Linoleum Flooring USA
Linoleum Flooring compared to its alternatives
We have five pages of expert guidance notes on Linoleum Flooring:
2. Linoleum flooring compared to alternatives (on this page)
Installing and maintaining linoleum flooring
LINOLEUM FLOORING COMPARED TO ALTERNATIVES
The main alternatives to linoleum are ceramic tiles, rubber flooring, vinyl flooring, and wooden flooring. We compare linoleum to each of these alternatives below.
Ceramic tiles are extremely hard wearing and durable. They will last for decades, rather than the five or ten years that is typical for linoleum flooring. And unlike linoleum they will put up with a lot of harsh wear and tear. However ceramic tiles are not suitable for laying on wooden or other flexible floors; to avoid problems of movement and cracking they need a solid concrete base.
Ceramic tiles can look very stylish, but they are cold and hard. By contrast linoleum flooring is soft and warm to the touch. Also the joints between ceramic tiles can give rise to problems with the jointing compound discoloring or coming loose. By contrast linoleum sheet or tile HAS close fitting joins, and does not give rise to these jointing problems.
When the cost of installation is
taken into account, ceramic tiles are much more expensive than linoleum.
Natural rubber flooring has many of the characteristics of linoleum. It is a non-allergenic natural material, and is soft and warm to the touch. It has a rather more industrial and clinical appearance, and is not available in as wide a range of colors as linoleum. Although the initial cost of natural rubber flooring is higher than that of linoleum, it is more durable than linoleum, and does not require expensive finishes. It is therefore likely to be cheaper, taking account of maintenance costs, over a period of say ten years.
Although rubber flooring is more
slippery than linoleum, it is available in raised studded patterns, which
reduces slipping risk.
Since the 1950s vinyl flooring has progressively replaced linoleum, and is now sold in much bigger quantities. Vinyl flooring is much cheaper than linoleum, both to buy and lay. It is also available in a wide variety of colors and patterns, including patterns which simulate wood, stone, ceramic tiles, or slate. Vinyl flooring is also easier to maintain, because it needs only washing, and does not require the application of any finish. Although cheap vinyl flooring is no more durable than linoleum, high quality vinyl flooring is extremely durable and resistant to damage - much more so than linoleum.
In all these ways vinyl is a very
practical and economic type of flooring. The advantages of linoleum are that it
is a much more human finish. Made from natural materials, it is soft and warm to
the touch, and gives a feeling of quality which you do not get with vinyl.
Wood flooring has many of the practical characteristics of linoleum, except that wood flooring is not suitable for wet areas such as kitchens, laundries and bathrooms. It is also much more expensive than linoleum. However in the living areas of the house, such as hallway and passages, wood flooring gives a much more friendly and traditional look. Linoleum can be used in such areas, but will tend to give a somewhat institutional and industrial look.
MORE INFORMATION ON LINOLEUM FLOORING
Please click below for our other guidance notes on linoleum flooring:
Flooring Product Guides: Carpets, Carpet Tiles, Concrete Flooring, Cork Flooring, Linoleum Flooring, Marble Flooring, Outdoor Carpet, Parquet Flooring, Slate Flooring, Vinyl Tile Flooring.
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