Are Vinyl and Linoleum the same thing?

Are Vinyl and Linoleum the same thing?

The terms vinyl roll flooring and linoleum flooring are often used interchangeably, but they're not the same thing. Both flooring types are highly resilient, long-lasting, and suitable for installation in almost any room in the home. However, there are some key differences in how they’re made, installed and maintained, and the variety of designs and colours available with each product.

Vinyl roll flooring is constructed in layers and composed mostly of PVC, whereas linoleum is made from a single layer of natural materials, primarily linseed. One of vinyl’s layers is 'design layer', upon which decorative designs are printed and embossed. This design layer allows for almost limitless design and colour options. Some vinyl floors also have texture that matches the image, making the vinyl floor look and feel a lot like the material that it’s mimicking, such as real hardwood and natural stone. With linoleum, the design is embedded throughout the materials, rather than printed on a separate layer, limiting the scope of design and colour possibilities.

Installation and maintenance is another key difference, with vinyl flooring being significantly easier to install and maintain than linoleum flooring. Most linoleum is in sheet form, requiring full-spread adhesive. And since linoleum is so stiff, it can be difficult as a DIY project and usually requires a professional installer. Vinyl roll flooring, on the other hand, is much easier to work with than linoleum since it isn't as stiff.

Vinyl can also be installed in several ways, depending on the product you choose.

Linoleum also requires a little more effort in terms of maintenance as it doesn't hold up against moisture and wear quite as well as vinyl. Linoleum is made of natural materials, and therefore much more susceptible to damage from water and cleaning products. As a result, you’ll need to seal seams directly after installation and use specific cleaning products recommended by the manufacturer. Also, because of its potential vulnerability to moisture and humidity, we don’t recommend installing linoleum in the bathroom and laundry. Most vinyl flooring, on the other hand, can be installed in any room of the home and can be cleaned with regular household cleaning products.