Many people believe that Linoleum and Vinyl are the same thing. While linoleum is often used as a synonym for vinyl sheet, their only similarity is that they both come in sheet goods. Vinyl sheet offers amazing visuals and requires very little maintenance, so what sets linoleum apart? While vinyl floors come in a wide range of colors, linoleum takes advantage of the entire spectrum of color. Both are easy to care for but linoleum may require a little more maintenance and requires different cleaners with lower pH values than vinyl.
Few people know that linoleum was discovered by accident back in 1861 when linseed oil oxidized into a skin from a can of paint. This leads to one of the biggest differences. Linoleum is made from natural components like linseed oil, tree resin, wood and cork flours, limestone, and pigments. While vinyl is manufactured using vinyl, felt, fiberglass and dyes.
When shopping for linoleum, be aware of the “bloom”. The bloom is a yellowish cast to the floor that is a temporary by-product of the manufacturing process. To find out if the floor you choose is right for your home, take a sample home from the retailer or home center and expose it to sunlight to see the true color of the floor. Keep in mind, your flooring may arrive with the same “bloom” as the sample. But over time, this bloom will disappear with exposure to a light source.
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