What are the differences between linoleum and balatum?

What are the differences between linoleum and balatum?

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Characteristics of linoleum and balatum

The linoleum and the balatum are two types of flooring that we often assimilate or confuse. However, they have almost nothing to do!

Indeed, even if linoleum and balatum have some common points (visually speaking, the balatum greatly resembles lino, and these two floor coverings were invented at the end of the 20th century), they present important differences which make them very distinct from each other.

Already, from the point of view of their composition:

  • Linoleum is a covering made of a polyester canvas coated with linseed oil, resin and powdered cork.
  • While the balatum is made from cardboard coated with bitumen, with a central layer in fact less resistant than that of linoleum.

A very different composition, which ultimately makes balatum a much lower quality linoleum.

Why choose linoleum rather than balatum?

Widely used in the first half of the 20th century, the balatum was quickly left behind by linoleum, and today it has almost disappeared from DIY stores and decoration stores. This is quite logical for a coating that is often presented as "the poor relation of linoleum", for many reasons:

  • Already, due to its composition, the balatum is much less resistant than linoleum. Therefore, this flooring cannot be used in rooms with a lot of traffic, as it may wear out prematurely, and you should change it far too often. It is advisable to place balatum in rooms with very little traffic, such as a workshop or an attic, to hide a slightly damaged floor.
  • The balatum is also a floor covering which has the disadvantage of marking very easily: if you put a piece of furniture or even if you walk on it with shoes with heels, traces will automatically appear. Hence its inability to be installed in busy rooms! In comparison, the linoleum is almost wear-free.
  • The balatum stains quite easily; and even if it can be cleaned with bleach without risk, by dint of being rubbed, its finishing layer, less resistant than that of linoleum, can be removed. Maintaining the lino is not a problem, even if it is sometimes not recommended to wax it. But like most of the current models are made with an anti-stain treatment…
  • In terms of colors and finishes, the balatum is clearly no match for linoleum: it is only offered for sale in a very limited range of colors ... unlike lino, which is found in all possible colors, and which today perfectly imitates wood, concrete, tiles, cement tiles, etc.
  • Made from natural materials, the lino is a 100% ecological floor covering ... which is not the case with the balatum.
  • Finally, all the criticisms that can generally be made of linoleum (less durable than a tile, not very resistant to heat) also apply to the balatum. You might as well opt for a more ecological, more aesthetic, more durable, more insulating, more resistant floor covering that can be installed in any room of the house!