Home ยป Vinyl vs. Laminate vs. Linoleum Flooring: Which is Better?

Vinyl vs. Laminate vs. Linoleum Flooring: Which is Better?

Vinyl vs. laminate vs. linoleum, that is the question! All three flooring options are trendy nowadays, but you should check what type suits your home the best. Basically, it depends on your preferences and taste, but it is better to check for their features before purchasing.

Vinyl is a cheap synthetic material but the only one entirely waterproof, making it an excellent option for any area in the house. Laminate is a composite artificial material you can effortlessly clean. Finally, natural linoleum is biodegradable and recyclable, making it a favorite choice for many homeowners.

Vinyl vs. Laminate vs. Linoleum Flooring

Vinyl Flooring

Vinyl flooring is a synthetic option designed to mimic natural stone or wood visually. Unlike ugly traditional vinyl sheet types, you can find luxury vinyl planks nowadays. This resilient flooring type is waterproof, elastic, and resistant to dents. Standard vinyl flooring is made of three primary layers:

  • A core layer (base)
  • A pattern layer (design)
  • A protective layer (surface)

However, premium models come with extra layers, making them more comfortable and with improved soundproofing. The incredible thing is that they come in several different styles, and you can get flooring looking-like hardwood or stone.

Besides old-fashioned poor-quality vinyl composite tiles, you can find modern versions that look fantastic:

  • Sheet vinyl
  • Luxury vinyl tiles
  • Luxury vinyl planks 


  • Vinyl is comfortable and successfully absorbs shock
  • This flooring type is resistant to water and scratches
  • You can effortlessly install it
  • It is an affordable option that comes in numerous patterns


  • Low-quality vinyl planks emit volatile organic compounds
  • This durable material is highly susceptible to cuts and dents
  • You can have a problem with removing glue-down vinyl planks


Laminate Flooring

Even though it looks elegant and comes in various styles, laminate is still a cheap wood alternative. On the positive side, you can find this flooring type available in glossy, smooth, and embossed textures and attractive finish options looking like:

Nowadays, manufacturers give their best to add new designs, expanding the existing option range. Regardless of the laminate style you choose, it will always consist of four layers:

  • The protecting (wear) layer
  • The decorative layer
  • The core layer
  • The backing layer 


  • Laminate is an inexpensive, durable, and water-resistant option
  • This pet- and kid-friendly flooring comes in several varieties
  • Installation and maintaining this flooring type are easy


  • Laminate is only a cheap wood imitation
  • It is impossible to re-sand and refinish it
  • It won’t look appealing or be water-resistant when installed incorrectly
  • It is not waterproof, limiting its use


Linoleum Flooring

Linoleum is designed from natural materials, including pine rosin, wood flour, linseed oil, mineral fillers, and ground cork dust with a canvas backing.

Manufacturers add pigments and dyes to get different designs and styles, but it is an environmentally friendly choice in every possible sense. You can find this flooring in three options:

  • Easy-to-install self-adhesive tiles
  • Floating-style flooring sensitive to water
  • Hard for installation, robust sheet linoleum

Despite a wide design range available on the market, finding a desirable linoleum option can be challenging. In most cases, it is scarcely available on the market and is often replaced by artificial materials.


  • Linoleum is a green alternative to artificial floorings that comes in numerous colors, sizes, and textures
  • It is a non-allergenic option with antibacterial qualities and anti-static properties
  • This material is resistant to wear, water, fading, and scratches
  • It is biodegradable and recyclable and can last for a long, making it an eco-friendly option
  • This soft, resilient, and comfortable flooring type is reasonably affordable and doesn’t require heat insulating


  • Installation is complicated and requires a professional help
  • Inadequately installed linoleum is not entirely waterproof
  • Since this flooring type is soft, you should be careful and protect it from scratching and cutting
  • Potent cleaning agents will shorten the flooring life span
  • It becomes yellowish over time


Vinyl vs. Laminate vs. Linoleum Floorings

While linoleum is made of natural materials, laminate and vinyl are artificial imitation flooring types that mimic natural wood, stone, or tile look.

When you doubt which of these three options is the best for your home, you should consider each option’s advantages and downsides and compare them carefully.

Vinyl vs. laminate vs. Linoleum

Features Vinyl Laminate Linoleum
Source Synthetic Wooden fiber-board with melamine resin Natural
Material Polymer (synthetic material produced from petroleum) Composite artificial material Linseed oil, pine rosin, mineral fillers, wood flour, cork, and dyes with a canvas backing
Composition Polyvinyl chloride resin in one textured layer Synthetic fiberboard product made of four layers Natural, renewable materials
Thickness 0.06 to 0.2 inches (1.5 – 5 mm) 0.3 to 0.5 inches (8 – 12 mm) 0.06 to 0.2 inches (1.5 – 5 mm)
Durability 10 to 20 years 10 to 25 years 10 to 40 years
Water-resistance Waterproof Water-resistant Water-resistant but water will damage poorly installed flooring
Prone to damage Prone to wear and cuts Highly durable Prone to water damage
Environment It may contain asbestos and release toxins and chlorine gas Challenging to determine; it may cause environmental and health issues It is biodegradable and recyclable
Installation Glue-down over installed flooring Glue-down or floating tongue-and-groove locking Challenging, so it requires hiring a professional
Maintenance Wet mop and cleaners; it is vital to protect areas with heavy traffic Keep it clean and protect it from moisture Dust, sweep, and vacuum it regularly without using strong chemicals
Repair Replacement is a better option Repairable Partially repairable; you can swap out damaged tiles
Restoration Non-renewable after a protective coating wore away Effortlessly restored Refinishing at least once a year is required
Price $2 to $7 per 1 sq ft (0.09 m2), including labor $3 to $11 per 1 sq ft (0.09 m2), including labor $3 to $8 per 1 sq ft (0.09 m2), including labor
Resale value Poor Poor Fair


  • Vinyl flooring comes in two options, tiles and sheets, in the same pattern
  • Laminate looks like hardwood or tile in numerous shades, patterns, and designs
  • Linoleum comes in a variety of designs, styles, and colors


  • Vinyl is a synthetic option with an image pressed to the top layer available in sheet and tile forms
  • Laminate planks are a wood material covered with plastic and resin
  • Linoleum sheets and tiles are natural options made of biodegradable materials


  • Linoleum can last 10 to 40 years
  • Vinyl is pretty durable and lasts 10 to 20 years on average
  • Laminate will probably last 10 to 25 years in most cases


  • Vinyl is a waterproof option capable of withstanding accumulated water for 72 hours
  • Laminate is a water-resistant material that decays after years of exposure to water
  • Linoleum is water-resistant when professionally installed

Placement flexibility

  • Vinyl comes with impressive room placement flexibility, and there are no limitations regarding its installation
  • Laminate is attractive, and homeowners typically use this flooring type in living rooms, dining rooms, and bedrooms
  • Linoleum is almost a waterproof option when properly installed, and you can install it in your kitchen or bathroom


  • Vinyl is a hard flooring type, and most homeowners add a carpet over it to improve a walking comfort
  • Laminate is a highly underfoot comfortable option
  • Linoleum is made of softer materials, making it exceptionally comfortable underfoot


  • Vinyl is non-biodegradable plastic, and it is considered a harmful material to the environment because of asbestos content and possible chlorine gas and toxins releasing
  • Laminate is a pretty eco-friendly material but may cause several issues with health and environmental
  • Linoleum is a natural, biodegradable, and recyclable flooring option

Easy to install

  • Vinyl is a time-consuming flooring because it is necessary to apply adhesive before placing panels, so it is a better option to leave this to professionals
  • Laminate is an easy-to-install flooring option and an excellent solution for DIY installers
  • Linoleum’s application is complicated and typically requires a professional help


  • Vinyl is the easiest to clean with adequate cleaners and wet mop
  • Laminate is not complicated to clean, but you should be careful with water
  • Linoleum requires regular dusting, sweeping, and vacuuming, but you should avoid harmful chemicals


  • Vinyl is the most affordable option, and you need to set aside $2 to $7 per 1 sq ft (0.09 m2), including labor
  • Laminate is a pretty inexpensive option that will cost you $3 to $11 per 1 sq ft (0.09 m2), including labor
  • Linoleum is relatively affordable that comes in a price range of $3 to $8 per 1 sq ft (0.09 m2), including labor

Resale value

  • Vinyl has a poor resale value
  • Laminate comes with a poor resale value
  • Linoleum is the best option according to this feature, but its resale value is only a little bit over an average



Choosing between three excellent flooring options for your home is always tricky. In this case, only the details will decide what type of floor you need.

For instance, you can effortlessly pick out the right flooring type if you prefer eco-friendly materials or when the installation method is crucial. In the end, it will depend on you and your preferences.

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