Sheet Vinyl VS Linoleum: Everything You Should Know
5 min read
January 12, 2022

Sheet Vinyl VS Linoleum: Everything You Should Know

5 min read
January 12, 2022

There is a wide selection of flooring options for you to choose from. Among them, sheet vinyl and linoleum are often thought to be one and the same. However, they are actually very different from each other even though they share many similar characteristics. That’s why you should be very careful when choosing between them so that you’ll know which one is most suitable for your home and enjoy resilient flooring.

Since having a sheet vinyl floor and a linoleum floor both have perks and drawbacks, we figured that you would need help comparing the two types of flooring. After reading this article, you will learn everything you need to know about the important differences between sheet vinyl flooring and linoleum flooring, their pros and cons, and the factors you should consider when choosing flooring materials.

Once you have weighed what each material has to offer and their setbacks depending on important factors you should consider, you can finally choose whether vinyl sheet flooring or linoleum flooring best suits your home. Let’s start finding out what they are, shall we?

Key Differences of Sheet Vinyl and Linoleum

Here are the most important differences you need to know about sheet vinyl vs linoleum.

  Sheet Vinyl Linoleum
 Material · Synthetic· Manufactured from petroleum  · Natural· Made of linseed oil, wood flour, cork dust, dyes, and mineral fillers 
 Appearance · Unlimited color, pattern, and image options· Customizable· Can replicate the natural appearance of wood, stone, marble, and other flooring materials  · Limited design selections· Solid and colorfast
 Durability · Easily melts and burns· Highly resistant to moisture and mold damage· Flexible· Design layer can wear through  · Heat resistant· Susceptible to moisture damage· Prone to bends, cracks, scratches, and warps· Color and pattern don’t fade over time 
 Comfort  · Vinyl floors are cold and hard underfoot · Sheet linoleum floors are softer and more resilient underfoot 
 Maintenance · Doesn’t require additional maintenance upon installation· Can safely be cleaned with off-the-shelf detergents  · Needs an acrylic coat or wax for protection· Requires a product-specific cleaner
· Installed with a full glue-down bond or built-in adhesive· Soft and pliable· Easier to DIY
 · Installed with a full glue-down bond· Professional installation is recommended 
 Applications · Multipurpose functionality for commercial industries · Limited within healthcare and education industries 
 Repair and Restoration  · Tears or cuts are replaceable with vinyl patches, but replacement is recommended· Not easily restorable  · Tears or cuts are replaceable with a layer of linoleum patches
 Sound Insulation  · Sound-absorbing· Can be used for soundproofing  · Some types have impact sound reduction, (e.g., acoustic linoleum)
 Lifespan · Lasts for an average of 10 to 15 years  · Can last up to 20 to 40 years
 Cost · $2 to $7 per square foot · $3 to $8 per square foot
vinyl or linoleum – a roll of brown linoleum with wood design

What Else Should You Consider?

Aside from the major feature differences we’ve listed above, there are other things you need to take into account when deciding between vinyl or linoleum. These are the other factors you should consider:

1. Lifestyle

Ensure that the type of floor covering you’re installing is suitable for your family’s lifestyle. Consider the daily activities your family members do in each space of your home. If there are kids, older people, or pets in your home, getting a more durable and sound-absorbing flooring layer is advisable. Choosing a flooring material that can withstand spills and stains is also important.

Don’t forget to factor in the fixtures and furniture you have in the house. It’s because those things affect the amount of upkeep required in the area, so you may want to opt for a low-maintenance flooring option.

2. Traffic Flow

Install solid and colorfast materials that don’t wear off easily for entryways, kitchens, and other high-traffic areas. Also, remember that these areas will require you to clean them frequently, so make sure that you can easily clean the flooring. It’s best to pick scratch and tear-resistant flooring, too, for rooms that a lot of people frequent.

3. Subfloor Material

The foundation in which your new flooring will be installed is another crucial factor you should take into consideration. Make sure that the floor covering of your choice is compatible with your home’s subfloor for seamless installation. Doing this will save you from future flooring troubles that may cost you valuable time and money.

4. Climate

It’s very important to give thought to what climate your flooring will be exposed to. For example, exposure to rain or snow makes a lot of materials more susceptible to damage. Therefore, installing flooring with good moist resistance is perfect for kitchens, bathrooms, indoor pools, and other damp-prone areas in the home.

5. Slip Resistance

Although it’s important for the floor material to be smooth in order to avoid damaging the furniture or equipment placed on it, it’s also important that the material is slip-resistant. You don’t want to have trouble moving around your home or encounter any accidents, especially when children, elderly, or disabled people live with you. Having slip-resistant flooring will ensure your family’s safety.

6. Floor Level

Some types of flooring are not compatible with floors higher than ground level or basements. The tendency of a suspended floor to flex more over time can damage certain flooring materials. There are also materials not fit to be installed on concrete slabs or below grade.

7. Adaptability

Picking a floor covering that allows easy changes in the future is a great idea and offers many conveniences. Look for versatile options that can be easily refinished or replaced when necessary. There are so many luxury vinyl flooring ideas and linoleum flooring style suggestions that you can find online. They are great sources of tips on how to transform your flooring seamlessly.

The Verdict

There are many factors you must consider when deciding on a sheet vinyl vs. a linoleum sheet. Both of them have relatively low costs and are extremely durable. However, vinyl sheet flooring has more advantages concerning design options, multipurpose functionality, moisture resistance, and maintenance. Meanwhile, linoleum flooring is more heat resistant, made of less toxic and natural materials, and has a longer lifespan.

It’s really up to you to choose which features weigh more than others, but it’s better not to disregard factors such as comfort, durability, and compatibility. Doing so ensures that you and your family will have a good experience with the new flooring you decide to install, whether it is made of luxury vinyl or linoleum.

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