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Blog Banner: Is Vinyl and Linoleum the same thing?

Vinyl and Lino - Are They The Same?

When choosing flooring materials, many homeowners and renters alike come across the terms ‘vinyl’ and ‘lino’, often used interchangeably. However, while both may offer similar advantages in terms of affordability and ease of installation, they are distinctly different materials with unique properties and origins. This blog post will explore these differences in depth, explain why they are not the same, and help you decide which might be the right flooring option for your home.

Understanding The Basics

What Is Vinyl Flooring?

Vinyl flooring, also known as PVC (polyvinyl chloride) flooring, is a synthetic product known for its durability, resistance to moisture and its versatility in design.


Vinyl is a completely synthetic material made from ethylene (derived from crude oil) and chlorine (derived from salt). When processed, these substances are combined to form Polyvinyl Chloride resin, or PVC, which is then used to create the base of vinyl flooring products.


There are several types of vinyl flooring, including:

  • Sheet Vinyl: Comes in large rolls and offers a seamless installation.
  • Vinyl Tiles: These are typically 12×12 or 18×18 square tiles that are easy to install and replace.
  • Luxury Vinyl Tiles (LVT) and Planks (LVP): These high-quality versions of vinyl tiles and planks mimic natural materials like wood and stone both in look and texture.

What Is Linoleum Flooring?

Linoleum, often shortened to ‘lino’, is a natural flooring option that has been around since the late 19th century.


It is made from renewable materials including linseed oil (from which it gets its name), cork dust, wood flour, tree resins, ground limestone, and jute, which forms the backing.


Linoleum is praised for its eco-friendliness, biodegradability, and durability. It is also naturally antibacterial and hypoallergenic, making it a great choice for households looking for green living solutions.

Key Differences Between Vinyl and Linoleum

1. Material Composition

  • Vinyl: Synthetic materials, primarily polyvinyl chloride (PVC).
  • Linoleum: Natural materials, like linseed oil, cork dust, and limestone.

2. Environmental Impact

  • Vinyl: Less environmentally friendly due to its synthetic composition and the production process, which involves petrochemicals.
  • Linoleum: Considered more sustainable and eco-friendly as it is made from natural, renewable resources.

3. Durability and Maintenance

  • Vinyl: Generally easier to maintain and more resistant to moisture and staining, which makes it suitable for bathrooms and kitchens.
  • Linoleum: Requires a bit more maintenance, including periodic sealing to keep it water-resistant. However, it is very durable and can last up to 40 years if properly cared for.

4. Installation

  • Vinyl: Easier to install; available in sheets, tiles, and planks that are user-friendly for DIY projects.
  • Linoleum: Often requires professional installation, especially for sheet linoleum, to ensure it is sealed correctly against moisture.

5. Cost

  • Vinyl: Generally less expensive than linoleum. The cost can vary based on the type and quality of the vinyl.
  • Linoleum: Can be more costly upfront but may offer savings over time due to its longevity.

6. Aesthetic and Design

  • Vinyl: Offers a wider range of designs and patterns, and advanced printing technology allows vinyl flooring to realistically mimic other materials.
  • Linoleum: Has a more limited colour palette but offers a classic, timeless look that can add to the aesthetic value of any room.

Which Flooring Should You Choose?

The decision between vinyl and linoleum flooring should be based on a variety of factors including your budget, where the flooring will be installed, your household’s lifestyle needs, and your personal preferences regarding sustainability.

  • Use Vinyl If: You need a cost-effective, durable, and moisture-resistant flooring that is easy to install and maintain.
  • Use Linoleum If: You are looking for a more environmentally sustainable option, are prepared for a bit more maintenance, and appreciate natural aesthetics.

In Conclusion

By understanding the distinct differences between these two popular types of flooring, you can make a more informed decision that aligns with your home improvement goals and values. Whether you choose vinyl or linoleum, both options provide a robust solution for enhancing the comfort and appearance of your home.

If you’re still on the hunt for new flooring, why not give us a try? Easipay Flooring offers great prices on high quality flooring, including laminate, vinyl and carpets. We also offer free underlay for carpets and laminate, and to make buying your new flooring more manageable we’ll also let you split the cost into instalments over time too, interest free! Tap the button below to get started.

Still Got Questions? Here's 10 FAQs!

Vinyl flooring usually lasts between 10 to 20 years, depending on the quality and how well it is maintained. Linoleum flooring, on the other hand, can last up to 40 years with proper care and maintenance.

Vinyl can often be installed over existing flooring if the surface is smooth and even. Linoleum installation typically requires a perfectly smooth and clean surface, so existing flooring might need to be removed first.

Some vinyl products can emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs) when new, although many manufacturers now offer low-VOC options. Linoleum is natural and emits no VOCs, making it a healthier option in terms of indoor air quality.

Vinyl flooring is generally waterproof, which makes it suitable for areas like kitchens and bathrooms. Linoleum is water-resistant but not waterproof; it needs to be sealed to protect against moisture damage.

Vinyl flooring is often recommended for households with pets because it is scratch-resistant and easy to clean. Linoleum is also durable but may require more maintenance to keep it looking new in homes with pets.

Vinyl may fade or discolour when exposed to direct sunlight for extended periods, whereas linoleum may become slightly yellowed if not exposed to sunlight (a phenomenon known as “blooming” which can reverse with sun exposure).

Installation costs for vinyl flooring are generally lower than for linoleum, largely because vinyl is easier to install and requires less preparation work.

Vinyl tiles and planks can often be installed as a DIY project thanks to their user-friendly design. Sheet vinyl and linoleum might require professional installation to ensure that they are laid out smoothly and sealed properly, especially in large or complex spaces.

Linoleum should be cleaned using a pH-neutral cleaner and can be periodically polished with a linoleum-specific product to maintain its finish and water-resistance.

Vinyl floors do not require sealing thanks to their waterproof surface. Linoleum floors, however, should be sealed after installation and periodically thereafter to maintain their resistance to moisture and stains.