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Linoleum vs. Vinyl Flooring

Linoleum vs. vinyl? Homeowners often confuse these two flooring types, and it’s easy to understand why: for many years, people thought vinyl was another name for linoleum. They believed linoleum was what Grandma had; vinyl was what Mom had. Below, you’ll find info on both so that you can make a more informed flooring decision.

Style: Both linoleum and vinyl flooring can complement the original design of an older home, or shine with radiant colors and beautiful patterns in a modern home. Vinyl flooring is available in a variety of colors, as well as natural-looking designs that replicate woods and stones. These days, linoleum has a fashionable new image with vibrant colors and patterns that range from traditional marble to contemporary graphics.

Cost: Typically, the cost of linoleum is around a couple dollars per square foot, but the price of vinyl flooring varies significantly depending on the specific product you choose. Expect to pay more for vinyl flooring products with better quality printing and more realistic designs.

Durability: Both linoleum and vinyl flooring are stain and scratch-resistant and work great in high-traffic rooms. They are both soft under foot, making it comfortable to stand on and more forgiving when you drop a dish or glass. Linoleum flooring is especially durable – one of the reasons it was so popular in the early 20th century was that homeowners knew it would stand the test of time.

Cleaning: Linoleum and vinyl floors require different cleaning methods. Vinyl floors are easy to keep clean – just sweep or vacuum regularly and use a mop and floor cleaner for heavy-duty cleaning. Linoleum requires more maintenance than vinyl flooring. Depending on the amount of traffic in your room, linoleum will need to be stripped and re-waxed every few years to look its best.

Installation: If you’re a DIYer, consider installing vinyl tile flooring yourself. For vinyl sheet floors and linoleum, professional installation is recommended. Linoleum can be installed in most areas of your home but is not recommended for a room with a medium to high level of moisture. If you’re looking for flooring for the basement or bathroom, vinyl is the way to go.

Going Green: Linoleum is an environmentally friendly flooring option. Naturally anti-bacterial and biodegradable, linoleum is made of natural materials like linseed oil, resins, recycled wood flour, limestone and mineral pigments.

Linoleum and vinyl flooring are two popular flooring types, but make no mistake about it: they are two different products with different looks, different methods of installation and different approaches to cleaning and maintenance. But they do have one thing in common: they are both beautiful, hard surface floors. Check back next week for another post in our “vs” series!

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