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Linoleum Vs. Vinyl Flooring

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naturcorWhile most people are aware of how wood, tile, and carpeting are unique from each other, many don’t know the difference between linoleum and vinyl flooring. First of all, yes, there is a difference, and the two terms are not interchangeable.

Linoleum and vinyl flooring are similar in that both are extremely tough flooring materials and require virtually no maintenance. This makes them popular in house areas like kitchens, and also places that require easy cleanup, such as schools. They both come in rolls rather than tiles or sheets. However, that’s where the similarities end. When looking for new flooring, consider how these two durable solutions differ:

  • Linoleum takes the cake with pattern and style. While vinyl flooring offers a plethora of options as well, linoleum can be had in any pattern imaginable. This is why it’s been such a popular flooring choice for kitchens; it’s possible to make linoleum look however you want!
  • Vinyl is a little bit tougher. While both linoleum and vinyl require far less care than wood or even carpet, vinyl does take the edge on toughness. When cleaning a linoleum floor, steer clear of solvents that have high pH. Vinyl, on the other hand, can take whatever cleaner you choose.
  • Both have strong arguments for sustainability. Vinyl flooring took over linoleum’s preeminence in the 1950s, but linoleum is making a comeback based on the environment. Linoleum is made out of natural materials like flax seeds, pine resin, flours, and ground up cork. Vinyl is made from synthetic materials. However, there have also been studies that say vinyl is the more sustainable choice, as it tends to last longer and there’s less energy used in its transport.
  • Linoleum is slightly more expensive. Due to the natural materials used in its makeup, linoleum will take a little more out of your pocketbook than vinyl.
  • Vinyl’s designs are printed on the surface of the material; linoleum’s will go all the way through. This means that when linoleum starts to wear, you’ll get different areas of color showing through. Vinyl will occasionally result in the design flaking or wearing off.

Both flooring choices are great for a variety of applications. In reality, the biggest deciding factor seems to be the method of production; people who are concerned about natural products tend to lean in the direction of linoleum, whereas those who don’t mind either way have more of a toss-up decision to make. Either flooring material has low VOC emission; just make sure a low-VOC adhesive is used when it’s installed.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you make the right flooring choice!


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