Have you ever admired the floor in a retail shop or office? Maybe you saw a unique color combination, or a combination of different flooring types. You may have wondered, “Would that work in my house?” If you have, you aren’t alone!
Homeowners are now discovering what commercial realtors already knew: luxury vinyl plank flooring is durable, attractive and affordable. But not all commercial flooring works in the home. In addition, pricing for commercial flooring could be higher than residential.
That’s why I decided to do a quick Forbo vinyl plank flooring review. And while the UK-based company is known primarily for their commercial vinyl flooring, they do have residential LVT flooring that offers some unique design options. More on that in a bit.
Forbo offers a high-quality product that is on the high end of industry residential floor pricing. It averages between $5 and $8 per square foot. But can a commercial flooring company provide a product that works for your home? The answer is: maybe!
- Why LVP flooring?
- What Products and Styles Does Forbo Offer?
- Is Forbo LVP Flooring a “Green” Product?
- Are Forbo Floors Easy to Clean and Maintain?
- What Is the Consensus on Forbo LVP Floors?
Why Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring?
Luxury vinyl plank (LVP) flooring is a rising trend for residential flooring. It’s long been used in commercial floor applications. LVP flooring has come a long way and is now one of the most affordable and popular residential flooring options.
It’s especially appealing for high-traffic, moisture-sensitive rooms like bathrooms and kitchens. High quality, realistic designs, ease of installation, and affordable pricing make LVP (also known as LVT) floors increasingly attractive to homeowners.
Forbo floors, like most other LVT floors, are easy to maintain, warm underfoot, and very durable. Also, vinyl flooring absorbs sound so they can make your home quieter—at least from foot traffic noise.
They are also very easy to clean, requiring only sweeping and occasional mopping. LVT floors are highly resistant to spills, drops and scratches as well.
Forbo Flooring Systems is a leading manufacturer of high-quality, commercial flooring, including linoleum, vinyl, LVT, and others. Their rolled linoleum products seem to be what they are known best for. In fact, they boast they are the “world leader” in this commercial flooring.
Their LVT products have evolved over the years, but there is not much third-party information or many reviews for this product. Still, the company has a long reputation for producing quality vinyl floors, so their line is definitely worth a look.
LVP Flooring Line: Allura
According to Forbo, their Allura LVT line is one of the most popular brands in their portfolio. Forbo Allura luxury vinyl tiles offer over 100 designs in a wide variety of plank and tile sizes. Excellent dimensional stability, lasting protection, and endless design possibilities are boasted features.
Allura LVT collection offers designs that mimic natural wood and stone floors, with all the advantages of vinyl and none of the hassles of real wood or stone. Forbo offers three LVT formats: dry back (glue down), loose lay (tackified), and click (interlocking).
Here’s the Breakdown of Allura Lines
Allura Wood LVP is a glue-down flooring that comes in 34 different natural wood-look designs. While the collection offers a decent range of color and texture options, I find there is a lack of uniqueness and variety.
The colors are “usual suspects” that are common across all brands, with little creativity or deviation from what you would expect.
In addition, these reproduced wood designs appear far less realistic that other brands where one would need to look up close to tell the difference.
The Allura Stone collection features their stone-look LVT designs.
Where Forbo shines in originality is in the Allura Abstract and Allura Color lines. Allura Abstract luxury vinyl tiles feature bold, bright and unique designs that I haven’t seen in many other flooring collections.
They have striking colors and patterns like metal, weave design and even a galaxy design. These tiles can even be combined with six available accent colors or with tiles from the Stone and/or Wood collections.
Allura Colour tiles are highly durable, bold in color, and ideal for high-traffic offices and busy retail environments. It is available in glue down and interlocking versions.
Allura Flex is Forbo’s line of loose lay tiles, but is somewhat limited in design options. These vinyl tiles and planks are adhered to the subfloor with tackifier (adhesive resin) rather than permanent adhesive. Flex tiles are available in 40 natural stone and wood designs, and can be installed alongside carpet tiles for some unique floor design options.
Allura Click LVT collection consists of 38 designs in natural wood and stone colors. They can be quickly and easily installed using their patented click system. According to them, “realistic plank sizes, natural embossing and true tone colors make each item unique.”
Forbo takes environmental safety very, very seriously. They use Life Cycle Assessment to measure the complete environmental performance of all their products.
According to their website’s extensive environmental section, they are committed to:
“increase efficiency, reduce the use of virgin raw materials and always search for the most environmentally appropriate solution.”
Forbo’s manufacturing plant in Europe runs on green electricity, and all their LVT flooring is 100% phthalate free and contains over 20% recycled content in the backing.
Bottom line: you can feel good about buying this product.
To learn more about the environmental facts and manufacturing process, check out the interesting infographic in the environmental section on their website.
Care and Maintenance
The cleaning and maintenance regimen for a Forbo floor appears to be like other brands of vinyl plank flooring. Vacuum and mop regularly with a pH-neutral cleaner. Like many flooring brands, they also have and recommend their own brand of cleaners.
The Forbo website is extensive and it’s sometimes hard to pinpoint where to find certain information. It does have several useful tools though for the flooring shopper.
One favorite is their interactive Floor Planner, where you can see various colors and patterns in an actual floor environment. They also offer the ability to order a flooring sample and download design (CAD) files directly from the website. Of course both are helpful for designers, architects and contractors.
Forbo has some unique “mix and match” options in their line of LVT/LVP flooring. These make it a certain brand contender for homeowners who are looking for something very unique, very bold or totally custom.
However, it really appears Forbo concentrates on durable floors for commercial spaces, so keep that in mind.
While I have seen much more vivid and creative designs from other brands, Forbo offers a lot. For example, a very environmentally responsible product, with some really creative flooring design options are available.
However, with a standard 20 mil wear layer (many other brands have thicker wear-layers), a higher price tag than most vinyl floors, and limited wood and stone designs, Forbo may not be the best choice out there for a residential application.
We always recommend ordering several samples so you can see the LVT in the actual room, and examine the designs and textures yourself to make sure it’s what you had in mind.