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Linoleum vs. Vinyl

Unless they’re brought to our attention, many of us aren’t aware of the difference between linoleum and vinyl flooring. However, these are two distinctly different products. Below, you’ll find a comparison of their different properties and features.

Linoleum - is a floor covering made from solidified linseed oil (linoxyn) in combination with wood flour or cork dust over a burlap or canvas backing.” Believe it or not, it was actually invented way back in 1860. Up until the 1950s when more alternatives popped up, linoleum was a widely used product due to its flexible, durable, and water resistant qualities. It is still used today in kitchens and bathrooms; and because of its natural properties, is becoming a popular eco-friendly choice. Linoleum is colored with mineral pigments, and should come with a high performance layer to protect the design. It is worth any extra investment to have this layer, otherwise the linoleum will need to be polished over time. A completely harmless, renewable resource, linoleum will initially come with an odor that smells like fresh paint. Not to worry, it is only from the natural linseed and will dissipate fairly quickly. Available in many beautiful designs and colors, linoleum is normally less expensive that other flooring options.

Vinyl - Vinyl is made from polyvinyl chloride, and is as durable as linoleum, but more fire-resistant. You can either use vinyl sheets or tiles when installing a vinyl floor. Vinyl flooring is constructed in layers. The first layer is typically a urethane top-coat which reduces scuffing and makes the product easier to clean. The next layer is a protective clear vinyl layer that makes the floor more durable. The thicker this layer, the better quality the product. The next layer is normally the print. The final layer is the backing constructed out of felt or fiberglass. Felt is still used 90% of the time, but fiberglass is the newest and most cushioned product.

Whether you choose vinyl or linoleum, be sure your flooring installer uses a low-VOC adhesive. By looking into an often overlooked detail, you can have a floor that’s as natural and healthy as possible. Request a free estimate from a professional contractor today to replace your flooring.

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