What is better to choose: linoleum or laminate
Paul, as the final touch in the artist’s painting, gives the interior a complete look. The right flooring will fill the interior with harmony, and a bad choice can discredit any design decisions. Finally, how long the repair will last will depend on the choice of flooring, because it is the floor that takes up almost all of the operating loads: furniture is on it, people walk on it, it needs to be washed often. If, completing the repair, for one reason or another, you decide to abandon the living wooden floor, you have to decide what to choose: linoleum or laminate. Both of these types of clothes for the floor almost do not differ in price, each of them has its own advantages and disadvantages..
- The purpose of the premises is the main criterion
- What is laminate flooring?
- The solid advantages of laminate flooring
- Lacks everything in the laminate
The purpose of the premises is the main criterion
Any floor covering, regardless of material, must be:
- Long-lasting – to serve without repair for as long as possible;
- Moisture resistant – floors must be washed frequently;
- Resistant to abrasion – furniture walk and move on the floor;
- UV resistant – do not fade under the influence of natural or artificial light.
Moreover, depending on the purpose of the room, the priority of the listed properties of the flooring changes. For example, the floors in the office should be especially resistant to abrasion, because they have to withstand more intense mechanical stresses than in the living room.
The floor in a very bright spacious living room of an apartment or a private house should be equally resistant to abrasion and ultraviolet rays. Indeed, in this room they receive guests and the floor, even after dancing, ladies in shoes with thin stilettos, should remain impeccable. Burnout resistance will allow furniture to be rearranged without fear that a darker spot will suddenly appear in the place of a cabinet or massive sofa.
Finally, in the kitchen, hallway or children’s floors, it is necessary not only to wash often, but also it is necessary to remove stubborn stains with detergents and even solvents, and therefore the main criterion for choosing a flooring here is moisture resistance and high strength.
Therefore, only by understanding the features of two floor coverings and “trying” them on to your specific room, you can answer the almost rhetorical question: laminate or linoleum – which is better?
What is laminate flooring?
Laminate is an artificial multilayer flooring. The basis and the thickest layer of the laminate flooring is, as a rule, a special MDF panel, on the “wrong” side of which a protective layer of polymer is applied.
The front side of the base laminate is formed as follows. A layer of decorative paper that imitates the structure of various natural materials is glued onto the base panel, and then coated with a protective wear-resistant layer of acrylate or melamine resin or of a polymer film.
According to the method of surface finishing, a laminate is
According to the level of wear resistance, the laminate is divided into classes indicated by numbers. A larger figure corresponds to a higher rate of wear resistance:
- 21, 22, 23 – laminated coatings for residential premises;
- 31, 32, 33 – high-strength laminate for public spaces.
The sound insulation of the floor depends on the thickness of the laminated floor covering, which can be from 6 to 12 mm: the thicker the material, the higher the level of its sound absorption.
The solid advantages of laminate flooring
Modern laminate flooring is endowed with a number of advantages, thanks to which they are so popular today in the interiors of residential and public buildings.
- Resistant to UV rays. According to this indicator, the laminate surpasses most floor coverings. Laminate floors do not fade under the influence of sunlight and artificial premises and retain their original gamut of colors and shades throughout the entire service life. You can rearrange carpets or rearrange furniture as much as you want: burnt spots on the floor will never appear.
- Strength, wear resistance, heat resistance, environmental friendliness. Thanks to the reinforcement of components that are absolutely environmentally friendly and resistant to mechanical stress, the transparent protective layer of the laminate is resistant to impact loads and pressure from massive furniture. There are no scratches or dents on the laminate from heels, stiletto heels or thermal “burns” from an accidentally dropped cigarette or a burning flame from the fireplace. The laminate floor is antistatic and therefore does not attract dust and does not cause allergies..
- Easy styling. Quickly and easily in just a few hours, even a non-specialist can lay the laminate floor, step by step following the recommendations of the manufacturer’s instructions. For the installation of the latest generation of laminated coatings, no glue is needed; they have snap locks to connect the panels. This type of floor can be easily dismantled and reused in another room..
- Possibility of laying on any basis. Laminate floors can be laid on concrete and stone substrates. If they do not need alignment, you can do without preliminary preparation. Also, using in each case its own type of special substrate, the laminate can be laid on wooden boards, vinyl tiles, and even on a short-pile carpet, without dismantling them.
- Ease of care. A damp cloth or vacuum cleaner is sufficient to clean the laminate floor. From it easily, without leaving traces, stains of fat, nail polish, resins and even black oil are removed.
Lacks everything in the laminate
With many advantages, a laminate, like any other building material, is not free from the disadvantages that should be considered when choosing the optimal flooring..
- Life time. It should be selective when choosing a laminate for flooring in rooms with high humidity or high traffic, namely in offices or in the corridor and kitchen of residential premises – even with the most careful care, laminated floors will last no more than 5-7 years.
- Synthetic nature. Laminate is an artificially created finishing material and is not suitable for rooms in the decoration of which natural materials are preferred.
- Sensitivity to water and hostile environment. Frequent washing with aggressive detergents and improper care may cause whitish stains on the laminate floor.
- Weak tightness of joints between panels. This is the most vulnerable part of laminate floors, regardless of the wear resistance class. The technology of laying the laminate does not allow to achieve perfect sealing of the seams. During operation, moisture and dust get into the joints, under the influence of which the edges of the panels break down over time and the floor loses its aesthetics.
And yet, despite the shortcomings and due to the variety of collections and the constant improvement of properties, the popularity of laminate flooring in the interiors of rooms is unrivaled. Imitating natural wood, stone or tile, it compares favorably with the price of prototypes. Style, graphic and color solutions for laminated flooring allow you to create functional areas with “different” flooring materials in one room, and the transition lines, for example, from “parquet” to “marble” look natural and harmonious. Today, laminate floors adorn living spaces, shops, restaurants, boutiques, exhibition halls, classrooms, etc..
Linoleum – an alternative to laminate
Linoleum is a wide range of floor coverings made on the basis of both natural and synthetic components. If natural linoleums consist exclusively of natural raw materials and linseed oil as a binder, then synthetic analogues, or PVC coatings, are made on the basis of polyvinyl chloride with various additives. The operational properties of linoleums, which can be divided into two groups, depend on the proportions of the starting components:
- natural linoleum;
- synthetic PVC linoleum;
In addition to natural and synthetic linoleums, this type of flooring also includes various types of rubber coatings and quartz-vinyl tiles.
Natural linoleum, characteristic
Natural linoleum is an artificial material for flooring, created exclusively from natural materials: linseed oil, natural wood resins, as well as cork or wood flour, chalk or limestone powder as a filler and jute fibers as a base. The result is a high-quality flooring with excellent performance:
- durability – a service life of 25-30 years;
- strength and high wear resistance;
- low flammability;
- heat resistance;
- moisture resistance;
- bactericidal properties;
- high level of sound absorption;
- wide color gamut.
Natural linoleum, due to its durability and the highest hygiene, is indispensable in hospitals, schools, kindergartens, catering establishments, shopping and office centers. It does not crumble and does not crack under changes in temperature and humidity, does not wear out, does not fade under bright artificial lighting and in the sun. The color or pattern of natural linoleum is painted over its entire depth, and therefore it will never be rubbed. Finally, thanks to a thickness of 0.8-4 mm, this flooring can be laid on any not even very even base..
Among the shortcomings of natural linoleums, the following can be noted:
- high price;
- the complexity of styling, which can only be done by professionals;
- exacting care – once every 4-6 months it is necessary to rub with a special mastic.
Synthetic PVC linoleum
An extensive family of synthetic PVC flooring can be divided into three groups:
Commercial linoleum. A group of high-strength synthetic floor coverings designed for flooring in rooms with high traffic and high mechanical loads. Commercial linoleum is laid in educational institutions, sports complexes, warehouse and industrial premises. The main advantages of this material:
- sound absorption.
Household linoleum. Designed for living quarters, characterized by a variety of colors and patterns. Due to affordable prices, it is widely used in kitchens, hallways, children’s rooms and other rooms of residential apartments and houses.
Semi-commercial linoleum. A group that combines the best features of commercial and household linoleums. Strong, durable, wear-resistant, has a variety of colors and bright design. The width range of commercial linoleum is quite extensive, which is especially convenient when arranging floors in spacious rooms of offices, hotels, child care facilities, etc..
Advantages of synthetic PVC linoleum
- affordable price;
- a wide, frequently updated palette of colors, patterns and patterns;
- simplicity of laying, not requiring professional skills;
- low thermal conductivity;
The PVC linoleum palette has a variety of colors and a bright design
In addition to the list of common advantages for a group of synthetic linoleums, individual types with anti-slip and increased sound absorption properties are produced.
Disadvantages of PVC flooring
- The disadvantages of PVC linoleums are mainly due to their synthetic nature:
- sensitive to high temperatures – melt;
- unstable to fats, alkalis, acetone and other solvents;
- decrease in elasticity with decreasing temperature, as a result, the coating may crack or break.
Laminate or linoleum: what and when we choose
Both laminate and linoleum have many indisputable advantages, but are not free from disadvantages, and therefore there can be no unambiguous recipes for their use.
for example, laminate comparison and synthetic linoleums incorrectly, since the prices of these materials are incomparable. Therefore, if you decide to upgrade and refresh the room as cheaply as possible, then of course the synthetic PVC linoleum is perfect for you. True, if we are talking about an unheated summer cottage in winter, then by spring the brand new linoleum on the floor can pretty bad go bad from the cold.
Laminate and commercial or natural linoleum are comparable in price and may well become an alternative to each other. Almost the same advantages are inherent in these types of floor coverings, but nevertheless there are several differences that can become decisive when choosing one or another material..
Linoleum can be washed as often as desired, with any amount of water using any detergents. Laminate can only be wiped with a well-wrung out, slightly damp cloth, not forgetting the vulnerable seams-joints of the panels.
The service life of the laminate is shorter than the “life” of linoleum, but the laminate looks so much like natural wood or other natural material! If you want – lay.
For public, warehouse or industrial premises, a home workshop, any utility rooms, of course, synthetic PVC linoleum is an ideal floor covering.
Finally, to make a choice between artificial laminate flooring and natural linoleum, only the inner voice will help you, which we hope will not let you down.