If you aren’t a flooring specialist, it can be hard to keep up with all the different terms that get thrown around. Even the specific types of flooring can get confusing at times. Don’t believe us? Just ask someone (who isn’t a flooring expert) what the difference is between laminate and linoleum. They may not know or may even think that they’re the same. The truth is that they aren’t.

Appearance

Part of what makes it easy to mistake laminate and linoleum for one another is that they can sometimes look similar. Both have a huge selection of colors and patterns that you can choose from. Still, there is a difference in their appearance, one that can make a difference in how your home looks and feels overall. When it comes to looking and feeling like actual hardwood, laminate has the edge over linoleum. It’s not the same as hardwood, but it is closer to it. This is because laminate is made from three layers: a plywood or fiberboard base, a photorealistic image layer, and a plasticate wear layer. The base and image layer help mimic the look and feel of wood more closely than the plywood that is the primary component of linoleum.

Installation

The appearance of the two floorings may have some people fooled, but their differences become more apparent when it’s time to install them. Linoleum floors get stuck straight onto the subfloor with an adhesive. Laminate floors have a layer of underlayment that goes between the laminate and the subfloor. The underlayment helps protect the laminate from moisture seeping up from underneath and helps cushion the floor to make it a quieter, smoother surface to walk on.

Location

There is also a difference in where each flooring should or shouldn’t be placed. Linoleum is virtually waterproof when it’s properly sealed, which means it can be used in rooms like the bathroom, kitchen, or laundry room. On the other hand, laminate’s ability to more closely mimic the look of hardwood means that it’s often well suited to rooms that you want to look especially  nice such as the living room, dining room, or bedroom.

As it turns out, there are some pretty significant differences between laminate and linoleum. Fortunately, you don’t have to be an expert in flooring to make sure you’re getting what you want. Our flooring experts here at Fluent Floors are ready and waiting to answer any flooring questions you might have.

Already know what sort of flooring you’re looking for? Check out our list of products to find the right flooring for you.

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