Congratulations, on your decision to install click-lock vinyl planks. You’ve officially taken the first step towards beautifying your home. While you may believe the decision is over, in truth, it has just begun. Welcome to the world of well-educated consumers.
Don’t worry, if you still haven’t decided on a brand. It’s normal to feel overwhelmed by the unlimited choices on the market, everyone does. The most important thing you can do is to evaluate your options and pick the best vinyl planks for your home.
Here’s a list of the most common brands of vinyl planks you might encounter, and a few extra installation tips that will help you lay your click-lock planks like a pro.
- COREtec Plus
- Floret Modin
- Karndean Korlock
- Mannington Adura Max
- Five Tips for a Pain-Free Installation
- Concluding Thoughts
If you’ve searched for vinyl planks online, you’ve seen the name COREtec. COREtec is made by USFloors, and has recently been acquired by Shaw Industries. COREtec Plus is one of the company’s better quality vinyl planks.
USFloors makes CoreTec Plus with a 20mil waterproof wear-layer and attached cork underlayment. Planks are available in 5”-7” widths and are 4’ long. They have an overall thickness of 8mm and come in a fantastic array of colors that will satisfy the pickiest buyer.
COREtec Plus has a solid reputation among both pro installers and customers. USFloors guarantees these planks with a lifetime warranty. COREtec floors are certified green and comply with CARB air quality standards.
The COREtec Plus click lock system is Diy friendly. According to the manufacturer, COREtec Plus does not require acclimation before installation. USFloors also advises these planks won’t expand and contract like many vinyl brands will.
However, the convenience and quality due come at a higher price. COREtec Plus averages between $4.49 -$6.49 a square foot. Still, it’s a solid and highly reviewed product.
Modin click-lock vinyl planks may be the best-kept secret in the flooring world. This company has glowing customer reviews. They maintain an active customer service centered presence on flooring forums, always ready to help or answer questions.
Flooret prices their Modin planks competitively between $3.49 -$4.49 a square foot. They only sell direct, so samples are a must.
Most Modin planks ship within 7-10 days. Flooret offers a flat rate discount for orders over $1500. Unfortunately, as with most companies return shipping rates are the customer’s responsibility.
Modin vinyl planks are offered in 49 colors and 5 styles. These planks come in sizes up to 9” wide and 78” long. The wear layer ranges from an impressive 30mil to an unheard of 40mil.
Modin planks are sealed with ceramic bead and UV coating as an added measure of scratch and fade resistance. They feature a four-sided beveled edge that allows you to make various patterns when installing.
Modin planks are Floorscore certified, and Flooret is part of the green builder program. Modin vinyl planks also come with a lifetime warranty.
Karndean vinyl flooring is an all-time customer favorite. They are well-known in the flooring world, as well as the leading manufacturer of vinyl plank flooring. They receive high marks from customers in both quality and service. The company’s biggest complaint seems to be a non-user-friendly website.
Karndean Korlock comes in wider planks up to 9” and longer boards of 56”. Korlock planks are waterproof, have a scratch resistant wear layer of 20mil, and are constructed with a rigid core. The Korlock system‘s 5G feature means no tapping, just lock into place. The instructions are easy to understand. This install should be a simple job for even the most inexperienced floorers.
These planks meet ASTM standards for slip resistance and are Floorscore certified. Karndean notes that their vinyl plank is both 100% biodegradable and are certified 100% Phthalate free.
Karndean Korlock styles are described as modern/rustic and are available in gray-washed and bleached varieties as well as darker earth tones. The average price for Karndean Korlock flooring is $4-$6 a square foot.
Mannington Adura Max
Mannington is one of the oldest names in flooring. The family-owned company has been in business for over 100 years. They have upped their game recently since starting to shift their vinyl production from China to plants within the USA.
Adura Max vinyl plank offers the same waterproof styles as its predecessor, but takes it a step farther with the introduction of an aluminum oxide top coat. Adura Max planks come with a padded core that is proven to be much quieter than cork.
The plank’s click lock system is novice-friendly, and Mannington’s website offers an excellent video tutorial for those looking for added guidance.
The biggest advance to Adura has been the company’s ability to add their water-resistant coating to the edges of the floor as well. So, you can spill liquids on AduraMax floors without having to worry about it seeping underneath the planks.
Mannington has mixed customer reviews and several complaints regarding their original Adura line. It seems the company has listened to its customers. Adura Max receives mostly favorable comments on online forums.
Adura Max is available from local flooring merchants and online stores. It’s priced well within the market and runs between $3-$3.50 a square foot.
Five Tips for a Pain-Free Installation
The most important installation tip for all you DIY installers is to buy kneepads. They are inexpensive and essential to any flooring job you may do. Remember you will be bent down for long periods of time installing your new vinyl planks, kneepads will make your life easier and are worth the extra $20.
Don’t start laying your floor without reading the instructions. Specific manufacturers may vary their guidelines, but usually, state you must stagger the joints at least 6”. Remember to check whether the flooring you’ve purchased should be installed with the tongue or groove facing the walls. Not all click-lock systems are designed the same.
Be sure to undercut any doorjambs ahead of time and have a multitool handy to notch out planks around obstacles.
Another tip that will make cutting faster is to use a jig. You can fashion one out of scrap plywood and two straight boards. Using a jig will help secure your planks while you mark your lines and make your cuts.
The last trick you should use when laying click-lock is probably the most obvious but often overlooked. Don’t forget to have extra blades on hand for your utility knife. You aren’t going to want to stop in the middle of your project to buy them. Save yourself the hassle later and pick them up when you buy your flooring.
Remember, the hardest part of any home improvement project is constantly second-guessing your choices. The big companies know this; that’s why they flood the market with new improved products every day. The good news is many click-lock vinyl planks are easy to install and go down quickly with a bit of prep and minimal sweat equity.
Brands like COREtec, Flooret, Karndean, and Mannington are a great starting point, but there are other options out there. Click-lock vinyl plank differs between manufacturers, but you can strike the perfect balance of quality, style, and cost-effectiveness. You need to have some patience and take the time to research your options.
Check with friends or family that have installed click-lock vinyl planks. Hop on the web and look through the forums. The chances are pretty good you’ll find some helpful reviews. As always, feel free to post any comments/questions you may have or stop by and visit on social media.