each colour in a slightly different direction whereupon those different colours are subsequently reflected and refracted again by other Plexiglas resins. That jug of Carefree is like a bingo machine for photons.

What your eyes see are different frequencies (colours) of light coming from everywhere in the Carefree liquid at the same time, and your brain interprets that as the colour "white". Thus, Carefree floor finish is white for the same reason that clowds, a snowbank, a water fall or the head on a beer are all white, even though nothing inside any of these things is white in colour. The white colour is really just the way our brains interpret seeing all different colours emanating from everywhere in the liquid. So, we see that liquid as being "white" in colour, even though nothing inside it is white in colour.

As you put the Carefree on, the first thing that happens is that the water evaporates and the clear Plexiglas resins (pronounced "blobs") find themselves surrounded by the coalescing solvent at a steadily increasing concentration. The coalescing sovent softens the Plexiglas resins (kinda, it actually lowers the glass transition temperature of the Plexiglas so that they become soft at the ambient temperature). It softens them sufficiently that the forces of surface tension and capillary pressure cause each Plexiglas resin to stick to and pull on it's neighbors so that they all distort in shape from tiny "blobs" to tiny polyhedra (geometric shapes with flat sides) much like dish washing detergent foam "bubbles" have FLAT soap films between them.

Then, just as with "acrylic" (aka: "latex") paints, the coalescing solvent gradually evaporates from the soft sticky plastic film, and as it does, the acrylic resins harden up again to the same hardness they were when they were still Plexiglas "blobs" in the white liquid.

As the Carefree dries, and this "coalescence" of the Plexiglas resins ensues, the water/plastic interfaces disappear. As a result, there is no more reflection and refraction of light within the plastic film, and that white colour your brain "saw" disappears, resulting in your seeing a CLEAR solid film.

One could say that the water/plastic interfaces were replaced with plastic/plastic interfaces, but because it's the same plastic on both sides of the interface, then the refractive index is identical on both sides of the interface, and so no light gets reflected or refracted at that interface. That is, light crosses a plastic/plastic interface without reflection or refraction, or as though that interface weren't even there.

In either case, the result is that the dis-similar interfaces disappear with the evaporation of the water, and so the reflection and refraction of incident light ceases, and so the production of "white" light stops.

Exactly the same thing happens when snow melts to form crystal clear water. The white colour of the snow disappears as the ice/air interfaces disappear.

Post again if you want to know why your blue jeans are darker when they're wet. If you read this post carefully, you might be able to answer this question on your own.

Hint: the answer also explains how wet T-shirt contests work. That is, it explains why wet cotton is more transparent than dry cotton.

Ya gotta know this stuff to earn your DIY armbadge. After all, it's really how things "look" that matters in flooring and politics.

Last edited by Nestor_Kelebay; 12-10-2008 at 11:01 AM.
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Old 12-27-2008, 10:39 PM   #9
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Marmoleum and Nail Polish Remover


Good stuff Nestor. One follow up question to using the JW Carefree product: do you use a buffer/floor polisher when you apply it, or just mop it on and leave it?

Also, any ideas on a make-it-yourself ph neutral floor cleaner?

SG
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Old 12-28-2008, 02:24 AM   #10
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Marmoleum and Nail Polish Remover


Smgagner:

I mop it on and leave it. It self levels to a glossy surface, and that completely avoids having the extra work of polishing it.

The only tip I can give on making your own home made neutral cleaner is to use JW Carefree as your finish. Carefree re-emulsifies when it gets wet and stays wet for more than a few minutes. That's what I like about it.

I used to use ChemSpec "Neutra-Gloss" cleaner as a cleaning solution on my vinyl composition tile floors. However, after being told over and over again by sales reps from Johnson's Wax that I can use GP Forward as the cleaning solution, I'm using that. But, truth be known, I'm using a VERY dilute solution of GP Forward as my cleaning solution. So, it's primarily the water in the dilute GP Forward cleaner I'm using that softens the Carefree and allows me to scrub off a thick layer of it easily.

I like that because it ensures that I remove the embedded dirt layer completely. And, how much more easy to make and pH neutral can you get than tap water?
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Last edited by Nestor_Kelebay; 12-28-2008 at 07:06 AM.
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