Some Recycled Vinyl Is Bad For Your Floors
Why is it a bad thing to put recycled vinyl in new products? Because theres no way to be sure of the VOC levels in recycled content.
Even worse, rumor has it that vinyl with recycled content can crumble and break.
As a result, many of the best vinyl plank flooring brands advertise the absence of recycled contentmarketing their products as containing 100% virgin vinyl . Which islets face ita bit of an oxymoron for anyone with sustainability at the top of their priority list.
Look For Attached Underlayments
Many of the best vinyl plank flooring brands will add extra layers to their products to increase comfort, durability, etc.
For instance: you might find an attached cork underlayment on a product for a better underfoot feel. This can give you the springiness of cork without any of the disadvantages of cork flooring on its own.
Look into these extra layerstheyre often a sign that the manufacturer is trying to do away with the inherent disadvantages of vinyl plank flooring and offering a superior product.
Best Vinyl Plank Flooring For Your Home
Deane Biermeier is an expert contractor with nearly 30 years of experience in all types of home repair, maintenance, and remodeling. He is a certified lead carpenter and also holds a certification from the EPA. Deane is a member of The Spruce’s Home Improvement Review Board.
When you look at luxury vinyl plank flooring from a distance, brands and types may seem to blend together. Even the lowest quality luxury vinyl plank floor can put on a good show when you don’t examine it too carefully. But when you install the flooring, see it up close, touch it, and walk on it, the best types of vinyl plank flooring quickly rise to the top.
There are several main factors that differentiate better vinyl plank flooring from cheap flooring, such as thickness, core, wear layer, quality of register embossing, and the quality of the visual layer. Other points that help boost the quality of a brand or type of vinyl plank flooring include the size of the selection, the company’s reputation and its longevity, and the flooring warranty.
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Armstrong Vinyl Plank Construction
Diamonds are the hardest substance on earth. And Armstrongs Diamond 10 Technology infuses cultured diamonds into their products wear layers. Theoretically, this protects the wear layer of their vinyl planks and adds durability.
Construction options are Rigid Core, Luxury Vinyl Tile, Engineered Tile, Vinyl Sheet, and Vinyl Tile. If youd like further clarification of how these categories differ, we recommend contacting a local flooring retailer. The same goes for pricing.
Installation options are click-lock or glue-down.
And Vinyl Isnt Great For The Environment
Plastics like vinyl are hard to reuse. And the majority of vinyl plank flooring brands use adhesives and hardening agents that make their products impossible to recycle. So they often end up in landfills after you remove them from your home.
Plus, plastics are created using crude oilwhich isnt the most environmentally-friendly thing either.
Some environmentally conscious vinyl plank flooring brands like Cali Bamboo and Forbo are taking extra steps to make vinyl easier to recycle. But these manufacturers are a fraction of the market.
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Do You Need Help Finding A Durable Product With Great Value Get In Touch
One of the shortfalls of vinyl flooring is that it cant be refurbished. This means that if your floors get scratched, dented, or tarnished over time, youll have to replace the planks. They can also emit VOC which are organic chemicals that have high vapor pressure at room temperature. These VOCs can be detrimental to ones health. Thats why its important to select vinyl planks that have low VOC emissions.
Do LifeProof vinyl plank floors scratch easily?
LifeProof is a highly durable type of vinyl flooring thats scratch resistant, so this type of flooring is ideal for high-traffic areas. If you maintain your LifeProof vinyl floors, they will last for up to 15 years.
Can I install LifeProof vinyl over concrete?
Yes, LifeProof vinyl planks are designed to be installed over any type of flooring. You can even install LifeProof over wood or tiled flooring.
How thick are LifeProof vinyl planks?
The LifeProof vinyl planks are 7mm thick. The thickness of this flooring gives you the look of hardwood flooring and the durability of laminated floors. Whats more, the thickness of these vinyl planks adds to the durability of the flooring, which means its ideal for areas with high foot traffic.
Coreluxe Vs Lifeproof Vs Smartcore
My CoreLuxe review in a nutshellit was beautiful, and it honestly felt the most substantial out of all three options. It had what appeared to be the best wear layer at 20 mil. However, it also required a separate moisture barrier, and the salespeople were really pushing an insulated underlayment as well.
This would have just been more things to add to my list to do, and it also would have pushed the price up over what i wanted to spend. Also, on a color note, I did think the color was just a hair too brown for what I was looking for, and I wasnt finding anything that I liked better there.
As for SMARTCORE, I loved the DIY approach of being able to really look at the planks and feel them. This one had a 5.5 mm thickness with a 12 mil wear layer, so less than the CoreLuxe, but more or equal to the LifeProof.
However, a big detractor for SMARTCORE for me was that the store associate said Id also need to buy an underlayment. Again, not a deal breaker, but something else Id have to do and something else Id have to factor in to my costs. So that left us with LifeProof.
The LifeProof luxury vinyl planks at Home Depot seemed very similar to the SMARTCORE planks . So the wear layer was a bit thinner.
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Lifeproof Vinyl Plank Flooring Review
As one of the more popular brands sold through Home Depot, there is no shortage of reviews for Lifeproof vinyl plank flooring. We touched on the brand briefly in our Lifeproof 2020 review, but since that time, their collections have changed somewhat along with their pricing.
At this time, all Lifeproof vinyl flooring sold through Home Depot comes in two basic forms. There is sheet vinyl and vinyl plank flooring. The selection of sheet vinyl is relatively small with around a dozen styles, all of which have the same general specifications. While you can choose from shades like Aged Birch Wood or Travertine Stone, the main differences come down to color and style.
With vinyl plank flooring, there are more than 100 options to choose from. Well break down some of the differences below, but most of this flooring also has a specific set of features. They are listed as scratch-resistant and stain-resistant with a click-lock installation system on all but a handful of styles. Most also feature antimicrobial properties and have a relatively thick skid-resistant wear layer.
What I Like About Lifeproof Lvp Flooring
- 100% waterproof. All LVP is stain and water resistant. To be waterproof is a huge step in application areas and cleaning.
- Highly durable. The three layer construction with PVC composite core means a lower cost with a top-tier durability.
- Limited selection. There are only 20 colors and styles to choose from. Keeping things simple helps the initial decision as well as finding a match later on in the future.
- Lifetime warranty. When you install LifeProof in your home, it comes with a lifetime warranty. Not many brands make this claim.
- Antimicrobial. You dont need to worry about bacteria, mold or mildew with LifeProof, the top and bottom layers are treated to prevent these things.
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Smartcore Vs Shaw Vs Tarkett
One of the thicker samples we acquired comes from SmartCores Pro collection. Gardenia Marble would look great in a bathroom, and its 6mm thick with a 20 mil wear layer. As you can see from the photo, its built to last and gets a boost from a thick rubber backing layer, so no underlayment is required.
Armstrong Luxe Plank: Vivero
Armstrong has long been a top manufacturer of floor coverings. Its major vinyl plank line is called Luxe Plank. Along with its large selection of luxury vinyl planksâcurrently, 108 species replicasâArmstrong makes your purchase decision simple by splintering its products into three quality designations: Good, Better, and Best.
Most of Armstrong’s wood-style planks address safe, crowd-pleasing favorites like maple, oak, walnut, and jatoba. In the Best category, Luxe includes trendy wood treatments like weathered barn wood and amendoim, a type of Brazilian oak.
Armstrong’s luxury vinyl plank flooring uses a self-stick adhesive called FasTak to join the boards, whether alone or in conjunction with a click-and-lock function. Unlike flooring adhesives of the past, FasTak is a lower-tack, pressure-sensitive adhesive that can be repositioned a number of times.
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Luxury Vinyl Plank Offers Unlimited Style Options
We know weve been over this. But vinyl can seriously look like anything. Anything.
Well stop talking about it after this. Promise.
The same goes for stone, textiles, ceramic, psychedelic patterns, pictures of your pet llama, and yes: even vinyl.
Ready To Find The Best Wood Flooring For Dogs
We hope weve given you some clarity on finding the best hardwood flooring for dogs. And were confident that these types of wood flooring can stand up to your beloved pooch!
But: we know It can be overwhelming to try to find a reputable, well-reviewed flooring retailer in your areaso use our flooring stores near me search to find one close by. Theyll be able to answer all of your questions and show you all the best hardwood floor brands around.
Still havent decided on a dog-proof floor? Check out these articles for more information:
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Mm Home Decorators Collection Lvp Review
The 4mm LVP has an 8 mil commercial-grade wear layer with a ceramic bead overlay protects against scuffs and scratches.
While thinner than the 12 mils layer, the ceramic beads increase its strength and resistance to damage.
Caution: It is described as commercial grade. But Home Depot does not warranty the product for commercial installation.
- Styles: About 35. Styles are periodically added and discontinued.
- Types: Mostly wood. There are two stone tile looks in this collection.
- Colors: A good mix of light, medium, dark and gray.
- Sizes: The planks are 7.5×47.5 the two tile sizes are 12×24.
Where to Use Home Decorators Collection 4mm LVP
Despite the thinner wear layer, this line is the better of the two. It is midgrade when compared with other LVP brands.
We recommend it for households you could call busy. Here are a few scenarios:
- A large household with large dogs and/or young kids, all of which can be hard on flooring.
- A large household with large dogs and/or young kids, all of which can be hard on flooring.
- A homeowner that doesnt have as much time as theyd like for sweeping dirt and debris off the floor. This LVP is a good choice. It withstands the grit better than the other line.
Lifeproofs Warranty Applies To The First Owner Only So Its Not Ideal For Resale Value
And heres the first knock on LifeProof floorings warranty policy: it only applies to the first owner. So, if the first owner sells their property and the flooring gets damaged when a second owner moves in, that second owner cant redeem the warranty.
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Lifeproof Luxury Vinyl Flooring Pros And Cons
There is much to like about this resilient flooring, but we want to mention a few disadvantages too.
LifeProof Vinyl Advantages:
LifeProof Vinyl Disadvantages:
This is easily the top con. A significant percentage of DIY installers report that the interlocking tabs can break during installation or if pieces must be separated after installation.
Commercial warranty length
The 5-year commercial warranty is shorter than those offered by some competing products. For example, CoreTec Plus luxury vinyl flooring has a 10-year commercial warranty to go with the Lifetime residential coverage.
The warranty applies to the first owner only, whether residential or commercial. That takes some of the shine off the Lifetime warranty.
Not so green
This flooring is not made with any recycled material, though many building products are. While it is recyclable, the limited number of vinyl recycling facilities cannot accommodate the volume. Most vinyl flooring is sent to landfills.
Its not wood
Maybe this doesnt need to be said. But if you want the benefits of genuine wood and dont mind the TLC it requires, you can have solid hardwood or engineered hardwood flooring for about twice the cost.
Luxury Vinyl Flooring Construction
Before we take a look at wear layers or the overall thickness of a plank or tile, its important to understand what luxury vinyl is and how its made. Unlike traditional vinyl, this style of flooring is comprised of layers which always include a core, vinyl top layer, and wear layer.
This multilayered approach adds thickness to any product that falls into the luxury vinyl plank class, but tiles are made in a similar fashion as well. The one thing that varies from one company to the next is how thick each of those layers are along with whats on the bottom.
Brands like COREtec and Karndean often have a backing layer on their premium lines, while others will require you to add your own. Most flooring in this class is click-lock as well, regardless of the design aside from a handful of traditional luxury vinyl tiles that require adhesive.
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The Best Vinyl Plank Flooring Brands
Now that weve mastered the pros and cons of vinyl plank flooring, lets move on to the main event: taking a look at the best vinyl plank flooring brands on the market.
For qualitys sake, we wont list any products that have a wear layer under 12mil. That said, if a 12mil+ wear layer isnt in your budget, we wont leave you hangingthe Notable Brands section below lists more affordable options.
Karndeans Vinyl Plank Offerings
Karndean offers 11 collections in three formats: rigid click-lock, glue-down, and loose-lay. All styles are either wood- or stone-inspired.
- At $3/sq. ft., Knight Tile is their budget option.
- Korlok, at $5/sq. ft., is their mid-range offering and sought after for a mix of value and durability.
- Art Select and Da Vinci are their high-end lines, typically selling for $8/sq. ft., but you can find deals online for $6/sq. ft. or less.
Karndean Vinyl Plank
Karndean is classy-not-stuffy. They create timeless wood and stone varieties alongside bold, yet tasteful patterns.
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Best Selection: Armstrong Laminate
Armstrong Laminate – Exotic Olive Ash
All the big brands Mohawk, Shaw, Tarkett, Pergo, etc., have excellent selection. But Armstrong outdoes them all.
Why Armstrong Laminate is the Best Selection
Armstrong has the best laminate selection in two ways The most style options and options for every budget.
Armstrong Style Options: Authentic wood-look laminate is available from Armstrong in traditional, handscraped and specialty wood options. The options are similar to other major brands.
But thats not what sets Armstrong apart in terms of selection. This is: The brands collection of 20+ stone and tile styles is the best you will find.
Rich stone slab laminate looks like the genuine article rich granite, limestone, slate, and other looks but at a 95% savings over real stone.
The Castilian Block and Porto Alegre tile is just as attractive.
Audacity is the Armstrong waterproof laminate flooring. It is backed by a very solid Lifetime residential warranty and 15-year commercial warranty. This is one of the best waterproof laminate floors available.
Armstrong Cost Options: This is the second area where Armstrong has outstanding selection.
Poor-quality laminate starts at less than $1 per square foot but Armstrong isnt super cheap.
Armstrong laminate cost is about $1.50 to $4.00+ per square foot, and even the most affordable stuff is decent quality. We call that good value a pretty good laminate floor for a low cost.
Best Laminate You Might Not Know About: Select Surfaces
This is Sams Club laminate, and we think it is superior to Harmonics sold at Costco and TrafficMaster sold at The Home Depot.
Why Select Surfaces is the Best Laminate Unknown to Many
Its really good quality, of course. There are lines ranging from midgrade to premium. Its 10mm to 14mm thick, and much of it comes with attached underlayment that speeds installation.
Other features worth noting are:
The selection is good 20 designs in classic hardwood looks from traditional and rustic to contemporary. Thats much better than the 3 options Harmonics offers, for example.
All Select Surfaces laminate is backed by a Lifetime warranty for residential use, and most of it has a 10-year commercial warranty too.
Rating: Our overall Select Surfaces rating is 3.5 out of 5.
Weve prepared a Select Surfaces buying guide that has pros, cons, comparisons to other brands and costs too.
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