When it comes to choosing the flooring for your home it’s important that you pick something that is going to last! Carpet seems to have been put on the back burner these days and isn’t really cutting the mustard in busy homes, but with solid and engineered wood being a little pricey, what’s the alternative? Well, a lot of people are now looking into other options such as Linoleum or Vinyl flooring. Although these are very similar products there are some differences, so lets look at the two and compare them.
First things first, how do these products differ in the way that they are made? Lets start with Linoleum, or as it’s more frequently known; Lino. Lino is made using natural and renewable materials such as solidified linseed oil, tree resin, cork dust and other wood flours. Lino tended to be mass produced, hence the cheaper price tag that is affiliated with it. Vinyl is produced by combining synthetic materials which include polyvinyl chloride (also known as PVC), a vinyl sheet (who’d have thought it?!), a foam core and felt backing to give it that soft feel.
Both materials have a similar method of installation because they both come in either sheet or tile form. If installing vinyl tiles then they should just lay beside one another, whereas the sheet method will require you to take careful measurements and then cut the sheet into the size needed. The same applies to Lino flooring, if it is in tile form it can be installed relatively easily but if in sheet form it will require a similar measuring and cutting method. However they do differ in what needs doing after installation, vinyl does not require any sealing or waxing as it is already waterproof and incredibly resilient. Lino on the other hand is susceptible to water damage and will need to be treated with a surface sealer after installation.
Lino is often confused with vinyl flooring, which is understandable because they do have very similar traits. However when it comes to their appearance there are a few differences. The surface appearance of Lino flooring is created by adding pigments to the mix whilst the floor is being manufactured. As a result this means that there are a variety of colours available and numerous materials and patterns can be imitated. The design on the floor runs through the entire body of the material so as it wears down over the years the image does not fade. Vinyl flooring is finished with a printed design, what this means is that the floor can imitate any material. Although this means that you have a lot more freedom with the floor it does have a disadvantage too. Unlike Lino where the design goes right to the core, this design is only printed on the surface and due to the fact that vinyl flooring has a much thinner wear layer it’s more than likely that the design will fade once the layer starts to wear down.
Lino flooring requires slightly more maintenance than its vinyl counterpart, but day to day cleaning is just as simple. In both instances all they require is a simple sweep or vacuum, if not on a daily basis then just a couple of times a week. Both Lino and vinyl can be mopped and wiped using a warm, damp cloth or mop. If needs be then you can also purchase neutral detergents to ensure that the floor won’t be damaged in the cleaning process. The one different process that needs to be done with Lino and not vinyl, as mentioned above, is that an acrylic coating should be applied annually, some varieties of Lino flooring may also require occasional waxing.
Life Span & Durability
Lino can last anywhere between 20-40 years and often comes with a guarantee on purchase. It is considered one of the most durable floors on the market. Vinyl on the other hand does not offer quite as long a lifespan and is said to last between 10 and 20 years.
Both Lino and vinyl are considered as quite cheap options in the flooring world but they are great investments, look beautiful and are great choices if you are working towards a budget.