Linoleum vs Tile as a Kitchen Flooring Material

Posted on June 27, 2017

Statistics show that laminate, ceramic/vinyl tile and linoleum remains the most popular and affordable flooring material across the globe. They all have a set of advantages and disadvantages that should be taken into consideration when choosing the flooring.

You should always take into consideration the type of building where you plan to lay the flooring, as your flooring may need some special care if you’re going to lay it in, for example, your kitchen. Laminate, for instance, is a no-go for the kitchen, as even the humid-proof laminate will inevitably swell fom water.

But before we review and compare the specifications of floorings, we have to know the qualities of the material we’re going to use. So, the kitchen flooring must be:

  • slip-proof;
  • shockproof;
  • humid-proof;
  • easy to clean;
  • wear resistant;
  • ecologically safe;
  • fireproof.

Both linoleum and tile are usually compliant with the aforementioned specifications; however, some qualities may be more or less prominent, depending on material. Let’s review each material separately to understand what flooring material will be more suitable for you.


Linoleum kitchen flooring //

Linoleum kitchen flooring //

Linoleum is a budget-oriented material. It costs 20-50% less than other flooring surfaces. Even the low-income families could afford to buy linoleum. Thanks to a wide variety of types you could use linoleum in any rooms, including the kitchen. Diverse color gamut allows you to make the linoleum compatible with your interior.

PLEASE NOTE: Some types of linoleum are absolutely incompatible with your kitchen! The best option is to pick heterogenous PVC linoleum. It has a multi-layer structure and is more durable than the homogenous linoleum.

Advantages of Linoleum

  • As we already noted, linoleum is very cheap. Virtually everybody can afford some. In addition, you’ll also save a lot of money as you won’t have to hire a specialist who would lay it. Linoleum is very easy to install, and even an unexperienced homeowner will most probably be able to lay it down on his own;
  • If you’ll pick the type correctly, the linoleum will not slip;
  • Linoleum is a great heat insulating material. If the floor is covered with jute or felt linoleum, it won’t need any addition heat insulation;
  • Linoleum is a great sound insulating material. Even if you accidentally drop a heavy cauldron or a frying pan on the floor, the noise will be contained to the kitchen and will not be heard in the whole house. In addition, it will act as a softening layer and prevent the fallen objects from breaking;
  • Linoleum is soft and, as such, it is comfortable to walk on it, even if you prefer barefoot walking;
  • As long as any moisture does not get under the surface, linoleum is moist-proof.
  • Linoleum is easy to clean unless contaminated with any chemicals or products that leave stains upon contact.

Disadvantages of Linoleum

  • Linoleum is not fireproof and will begin melting down in high temperatures;
  • Linoleum is very vulnerable to sharp objects, as its protective layer isn’t suited for mechanical damages.
  • Linoleum can be easily affected by chemicals. Do not wash it with any agressive detergents. In addition, some products can leave hard to clean stains if you won’t clean them up immediately.
  • Linoleum can lose its color if installed on a sunlit area;
  • Linoleum can shrink and form “waves” on its surface if any moisture gets under the surface.


Tile kitchen flooring //

Tile kitchen flooring //

The main advantage of tile over linoleum is its high durability and longevity. Just like linoleum, a wide variety of colors allows homeowners to pick the tile for any home design.

Advantages of Tile

  • High moisture resistance. Tile can even withstand a flood;
  • Tile is an extremely fireproof material. You can safely install it in your kitchen without any fear;
  • Tile will not burnout regardless of sunlight;
  • Tile is resistant to chemicals and will not suffer from deep, hard to clean stains;
  • Tile is invulnerable to sharp objects.

Disadvantages of Tile

  • Considerably higher price compared to linoleum;
  • Considerably harder to install. You’ll most probably end up hiring a specialist, as you’ll need some special skills and prior construction experience to install the tiles correctly;
  • Higher risk of injury during installation and use;
  • Much colder compared to linoleum. If you do not have any additional heating, you’ll have to install an underfloor heating system. It will end up in even larger expenses;
  • Dust, mud and other particles can quickly clog up the seams between individual tiles. You’ll nead additional care to prevent that from happening;
  • Tile is a very tough material. Be sure to have a floor mat of some sort.
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  1. Mark
    February 2, 2020 at 1:28 pm

    Hi. There is no such thing as PVC linoleum. You are mistaking vinyl (synthetic) for linoleum (natural). Actual linoleum (e.g., marmoleum) is not cheap like vinyl. Please don’t confuse people by saying that vinyl and linoleum are the same thing.