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The Top Benefits of Legato Liquid Linoleum

Kathy Long

Written by Kathy Long, Marketing Manager
May 20, 2021

Are you a designer looking for a new flooring option for healthcare spaces? Maybe you’re looking for a flooring product that offers sustainability benefits? LegatoTM Liquid Linoleum might be the right product for you. 


Legato Liquid Linoleum is a relatively new product for Mannington Commercial with a wide breadth of practical uses. It can be installed in applications  that require the benefits of infection control, Red List free ingredients, as well as stain, scuff and scratch performance – traits that go above and beyond that of a traditional linoleum thanks to its seamless installation and Quantum Guard Elite® technology. 

Legato is popular for healthcare, government, education, retail and assisted living applications. 


To help you get a better understanding on this product we sat down with Al Boulogne, Vice-President of Commercial, Sheet, Rubber, Poured Floors and Distribution for Mannington Commercial, calling on his more than 20 years of experience in both residential and commercial flooring to help explain the benefits of Legato.


Kathy Long:

Tell us why Legato fits into Mannington Commercial. How did we add it to our product line?


Al Boulogne:

We're always looking for additions to our commercial portfolio. For a long time, Mannington Commercial has focused on having almost any floor covering option our customers need so we can work with them to be solution providers rather than just pushing a single category. Our sales team is equipped to go in, understand the customer's requirements, and offer a product solution that fits what the customer needs.


Traditionally, that leads us into products like carpet, LVT, vinyl, rubber and all the other great categories that Mannington Commercial offers including sundries and all the things that go with the installed floor. An opportunity to look at this poured flooring option presented itself through an industry relationship I've had for a long time. We looked at it and realized it fit our portfolio. It fit our commercial selling efforts well, and we knew it could provide some unique, and meaningfully differentiated benefits to our customers.


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Legato Liquid Linoleum B413



The first benefit that comes to mind is obviously sustainability; the product has a lot of different documents that we provide regarding sustainability. Can you tell us about those and what it means to our customers when they purchase and install Legato?



Legato is produced using natural materials: vegetable oil, cork, cork flour, limestone and natural colored pigments that make up the flooring part of the product. Because of that, the product attributes fit as a sustainably focused product. It’s PVC free, and there are no VOCs  (volatile organic compounds) in the product. There are no plasticizers, no formaldehyde, no chlorine, and no heavy metals. All that adds up to us offering a holistic package of documentation and certifications to go along with the story of the product.


If you go to the Legato on the Mannington Commercial website, you'll find links to some of those certifications. The detail behind them is even more vast than what we publish because each one requires a series of third-party testing and verification. For the big picture, we have an EPD that's third-party verified; an HPD, also third-party verified; and the product is Red List Free for declare. We are FloorScore® certified for Legato, and we also have the product listed on the mindful MATERIALS database. Those are just some of the attributes that come from the origin raw materials that go into the product.



Do you find that is above and beyond what other flooring products are offering across the board? Or is Legato in line with that?



There’s a right product for a right place, and I would say that each product in our portfolio has the right place for the right customer. But, I think these sustainability-oriented attributes put Legato in a category by itself versus our own portfolio as well as competitive products.





I know Legato has 54 colors that are made with natural pigments. How were these colors selected, and how does the color mix with the other ingredients? 



The 54 colors selected for Legato were based off of a starting point palette. We asked our commercial design team to look at the existing palette and identify colors critical to the healthcare and education segments that were missing. Knowing the needs of those customers, our design team went to work and picked the additional colors.


When the pigment is added into that combination of cork and oils and limestone, it interacts with the product to create the color. As a matter of fact, some of the colors  mix  throughout. 


Other pigments make a more monolithic surface on the product because it separates and produces a different kind of visual. Because of this, depending on the color that you select, you can get varying levels of visible cork creating a unique visual per color which is a really interesting part of the product. As those pigments are mixing together with the natural materials, they all create their own unique texture as well as color. So those 54 colors are intentionally designed and pointed to our targeted market segments.



Do you have any concerns with dye lots or color consistency with a poured floor?



The beautiful part of Legato is that it actually is not dye lot-controlled. You can mix up a batch today and install it, and then a year from now go back and remix the same raw materials and pour in the same color pigment, and it will match. Now, within the floor there is variation because we're working with natural materials. Not all cork is the same color; not all the limestone is the same shade; and the pigment can vary a little bit, but within each bucket there is variation in color.


It's a subtle  shift in color within each bucket and between buckets.  That slight variation in the range of the color is a beautiful part of the aesthetic. . When you put it on the floor, you’ll see that not every square inch looks like every other square inch, but when you apply one bucket next to another one – whether it's today or two years from now – it will have the same appearance as the floor that was poured before.



You’ve mentioned before that Legato has memory. Tell me about that and how it's different from other resilient products.



We put it into the resilient category because it does have a memory once it's formed and laid down. Once it sets up, it wants to stay in that form. It’s kind of like a rubber band. If you take a rubber band and stretch it, hold it, and then let it go, it wants to rebound back to the original form. Well, this product is similar. Once it is mixed and past the open time of about 15 to 20 minutes during installation, that’s where it wants to stay. The product self-levels as you're troweling it down and rolling it during installation. That means it goes to the low points, fills those in first, then levels out in an open floor space. Once it's there, it wants to stay. 


The benefit? As the product is put into commercial use and experiences some slight irregularities or damages to the surface of the floor like small micro-scratches or minor abrasions, the product actually wants to retake its original place and its original form. Some of those scratches, if they're not too deep and not too big, will self-heal, which offers some nice properties and also makes it easy to repair. If there is any type of major damage, we can do easy, seamless repairs.



When you talk about minor scratches, I assume you are talking about chairs, but what about hospital equipment or heavy rolling loads?



The product has a very high PSI rating. It’s designed and intended for heavy commercial spaces, operating theaters, and patient rooms. Under heavy rolling and static loads, the product will perform with its PSI rating.  Will hospital equipment damage it? There's no perfect floor out there. If you have a locked hospital wheel bed, and you drag it over a piece of a cord or a piece of equipment that's on the floor, or you drag the corner of a heavy X-ray machine and it gouges the floor, damage can still happen. But again, one of the beautiful parts of this product is how you repair it.


Typically, when we talk about any other category, whether it's a plank or sheet product, trying to fix a gouge becomes painful. Think about a sheet floor with a long gouge from a piece of equipment going down a corridor. You have to go into each one of those areas, cut out the damage, then put in a new piece of that sheet. And then to make sure that that floor remains a monolithic installation, you have to heat weld around those seams. So that damage repair really jumps out.


With Legato, you can cut the damaged material out, then you mix in this repair kit of the same material as the original floor. You fill in that repair circle, carefully feather it up to the edge of the original, and it will re-bond to itself. You come back the next day, put the urethane wear layer on it, let that set up, and it is difficult to even find where the repairs were. You can forget the heat welded seams and the patching. It really is a nice benefit in healthcare situations, and it's definitely designed to put up with the wear, tear and abuse that a floor takes in that environment.


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Legato Liquid Linoleum N339



In terms of cost for Legato, it might be pricier on the front end, but does it have a benefit when we look at long-term costs over the life cycle of the product?



Comparing Legato to other types of flooring like sheet vinyl, LVT, rubber, sheet linoleum or poured epoxy, Legato may not be the lowest-cost option of that group. However, if you look at Legato from an installed price perspective, it’s more competitive than of those same products.


If you take epoxy, for example, or another glued down sheet or tile product, you have to take into account the total installation including subfloor preparation, any kind of primers, any adhesives, any special grinding or sanding that has to be done after any topical applications, and any initial maintenance that has to be done that's unique to the product.


From an installed price, Legato makes a lot of sense because it eliminates a lot of the things that you typically have with those competitive products, primarily adhesives. There are no adhesives used in a Legato installation. The product itself bonds to the subfloor once it's prepared properly. And the subfloor prep is not unlike any other hard surface product. There’s similar subfloor preparation, but it’s much easier to put down and with less expense. All this makes it a competitive floor covering option, especially considering the list of benefits.



And along with it, I'm sure you don't have as much waste because you only pour what you need?



Right. Everything comes in buckets or pails. There are six components. The first is the primer. A bucket of primer covers approximately 1,100 square feet. Unused primer can be resealed and used on the next job. The next components comprise the flooring – vegetable oil, cork, cork flour, and limestone . Then there is a small pail of the pigment that is also naturally based. When you mix the three together, one-to-one by the way, you can simply start installing. That combination of those three buckets exactly covers 75 square feet.


The only scrap material is whatever you don't use of that 75 square feet mixture within 20 minutes after it's been mixed. Assuming the bucket was mixed because it was required for at least some additional coverage, the maximum waste is very low compared to other flooring types.  Any material that is not mixed, can go back on the shelf and be used for the next installation. 



I was thinking about sheet flooring in particular: if it's 12 feet wide, you can wind up with a lot of waste very quickly.



Absolutely. For example, whenever you have a space that is less than 12 feet wide, and you're using a 12-foot roll, you have to cut off the appropriate width of that roll and that part of the product is scrapped as material waste. Or let’s say  the space is 20 feet wide, and you have two 12-foot wide rolls to install.


In this case, you are losing 4 feet of either one of the rolls or 2 feet of scrap off of each roll.  Maybe that material can be used in other places in the installation, but it's a lot of material to have to think about and plan for to really cut down on material waste.


Often you're left with a lot of scrap and in the second example, a lot of heat welded seams that are eliminated when using Legato instead. With Legato you could have the material on site ready to go, but whatever you don't use can go right back on the shelf and use it for the next installation. 



Legato is a different type of installed product. Do we have certified installers for Legato? And is it a quicker installation than if you have to use adhesives?



We don't actually have certified installers. Mannington Commercial sells Legato through our ProSolutions group, which means Mannington Commercial will work together with the selected flooring contractor partner to manage the installation. Every installer has an opportunity to learn how to put the material down before getting to an actual installation site. So we work with an experienced flooring contractor partner and also have our own, Mannington Commercial installation technicians working alongside them.


It’s easy to actually put the flooring down, but it does require following the steps the right way, in the right order, and paying attention to detail – just like any floor covering installation. In terms of time on the floor and actually putting the product down, one person can put down about 75 square feet in about five minutes. The actual time on the floor is a very small part of the installation.


The flooring must be allowed to set up overnight before the Quantum Guard Elite wear layer is applied  the next day, which also is a very quick process.  Finally, that wear layer once again, dries overnight before the end user can begin to allow foot traffic on the floor. Allowing the time for installation is ultimately critical but the installation of the product is actually a fairly simple process.



Do you think people are hesitant with Legato at this point because it's new? What do think they should understand about it to see why it is such a great opportunity?



I know people are often hesitant with new products. And I think it's important to point out that while this is a new product to Mannington Commercial, the technology from the source company has been in the global market for about 15 years.


We have a lot of case studies with existing installations where the product's performed beautifully under difficult environments. So yes, it is a new product and one that Mannington Commercial is proud to take to market, but the groundwork was laid by our supplier, both in the U.S. market and in the international market. It's now an exclusive technology to Mannington Commercial. 



Is there anything else you think people should know about Legato?



Well, the product is seamless, so you don't have a lot of material waste. It's got topical performance for heavy applications. We've talked about all the great sustainability-oriented features and benefits. It features those self-healing properties. Legato doesn't require adhesives. And, it's an attractively priced product. There's not a lot not to like about Legato when it compares to other hard surface products. There are a ton of features and benefits. It’s a versatile, unique, differentiated product in the marketplace.


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Top 10 Benefits of Legato


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