Vinyl, and Linoleum – they’re different but what do we use which for?
Lino floor coverings are made from natural materials which most frequently include linseed oil (from which the name Linoleum is derived). Other materials can include pine rosin, limestone, wood-flour, and cork, and when these ingredients are combined, they are fixed to a jute or canvas backing which can then be sectioned into ‘tiles’ or laid in sheets as flooring. Lino allows cutting-in to fit with adjacent patterns so flooring in the hands of clever workers, can become works of art. Lino, as a natural product, is very popular in healthcare and education settings.
Frederick Walton invented Linoleum in 1860. He was a rubber manufacturer who happened to notice that linseed oil developed a skin as the oil oxidised in the paint-making process. Vinyl was first invented in 1872 by German chemist, Eugene Bauman, who called it Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) but it wasn’t adapted for flooring until around 1930.
Vinyl sheeting is made from synthetic materials, and has several advantages because it is more flexible than Lino, has a greater range of colour options, and cuts and handles more easily. It is also inexpensive and versatile, therefore a preferred choice in commercial settings.
Vinyl is definitely the preferred option for ‘wet’ areas such as bathrooms and laundrys because it does not rot, whereas the natural materials incorporated in Lino make it prone to disintegration in sustained ‘wet’ conditions. In terms of friendliness, Vinyl can emit volatile organic compounds (VOC), and if adhesive is used, it can be very difficult to remove once laid. Overall though, Vinyl is a hands-down winner for many interior applications.
Renovation Warehouse always keeps vinyl in stock in two and three metre widths. It’s ideal for sorting the cooking or bathroom areas at the bach, or covering the sleep-out floor, fixing the laundry, putting under the car, great for wet or high traffic areas, and for endless other uses. With a bit of knowledge (or YouTube!) anyone can lay it which makes it even more useful, and it offers an alternative to bare wooden floors. Choose from standard designs and occasional artistic ones, we usually have standard designs in stock.