Vinyl Vs. Linoleum Flooring: How To Choose The Right One For Your Home?

When it comes to choosing waterproof and water-resistant flooring, Vinyl and linoleum flooring, both Vinyl and linoleum flooring stand out. Each option is relatively more cost-effective than other flooring materials like hardwood or tile. As each material is sold in sheet form, many people are confused between the two. However, some differences can make it clear.

This guide will compare these two flooring solutions along with their pros and cons in terms of aesthetics, sustainability, and maintenance.


One of the main factors that make linoleum flooring different from vinyl flooring is the source from where they come. Linoleum is made from natural renewable materials, while Vinyl comes from synthetic materials.

Frederick Walton—an English manufacturer and inventor invented linoleum flooring in the 1860s as an alternative to traditional wood planks. Linoleum is made from several materials, such as sawdust, linseed oil, limestone, cork dust, resin, mineral filling agents and pigments. It doesn’t contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and is therefore considered as the most eco-friendly flooring solution.

On the other hand, vinyl is made of plastic, specifically polyvinyl chloride (PVC), that emits harmful toxins when burned. Its manufacturing requires a huge amount of petroleum, which can harm the environment.


Both vinyl and linoleum flooring comes in a wide range of colors and patterns. Still, Vinyl is more versatile as it can be crafted into any color or shape to mimic the look of natural wood, tiles, stone, or other natural materials. On the contrary, linoleum flooring comes in a limited variety of patterns and finishes.

Water Resistance

Another difference between Vinyl and linoleum flooring is how they react to water and moisture. Vinyl flooring is completely waterproof and won’t be damaged by moisture, stains, or spills. This is why it is ideal for kitchens and bathrooms.

Linoleum, on the other hand, is not completely waterproof, but it is water-resistant. This means it can be damaged with excess exposure to water. Linoleum flooring, therefore, needs to be sealed every 3 to 10 years to maintain its water resistance.


Vinyl and linoleum flooring are both easier to clean. They can be easily mopped, swept, and vacuumed to maintain their original appearance. However, vinyl flooring is much easier to clean than linoleum because of its waterproof nature. This means you can apply any detergent or cleaning product on your vinyl floors without worrying about causing discoloration. When cleaning linoleum flooring, it is advisable to use a solution specifically designed for these floors.


When it comes to durability, linoleum comes out as the winner here. This is because linoleum’s single layer is durable and long-lasting, whereas Vinyl’s top layer can be damaged with time. As compared to Vinyl, linoleum also offers great heat resistance. Vinyl emits potentially toxic chemicals in the environment when exposed to heat.


Cost is one of the primary considerations when buying flooring. On comparing both flooring materials, Vinyl is the more cost-effective option. The higher pricing of linoleum flooring may be worthwhile, however, because of its greater lifespan than Vinyl.

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