Which is better: laminate or linoleum?

Which is better: laminate or linoleum?

When decorating an apartment, special attention is paid to the flooring. It is important that it be strong, durable and wear-resistant, as well as have a beautiful appearance that will emphasize the uniqueness of the interior and create a feeling of coziness and comfort. Not everyone can afford to lay an expensive parquet floor. Therefore, the most popular options for budget coverage are linoleum and laminate. These materials have approximately the same cost and are similar in their characteristics, so many buyers are lost when choosing the best flooring option..

Next, we will analyze in detail the main differences between laminate and linoleum, list their main advantages and disadvantages, consider the features of each material.

Pros and cons of products

To understand which material is ideal for your apartment, you need to carefully study the characteristics of both options..

First, let’s list the features that distinguish both linoleum and parquet:

  • relatively low cost;
  • resistance to ultraviolet radiation;
  • attractive appearance;
  • unpretentious care;
  • ease of installation;
  • relative durability.

Advantages and disadvantages of linoleum

Today, under the term “linoleum” most people imagine a synthetic floor covering. But few people know that initially such a material was completely natural, and it was invented more than a century and a half ago. The original composition of the material was completely natural and included linseed oil, jute, lime, tree resin and flour. This resulted in a durable, completely environmentally friendly and safe floor covering. However, this option was far from affordable for everyone. In addition, natural linoleum is not affordable. Therefore, this invention was replaced by a synthetic alternative from PVC. It is about such linoleum that will be discussed further..

Synthetic linoleum is divided into three types, depending on the purpose. It happens:

  • Bytov. This version of the coating is notable for its small thickness, it is about four centimeters. The material is very soft, comfortable and pleasant to walk on. However, the wear resistance and durability of household linoleum is very small..
  • Semi-commercial. In most cases, the thickness of such a coating is at least 7 millimeters. Linoleum has a thick protective layer, which makes it much more durable than the household option..
  • Commercial. This type of flooring is the most resistant to wear and tear. It is it that is used to decorate premises with very high traffic (schools, hospitals, kindergartens and other institutions). The size of the protective layer of commercial linoleum is the largest among all the options listed. From above, the material is treated with a special compound, which makes it non-slip, which means it is safer to use..

All of the listed options for linoleum have a large selection of varied colors..

We list the main advantages of polyvinyl chloride linoleum:

  • Ease of styling. It is thanks to this factor that linoleum has become so popular. In order to smoothly and beautifully lay the flooring in your apartment, it is not at all necessary to resort to the help of professionals. You can quite cope with such a task on your own. At the same time, you do not need special tools or any special skills..
  • Durability. The material is resistant to degradation. According to statistics, the average life of linoleum is about thirty years. Few synthetic surfaces can boast such long-term performance..

  • Large assortment of colors. In modern stores, you will find a huge variety of different models of PVC flooring. Models that imitate the pattern and texture of real wood, marble, natural stone are very popular. Color solutions and design options for the coating are limited only by your imagination. You can easily select a model that fits perfectly into the interior of your particular home..
  • Security. In most cases, such floor coverings are treated with anti-slip agents. Therefore, you do not have to worry about slipping and falling easily on such a surface. This parameter is especially important when there are small children and elderly people in the house..
  • Good heat and sound insulation. Polyvinyl chloride conducts heat rather poorly, guaranteeing minimal heat loss. This means that the floor will not freeze at any time of the year..

With all the advantages available, this coating also has certain disadvantages, namely:

  • Non-environmentally friendly. Like many other synthetic materials, polyvinyl chloride cannot be completely safe for the environment. However, for those who care about health and nature, modern developers have come up with the latest ecological models. Be sure to check with the sellers if there are similar products in the store..
  • Low material density. If you put something heavy on the linoleum, for example, furniture, then dents will certainly remain on the coating. At the same time, it is far from always possible to correct them..
  • High temperature instability. Such material will melt quickly when heated too much. And some low-quality coatings deform even at low temperatures..

Laminate characteristics

Now let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of vinyl laminate. This material is an artificial floor covering, which consists of several layers: a substrate, an inner layer, a decorative outer coating, a protective polymer layer. In addition to the layers listed, additional external treatments are sometimes used for the manufacture of laminate. For example, a special coating to increase the sound insulation performance of the material.

Just like linoleum, laminate is divided into several types depending on the purpose of the room in which it will be laid. These varieties are designated by the term “class”. There are classes numbered 21, 22, 23 and 31, 32, 33, 34. The higher the number, the higher the wear resistance and strength of the coating. For example, class 21 laminate flooring is great for ordinary residential apartments. And class 34 is already stronger and more durable, therefore it is best suited for shopping centers and other commercial premises. Selected extra rugged dance halls and moisture resistant kitchens are also available..

Let’s list the main advantages of such a flooring:

  • Environmental friendliness. In the manufacture of laminate, natural wood is used, which ensures the coating of good quality and safety for the environment and humans.
  • A wealth of textures and colors. In the catalogs of modern stores, you can easily find laminate flooring, which is almost impossible to distinguish from real wood either in color or in texture. Moreover, the cost of such a floor covering will be quite affordable..

Also, the laminate is very easy to assemble on your own due to the special design..

Disadvantages of this material:

  • Moisture resistance. If you decide to lay a laminate in your apartment, then you should not do wet cleaning too often, because if a large amount of water gets in, the material can swell and deteriorate..
  • Relative fragility. In the absence of special protective impregnations, such a coating will last no more than five years. In addition, the material is often completely unstable to external damage and chips and scratches can quickly appear on it..

Also, when installing a laminate that is held together with locks, cracks may form at the joints. In the future, this will lead to the accumulation of dust and moisture in the crevices, which will also adversely affect the durability of the floor covering..

What makes the difference: comparison of characteristics

So, we have analyzed in detail the main properties of laminate and linoleum, both materials have distinctive and similar features. Now let’s compare these two flooring to get a more complete picture of the characteristics of these two materials..


Both materials are not natural, so they cannot be called completely environmentally friendly. Nevertheless, it is worth noting that in the manufacture of linoleum much more synthetic substances are used than in the production of laminate. In addition, linoleum cannot simply be thrown into a landfill, since the material does not decompose and poses a danger to the environment. It is also worth noting that polyvinyl chloride is much more likely to cause allergic reactions than laminate..


Both laminate and linoleum are very easy to install. However, the installation of laminate flooring will take a little longer, since the covering will consist of many individual planks. At the same time, this is what makes the laminate more profitable during operation. Indeed, if necessary, you can easily replace any structural element, while if the linoleum is damaged, you will have to replace the entire canvas. The same applies to scratches: cracks on the laminate flooring can be easily repaired with the help of special substances, which cannot be said about polyvinyl chloride..

In terms of durability, linoleum has a lifespan of up to thirty years, while laminate flooring rarely lasts longer than ten years..


Linoleum with a thick backing perfectly absorbs all sounds. At the same time, the laminate cannot boast of the same properties. Thus, according to this criterion, the laminate is inferior to the PVC coating..

External characteristics

Modern linoleum models successfully imitate any natural surface, be it stone or natural wood. However, no matter how bright and beautiful the pattern of this material is, the laminate flooring in most cases looks more solid and attractive, since the laminate is much more like real wood, and also has a pleasant texture. Nevertheless, the choice of flooring material for external characteristics is purely individual in nature. The decision depends on your personal preferences, as well as the design and characteristics of the premises for which the material is selected.

What is more practical?

It is rather difficult to answer this question unequivocally. Laminate is more resistant to scratches and mechanical damage than linoleum. At the same time, linoleum will not lose either its properties or its original appearance from the ingress of large amounts of water, which cannot be said about laminate flooring. This means that if the room is flooded, then most likely, the covering will have to be completely replaced. Also, he and the other material are not resistant to fire, but linoleum is considered much more flammable. However, it should be noted that with rather similar operational and external characteristics, a PVC coating will cost you much cheaper..

Which is warmer?

Laminate is colder than linoleum. The PVC coating is practically non-conductive and is equipped with a thick backing. This means that in the cold season it will be much more pleasant to walk on linoleum than on a laminate floor..

Which is more expensive?

The cost of a particular material depends on many different factors. What matters is the country of origin of the flooring, as well as its quality and thickness. Even when buying, it is worth considering the size of the area for which the material is purchased. Only by evaluating all the factors, it will be possible to say for sure which coverage is more profitable. On average, linoleum prices are significantly lower than laminate flooring. If you multiply this figure with the long service life of the PVC material, then the purchase seems very reasonable. However, do not forget about the features of the operation of both materials and their external characteristics..

What is more harmful?

We have already noted earlier that linoleum is more toxic than laminate. This is especially evident in the process of recycling this material, since during combustion, polyvinyl chloride emits a very pungent chemical odor and soot. Also, do not forget that more chemicals are used for the manufacture of linoleum than for laminate, so the second type of flooring is considered to be safer for health. But in general, both the one and the other option will not harm a person. The main thing is to choose the manufacturer correctly and check the quality certificates for the products..

Which is easier to clean?

Cleaning any kind of floor covering is not difficult. However, linoleum can be safely washed often with plenty of water and detergents, while wet cleaning of laminate flooring needs to be more careful to prevent excessive wetting of the material..

What to choose for an apartment or house?

In order to understand what kind of coverage is suitable for your apartment, you should take into account the characteristics of different rooms. So, in the bedroom, dining room or living room it is best to lay a laminate. It looks more stylish, modern and attractive. This will highlight the design and identity of your interior. If you need to put something on the kitchen floor or pick up material in the children’s room, then it is better to opt for linoleum, since this material is more practical. It will be much easier to use it in such premises..

For a wooden private house (summer cottage) or on a balcony, it is also worth taking a closer look at the laminate, since linoleum flooring is not resistant to temperature extremes and can quickly deteriorate. However, for a cold balcony and a summer residence, linoleum will be warmer than laminate flooring. This should also not be forgotten when making the final choice of coverage..

So, we examined in detail all the advantages and disadvantages of two budget floor coverings, as well as their performance properties. Both materials have fundamental similarities and differences. In addition, they differ significantly in their appearance, so the choice of one or another option depends solely on your preferences, budget and the purpose of the room for which the floor material is chosen..

Alternative choice

There are many options for flooring, in addition to the already discussed laminate and linoleum. Let’s consider a few of them.


This material is simply indispensable for finishing rooms with high humidity and traffic, such as bathrooms, kitchens and corridors. Such a coating is able to withstand almost any load. It is incredibly strong and durable. At the same time, the variety of colors and designs of tiles allows you to choose it for any interior and even create interesting and unusual compositions on the floor. However, walking on such a surface barefoot will not work, since the material is very cold. It is also worth noting the complexity of the installation of tiles. However, if you hire an experienced professional for styling, you will get excellent results..


This natural material is the most common choice for flooring as it has been in use for centuries. The indisputable advantages of natural wood are environmental friendliness and safety for human health and the environment. Also, such material has a very beautiful appearance, gives coziness and comfort to any room. A wooden floor has low thermal conductivity, which means it will be warm and pleasant to walk on. Such a coating will serve you for more than a dozen years. But the cost of such coverage is quite high..


This is another fairly common type of floor covering. Natural material is one hundred percent environmentally friendly and safe. The cork has a very pleasant and unusual texture. Walking on this floor is very healthy. In the process of walking, you receive micromassage of the feet, which has a positive effect on the work of the musculoskeletal system and the whole body as a whole. Cork floors are very strong and durable, but they do not differ in a variety of colors. It is also worth noting that this material has excellent heat and sound insulation characteristics. And also such coatings for full are very unpretentious in care..

What to lay – laminate or linoleum, you will learn from the video below.

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