Key Differences Between Laminate and Linoleum Flooring

Are you considering replacing your floor? Have you been researching ideas for the best types of flooring available? If so, you’ve most likely stumbled onto the flooring options of laminate and linoleum.

In fact, you’ve probably heard about them a lot. But you may be curious as to what the actual difference between the two of them is.

In this article, we will be going over those differences in detail so that you can make the best decision for your home flooring project.

Linoleum: What is it?

Linoleum is a blended flooring material composed of naturally occurring mediums such as wood flour, linseed oil, cork dust, pine rosin, as well as many other deposits of matter. Linoleum had its heyday back in the early 20th century, and until 1940, remained one of the most popular and widely used flooring materials.

There are a plethora of advantages when it comes to linoleum. And chief among these benefits is its aesthetic appeal. There are many different styles, patterns, colours, etc, to choose from that will complement nearly any theme you may be considering. Furthermore, it also has a lot going for it in terms of longevity. It is one of the most durable and long-lasting flooring materials out there.

Its protective top layer allows it to be resistant to a lot of the wear and tear that happens over time. In fact, linoleum flooring has been known to last decades if it is properly managed and taken care of.

Laminate: What is it?

Similar to linoleum, laminate is also a type of blended flooring option. However, it holds many more similarities to its comparable counterpart — hardwood. You can consider laminate flooring to be a mashup between conventional linoleum and the highest-grade hardwood you can find.

Laminate consists of three different layers: a tough plasticate layer to safeguard against dings, scratches, scuffs, etc, a photo image layer, and a fiberboard or plywood foundational layer. As it pertains to flooring — more specifically, hardwood flooring — laminate typically seems to have the most realistic look and feel.

Created back in the 1970s, laminate flooring was often heavily criticized for looking fake due to its “plastic-y” shine. However, nowadays, there are countless laminate products on the market that are more or less identical to real hardwood flooring.

The utility of laminate flooring products is undeniable. Not only is it economical, but it can also be used to produce immaculately stunning wood floor compositions. Additionally, it can hold its own against some of the most robust floorings when it comes to strength and longevity. In short, as it pertains to mock-up hardwood flooring, laminate is the cream of the crop.

What’s the Difference Between Linoleum and Laminate?

These flooring materials are vastly distinct from one another. They are both great products, however, they serve different purposes. For example, laminate is a wood floor replacement produced from plywood. And linoleum is an old-time hybrid material that is typically used for the production of tiles. Here are the pros and cons of both linoleum and laminate flooring materials.

Linoleum Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Linoleum is eco-friendly
  • It’s produced in several design varieties that imitate other mediums such as wood
  • Due to its organic build, it’s softer on the feet than laminate; making it among one of the most homely flooring types around
  • It is quite modest in regards to affordability

Cons

  • Because of its natural materials, linoleum lacks water-resistant properties, which makes it vulnerable to spills or leaks
  • At times it’s difficult to find a range of linoleum products
  • When installed, linoleum is usually pasted to the subfloor, this can make it more challenging to install when compared to laminate
  • To stave off warping, linoleum must be installed to a very smooth and flat floor

Laminate Pros and Cons

Pros

  • One of the best features of laminate flooring is its scratch-resistant quality, if you have children or pets running around, the floor will generally be very well protected
  • Laminate does an impeccable job of copying hardwood
  • You have countless options to choose from with laminate, you can go as cheap or as expensive as you like — whatever your budget permits
    Materially, laminate flooring looks like real hardwood

Cons

  • Even with affordable prices, laminate will typically be more expensive than other types of flooring
  • The use of organic products make laminate flooring more susceptible to water damage
  • Laminate cannot be refinished, which means, even though it looks like real hardwood, it can’t come close to it in terms of durability

Linoleum and Laminate: Final Thoughts

Both of these flooring materials have been around for a long time and are utilized in a variety of spaces. Choosing one over the other really depends on what’s most important to you. If you want comfortability, affordable cost, and eco-friendly design — then linoleum flooring is your best bet. If you want a pleasing look, many alternatives, and longevity — then you’ll want to lean more toward laminate flooring.

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