Laminates vs Linoleum Flooring; Difference & Similarities

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It’s not uncommon to find people using the terms linoleum and laminate interchangeably when discussing flooring. Well, these two types of flooring are different. The two types of flooring are the best bet if you’re looking to give your home a revamp with flooring that looks like natural hardwoods. In this guide, we’ve got you covered with everything you need to know about laminates and linoleum floors.

Similarities between Laminates and Linoleum


Laminates are made through a lamination process of synthetic products. The base of laminate flooring is made of composite material, while the top is covered by printed images. The laminates are then given a shiny finish. The materials used in the manufacture of these types of flooring make it durable.

Linoleum floors, on the other hand, are made from naturally occurring materials such as linseed oils, sawdust, pine resin, wood flour, and mineral fibers. Linoleum flooring is then strengthened by an additional canvas backing making it long-lasting. Linoleum flooring can last about 40 years if well maintained.

Cleaning and Maintenance

Both laminate and linoleum floors are easy to clean and maintain without any requirement for any particular types of mops or detergents. However, linoleum floors need cleaning using some warm water and soap to give them an extra shine one in a while.


Laminate and linoleum floors look almost alike because they mimic the appearance of hardwood, stones, or ceramics. These days, the two types of flooring have become very popular among homeowners looking for affordable but natural-looking flooring for their homes.

However, it’s worth noting that the laminate floors have more options when it comes to different designs and prints. During the manufacture of laminate flooring, images of hardwood are printed on or into the laminate material before it’s given the final shiny layer.

Home value

The resale value of homes installed with either laminate or linoleum flooring is usually high compared to typical tiles or simply cemented floors. Therefore, if you want to raise the value of your house, you should consider giving your floors a new look using laminate or linoleum floors.

Besides, a home with these unique and durable flooring materials may sell faster than others listed for sale. Do you know why? It’s simply because the floors are appealing to potential buyers. Do you have a house you’ve listed for sale without closing any deal? Probably it’s time to change the floors.

Water Resistance

Linoleum and laminate flooring are both water-resistant. Therefore, if you live in humid areas, these can be your best bet for flooring. However, the floors don’t do well with extremely wet conditions and not ideal for rooms such as bathrooms, kitchens, or basements where moisture is likely to accumulate in high amounts.

It’s also worth noting that while cleaning these types of flooring, you shouldn’t soak them up with water. Instead, wiping with a damp rag should do just fine. Any water spills should also get wiped immediately to prevent the water from soaking into the floor materials leading to swelling and eventually cracking.

Laminate vs Linoleum: Differences

Although laminates and linoleum floors are similar in many aspects, in this section, we’ll discuss some notable differences between the flooring.

Which is better between Linoleum and laminate?

Laminate is more popular than linoleum because it looks more attractive with the imitations of hardwood. Laminates also feel more like naturally occurring hardwoods compared to linoleum. If you want some vibrancy of color within your house, then laminates are your closest bet towards achieving that.

Other than most recently, linoleum flooring was notoriously known for only having patterns on the top layer. Therefore, with several scratches common, especially with kids and pets, the patters would all fade. However, the current linoleum manufacturers have tried to improve by running the image patterns deep.

Installation methods

You can buy linoleum either as tiles or as a sheet-roll. The tiles can be easily placed together to form a pattern. Linoleum sheets are usually stuck onto each other using adhesive glue.

Here a video on how to lay sheet linoleum flooring:

How to lay sheet vinyl flooring

The glue is applied onto the sub-layer floor. However, care should be taken to avoid uneven edges or bumpy areas in the process. Leaving large spaces in between the linoleum sheets could also lead to the accumulation of moisture.

Most people don’t prefer to install Linoleum as a DIY project because any slight mistake could lead to destruction and eventual loss of your investment. If you don’t have proper skills, it’s better to give the task to a technician.

Laminate flooring, on the other hand, is effortless to install even for beginners. You only have to stick together planks of laminates to form your desired pattern or unit. If you don’t want to incur installation costs, then you should go for the laminate flooring.

Here a video on how to Install laminate flooring effortlessly

How to Install Laminate Flooring for beginners

Which is cheaper between laminate and linoleum flooring?

Laminate floors can be the most expensive to buy and install, depending on the amount of space. The thickness and underlayment determine the average cost. The thicker laminate is, the more expensive it gets. Underlayment is paramount because if you don’t use it, you risk moisture seeping to your floor or having uneven surfaces that are often noisy when you step on them. On average, laminate flooring costs about $2 – $8 per square foot.

Linoleum flooring is sold either as tiles or sheets. Usually, the thickness of the linoleum determines its cost. On average, you can expect to spend about $2 – $5 for every square foot of linoleum you buy, including installation. The only extra cost when purchasing linoleum is the cost of adhesive, which is almost insignificant.


The taste of homeowners has drastically changed over the years. Long gone are the days when ceramic tiles were used for flooring. Laminates and linoleum floor types have changed the whole game by giving homeowners more value for their money. The two-floor types differ in cost, materials of manufacture, and installation methods. However, the floors add value to your home by offering you a variety of patterns and colors mimicking hardwoods.

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Joe McGuinty
I’ve been working with floors for over 12 years. I started as a flooring contractor, primarily in materials selection. Then, I switched careers into accounting, so my wife and I began buying, renovating, and re-selling homes on the side. You’d be surprised how much value you can add to a home simply by adding new floors.

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