Vinyl vs. Linoleum flooring

Guide to Condo turned Short Term Rental

One of the main things to consider in building a comfortable and relaxing space is the flooring. It is the part of your space that will inevitably be used by everyone whether it be the residents, guests, and even pets. With different flooring options now available in the market, we will check out the difference between vinyl and linoleum floors to help you choose which flooring is better for your home or office.

Vinyl Flooring

Vinyl flooring has been popular and known worldwide which can usually be found in the house kitchen and bathroom floors due to its versatility, resistance to both water and stain, and the overall durability for a price more affordable compared to other flooring options. Nowadays, vinyl flooring designs offer more variety of options which may seem as stone, ceramic, or even wood.

Vinyl is a multi-layered synthetic flooring material. Vinyl flooring is often available as planks, tiles, or sheets that may be put together and is made of materials including plastic, fiberglass, and PVC. The majority of the floor is composed of a core layer, which may also have an underlay or backing. An image layer, which can imitate a variety of materials, such as wood and ceramic, is placed on top of this. The sublayers are guarded against harm by a top wear layer with a range of thickness.

Vinyl Tiles

In settings where heavy foot traffic is common or where a more tidy or static-free space is sought, vinyl tile floors are often placed. Additionally, it can be a flexible and affordable option for any home. It is also usually used in places at home or other settings where there is likely to be a lot of dampness or moisture. It is also widely utilized in remodeling projects to replace flooring that requires more maintenance.

There are two kinds of common vinyl tiles: Inlay and Rotogravure. Inlay vinyl tile has multiple layers of the same colored vinyl that are fused together. Inlay vinyl tiles have color or pattern that goes all the way through to the backing of the tile. The advantage of the inlay vinyl tile is that even if a layer or two wears away, the color will not wear off easily. Whereas, the Rotogravure vinyl tile floors are more affordable than floors with inlaid vinyl tiles as it is only made up of a thin layer of vinyl that is tinted with vinyl paint, compared to that with inlaid vinyl tiles. After that, a protective coating is placed to cover it on top. Although, compared to inlaid, this vinyl’s layer can wear off over time and may impair its color when put under heavy pressure.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Vinyl Flooring

Some of the advantages of vinyl flooring include:

● Vinyl flooring is resilient and does well in areas with heavy foot traffic and busy activities.
● It is comfortable to step onto and makes less noise, which is a plus for owners of children or animals.
● In addition to being affordable compared to other flooring options, it is also simple to install and maintain.
● There are D-I-Y vinyl flooring installment options.
● It is easy to maintain since the common floor care practices apply like using rugs or mats in cleaning up spills and messes or putting protective pads on furniture legs, etc.
● A wide array of lifelike wood grains and other color and pattern options are now available for vinyl flooring to complement new and upcoming decoration designs.

Some of the disadvantages of vinyl flooring include:

● Vinyl flooring is prone to damage from sharp objects and heavy load may wear off its layer and color.
● The color of the vinyl may also fade and be affected by extreme temperatures and direct sunlight exposure may even lead to melting of the vinyl.
● The vinyl flooring used cannot be refinished since it consists of a single wear layer over the design layer. Once there has been damage, the affected areas, or even the entire floor, must be fully replaced especially if sheet vinyl or low-quality vinyl has been installed.
● A smooth surface is the secret to the flawless installation of the vinyl flooring since any bump or flaw will surely be visible on your floor if only covered and not cleared.
● Most manufacturers do not recommend installing new vinyl over more than one layer of existing vinyl, and they won’t offer warranty on the floor if there are multiple layers of vinyl underneath. If the lower layer is patterned, it will ultimately show through your top layer, which is another difficulty with applying new vinyl over old vinyl.

Do you enjoy DIY projects at home? Read more: DIY Home Upgrades: Philippines Small House Renovation Ideas

Linoleum flooring

Linoleum was acclaimed as the most widely used flooring type for kitchens and bathrooms for more than a century. Although its era came to an end with the invention of vinyl flooring, now that the conservation of the environment is being prioritized worldwide, natural and long-lasting goods like linoleum are regaining its popularity with the homeowners.

According to Forbes, Linoleum products are made of all-natural linseed oil, resins, wood products, cork and natural pigments. Manufacturers have used the same basic formula since 1860. Being environmentally friendly, it easily breaks down in landfills when the day finally comes to remove it from your home which will not be for a long time though. Its toughness means it can be expected to last for 40 years or more. The flooring color and pattern are consistent all the way through the material, so scratches and wear are less noticeable than other flooring materials.

Linoleum Sheet, Tile, and Plank

Linoleum sheet is cut to order from bulk rolls of material in widths ranging from 6 feet to 12 feet wide and as needed which helps minimize the showing of seams. Installation is preferably done by a professional since it is considered to be difficult as DIY due to the cutting of the sheet according to the room’s shape and having it patterned to the subfloor with flooring adhesive then pushed into place with a heavy roller.

Linoleum tiles are different from sheets since they are commonly sold in 12-inch by 12-inch tiles that are slightly thicker than sheet material which are installed by attaching one tile at a time to the subfloor using adhesive. This is more preferable for DIY projects since this gives various options to make your own floor patterns and designs.

Linoleum planks are the latest innovation on linoleum flooring. They are sold in slim and long pieces measuring up to 60 inches long which lock together over a subfloor or underlay, but are thicker tiles compared to sheets, that are installed as floating floors than by adhesive. This can also be DIY-ed and its finish may appear to be more sophisticated compared to other linoleum flooring materials.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Linoleum flooring

Some of the advantages of linoleum flooring include:

● Same as vinyl, it is also easy to clean and maintain using common floor care practices. Many choose linoleum since dirt does not show easily or stay too long.
● Its material is strong, durable, and resistant to wear, tear, and scratches, so much that with proper care, linoleum flooring can last over 40 years. Some are also water-resistant which can be used as bathroom or kitchen flooring.
● In the aspect of being eco-friendly, which is the main key advantage of linoleum over vinyl, linoleum flooring is composed of entirely natural materials and is found to be a more reasonable choice compared to the toxic chemicals that go into the manufacture of vinyl flooring.
● It is made with renewable materials and unlike other flooring styles, linoleum is biodegradable and is composed of renewable materials which means it does not emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that may have an effect on one’s health.

Some of the disadvantages of linoleum flooring include:

● Same with vinyl flooring, linoleum is prone to damage from sharp objects and also susceptible to dents from legs of furnitures.
● If exposed to direct sunlight, linoleum may darken or turn yellow which will cause some discoloration to the floor design.
● Newly waxed linoleum flooring may risk slips and falls since it can be slippery after the application.
● If used in a moisture-prone area, linoleum flooring should be sealed periodically since flooding or excessive humidity can damage its material.

Linoleum Vs. Vinyl Flooring; Which is better?

Both vinyl and linoleum flooring get points for having materials which are easy to clean, water-resistant, low maintenance, and having costs which are relatively affordable. Vinyl flooring has the advantage for diversity of pattern, design, and lower price options, while linoleum flooring has a longer material lifespan, and uses more eco-friendly and less toxic materials.

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