Pros and Cons – Forbes Advisor


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When researching different flooring options, linoleum flooring is a popular choice among homeowners looking for flooring that will stand the test of time. Linoleum flooring is incredibly versatile and durable. Plus, it works for almost any room in the house.

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Often confused with vinyl flooring, linoleum is quite different. If you are considering linoleum flooring, keep these pros and cons in mind before making a final decision to see if linoleum flooring is right for you.

What is a linoleum floor?

Linoleum flooring is made from a mix of renewable natural materials. Although the actual composition varies by manufacturer, it mainly contains a mixture of linseed oil, jute, cork powder, tree resin and wood flours. Unlike vinyl flooring, linoleum has the design integrated throughout the material instead of multiple layers.


  • Linoleum flooring is exceptionally durable and hard-wearing. With proper care, it can last over 40 years.
  • Installing linoleum flooring is much more affordable than other flooring options.
  • It is available in a wide range of colors, patterns and styles.
  • Linoleum flooring is water resistant, making it ideal for bathroom and kitchen floors.
  • It is made with renewable materials and unlike other flooring styles, linoleum is biodegradable.
  • Linoleum flooring does not emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which can have health effects.
  • It is scratch resistant and hides wear better than vinyl flooring.
  • Very low maintenance, requiring only occasional mopping and sweeping.

The inconvenients

  • Resilient linoleum is susceptible to bumps from furniture legs.
  • Linoleum flooring requires professional installation, which can be expensive.
  • Over time, linoleum can darken or yellow if exposed to direct sunlight.
  • Some types of linoleum are sensitive to moisture and especially exposure to standing water, which can cause permanent damage.
  • New and freshly waxed linoleum floors can be slippery and present slip and fall hazards.


Linoleum flooring is more expensive than vinyl flooring, not to mention that it requires professional installation, which increases the final cost. On average, sheet linoleum costs between $2 to $2.50 per square foot and linoleum tiles on average about $3.50 to $5 per square foot installed. Of course, higher prices are possible with high-end, luxury and designer styles.

Maintenance and care

One of the biggest advantages of linoleum flooring is its low maintenance. Linoleum is relatively easy to maintain. It only needs occasional sweeping and cleaning to keep it looking its best. Stains can be easily cleaned with a mild detergent or linoleum cleaning solution to prevent surface damage.

Unlike vinyl, linoleum requires a bit more maintenance to keep it looking its best. Linoleum is a softer material that can be easily dug or scratched. To prevent this, it requires periodic sealing to prevent damage from moisture and stains.

Design Options

Linoleum flooring has a solid color and pattern present throughout the thickness of the material. This limits the design options, but it means the design won’t fade over time. Linoleum manufacturers use advanced printing techniques to print vibrant colors, patterns, and even recreate natural looks. This allows them to achieve an endless array of design options with the functionality and utility of linoleum.

Linoleum flooring today looks nothing like it did 50 years ago. While you can still find retro-looking linoleum, today you can print linoleum in a wide variety of colors, patterns, and faux natural looks to meet our aesthetic needs.


Unlike other types of flooring, a linoleum installation usually requires a professional. Linoleum sheets are difficult to cut and handle. Usually the installation consists of applying the sheets using a glued bond and welding the seams together. Modern linoleum floors can be complemented with linoleum tiles and planks which are more suitable for DIY installations.

These use a click lock method which allows the tiles to float on the subfloor without any adhesives and they fit together like a set of Legos.


The lifespan of linoleum flooring is what makes it so appealing to homeowners. With proper care, a linoleum floor can last between 20 and 40 years or more. However, unlike other types of flooring, linoleum will age over time and look older until it needs to be replaced.

While some people like the old-fashioned look of worn linoleum, others don’t, so keep that in mind in your decision-making process.

Top Brands

Linoleum is a unique material and while it was once in its prime, it is not so easy to find today. If you’re considering linoleum for your next flooring project, you need to work with an experienced fabricator who can help you find the right materials for your project. There are many manufacturers and brands to choose from, but some of the more reputable brands include:


Linoleum flooring can be a long-term investment that will withstand decades of wear and tear without losing its essence. Keep in mind that unlike other flooring options, linoleum may require professional installation services which can increase the final cost. If you’re considering linoleum flooring, keep these pros and cons in mind during your decision-making process. Linoleum flooring can last over 40 years with minimal maintenance and care and add a unique presence to your home.

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