What’s the difference between linoleum and vinyl flooring?

It’s no secret that there are a large variety of flooring options available, which can make it easy to get lost in the specifics of how one type of flooring differs from another. One common flooring question we often receive from consumers is: what’s the difference between linoleum flooring and vinyl flooring.
The vinyl flooring vs. linoleum comparison is one filled with many similarities. There is however a few key differences between the two flooring options that should definitely not be ignored.
Composition
Linoleum is a mix of renewable natural materials: primarily linseed oil, which comes from flax seeds, plus other natural ingredients such as jute, cork powders, wood flour and tree resins. The design is not on a separate image layer, but is embedded throughout the materials.
Vinyl flooring, on the other hand, is a synthetic product that is made up of vinyl, a combination of chemicals including ethylene and chlorine, and other additives (like felt, fiberglass, and dyes).
Life Span & Durability
Speaking of life spans, linoleum flooring can last anywhere from 20 to 40 years, while vinyl flooring typically lasts anywhere from 10 to 20 years. Because of this, linoleum is considered more durable than vinyl as it has similar properties to ceramic flooring and hardwood.
Look & Style
The difference in design versatility between vinyl flooring vs. linoleum is astounding. Linoleum is extremely limited in its design options. Unlike vinyl, which authentically replicates the natural look of wood and stone, Linoleum doesn’t have the same style versatility in terms of mimicking other flooring types. However it can be great for creating large patterns, embedded designs or blocks of color. Linoleum is colorfast, which means that the patterns and hues are not just printed on the surface but are dimensionally present through the entire piece. This allows the flooring to wear down without fading, as the colors are true all the way through the material.
Scratch, Stain and Dent Resistance
Both vinyl and marmoleum floorings have hardened wear layers designed to provide maximum scratch and stain resistance both are designed for superior dent resistance from things like cleats, heavy appliances and dropped objects.
Installation
Vinyl flooring is considered to be the easier option out of the two (especially if you’re looking for a DIY flooring project). While linoleum flooring installation is typically not considered a complicated process, certain precautions are needed.

Maintenance
Both Vinyl and Linoleum requires extremely low maintenance. Considered one of the easiest flooring types to clean, both flooring can withstand normal sweeping and vacuuming as well as mopping. You won’t have to worry about damaging the floorboards as they are not affected by moisture, mold, or mildew.
Price
While linoleum flooring isn’t expensive, it typically costs more than vinyl, fairly head to head.
Applications
Both vinyl and linoleum flooring are ideal for almost any commercial design project thanks to their multi-faceted and cross-purpose functionality.
Whether you decide to go with linoleum or vinyl tile flooring, there are plenty of beautiful, high-quality options for both types of flooring material. Because they’re both considered types of resilient flooring, and are great choices for homeowners looking for affordable, comfortable and practical flooring products.

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