Stainmaster Vinyl Plank Flooring Review

Stainmaster Vinyl Plank Flooring Review

If there’s a flooring product on the market today made to withstand heavy wear at a budget friendly price, it’s Stainmaster Vinyl Plank Flooring. Designed to take whatever your household dishes out, it fights off scratches, liquids and sun with equal enthusiasm. It’s so easy to install that even the inexperienced DIYer stands a chance of getting it done correctly.

Best of all, Stainmaster Vinyl Plank Flooring closely mimics the look of real wood with the wearability we expect from vinyl flooring. It comes in a range of light and medium colors in a fixed width and length plank size. Give it the right care and maintenance and you’ll enjoy its textured finish for years to come.

Is Stainmaster LVP good for households with heavy traffic?

Perhaps the greatest drawback to having bare flooring is the seemingly inevitable scratches on surfaces. Pets’ claws, sliding furniture, dropped items and spills all have the potential to leave dents and gouges with time. Stainmaster adds a special coating to its vinyl planks to help protect it against these kinds of issues.

In addition, the thickness of the surface finish plays a role in how well a product stands up to wear patterns. This Stainmaster product includes an average depth of color and design. That way, even if it is dented, some pattern and finish should remain. This extends the beauty and life of a well-installed product.

Reviews are Mixed

Consumer Reports notes that this Stainmaster flooring scored excellent ratings in resisting scratches from pets and furniture and dents from impacts of fumble fingers drops. Problems can develop, though, when you spill things like bleach in the laundry room or mustard in the kitchen. Stains, unfortunately, seem to like the Stainmaster product, at least according to CR.

Some homeowner reviewers have commented that low price equates to low quality for this plank flooring. People with this flooring installed in areas they consider at the normal end of regular use remark that its durability doesn’t seem to be as high as they expected. Others have noted that the flooring can lift in a seemingly short period of time.

Unfortunately, this flooring is not reviewed by many professional sites. That is probably because it’s perceived to be a big box store staple for the DIY market.

Reading reviews on Lowe’s, for example, people love the way the flooring looks initially. As times goes on, though, it appears a significant number of professional and homeowner installations fail with planks lifting and separating.

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How much liquid is too much on Stainmaster Vinyl Plank Flooring?

Vinyl planks that interlock on all four sides have a purpose. That purpose is keeping liquids from seeping between pieces and underneath the surface.

The coating on top of the tile is also for the purpose of repelling problems. No material is completely foolproof, though, particularly when chemicals or pets could enter the scenario.

Could Create Lifting Problems

If there’s one common complaint among people who are unhappy with their product, it’s that the planks appear to separate and lift within a few months. This could be due to failure of the interlocking design. It could also be from excess water seeping in between the seams and alternatively swelling and shrinking the flooring.

In these same reviews, homeowners note that the interlocking on their tiles never appeared to work correctly to begin with. If that is the case, liquids are even more likely to find the low spots and leak through. Think about the likelihood of liquids landing on the floor without your knowledge (as in a pet problem) and you can assess how much of a risk this could be for your home.

This means you need to be careful about excess liquids from settling on the floor for any length of time. You should not mop with water. That can create a cleaning dilemma for some users. Bottom line – sop up any excess fluid quickly to avoid long term damage to the surface or underneath your tile.

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Will Stainmaster Vinyl Plank Flooring fade in sunny rooms?

Even if your windows are the kind that block ultraviolet light, sun can fade the material on your floor if it’s exposed regularly. Southern states have the most exposure, but even the northern tier experience long days of direct low sun in the winter. The longer that exposure hits your floor, the more important sun fading resistance will be for you.

Little to No Reported Sun Fading

Consumer Reports tested the Stainmaster Vinyl Plank Flooring for sun fading and rated it as highly resistant. Homeowners report no issues with fading. This product would do well in a room with plenty of sun exposure that you cannot block with drapes or blinds.

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Is Stainmaster Vinyl Plank Flooring easy for do-it-yourselfers to install?

People install this flooring as a floating floor, which means you don’t need to glue or nail it to your subfloor. The manufacturer recommends that subfloor surfaces should be made of concrete, underlayment grade or exterior grade plywood, or properly glued-down vinyl. You’ll need to make sure these surfaces are clean and dry to avoid trapping a mess under your new floor.

To make sure you don’t have hills and valleys you’ll notice once the solid surface is in, try the marble test. Place a child’s marble or other spherical object on the floor and give it a gentle nudge. It will accelerate off the hills and settle in the valleys, and if you have a lot of changes in elevation, you’ll need to add filler, the type depending on your subfloor material.

Stainmaster also recommends keeping their cases of flooring in the area where you plan to install them for 48 hours before you begin your effort so they can acclimatize. This allows the vinyl planks to expand and contract to match the environment they’ll be in. And yes, this means you’ll be heating or cooling the space to temps approximating what they will be during normal conditions.

Installation Ease

Reviewers love this flooring’s click-to-lock structure used to install the planks. This means you work in one direction, set tabs in place, and snap them together. This makes Stainmaster planks particularly easy for DIYers to handle on their own.

Many homeowners are particularly proud of their installation efforts, even if they have no previous flooring experience, because this product is so easy to use. Professional installers also seem to appreciate the easy click together system that locks on all four sides. Whether installed over subfloor or underlayment, or over existing linoleum or other fixed surface, no significant complaints have been noted with the installation process.

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How do you maintain Stainmaster Vinyl Plank Flooring?

Water can infiltrate the joints on even the best interlocking flooring, so as noted earlier, standing water (and therefore wet mopping) is not recommended. Some cleaning agents can also damage the surface, eating away at the coating over time or leaving behind a trail of chemicals that will also ruin the appearance of your gloss. Luckily, overall, this flooring can be easy to maintain.

Keeping it Clean without Stripping or Hazing

The manufacturer recommends using a neutral-pH cleaner for regular use to avoid damaging the surface. Homemade cleaners like vinegar and harsh chemical products can strip the finish of the tile over time. Some commercial brands also leave behind a residue that makes the finish look dull instead of glossy.

Buy a cleaning product specifically rated for use on vinyl plank flooring. Follow its instructions for vinyl plank cleaning and avoid leaving liquid settling on the surface for any length of time. Deep stains may require additional efforts per manufacturer instructions.

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The Verdict

Happy homeowners note that this Stainmaster Vinyl Plank Flooring is a budget-conscious choice for their flooring needs. They have installed it in hallways with high traffic, bathrooms and laundry rooms with attendant wetness. They have also installed it in larger expanses such as multipurpose rooms. Generally, it has withstood the tests of countless homeowners and their families.

The key appears to be a good installation. So it is important to take the time to explore what the experts recommend about the process. Also, check with the manufacturer.

Preparing the under-plank surface and taking the time to click the planks together properly go a long way toward creating a solid foundation for a durable floor. Add in a good cleaning regimen, and your investment should pay you back with a floor you’ll appreciate for years to come.

What’s your verdict if you have you installed Stainmaster Vinyl Plank Flooring? And what questions haven’t we yet answered if you’re in the decision process? Let us know in the comments below.

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Yvonne Kohano

About Yvonne Kohano

Yvonne Kohano never met a remodeling project she didn’t like – almost. Ditto on tools to keep things looking great. She is a fiction author of romantic suspense and psychological thrillers, book/business coach for creatives, and nerdy student of human behavior and the natural world.

1 thought on “Stainmaster Vinyl Plank Flooring Review”

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    We have had stainmaster hybrid installed for two weeks. Hate it the boards look dirty due to shiny areas appearing on top of the matt surface particularly when light shines through windows. Was professionally laid looks cheap and fake.

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