Duraclic Vinyl Plank Flooring Review

Duraclic Vinyl Plank Flooring Review

By Fortino Rosas / March 19, 2019 / 24 Comments

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    Duraclic vinyl plank flooring: unbranded bargain treasure or big-box store buyer’s remorse? This unassuming vinyl plank from Lowe’s has recently garnered attention from homeowners and builders alike.

    When something is unbranded or generic, most people immediately think “cheap” or “poor quality”.  In many cases, this proves to be true. However, many frugal folks swear by these products and claim they deliver all the performance of their branded and advertised counterparts.

    When it comes to purchasing a quality floor, it pays to look at the best brands and Duraclic may not be one of them.  There are some clear advantages that make this floor seem attractive at first glance, but let’s dig a little deeper and see if this product is worth the vinyl its printed on.


    If we are going to all the trouble and expense to replace a worn or damaged floor, we want our new one to look good. When most shoppers fall in love with a floor, it’s often a simple snap judgement based on appearance, the concern with performance comes later.

    At that most important first impression, Duraclic’s visuals and color palette aren’t much to write home about. The color choices are limited to a range of five neutral shades in, you guessed it, grays, browns, and beiges.

    It is what most would consider a medium color variation with the pattern being somewhat monochromatic. This is not a high-definition printed visual, so you may end up with several plank patterns repeat if you plan to install this in a large area with minimal furniture.

    While the floor is textured to mimic a light hand-scraped look, the wear layer is not embossed and registered—where you see a knot, you feel a knot. True embossed and registered texturing can mean the difference between a vinyl plank that looks like wood and a vinyl plank that looks more like a wood-patterned vinyl sheet.

    Duraclic also features a low-gloss finish and four-sided micro bevel that gives it a more realistic edge. This somewhat makes up for its lack of realistic texturing. Yet, it isn’t enough to disguise it from looking like vinyl.

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    It looks decent, but what lies beneath the pretty printed picture?

    Surprisingly, Duraclic has an impressive urethane 20mil wear layer. If you are new to the world of vinyl plank, understand that 20mils is a very thick wear layer. It’s meant to resist scratching in even commercial applications.

    The core construction here is also nothing to scoff at. Duraclic has a solid composite core construction made of PVC, resins, and wood fibers. This type of PVC core is truly waterproof.

    Unlike many vinyl plank options on the market, Duraclic does have an attached pad. This one is a 1mm noise reduction foam pad underlayment. Underlayment used with vinyl plank is completely optional but is recommended for instances where noise reduction is desired, such as an upstairs area or room with vaulted ceilings.

    These three layers combined create a total of 6mm overall plank thickness. This is on-par with similar vinyl plank products in this price range such as Coretec Plus from USFloors and Mannington’s Adura Max.

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    Ease of installation

    Duraclic advertises their “5G” locking mechanism. It, for all intents and purposes is really a standard angle tap and lock mechanism. This differs from a true drop and lock mechanism seen on more premium products.

    If it’s your first time installing a vinyl plank floor, the angle-lock installation can take some time to get used to. It’s very tempting to overdo it with the rubber mallet and tapping block when you come across a stubborn plank. There are several customer reviews mentioning that the tabs break or separate after what they described to be a “difficult installation.”

    This is a common issue with this type of locking mechanism. It’s good practice to buy more than you think you’ll need so that you have extra to cull the odd stubborn plank rather than attempting to use it and making more work for yourself in the long run. No one likes to have to pull the baseboards off and redo the floor because it starts to separate at the joints.

    If this sounds like a headache, you may want to spend a bit more money on a higher-quality product with a drop and lock mechanism instead.

    Then again, you can always hire a pro. Hiring a professional flooring installer for your luxury vinyl plank can be a project of its own. If you want to know how to spot a legitimate contractor, there are consumer resources available to you at NASCLA.org.

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    Duraclic has many desirable attributes that indicate it is a durable product. It’s waterproof, pet-friendly, has a solid PVC core, attached foam underlayment, and is topped with a 20 mil wear layer.

    Duraclic offers a lifetime residential and limited light commercial warranty on this product. It’s important to note here that warranties cover product failures such as delamination—an undesirable process where the layers come apart. However, warranties don’t cover damage such as scratches and gouges or failure due to improper installation.

    Another thing to consider is aftercare. The products you use daily to clean and maintain your vinyl plank floor can have a significant impact on the durability. To clean Duraclic, use a pH-neutral cleaner that is especially for vinyl floors.

    If that you install the Duraclic correctly and take care of it properly, this flooring should last until long after you are tired of looking at it and are ready for a change.

    For more information on flooring specifications and how they affect the durability of your floor, check out ASTM.org

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    Compared to other similar products from Lowe’s competitors, Duraclic is more expensive on average. This may be due to the enhanced wear layer, attached pad, and solid core construction.

    The fact that it comes with an attached pad adds to its value. A quality foam underlayment can cost upwards of $0.75 per square foot and companies often only sell it by the full roll. An attached pad saves time during installation and reduces waste from partial rolls.

    Duraclic currently costs $4.49 per square foot and there are 30 square feet in each case. Duraclic is only available for purchase on the Lowe’s Canada website and deliverable within Canada. When purchasing flooring online like this, the freight charges can make even the cheapest flooring a costly order.

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    The Verdict

    The unbranded Duraclic vinyl plank flooring from Lowe’s has some good features, but also leaves a lot to be desired from a floor in this price range.

    This floor will hold up to your pets, messy children, and everyday wear. Plus, the attached pad makes for a quicker installation and a quiet floor.

    On the other hand, the limited color range, lackluster patterns, and history of difficult installation with broken tabs and seam separation are not issues you should expect from a vinyl plank flooring price of $4.49 per square foot.

    Just about every major flooring brand on the market has their own version of luxury vinyl plank. So, why compromise on a floor that’s only doing half its job?

    Have you installed Duraclic vinyl plank in your home? How do you like it? Sound off in the comments.

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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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    24 thoughts on “Duraclic Vinyl Plank Flooring Review”

    1. I’ve installed my share of laminated floor systems over the years (glued, unglued with original click system, vinyl) and Duraclic is the easiest that I installed.

    2. can this product be installed over ceramic tiles? im concerned about the grout lines showing through the vinyl flooring over a period of time.

      1. I’ve done it in my small second floor bathroom. No issues in more than a year and it is installed at my country house where the inside temperature can vary from 5C to 30C from winter to summer.

    3. In Canada, Lowes carries the transition strips. Just type your color in the search box on their website and it should come up. The brand name on the strip is Pro Core but the match is perfect. Took me a while to find it as well. It is 2″ by 94″ and costs $30.

      1. Did you get an answer to this question? I’m wondering if you need to install an underlayment for a condo directly on cement or if it will cause issues.

    4. Good luck so far on 2019 installation on basement concrete floor. Decently warm with the attached underpaid. Dull look was desirable. On sale 1/2 price for $1.99, so figure decent product for price point. Biggest fear on any product is future joint issues, but were careful on installation, so hope it will hold up.

    5. We installed this flooring on our main floor over a year ago and loved it so much we removed the upstairs carpeting and installed it there as well. We love it. It’s easy to click together once you get the hang of it and is super easy to clean. We use a cutting tool and it snaps the boards cleanly with minimal cleanup. Hardest part for my husband was cutting around doors and such but he purchase a tool to make that easier for him. We are now installing in our basement which should be easy as we are installing before we put door boxes on so not as much trying to make a perfect cut around existing door boxes and stair posts.
      Hope this helps.

    6. We had this flooring installed in October 2019 and are completely happy with it. A couple days after installation, the installer had to come back as two of the planks had pulled apart slightly. This was most likely due to installation, not the product. We love how quiet it is and how comfortable to walk on in bare feet or socks. It is truly waterproof and cleans up nicely. We actually like the matte finish, not fans of real shiny floors. We had it installed in our large kitchen/dining area, an entry way and small office. We are quite happy with the product.

    7. I installed this product recently in my place with my dad. it was our first time laying a vinyl floor. A few things we learned along the way with this product was:
      1) take time to inspect each plank before laying. some planks came with the fragile corners of the plank broken (possibly from shipping) which would lift that corner above flush after install.
      2) I was disappointed to find out that with this product there was only approximately 8 to 10 different prints and then the images printed on the plank will repeat throughout the house. so after laying the first section of the hallways we noticed that in some rows their was the same image next to each other which to me is not appealing. (even though my wife told me no body would ever notice that, it still bugged me)
      3) I bought this product from lowes and after laying the product I found that they do not carry the matching transition strips which sent me on a wild goose chase to home depot and other hardware stores to look for a transition strip that would closely match my vinyl print.
      4) Its only been a week since installing but the occasional plank will still make a clicking sound when walking over some of the joints. Im not sure if this will go away after being walked on repeatedly but if not that is kind of annoying after spending a lot of money and time changing the floor out.

      Besides these things once we got rolling we found that this product was fairly easy to install. The longest part for me was checking each plank for damage and then checking the area to make sure that no matching images were next to each other. I feel if they printed at least 30 images this make install a bit quicker and less fustrating then if 10 planks come per box label the boxes box vinyl images set 1, box set 2 and box set 3.

    8. We had a horrible time installing this product. I’ve done 2 other similar floors in the past and this was 10 times worse. You would install a piece and the whole row would pop off. Tabs would break 2 pieces over when you tried to click on a piece. It looked lovely but one piece separated horizontally and can’t be glued and now all the pieces around are damaged. It’s only separated in 3 places but 2 were unfixable.
      It probably was bad installation but it wasn’t lack of effort or lack of reading instructions.

    9. I put this floor down less than two years ago And it’s already splitting. Dead center of my kitchen. Have to rip up a bunch of it to repair it. Not really impressed …

    10. I found the overall review of Duraclic Luxury vinyl flooring not to be objective. Just bought over $1000 dollars of this product while on sale recently. Installed in 2 areas by my husband within a matter of days. The flooring looks fantastic. No difficulty in installing it. Researched and compared this products to others looking at all the variables of judging a good luxury vinyl plank flooring. before purchasing. Tested putting water from a sponge and letting water sit on a extra cut plank piece for over 24 hours and no damage. We laid it over plywood in one room and over old vinyl sheet in another area of the home. Looking impressive.

    11. It installs easily enough once you get into the groove of getting the pieces to click together.

      For cutting patterns/notches out, I recommend a jigsaw using a diamond coated blade used for cutting tiles. Any serrated blade meant for cutting wood or metal will dull after a few minutes given the heat and friction and the extra vibration will risk the blade catching the piece and snap particularly delicate notches.

      Finding matching transition pieces is a pain because Duraclic doesn’t make any.

    12. Got it on sale- half price. Getting pro’s to install it and they’re having a heck of a hard time but it looks great.

    13. Can Duraclic vinyl plank flooring be installed on a cement basement floor which has infloor heating (hot water).

    14. Does anyone have experience with this being laid over ceramic tile, and did it last without showing the tile joints? How long until they showed?

      Would appreciate any feedback.

    15. Why doesn’t anyone make a 12″ black and white waterproof vinyl click with PVC core to look like the old flooring or checkerboard?

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