Flooring defines interior of your home. There are different types of flooring options available in the market at present and choosing one particular for flooring is quite confusing.
There are two common types of flooring—linoleum and vinyl flooring. People use both the terms interchangeably but there is huge difference in between them.
Linoleum is still pictured as black and white checkerboard kitchen flooring whereas this is the time of vinyl flooring. Linoleum flooring was introduced in the market in 1860s and was popular flooring material then. It was an alternative to expensive rubber composition. But it lost its popularity after the invention of vinyl in 1950s. Despite the fact, linoleum is making its comeback due to its nature friendly attribute.
How these flooring materials are different from one another?
Linoleum is produced by mixing linseed oil, cork or wood dust, ground limestone, tree resins and organic pigments that are pressed onto jute backing. On the other hand, vinyl is a synthetic product that is produced from petrochemicals (a non renewable resource), consisting of triple layers with cloth backing.
Fire resistance, biodegradability and eco-friendliness
Linoleum flooring is resistant to melting and burning. They are constructed from natural ingredients that are designed not to give off vapors when around accidental fire source. Being made from natural ingredients, linoleum flooring is biodegradable and eco-friendly. Vinyl, on the other hand, is made from combination of several chemicals like Ethylene (a petroleum byproduct) and chlorine. It (chlorine) adds stability and makes vinyl its heat resistance.
Linoleum is natural product and the vapors it releases are nontoxic to human health and environment as well. Linoleum flooring is naturally antimicrobial, antistatic and hypoallergenic.
Vinyl is a synthetic product and is made from chemicals so it releases VOCs in small amounts into living space which can trigger respiratory problems for human health.
Durability and hardness
Linoleum is hardest flooring material and gets harder as it cures over time and last without a scratch for a period of 20 to 40 years. Vinyl gets damage due to its construction and softness. Wear layer is thinner than linoleum and does not stand up to heavy traffic as well. If you want lasting flooring, consider linoleum.
Color and variety in selection
With time and exposure to sun and foot traffic, the patterns on the vinyl floors become faded or damaged due to vinyl sealant wearing off. Vinyl flooring steals the show when it comes to textures, colors, patterns and décor due to its composition. Linoleum is typically produced with only a single pattern or color.
Moreover, linoleum flooring tends to respond better to such exposure and natural ingredients gain deeper color that is quite pleasant aesthetically.
Vinyl is cheapest flooring material. The cost of cheapest grade linoleum can get you expensive grade of vinyl flooring.
Installation and Maintenance
Process of installing vinyl flooring is simple. The only maintenance it requires is resealing, once the primary coat of sealing wears off. Linoleum is harder to install and typically requires professional assistance. It requires frequent maintenance.
Vinyl is completely waterproof and can be installed in wet environment including grade cellars, bathrooms and kitchens without worrying moisture damage, above or below.
However, linoleum is water resistant but not impervious to moisture damage and needs to be sealed periodically in order to protect it against liquid penetration.
Every flooring material has its own advantages and disadvantages. Which floor you choose depends on the quality, price and place it is installed. If you are looking for environmental friendly and durable flooring, go with linoleum flooring. But with constraints and variety of selection in patterns that may mimic other flooring materials like hardwood, thumbs up to vinyl flooring.