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Vinyl and linoleum flooring have many similarities. They can look the same and are both resilient.

But what are their differences?

To help you understand which option is best for you, The Reno Superstore presents this guide comparing linoleum and vinyl flooring. Let’s start exploring.


Flooring Guide to Linoleum & Vinyl Flooring: Which Should You Choose?

The right flooring can transform your space and last for ages. Let’s have a look at the differences between linoleum and vinyl flooring to help you make the right choice.

But first…


What Is Linoleum Flooring?

What Is Linoleum Flooring

Englishman Frederick Walton is credited with the invention of linoleum, back in 1855. This all-natural material is made with linseed oil, rosin, and broken-down wood particles, among other materials. It emits no VOCs and is particularly favoured for this reason.

This classic and extremely resilient flooring option is perfect for areas where tile or hardwood flooring is not appropriate. It is easy to install and maintain, and comes in sheets, tiles, and planks

In the 1950s, linoleum flooring took a backseat to vinyl as it offered similar attributes and was cheaper. This is why many consumers confuse the two.


What Is Vinyl Flooring? 

What Is Vinyl Flooring

Do you like hardwood flooring but not the price? Vinyl is your safest bet. It’s versatile, durable, and easy to maintain and install, so it’s no surprise that vinyl flooring is popular. Vinyl is 100% waterproof and comes in two forms: wood-plastic composite (WPC) or stone-plastic composite (SPC). Also, unlike linoleum, vinyl is completely synthetic, which also makes it cheaper.

Here’s what you need to know when shopping for vinyl or linoleum.



Vinyl (including luxury vinyl) has a printed design layer underneath the clear wear surface. This means there are seemingly unlimited options when it comes to patterns, styles, and textures. So, you can expect more realistic, vibrant, and stunning floors than linoleum.

On the other hand, the colour and pattern of linoleum are not due to printed pictures but are dimensionally present throughout the material. While this means less chance of fading, it significantly reduces the colour and pattern options.

Verdict: Vinyl flooring wins.


Water & Heat Resistance

The biggest advantage of vinyl flooring is that it is 100% waterproof. This makes it appropriate for installation in the dampest areas of either your home or office and ideal for below-grade installations such as basements. Modern vinyl is designed with a fiberglass backing that offers improved resistance to water and mould. However, vinyl flooring is not completely fire-resistant, so do not expose it to excessive heat.

Even though linoleum is water resistant, it is not completely waterproof and requires periodic sealing to minimize water seepage. Flooding can ruin your linoleum floors, so if your basement is prone to excessive moisture, linoleum flooring is not a good idea. It does, however, resist heat better than vinyl.

Verdict: Vinyl offers complete protection against moisture but has reduced heat resistance. And linoleum has reduced water protection but better heat resistance.


Maintenance & Repair

Who doesn’t love an easy-to-maintain flooring option? Vinyl is extremely low maintenance; just vacuum it occasionally and mop it clean. Avoid using bleach and harsh chemical products as they will erode the veneer of vinyl and cause damage.

Linoleum is similarly easy to clean and maintain, with periodic vacuuming and mopping keeping your floors looking new. It is best to use a cleaning substance specifically meant for linoleum, as an off-the-shelf detergent with high pH can damage it. If damaged, both need to be replaced completely.

Verdict: This is a draw as both are low-maintenance flooring options.



Vinyl flooring is quite affordable which is why it is so popular. You can have a detailed look at the prices of flooring right here.

Linoleum is comparatively more expensive. Make sure to add the cost of installation to your budget.

Verdict: Vinyl is a more cost-effective option, even with The Reno Superstore’s affordable installation services.


Resale Value

Vinyl is an economic flooring material with no significant resale value. Similarly, linoleum does not add to your home’s resale value. Since they look similar, prospective buyers may find it difficult to tell them apart.

Verdict: Draw. Neither offers any resale value to your property.


Comfort & Insulation

No more cold shocks to your feet. Vinyl is a good, comfortable, and cheap alternative to radiant heated floors. It is a good flooring material in cold climates, as it offers comfort and insulation. It also helps to minimize sound. Linoleum flooring offers similar comfort and insulation.

Verdict: Draw


Both vinyl and linoleum flooring are easy-to-maintain flooring options that do not break the bank. Vinyl offers better diversity of design and is comparatively cheaper and more stylish. Always consider your lifestyle and needs when selecting a flooring material. We offer a huge collection of vinyl flooring from leading brands that you can find either online or in our retail stores in Mississauga and Toronto. If you are still unsure which style of flooring is best for your home or office, consult the experts at The Reno Superstore.

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