Concrete vs Linoleum Flooring

Concrete vs Linoleum Flooring

By Fortino Rosas / October 5, 2021 / 0 Comments

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    You’ve decided that bare flooring will look great in your space, and it’s down to the final showdown between two popular flooring types: concrete vs. linoleum. Both look great, but which is truly best for your home?

    Instead of spending hours researching these two types of flooring, we’ve done the hard work for you. We’ve put concrete and linoleum flooring head-to-head across six categories to help you make the best purchasing decision. After all, no one wants to invest time and money in flooring that’s just not a good match.

    Read on to see how these flooring types stack up against each other. We’ll take a look at durability, pricing, and other factors to help you determine which flooring to purchase for your home, office, or other space. Let’s find out which bare flooring option comes out on top … and which is the best match for you.

    In this guide, we’ll explore:

    Side-by-Side Comparison

    ConcreteLinoleum Flooring
    DurabilityExtremely durable. May crack over time but can be patched. Extremely durable. May be prone to rips, tears, and gouges.
    CleaningDaily cleaning with broom, dust mop, or vacuum. Can be wet mopped with a mild cleaning product.Daily cleaning with broom, dust mop, or vacuum. Can be wet mopped with a mild cleaning product.
    InstallationCan use existing concrete floor or new floor can be poured.Tile or sheet adhered with adhesive
    Price$2 to $30+ per square foot$2.50 to $3.50 per square foot
    Installation Costs$2 to $30+ per square foot$3 to $5 per square foot
    Lifespan100+ yearsUp to 40 years


    Most consumers want to purchase flooring that’s durable. However, what may be considered “durable” for one person may not work for your household.

    A single person living alone, for example, may be able to use any type of flooring without fear of damage whereas a busy household with heavy traffic, children, and pets want to avoid certain types of flooring that are more easily scratched, dented, or damaged.

    One of the biggest benefits of concrete flooring is that it is extremely durable. Think about it: roads, sidewalks, walkways, and even house foundations are made of this strong material. When concrete is used as your flooring, you’ll get the same strength and durability.

    This means that you won’t have to worry about scratches or dents like other bare flooring options, like hardwoods. You’ll have a strong, durable floor that will hold up to heavy traffic, pets running through the home, or children playing.

    Concrete isn’t without its drawbacks, though. Concrete may crack over time, even when all precautions have been taken by a professional installer. Luckily, there are products on the market that can be used to patch floors to prevent further damage and to hide the appearance of cracks.

    Another drawback to consider is that concrete is extremely durable because it is so hard. This can be a benefit because its hardness makes it so durable. However, the surface may be uncomfortable for walking, and it may even pose a hazard to young children that aren’t quite steady on their feet.

    On the other side of the coin is linoleum, which is also durable. It is more resistant to scratches and dings that are common with other hard flooring, like hardwoods. However, like concrete, linoleum also has its drawbacks.

    One worry with linoleum is the chance of rips or tears. Dropping something sharp can gouge the floor, while dragging a heavy piece of furniture could tear the linoleum.

    In terms of durability, concrete and linoleum are extremely durable. However, concrete is one of the hardest, strongest, and most durable flooring types available.

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    The installation of new flooring is time-consuming and expensive, so most consumers want flooring that will last for years. When compared side-by-side, which flooring has the longest lifespan – concrete or linoleum?

    With proper care and maintenance, concrete floors can easily last for 100 years or more. Some flooring installers will even provide a warranty of 20 years or more to ensure that your floors are designed to last.

    Linoleum flooring also has a long lifespan, although it falls short of concrete. With proper care and maintenance, a high-quality linoleum floor may last 40 years or longer. Linoleum manufacturers often have warranties to ensure that you’re buying a quality product.

    Even though you can enjoy both types of flooring for many years, concrete takes this round. With a lifespan of 100 years or longer, you can easily enjoy the beauty and durability of concrete flooring for an entire lifetime.

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    You can’t talk about new flooring without touching on price. After all, most of us don’t have unlimited funds for our renovation projects, so we need to shop for flooring that fits within our budgets.

    Concrete is one of the most durable, long-lasting floors, but it’s surprisingly inexpensive. Basic concrete floors are priced at around $2 to $6 per square foot.

    However, if you want a more elaborate finish, you should expect to pay upwards of $10 per square foot. For a custom flooring, the price could be $30 or more per square foot.

    Linoleum is one of the most affordable types of flooring, which is why it’s so popular with homeowners. On average, you should expect to pay around $2.50 to $3.50 per square foot for linoleum flooring.

    Of course, this isn’t set pricing. Your costs may be more or less expensive based on the brand and quality of the flooring, as well as the prices in your local area.

    Overall, the cost of linoleum flooring is more budget-friendly than the cost of concrete flooring.

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    Color & Style Options

    When you select new flooring, you want something that is visually appealing. Most homeowners look for flooring that coordinates with their own interior design style, their paint colors, and furnishings. When choosing between concrete and linoleum flooring, what colors and styles are available?

    Concrete flooring is extremely versatile and you can stain it nearly any color. From neutral shades like brown and gray to more unique colors like blue, green, and purple, the possibilities are endless with concrete flooring.

    Concrete flooring can also be polished to have a beautiful shine. You can also stamp or stencil this flooring to add borders or graphics. You can finish concrete to look like tile, marble, slate, and other materials.

    Concrete flooring is one of the few flooring types that can be completely customized to create a one-of-a-kind look that’s truly unlike any other floor.

    Linoleum flooring is available in a variety of styles and colors. You can purchase linoleum in many different shades, from solid neutrals to colorful patterns. Linoleum is available in styles including flowered or geometric patterns, faux wood, marble, or ceramic tile.

    Even though there are many styles and colors of linoleum, it just can’t surpass the customization that comes with concrete flooring.

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    We’ve already discussed pricing of flooring, but another factor to consider is the price of installation. Installation could potentially add hundreds (or even thousands) to your budget. If you’re looking for the most budget-friendly option, which flooring is the least expensive to install?

    When you hire a professional installer of concrete flooring, the cost is based on a number of factors. If you already have a concrete floor to work with, pricing ranges from $2 to $30 per square foot based on factors such as design and stain color.

    Need a concrete floor poured? Expect to add in the cost of concrete in your area, which is around $100 to $200 per yard. If your existing floor needs repairs, the job is complex, or you need an underlayment is needed, you could add several dollars per square foot to your costs.

    For the professional installation of your linoleum flooring, expect to pay around $3 to $5 per square foot.

    What if you want to save money by completing the installation yourself? Is it possible for someone with no experience in remodeling to install concrete or linoleum?

    Typically, a professional should install concrete flooring. If you don’t have existing concrete floors, you will need to hire a professional to pour and finish the concrete. While you can tackle this yourself, the job does require several special tools in order to complete it correctly.

    Even if you have an existing concrete floor, you will need to do a lot of prep work before staining, polishing, or stamping a floor. Once the you have done the prep work, it takes special skills to stain, stamp, and complete your flooring, so it is best to leave it to the pros.

    Linoleum flooring is quite easy to install. There are two main types of linoleum: linoleum tile and sheet linoleum. These floors adhere to a subfloor using an adhesive. You can use basic tools to finish the job.

    Whether you choose to install it yourself or you plan to hire a professional, linoleum is the best option. Professional installation of linoleum is far cheaper than concrete, or you can even take on the task yourself if you want to save money.

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    Care & Maintenance

    Most homeowners already have so much on their plates with families, jobs, errands, and other household tasks. They don’t want to spend hours every day cleaning and maintaining their floors. If you’re looking for a low-maintenance floor that’s easy to keep clean, should you choose concrete or linoleum?

    Concrete is a popular choice for many homeowners because it is virtually maintenance-free. You can do daily cleaning using a broom, dust mop, or vacuum that is specifically for hard floor use. One of the best options is a mop with a microfiber cleaning pad, which you can use dry for daily cleaning or wet for more heavy-duty cleaning.

    For heavier cleaning, you can use a damp mop with a mild cleaning product. Avoid the use of harsh cleaners that contain bleach, ammonia, and other chemicals when cleaning your concrete floors.

    To keep your floors free of stains, make sure to use a sealer or wax recommended by your contractor as needed to protect your floor.

    There isn’t much maintenance that you will need to perform on your concrete floors. If your floor cracks, there are products available that you can use to patch your floors.

    To clean linoleum floors, you can use a broom, dust mop, or bare floor vacuum cleaner for daily cleanup of dirt, dust, and debris. When you need extra cleaning power, you can simply use a damp mop with a mild cleaner, similar to cleaning a concrete floor.

    If your linoleum floor gets a small tear, there are patch kits that you can use. However, if the linoleum becomes extremely torn or damaged, you will have to replace the floor.

    Since people call it the maintenance-free floor and it’s so easy to clean, concrete flooring is the winner of this category.

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    Is polished concrete cheaper than tile?

    It’s tough to determine which flooring type will be more expensive between polished concrete and tile, because the final price depends on the type of polished concrete you choose, the job’s difficulty, the type of tile, patterns, etc. In general, a basic polished concrete design costs between $2 and $6 per square foot, but more elaborate designs can cost between $8 and $15 per square foot.
    Ceramic tiles are the more affordable option, and the prices can range between $4 and $25 per square foot. Porcelain tiles are more expensive, and you can expect to pay between $5 and $30 per square foot.

    Do concrete floors stain easily?

    Concrete floors are stain-resistant; however, you should be very careful and act fast if spills occur. When your concrete floors are sealed properly they should be resistant to most liquid spills, but some liquids and drinks can damage the surface and leave a permanent stain.
    These dangerous liquids include pet stains, fruit juices, bubbly drinks, vinegar, nail polish, etc.

    What flooring is best over concrete?

    There are various types of flooring options you can install over concrete. As long as the concrete subfloor is flat, leveled, dry, and clean, you can consider installing laminate, cork, engineered wood floors, carpets, or tiles.
    Which flooring type you opt for depends on your budget, the room, your preferences and priorities, and more. Carpets are most commonly installed over concrete, but if you’re looking for a more aesthetically pleasing solution you could go for engineered wood.

    How to install linoleum flooring?

    Start with a clean, dry room, with a temperature of over 68°F and leave the flooring inside the room for at least 24 hours. After that time has passed, mark the center of the room and then fit the linoleum tiles or sheets to the floors.
    If there are any tiles or sheets that need cutting, cut them first. Apply a layer of adhesive, and start layering the tiles on the adhesive one by one. Then, go over the floors with a heavy roller and wait for the adhesive to dry.

    Final Verdict

    If you’re shopping for a high-quality hard floor option, concrete and linoleum are both great choices. However, the type of flooring you choose depends on what you’re looking for in new flooring.

    If you want flooring that will easily last a lifetime, is easy to clean and maintain, and is customizable, you won’t go wrong with concrete flooring.

    If you prefer a more budget-friendly option that you can install yourself, linoleum is a great choice. Even though you won’t have as many style and color options with linoleum as you do with concrete, there are still plenty of choices, making it easy to find flooring that best suits your home.

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    About Fortino Rosas

    Chief Floor Critic, 32 years of experience in flooring installation and sales

    Fortino Rosas is an independent flooring contractor with 32 years of experience in residential and commercial flooring installation and sales. He joined the Floor Critics team to share his expertise with our readers. Fortino has acquired vast knowledge and skills in the areas of product selection, space planning, and installation. He has installed flooring in residential, government, and commercial office projects in the Midwest. Visit Website.

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