What is the best vinyl plank flooring brand? Should any LVP brands be avoided?
The answers are here, and they’re more comprehensive than you’ll find elsewhere.
We do more than list the best LVP brands with trite descriptions of how great they are. Instead, you’ll find reasons behind our selections – Best overall, runner-up, best selection, best durability, best value, best cheap brand and more.
The information is specific where appropriate. For example, rather listing a brand as the best commercial LVP, we name the specific line: Armstrong Vivero Best. In short, we’ll help you find the exact flooring you’re looking for, whether it is premium, cheap but dependable or something in between.
For even more detail, see our Brand Reviews of all the leading LVP / luxury vinyl plank flooring brands.
Best Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring Brands
Our top brands are:
Top Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring Brands
Each of the top LVP flooring brands has a niche that will help you make a buying decision based on what you are looking for – cost, value, longevity, etc.
Best Overall: Shaw
Shaw is one of the largest producers of flooring in the world. That alone doesn’t make it the best.
Why Shaw is the Overall Best LVP Flooring
The short answer is that Shaw makes vinyl plank flooring from mid-range with good quality and reasonable cost to premium LVP with the best warranties available.
Here are the major points.
Excellent Construction and Warranties
Shaw makes two lines with different construction, and both are built very well. Each has a waterproof warranty too. These are tongue & groove designs that can float or be glued to the subfloor for maximum stability.
The Shaw Floorte LVP has a wood/plastic core, or WCP. This is the traditional way that LVP has been made since introduced in the early 2000s.
A WPC core is softer and thicker. The lines and their wear layers are Floorte (8 mils), Floorte and Floorte Plus (12 mils), Floorte Plus (20 mils) and Floorte Plus (30 mils).
While most WPC vinyl plank flooring is designed for residential use, Shaw is confident enough in this product to provide a commercial warranty of 5, 7, 10 or 20 years depending on thickness of the wear layer: Thicker = longer warranty.
In fact, the Floorte Plus with the 30 mils wear layer has the best commercial warranty of any we’ve reviewed. Most offer a 15-year warranty on their best lines. A 20-year commercial warranty is unique.
Shaw Floorte Pro has a stone/plastic core, or SPC. It is harder, which isn’t as nice to walk on, but it is very resistant to denting and can handle a high traffic load.
This includes rolling loads, which means exactly what it sounds like – it won’t be damaged by carts being rolled over it with a heavy load. That’s why it is a top choice for commercial installation.
All the details are in our Shaw Vinyl Plank Flooring Guide, but to summarize, your options include:
Shaw LVP Flooring Rating
In our comprehensive Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring Buying Guide, we rate each LVP brand in a number of categories.
Shaw earned a rating of 4.75 out of 5 based on quality, range of options, installation ease and low-VOC content.
Summary of Shaw Vinyl Plank Flooring
$3.20 - $3.85
5.5mm to 7mm
$3.50 - $4.35
7mm & 8mm
$4.25 - $4.95
$5.35 - $6.25
Floorte Pro Plus
$2.90 - $3.65
Floorte Pro Plus
$4.20 - $5.50
(1) Thickness: This is the total thickness of the plank or tile.
(2) Warranty: The first number is the Residential warranty. The second is the Commercial warranty.
COREtec isn’t a household name like Shaw or Mohawk, but flooring experts understand just how good this brand is. It is sold online and at flooring stores.
COREtec is made by US Floors and ranges from mid-priced to quite expensive compared with most brands.
Why COREtec is the Runner-up Best LVP Brand
Here’s are the reasons COREtec is rated the second-best vinyl plank flooring.
Premium Construction & Quality
Like Shaw, there are two lines with different construction technology: COREtec Plus and COREtec Pro. There are several varieties of each line. The varieties, such as COREtec Plus HD, are called collections.
And like Shaw and other brands’ LVP, the planks and tiles can float or be glued down.
1. COREtec Plus is the original and features a WPC core. The difference is that it is reinforced with limestone for added stability and strength.
COREtec Plus HD, Design and Premium lines are among the very best luxury vinyl plank flooring available today. But they’re not cheap, with prices exceeding $6 per square foot for the top styles.
2. COREtec Pro has a compressed polymer and vinyl core. Being plastic, it is totally waterproof. Even if a floor is flooded for a short period of time, this LVP will probably keep the water from getting to a wood subfloor.
3. Two Economy Lines
Bargain shoppers might be interested in two other lines: One and Galaxy.
They aren’t exactly cheap LVP. Prices are in the range of $3-$4 per square foot, but they give you options for quality LVP that is more affordable.
COREtec One is a WPC similar to the Plus lines. It is backed with a solid 25-year residential and 5-year commercial warranty.
Pro Galaxy is the more affordable vinyl core brand with 30-year and 7-year warranties.
Both One and Galaxy lines have 12-mil wear layers. Compare that with wear layers of 6 to 8 mils on most economy LVP brands. You’ll pay more for COREtec One and Galaxy than you will for cheaper vinyl plank flooring, but you’ll get more too.
Strong Warranty Coverage
Apart from the economy lines, all COREtec Plus and Pro LVP is backed by a Lifetime residential warranty and commercial warranties of either 10 or 15 years depending on the line.
This brand uses 1.5mm cork pad on most lines. COREtec Premium has a 3mm pad that creates a softer floor with better sound reduction than standard LVP pad.
COREtec One is the only collection that does not have attached pad.
Plenty of Style Option
Style details are found in our COREtec Vinyl Plank Flooring Guide, but here’s an overview:
COREtec LVP Flooring Rating
COREtec also scored very high in our ratings, matching Shaw with a 4.75 rating out of 5.
Summary of COREtec Vinyl Plank Flooring
$2.90 - $3.50
Plus Plank & Tile
$4.25 - $4.70
Plus XL Plank
$5.15 - $5.50
$4.75 - $5.50
Plus HD & Design
$5.20 - $6.15
$5.50 - $6.30
$2.80 - $3.45
$2.90 - $3.80
Pro Plus Enhanced
$4.00 - $4.85
(1) Thickness: This is the total thickness of the plank or tile.
(2) Warranty: The first number is the Residential warranty. The second is the Commercial warranty.
Best Selection: Mohawk
You’d expect a major flooring company like Mohawk to have a good selection, and it doesn’t disappoint.
Why Mohawk Has the Best Selection of LVP Flooring
There are two reasons Mohawk vinyl plank flooring has the best selection.
The first is the 200+ styles in traditional wood looks, but with stone and tile too. You will find several good options for your project regardless of your home’s architecture or your decorating style or the color range you prefer.
Secondly, Mohawk also shines is in the number of floating and glue-down flooring lines. These give you options for quality and price.
The floating lines are called UniClic in reference to the patented interlocking technology that doesn’t require glue.
Our Mohawk Vinyl Plank Flooring Guide includes a detailed table of the lines and much more information, but here’s an overview:
In total, there are 21 different collections like Defined Beauty (14 colors), Perfect Escape (8 colors) and Bowman (14 colors) that add up to 218 different Mohawk LVP options.
Mohawk LVP Rating
Mohawk received a 4.25 out of 5 rating. It isn’t quite as strong on quality across all lines, but then again, cheaper quality in the entry-level lines gives consumers more buying options.
Summary of Mohawk Vinyl Plank Flooring
$1.65 - $2.70
$2.00 - $3.00
$2.30 - $3.10
$3.40 - $4.25
$3.50 - $4.40
$3.00 - $4.09
$0.95 - $1.80
$1.15 - $2.10
(1) Warranty: The first number is the Residential warranty. The second is the Commercial warranty.
Most Durable: Shaw Floorte Plus 20 Mils & 30 Mils
This could also be called “the most expensive” LVP, or close to it at least.
You get what you pay for with luxury vinyl plank flooring, and what you’re paying for in many cases is the wear layer.
The Floorte Plus line is available with wear layers of 12, 20 and 30 mils. The wear layer is a clear coat of urethane or acrylic, depending on brand. It protects the visual/design layer beneath.
We’re very impressed with the 20 and 30 mils wear layers:
It isn’t just the thickness of the wear layer that is important. It is what the layer is made of.
The Floorte Plus LVP has a polyurethane wear layer infused with tiny ceramic beads that enhance its resistance to wear, scratching and dents.
It isn’t the only urethane/ceramic combination wear layer, but the 20 mils layer is about as thick as most brands offer. No other brand we reviewed makes a 30-mil wear layer.
Thick and tough – that’s what you want in a wear layer to maximize LVP and LVT durability.
Best Commercial LVP: Armstrong Vivero Best
You can’t go wrong with the Shaw Floorte Plus flooring for commercial settings, especially with the 20-year commercial warranty.
Why Vivero Best is the Best Commercial Vinyl Plank Flooring
But we rate the Armstrong Vivero Best just as high for commercial use. The finish is called Diamond 10 Technology.
Where other brands add ceramic beads to the finish, Armstrong uses “cultured diamonds — with all the properties of real diamonds — to provide the ultimate in scratch, stain, and scuff resistance.” Those are Armstrong’s words, but they’re backed up by science.
Potentially harder than real diamonds: According to Live Science and other sources we consulted, synthetic diamonds have a range of hardness. But they can be harder than real diamonds, and that would make for a tough flooring finish.
Vivero Best is backed with a 15-year commercial warranty. Cost starts at about $3.65 per square foot.
LifeProof is also worth a look: If you’re a Home Depot fan, then their LifeProof LVP with a 22 mils wear layer is worth considering too. It costs a little more than the most affordable Vivero Best, but has a 15-year commercial warranty too.
Armstrong Vivero Best, Shaw Floorte Plus and LifeProof – three excellent options for commercial LVP.
Best Value Luxury Vinyl Planks: NuCore
This is premium flooring at mid-grade prices. You get a lot for your money, though selection isn’t quite as strong. There are about 100 style and color options for you to browse.
This brand is sold exclusively by Floor & Decor, both online and in its stores. This distribution arrangement allows Floor & Decor to keep the cost pretty competitive.
We’re impressed with the company’s LVP and laminate.
Why NuCore is the Best Value Vinyl Plank Flooring
Price starts below $2.60 per square foot and tops out under $4.00.
That in itself does not show value. Value is the combination of high quality flooring and a reasonable price.
It’s the excellent quality and warranty protection combined with competitive cost that makes NuCore the best value in LVP/LVT.
There are 5 NuCore vinyl plank and tile collections, and they ALL have 22-mil wear layers. The residential warranty is lifetime, and the commercial warranty is 15 years. The downside of this is that the warranty is prorated. The best warranties are not.
Other features include a waterproof vinyl core, attached cork underlayment for softness and sound control and low-VOC GreenGuard certification.
There is much more information in our NuCore Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring Guide.
NuCore LVP Rating
This brand scored a very solid 4.5 out of 5 in our ratings. It’s well worth considering for your flooring project.
Best Cheap LVP: Home Decorators Collection
The last category was Value – good quality at a competitive price.
The Best Cheap vinyl plank flooring is decent quality but at an affordable price.
Who wants cheap LVP? If you’re on a budget or aren’t familiar with luxury vinyl flooring and want to give it a try, affordable flooring requires less investment.
If you’re fixing up a home to sell (or plan to move in a few years), then cheap luxury vinyl plank makes sense too. Finally, it’s a cost-effective choice for areas that don’t get heavy use.
Why Home Decorators Collection is the Best Cheap LVP
You get vinyl plank flooring with a lifetime residential warranty and a price that starts below $2.00 per square foot. The most expensive is just $2.39.
That’s a cheap price for a lifetime warranty. There is no commercial warranty, so this is only for use in an owner-occupied home.
Concerns: The only thing that gives us a little concern is the wear layer. Your options are 8 mils and 12 mils.
Expect 5-10 years from this flooring based on how much traffic it receives.
There is much more information in our Home Decorators Collection Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring Guide.
Home Decorators Collection LVP Rating
We gave NuCore a combined rating of 4.25 out of 5. It received 4s in all categories except for a 5 in Ease of Installation. It’s a good brand for DIY the first time.
Summary of Home Decorators Collection Vinyl Plank Flooring
$2.29 - $2.39
$2.09 - $2.39
(1) Thickness: This is total plank thickness.
(2) Warranty: The first number is the residential warranty. The second is the commercial warranty.
Best Brand You Might Not Know About: Cali Bamboo
There might be a dozen or more LVP brands most homeowners aren’t familiar with.
Most aren’t worth knowing about because of their poor quality or value.
Cali Bamboo offers both quality and value.
First, this is a relatively new company. It was started in 2004 and has really grown in the last five years.
Secondly, Cali Bamboo, as the name suggests, started with bamboo flooring and only developed its LVP lines in 2016 and later.
Why Cali Bamboo is the Best New LVP Brand
The company combines quality and value with environmentally responsible flooring.
It makes two well-constructed lines, the same approach as Shaw Floorte and COREtec.
Cali Vinyl Plus has a bamboo and polymer core (BPC). It is similar to the wood/polymer core, or WPC, lines mentioned above. The difference is that bamboo is more sustainable and greener than wood.
Cali Vinyl Pro is an SPC, or stone/polymer core line.
Sure, Cali Bamboo came to the game later than those other brands, but it is doing it the right way with sustainable materials and ecofriendly practices.
All the features are explained in our Cali Bamboo LVP Guide, but here are a few of the details:
Cali Bamboo Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring Rating
This brand scored 4.25 out of 5 in our ratings. What caused its score to drop was a 3 in selection. It received a 5 in the Quality category.
Summary of Cali Bamboo Vinyl Plank Flooring
Cali Vinyl Plus
$3.39 - $3.69
Cali Vinyl Pro
$0.95 - $1.80
(1) Thickness: This is the total thickness of the plank.
(2): Warranty: The first number is the residential warranty. The second is the commercial warranty.
Worst Quality: Vivero Good
That’s a weird heading, isn’t it? The LVP is both worst and good? Yes.
To explain, Armstrong Vivero is made in 3 lines, Good, Better and Best.
So, in short, Vivero Good is the worst Vivero flooring of your three options. To be fair, I’m sure we could find worse LVP if we did an exhaustive survey of every brand produced. But of the major brands, this is the cheapest.
It isn’t terrible, it just isn’t LVP you should expect to hold up very long to heavy traffic, big dogs and rambunctious kids.
Why Armstrong Vivero Good is the Worst LVP
There’s a place for cheap vinyl plank flooring, so we aren’t disparaging this product. Again, don’t expect it to look fantastic past 5-7 years unless it gets very light, no-shoes kind of traffic.
Worst Warranty: Mohawk Smart Select 6 Mils Flooring
Mohawk makes three Smart Select flooring lines with 15-year residential warranties and no commercial warranties.
The features of these three lines are:
These are cheap luxury vinyl flooring lines. Prices start at less than $1.00 per square foot, which is a fair price for what you get.
On the high end, cost is about $2.70 per square foot. That’s too high for cheap vinyl plank flooring.
Mohawk’s lack of confidence in the quality of the flooring is shown in the short warranties. Our recommendation is to remember the ancient warning: Caveat emptor – Buyer beware.
If you need cheap LVP, these lines are worth considering, especially the low-cost options. Otherwise, Mohawk and other leading brands have much more durable vinyl plank flooring collections.
Final Thoughts on the Best Vinyl Plank Flooring Brands
We want to remind you that our brand buying guides are comprehensive with pros, cons, comparisons and costs.
Each guide includes a table showing each collection the brand makes and its cost, key features and warranty. The tables make it easy to compare brands at a glance.
If you’re just starting your research into LVP, our Vinyl Plank Flooring Guide is a comprehensive resource loaded with information that will assist you in your buying decision.
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Comparing the 3 bids can help you get the reasonable installation cost and avoid getting ripped.
Q: Which vinyl plank brand has the most realistic wood-look styles?
A: That’s tough as there are so many lines to consider, but Shaw, COREtec, and Mohawk have some of the more realistic styles available. Pattern repetition and finishing technique also play a part in how real plastic flooring looks in your home.
Q: Do any vinyl plank flooring companies make scratch-proof flooring?
A: At this time, there is no vinyl flooring available that is impervious to scratches, but some brands hold up better than others. The wear layer and proper care can go a long way towards keeping your floors looking great, so it pays to keep dog nails trimmed and use protection under heavy furniture or appliances.
Q: Is SmartCore or LifeProof a better budget-flooring brand?
A: It depends on what you’re looking for from a style standpoint. Both have collections that are similar in price, but LifeProof has a wider selection overall that’s easier to track down locally. SmartCore, on the other hand, has more favorable consumer reviews.
Q: Can you install any brand of vinyl plank in any room of your home?
A: One of the advantages of luxury vinyl flooring is its resiliency. That means it’s ideal for bedrooms, bathrooms, living rooms, and kitchens along with playrooms or entryways. It can also be installed in below-grade rooms, but some vinyl flooring is built for that, whereas others are just sufficient in that regard.
Q: Does Luxury Vinyl Flooring off-gas, is it safe in my home?
A: There are two things to worry about with indoor air quality – the flooring itself and adhesives. If you plan on using click-lock flooring, the latter won’t be an issue, but VOCs can be produced by poor quality products. Look for vinyl flooring that is FloorScore certified or has similar certifications in regards to its eco-friendliness.
Q: Is all vinyl plank flooring waterproof?
A: No, although most manufacturers would lead you to believe that. Most all LVP and LVT are water-resistant and ideal for damp areas, but if you want something that’s truly waterproof, read the fine print and check out the construction of the core.
Q: Which brand is vinyl flooring is best for uneven subfloors?
A: Each manufacturer has certain tolerances you’ll need to stick to when installing LVP or LVT flooring. For subfloors that are slightly uneven or with some roll, it’s best to use more flexible products as rigid core flooring requires an almost perfect surface for a clean installation. Otherwise, you could experience noise when walking across vinyl plank flooring.
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