Apart from both being resilient flooring materials, linoleum and vinyl share quite some characteristics. In fact, the two terms are often interchanged by some flooring dealers due to the similarities between the two products. However, there are some differences that are vital and inherent to the materials production, usage, and features. Some of these differences are discussed below.
Linoleum and vinyl have some material differences from each other. Linoleum is manufactured largely from a naturally occurring substance namely linseed oil. Flax seeds are used to extract linseed oil. On the other hand, vinyl is a man-made product manufactured using a nonrenewable resource that is petroleum. To process and extract chlorine that is an essential component of vinyl chemical makeup, huge amounts of energy are used.
Although it may seem a bit similar, the installation of linoleum flooring is different from how vinyl flooring is installed. Linoleum requires a careful cutting if it is in sheet form and the tiles are easy. However, different from vinyl, linoleum is prone to damage if it is exposed to moisture and has to be treated after installation with a surface sealer. During the installation of the tiles, the seams that are found on the tiles have to be made very thin and also should be properly protected against penetration of water.
Vinyl flooring is easy to install, and even an amateur can do the job quite impressively. It is simple to lay the tiles beside each other while careful cutting and measurements is done to the sheet materials. Vinyl also doesn’t require waxing or sealing because it is waterproof.
Linoleum is water resistant but not impervious to moisture damage. Therefore, it should be waxed and sealed periodically so as to protect it against any penetration of liquid. Linoleum is mostly ruined in the occurrence of flooding, and excessive humidity makes the individual tiles and sheets corners curl upwards and look unattractive.
Vinyl, on the contrary, is waterproof and can survive any wet environment such as kitchens, below grade cellars and bathrooms without getting damaged by moisture. Vinyl flooring protects you from having flooding concerns.