vinyl plank flooring reviews

Vinyl Plank Flooring: Reviews, Best Brands & Pros vs. Cons

Last Updated on November 25, 2020

If you looking to learn about vinyl plank flooring, you have come to the right place. Our team has spent numerous hours speaking with flooring vendors, researching products, and most importantly listening to questions and concerns from our readers to develop this comprehensive guide on vinyl plank flooring. There is a lot of valuable material to read so take your time.

To help you quickly find what you are looking, we have broken down the vinyl plank guide into three main sections (Diligence, Purchase & Installation, and Top 20 Questions). We have also created a 2 Minute Summary section to give you quick highlights.

WHY LISTEN TO FLOOR CRITICS?

  • We are an independent source that aims to provide unbiased reviews
  • Experience: each member of our team has multiple decades of flooring experience
  • We have a large, trusted network of 2,000+ local flooring pros
  • We are a free resource that aims to provide the best flooring content to our readers

Buying flooring is not a straightforward process and can leave customer very overwhelmed and confused. Our main goal at Floor Critics is to help lessen those obstacles by providing you with free educational resources and access to our experienced team and partner network of flooring experts.

If you have any questions as you read (or have feedback for us), please don’t hesitate to contact us. Our in-house team of experts and our 2,000+ flooring partners are ready to help! 

2 Minute Summary

  • In a rush? Read the highlights and most important parts of this article.

Section 1: The Diligence Phase

  • Flooring is a large investment, take time to do your research and ask questions!
  • From cost to top brands to durability to maintenance to warranty, we cover 15 critical diligence topics

Section 2: Purchase & Installation

  • Great, you have done your diligence, but where do you go to purchase and who can help you install your new flooring? This section will answer these questions and more.
  • As every customer’s needs are different, reach out to our team and we will help find you the right retailer/installer that fits your needs.
  • From a local flooring company to The Home Depot to an online flooring company you have never heard of. There are so many choices for selecting vinyl plank flooring! We can certainly help you make sense of all the options available in the market.

Let’s talk about your project


Section 3: Top 20 Questions From Our Readers

  • You think you found the perfect vinyl plank and then you read some negative customer reviews online. What should you do?
  • Choosing the right flooring can be both difficult and down right confusing! We answer the questions you the readers have sent us.

2 Minute Summary

  • Vinyl plank flooring is a great choice as the flooring is durable, easy to install, and affordable
  • Choose a wear layer of at least 12 mil (buy the highest wear layer you can afford)
  • WPC (Wood Plastic Composite) or SPC (Stone Plastic Composite) vinyl planks are the top options
  • Quality vinyl planks cost at least $3 sq. ft. and install costs can range from $2 to $5 sq. ft.
  • Look for at least a 15 year warranty; carefully read what is covered and what can void a warranty
  • Do not expect to see a material return on investment
  • Vinyl planks are easy to clean and very low maintenance is required
  • Understand the VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compound) levels and look for vinyl planks that are phthalate-free
  • We highlight several of the top brands (both brand names and lesser known brands) we think are excellent options
  • Ask for multiple samples (ideally multiple regular size planks) so you can see the look and test the flooring
  • Choose a local flooring pro (vs. a big box or online retailer) as they provide much better personalized service and assistance with your floor selection
  • Utilize the Floor Critics’ team for unbiased recommendations and help finding the best installer

Our team is here to help you. Click here to ask the experts at Floor Critics.

Section 1: The Diligence Phase

Confused? We can help make things clearer.

Intro to vinyl plank flooring


If you have been looking into new floors for your home, you have probably heard about vinyl plank flooring as a fantastic option. It looks and feels like hardwood at a fraction of the price. In short, vinyl plank flooring is a great option if you are looking for an affordable floor that is durable and looks good.

There are three types of vinyl planks. Please note all three types are often used interchangeably by sales professionals so it is important to clarify.

  1. Luxury Vinyl Plank (LVP) – Luxury vinyl planks that are better than “non-luxury” vinyl planks due to being more durable and better looking (note: LVP is not waterproof)
  2. Wood Plastic Composite (WPC) – Similar to LVP, but are waterproof and are a good choice for bathrooms, basements, kitchens, or any room in the house.
  3. Stone Plastic Composite (SPC) – These planks are commonly known as rigid core. They are also 100% waterproof and are a great choice for uneven subfloors. While less thick than WPC, they are often more durable as they are more dense which makes them better at resisting damage.

Vinyl plank flooring is highly affordable when compared with most other options on the market, and new manufacturing techniques mean that it looks more authentic than ever. It is also durable, easy to install, and easy to clean and maintain.

But, of course, when you save on price, you are usually sacrificing elsewhere. Vinyl flooring is 100 percent synthetic; however, public perception about it can damage your home’s resale value. It also has questionable environmental credentials, and some vinyl plank types can bring health hazards into your home.

Continue reading below so you decide whether vinyl plank flooring is right for you.

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Wear Layer (very important!)


If you focus on only one item in your research, we suggest choosing the wear layer. Manufacturers will highlight many items such as positive customer reviews, coatings no other brands have, etc., etc., but what matters most is the wear layer.

The wear layer lies between the printed design and urethane finish. This layer is a key factor of how well your floors will hold up over time. The higher the wear layer, the longer the floor will last. The level of wear on a vinyl plank is measured in mil (one thousandth of an inch). A mil is not the same as a millimeter, as roughly 40 mil equals 1.0 mm (39.4 mil to 1 mm, to be exact).

The simple math: Don’t just take price into account when making your flooring decision. Understand the product carefully as lower quality flooring may need more frequent replacement and make the total cost of ownership much higher (as well as the inconvenience and hassle).

Low Wear Layer Example
    • Mil: 4 mil (0.1 mm)
    • Product Cost: $1.00/sq. ft.
    • Install Cost: $2.50/sq. ft.
    • Warranty: 1 year
    • Replacements over 20 years: 2 (could be more with heavy use)
    • Total cost over 20 years: $10.50/sq. ft.
High Wear Layer Example
    • Wear Layer: 12 mil (0.3 mm or greater)
    • Product Cost: $4.00/sq. ft.
    • Install Cost: $2.50/sq. ft.
    • Warranty: Lifetime
    • Replacements over 20 years: 0
    • Total cost over 20 years: $6.50/sq. ft.

Floor Critics’ Recommendation: Go for the thickest wear layer you can afford. You should look for vinyl planks with a wear layer of at least 12 mil. If you have an active family or an assemblage of pets, consider buying 20 mil or higher. 

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Construction


There are generally four types of layers in a vinyl plank floor:

    1. Wear layer: As described above, this layer helps protect against excessive wear, scratches, and fading.
    2. Printed film: The printed film helps deliver the look of real wood.
    3. Vinyl core (four types):
      • LVP (Luxury Vinyl Plank): also known as PVC (Poly Vinyl Chloride). Luxury vinyl planks generally require glue down installation and need a level subfloor prior to installation.
      • WPC (Wood Plastic Composite): WPC does not contain actual wood, instead, it’s made up of wood flour fused with thermoplastic and calcium carbonates. This type of flooring is free of phthalates and safer for your family. It is 100% waterproof. WPC vinyl planks interlock together so no glue or underlayment is required and they can be installed as a floating floor.
      • SPC (Stone Plastic Composite): Like WPC, it is also 100% waterproof but the core is made up of a stone plastic composite. They do not require glue and can be installed as a floating floor. These planks are known as rigid core vinyl planks.
      • Peel and Stick (self-adhesive):  Made from a vinyl material. See our in-depth post on peel and stick flooring.
    4. Backing layer: The backing or bottom may include corking or other soundproofing material. These layers provide underfoot cushioning.

Floor Critics’ Recommendation: The choice here depends are your project needs. Our choice is WPC vinyl planks if the most important characteristics are waterproof and having a softer/quieter feel. Our choice is SPC if waterproof and better resistance to scratches and dents are more important characteristics.

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Costs


There are several costs to consider for vinyl plank flooring.

Product Cost
  • Costs can range from less than $1 sq. ft. to $6 sq. ft. or more

Bargain (<$1 sq. ft.):
– Type: Mainly peel and stick and glue down planks
– Wear layer: generally 4 mils or less
– Warranty: typically 1 year or less

Moderate ($1 to $3 sq. ft.):
– Type: Mainly glue down planks and interlock/clicklock
– Wear layer: generally around 6-12 mils
– Warranty: typically 10-20 years, some offer a limited lifetime warranty

Quality (>$3 sq. ft.):
– Type: Mainly interlock/clicklock planks
– Wear layer: generally >12 mils
– Warranty: typically 20+ years to lifetime

Install Cost
  • Install cost is highly variable but a good rule of thumb is to expect to pay between $2 to $5 a sq. ft.
Other Costs
  • Removal of old flooring can cost about $2 sq. ft. and is based on the effort required to remove the old flooring
  • Furniture removal
  • Sales tax
  • Permit or inspection fees
  • Relocation of HVAC, plumbing, etc.

Yes. Vinyl plank flooring is one of the most affordable flooring options on the market (though, depending on your brand choice, we wouldn’t call it a ‘cheap flooring option’).

Let’s start at the beginning: demolition. If you’re tearing out carpet or removing tile, it has to go somewhere. You may need to rent a dumpster or pay a disposal fee.

Shop around for the best rates ahead of time, so you’re not caught off-guard. Depending on the area, it may cost you between $100-$400.

Expect to spend a few dollars on essential tools like a rubber-mallet, utility-knife, and a multi-tool. You’ll also need a moisture meter and a tapping block. While you’re shopping, remember to throw a set of knee-pads in the cart; your body will thank you.

If you’re adding a vapor-barrier or padding, ask your retailer to add it to the deal. It probably won’t work, but you never know. Worst case scenario, talk them into giving you a healthy discount.

If you buy the underlayment separately, anticipate spending $30-$50 for a 100 square foot roll.

Last but not least: molding and trim pieces. Not only are these items special order, but they’re expensive to boot. It’s impossible to estimate a figure without knowing the exact details. Don’t forget to purchase transition strips.

You can expect to dedicate $200-$400 of your budget to trim pieces.

Floor Critics’ Recommendation: Don’t get stuck on a brand or the first choice a flooring company tells you to buy. Instead look at the wear layer, warranty, and look/style of the floor for your project. Our team has many years of helping people find the right floor for their needs. For a free quote, please reach out to us and we’d be happy to discuss your project and provide you with a list of options as well as pricing.

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Pros Summary


  • Price: Cheaper than hardwood floors while offering a similar look, beware of bargain brands where quality has been a known issue with many brands.
  • Style: Endless options of colors, patterns, and textures to match your décor, ask for samples.
  • Installation: Most vinyl planks come pre-fitted with click & lock installation: locking mechanisms that click into place like a jigsaw puzzle.
  • Versatility: Unlike wood, it’s safe to use vinyl flooring in damp areas. Vinyl is water-resistant (like linoleum – see our vinyl plank vs linoleum comparison) – making it perfect for bathroom and kitchen floors.
  • Durability: It does not scratch easily, higher quality vinyl planks and tiles have through-body coloring, meaning that if they scratch, the damage is less visible
  • Water Resistant: Is 100% water and moisture resistant which is an advantage over traditional hardwood floor; WPC and SPC vinyl planks are 100% waterproof (note the distinction between water resistant and proof)
  • Comfort: Vinyl is soft underfoot. As you walk, the flooring absorbs pressure.
  • Insulation: Vinyl flooring stays at room temperature. Even in winter, your floors will feel warm and cozy. In addition, vinyl flooring also absorbs noise.
  • Maintenance: When it comes to maintenance and cleaning, it doesn’t get any easier than vinyl flooring. See our in-depth cleaning guide.

Cons Summary


  • Associated Health Risks: Vinyl flooring can emit gasses and volatile chemicals, called VOCs, into your home, look for a company that advertises low VOC flooring that is phthalate-free.
  • Accessibility Concerns: If a member of your household uses a wheelchair or mobility device, reconsider installing vinyl planks or tile. They are prone to shifting especially under rolling loads.
  • Minimal Return On Investment: If resale value plays into your decision-making, vinyl isn’t the best choice. Vinyl flooring will not raise the value of your home (in most cases).
  • Susceptible To Fading And Denting: Vinyl flooring is susceptible to sun damage, it won’t disintegrate, but it will fade.
  • Substrate Sensitivity: The number one cause of flooring woes is improper substrate preparation. Subfloors should be level, clean, and moisture-free.
  • Limited Longevity: When it comes to longevity, hardwood flooring has the advantage. You can sand out scratches, re-stain faded areas, and change the overall coloring over time.
  • Environmental Impact: Vinyl flooring is not biodegradable. Once removed, it will spend the rest of its days sitting in a landfill.
  • Floor Plan Complications: Installing vinyl in a home with lots of nooks and crannies is a chore better left to the pros unless you have nerves of steel. Hire a pro.
  • Tough to remove: If your current floor in glued down, it can take a lot more time to remove it.

For a more in-depth analysis on Pros and Cons, click here.

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Warranty


Most customers believe a product warranty will cover all issues with their new flooring and they have nothing to worry about. This is not necessarily the case. 

Here are our pro tips:
  • Very important: choose a reputable installer as many issues such as visual defects at the time of installation are the responsibility of the installer – we partner with over 2,000 trusted installers and can help you find the best installer
  • Keep all documents, receipts, installer contact info, etc. from your flooring purchase
  • Most flooring issues are not due to the product itself rather the installation, floor preparation, and installation in an environment not suitable for the floor
  • Avoid very inexpensive products where the warranty is less than 10 years and does not cover fade, wear, and stain
  • A manufacturer should not charge you extra for a warranty
  • If buying online (we do not recommend), thoroughly due your diligence on the retailer (see your purchase options)
  • There is a lot of fine print in warranties that often makes it difficult to get a claim approved
  • Most warranties are non-transferable when a home is sold (most people tend to move every seven to ten years)
  • Warranties do not mean the manufacturer will replace your floor whenever there is an issue
What is not covered by warranty:
  • Deep scratches or dents caused by furniture, pets, or high heels, damage during installation, not following manufacturer cleaning instruction, etc.
What can void a warranty:
  • Some manufacturers require a certified manufacturer to install the floor (however note the process to get certified by a manufacturers is not very diffcult)
  • Product has visual defects at the time of install
  • Not following the cleaning instructions

Floor Critics’ Recommendation: Look for a product with at least a 15 year warranty. Carefully read what is not covered and what can void a warranty.

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Return on Investment (ROI)


Will you see a noticeable positive impact to your home sale price if you install vinyl plank flooring? The short answer is no.

While vinyl planks offer many benefits they do not provide the level of price appreciation as hardwood floors. While the quality and durability of vinyl planks keeps improving each year, there is still a stigma that the floors are inferior to hardwood or engineered floors.

No matter how beautiful, people tend to scoff at the mention of vinyl. First-time buyers won’t appreciate the durability or cost-savings. They may have never paid for an extensive renovation or cried as their children skateboarded through the living room.

On the flip-side, vinyl flooring is a budget-friendly home improvement option. If you’re replacing stained carpeting or worn/dirty linoleum, new floors will help your home sell, especially if the potential buyer has children or pets.

Hopefully, as time passes and technology improves, so will vinyl’s not-so-favorable reputation.

Other factors that can impact the ROI:
  • The design or layout of the floor
  • Color of the floor chosen. Lighter colors such as gray have been popular.
  • If the floor is waterproof (vs. water resistant)
  • Not being able to transfer the warranty to a new home buyer

Floor Critics’ Recommendation: Don’t expect to see a material return on investment for vinyl plank flooring.

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Maintenance & Cleaning


Vinyl plank flooring is actually one of the lowest maintenance flooring types you can install in your home.

Read our in-depth guide on cleaning vinyl plank.

Everyday cleaning: It is important to frequently remove any dust or debris from your vinyl floors. Luckily you only need a mop or vacuum for this.

Floor Critics’ Recommendation: Vinyl plank flooring is an excellent choice if you do not want to spend lots of time cleaning and maintaining the floor. Carefully read the cleaning instructions to ensure your warranty stays intact.

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Health & Safety


Is your flooring safe? You may have heard of the 60 Minutes investigation in 2015 of Lumber Liquidators for not complying with acceptable levels of formaldehyde emissions. It highlights a key diligence item that everyone should remember to follow before purchasing any type of flooring.

What is Formaldehyde? It is a colorless gas that it used in many products such as flooring, medicines, cosmetics, etc. Exposure to high levels of formaldehyde has been linked to cancer in humans. Formaldehyde is considered a VOC (Volatile Organic Compound).

As for flooring, formaldehyde is more commonly found in laminate and is less prevalent in vinyl flooring.

If you or someone in your home has respiratory issues, vinyl flooring may not be the best option.

To minimize the risks:

  • Look for a brand that advertises low VOC flooring that is phthalate-free. Make sure they have documentation to support those claims.
  • Check the Environmental Protection Agency’s website. In addition to statistics, you’ll find in-depth explanations and brand-specific databases. Responsible manufacturers have programs in place to keep consumers safe.
  • Look for NAF-certified products
  • Try to find flooring that is nail-down or that interlocks vs. glue down flooring which can emit VOCs

Examples for flooring that is formaldehyde free or has low levels of VOCs (always check the product specifications to confirm):

Floor Critics’ Recommendation: Look for brands that have very low VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compound) and are phthalate-free. 

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Top 8 Brands (with visuals)


With thousands of different brands to choose from, which vinyl flooring is the best? We suggest researching different brands (big and small). The Floor Critics’ experts have reviewed nearly 50 brands and have experience working with many more.

Most times, finding a trusted local flooring retailer and installer is the best option to help you find the right flooring.

We have over 2,000 trusted partners that we work with to help find you the best product at the best price. Let us know if you would like a free quote.

The team at Floor Critics spent a lot of time to come up with our top eight trusted brands and customer-preferred lines.

  1. Proximity Mills
  2. Mohawk SolidTech
  3. COREtec Plus
  4. Michael Raskin USA
  5. Mannington ADURA Max
  6. Armstrong PRYZM
  7. Mohawk Pergo Extreme
  8. Karndean Korlok

Proximity Mills

Proximity MillsProximity MillsProximity MillsProximity Mills

Proximity Mills is one of the fastest growing flooring companies, for good reason. With styles that are durable, waterproof, and fashion-forward, Proximity Mills delivers the range of products that meets any customer’s lifestyle, and budget.

These vinyl planks are some of the most realistic wood visuals on the market. They are recommended if you have pets, kids or are looking for something easy to maintain/waterproof. 

Proximity Mills is sold exclusively through a network of premiere flooring retailers who have demonstrated a proven track record of professionalism and craftsmanship. Our team can put you in touch with a retailer if you would like to get samples or learn more. 

Expect to pay between $2-$6 per square foot for Proximity Mills vinyl planks. The wear layer of the floor plank has a lifetime limited warranty.

Mohawk SolidTech

Mohawk SolidTech

Mohawk’s newest line of vinyl planks is genuinely stunning. It’s called SolidTech, and it is set to become a major hit for this well-known company. These planks come in beautiful muted tones and hand-scraped textures.

SolidTech is waterproof, odor-proof, and stain-resistant. It’s easy to maintain and easy to install. The planks fit together seamlessly to create a watertight barrier. Our team can put you in touch with a retailer if you would like to get samples or learn more. 

Mohawk even includes a warranty, especially for pet owners. The biggest drawback – the 12 mil wear layer. Mohawk SolidTech sells for approximately $3.00 per square foot.

COREtec Plus

COREtec PlusCOREtec Plus

COREtec is one of the most trusted flooring brands on the market. The company’s Plus line comes in a variety of sizes and styles, including wide-plank. These floors feature a hearty 20 mil wear layer and a lifetime warranty.

COREtec Plus installs as a floating floor, making it an ideal DIY project. The durable click-to-lock mechanism won’t break or bend during install. The best part, this product needs no acclimation time, meaning you can install it the same day you buy it. Our team can put you in touch with a retailer if you would like to get samples or learn more. 

Reviews for this product and the COREtec brand are overwhelmingly positive. The one caveat, COREtec Plus is pricey. Expect to pay between $4.50-$6.50 per square foot.

Michael Raskin USA

Michael Raskin Michael Raskin Michael Raskin Michael Raskin

Finally, a made in the USA vinyl plank that is affordable and extremely durable. The Michael Raskin USA collection features the colors and styles you only see in the movies. They are stylish, modern and perfect for the everyday home. Michael Raskin is a one of a kind flooring designer. 

These planks are waterproof, scratch resistant, and made in the USA. Our team can put you in touch with a retailer if you would like to get samples or learn more. 

Most made in USA flooring products are cost prohibitive however these planks are extremely affordable, especially for the quality. You can find them exclusively at independent retailers from $4-$8 per square foot.

Mannington ADURAⓇMax

Mannington ADURA Max Mannington ADURA Max

The Mannington company has been in business for more than 100 years. But don’t let that fool you; this company prides itself on innovation and design. And the AduraⓇMax line is no exception.

ADURAⓇMax vinyl flooring features an aluminum oxide topcoat and a shock-absorbing, noise-reducing, padded backing. It’s certified environmentally and allergy-friendly. The line is available in both planks and 12×24” tiles.

Mannington has an excellent reputation for customer service. While the original ADURA line has had its share of issues, the company has addressed most of them with ADURAⓇMax. Recent reviews are overwhelmingly positive.

Mannington ADURAⓇMax sells for $3.00-$4.00 per square foot. Check online for savings. This line goes on sale often.

Armstrong PRYZM

Armstrong Pryzm Armstrong Pryzm

PRYZM is Armstrong’s newest line of vinyl planks. And with more than 20 different shades, you’re sure to find a favorite. Planks are water-proof and scratch-resistant, making them suitable for homes with children and pets.

The planks are made with a rigid-core construction and feature layers that absorb noise and shock. Armstrong sweetens the deal by adding a limited lifetime warranty and easy click-lock installation.

Expect to pay between $4.00-$7.00 per square foot for PRYZM planks.

Mohawk Pergo Extreme

Mohawk Pergo Extreme Mohawk Pergo Extreme

Pergo offers a selection of what they call “extreme luxury vinyl” flooring. Characterizing it as the next generation of LVP flooring, they claim it’s 100% dent-proof, waterproof, kid-proof, and pet-proof.

Pergo’s vinyl flooring comes in 60 different designs, including wood, stone, and tile look. The planks are made with a rigid-core construction and are 100% waterproof.

Expect to pay between $4.00-$6.00 per square foot for Pergo Extreme planks.

Karndean Korlok

Karndean KorlokKarndean Korlok

The Korlok line features large-format planks up to 9” wide. Karndean LVP floors are waterproof and scratch-resistant, and they feature attached foam padding. The Korlok line has a wear-layer of 20 mil and a lifetime warranty.

You can install Korlok using Karndean’s vertical click locking system. Karndean prices the line competitively in the range of $4.00-$5.00 per square foot.

Other brand reviews by Floor Critics: Achim, Amtico, Baroque, Beaulieu, Cali Vinyl Pro, Congoleum, Coreluxe, Duralux, Duraclic, EarthWerks, Eternity, Fusion Hybrid, Global Gem, GreenTouch WPC, Hallmark Courtier, HSC Woodland Creek, Lifeproof, NovaCore, Nuvelle WPC, Reward, Rigid Core, SFI Luxury Vinyl, Smartcore Ultra, Sono by InHaus, Stainmaster, Moduleo, MultiCore, NuCore, Tesoro, Shaw Floorte, Flooret Modin, Forbo Allura

If you want to see how flooring would look in your home through our product visualizer, reach out to our experts.

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Samples


Before making a large investment in vinyl flooring, be sure to get plenty of samples! Our network of partners has access to almost any floor on the market. Contact us to request samples.

Here are some things you can test for:

  • See how the color and design look in your home (experiment with different lighting and see what the floor looks like in the sun and at night)
  • Spill water, drop things on the floor
  • Walk on the floor with heels – does the floor easily dent?
  • How does vinyl plank look and feel vs. hardwood vs. bamboo?

Floor Critics’ Recommendation: Get multiple full length samples (one plank will not look the same as all the planks) so you can clearly see the look and also test the flooring.

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Buying Checklist


Below is our vinyl plank flooring buying checklist. Refer to this and the rest of this guide as you look for flooring for your next project.

Read this guide and ASK our experts any pressing questions!
◊ Determine your budget to help narrow down the vast options (remember with flooring, you get what you pay for)
◊ Visit a local flooring store to get a sense of styles and colors that will fit your home décor
◊ Look for a wear layer of 12 mil or greater (purchase the highest wear layer you can afford)
◊ Determine vinyl plank core that fits your needs: LVP (Luxury Vinyl Plank), WPC (Wood Plastic Composite), or SPC (Stone Plastic Composite)
◊ Take samples home or use a room visualizer tool to see what the floor will look like in your home and to also test the floor (make sure you get multiple full length samples)
Find a local retailer that also installs floors (most people should avoid buying flooring online)
◊ Clearly understand the manufacturer and installation warranty and terms (save all documents if a claim needs to be filed years after purchase)
◊ Review and follow the care and maintenance instructions

Floor Critics’ Recommendation: Take your time and try to enjoy the process! We are here if you want to run anything by us on your journey.

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Installation


Did you survive the sticker shock? Good. Deep breaths; we’re in the home stretch. Now comes the fun part: installation.

  1. Tips For Hiring A Pro Installer
  2. Floating Installation Tips And Tricks
  3. Glue-Down Installation Tips And Tricks

Tips For Hiring A Pro Installer

If you’d rather not deal with installation hassles, hire a pro to do the job. Pricing varies by location, but expect to pay between $40-$50 an hour. Connect with us to receive free quotes from certified professional installers in your area.

A local flooring retailer may also be able to include your installation costs into the price of your flooring. If not, they should be able to provide you with a list of trusted installers.

Another option is to ask your friends or co-workers for recommendations. They may know of a reasonable and reliable local contractor. If all else fails, solicit suggestions from your social media friends.

Remember to get two to three estimates before deciding on a contractor. Don’t go by blind bids. Make sure each company visits your home and sees the layout.

If there are any obstacles, they can figure it into the bid from the beginning. Don’t forget to ask for references or photos of their past jobs. Additionally, make sure the contractor is licensed and insured before signing the contract.

Floor Critics’ Recommendation: Take your time here and do your research. To help you, Floor Critics has a large partner network that we trust. Reach out to us if you would like help finding a retailer/installer.

Floating Installation Tips And Tricks

Make sure you buy at least 10-20 percent more flooring than what you need. You’ll want it for cuts and waste. There is nothing worse than running out of planks a few boards shy of the finish line.

Remove any wall trim and undercut door jambs before you start. Otherwise, you’ll have to stop halfway through the install and you’ll lose your momentum.

Lay the floor out as a test run and mark cuts with a crayon or chalk. Work from three or four boxes to maximize the variations and shading. It’s easier to make adjustments before the boards are locked together.

Start at the longest wall and lay out the rows. Stagger the joints at least 5 inches. For the best results, make sure your last row is half to one plank wide.

Don’t forget to leave room for expansion. When you’re finished, take a moment to survey the room. If you’re satisfied with the layout, go ahead and start locking the planks into place.

Having trouble getting the boards to lie flat? Tap them in place with a rubber mallet and a scrap piece of vinyl. If seams are the issue, use a hand-roller and apply even pressure.

If you have extra material, keep it. You might be tempted to ditch it, but don’t. If your vinyl is damaged, you can replace individual boards or tile without ripping out the entire floor.

Glue-Down Installation Tips And Tricks

Always purchase glue directly from the manufacturer or store. It might cost more but, if something goes wrong, you’ll have proof you used the correct adhesive or what they advised. Once the materials are in order, you’re ready to go.

Start by dividing your room into sections. Begin at the center and snap chalk lines to form a grid. The lines act as a visual guide, so you’ll have a clear starting and ending point.

Mark any tiles for cutting before you apply the glue. Pick a section and spread the adhesive from the center out. Work in rows and press the vinyl firmly into place. Use a roller to flatten the seams.

If you need to make adjustments, use the edge of the trowel to lift individual tiles. After you finish, do a final walk around. Make sure the tiles fit snugly against each other.

Use a damp rag to clean up any excess adhesive. When you’re done, wait at least three hours before walking on your floors.

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Alternate Flooring Options


While vinyl planks are a great flooring option, there are so many other choices. Please see our detailed guides below.

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Section 2: Purchase & Installation

There are numerous choices on where to buy product. Here are our suggestions:

Best Choice: Local Flooring Store

  • Our team feels this is by far the best way to buy flooring, the personalized customer service and vast product selection are two reasons why
  • The time, dedication, and knowledge of a local flooring pro is very valuable – without these traits, it would make it very hard for a local shop to survive
  • You can find the product and also have them do the installation (often times local companies have installers who have worked with them for many years)
  • People often think local flooring stores have less of a selection than big box stores such as Home Depot or Lowe’s. This is not true. The big guys focus on a few brands that make them the most money where as local flooring stores often have a better, more unique selection and tend to accommodate custom orders better than larger stores.
  • Another misconception is that pricing at local store is higher than big box store, that is also not true.
  • Who should use a local flooring store? Best for someone who has many questions, still deciding what she/he wants, and is looking for the best customer service.
  • If you are looking for a trusted local flooring pro, contact us and we will put you in touch. You can be sure that you will receive honest advice, personalized customer service, and quality installation.

Next Best Choice: Big Box Store

  • Store like the Home Depot sell so many items related to home improvement. While they may a few flooring experts, their level of knowledge and experience is often not the same as a local flooring company whose expertise if solely flooring.
  • If you come into to bog box store one day and meet with a flooring expert and come back another day with more questions, you are likely going to be talking to a different person. We feel some of the personal touch is lost at big box stores vs. local flooring stores.
  • Most of the time the installer is contracted out
  • Often times the buying decision comes down to knowing a store that you have heard of and give you peace of mind.
  • Who should use a big box flooring store? Someone who already knows what they want and doesn’t need as much hand-holding.

Not Recommended: Online Retailer

  • Online shopping makes sense for commodity or smaller purchases, but flooring is a very large investment and we feel it is best to be done at a brick and mortar store
  • Don’t be swayed by a lower price as the risks outweigh any cost benefit
  • Returning defective product can be a big hassle vs. simply taking it back to the brick and mortar store and often times there is a restocking fee
  • Buying online can also be confusing as product names, models, and colors are often changed by retailers
  • If you choose to buy online, then you will need to find a separate installer. Our team strongly believes having a retailer who also can install the product is key. As we noted in our warranty section, proper installation is a key consideration so having a retailer who is familiar with installing the product makes sense.
  • Who should use a online flooring store? Online shopping for flooring is best for someone on a budget and is a DIY type person

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Section 3: Top 20 Questions From Our Readers

Have a question we didn’t cover? Ask us!

I’m confused, I found a product I like, but then read some negative user comments and don’t know what to do. Please help!

The team at Floor Critics agrees that buying flooring can be a very confusing process. Here are a few tips to help lessen the confusion:
1. Follow this guide’s diligence section and do your homework (vs. just basing your decision off a user’s positive or negative comment)
2. When questions arise, ask our team. Our goal is to help you by being an independent resource whose experience can help solve or answer your questions.
3. We really appreciate the comments we receive on flooring types and brands we write about. So keep them coming! We do notice that many readers who have had a negative experience with a product tend to be more vocal vs. those that have had a positive experience. This is an important point and again stresses the importance of doing your own diligence and asking the experts.
4. Ask for samples. This is a great way to test out the product for quality, appearance, etc.
5. The top brands we have listed have been selected by our experts and include a mix of large and small companies who we trust

I am overwhelmed by the number of product and brand options, how can I find the best vinyl floor?

First focus getting answers to items that are in your control before going online and getting lost in the flooring jungle. Don’t focus on brands right away and instead focus on flooring characteristics.
1. Budget: Know how much you can afford on a new floor. This will allow narrow you to narrow down the list of options. Remember that installation cost is separate from product cost.
2. Color/Style: What color(s) are you most interested in? Do you prefer wide or narrow planks? As mentioned above, ask for samples so you can see what the products looks like in your home as well as test the product thoroughly.
3. Wear Layer: If you can afford it, go with a wear layer of 12 mil or greater
4. Warranty: Read out warranty section, at minimum you should look for a product with 10 years
5. Waterproof: Do you need the floor to be waterproof?

Now you can research brands online, visit a big box retailer, or send the Floor Critic’s team a note on what you are looking for. We truly believe finding a local retailer that is also an installer is the best option. The quality and care is more than often better than a big box retailer.

Read the diligence items at the beginning of this article as well as the buying checklist so you are prepared and informed when you speak with a flooring retailer.

Should I hire a professional to help me install my new floors?

For most people the answer is a strong yes. Here is why:
1. Often times times trying to DIY can lead to more damage and expenses than having a pro do it for you (flooring is a large investment and needs to be done right the first time)
2. Some manufactures void the warranty if the product is not installed by a certified installer
3. By the time you factor in your time, effort to remove the old floor, and extra equipment needed, there may not be any cost savings
4. Installing a floor properly takes quite a bit of time and preparation that not everyone has

We have over 2,000 trusted partners that we use to help find you the best installer at the best price. Let us know if you would like a free quote.

Can I speak to someone to help me find the right flooring for my project?

Certainly! Visit our Ask the Pros section and tell us about your project and one of our experts will be in touch.

After only a few months, my flooring is having issues and the manufacturer is rejecting my claim, what should I do?

We hear stories like this all the time. It often becomes a blame game between the customer, manufacturer, and installer.

Unfortunately, many times it is too late for the customer to do anything. It is critical that a situation like this is considered ahead of time.

Here are some tips:
1. This is about the hundredth time we have mentioned this, but always ask for samples and thoroughly test the product prior to buying.
2. Ensure you have selected a product with a high wear layer.
3. Ensure the manufacturer stands by their product (through a warranty, has been in business for a while, etc.)
4. Choose a reputable installer. Often times the manufacturer rejects claims and puts the blame on the installer for not following instructions correctly.
5. Know the product you are buying, i.e. water resistant is not the same as waterproof.
6. Save all of your flooring documents (best to scan and save electronically to easily locate in the future)

What climate should vinyl flooring be installed in?

Vinyl flooring is a great option for any type of climate. Always consult the manufacturer’s instructions for your specific type of floor.

Warm/Humid Climates
– Ensure the product is stored in a dry environment prior to installation
– Note vinyl flooring can fade if exposed to prolonged sunlight

Cold Climates
– Vinyl plank flooring is also a great option for colder climates
– Warms up quickly when compared to tile or hardwood
– Many brands are waterproof and have insulation properties

Is vinyl plank floor good if you have pets?

Yes, vinyl plank flooring is a great option for those of you with pets. It’s easy to clean, maintain, as is very durable. Be sure to choose a floor with the highest wear layer you can afford.

For more information, read out in-depth guide on best flooring for pets.

What do you think of [enter brand name]?

We really appreciate all the questions related to adding reviews for brands/specific models we have not yet covered. Keep the questions coming! We look forward to continue adding in-depth reviews.

Is Vinyl Plank Better Than Laminate?

Vinyl and laminate are considered close cousins when it comes to flooring, and both allow you to achieve a real wood look at a fraction of the price. Which one is best depends on what you are looking for.

Laminate flooring is made from real wood, and therefore, tends to add more value when it comes to resale value.

But while laminate can easily be warped and stained by moisture, vinyl is highly water-resistant and can even be waterproof. This makes it superior for wet or damp areas.

Vinyl flooring tends to be easier to maintain, as laminate flooring needs specialized products, but vinyl flooring is more prone to fading over time when exposed to sunlight.

Which floor is better for you depends on your priorities, so check out our more detailed comparison of the two.

What Are The Pros And Cons Of Vinyl Plank Flooring?

Vinyl flooring allows you to get a hardwood look and feel in your home at a fraction of the cost. It is easy to install and maintain, and it is durable enough to use in all but the highest traffic areas. It is even water-resistant, so is appropriate to use in wet rooms and damp areas.

However, vinyl is not environmentally-friendly, and some of the planks will never biodegrade once they find themselves in a landfill. Poor quality vinyl flooring may also release chemicals into your home, which can be damaging to your health, especially if you suffer from respiratory issues.

Vinyl flooring can also be problematic when it comes to resale value, as they are not as highly valued as natural flooring options. They also have a limited lifetime when compared to natural floors such as stone or wood.

Read our Pros and Cons.

What Is The Best Vinyl Plank Flooring?

Which brand of vinyl plank flooring is best for you depends on what you are looking for. In general, you want to look for floors that:

  • Have been safety approved in terms of toxic emissions
  • Are durable, as indicated by a wear layer of at least 12 mil
  • Are advertised as both water and scratch resistant

While many brands on the market fit the bill, among the best are Proximity Mills, Mohawk SolidTech, and COREtec Plus.

See our list of Top 8 brands.

What Is Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring?

Luxury Vinyl Plank flooring, or LVP flooring, is 100 percent synthetic flooring that is made to look and feel like real wood. This allows you to have a real wood look, at a fraction of the cost.

Most LVP flooring is made from mixing and melting polyvinyl chloride resin (PVC), with pigments, calcium carbonate, plasticizers, fungicide, and UV stabilizers to create a solid plastic.

What Is WPC Flooring?

WPC stands for Wood Plastic Composite. WPC vinyl planks are similar to LVP, but are 100% waterproof (unlike luxury vinyl planks) and are a good choice for bathrooms, basements, kitchens, or any room in the house.

WPC vinyl planks provide good comfort as it has a foaming agent in its core.

What Is SPC Flooring?

SPC stands for Stone Plastic Composite. These planks are known as rigid core. They are also 100% waterproof and are a great choice for uneven subfloors. While less thick than WPC, they are often more durable as they are more dense which makes them better at resisting damage.

SPC is often used in commercial flooring due to it’s durability, but can be used in residential flooring as well.

What Thickness Of Vinyl Plank Flooring Is Best?

As a general rule, the thicker the better when it comes to LVP flooring, though how thick you need it depends on how much traffic your floor will need to withstand.

LVP planks generally range from between 4 mm and 8 mm in thickness, with the thicker planks generally being more expensive.

Remember that this is the overall thickness of the plank, which is separate from the wear layer. This is an enforced layer added to the top of the plank to make it more durable and scratch-resistant. For serious use, you will probably want to invest in LVP flooring with at least a 20 mil wear layer.

See our in-depth article on vinyl plank thickness.

Can You Put Heavy Furniture On Vinyl Plank Flooring?

It is certainly true that heavy furniture can do serious damage to vinyl flooring, especially if it has any sharp angles. But you can accommodate all but the heaviest items of furniture if you use padding underneath the feet of the furniture pieces.

It is generally a good idea to avoid installing vinyl flooring under permanent fixtures.

How Long Do Vinyl Planks Last?

Most vinyl flooring will come with a domestic warranty of around 10-20 years. This is a pretty good indication of the lifespan of the floor within a normal home setting.

In commercial settings or homes that have unusually heavy traffic, 15 years is a more realistic estimate of the life of the floor and what warranties tend to match.

But, the life of the floor really depends on how you care for it. Neglect can see the floor looking dowdy very quickly, while proper care can see it last much longer than expected.

What Is The Average Cost To Install Vinyl Plank Flooring?

Vinyl flooring is significantly more cost-effective than most flooring options you will encounter at the home improvement store.

Vinyl plank generally ranges in cost from $3.00 to $7.00 per square foot for product cost and $2.00 to $5.00 per square foot for installation is a good estimate, though be wary of anything costing less than $3.00 per square foot. Remember to buy 10-20 percent more than you need to accommodate trimming and corners.

Also, remember that you need to consider costs related to preparing the space before the floor is laid.

While most vinyl flooring comes with an attached underlayer, this is another thing you will need to invest in if it doesn’t. If you are installing the vinyl plank flooring in an area that is likely to be damp or wet, you will also need an additional moisture layer.

Can You Mop Vinyl Plank Flooring?

One of the benefits of vinyl flooring is that it is easy to clean. An old-fashioned mop is the best way to clean your vinyl flooring with just warm water and a bit of dish soap. You can add some white vinegar to the mix if your floor needs a little bit of sparkle and shine.

Make sure to remove all cleaning agents thoroughly with a wet mop and dry the floor thoroughly soon after cleaning.

Never use harsh chemicals or wax on your vinyl floors; it will do more harm than good.

How Do You Find High-Quality Vinyl Planks?

Shopping for vinyl planks can be overwhelming. There aren’t any warning signs flashing over the inferior products or arrows guiding you toward quality materials. Thankfully, there are ways to tell the difference.

Virtually all vinyl planks are water and scratch resistant. Some brands include higher levels of protection or added padding. Decide on your must-have features before heading to the store.

High-quality material has a thicker wear layer. It’s measured in mil vs. mm. Millimeter refers to a board’s overall thickness, but mil measures the top-most layer.

If you want flooring that stands up to a busy household, choose a product that’s 20 mil or higher. If you’re adding vinyl planks to a second home or less frequented space, you can get away with 12 mil or higher.

Another critical factor is the top-coat material. Better planks will have a hardened clear-coat that protects the flooring from scratches and stains. Look for buzzwords like “titanium top coating” or “diamond-hardened.”

Don’t forget to check the packaging for safety labels. The boxes should specify the flooring is FloorScore certified and CARB2 compliant. If it’s not; keep looking.

The final clue is the warranty. Residential warranties on quality floors will often cover your purchase for 20-years or more. Wear-layers should be covered for at least 10 years. If the company is offering less, ask them why.

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In-Depth Pros (continued from Pros Summary to provide more detail)


Price

Vinyl plank flooring is a cost-effective way to update your home without breaking the bank. You can save thousands without sacrificing on style. Unlike real wood, you can find quality vinyl for under $4.00 per square foot.

But beware of bargain brands. If they look a little too good to be true – well, you know the rest of that story. Quality LVP starts at $3.00 per square foot and goes up to $7.00.

The mid-priced lines are usually a sure bet. You’ll get the features you need – like waterproofing and scratch resistance – without paying for unnecessary upgrades.

If you’re hoping to spend less, expect to shop around. At the $3.00-$4.00 range, colors and sizes are limited. But don’t lose hope; try looking at discontinued lines or waiting for sales.

Tip: Don’t forget to sign up for discounts on the manufacturer’s website.

Style

The sky’s the limit when it comes to designing with vinyl. The options are endless. Whether you’re looking to replicate rich earthy mahogany, silvered barn wood, or even natural stone, you’re sure to find the perfect shade.

Then it’s time to select a size. Choose between large format tiles, wide planks, or traditional 2- to 3-inch boards. Or, mix and match styles for a one-of-a-kind look.

Today’s vinyl comes in a variety of textures like hand-scraped and knotted. Make sure you run your fingers across the boards to ensure the flooring will be comfortable underfoot. Not only do these options mimic the look of genuine hardwood up-close (and are comparable in style to engineered hardwoods, bamboo, and others), they feel like the real deal too.

Sometimes, it’s hard to tell the difference – even for seasoned pros. Whichever you choose, remember décor is easy to change, but flooring isn’t. Go for timeless, not trendy.

Take your time and shop around. Experiment with different lines and sizes. Remember to ask for samples and bring them home, so you will know how the flooring looks with your lighting and color scheme.

Easy Installation

You won’t need to be a carpenter to install your new vinyl floors. If you’ve tackled home improvement projects in the past, installing these floors should be a relatively easy task. Most vinyl planks come pre-fitted with click & lock installation: locking mechanisms that click into place like a jigsaw puzzle.

There is debate over which method works best. When deciding between the applications, consider the overall usage. Glue-down tiles are best for rooms with heavy foot traffic while floating floors work best in secondary spaces.

Depending on the conditions, you may be able to install vinyl directly on-top of your existing flooring. Remember to check with the manufacturer for product-specific guidelines. Nothing voids a warranty quicker than improper installation.

Versatility

Unlike wood, it’s safe to use vinyl flooring in damp areas. Vinyl is water-resistant (like linoleum – see our vinyl plank vs linoleum comparison) – making it perfect for bathroom and kitchen floors.

It won’t rot or discolor if exposed to spills or splashes. And, since it isn’t nailed down, you can use it on lower levels, such as basements. So, you can get the real wood look without the hassle.

Planks designed for damp areas usually include attached vapor barriers. If not, simply install the barrier beneath the flooring. You’ll need that layer to keep moisture from gathering underneath the boards or seeping through the seams.

Consider investing in a dehumidifier for below-grade installations. Vinyl handles humidity well, but it never hurts to err on the side of caution.

Durability

Durability is an area where vinyl flooring and laminate, its close relative, stand out. It doesn’t scratch easily. There is no need to worry if your toddler tracks in snow or your furry pals race through the door with mud-caked paws. Your floors will survive.

Better quality vinyl planks and tiles have through-body coloring, meaning that if they scratch, the damage is less visible. Additionally, most floors feature a protective layer or hardened clear-coat.

Vinyl is the perfect choice for homes inhabited by clumsy adults, small children, and pets. Unlike stone or ceramic, it absorbs shocks. Vinyl won’t crack or chip when a dish jumps out of the cabinet or a cup leaps from your hands.

One weakness is sharp objects. So, hold onto those utensils for dear life.

Comfort

Vinyl is soft underfoot. As you walk, the flooring absorbs pressure. It almost feels bouncy.

If you’re on your feet cooking and cleaning for extended periods, you’ll appreciate the softness, especially if you usually suffer from leg and back pain.

For the ultimate in comfort, treat yourself to planks that feature added layers of padding.

Insulation

Vinyl flooring stays at room temperature. Even in winter, your floors will feel warm and cozy. No more cringing as you roll out of bed, and no more tiptoeing out of the shower.

You can even pair vinyl flooring with radiant heating systems. Always check with your manufacturer for exact requirements as each brand is different.

Vinyl flooring also absorbs noise. It’s an excellent choice for second stories and playrooms. Rest easy knowing that you can watch your favorite show downstairs, without your teenager’s music vibrating through the ceiling.

Maintenance

When it comes to maintenance, it doesn’t get any easier than vinyl. No wax? No polish? No problem. Today’s vinyl doesn’t need added chemicals to hold its shine.

Most vinyl shouldn’t be waxed. It will damage the surface. Always check labels before applying cleaner or polish to your floors.

Vinyl planks clean-up in a matter of minutes, not hours. For daily sprucing, use your favorite static dust broom. For a deeper vinyl plank cleaning, a damp mop and mild cleaner will suffice.

Vinyl flooring can stain, so be sure to wipe up spills before they dry. Worst case scenario; replace the individual tile or plank. It’s usually a 5-minute procedure and requires no special skills.

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In-Depth Cons (continued from Cons Summary to provide more detail)


Associated Health Risks

Vinyl flooring can emit gasses and volatile chemicals, called VOCs, into your home. The government sets strict manufacturing regulations on levels, but it’s not always enough. There are widespread reports of health issues that trace back to vinyl flooring.

If you or someone in your home has respiratory issues, vinyl may not be the best option. To minimize the risks, look for a company that advertises low VOC flooring that’s phthalate-free. Make sure they have documentation to support those claims.

When in doubt, check the Environmental Protection Agency’s website. In addition to statistics, you’ll find in-depth explanations and brand-specific databases. Responsible manufacturers have programs in place to keep consumers safe.

Accessibility Concerns

If a member of your household uses a wheelchair or mobility device, reconsider installing planks or tile. Floating floors are out of the question. They are prone to shifting – especially under rolling loads.

Additionally, rigid boards may snap under the added weight or wheels may catch in the grooves, causing a safety hazard. So, if your heart is set on vinyl, opt for sheeting, or at the very least, glue the boards down.

Remember, most warranties exclude damage caused by heavy furniture or mobility devices. Your salesperson may tell you otherwise, but get it in writing. Then go over the fine print with a magnifying glass.

Minimal Return On Investment

If resale value plays into your decision-making, vinyl isn’t the best choice. Vinyl flooring will not raise the value of your home (in most cases). If it does, the effects will be minimal.

No matter how beautiful, people tend to scoff at the mention of vinyl. First-time buyers won’t appreciate the durability or cost-savings. They’ve never paid for an extensive renovation or cried as their children skateboarded through the living-room.

On the flip-side, vinyl is a budget-friendly home improvement option. If you’re replacing stained carpeting or worn/dirty linoleum, new floors will help your home sell, especially if the potential buyer has children or pets.

Hopefully, as time passes and technology improves, so will vinyl’s not-so-favorable reputation.

Susceptible To Fading And Denting

Like vampires, vinyl is susceptible to sun damage. It won’t disintegrate, but it will fade. If you have a wall of windows or a ceiling of skylights, reconsider buying vinyl.

You can add light-blocking window coverings, but if you enjoy the sun, you’ll regret that choice. Adding area rugs will just contribute to the problem. Your floor will still fade, except now it will have spots.

Another enemy of vinyl: heavy furniture. Make sure you use padding under couches and credenzas. That goes double for cabinets and appliances.

Most manufacturers advise against installing vinyl underneath fixtures. Keep that in mind for future renovations.

Substrate Sensitivity

The number one cause of flooring woes is improper substrate preparation. Subfloors should be level, clean, and moisture-free. If you’re installing over plywood sheeting, check for dips or soft spots.

Scrape off old adhesive, remove any tack strips, and fill in large gaps. If you’re installing over concrete, buy flooring with an attached moisture barrier or add a layer before starting your project.

You’ll also want to invest in a moisture meter to ensure humidity levels are within acceptable ranges. Failure to do this will result in headaches down the road. If your subfloor is questionable, consider hiring a pro to prepare it for you.

It will cost a bit extra, but it beats watching your brand new floors lift and shift.

Limited Longevity

When it comes to longevity, hardwood flooring has the advantage. You can sand out scratches, re-stain faded areas, and change the overall coloring over time. Unfortunately, vinyl is a one-hit-wonder.

If you choose a timeless option and maintain your floors, this shouldn’t be a deal-breaker. If a small portion of the vinyl is damaged, it’s an easy fix. But, if your flooring looks dated or distressed, you’ll have to tear it out and start over.

This is just something to consider.

Environmental Impact

Vinyl flooring isn’t biodegradable. Once removed, it will spend the rest of its days sitting in a landfill. Because vinyl flooring is made with different chemical compounds, recycling is nearly impossible.

There are some exceptions. Manufacturers in the green building arena are using recycled fillers in their planks. Unfortunately, this practice often results in lower quality flooring that’s prone to crumbling and breaking.

But, before you dismiss vinyl as non-eco, check brand reviews. Some companies have managed to balance quality and safety without compromising durability.

Complicated Floor-Plans

Installing vinyl in a home with lots of nooks and crannies is a chore. One better left to the pros unless you have nerves of steel. Notching out corners and undercutting doorways isn’t fun.

It takes skill and results in an exorbitant amount of waste. If you choose to accept this mission, do yourself a favor and buy extra material. Don’t forget to lay everything out ahead of time.

If your vinyl transitions to another surface, have a plan in place to compensate for any height difference.

Or choose door number two: hire a pro and let them handle it.

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Wrapping Up


Now you know the nitty-gritty about vinyl flooring, you should be able to decide if it is an appropriate flooring option for your next home improvement project.

If you do decide on vinyl, bear in mind that quality matters and take the time to do your research. Also, never buy without seeing and touching the floor yourself. Take advantage of samples to see how it looks in your home and how it will feel under your feet.

Try to shop during holiday sales and year-end clearances. And don’t forget to sign up for discounts on company websites. Your inbox may get a little full, but you can always unsubscribe after you’ve purchased your vinyl.

Prepare a list of questions before you hit the stores. Most salespeople are happy to help. If your salesperson isn’t willing to answer your questions (or if they try to push you off to carpet), ask to speak with a manager or go to another store.

Don’t forget to ask about safety certifications and warranty details. Flooring is a big-ticket item. Make sure you’re satisfied before the money leaves your hands.

If you’re installing the vinyl, remember to include extra material for waste and replacement. Additionally, make sure you have everything you need before you start your install. If you opt to hire a pro, ask them to provide you with a custom estimate, proof of insurance, and referrals from past jobs.

Good luck with your flooring ventures!

If you have any comments, please contact us.

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358 thoughts on “Vinyl Plank Flooring: Reviews, Best Brands & Pros vs. Cons”

  1. Avatar

    Hi,
    Has anyone installed MSI Everlife LVT Andover series? Not finding many reviews online. It is sold at Floors USA, and I am having them do the installation, on the entire 1st floor (living room/dining room/kitchen/powder room). I am having the present hardwood removed. The flooring seems to be of good quality and reasonably priced, plus it is GreenGuard Certified. Thank you for your response.

  2. Avatar

    Is it possible to match vinyl or laminate wood plank to real wood plank floors? Putting on an addition and was wondering if we could match our original wood floors with a vinyl plank floor?

  3. Avatar

    10 years ago I put down 2100 sq ft of Karndean Van Gogh, Vintage Pine, in my home in Scottsdale, AZ. My German Shepherd Dog would swim, come inside the home wet and sit on the floor, no problems! I never had any fading issues with this brand of flooring exposed to direct sunlight, and cleaning was easy, vacuum, wipe with a damp mop! I received compliments by everyone and neighbors requested information for their homes. I was told by a real estate professional that my vinyl floor looked as good as a multi-million dollar home with real wood floors. I am now planning to put down the same floor in my new home in Alabama. Many years ago in Illinois, I received stained berber carpet from SHAW. The way they mishandled my issue, I will never buy anything from them and strongly encourage readers to avoid buying anything from Shaw.

  4. Avatar
    Alissa Jirak

    Thanks for your blog. I’ve learned a lot! Looking to put in MSI LVP. They have 2 lines Cyprus (12mil) and Prescott (20mil). I see at least 20 mil wear is recommended, but honestly 20 is as high as I’ve seen in all of the stores I’ve been to. Putting this on subfloor of 1420 sq ft upstairs with living space downstairs. Any thoughts or better recommendations? I’m finding this product for $2.07/2.29 sq ft. Based on other posts this seems cheap. Should I be looking elsewhere? My 2nd choice was Mannington Adura Max, but I see negative reviews and it $4.59 sq ft. Thank you!

  5. Avatar

    Hey shaw I’m working on a job and I have a problem with your product . Seems there are several planks that are narrower at one end than the other. Any ideas on who I should bill the loss of time to. Or better yet maybe you guys could set up a quality control department so I don’t have to do your job . It’s hard enough to make a living as it is

  6. Avatar

    A really good choice of LVP is Shaw’s PANTHEON HD PLUS! It is a WPC with a 20mil wear layer. 22 gorgeous colors to choose from and the click locking system makes for easy installation.

  7. Avatar
    Reginald Douglas

    First concern: I paid to have Floating Luxury Vinyl planks installed in my basement. 1o month later I found white stuff leaking thru seams in the planks near my water heater. I removed the planks and found water droplets under them and under the moisture barrier. Sprayed white vinegar to clean up area. I hope I am good.. Any suggestions?

    Second concern: By reading the information on this site I am now worried if i have cheap toxic vinyl planks. The floor contractor did not give me the options of good, better, best flooring. I am trying to get infor on what I have. Here is the only information I can get off the orange and white box the contractor left me after the job. Company name: VINYL FLOORS,
    Floating Luxury Vinyl
    Bar code: BW0297723973
    To Be SOLD in NAFTA/AUS/NZ
    Patented Technology L2C
    20mil
    6mm thick
    Anti Bacterial by Nano Technology
    I can not locate a company named “VINYL FLOORS”
    Can anyone help me locate infor?

    1. Avatar

      hi we had the same problem with ceramic tiles which were installed directly on the cement floor in Florida, many test later and lots of money investigating, we ripped out the 2 year old tiles, put two layers of Red Guard liquid membrane and installed new tiles.
      No more problems. i will never install anything directly on the cement without putting Red Guard (Home Depot) on, just not worth the loss of money it cost us todo the job twice.

  8. Avatar
    Rachel B Layman

    You did not mention Coremax by Artisan Mills. I am looking at this flooring, their 20 mil 6mm plank and it seems to look durable and well made and has the good seal. Any thoughts. Thank you.

  9. Avatar

    After lots of research I have decided to go with Shaw Floorte Pro 6 series. It has an ArmorBead with ScufResist top coat. It has a 20mil wear layer, is 100% waterproof. has a soft acoustic pad and a lifetime warranty.

    1. Avatar

      I’m interested in this also . What are your thoughts? Are you happy with it? Where is best place to purchase ?

  10. Avatar

    I installed the Smartcore Pro click lock flooring which is suppose to be pet friendly and stain resistant. How does a “protected stain resistant pet friendly flooring” get stained due to an accident by pet urine? Smartcore Pro flooring is NOT pet friendly as advertised!!!

    Smartcore Pro is NOT a pet friendly flooring made by Shaw.

    Smartcore Pro is a floating vinyl plank flooring made by Shaw. It is advertised as being Pet Friendly, 100% waterproof, stain, scuff, and dent-resistant finish is great for commercial and high-traffic residential settings, will not warp, stain resistant, has an attached acoustical pad for greater sound suppression, and has a “lifetime warranty” for residential or ten year for commercial use.

    After this flooring was installed in less than 3 months, this flooring has stains that can NOT be cleaned, has scratches and warped edges. As can be clearly seen in the pics, the backing does NOT remain on the tile. Straight out of the boxes some of the tiles actually had gouges in the backing due to manufacturing defeat which Shaw will not admit.

    A Shaw flooring inspector came to examine the flooring, took pics of the flooring and of the backing not adhering to the tile. The claim disposition came back “DECLINED” with no admission of the manufacturing defeat which the inspector “neglected” to include in the report.

    The inspector states: “Deflection and joint gap issues usually is a result of substrate problems,” which implies that the subfloor was not properly prepared. Considering the fact that this same subfloor previously has had two other floating floors on it without the warping, deflection; very strange that this flooring has a problem on the same previous subfloor.

    This flooring does not click and lock together easily. It is a horror to install. The areas where the tiles join together gather dirt, debris and pet hair. This flooring scratches easily. This is NOT a pet friendly flooring. Save yourself a lot of time, money and grief. Stay away from this flooring.

    Very disappointed with Shaw’s warranty service and will not buy another Shaw product again.

    1. Avatar

      Great comment. It tells me to get my samples and test the samples. We have pets as well. I’m going to put liquids, urine, etc. on the samples to see which ones hold up to our everyday needs. Thank you!!!

  11. Avatar

    Will installing a high quality LVP such as Karndean Korlock in a room with two skylights cause problems other than fading? The LVP will become warm on a sunny day.

  12. Avatar

    Limited longevity, my a**. We have maple floors that turned yellow within 2 years (no oil-based poly, and this included minimally exposed sun areas), and scratched at the drop of a hat (or literally a fork). With a dog, the scratching was horrific. And Maple will turn yellow/orange again after a refinish…guaranteed.

    Nope, I disagree with the reviewer. Love the LVP. Nothing is perfect and indestructible, but the LVP is holding up great. I think it’s case-by-case basis regarding a hardwood comparison. We really don’t want to shell out 3-4K (we have >1000 sq ft) every 4 years to refinish the floors, I’d rather pay once and replace the LVP in 10-12 years.

  13. Avatar

    Does anyone have experience with Pergo Extreme Rigid Vinyl? We’re redoing the kitchen and are choosing between this and Shaw Paragon. The Pergo has a 22mil wear layer, vs 20 on the Shaw; and an overall 7mm thickness w/ pad vs 5.5 mm on the Shaw. We don’t want to go overboard on cost as we’re only planning on staying in the house another 5 years or so. Thanks in advance

    1. Avatar

      Hi-
      Did you end up installing the Pergo Extreme? If so, how is it holding up? Are you pleased with your decision? I am looking at the “Wood Enhanced” Pergo Extreme for my entire condo as the appearance and feel is the most similar to a real hardwood floor that I have seen.
      Thank you for any feedback!

  14. Avatar

    Re LVP flooring, Is there a major diff between having foam backing vs cork already attached to the plank itself? Do I still need to put some kind of barriers underneath the planks even though it has this already attached to them. I’m getting 2 different answers from 2 diff sales people.

    1. Avatar

      I would go with cork..much more durable, more support. Foam will bottom out no matter where you use it and will allow quicker denting. I would install the recommended underlayment (if recommended or required) per the manufacturer to prevent possible warranty issues.

    1. Avatar

      Why not? LVP was initially advertised as over everything – glued down hardwood seems like a stable platform but might raise floor too much.

  15. Avatar

    I’ve just started learning more about LVP and had no idea there was this much to know. Just the amount of brands themselves is a lot to think about and make comparisons between. I’ve narrowed my focus on Shaw’s Floorte Pro Series (which is a bit more manageable for me), specifically series 3,5,6 and 7.

    So far in my research, I’ve like how the durability really stands out. I know this is a huge deal after reading dozens of comments online about scratches and scuff marks, and how sharp objects are the main weakness according to the above article. The Floorte series seem to have strong offerings to guard against those concerns with their different finishes. The main ones of those being their ArmourBead Finish and ScufResist Platinum Finish. Part of what makes the ScufResist Platinum Finish so strong is the inclusion of Aluminum Oxide being mixed with the finish. It’s a high-end compound makes the wear-layer of the LVP extremely hard. It’s layered into their Series 6 Vigorous and Series 7 Nobility.

    What other brands does everyone recommend looking into before making a purchase?

    1. Avatar

      Hey Keegan,

      Where was the best place you found to both learn about Shaw from a non-biased source and fair prices?

      1. Avatar

        Daniel,

        Thanks for the reply. I went through several different ones, but the one that seemed to be the most succinct was from a blog post by Really Cheap Floors. I’ll link to them below:
        https://www.reallycheapfloors.com/blog/what-is-luxury-vinyl-plank-flooring/

        It’s a funny name for sure, but the blogs are written from a very plain and easy to understand perspective. The author easy cracks a joke every other paragraph, which makes it more pleasant to learn about the LVP product. It’s a lot of information, but it breaks it down quite nicely and compliments Floor Critics post quite nicely.

      2. Avatar

        Hi! I’m looking for the same Floorte pro series 6 or 7 . Really Cheap Floors only have 2 colors. Does anyone know where I can purchase at a reasonable price? I need 825 Sq ft I’m looking for something with grey in it . Thank you!

  16. Avatar

    HAs anyone heard of the brand Earth Werks for LVT & LVP? CarpetOne in NWArkansas has it & is recommending it to me. It is a glue down with water proof core (they also have have click style). It is labeled FloorScore as well as Green4Life. It is 20mil. And the warranties go from 20 years to lifetime depending on the product you purchase. The sample I have feels rubbery. Is that normal? I have cats that puke and occasionally miss the litter box. And a 3 year old messy boy. Along with a pool that no one wants to dry off before they run in the house from. Please advise if you have any knowledge of this product. It’s currently on sale under $2 until August 9th so I have to act fast. Thank you

    1. Avatar

      It’s too late now for this person, but “acting fast because it’s on sale” is absolutely not the way to make judgements for home improvement— nor anything else in life. 9 out of 10 times, you will regret it. Almost to my 70s..trust me – haste makes waste and unhappy consequences either right away or a few months down the road. Every once in a while, it all works out. However, fast judgements made before all investigation is done and using a forum for quick advice from folks that you have no idea about their credentials or who probably know less than you do— is risky business and a way to throw money out the door. Not to mention – it might cost say $2000 to install a poor choice and another $3500 to install a better choice if you don’t like the first one or it doesn’t suit your purpose.. BUT what folks seldom remember is the cost to have the prior choice removed before the replacement can be put down. Always ask this question of “What would it cost (excluding the new product and it’s installation etc — that’s a separate question) to tear out what you just put down that I now don’t like so it is ready to put down another choice?” I have had that cost be almost the same or even higher than the original cost.. Tear out and disposal is costly as that material has to go somewhere and dumps charge contractors a lot to get rid of it versus homeowners being almost free or just a few dollars depending on where you live. That said, many counties are now charging homeowners for material that is clearly construction or remodeling debris.
      Best of luck to all.

  17. Avatar

    I am looking to install 800 -1000 sqft of LVP in all of my living/kitchen/laundry/bath spaces in my home (no bedrooms). I am also totally redoing my kitchen. My contractor wants to to the glue down installation which I am fine with and I think I prefer. We have no South facing windows and now worries of sections getting too warm.
    My concern is that he wants to install the glued down LVP first and then install my new cabinets on top of the new floor. I know that the flooring I am buying is made for commercial use and is recommended to be glued down for commercial use. I am concerned about the cabinets and most especially the new island sitting on the floor. These cabinets will have quartz countertops. Should I be concerned about this for a glue down installation?

    I am looking to purchase Homecrest WPC (Hayden oak). Has your company reviewed the Homecrest products, specifically LVP.

    Any advice is welcome! Thanks

    1. Avatar

      Hi Debra,
      I am not a professional but this was my experience. We had tile vs vinyl so may not be as big of an issue.
      I had tile installed 10 years ago during a kitchen remodel. The contractor installed the tile first, then placed the new island and cabinets on top like your contractor wants to do. I had no intention of replacing the tile so thought it didn’t matter. well, just this spring we had some unexpected water damage that caused the tiles to come up and we needed to redo the flooring. Three different flooring companies that I got estimates from all told me that the cabinets and island should have been installed first then the tile. They were able to cut the tile around all the cabinets but at a much greater cost for the demo and with the risk of damaging the wood cabinets. I’m sure it is much easier for the installer to lay the floor when not having to go around cabinetry.
      Luckily everything came out fine, but thought you may appreciate the information.

      1. Avatar

        Goodness, so sorry you paid for tiles and labor for installation under cabinets and island that were never to see the light of day. I can see where replacement would be a labor nightmare cutting them away from the cabinets and island. Now you know.

  18. Avatar

    Tammy Michaels of Sound Kitchen & Bath… states on her Saturday radio show “Inside Out” that her company just released [May 2019] a pet friendly scratch free floor that they have been working on for 10 yrs. I have NOT checked this out, but thought I’d share the info.

  19. Avatar

    What about this vinyl plank product in seasonal homes where temperatures are very cold…ie Minnesota and -30 F?

  20. Avatar

    I wonder why no one has raised a fuss about off gassing from vinyl plank. I have just experienced the effects from a Shaw Lazio plus vinyl plank install in a strata which approved the install of this material in a lower unit. The off gassing has permeated our upper unit to the point that I could not sleep due to chest discomfort, nausea and visual issues.

    The manufacturer has placed a third party certification on Lazio plus by Floor Score which only has limits on 38 VOC’s. Reputable certifications like Greenguard place limits on over 300 VOC’s. I have severe sensitivities to chemicals due to industrial exposure and I can even taste the chemicals when exposed to them.

    This Shaw product is made in China and I have little faith in their quality control. I have made an appt with my doctor to discuss this situation and recommend people steer clear of vinyl period.

    1. Avatar

      I had to add that yesterday, Fri July 7, 2019, I witnessed a bizarre bluebottle infestation in our upper unit. Must of swatted 25 of these flies on my south facing screens. These flies are a bit nasty health wise. Well, off to Google and low and behold they are attracted to the VOCs emitted from the Shaw Lazio Plus LVP. The VOCs confuse the flies to think there’s a dead carcass somewhere.

      What the heck am I to do now? I can’t sleep in my home due to my chemical sensitivities. Legal action against who, strata, lower units owner or the flooring company?

      Any good advice would be appreciated.

      1. Avatar

        look at a fresh air machine or one that has RCI technology. It neutralizes VOC’s and will clean your breathing zone. I worked for the company 20 years ago and became a certified indoor air quality specialist. There are several companies that have similar products. It is not an air filter. Vollara is one company.

      2. Avatar

        It kills flies?
        Did it have a label of being certified for low vocs?
        One strange thing about the video is she was doing a peel and stick floor,not a floating floor.
        Peel and stick is low end and requires more subfloor preparation.
        She did a great job!
        Normally a peel and stick should not need adhesive..
        She cleaned and primed her existing floor so somthing was wrong with the type of video shown.
        If your floor kills bugs you may want to remove it asap.

  21. Avatar

    We have two active Australian Shepherds who have ruined the finish on our engineered hardwood floors. Is there an LVP that will stand up to dogs running & playing? Is there a coating that is scratch resistant? Would we be better off with a light or darker color to minimize surface scratches? The flooring we have now is throughout the house so we want something that will last.

    1. Avatar

      The answer is yes. I have Auzzies. 2 are around a year old. They play morning and night and it has never scratched. I went to a good flooring company (May River Flooring in Bluffton, SC). they have it on the floor throughout their showroom. I just trusted it would be as beautiful. I didn’t pay attention to the actual name. I am so sorry for both of us. I am planning on calling them to find out if they’ll share, since I moved to Nevada this week. I am researching as well and will pay attention this time.

      1. Avatar

        I would love to find out what you learned – I have two very active aussie/border collies as well that have scratched the bamboo floors. So we are looking for something that can handle the inside games of fetch.

    2. Avatar
      Daniel Hartness

      Hey Patricia!

      Australian Shepherds are beautiful dogs and it sucks that your engineered floors couldn’t handle happy animals. Where did you get your engineered floors from? High quality engineered floors usually can stand up to animals scratching due to an aluminum oxide finish. I know you’re asking about lvp so I’ll share what I’ve gathered so far on strong top coats.

      LVP products like Shaw’s Floorte Pro Series have the ScufResist Platinum finish with an aluminum oxide wear layer like I mentioned for high quality engineered (solid as well) floors. Shaw also has this “embossed in register” feature with their luxury vinyl floors that make any rifts or wood knots feel real. If there is a wood knot or rift displayed in your LVP’s image layer (under your wear layer and finish), their manufacturing process will create a raised realistic texture over every piece of lvp.

      With lvp like this, it may replace wood floors for many people. Shaw’s getting into the “change the game” territory with their new Floorte Hardwood. This takes the LVP SPC core and adds it as the core for their new engineered product. This allows them to call it “waterproof hardwood” because technically it is. It looks to me like a LVP product with a hardwood top hat on.

      I’ve been looking into luxury vinyl for a while and I found this blog post on the different types of Shaw’s Floorte Pro Series 3, 5, 6, & 7. If you want to learn more about it in a less “specifications PDF” way. Check it out here: https://www.reallycheapfloors.com/blog/shaw-resilient-gallery-floorte-pro-series/

  22. Avatar
    Margaret Ireland

    I need advice, please, as we have a rental and tiles were laid on floor boards in kitchen. The dishwasher leaked and it wasn’t reported for ages which caused about 3 rows of cracked tiles near sink. Have had a floor handyman come out and he suggests laying Hybrid vinyl planks over the top of the tiles – says he has done this in quite a few rentals. I have warning bells going off in my head regarding the process of laying Vinyl planking on top of tiles. Can this be done???

    1. Avatar

      Yes, but now the new floor will be higher than the old flooring, so issues at baseboard and hallways. Is the sub-floor wood or concrete? If wood, I would pull up all old tile and make sure the previous water leaks have not created problems. Even concrete can trap mold as well

  23. Avatar
    ROBERT AGLIAM

    This article isn’t entirely accurate! I’m an installer and own a flooring company. There’s a lot of these LVP/LVT that will not indent and are not soft. Find your installer first ask him/her about the products you’re looking for or at. Salesman will sell you anything! Stay away from box/chain stores!

    1. Avatar

      I am thinking about LVP for my foyer, hallway and DR. I will have carpet in my living room and tile in my kitchen and laundry. What type of LVP should I consider that will last and look new? When I built my house I installed wood floors in my foyer and hallway and they look new to this day. I just won’t be able to match so they will have to be removed. Please give me some good advice.

      1. Avatar

        Hi Nancy,

        I recommend US FLOORS COREtec Plus Luxury Vinyl Flooring. It has a lifetime warranty, lifetime waterproof warranty, low chemical emissions & is commercial rated.

        I had it installed by a professional 3 years ago in my entire home, even my 3 bathrooms & master bathroom. The floor is very comfortable & warm in our master bedroom. I love it & my Dakota Walnut Plank looks amazing, just like the day it was installed.

        I chose the Ankara Travertine for the bathrooms. I live in a very high humidity climate so we use a dehumidifier in our closet, but that’s not for the flooring rather our keepsakes in the closet. It is easy to clean with a microfiber mop head & just hot water or a mild dish soap. I use a swiffer mop to sweep it. Don’t use a steam mop on it because that will leave streak marks. If you are patient, you will figure out that you just have to rub out with a wet soft cloth any excess glue from the original install, marks & drips marks.

        COREtec sells a floor cleaning product formulated for vinyl floors. You can buy it on Amazon. I don’t have pets so I can’t respond to any issues or problems others have had with their pets & vinyl floors. It’s best to check with the manufacturer directly & ask. I have not experienced any problems with a spongy floor. My floor is even, level. smooth & no curling. I highly recommend an install by a professional to avoid these issues. They prep the subfloor properly. COREtec also has a Lifetime petproof warranty! Good luck!

        1. Avatar

          Love my COREtec too! Have dogs and live close to the coast where sand gets brought in. The floors feel good to the joints (cork center), have never had a smell and stackable washer/dryer sit on them without any damage. Wished I had them in the rest of the house rather than solid oak floors.

          1. Avatar

            Hi Susan,
            I am thinking of Installing CoreTec Plus. Aside from petproof warranty, waterproof n cushion features, do u find that it dents from weight of furniture (sofas)??? I would hate to see permanent dents if i wanted to rearrange my room in the future .

    2. Avatar

      We are replacing our flooring in the kitchen. We were looking at using Sierra Flooring – Iron Frost, 8.5mm with 12mil from a local flooring supplier (which is also where we bought our carpet a year and a half ago). The installer suggested that we go with NuCore from Floor and Decor. I have read several negative reviews on the NuCore, but I can’t find anything on the Sierra Flooring. Do you know anything about it?

  24. Avatar

    We did our open concept living room and dining room (450 sq ft) with Mannington Adura glue down. The installer (and many other flooring guys I asked) only glue about 1-2’ in from the perimeter. This allows expanding and shrinking of the floor.

    I’ve never been happier with a renovation. 4 years later and it’s still amazing. We have 10 grandkids, our son brings his big dog over often, we have some very heavy furniture on it- no dents. We put a piece of carpeting under the buffet and couch legs and a 4” sq of the plank under the piano’s small front legs- almost like a coaster for a drink. It blends right in with the floor.

    It’s warm, soft, easy to clean, and doesn’t show the dirt.

  25. Avatar
    Star Mitchell

    I’m thinking about FVPF and was given a sample of a Targett Vericore w/ProGen Rigid Core Technology. Anyone familiar with either Targett or the type of flooring I just listed? If so, please comment. Thanks!

  26. Avatar

    We are currently looking to install LPV.

    Any recommendations on cork back as opposed to non cork 20 molding with a 1.5mil pad?

    I appreciate any feedback. Thank you!

    1. Avatar

      I frequently purchase LVP for clients and I use to favor a cork underlayment but recently learned that a cross-linked foam underlayment is vastly superior. It offers better insulation, noise reduction, and has lower levels of formaldehyde emissions than cork.

      If you find an LVP you like with a foam backing (one type is called IXPE) I would go for it. All of my clients have loved it so far.

    2. Avatar

      The cork will degrade and deteriorate as an underlayment eventually. If you plan on keeping the flooring for the long run, use the pre attached foam underlayment that are more resilient and won’t degrade.

  27. Avatar
    Vinyl Purchaser

    Should vinyl flooring be “walked on or need traffic” to keep the planks in place? The company I purchased the plank from said that is why the vinyl is rolling and puckering on the floor. I have remodeled my house for resale so no one is there to walk on the floor. Is this true or is the owner blowing smoke?

    1. Avatar

      No vinyl does not need to be walked on to stay in place. This is totally false. Sounds like the manufacturer doesn’t want to pay for a warranty claim. You’re probably seeing any warping from heat damage or expansion issues. Either way, the company you purchased from should pay for an inspector to come take a look and see what the problem is.

  28. Avatar

    Has anyone heard of or installed Wicander? It’s a line of lvt with cork as one of the layers. It is not carried at all carpet/tile etc. locations but I am curious if anyone has any pros or cons regarding this line?

    Also, are there any people who have purchased Karndean lvt? It is the top seller in Europe. Curious if any one has comments on this brand as well?

    Thank you!

    1. Avatar

      Have you heard of a company called Oceanside waterproof flooring? I picked up a sample from a floor store, but you can’t find a manufacturer website or anything online about the brand.

    1. Avatar

      We used in on a commercial office building, above a raised access floor, as a replacement to the originally selected LVT. The Metroflor was selected because it’s more ridged and didn’t transmit imperfections in the substrate. In hindsight it’s actually a better and more realistic looking product. We have only had it in the space for 6 months so I can’t speak to it’s long term durability, but 6 months of commercial operations and no damage yet. I do like this LVT and may install it in our finished basement.

    2. Avatar

      I have Karndean Luxury Vinyl installed in my home in Louisiana. Love it, it’s very real looking soft and sturdy. It’s a glue down, the only thing is we just flooded and it buckled in a few places! I will get the waterproof planks next time.

  29. Avatar
    Dana Bridgeforth

    Do not purchase the mission oak coretec plus xl if you own a dog. Our floors were scratched up within two weeks of laying it down and they look terrible. $6000.00 mistake. Coretec stated that it’s our fault because of the dog (that is what the seller told us). I will never purchase coretec flooring ever again because of this. I would suggest everyone else take this into consideration when making a large purchase such as this.

    1. Avatar

      Appreciate this as I was looking into Coretec Plus and have a large dog. Is it just the mission oak color or perhaps their entire line?

    2. Avatar

      Thanks for the heads up about the Coretec. I was just about to order our floor this week and if there is one thing I don’t need it’s a $7800 mistake. I want the works–vinyl that is waterproof, not gonna scratch, offers some cushion, is easy on the legs when you walk, and isn’t going to buckle when the toilet leaks!

      Anyone ever hear of Linco? And their Nexxacore product?? I love the finish and the fact that it has colors and not-so-outrageous patterns that scream “I’m in a barn!” when it is for a traditional home.

      Help!? I need to act fast!

  30. Avatar

    I to recently put in lvp and I think it’s over hyped. It IS pretty but there are unattractive features as well. It was laid over cement. The floor gets extremely cold in winter. It makes clacking noises if you drop your keys, or wear shoes that click underneath.

    It’s a major change from padded carpet. The good is it’s durable, extremely durable and very pretty. Everything from paint to urine it will remove. It’s not gonna stain. I’m happy and think it will make house sellable. If you have tile, I would *not* replace it for lvp.

    1. Avatar

      Coretex plus Vinyl plank flooring by Shaw / Us floors will dent so easy from a standard kitchen chair with pads. I wish I would have known, I never would have bought this floor for a kitchen. $1800 wasted plus time.

    2. Avatar

      Karolyna, do you recall mfg of LVP you purchased? I am also going from padded carpeting to LVP but we live in FL where winters are NOT cold. Do you recall if there was any kind of barrier put in between cement & planks. Do you recall mm thickness? Like .12 – .20?

      Thanks,
      Karen

  31. Avatar

    We purchased Mohawk SolidTech vinyl plank flooring for over 75% of our home’s square footage. Installation was in Feb. 2018 and less than six months later we noticed our planks de-laminating. The vinyl laminate is literally peeling away from the planks/backing.

    The so-called “floating system” is not – there are gaps now appearing between our planks and planks moving more tightly together causing corners of the planks to peel. We’re finding more and more defects weekly.

    Our local store we purchased from opened a claim with Mohawk due to defective material. I’ve had a so-called Mohawk rep come out and measure, take pictures, etc. The claim was closed with Mohawk offering to replace only ONE box of planks! That won’t come close to repairing all our issues. And as our installer explained, several good planks around the bad ones have to come up due to the interlocking system.

    Mohawk’s customer service and product is a JOKE! Our local retailer/install store is working with us and we are getting new floors, but I’m now faced with having all this flooring removed and new ones installed. I’m researching now to find another brand of flooring so we can be finished with this fiasco once and for all. Our retail location told us that we are not the only customer in recent months with this de-lamination issue. Stay away from Mohawk!

    1. Avatar

      If you’re still looking for flooring, I now recommend Flooret’s LVP to all of my clients. I’ve never had an issue with their Modin Rigid line and their customer service is incredibly responsive.

      1. Avatar

        I am looking at putting Flooret’s LVP in my whole house! I have over 2000 feet (@3.95/ft) to do and I am concerned over the scratch test that I did. I tried scratching it with res, etc. but it did not do well with a nail scratching across it.

        The Pergo was untouched, I could not get it to scratch! However, I know that the rigid core of the Flooret is much better in wear layer (40mil) and their waterproofing capabilities than the pressboard looking material of the Pergo. The Flooret in the new Raeburn design is fabulous as well as the 9″ X 72″ dimensions. I am just very nervous about the scratching as I have 4 dogs, a pool, and I am kinda hard on stuff myself. James, how has the installation gone? Can a DIYer do it? I am putting in on concrete on first floor and wood subfloor upstairs.

  32. Avatar

    I had Adura Max Enhanced Vinyl Plank installed this week at a cost of $8,000.00. I was so excited to have it but I am very disappointed. The colors are various shades of pale gray with a hint of beige. It looks like sidewalk cement! The texture has a very rough sanded, worn, look. It has absolutely NO shine to it, soft or otherwise. I asked the installer if a product was going to be put on it. He said absolutely not and cautioned me not to use anything that would leave a residue. Is there anything I can do to brighten it up a little?

    1. Avatar

      I have Adura Max also in my entire home, except bathrooms.

      As much as I like color, white & grey, not pleased with the cleanability on those planks that are rough & look sanded. This was not shown in the showroom when we went to purchase. I clean with Bona, no harsh chemical cleaner but I would like to try to use a product with some shine and maybe that would be easier to clean the rough surfaces. I have contacted customer service about my cleanability issue. We’ll see how they respond.

    2. Avatar

      I also had Mannington Adura max put in my home. Very difficult to clean. Really weird. It leaves “shadows” even after mopping. $8000 mistake. I am cleaning with recommended product.

  33. Avatar

    We live in South Florida, have ceramic tile throughout the house, but have carpets in the bedrooms. We are seriously considering Luxury Vinyl Planks (LVP) in our bedrooms, (we have an older dog who has “accidents”), but I very seldom on the sites see LVP installed or recommend in the bedrooms. We are thinking of a CoreTec Plus wood looking LVP. Are we making a mistake, will it turn off potential home-buyers down the road? It appears LVP is a growing trend, but I have not seen much evidence of its recommend use in the bedrooms.

    1. Avatar

      I live in SWFL and just had floating LVP installed in the MBR and LR and glue down LVP installed in the guest BR. I dislike the floating floor completely. It’s very spongy when walking, shows water spots, is rather dull, and the worst is that the edges are tenting. I like the feel of the glue down much better, but many of the planks are lifting. Wish I could attach photos here to show the defects. I can’t wait to replace them with ceramic tile.

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      We put it in my daughter’s room last year. Her carpet was so gross from food, spills, makeup, etc. I needed something that could handle her abuse. We chose a whitish wood look plank with grey running through it, as her walls are gray. It made the room seem bigger and it just looks gorgeous. So far it has been able to handle all she has dished out and still looks great. Between the kids and dogs, I want to put it in my whole house. There are so many styles, you can still be sure each room has its own theme/look. I’ve been very happy. And we just went for the stuff at Home Depot. Did her room myself for around $500. If I put it downstairs I’ll prob go with a more expensive and reputable company.

        1. Avatar

          I would also like to know what brand you installed. I often install the high-end Armstrong RigidCore LVTs and the quality/looks are soooo good! There’s a lot of companies making waterproof LVT right now but only a few of them are bulletproof like Armstrong. We also like the Konecto options but they are a little more difficult to source.

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    Great site, informative & well written! We are about to take the plunge into vinyl plank for an addition to our home and to replace some cabinets distinguished laminate flooring. The options are mind boggling and everyone we speak with has an opinion (all different). Couple of questions:

    – What are the pros and cons on core material (WPC vs rigid, which may be a limestone / plastic composite)? I am leaning to rigid as it appears more dimensionally stable and I don’t need to worry about things coming unhinged when the HVAC dies.

    – Builddirect (learned about them from your 7 lessons publication) has a large array of offerings that are competitively priced. Anything to be scared about?

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    Any reviews of Diamond W ProTek LVP 6.5/12mil?

    Manufactured in the UK and cannot find a retailer except in California.

    Worried about future color availability. Thanks.

  36. Avatar

    Any reviews or thoughts on Gemcore LVP? It is over 70% in it’s core. Our installer loves it but there are few reviews.

  37. Avatar
    Jeanne Viola-Balding

    We recently (9/2018) had Mannington Adura Max Apex installed in our CO home’s lower level, and, so far, are really happy with it. We’re considering LVP for our AZ house as well, but have some concerns regarding how heat might affect it. We leave the house with coverings closed across all windows – to eliminate light & reduce temperature -, and since we don’t leave the air conditioning on (way too expensive!), the house could theoretically get to 110 inside in the summer. While that has never affected any of our wood furniture, or our carpet/tile/travertine floors, I haven’t been able to find any reviews about the durability or downfalls this type of product might have, or if it would affect the warranty. Any info regarding this would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Jeanne.

    1. Avatar
      Jeanne Viola-Balding

      We’re still researching different brands – you either find the product that has the specs that you’re looking for, or, the right color/registered embossing/sheen, etc. Just came across the Republic brand. Apparently, they’ve split from Eternity, but can’t find anymore info. How about the difference between SPC & WPC? Downfalls, benefits? Thanks, Jeanne

  38. Avatar

    Hi, my floor installer is recommending Provenza, any reviews on that brand? Or any experience with that brand? We are considering this for our upstairs bedrooms and bathrooms, hallway and staircase. Thanks.

  39. Avatar

    What’s your take on Sono flooring from Inhaus? There’s not much out there regarding this product. I’ve seen a few recent negative posts on another site where cracking would occur along the connection points. I’ve been looking for the look of oak flooring in the blonde to tan color range and this is the only product that I liked the look of. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

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    I have the Adura LVP and it is VERY susceptible to scratches. I know the ways to be gentle on a floor and I was looking forward to this one being a little more durable but everything creates a gouge. Kitchen chairs with felt pads, sofa, coffee table, even kids pushing a box creates scratches.

    Called customer service and they won’t even help if I am not using their cleaning product. First I was not informed this was part of the agreement and second, I don’t like chemicals on my floor where my baby crawls because it is a ‘no rinse’ formula. I don’t know about other brands but avoid Mannington Adura.

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    I am having vinyl planks installed on concrete in heavy traffic area. Have large dog and normal furniture. Any suggestions?

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      kelli barner-lane

      Well, I had one year old engineered hardwood by Mohawk which we replaced with Duralux Waterproof luxury vinyl plank at 2.49 a sq foot from Floor and Décor. We could not be happier. We have 3 dogs, one an English Bulldog, one French Bulldog and one American Bulldog and we have no scratches on the floor after over one month and any spills or accidents come right up and no worry about bubbling, etcetera.

      I would highly recommend this floor. I am even saying that when I move again, I will put this through entire house whether a new build or older. I cannot stand that engineered hardwood crap. It does not wear well. Installation was put right over it though which was great. We did 1060 square feet and with install it was about 5500 total. Great Floor!!!!

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      I have lifeproof in sterling silver over cement. It will survive paint spills, scratches and liquids, but it’s very cold in winter and it’s gonna click-click with their nails (pre-warning). Very durable.

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        Glad to read your review on Lifeproof. Home Depot carries this brand. We’ve had great service from HD over the years. Which style did you use? How much was the installation? I read that Lifeproof does not require an underlay which could be a saving in materials and labor. Thank you!

  42. Avatar

    Anyone used the High Land Hills Rigid Core vinyl plank flooring? Snap down type. I’m wanting to have it installed in a portable building. Can’t find any reviews.

  43. Avatar
    Christopher Shelton

    Hi Rhonda,
    No I did not, the click mechanism is solid. But as with any floating floor and depending on the thickness of the underlayment you can get some slipage of individual planks. I have a few planks that do slide causing small gaps between planks, but they easily slide back with a little preasure from a shoe.

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    Carpet One has a product made by Diamond Living, we can’t find anything on this flooring, but have a sample Excaliber which is lovely. Another product is Riverside Wisteria I am really concerned about the lack of review or information. We are installing over concrete in Florida. We are also looking at Tarkett Pro Gen. Any information you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

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    I need to know more about Downs H20 LVP. I know it is made by Shaw and sold as Downs at Flooring America. Cannot find any reviews. Can someone help me with this? I am on a limited budget, a senior and cannot afford to replace a floor after the new one is installed.

    1. Avatar

      We do not currently have research for AquaSense vinyl planks, but we’ll let you know when we have a review available. Thanks, Lynette!

  46. Avatar

    I’m looking to replace carpet with LVP and I have a Great Dane and a Lab. I’m pretty sure there is only the subflooring under the carpet and my house has a crawl space beneath it. I don’t think I really get any water under it, but of course I’m not sure. Do you think I would need any kind of moisture barrier, and what brand of flooring would you suggest? I can’t afford to do this a second time. Thanks, Charlotte.

    1. Avatar
      kelli barner-lane

      Get Duralux Waterproof Lvp. We put it over engineered hardwood and are so happy we did. We have two large and one small dog. No scratches, and accidents come right up. No need for moisture barrier I do not believe. We have had the floor down for two months and could not be happier. We got this floor at Floor and Décor.

  47. Avatar

    Has anyone used an eagle creek product? We are doing a full house refloor and wanting to put over existing floor. Have golden retriever.

  48. Avatar

    Any reviews of Nuvelle Density HD WPC Vinyl plank flooring? I’m looking for a vinyl plank that can cover an entire main floor of house without having multiple transition seams for movement. I’m just not sure it’s as stable as a rigid core (no wood fiber) product. Thanks

  49. Avatar

    Has anyone had experience with Quick Step Nature Tek Plus? They SAY it’s waterproof laminate. For Vinyl what do you think about Parkay Laguana Vinyl? Thank you.

  50. Avatar

    Thinking about installing Coretec HD Plus in living room &. bedroom. But what about dog pee that might sit until we come home from work? Will it stain or do damage? Also, I am a 300+ lb. person. Will weight sitting on furniture leave dents?

  51. Avatar
    Susan M Sanders

    Can you provide a review of Mannington’s recently Adura Max APEX vs. Adura Max? Everyone tells us it is a better product but we are unable to find any information on the wear level of the APEX. Everything we find on Adura Max says it is rated at 20 mils but we can’t find that information for the APEX.

    On their website they only give the wear thickness in mms (instead of mils) and doing the conversion it seems like it must be 12 mils. Why would a better product have a thinner wear level? Also, we have read that heat is an issue with LVP – that it will cause it to expand, making the planks buckle. We live in FL and have sliding glass doors onto our lanai. The family room area will receive direct sunlight on the floor but the windows are hurricane rated – does that reduce the heat?

    We have read that better heat resistance is one of the features of the Endura Max APEX but don’t know if this is enough of a benefit to offset the 12 mil wear thickness (if that is what it is.)

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      Yes, what is your take on Sono by InHaus? We are thinking about using this in our kitchen remodel. Also considering Duraceramic – any thoughts?

      1. Avatar

        Sounds like two more we need to take a look at. We’ll post back here when we have a review for those two lines. Thanks, Sharon!

  52. Avatar
    Melanie Dickson

    Thank you, very informative! Do you have any feedback on SFI luxury vinyl? We are contemplating installing this brand. Thank you so much.

    1. Avatar

      Hi Melanie,

      We’ll add a review covering SFI Luxury Vinyl to our schedule, and update you here when it’s live on FloorCritics. Thanks for pointing us to it!

      Thanks,
      FloorCritics Team

  53. Avatar

    Some brands require post-installation to be a minimum of 60 degrees F. I would like to use in a cabin that is closed down for the winter in fall, unused in winter, and opened in spring. If there is no foot traffic are there any brands that are safe to let it fall to freezing, perhaps even below freezing each year?

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        We were looking into the Tarkett Pro-Gen as well. How was the install (any issues with seams, and did you use an underlayment)? Has it held up well thus far? Thanks for any info.

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        I bought pure hybrid flooring planks, I installed then myself. Half way through installing them I noticed on the boxes they said (not to be sold in nafta/aus/nz/ china). I’m just wondering at is says this and what can I do about it. They scratch with ease and are popping on the seems. I installed them 7 months ago just before Christmas.

    1. Avatar
      Floor Critics

      We have not taken a look at Impressions Summit yet. I’ll check back in if we’re able to check that one off the list!

  54. Avatar

    Very helpful article. We are considering installing WPC vinyl plank flooring and will likely sell our house in about 5 years. (Sprucing it up for resale and hope to enjoy a few years with the improvements!) I am trying to decide whether smooth or more textured will be more attractive for resale. Smooth seems to mimic the majority of hardwood floors currently out there, so buyers might think it looks more like hardwood. However, it seems like the textured is gaining in popularity. Any thoughts or recommendations?

    1. Avatar

      If you research a bit more you will see that Vinyl plank flooring will not increase the value of a home, and in fact could decrease the value. Yes, it is widely used but people looking to do upgrades to get more return on their investment generally do not go for this.

  55. Avatar
    Christopher Shelton

    LVP/WPC market has really been increasing over the last several years as products have improved and new competition and products have come out. This site was extremely helpful during my new floor endeavors into product research and choosing what best suited my needs. After several months of sample collecting of various flooring types to replace the 14 yr old carpet in my home (600 sq ft) I settled on Cali Vinyl Pro (redefined pine) along with a 3mm moisture/mold protector. I looked at several of the brands listed here and all had really nice products, but some just didn’t have the overall texture/look (wood) I wanted.

    I know the Cali vinyl pro brand hasn’t been out long, I believe it was launched late 2017 but it was very comparable in both price and quality to the top brands listed here, with It’s 50/15 year residential/commercial warranty and 20 mil wear layer.

    The flooring looks awesome in the bedrooms/hallway/M&G bathrooms and I have had just the best compliments on the look and feel of the flooring.

    Thanks again,
    Christopher

    1. Avatar
      Floor Critics

      Thanks for the tip, Christopher! Encouraged to hear about your experience with Cali Bamboo’s Vinyl Planks. We’ll take a look at their offering & post a write-up on FloorCritics soon.

      1. Avatar
        Christopher Shelton

        Cali Bamboo have had the vinyl plus flooring with a cork backing for some time now, but the Vinyl Pro is now their top LVP product. It was also nice to see that Cali Bamboo offered up to 7 samples along with a sample of their underlayment free of charge including shipping on their website, and delievery took about 3 days and was nicely packaged.

        Would love to see this site do a full review of their products, thanks again.

    2. Avatar

      Hi Christopher.
      I am replacing all of the carpet, ceramic and laminate on the first floor of house and was just about to order Fusion Hybrid vinyl planks. Then I stopped into Lowes and saw a small sample of the Cali Vinyl Pro and may reconsider. I am going to order some larger Cali samples, but I wanted to ask you about the click mechanism on the Cali. I was concerned that it might be too thin, like the Lowes Smartcore vinyl is. I bought a box of the Smartcore home to lay it out last year, and when I accidentally dropped a plank on my ceramic tile floor, part of the click mechanism actually broke. Did you experience any problems like that or with the planks coming apart?

    3. Avatar

      This is the exact flooring we are looking at for our new house. How has it held up? Do you have dogs at all? Thanks for any feedback!

  56. Avatar

    Hello,

    Just finishing a fully enclosed 3 season (non-heated) sunroom in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Just visited local flooring company and he is recommending the new Shaw Floorte 7 series vinyl planking. It states it is good to -20*f. Home Depot folks say only sheet vinyl or porcelain tile will work for our sunroom area. I also like the Mannington Adura Max Prime. Can you please advise/recommend if the Shaw or Mannington floors mentioned will not buckle.

    Thanks in advance
    Joe Lanphear

  57. Avatar

    I’m looking at Eternity brand, Luxury Collection, WPC flooring. Does anyone have any opinions they would like to share?

    1. Avatar
      Floor Critics

      Hi Barbara! We have a review covering Eternity’s Luxury WPC flooring coming soon. Stay tuned! 🙂

    1. Avatar

      I just discovered NOVACORE. They are low VO and phthalate free. I think I’m going with them over Cortec Plus.

  58. Avatar

    I am trying to pick the best flooring to minimize scratches from my two golden retriever dogs. Does anyone have reviews they can provide with regard to this issue?

  59. Avatar

    How would you rate Duraclic vinyl flooring from Lowe’s? I can’t seem to find any information about it.

  60. Avatar

    Can this type of floor be installed over an existing vinyl floor? It is level, however there are nail “humps” in many places…the floor is 40 years old.

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      Yes, it can be. I am having Mohawk installed right now over existing tile and hardwood as well as the subfloor.

  61. Avatar

    Has anyone use HSC Woodland Creek from Manards? Does it stay down? We installed new underlayment and glued it down as directed – what’s your thoughts???

  62. Avatar

    I am new at this – choosing waterproof LVP. I have dogs that like to mark all over. I was looking at waterproof Eternity Flooring . Can’t find reviews. Does anyone how this flooring holds up?

  63. Avatar

    One thing the article could’ve better emphasized: Not all wear layers are the same. It’s not just mil thickness, but the grade of urethane and the top protective material that matters. I would take a 10-mil thickness with the Adura Max aluminum oxide surface protection, over a 40-mil layer from a mid- or low-tier flooring brand. This is a big reason I recently selected Adura Max after painstaking research, comparing all the perspectives I could get. So far, so great!

  64. Avatar

    I am having an EVP Product installed made by Meridian LaGrande. Installation by a local company. It will be in the den, their room, about 365 sqft. I have 3 Labradors that are mine and 2 more that visit on a regular basis. Anyone have any experience with this type?

    1. Avatar

      We have just ordered Dixie homes stainmaster pet protect lvp for our small front entry walk through to and including our kitchen, as well as our family room. We chose it partly because we love the look and partly because we have a dog.. It is a click product with a 20 mil wear layer. I’m wondering if anyone has experience with this product?

  65. Avatar
    Christine Hip

    We are currently shopping for new flooring. We’ve looked at LVP and wood. Both have their ups and downs. The two vinyl plank brands we’re looking at are Hallmark Courtier and Global Gem Flooring, Coastal Series. The Hallmark is more expensive but well rated by consumers and ticks the other boxes (20 mill, environment stuff, looks and feels great). The Global product is less expensive (by $2 a sq ft.) really beautiful and has a 20 mill but I can’t find any info on it for complaints or reviews (positive or negative). Also the Hallmark would final price with install puts in the range of a beautiful wood we like. Anyone seen or used these before?

  66. Avatar
    Denise Shearman

    I need to replace my kitchen, powder room, and laundry room floor. I am agonizing over whether to install pre-finished hardwood, engineered hardwood, or luxury vinyl planks. If I was planning to stay in the house for the long haul, I would opt for the LV, but I’m in my late 60’s, and will probably be downsizing in 3-5 yrs. Did any of you consider resale value before purchasing? Thanks

  67. Avatar

    We are thinking about installing Shaw’s floorte premio LVP. It has a 20mil west layer and 6.5 mm thick. Has anybody installed this type of flooring? We have two dogs and want something highly scratch resistant.

    1. Avatar

      In other forums, I’ve seen Floorte, CoreTec and others compared to Adura Max – the Adura seems to win, both in terms of scratch and dent resistance. We have two big dogs, and before buying, we did the Mannington “scratch test” on the Adura Max, and watched a quarter get filed down against that impressive aluminum oxide surface protection. No damage to the Adura, it ate the side of that quarter… Pretty impressive stuff.

  68. Avatar

    I installed Trafficmaster Allure vinyl plank in my house and at the time it looked awesome. But after 2-3 years of light foot traffic it is showing signs of wear. Scuffs and scratches in some places.

    On the other hand my mother had Karndean vinyl plank flooring installed in her house (which is a commercial/industrial flooring) and it is amazing. After 5 years it looks exactly the same. I even took an extra piece and tried to scuff or scratch it and it took a lot of effort.

    But of course the price difference is pretty vast. Mine was around 2.39 sq/ft and hers was double that or more. But if I could do it again I would spend the extra money and get the most durable flooring I could get.

  69. Avatar

    I’ve been shopping for vinyl plank flooring but was put off because they all seem to have a very ‘matte’ finish. That to me seems unnatural. A wood floor should have a bit of a sheen to it. I did find Home Depot’s Home Decorators Collection Sante Fe Maple that does have some sheen to it. It’s only 4mm, however, so I’m wondering what kind of a difference in performance I’ll see compared to a 5mm product.

  70. Avatar

    We are in desperate need to instal new flooring. We will be installing it over the original hardwood floors that are beat up from years of neglect from previous owners and our dogs. We are trying to decide between Lifeproof (mixed width) and Shaw Floorte (alto/largo mix plus). Any thoughts? It seems comparable. The Floorte has an extra clear layer for protection but the Lifeproof has the virgin vinyl and isocore. We will be putting it in four rooms – about 800sq ft.

    Shaw doesn’t really show a nice photo of their plank layers like Lifeproof does, which is frustrating. I also haven’t been able to find a blog/vlog review with photos for Floorte where I found a very nice blog post for Lifeproof. 🤔

    1. Avatar
      Roger Kranzler

      The thing about lifeproof floors is the thickness compared to that of the shaw product. Most shop products are between five and 8 mm thick. I do believe most Home Depot products are only 5 mm thick, though I could be wrong.

    2. Avatar

      I had Shaw Luxury Vinyl Planks installed in my kitchen last April (2017). A few months after installation by a very reputable and wonderful flooring company the planks starting rising on the ends. By this I mean the ends would catch on socks when walking across the flooring and are not even. These are the planks that click together on sides and top and bottom. Plus the flooring under my kitchen table and chairs (which have rollers on them) is chipping. I contacted my flooring company and they came by and checked. They called Shaw who sent in an inspector. After approximately 4-6 weeks just as my flooring company and I figured Shaw tried to say it was the installation. The installation was done properly. This flooring comes with a long guarantee – I can’t remember if it was 20 years or further. But Shaw will do nothing. But my flooring company is coming in to replace it at their cost with another brand of flooring. I hope this helps.

    3. Avatar

      The real question is what is the mil off the projection layer. Life proof is 12mil not sure which shaw product you are looking at but i will tell you the best way to find it is on the shaw website. If you are looking at typical box stores most are 12mil. Honestly not sure why this reviewer did not cover mil, because it really is key to disability. Most places i read say no less than 20mil. Hope this helps.

    4. Avatar

      My husband and I, generally pretty good DIYers, tried the Shaw Floorte in single width. We have put the project on hold because we can’t get the planks to stay locked.. Perhaps it is just us and this is one project we can’t seem to get right, but you may want to ask the seller about buyer complaints.

    5. Avatar
      margy spring

      I would not buy the largo mix plus. I loved the look of it. I want multi width planks with an exotic wood. I brought home samples and laid at my front door and it scratches horribly. I would have done my whole house in it if it did not scratch so easily. Shaw also has horrible customer service reviews. I still have not found anything I like yet. I hope this helps.

  71. Avatar

    We chose Lifeproof for a kitchen because HD told us that it IS waterproof. Now I don’t know WHAT to think because I need flooring also, and was going to go with either Lifeproof or the Harmonics brand selling at Costco.

    1. Avatar

      We are also looking at these two brands which one did you decide to go with? And are you happy with it? We have dogs and were leaning towards lifeproof but just found the Harmonics brand at Costco and are now debating which one would be better.

    2. Avatar

      We installed the costco Harmonics laminate. Even though it looked and felt great, it was not waterproof (seems soak moisture and warp the plank) and it chipped easily if something fell on it. We are now looking at vinyl because of the waterproof and durability.

  72. Avatar

    Have you experienced any sound problem or feeling while walking on a floating floor? Our installer suggested gluing the vinyl planking [COREtec] to the subfloor instead of floating since he believes there is a sound difference and feeling when walking on a floating floor. Unfortunately, I cannot find anyone I know with a floating floor to confirm or deny. Any thoughts?

    1. Avatar

      Generally glue down vinyl planks are quieter when walking on than a standard locking / floating vinyl product. Some locking products are constructed with a cork or acoustic foam underpad, however. This pad is waterproof and is meant to create a sound deadener underneath so it is similarly quiet to step across.

      When it comes to feel differences, it depends on how level your subfloor is. If there are major fluctuations in the levelness of your subfloor (areas that peak or dip down), a locking floor (even if you try to glue it) is not recommended at all. The product is just not capable enough to withstand that strain on their locking mechanisms. A glue down product without such a lock system is better for that or you can try to smooth out that subfloor. There are several ways to do so. If you have only minor fluctuations on the levelness of your subfloor, a floating product with the underpad will work quite well (no glue needed unless installing on stairs). A standard (and thinner) locking product without the underpad will require a smooth level floor to go over. Fail to have that and you will feel a difference.

      1. Avatar

        I am installing Luxury Vinyl planks 6mm on stairs. These LVTs have foam backing. I am planning to glue them down with Liquid Nails -Extreme Heavy duty construction adhesive. Do I need to peel off foam backing to glue down the planks on stairs?

    2. Avatar

      I have 10mm floating laminate floors and I don’t have an issue with noise. But I also have a soft material and water barrier underlayment. I would suggest that you connect a few planks within the area it will be installed in and walk around. If you don’t have an issue of glue down (per manufacture), and the cost of glue and labor (prep work and install) I wouldn’t see an issue why not.

    3. Avatar

      Walking on Cortec Plus plank (we also put 15# felt over cement slab foundation) has a little “crunchy” or “tap” sound. We previously had 3/4” hardwood floors so this is definitely a change to adjust to. But when considering the price difference (10K vs 35K) for 1400 sq ft and how beautiful the plank is, we were willing to give it a go throughout the house.

    4. Avatar

      I’m no Pro, just an avid DIY guy, but every bit of research I’ve done confirms you should NEVER secure a floating floor to the subfloor. Horror stories abound; tales of flooring that starts to bow and turns into mountains. Always check the installation resources from the Mfr., I’m certain they’ll tell you not to glue it down.

  73. Avatar

    Has anyone had any experience with BeaulieuVinyl2Go vinyl plank flooring? We are redoing our first floor and were considering COREtec vinyl planks, but saw the Beaulieu and it looks quite a bit thicker and more durable. The price would be about an additional 30%. Any information or suggestions about either type would be appreciated.

  74. Avatar

    We are thinking about installing Coretec Plus XL-E in Appalacian Pine. I’m having second thoughts because of reviews I’ve read on line of this type of floor scratching easily. I have two dogs and would not say we are careful at all about flooring. Anyone have experience with this? Are we going to regret installing this? We installed laminate less than 10 years ago and have many regrets.

    1. Avatar

      We just bought Cortec Plus. I spoke at length to a guy with 1 big active, indoor, dog who had the same flooring for 3 years and was happy with its “dog” performance, and was having it installed in a second house. I assume he kept their toenails trimmed. It’s the pointy scratches from rocks tracked in on shoe soles you have to watch out for! Sweeping, sweeping, sweeping, and regular damp mopping—-it is NOT maintenence free.

    2. Avatar

      Ask what the mil is, not the mm, the mil is the protection layer. In other reviews i have read it discussed no less than 20mil.

    1. Avatar
      Teresa D Johnson

      We just installed all over our house except bedrooms and bathrooms. Looks great, feels great, very satisfied!

  75. Avatar

    Has anyone used harbor plank from south wind? It’s supposed to have a lifetime warranty and we have had nothing but trouble with this floor. It’s coming apart everywhere. Not sure what to do from here.

    1. Avatar

      If its coming apart, that’s not good. Most likely the locking mechanisms were damaged during installation. Or the LVP was not installed on a flat enough surface, which causes stress on the locking mechanism as you walk on them. Did you have the floor professional installed?

  76. Avatar

    Has anyone heard of or installed Provenza MaxCore Waterpoof LVP? We are purchasing a new build from Calatlantic Homes and the only LVP flooring they offer is Shaw or Provenza. I can’t find any reviews online on Provenza’s LVP only thier hardwood, is this a good or bad sign?

      1. Avatar

        We installed this product in our home August 2017. We have a large dog and two birds. This floor has performed beautifully. I would recommend this floor for its durability, ease of cleaning, and it is truly beautiful.

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          Sandra, I am just about to use the Provenza line as well. Did you go with Moda or Uptown Chic? Are you still happy? This has been a hard decision and any feedback would be helpful. Really like the way it looks but there is so little information on it. Thanks!

    1. Avatar

      I had Costco come out and quote my floor. They were right around what Lumber Liquidators gave me as an estimate. The difference would have been recouped in a 10% Costco Cash Card as was the promotion at the time. One note and ultimately why I probably won’t choose them is their installation involved not removing the baseboards but simply covering the gap between the floor and the existing baseboard with quarter round and I think that will just look silly, but that may have been specific to my area. 732 sq ft quoted at $6,000 with installation (not including the cash card).

      1. Avatar

        Do NOT allow them to put in quarter rounds. It looks horrible! It also is a huge pain to clean because it picks up dust and hairs like crazy. We are having to replace our flooring for this very reason, it looks really bad and unprofessional. Get another installer and make sure they remove and replace your trim to fit right over the floor.

        1. Avatar

          I am in the flooring industry, Regarding the baseshoe, or quarter round ( which is slightly larger) It is a common practice to use baseshoe. Many times the trim is painted over and over, several times in an older home, with baseshoe painted onto it. I would only do an install wiht no baseshoe,if the customer had a new construction area, or had removed the trim themselves, because it often times damages the painted walls, and the trim can break, during removal. Look at any wood flooring job, and you will see baseshoe. it protects your baseboards when you mop, and covers up the expansion gap needed. If you don’t like the look, then I would say have the baseboards removed prior to the flooring installation.

  77. Avatar

    I’m getting ready to build a 3 season porch (i.e., neither heated nor air conditioned). The floor will not be subject to rain or snow, but must endure outside temperatures. Are any of the vinyl planks rated to be used in such an environment?

    1. Avatar

      I have been looking into LVP for our cabin in northern Michigan and have learned that temperature is a BIG factor. Some products can not be used below 50 degrees or the warranty will be voided. Other products are rated for -30 to -50 degrees for the type of application you describe. There doesn’t seem to be anything in between. Good luck!

    2. Avatar
      Roger Kranzler

      I don’t know too much, but what I do know is vinyl contracts and expands a lot more than wood. I installed glue down vinyl planking before (a lot of it) and when it’s cold and you put it together it heats up and shrinks a lot. So, I’m imagining the snap together does the same thing, just not as noticeable. Wood floors do move a lot, also, but obviously our nail-down or stable down floor is not going to move a lot but they do move in the joints will “open and close. three season porch I would just put in a high-quality commercial carpet or tile There is a lot of tile out there that looks like wood stone ext. sheet vinyl floor you can get a Nice high-quality vinyl that looks like stone pretty cool check it out but if you go with the vinyl floor that looks like stone and you have to have a seam make sure you know the person knows what they’re doing and make sure glue the whole service not just the perimeter I have seen that shrink up to do two temperature change just some thoughts hope it helps

    3. Avatar

      I am looking for flooring for an unheated cabin so here is what I have found. Mannington Adura Max Prime, Tarkett Progen both can be put in a 3 season room. Gemcore by Reward warranteed at 0-140 degrees and We Ship Floors Kryptonite (more colors to be added April to May timeframe). I have done tons of research and these are the only ones I have found that will be warranteed for my needs.

      1. Avatar
        suzanne conrad

        I had Adura Max Cascade installed a few months ago. We are in Mesa Arizona and I can’t find the temps for the warranty. We are snowbirds so the home is left closed over the summer. Can you tell my where you found the numbers you are supplying?
        We were told before we installed, the flooring was perfect for the Arizona climate, Last week I heard that they are now saying airconditioner should be set at 95 degrees.

      2. Avatar

        I have been trying to investigate that very subject of temperature issues resulting from shutting my camp down in Maine over the entire winter. Which flooring product did you decide on? I do need scratch resistance and waterproof too. Sure was glad to see your post. I was looking at Korlok Reserve. Was having a hard time trying to find temperature guidelines. Thanks! PAT

  78. Avatar

    Has anyone used the Hydracore Innove Luxe vinyl planks from Menards? We will be doing our kitchen/dining area and back hall.

  79. Avatar
    I love my Golden

    Our contractor has shown us (and we are looking to go with) Natures Choice WPC / LVP flooring. It’s marketed as “100% Virgin Vinyl Commercial LVP Flooring” and a 25 year residential warranty. However we can’t find much of any information about the brand online. Has anyone used this product or heard anything about it? All seems to point to a very solid make up (WPC core density of 850, 20 mills wear layer and a specialized under layer they use which apparently most other LVP manufacturers don’t use). We have two children and a growing 60 lb Golden Retriever, as well as a pool and love the idea of a very easy maintenance floor that should withstand kids, water, etc. Anyone know of this one or can offer any input? Much appreciated!

  80. Avatar

    We are looking at installing Wanke Cascade EVP in our house. Does anyone have experience with them? Reviews?

  81. Avatar

    Has anyone installed Karndean or Congoleum? I’ve heard Karndean has a great reputation. Can’t find any reviews on Congoleum. Thanks!

    1. Avatar

      We did a Karndean Van Gogh line lvp throughout every square foot of our 1st and 2nd floors and are very happy with it! We did the glue down version as I didn’t want any chance of cupping or curling, plus our primary reason for choosing lvp was because of our dachshund who is a notorious indoor piddler. We felt gluing would make the plank fit the tightest it could be so there was no seep through if and when he had an accident. It’s been great, we’re very happy with it. Looks great, people regularly mistake it for hardwood. Easy to clean and we believe will be very durable.

      1. Avatar

        How long have you had this? What color? I have read so many reviews on karndean that show problems with the finish? I’m getting ready to put it in my home and I’m just not sure which brand to go with.

      2. Avatar

        We are also considering the Karndean Van Gogh line. I read some pretty bad reviews on Houze and am very worried now if we should back out. Are your floors staying glued down? Many people were complaining of gaps happening. What about footprints, stains and scuff marks, do you have issues with them?

      3. Avatar

        The website says use their cleaner and their “restore” solutions twice a year-was that included in your instructions?

  82. Avatar

    Has anyone had any experience with Metroflor Engage Genesis 200xl vinyl planks? I am considering vinyl plank flooring and have also looked at CortecPlus XL. Really need need some informed experience with both of these,

    1. Avatar

      I have been considering Metroflor Genesis Engage 600NP myself. But just a few concerning comments above about discoloration and the warranty not being honored. We are also considering Mohawk and Nuvelle products. Would love to hear from anyone who has experience with any of these!

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        I am building a new home. My contractor is a custom design builder in Florida? He is very high on Tarkett LVT Plank glue down flooring. We are spending high dollars on this home in a higher value community. I don’t want to make a mistake on floor choice as most of the flooring will be consistent throughout the home. The home will be exposed to a great deal of natural sunlight plus our dog.

        Please provide me some guidance

    2. Avatar

      We just did about 1200 sq ft this week in cameo white. I love it. I was told that this product is top of their line. I am trying find out why their PH Neutral cleaner is so expensive. My dog already peed on it. But he is having bladder issues. It wiped right up. It was not cheap.

    1. Avatar

      We have the Mannington Distinctive LVT and absolutely love it. Stain proof, scratch proof (we have grand children and dogs) and it looks beautiful.

  83. Avatar

    I am looking for reviews on the waterproof Nucor vinyl wood planking. It can be installed over existing flooring, has a cork backing and is easy to install. This is only sold at Floor and Decor. I found a couple reviews, but they seemed to have been connected with getting something free from F & D — so I don’t know how valid they’d be. Im trying to sell a rental – and I love the fact that you can install this right over existing tile. That will save me a lot of money. Any info would be appreciated!

    1. Avatar

      Save your money. this stuff is awful and Floor and Decor does not care. The NuCor flooring we purchased was defective–uneven cuts, wouldn’t click together. Floor and Decor refused to refund the cost of the second box we made the mistake of opening to check for quality.

    1. Avatar

      I am also considering Aqua-lok. I have been unable to find any online reviews or anything about it. It is made in China and warrantied by a Texas company. Please let me know if you get any info?

  84. Avatar

    Anyone have any experience w HALLMARK vinyl? We are building and this is one that our flooring person recommended without going to top of the line LVP. It is a glue down I believe.

    Thanks!!
    (:

  85. Avatar

    I have used this in bathrooms where I did not want to deal with a ‘water resistant’ product. Installation is not hard if you follow instructions and buy the tool kit. Lowe’s has one with a puller and tapping block though I would highly recommend getting the longer/wider one. I’m putting this in a laundry room since the laminate flooring I knew I put in years ago was a bad idea. (Water and cardboard don’t mix!!) That said, this is a great product, wear rating of 20 is the highest and Cali-Bamboo definitely has one in that range, which is all I know.
    As for doing a whole house, I would never do it. This is expensive and you can get bamboo, wood-look flooring from lumber liquidators with longer warranties that you can still install yourself. Bamboo has a higher hardness rating than red oak and will increase the value of your home. LPV is cool but at the end of the day it’s modern day sheet vinyl.

  86. Avatar

    I just had 1000 sq. ft of high quality LVP (8mm, 20 MUL, extra wide, extra long) installed on second floor of my home. It looks beautiful and is so easy to clean. Love it.. It has a rustic, hand scraped texture that looks like wood. It is very comfortable to walk on (far softer than tile). I suppose the only draw back is that it feels like plastic underfoot, which shouldn’t be surprising since the floors I chose are 100% plastic. Despite this, I would consider putting the same type of LVP on the 1st floor as well. Hubby wants something just a little nicer, so we are looking into engineered hardwood.

  87. Avatar

    Just wondering what you feel about Summit Plank SFI Luxury Vinyl Plank. We are going to do about 4,000 sq. ft. .Please give me the pros vs cons. Thanks.

    1. Avatar

      Bob – Did you go with the Summit Plank SFI LVP product? If so, how do you like it? We are considering it for a 1600 sf project in a house in Florida. Thanks.

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      We are using Lifeproof Ocala Oak for our entire home, around 1650 sq. ft. It checks every box on what you need in an EVP product at $3/sq. ft. Lifetime residential warranty, thick 8mm planks, low VOC, high quality underlayment + foam core, very scratch & wear resistant, comfortable to walk on, 100% waterproof, easy click-lock system. Looks great, having no problems installing it myself after learning a few tricks doing one bedroom first. I couldn’t find anything better even going up to $4.79/ sq. ft. Very happy with this flooring.

  88. Avatar

    I am looking at LifeProof flooring from Home Depot and noticed the core is made from PVC, will this emit the VOC’s you mentioned in your article? I am concerned. I have looked at so many floors I am confused but know that PVC was not good.

  89. Avatar

    6 years ago i installed allure from home depot by myself (60 year old woman with sharp exacto knife) and lived with it 3 years.

    Easy install, no dents or marks, and planning on doing 850 sq ft apt now.

    Wondering if quality has changed in recent years? Too many bad reviews. “Luxury” is a word with no meaning for lvp?

  90. Avatar

    We just bought a new home and the designer recommended Cronin Company Genesis 1200 planks. We have dogs so I hope this holds up well. I like the look of wood and the wood tile but she thought this was a better product for us. Has anyone used this product or have any experience with it?

  91. Avatar

    I had Fusion Max Luxury Vinyl Tile put throughout my home, and while it looks great, the installer didn’t prep the floor so every where you walk, you hear the vinyl hitting the concrete floor beneath it. I was told it will eventually lay down but I’m like when? When? I hate the sound the floor makes when just walking on it. There are areas that are flat and there’s no sound and that’s what I wanted throughout but here I am. I’m wondering how it will affect the selling years down the road, if it even lasts that long. If anyone has problems with deflection or the ‘noise’ please let me know if you’ve done anything to correct it. Thanks in advance for any comments.

    1. Avatar
      Cindy (Hurricane Harvey victim)

      Sue, My luxury vinyl plank “Coretec” was installed four weeks ago. The installers did prep the surface before installation. And, there are still gaps between the flooring and the concrete. It makes a racket when you walk on it. Sounds like horses clomp clomping. I thought it would eventually settle down. Not yet. My retailer/installer told me yesterday, that they had never had anyone complain about noisy floors. He can’t say that now.

  92. Avatar

    Just ordered Republic in the French islands collection Reunion. I love this flooring from the sample,but am concerned that I can’t find any reviews on it. Has anybody purchased Republic floors LVP?

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      I’m considering this brand ant type also for thruout my livingroom, dining, family room and kitchen and would appreciate any experiences. I like the natural look and color. Any problems with WIDE planks (about 7″).

      Thank you for any info.

  93. Avatar

    I am building a new house in a southern state and considering luxury vinyl wood look plank flooring by Tarkett . Does anyone have information info about Tarkett, quality of flooring, customer warranty service, VOC emission and is product fully made in USA?

    Thanks!

  94. Avatar

    Review of Shaw “Luxury Vinyl Planking”: The 25 year warranty might make you think this flooring is durable but it is not. It scratches so easily that you can’t even finish installing it before it starts looking bad. Sure, they might send you a replacement piece but contrary to their statement that damaged pieces are “easily replaceable”, the interlocks do no allow replacement without pulling up half of the room or more. Think plastic feet on your furniture will protect it? Think again – my recliner has plastic feet but apparently this flooring is a softer plastic and is scuffed by the plastic feet. Any piece of furniture that stays in the same place very long will result in a dent. Roll your refrigerator out for 20 minutes to clean behind it and you’ll find a dent in the middle of the floor when you push it back in. Drop anything on it that does not have rounded corners and it will gouge a hole in the surface. Waterproof? No, unless you caulk the perimeter of the room water will seep under it and grow mold. But you can’t caulk it because you will loose the ability for it to expand and contract. The Franklin History color is a mistake too – every little piece of dirt and lint shows up like a neon sign. You have to sweep or vacuum your floor DAILY to keep your house from looking like a ghetto. Manufacturing quality? Forget it – many of the pieces have broken interlock tabs causing you to have to use it for an end piece – IF you catch it before you install it. The back of almost every piece comes with pieces of manufacturing scrap stuck to it. If you don’t scrape them off before installing it, they show up as pimples on the surface. Don’t have a perfectly flat subfloor? You’ll know it a day after your floor is installed – it settles down onto the surface of your subfloor and shows every lump, dip, and level change. PREPARE TO BE DISAPPOINTED AND ANGRY!

    1. Avatar

      Did you get the Floorte line of LVP? Am considering it for the basement but have heavy office furniture in there and won’t be able to afford replacing if it’s this bad. Thanks.

      1. Avatar

        This reply might be a little late but, I had 5 rooms of flooring replaced after a hot water heater leak on a concrete slab floor. I chose the “TOP” of line Shaw Floorte since homeowners insurance was paying for it!

        Even though it may be Floorte, there are different levels! There are three levels of products in Floorte: Bella, Casa, Largo Plank and Mantua Plank. Bella and Largo Plank styles feature a 20 mil wear layer with AmourBead protectant on their surface and Casa features a 12 mil wear layer. I have the Largo Caplone and love it.

        It was professionally installed. This stuff is tough! Dropped sharp knives in kitchen, no marks, haven’t noticed any dents from furniture. But, I have felt pads under every piece of furniture, for protection and easier sliding when moving.

        When buying vinyl plank do your homework. Most companies have different grades and you get what you pay for! My neighbor was so impressed he got down to feel it because it looks so real. We have a crazy dog who goes whacko when she sees a cat outside. No scratches anywhere to date.

        We had this installed April 2017. The dog didn’t like it at first because of her nails clicking on it. She was in dire need of a trim and used to carpet. She has no problem now! One of the problems with vinyl plank is direct sunlight, we have 3m solar tint on our windows which face north and northeast.

        I would take this stuff anyday over the ugly carpeting and cheap vinyl flooring the builder had installed! Our water heater flood was a blessing, lol! Dog and homeowner both very happy with our flooring!

    2. Avatar

      Wow! I was seriously considering replacing w-t-w carpet in my basement bonus room with this product, but am rethinking it now. The carpet has to go; it was beautiful and new when I bought the house last year, but after taking in a 3rd cat, my other two started “marking territory” on the carpet and even with a carpet cleaning machine it stinks. Tile is too hard and cold, and wood is not good if the cats pee on it. Luxury vinyl seemed like a good option. Now I’m not so sure!

  95. Avatar

    Husband just installed Shaw’s in kitchen. We had samples of tile, hardwood, engineered hardwood, laminate, cork, bamboo for 3 months and I woke up one day and looked at the Floorte’
    sample and said, do it. Softer on the feet than tile, easy to wipe clean, quieter than the ceramic tile that was there. Easy to install he said. Looks better than I thought it would. In fact, looks great. It isn’t wood but at our age, ease of care and comfort trumps all.

  96. Avatar

    I’m also looking into vcp, my question is how well it holds up to heavy furniture. Will it in dent? What is the recommendation for concrete slabs?

  97. Avatar

    Hi I’m considering Mohawk solid tech plank vinyl flooring. Our floors need leveling. My question is do these planks have ridges – and does dirt get trapped in them?

    Thanks!

    1. Avatar

      I used that flooring in my lake home. So easy to take care of. If you mean ridges on the surface….no it does not. It will scratch. Soneone moved a heavy futon before I could get felt pads on the legs. I love it I push furniture all around the floor when sweeping. Just make sure you have felt pads on all furniture. I also have a small dog and large dog than run all over the place. No damage yet from them. Just had it put in April of this year.

    2. Avatar

      I had my new Mohawk luxury vinyl planks professionally installed. I see no Mohawk name on the boxes when being installed. Made me wonder. The actual box containing my flooring says Floor Score, certified by SCS Global Services. Seems odd but maybe these folks make the tile for Mohawk.

      Thickness Wearlayer, (per the box) is: MM ca. 4.2 / 0.20 + PU, then MILS can.8 + PU.

      I studied and I researched. I asked the salesman, I asked the installers. They said my flooring may have a little raise here or there but left me with the feeling all would be well. The salesman said the installers would put down a leveling material if and where needed.

      So today I have new flooring that breaks my heart. You can feel the raises where the installers put material of some sort to make the two areas come together in a slow rise build up of their material. I can’t walk on it in heels because you don’t think a rise of any sort is there, but it is. I have other areas where installers said no problem but the planks don’t/are not seating and edges are raised up which will be subject to breaking eventually and can make you lose your balance.

      My brother came in and stood there immediately saying my floor was not level. Talk about heartbreaking.

      Quantity. Flooring was a thousand dollars, best I can tell from invoice that says “17.” I guess that means 17 cartons. Can’t figure out how much labor was because they also installed 32 yards of carpet for me at the same time that cost $936. Plus pad @ $128. The install was $929, total for all carpet and vinyl. Try as I might I feel like a fool now and I’m embarrassed versus my formerly being on cloud nine.

      It is also very cold but our weather is cold here in my state. I had read though that this product was warmer than laminates. I now wear my thick sheep’s wool booties constantly and sitting here right now my feet are cold. I am hot blooded normally and rarely if ever wore anything more than socks in these areas. So I would say be very careful in choosing to install in unlevel areas.

    1. Avatar

      I got a sample chip of Lifeproof from Home Depot. I took it home and scratched at it with a key to see how scratch resistant it is. It surface scratched pretty easily. Went to Lowes and found a different brand Mohawk luxury vinyl, tried to scratch that and it was resistant.

    2. Avatar

      They said ” 100% LifeProof, 0% worries” and in some way that may be true. This product is, however, not waterproof. The following is our experience culminating today, this very day.

      We had installed, some ten years ago, a Home Depot product that was vinyl plank with glue strips. “Allure” was great; easy to install, dog proof, puppy pee proof, everything. It lasted a lot longer than we had planned. But it was finally showing its age and we decided to replace it. Bought this LifeProof product, figuring it to be an upgrade in quality as well as price, easy to install, softer and warmer on the feet than ceramic, said to be waterproof. Let me introduce my main topic: it’s not waterproof.

      We ordered ten boxes of the flooring, it came pretty fast, decent packaging, etc. We read the instructions and installed it three weeks ago, taking about a day and a half in a galley kitchen. The pieces click together in a satisfying way and you can see where they might not be tight together. No real problems except the last plank near the back door which was hard to click and needed a tap or three with a mallet.

      So, over the past three weeks we’ve been enjoying to product as much as one can enjoy a kitchen floor. In that time, puppy had two piddles, neither major, in the middle of the floor, which I wiped up and sprayed lightly with Atmosklear (good stuff, removes pee odor). Momma dog is a messy drinker and always has been — she drinks and then wanders about, drooling water. No big deal, as the floor’s waterproof, right? It says it’s waterproof. I went over it with a Swiffer wetjet a few times too.

      So this morning, Spousal Unit noticed little beads of water glistening between the planks, kind of outlining them, in the middle of the floor and over to the dining room side. Must be a drop or two on the surface, eh? I walked over it, and heard/felt the squish squish of wet under the floating floor. It was floating, all right, floating on three-weeks fermented pee and water. The pee had seeped in the cracks, to be added to by the general wet of ordinary kitchen life and momma dog’s drinking.

      I pulled up the planks by the back door, and kept going. In the middle of the floor all the way over to the dining room, there was wet. Gross, fermented wet. One of the least appealing things I have ever encountered. This floor is not waterproof. I cannot recommend it, if you use water in your kitchen.

      So that’s $600 and two weekends wasted. I think we’ll tile the floor now. After the fermented pee is cleaned out.

      1. Avatar

        What I’ve found is that the vinyl itself is waterproof. It can be left submerged in water for a long time and when it dries out it has not been damaged by the water. That cannot be said for wood flooring products.

        That is not to say the installed product will keep the floor that it is installed on dry. It might work best if it is glued down and glue finds its way on the edges between planks/tiles. I don’t know if this would prevent or resist water from the surface finding its way underneath the vinyl. It would seem like that could be the case.

        I had to read the disclaimer about the products to realize that the waterproof related to the vinyl itself not to its ability to keep water from making its way under the vinyl that has been installed.

  98. Avatar

    I saw the inquiry on Moduleo and no response. I am considering Embellish for high traffic, pets at lake home. Concerned about scratching and fading. How does moduleo vinyl plank rate? I see it is 4.50 mm with wear layer of .55. Any reviews or comments?

    1. Avatar

      We installed Moduleo Embellish in our home in January and are having it replaced with a different product already. We love the look and feel but it won’t stay together. It scratched very easy – one time sliding the couch across it to vacuum. We have “peaking”/curling ends, several planks have disconnected and are popping up. There are about 30 places where it has developed gaps or separated. We feel it’s a combination between bad install and crappy product. It’s very thin and flimsy and has a very small click lip on it. Joints began separating within 3 months. It took almost 2 months to get a manufacturer rep out to our house after filing a claim and then they denied it and said it was improper installation – they stated that our quarter round was too tight and not allowing it to move. The contractor/installer claims they did it properly. We have 4 children, a dog and 2 cats. First floor living space is about 1,200 sq ft. Our contractor has agreed to remove it and replace with a different brand and use a different installer – hopefully our nightmare will end. Good luck!

  99. Avatar

    Looking for flooring for our home, our son is in a wheelchair and also uses a hospital bed, which is always moved away from a wall and back to it for transferring and positioning purposes.

    1. Avatar
      Stephanie K Santiago

      Hi Sandra, I also have a son in a wheelchair and the same with the hospital bed and I am wondering what you went with? I have been doing a lot of research and I am more confused than ever.

    2. Avatar

      My grandparents and I are also looking at flooring to go in our den. I’m in a wheelchair so they want something that will last when I inherit the house.

  100. Avatar

    I was looking at the new Lifepoof Luxury Vinyl at Home Depot to put in my mountain cabin. The sales girl said that if the temperature in the home gets below 60 degrees it voids the warranty! She said that is true for ANY vinyl product. It’s a vacation home, and we don’t heat it if we are not there. Temperatures can get in the high 20’s. Your thoughts?

  101. Avatar

    Help! I am in the process of preparing to install vinyl wood flooring. After reading the cons, especially the one about VOC releasing dangerous emissions into the air, I am now afraid to go through with this install. Also, the company I am using for the install told me the brand is Advantage and I cannot find anything online about the flooring brand. I should’ve done more homework on this. Anyone have any suggestions?

    1. Avatar

      In doing my research, i read somewhere that vinyl has low VOC output compared to other materials.
      I am also concerned about the dent tendency. I think that some brand are better than others, but Consumer Reports only tested a few manufactures, and their ratings did not coincide with buyers comments. I feel more stuck and confused than when I started.

  102. Avatar

    I have been researching Luxury Vinyl Planking to do an entire house. After looking at all the major names in flooring, I found a manufacturer called Nuvelle in my local flooring store. The line is called Density 20. The planks are 7″wide and 48″ long. The sample board label stated it was 8 mm thick. I emailed the company to ask the wear thickness and was told it has a surface wear layer of 20 ml.

    What I liked most was the planks have beveled edges and are textured like wood. The sample board look like a real hardwood floor. Unless I learn any real negatives, I am moving forward with this product.

  103. Avatar

    My wife and I recently had vinyl planks installed throughout our home and it looks fantastic! However I would caution about one thing…..It dents very easily! We have dropped butter knives in the kitchen and low and behold an indentation! We have two dogs that are very active and one is huge and they have not harmed the flooring except…..when the big one is entrenched in a large bone and he drops it….guess what!
    A DENT! Anything with weight dropped on the flooring will dent it. Beware!

  104. Avatar

    Mine are almost a year old and I love them. I put in the XL No scratches or dents. Unlike hardwood floors I don’t have to worry about my dogs running on the floors and scratching them. They are super easy to clean. I can tell the difference between these and true hardwoods, but the easy care is more important to me. They still look great. Coretec now makes one with beveled edges and I would think they would look even more like hardwood.

      1. Avatar

        Is it normal to have deflection on a concrete floor with this? I am in the middle of having this installed and the installer is telling me its normal. If this is normal, there’s no way I would of went with it. I can’t stand having the floor make a clunking sound when walking on it. If it’s not normal, what is the process to leveling the floor enough to keep it from deflecting?

    1. Avatar

      Take a look at their Facebook page and look for the reviews of their product. We bought U.S. Floors Coretec plus for our home and found approximately 50% of the product was defective. The Facebook reviews told us to expect and they did deny the claim. We appealed and an inspector was sent out to check the floor. It has been two weeks since he was here and we have heard absolutely nothing.

      I would avoid U.S. Floors.

      1. Avatar

        After selling installing over 40,000 sq. ft. of Coretec in the last two years and not having a single complaint from our customers I would have to assume that something was done wrong in the install process in your home. There are certain guidelines that have to be followed for any floor. There could be a moisture problem or a leveling problem. Whatever it may be, as an installer of over 25 years I always make sure I familiarize myself with the guidelines for each product prior to installation. In our experience most problems with flooring are caused by people thinking they can install something because it looks easy enough or because someone tried to save money by hiring the cheapest installer. Remember, you get what you pay for.

  105. Avatar

    How long does it take these VOC emissions to gas out typically? We are looking at the Engage Genesis 2000xL. And the Shaw Floorte Alto Plank- Premio. Does anyone have any feed back on these?

    How early are these Vinyl Planks to repair if you did some how get a gouge?

  106. Avatar

    Do you have any product reviews on Nucore that is sold through Floor and Decor. They say it’s waterproof and it is thick and looks pretty awesome. I am a designer and am considering it for a beach house because of water and sand issues. The driftwood oak looks amazing.

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      Kelly, look into the adura max line from mannington. A lot of good looking skus without overwhelming the homeowner and decorator. Easy to install and always look at a local contractor for the labor if you are unable to do the install yourself.

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      Stay away from Nucore. Installed it in my house and I’m having problems with ends that are coming up. Also they are fragile to connect and you will lose planks because the click and connect part easily break. Also Floor & Decore does not want to warrant their product.

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    UBERHAUS Vinyl Plank Flooring is NOT easy to install. It is the most difficult flooring I have ever installed. It breaks easily and it is very difficult to get it to click together without breaking it. Don’t buy this crap.

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      Did you set the product in the room you were going to install it in? I usually do so for about a week before installing it. If it’s a good vinyl plank it should be pretty easy to install.

      I used a small piece that I had cut to tap the floors in place. If one was being difficult I just skipped it and used another piece.

      I used a multi tool saw (looks like a bone saw) to cut planks in hard-to-cut-around areas and used a chop saw. I did a continuous one bedroom apartment living room kitchen dining room bathroom with vinyl plank for some friends, and I completed the project in about four days, working about six hours a day. It went down pretty fast.

      You might have gotten a bad product. Ours was an off the shelf product from Lowes, the finish was called Gunstock. It laid down very easily ,clicked into place easily. I hate that you had a bad experience with your install. Might have been the product you chose, or even the temperature of the room can affect it. Warmer temps make for easier installs as well.

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      I had the same problem with shaw vinyl planks. Could not get them to click together. I’d get one end in and then the other would come out. The rubber tongue in groove did not slide into each other. And I ruined many of them by repeated attempts. What a disaster.

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    Looking for reviews on Mayflower, One Will VCP flooring out of China. I hear it is the up and coming thing but cannot find any reviews on the company or the product. I have samples and am impressed. We have installed several floors over the year and this stuff feels great and seems bullet proof. It says it comes with a 50 year gurantee.
    Anyone out there know anything about this company or product…

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    We looked at two brands of luxury vinyl tiles and were blown away by how much they look like fine hardwoods. We had planned to use hardwood throughout our new home but we are now seriously considering LVT.

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    Thank you for sharing this informative review. Have some additional research to do in the VOC category, but this was a great start!

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    Is Metroflor as good a company as Cortec? Why do they not put a padding, cork of rubble under their Genesis Select, higher priced vinyl? Shouldn’t there be something under the vinyl instead of just solid vinyl?

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      Metroflor didn’t honor our warranty even though the floor faded to a blue color and several scratches showed up on our floor. Deal with them at your own risk.

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        I just had Metro floor installed over an existing floor. Areas keep coming up. It’s also intolerant of direct sunlight.

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    Candyce Wehrkamp

    Thank you so much for all this information. I have to redo my floors but feel like the dear in the headlights and frozen in fear of making the wrong decision.

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    Richard Cooper

    Good overview.
    Question, which products are made in the USA? What are their country of origin?

    Thanks

    RWC

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      I don’t have any personal experience, but I am considering purchasing and am researching the topic. One of the advantages of vinyl plank flooring over other types of flooring is their color stability over time. They are particularly resistant to fading from indoor sunlight exposure through a large window or patio door.

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        I’ve had an acacia wood look vinyl plank floor installed about 11 years ago and it’s still looking great! Many people think it’s real wood. That said, there are a few areas that have taken abuse in with a ding here and there. Back then, I don’t think the quality was quite as good as now. If I remodel, I will probably go with more of the vinyl plank flooring in the higher quality. My floors still look great though!

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        Please read and ask for the MSDS on these products from retailers. They are very toxic and you should avoid them. 90% of these products are also made in China. Luxury Vinyl Plank is made from PVC (poly vinyl chloride) which contains plastisizers to increase flexibility. Plastisizers cannot bond with PVC so they migrate from the PVC. The plastisizers contain Phalates which are endocrine disrupters in the human body. Please do your own research before you put this in your home.

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          I have been researching the SPC (stone plastic composite ) vs the WPC (wood plastic composite) rigid vinyl planks.

          Ex: Millworks Flooring “Harmony”: Composition: 100% virgin PVC content; does not contain ortho-phthalates, formaldehyde or harmful heavy metals.

          Harmony is FloorScore® certified for indoor air emissions.

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