Dear Bob and Betsy,
I’ve just started my search for new flooring and my friend suggested I look at laminate. I’m on a budget, but I want something that’ll last me for years and look great in my home. Is laminate flooring similar to linoleum in terms of the look and feel? Or is it better?
– Marie B.
Great question! Many people wonder about the differences between laminate and linoleum. More importantly, homeowners like you want to know what’ll look better and last longer in their home.
To help you decide what’s best for your house, here’s a breakdown of a few core features of both.
Both types of flooring are inexpensive compared to hardwood or tile. You won’t have to worry about breaking the bank to install either of these new floors.
Hold a plank of laminate and a plank of linoleum and you’ll be able to feel the difference in materials.
Linoleum is made out of linseed oil, sawdust, and natural materials. Laminate flooring is made out of real wood and topped with a high definition print out of a pattern or design.
Because laminate is made out of sturdier materials, it’s thicker. This is nice when you walk on the flooring because it doesn’t feel quite as hard.
Both types of floors are easy to install. Linoleum is installed using a peel and stick system, like stickers. Laminate is most often installed over a soft foam underlayment, giving it more cushion when you walk and protecting it from moisture. Then, you simply click each plank together to lock it in place. If you make a mistake, or need to replace a damaged plank, you can easily undo the planks and then redo them again without damaging the flooring.
Linoleum is usually sold in squares to mimic the look of tile. Although the pattern and shape might resemble tile, it’s usually obvious that the floor is not genuine ceramic material.
Laminate flooring is different. It is designed to mimic the look of hardwood flooring. The look can be so close to authentic (and more expensive) hardwood flooring that many people cannot tell the difference.
What’s right for you?
The choice is yours. Both products are affordable. We recommend requesting a free sample so you can see first-hand which type of flooring is best for your needs.