Article Comparing Commercial Vinyl Sheet Flooring vs. Linoleum

Take a closer look at the advantages and disadvantages of two resilient floors.

Healthcare
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Heterogeneous Sheet
hom
Homogeneous Sheet


Vinyl sheet or linoleum? Is one better than the other in a commercial space? These two resilient flooring options have been compared for a long time, and while they’re similar, key differences should be considered before specifying either product for commercial projects.  

Design Capability & Flexibility

Vinyl sheet stands out above linoleum in its ability to create custom and nature-inspired designs. When compared to linoleum, heterogeneous sheet delivers a superior combination of sophisticated design and long-lasting visuals for a wide array of commercial environments. For instance, print visuals in heterogeneous sheet provide designers more options to meet demands of healthcare settings while balancing the desire to create a more homelike environment.

While linoleum — which is a dyed product — is available in a variety of patterns and vivid colors, it cannot match heterogeneous sheet’s customizable print ability. When linoleum is manufactured, it has a yellowish cast on the surface due to the oxidation of the linseed oil during the curing process. This is temporary and disappears when exposed to natural or artificial light, but this process also affects the pattern colors — often altering the color hues, even if just slightly, from what was originally selected. However, yellowing isn’t limited to just the manufacturing process. Linoleum can experience color change over time as well, often yellowing due to the product continuing to cure, and the surface can be affected if a high pH cleaner or stripper is used on the surface.

  Vinyl Sheet Linoleum

Design

Customizable patterns and designs on heterogeneous sheet

Designs can mimic natural elements, like wood, providing a homelike feel in commercial settings

Not customizable, which limits design options

Susceptible to color change over time

Product Durability

While both products are durable commercial flooring options, vinyl sheet offers a few more performance features to keep floors looking newer, longer. In commercial settings, flooring must stand up to high traffic and rolling loads, as well as spills and accidents. Vinyl sheet with Diamond 10 Technology coating provides category-leading scratch, stain, and scuff resistance while also protecting against chemicals and damage from alcohol-based hand sanitizers — protection linoleum can’t provide. Vinyl sheet’s top-down waterproof capabilities again set it apart, and greatly increase its durability in a commercial setting.

Linoleum is made of natural materials that are much more susceptible to damage from water and cleaning products, so the seams must be sealed directly after installation and then re-sealed periodically. Because linoleum includes natural materials, moisture damage or simple gouges that penetrate the protective layer may lead to mold, mildew, and other issues — putting the safety and well-being of occupants at risk, especially in healthcare environments.

 

Vinyl Sheet Linoleum

Durability

Sheet with Diamond 10 Technology coating provides category-leading scratch, stain, and scuff resistance

Waterproof capabilities are beneficial in commercial settings

Homogeneous vinyl sheet meets operating room safety standards

Durability is dependent on protective coating at installation, and ongoing re-sealing

Susceptible to moisture damage

Moisture damage may lead to mold and mildew

Upkeep & Maintenance

A floor’s ability to be effectively cleaned plays a large part in patient safety, especially in spaces that require an aseptic, sterile environment — operating rooms, as well as pre-op exams and post-op recovery spaces. Vinyl sheet’s composition — and its ensuing maintenance — makes it a more reliable and safer option for these commercial settings. Vinyl sheet’s heat welded seams with flash coving provide an environment for superior infection control, and its resistance to stains from chemical reagents and bodily fluids makes it easier to maintain and a safer flooring option.

Linoleum, on the other hand, has poor resistance to stains and is susceptible to moisture damage. It’s important to note that while heat welding on vinyl sheet effectively fuses the two sheets together, this is not the case with linoleum, and it has some downsides. A linoleum rod acts like a glue stick attaching the two sheets, instead of fusing them together. This creates weaker bonds that are susceptible to future breakage. The inability to provide an aseptic seam means linoleum can’t be used in operating rooms. Installers will commonly seal linoleum to protect against moisture, and it requires ongoing maintenance to ensure the flooring remains water resistant — whereas heterogeneous and homogeneous sheet with Diamond 10 Technology coating does not require polish. Additionally, linoleum is limited in the cleaning products that should be used — incorrect cleaning products can corrode the floor or cause yellowing.

 

Vinyl Sheet Linoleum

Maintenance

Does not require polish

Heat welded seams with flash coving allows for superior infection control

Requires ongoing maintenance to maintain water-resistant properties

Limited selection of cleaning products, and incorrect products can damage the floor

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