Comparing Engineered Hardwood to Linoleum Flooring

Here we provide a complete comparison between Engineered Hardwood and Linoleum flooring.

Has the time come for you to replace flooring or install flooring in your new home and you are having difficulty deciding between engineered hardwood and linoleum? If so, you may be wondering if there are any significant differences, advantages or disadvantages between these two types of floor covering. The information provided below will help you make the most informed choice possible between them.

Appearance and Aesthetics

Engineered hardwood flooring looks very much like genuine wood because of the way that they have been manufactured. It is also available in several different shades, colors, sizes, and thicknesses. This means that you will be able to find just the right match for virtually any room in your home.

These days, linoleum flooring is available in a wide range of neutral and bright colors, as well as several different patterned options. The color of linoleum is usually quite consistent, meaning that scuffs and marks are not normally too noticeable. However, it can start yellowing over time if exposed to a lot of direct sunlight – this will depend on the type of coating that has been applied.

General Durability

When comparing engineered hardwood to linoleum flooring, you will notice that the hardwood is highly resistant to scuffing, scraping and dirty marks. However, it can sometimes fall prey to expanding and warping if the temperature or humidity changes are experienced. As a result, it is recommended that extra room be given closer to walls during the installation process.

Most forms of linoleum flooring have had a highly durable coating applied to them. While this can help prevent absorption of moisture and dirt, this can be dented or damaged by high heels, furniture legs and pet claws in some cases.

Many types of engineered hardwood flooring can last for anywhere between 20 and 100 years if they are correctly cared for. However, some cheaper options may be thin, meaning that they will not be able to be refinished over time. As a result, you should opt for thicker varieties wherever possible. In most cases, linoleum flooring can last between 20 and 40 years if correct care instructions are followed.

It is also important to remember that the layers used to manufacture engineered hardwood flooring help render it waterproof. This means it will be able to resist most forms of pet-related and other soiling. However, most forms of linoleum flooring are highly susceptible to moisture-related damage. This means that they may not always be suitable for homes with indoor pets.

Maintenance and Care

Engineered hardwood flooring tends to be quite low maintenance in that only a damp mop is needed to clean and remove most forms of dirt from it. In cases where deeper or more intense cleaning is required, a dedicated hardwood flooring cleaner is strongly recommended.

Linoleum flooring is also relatively low maintenance, making it ideal for busy households. Most forms of dirt can also be removed with warm water and a damp mop. If no protective coating has been applied, it is recommended that linoleum be waxed at least once a year to prevent it from absorbing moisture.

Environmental Considerations

When searching for the right type of flooring for your home, you can rest assured that engineered hardwood and linoleum are both great choices with regards to the impact they have on the environment.

During the manufacturing process of engineered hardwood flooring, no sawdust is produced. This means that there is a lot less wasted wood than with some other types of flooring.

Linoleum flooring is manufactured from a range of natural ingredients and it is fully recyclable as well. During manufacture and use, no harmful emissions are released either, making this an excellent choice of flooring for your home. This flooring is also anti-bacterial and hypoallergenic, making it ideal for use in homes where allergy sufferers reside.


In most cases, engineered hardwood flooring is quite easy to install because it makes use of a simple tongue and groove locking system. However, some types may need to be glued down as well – although it will still be a simple process.

Linoleum flooring can be supplied in either sheet or tile format. However, it can be quite challenging to install because it is also extremely stiff. It is also crucial to ensure that the subfloor that it is going to be installed on is completely level. This will prevent lumps from appearing underneath it.

Underfoot Comfort

Although many people may find that engineered hardwood flooring is quite hard underfoot, this need not always be the case. It is possible to install this flooring over a cork layer, which will go a long way in helping to make it feel more comfortable when walking on it. This can be especially beneficial to anyone who may be suffering from severe joint pain.

Linoleum flooring on the other hand is quite soft and comfortable underfoot because it gives way when you walk on it – although it does bounce right back afterwards though. However, keep in mind that this type of flooring can be quite slippery at times, especially if it is wet. As a result, care should be exercised with linoleum flooring if you have children or elderly persons living in your home.

Calculating Overall Costs

While shopping for engineered hardwood or linoleum flooring, you will quickly see that there is not too much of a difference in pricing between the two options. Most types of engineered hardwood flooring can be purchased for around $8 to $12 per square foot. The cost will depend on the finish and color/style that is chosen.

Linoleum flooring can be purchased for between $4 and $8 per square foot. Again, the pricing will depend on the quality of linoleum you choose, as well as any specific color or style requirements you may have.

These days, most flooring companies will offer free installation of any flooring products that have been purchased from them. However, some terms and conditions may apply – it is best to ask about this before agreeing to have any type of flooring installed.

Warranty Periods

The type and length of warranty that you will receive when purchasing engineered hardwood or linoleum flooring will depend on a few different factors such as:

  • Outlet or store the flooring has been purchased from
  • Type of flooring purchased
  • Whether it is end of range or not (some stores may not offer warranty on end of range products)
  • Level of quality of flooring that has been chosen – have you opted for something from the bottom of the range or instead chosen a higher end product?
  • Whether you have followed all manufacturer’s instructions with regards to care and maintenance or not

At the time of choosing your flooring, it is essential that you enquire about warranty periods and whether there are any exclusions that will apply to the specific type of flooring you would to have installed in your home. If a salesperson is not willing to provide firm answers, it may be recommended that you take your business elsewhere.

Deciding which Flooring to Purchase

When you have decided to purchase flooring, you may be wondering which of the two above-mentioned options will be the best choice. However, the answer to this is that it depends on what your flooring requirements are.

For example, several home and business owners tend to prefer linoleum because of the fact that it is cheaper than most types of engineered hardwood flooring. When correctly installed and maintained, this type of flooring is a lot more durable in that nicks and dents are far less visible than they would be on the hardwood alternative.

Another advantage of having engineered hardwood flooring installed is that it has the potential to increase the value of your property substantially over time. This is a definite plus point if you have intentions of selling your home at any point in the future.

However, if you are looking for more color and style options, or a type of flooring that is ‘temporary’ so to speak, you will be better off opting for linoleum tiles or sheets.

When purchasing linoleum flooring, it is also not a good idea to base your choice solely on a color you are looking for. In some cases, you may end up being able to obtain the desired color, but not the level of quality you want. It is a good idea to take some time to shop around before making your final decision.

The Cheapest Option may not be the Best

A mistake that many property owners make when shopping around for flooring options is to base their choice on the lowest possible price. However, this can backfire in one of two ways. You could either end up with a poor quality product that does not look good after being installed or you could find it difficult to have a warranty honored in the event of a manufacturing defect surfacing over time.

Before shopping for flooring, it is recommended that you set aside a realistic monetary budget. Although this may not enable you to obtain the top of the range engineered hardwood or linoleum flooring, it will enable you to obtain the best value for money possible.

Other Points to Consider

If you are in the market for replacement engineered hardwood or linoleum flooring, it is important to keep a few aspects in mind.

Before heading out and purchasing any type of flooring, it is essential that you search online for reviews pertaining to the store or outlet that you would like to purchase it from. These days, most online and brick and mortar stores will have some form of information online regarding whether customers have been satisfied with their products and service or not. If there don’t seem to be any reviews or you are finding more positive than negative reviews, it may be best to take your business elsewhere instead.

If you prefer to physically see and touch any type of flooring before having it installed in your property, you may be better off going to a physical outlet or store to make your purchase. However, if you have purchased flooring online in the past and have been completely satisfied with your decision and the end product, you may sometimes be able to obtain better deals shopping this way.

Another way to ensure that you find a reputable seller, store or outlet is to ask friends and family for referrals if they have recently had nay of these types of flooring installed. Most people will be more than happy to share their experiences with you, regardless of whether they were positive or negative.

Different manufacturers of flooring products will have various types of care and maintenance instructions that will need to be adhered to at all times. Failure to do so will result in any warranties being voided with immediate effect. In most cases, both linoleum and engineered hardwood can be kept clean with nothing more than a damp mop and a little warm water applied to them once a week or so. In cases where heavy soiling has occurred, it is recommended that you contact the manufacturer or store where your flooring was purchased to ask for advice regarding the right cleaning products to use.

If you have been wondering whether linoleum or engineered hardwood flooring will be the best option for you, the main question to ask is, “Which part of your home will the flooring be used in?” From there, you will need to determine whether you are looking for a permanent flooring solution or you prefer to have something that you can change the appearance of every few years.

In some cases, you may be able to find discount coupons or codes online that could help you save money on your next flooring installation. However, these may only apply to older designs or end of range products. As a result, it is recommended that you always read the fine print carefully before attempting to use any discount codes or coupons.

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