vinyl plank flooring reviews

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

Last Updated on March 19, 2019

Does this sound familiar? “Vinyl flooring gives you the look of hardwood and the durability of laminate — for a fraction of the price.” If you’ve shopped around enough, I’ll bet you’ve encountered at least one variation of that speech.

But, is it the truth or just another pitch? Well, that depends on your outlook. No flooring is 100% perfect, but Luxury Vinyl Plank (LVP) –  aka Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT) – comes close.

Before we dive in any further, understand vinyl won’t work for everyone. There are a few drawbacks. We’ll go into that in a bit, but before we do let’s discuss the benefits.

Vinyl Plank & Tile Flooring Pros

  1. Price
  2. Style
  3. Installation
  4. Versatility
  5. Durability
  6. Comfort
  7. Insulation
  8. Maintenance

1. Price

Luxury vinyl plank is a cost-effective way to update your home without breaking the bank. You can save thousands without sacrificing style. Unlike real wood, you can find quality vinyl for under $4 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 per square foot and goes up to $7.

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-$4 range, colors and sizes are limited. 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.

2. 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 2-3-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.

3. 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, it should be an easy task. Vinyl tiles are usually glued down, while most planks come pre-fitted with click & lock: 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.

4. 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 bathrooms and kitchens 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. Giving you the look of real wood 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 safe side.

5. Durability

This is an area where vinyl flooring and laminate, its close relative, are particularly made for: busy households. It doesn’t scratch easily. 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 vinyl planks and tiles have through-body coloring. Meaning 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 and small children. 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.

Its one weakness: sharp objects. So, hold onto those utensils for dear life.

6. Comfort

Vinyl is soft underfoot. As you walk, the flooring absorbs pressure. Like a sponge, 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.

7. Insulation

Vinyl flooring stays 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 you can watch your favorite show downstairs, without your teenager’s music vibrating through the ceiling.

8. 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.

In fact, 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.

Back to Top

Vinyl Plank & Tile Flooring Cons

  1. Associated Health Risks
  2. Accessibility Concerns
  3. Minimal Return on Investment
  4. Susceptible to Fading and Denting
  5. Substrate Sensitivity
  6. Limited Longevity
  7. Environmental Impact
  8. Floor Plan Complications

1. Associated Health Risks

Vinyl flooring emits gasses and volatile chemicals into your home called VOCs. 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.

2. 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 hearts 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.

3. 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 improvement. 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 bad reputation.

4. 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.

In fact, most manufacturers advise against installing vinyl underneath fixtures. Keep that in mind for future renovations.

5. 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.

6. Limited Longevity

When it comes to longevity, hardwood flooring has the advantage. You can sand out scratches, restain 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.

Just something to consider.

7. 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 write off eco-friendly flooring, check brand reviews. Some companies have managed to balance quality and safety without compromising durability.

8. 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 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.

And that concludes our ride on the vinyl flooring roller-coaster. So if you’re still here, let’s leave the negative energy in the past and get into some helpful tips.

Back to Top

How to Find High-Quality Vinyl Planks

Shopping for vinyl plank 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 20mil or higher. If you’re adding vinyl planks to a second home or less frequented space, you can get away with 12mil or higher.

Another critical factor is the top-coat material. Better planks will have 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.

Back to Top

Brands & Reviews

Here’s a list of trusted brands and customer-preferred lines, in no particular order, to get you started.

  1. Karndean Korlock
  2. Armstrong Pryzm
  3. Coretec Plus
  4. Mohawk SolidTech
  5. Flooret Modin
  6. Mannington Adura Max
  7. Shaw Floorte Largo
  8. Forbo Allura

Karndean Korlock

When it comes to vinyl plank, Karndean is the gold standard. Adored by homeowners and preferred by installers, Korlock is the Cadillac of vinyl flooring.

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

You can install Korlock using Karndean’s vertical click locking system. Karndean prices the line competitively in the range of $4-$5 per square foot.

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 of 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-$7 per square foot for Pryzm Planks.

Coretec 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 the same day you buy.

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

Mohawk SolidTech

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

Mohawk even includes a warranty, especially for pet owners. The biggest drawback — the 12mil wear layer. Mohawk SolidTech sells for approximately $3 per square foot.

Flooret Modin

Flooret isn’t a household name, but their fanbase of satisfied customers suggests they should be. Sold exclusively online, the Modin line averages between $3.50 -$4.50 per square foot. Planks come in 49 colors and 5 styles.

Flooret’s vinyl plank boards are waterproof, scratch-resistant and have wear layers ranging between 30-40mil. The planks are made with a UV and ceramic-bead top coat. Modin planks sport 4-sided beveled edges and install as a floating floor.

For more information and exclusive discounts, check out the company’s website. You’ll be glad you did.

Mannington Adura Max

The Mannington company has been in business 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-$4 per square foot. Check online for savings. This line goes on sale often.

Shaw Floorte

Shaw separates their Floorte line into 3 levels. The highest level is Largo. Naturally, this level is pricey but worth it.

Largo planks have a 20mil wear layer; wire brushed finishes and varying lengths. The planks are waterproof and carry a limited lifetime warranty.

Reviews of the Largo Plank are mostly favorable. Any negative comments center around the Shaw vinyl brand and not the actual line.

What makes Largo unique is the ability to mix and match sizes, and create a custom design. Stop by Shaw’s website for more information. While your there, be sure to watch the video demonstration.

Forbo Allura

The Forbo Allura line has more than 100 styles and sizes. You can choose patterned, wood-grain or natural stone replicas in varying sizes. But the choices don’t stop there.

The company offers you three ways to install your Allura tile. Talk about versatility. Depending on your preference, you can glue, loose lay or click together this vinyl.

Allura tiles are 20mil thick and cost between $3-$4 per square foot.

Honorable mentions: 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, Rigid Core, SFI Luxury Vinyl, Smartcore Ultra, Sono by InHaus, Stainmaster, Moduleo, MultiCore, NuCore, Tesoro

Now that we’ve discussed specific product pricing — we need to talk about the extras. You know, those unexpected trips to your favorite big box store. They add up quick. It’s best you know what you’re in for.

Back to Top

Additional Costs

Yes. Vinyl plank and/or vinyl tile flooring are two of the most affordable flooring options on the market (though, depending on your brand choice, we wouldn’t call it a ‘cheap flooring‘).

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.

Back to Top


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

  1. Floating Installation Tips and Tricks
  2. Glue-Down Installation Tips and Tricks
  3. Tips for Hiring a Pro Installer

Floating Installation Tips and Tricks

Make sure you buy at least 10-20 percent more flooring than 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 3 or 4 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 ½ – 1 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 direct from the manufacturer or store. It might cost more but if something goes wrong, you’ll have proof you used the correct adhesive. 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 snug against each other.

Use a damp rag to clean up any excess adhesive. When you’re done, wait at least 3 hours before walking on your floors.

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 $30-$50 an hour. Use our free tool to receive 3 instant quotes from certified professional installers in your area.

The next best way to find an install company is through your flooring retailer. They may be able to include your installation costs into the price of your flooring. If not, they should be able to provide 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 2-3 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.

Back to Top

Wrapping Up

Shopping for vinyl can be a chore — but don’t forget the fun. Start researching your options early and stock up on freebies and samples before settling on a style. Try to look for flooring that compliments your home’s overall feeling and incorporates your taste.

Join a few online forums and address any questions and concerns with fellow renovators. You’d be surprised how many people are willing to lend a hand. Especially after they have gone through the process.

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 on your flooring ventures. If this article has helped you or we forgot to include a topic — drop us a line. We’ll do our best to answer your questions or address any concerns.

Back to Top

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

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

  6. 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


        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:

        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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Avatar

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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:

  13. 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

  14. Avatar

    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.

    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?

  15. 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.

  16. 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!

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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?

  21. 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?


  22. 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.

  23. 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.

  24. 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.

    2. Avatar

      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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *