Friday, September 30, 2011

Can we have a serious discussion about something very dear to my heart?

So, here's the dealio: vinyl flooring is NOT the same as linoleum.

I know, you're wondering:

a) what the hell I'm talking about
b) why I care
c) why you should care

Well, as an interior designer, I am FED UP with people misappropriating the term "linoleum" and sullying its good name.  People, if you are the author of a shelter blog (I'll give you a free pass if you post occasional snippets of your personal diy home projects - you can't be held accountable, I realize that) you have a RESPONSIBILITY to get your shit right.

Vinyl = thin sheet flooring made of plastic (ok, fine,  it's made of vinyl... same difference) with a fuzzy backing and that usually has a "printed" pattern on it (like *shudder* faux tile).  It is glued down and the seams are left un-welded.  Also, it is usually hideously ugly and scars easily if you gouge/rip/cut it.

Linoleum = a substantially-thick sheet flooring that is laid with welded seams and has a beautiful jute (burlap) backing.  The colour runs through the product, so if you gouge it, it usually doesn't show.  It has speckles and flecks of colour but usually has no "pattern".  And, most importantly, it is made of renewable (read: "natural") materials.  Like cork, wood flour and LINseed oil.  It is biodegradable and has been around since the 1850's.  It lasts a long time and is gorgeous.  It is manufactured by people like Armstrong and Forbo.

So, stop using the term "linoleum" when you mean "vinyl".  Or else I'm going to get royally ticked off.

Pass it on.


  1. LOL - this made me laugh. You taught me the difference between vinyl & linoleum years ago, and I've not forgotten it!

  2. I hear you, sista. We looked at cork and linoleum flooring for our kitchen in our last house and chose the linoleum (that looked identical to cork!) in a gorgeous dark red-orange. How I loved that floor and would have taken it with us when we moved if I could have.

  3. Yes!! In third grade we kept a books-read journal in which we were required to keep a list of words we didn't know and the only word in mine was linoleum - I've maintained an interest in its proper use since.

  4. Thank-you! I work at a decorating store and we sell vinyl as well as linoleum and customers mix these up all the time. When I start asking questions to determine what exactly they are talking about, they often get perturbed. Like it's my fault I can't read their minds!