LifeProof vinyl plank flooring is sold exclusively at Home Depot, available in stores and online. It is referred to as LifeProof luxury vinyl plank and tile.
The two most important factors when considering LifeProof LVP and LVT are the affordability of most styles and the waterproof rigid core.
This LifeProof vinyl plank review allows you to compare this brand to leaders like Shaw, Armstrong and Mohawk vinyl plank flooring. Read on for:
LifeProof Vinyl Plank Flooring Reviews
The first thing to note about LifeProof LVP is that the brand isn’t divided neatly into categories like UniClic & glue-down (Mohawk) or Floorte & Floorte Pro (Shaw).
In short, there are no easily discernable collections.
We’ve separated them by wear layer thickness and price, and that’s not a bad way to go. The wear layer is one of the most important features of any vinyl flooring—it determines how long it will last and, not surprisingly, the length of the warranty.
Here is the summary table. We’ve created tables for Shaw, Armstrong, Mohawk, NuCore and the other LVT/LVP brands we’ve reviewed.
6mm & 7mm
$2.59 - $3.09
$3.29 - $3.59
$2.79 - $3.59
$4.09 - $4.39
(1) Thickness: This is total plank thickness.
(2) Warranty: The first number is the residential warranty. The second is the commercial warranty.
Price: The table shows price for the flooring only. Trim and transition strips, if needed, are an additional cost.
Installation: LifeProof is DIY-friendly flooring with its easy locking design. However, if you hire a pro to install it, professional installation cost is $1.50-$2.75 per square foot.
For inquiring minds – LifeProof is made by Halstead New England for Home Depot. This arrangement reduces distribution layers and costs, and it allows Home Depot to sell the flooring at competitive costs.
The manufacturer also makes Allure and TrafficMaster flooring. The brands are similar. Very similar… but not identical.
6 Mils Wear Layer
Most LifeProof luxury vinyl flooring has a 6 mil wear layer. Its warranty is lifetime for residential and 5 years for commercial use.
The wear layer is urethane with ceramic beads for toughness. But still, 6 mils, which is .06 inches, is pretty thin. It is considered an entry-level or builders grade flooring.
There are pros and cons: This category of flooring costs more than competing brands, but it also has a better warranty.
For example, Mohawk vinyl plank flooring with a 6-mil wear layer costs 25-50% less but has a shorter warranty too – 15 years for residential use and NO commercial warranty. That’s just one way LifeProof compares to other leading brands.
A 6-mil wear layer is available, as you can see in the table, on a wide range of flooring from 6.5mm to 8.5mm planks and tiles.
Styles include classic hardwoods like oak in a dozen or more colors from light, whitewashed hues to rich chocolate browns and plenty of charcoal shades. Distressed and weathered wood, herringbone parquet and stone looks complete the wide array of choices.
Where to Use 6-Mil LifeProof Vinyl Plank Flooring
We recommend this flooring for residential use and very light commercial use. It is built better than 6-mil flooring from many other brands, and it costs more too.
If you’re sprucing up a home to sell or installing the floor where it will get very little use (like a guest room or vacation home), then we suggest going with a cheaper 6-mil vinyl floor like low-end Mohawk or Armstrong Vivero Good vinyl plank flooring.
12 Mils Wear Layer
The warranty is lifetime for residential and 10 years for commercial settings. That’s a better warranty than most brands offer on LVP and LVT with a 12-mil wear layer.
This is a small selection of 8mm thick flooring in planks and a few tiles sizes. Most are standard wood planks, though a few parquet looks are mixed in.
Where to Use 12-Mil LifeProof Vinyl Plank Flooring
This is the most popular wear layer for residential use. If you have no plans to move, this flooring gives you good long-term value – a fair price for a floor that should look good for 10-15 years in most homes.
The LifeProof with a 12 mil wear layer is also suitable for offices, lobbies, small retail shops and similar light-commercial settings.
22 Mils Wear Layer
The best LifeProof luxury vinyl flooring is backed by a lifetime residential and 15-year commercial warranty. That’s a warranty comparable to the best available.
There are pros and cons: It’s a great warranty, but you have a limited number of style options – less than 20 in all. Most are traditional styles of oak and other hardwoods. Still, there is enough light, medium and dark color choices that you might find a few to consider for your home or commercial setting.
Another feature worth mentioning is that the 22-mil flooring comes in extra-long 72” planks compared to standard 48” to 54”. This creates fewer butts and transitions from one board to another.
Where to Use 22-Mil LifeProof Vinyl Plank Flooring
This durable flooring is ideal for large, busy households, especially with big dogs that can cause havoc on cheap vinyl plank flooring.
It is also suitable for a wide range of commercial applications including retail, office, educational and institutional.
Special Features of LifeProof Vinyl Plank Flooring
Here are features to consider and compare with other LVP brands you are considering.
Waterproof Construction with ISOCORE
This is what sets vinyl plank flooring apart from laminate – waterproof materials that won’t absorb water.
All LifeProof luxury vinyl flooring is made with a closed-cell waterproof foam core that the manufacturer calls ISOCORE. We’re basically talking about flooring that is made from top to bottom of various plastics and similar material.
Authentic Texturing plus Smooth Too
The design layer of most planks and tiles is embossed. This means a mold is used to create texturing that looks and feels like wood or stone. The method is called embossed in register, or EIR.
A few handscraped wood plank styles are available that give the flooring a hand-worked, rustic look. There are also a handful of smooth planks that have a contemporary or modern look to them. Most of the smooth LVT options have a stone look to them.
Click-together Floating Floors (And Gluing is Forbidden)
Tongue & groove design makes it easy to snap pieces together. No glue is used to join planks and tiles or to fix them to the floor.
There are pros and cons to this. On the plus side, DIY is quite easy for anyone with moderate skills.
The potential downside is that in large areas, especially in commercial buildings, a floating floor tends to shift a little with heavy traffic. This can eventually cause pieces to come apart. Also, some DIY installers find the interlocking fittings a little cheap on the thinner planks, and they can break.
Standard LVP Perks
Like most other luxury vinyl plank and tile flooring, LifeProof can be installed on any level including basements, it does not require acclimation – just buy it and install it, and it is certified by FloorScore to be low-VOC flooring.
No acclimation – that’s what the sign says. However, we noticed that the installation guide recommends acclimating the flooring for two days before commercial installation.
LifeProof Vinyl Plank Flooring Pros, Cons and Ratings
This brand offers bodacious warranties on even its cheapest flooring.
A lifetime warranty on all lines including the vinyl plank flooring with a wear layer just 6 mils thick. The wear layer contains ceramic to toughen it, so that gives the manufacturer and the Home Depot the confidence to offer a lifetime warranty.
LifeProof costs more than comparable flooring. It’s lines with the 6-mil wear layer are among the most expensive with a wear layer this thick. It’s only available at Home Depot.
Looking for Qualified Installer for LifeProof Flooring？
Some readers complained that they cound't find the local installers or overpaid the installation. Then we developed an online free estimate tool to help you get at least 3 local bids in 24 hours.
This tool is powered by our partner Networx which has been specializing in collecting, vetting and rating vinyl flooring contractors for more than 20 years.
Comparing the 3 bids can help you get the reasonable installation cost and avoid getting ripped.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is that LifeProof is a strong competitor when shopping for midgrade luxury vinyl flooring. Some reviewers give it poor ratings. We disagree.
LifeProof is better than the cheapest stuff, perhaps not as good as premium LVP. But in the middle, it offers good quality, a competitive price and some of the best warranty coverage available.
Q: Some brands of vinyl can be installed on walls, is LifeProof rated for wall installations?
A: That’s not a good idea. While it may work and look great on a wall, installing it there will void the warranty.
Q: Can LifeProof vinyl flooring be installed with a radiant heating system in my home?
A: It depends on the type of radiant heat system you are installing, but many hydro and electric systems will work as long as they meet LifeProof’s installation standards.
Q: Is it possible to remove LifeProof plank flooring and reuse it in another location?
A: It’s entirely possible, but not exactly easy considering the locking mechanism will need to be immaculate if you want to have it work properly again. You also have to take cut boards into account with butt ends as well.
Q: If the LifeProof flooring has padding pre-attached, can I still use my own underlayment for additional noise reduction or insulation?
A: No. If the flooring you choose already has a pad attached, adding additional underlayment will void the warranty on your flooring.
Q: Can I use a steam cleaner to sanitize my LifeProof vinyl flooring?
A: While it may seem like a great idea, excess heat and steam could actually damage your planks or impact the efficiency of your wear layer. LifeProof recommends neutral pH cleaning products for their vinyl flooring lines.
Q: If I damage a piece of plank flooring, is it possible to buy a replacement board?
A: You can’t buy single pieces of vinyl plank flooring as it’s sold by the box. That’s why it’s highly recommended to buy 10 to 15% over with most brands so that you’ll have extras down the line.
Q: Is LifeProof vinyl flooring suitable for installation on a slightly uneven subfloor?
A: That all depends on your definition of uneven. According to the manufacturer, you’ll want to ensure your subfloor within ¼” across a 10-foot span. Low spots will need to be filled, and high spots deal with or you flooring can separate or buckle in time.
Q: Do I still need a moisture barrier for concrete if I purchase LifeProof flooring with an attached pad?
A: No, but if you have a high level of moisture, a 6 mil moisture barrier is okay to use without voiding your warranty.
Q: If you install LifeProof yourself, do you need special tools for the installation?
A: The most expensive item you’ll need is a saw. Despite what others claim, you can’t properly score and snap quality vinyl with a razor knife and get a clean edge. You’ll need a circular or table saw. Basically, something that can cut a straight, smooth edge or rip a plank if needed.
Q: Can you install LifeProof vinyl under islands and cabinets in kitchens?
A: It’s not recommended, but may be necessary for some renovation projects. Excess weight can cause issues when the flooring contracts and expands. Whenever possible, flooring should be run up to the cabinets or island and trimmed out around it
Q: Is LifeProof vinyl suitable for installation on stairs?
A: No, it’s another reason that your warranty will be voided. These planks lock into place and aren’t designed to be glued down to subfloors or stairs.