Comparing Vinyl Flooring Versus Linoleum

As you plan for your home renovations, the selection of long-lasting and stylish flooring can be an arduous process because of all the available options in the market.

There are many types of flooring materials and it is hard to understand the differences between the various floorings in order to choose the most suitable option for your home. At Chestnut Flooring, we want to help you through this process. Today, we will compare two common types of resilient flooring for homes: linoleum and vinyl flooring.

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Linoleum flooring is constructed in a simple manner from linseed oil, mixed with other natural products such as cork dust and wood flour. Linoleum is available in sheet or tile format, and commonly uses a canvas backing for support. Similar to linoleum, vinyl flooring is also available in sheet or tile formats. It is however, constructed in a very different manner. Vinyl flooring is a type of plastic composed of several distinctive layers:

  • Vinyl backing
  • Vinyl core
  • Design print layer
  • Protective wear layer that is finished with a polyurethane coating that can be reinforced with ceramic beads, silica beads or aluminum oxide

Despite such differences, both linoleum and vinyl are incredibly resilient and long-lasting, even in the busiest of family households.


When comparing the installation process for linoleum and vinyl products, the clear winner is Vinyl flooring. Linoleum is notorious for being difficult to install because it is stiffer and harder to work with. Although very durable, sheet linoleum necessitates the most complex installation process – it must be glued directly onto the subfloor and then surface-treated with a sealant top coat for protection against moisture. On the other hand, modern vinyl flooring is much simpler to install. In fact, vinyl is known to be extremely DIY-friendly. Little adhesive is needed and no sealant topcoat is required for its ability to withstand moisture and water damage.


Cleaning and maintenance

Looking at linoleum, it is more susceptible to water damage than other types of hard flooring. Therefore, for its care and maintenance, it is best to avoid using water-based methods. Instead, consider regularly sweeping and vacuuming to maintain its appearance. If there is a tough stain, it ca be removed using a small amount of detergent. Furthermore, linoleum flooring requires periodic re-sealing to maintain its water resistance.

Depending on the type of vinyl flooring, there are different cleaning and maintenance requirements. With luxury vinyl tiles, it is very simple. It only needs frequent sweeping and mopping with a damp cloth to effectively remove dirt and maintain cleanliness. The protective coating may require a touch-up, but only after years of wear and tear. In contrast, vinyl composite tiles lack the protective coating feature. Therefore, its care is more similar to linoleum where a protective layer should be periodically applied.

Design and style

Both linoleum and vinyl offer great designs and are available in a wide-selection of colours and patterns to match unique preferences. Linoleum is best for abstract patterns, designs and colour blocks while with Vinyl flooring, you can achieve a very different aesthetic. By choosing luxury vinyl tiles, you can create a look that is inspired by the colours, patterns and textures of natural hardwood or stone in your home. The flat surface quality of linoleum is unable to mimic this visual and physical appeal of vinyl. 

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