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Linoleum or Vinyl: What’s the Difference?

Linoleum & Vinyl Flooring: The Differences

Linoleum and vinyl flooring are often thought to be the same thing. This is actually far from the truth. Both linoleum and vinyl are two completely different types of flooring, and your specific needs may will dictate which flooring option is best for you.


Linoleum flooring is made from all-natural materials, including linseed oil, tree resin, wood fiber, cork, limestone and pigments. Vinyl flooring, on the other hand, is created from synthetic materials, including vinyl, felt, fiberglass, dyes and even ethylene and chlorine.


When it comes to your design options when you are trying to decide between linoleum and vinyl, the color of linoleum flooring goes all the way through the material. The design patterns on vinyl are stamped on to look like anything you want: wood, tile, stone, etc. Vinyl flooring technology has come a long, long way since the 1950s. Not only are there more options from which to choose, but the look and feel of vinyl flooring is far more stylish and luxurious than it once was.


Both linoleum flooring and vinyl flooring are very affordable flooring options. Linoleum costs a little bit more, ranging anywhere from $2 to $8 per square foot. Vinyl is very inexpensive, ranging in price from $0.50 to $2 per square foot. Either choice is an excellent one for those seeking a new floor on a more limited budget.


Linoleum flooring is a durable flooring option, with characteristics similar to hardwood. It is water resistant (not waterproof), stain resistant, fire retardant, antimicrobial and hypoallergenic. Quality, well-cared-for linoleum typically lasts anywhere from 20 to 40 years. This is why it is ideal for large commercial applications, such as a warehouse or a restaurant kitchen.

Vinyl flooring doesn’t have quite the same lifespan as linoleum; however, it has the advantage of being completely waterproof as well as stain resistant and hypoallergenic. Good quality vinyl flooring usually lasts anywhere from 10 to 20 years.


Linoleum flooring requires a little extra attention when being installed and is most often best done by a professional. The seams need to be thin in order to prevent water from seeping through. When installation is completed, a water sealant coating needs to be applied.

If you are the type of person who prefers DIY projects, vinyl flooring, in either sheet or tile form, is a better choice. Installing vinyl flooring really is a breeze. You also don’t need to worry about applying a sealant or wax coating after the floor is placed.

Cleaning and Maintenance

Both are easy flooring options to clean and maintain. Linoleum flooring does require a little extra care, however. Regular sweeping and vacuuming can help pick up dirt and debris that can actually cause damage to the floor. When using floor cleaners, you need to beware of those that are a higher pH, as linoleum is sensitive to these cleaners.

Vinyl is extremely low maintenance. It should be swept and vacuumed regularly. It can also be mopped, as there is no need to worry about mold or mildew. If you need to use floor cleaner, tile cleaner works quite nicely.

Which Should You Choose?

Windows Floors & Decor has seen a surge in popularity for luxury vinyl flooring, both in sheet and tile form. Not only is it more cost-effective compared to linoleum, but it’s stylish, versatile, and highly customizable. You can make it look – and feel -like anything you want at a fraction of the cost. And if it gets damaged, it is easily replaced (especially if you choose luxury vinyl tile, which allows you simply swap out the tiles!). Because of these exact reasons, Windows Floors & Decor does not offer linoleum flooring. We believe that homeowners benefit more from luxury vinyl flooring both as far as cost and aesthetics are concerned.

If you are trying to decide between linoleum flooring and vinyl, your Windows Floors & Decor representative can show you the difference that luxury vinyl flooring can make in your home. Contact your local rep for a an in-home consultation today!

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