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Today, we’re going to talk about the best vinyl plank flooring brands and what makes them so great. We also want to discuss a couple of brands that you should avoid like the plague. This guide will cover everything you need to know before choosing your flooring.
If you’re looking for in-depth reviews of the top brands, you have come to the right place. We name which brand’s line of flooring is the best, too. This will help you avoid others and go straight to the best.
We ranked each contender under the following categories to makes it easier to find exactly what you’re looking for:
- Best overall
- Best selection
- Best durability
- Best for commercial use
- Best value luxury planks
- Best cheap brand
- Best obscure brand
- Worst quality
- Worst warranty
Best Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring Brands (2021 Update)
Here are all the winners of each category. Note that we have expanded our highest review score to 10 in order to better accommodate the many aspects that go into vinyl plank flooring.
- Best Overall: Shaw
- Runner-Up: COREtec
- Best Selection: Mohawk
- Best Durability: Shaw Floorté Plus 20 Mils & 30 Mils
- Best for Commercial Use: Armstrong Vivero Best
- Best Value Luxury Vinyl Planks: NuCore
- Best Cheap Brand: Home Decorators Collection
- Best Obscure Brand: Cali Bamboo
- Worst Quality: Vivero Good
- Worst Warranty: Mohawk Smart Select 6 Mils Flooring
Shaw (Best Overall)
First up is Shaw. They came away as the best overall among our rankings and for good reason. When it comes to vinyl plank flooring, no one else comes close when you factor in quality and pricing.
What Makes Shaw so Great?
Shaw does a lot of things right. Aside from being an industry leader, their annual revenue alone speaks for itself. When you’re bringing in billions of dollars every year, you know you’re doing something right.
A large part of that is taking care of their customers by offering what matters most. Let’s dig a little deeper to see why Shaw earned our top spot.
Shaw manufactures two vinyl plank flooring lines, Floorté LVP and Floorté Plus. The former is part of their luxury vinyl planks (LVP) line. Floorté LVP consists of a wood and plastic core (WPC). This thick flooring is soft and is available with wear of either 8 or 12 mils. Floorté Plus, on the other hand, is available in 12, 20, or 30 mils.
Floorté Plus’s core is made with plastic and stone (SPC). If you’re looking for tough and durable flooring, this is the way to go. It’s highly resistant to damage, capable of withstanding a lot of traffic, including carts and the like. This is why it’s such a popular choice among businesses with high volume.
Thanks to tongue and groove construction of both lines, installation is straightforward and easy. You can either float or glue the subfloor, giving you excellent stability.
While all of Shaw’s lines come with warranties, those with thicker mils have longer warranties. They range anywhere from 5 years, all the way up to 20 years for commercial use. That’s pretty impressive. It’s nice to see a 20-year warranty for commercial use. It just isn’t something that’s very common, as most brands offer 15 years.
Shaw’s selection of flooring gives you plenty of options to work with. Whether you’re looking for traditional, rustic, stone, or tile, they have you covered.
All of Shaw’s lines are safe for you and your family. Or if you’re thinking about installing it in your business, it’s safe for your customers and employees, as well. This is because their flooring is crafted with low VOCs (volatile organic compounds). This means indoor air won’t be affected and is safe to breathe.
While COREtec might not be the most popular brand, they are quickly gaining steam thanks to high-quality flooring and excellent craftsmanship. A branch of US Floors, they offer premium and mid-range flooring options.
Why Did We Choose COREtec as Runner-Up?
If we rated them right behind Shaw, you know they have to be pretty darn good. COREtec offers many comparable features that rival top-sellers. Let’s take a closer look to see why they impressed us so much.
The brand delivers two outstanding lines, Plus and Pro. Each line offers beautiful collections to pick from, ensuring that you’re getting plenty of options to work with. Installation is made easy thanks to the ability to float or glue their tiles and planks.
Each line is made with such a high level pride that shines through in every piece. Take the Plus line, for example. Although it features a wood and plastic core, They have made it even stronger by adding limestone to it.
This WPC flooring is completely waterproof, making Pro a great choice for basements and high-flood areas. By using high-grade polymer, you get flooring with peace of mind.
This is one of COREtec’s collections. If you’re in the market for luxury vinyl flooring, the Plus HD will blow you away with its beauty and durability. It’s pretty pricey compared to the previous two lines. But the quality is worth every penny.
If you’re looking to save a buck or two, check out COREtec One. This 12-mil line comes with respectable warranties. For commercial use, they provide you with 5 years. But for residential, you get 25 years of coverage.
It’s important to note that this is the only collection that isn’t equipped with its own padding. So while you might save a little bit one the flooring, you’ll want to factor in additional padding to the total cost.
This is their most affordable core vinyl. Galaxy is another 12-mil line that comes with even longer warranties. They provide 7 years for commercial, and 30 years for residential.
Not including One or Galaxy, the Plus and Pro lines both come with lifetime warranties for residential use. The commercial warranties vary a bit, but come with either 10 or 15 years.
They generally uses either 1.5- or 3-millimeter padding, depending on the line. What’s great about this is that they use cork. This makes their flooring comfortable to walk on while reducing squeaks and other sounds.
They offer an amazing number of flooring options to choose from. We’re talking around 200 unique colors and styles and your disposal. If you’re wanting natural wood or stone tiles, they have you covered there, too.
There are many lengths and widths of planks at the ready, as well. Whatever you have in mind, there’s a good chance they have what you’re looking for.
Mohawk (Best Selection)
Mohawk is king of the hill when it comes to flooring options. With a staggering amount to choose from, Mohawk easily secures themselves as the top brand with the best selection.
Why Does Mohawk Have the Best Selection?
Simply put, because they have well over 200 styles that range from wood to stone. If you’re wanting to add some character to your home or business, look no further than to Mohawk.
Not only that, Mohawk delivers better than anyone else when it comes to float or glue flooring. Throw in commendable pricing and expert craftsmanship, and you’re looking at a winner through and through.
UniClic makes up Mohawk’s floating line of flooring. This clever locking system makes installation a snap, literally and figuratively. No glue is needed, allowing you to simply snap each piece together for a quick and effortless install.
There are a total of six lines to pick from, with wear ranging from 6 to 20 mils. And with pricing that starts at $1.70 a square foot, you don’t have to pay a fortune for beautiful, unique flooring.
With prices starting at less than a dollar a square foot, Mohawk is an affordable option for glue-down flooring. And thanks to 21 individual collections there for the taking, you’ll have plenty of options to work with. If you’re looking for a specific color, chances are one of Mohawk’s lines has it.
This ultimately depends on what you choose. But UniClic floating flooring offers warranties that range anywhere from 15 years to lifetime for residential use. Commercial warranties go all the way up to 10 years.
If you decide to go with glue-down flooring, Mohawk offers either 15 or 25 years of coverage for residential se.
Mohawk: 9.25 out of 10
Shaw Floorté Plus (20 and 30 mils) Best Durability
While it’s true that you’re going to pay quite a bit more for Shaw Floorté Plus, it is hands-down the best flooring for durability. The wear layers of this flooring line is quite thick, with options of 12, 20, or 30 mils.
This gives the flooring supreme protection from scratches or dents, leaving you with a floor that should last for years. Shaw uses polyurethane wear that is crafted with ceramic, giving you protection like no other.
If you’re looking for damage-resistant flooring, this is the line for you. And as the only brand here to offer 30-mil wear, you know you’re getting something special.
Why Is Shaw Floorte Plus the Most Durable?
By offering some of the very best in protection technology and excellent warranties, Shaw Floorté Plus takes the spot with ease. You’re getting peace of mind that your flooring is protected by both its warranty and craftsmanship.
Speaking of which, Shaw Floorté Plus delivers the goods with warranties you can be proud of. Their 20-mil lines come with a lifetime warranty for residential use. And for commercial use, you can look forward to 10 years of coverage.
For even greater protection, you should seriously consider Shaw’s Floorté Plus Titanic HD. This line boasts the thickest wear at 30 mils. And with this, you get a lifetime residential warranty. For commercial use, the warranty tops out at 20 years.
The Floorté Plus Titanic HD has a 30-mil wear layer and is backed with a 20-year commercial warranty in addition to the lifetime residential warranty.
Shaw Floorté Plus: 9 out of 10
Armstrong Vivero (Best for Commercial Use)
If you’re looking for solid flooring for your business, you want only the best. This will ensure that it will withstand heavy foot traffic, while giving you years of service. For this, you want Armstrong’s Vivero Best.
What Makes Vivero Best so Great?
It all comes down to the finish. Armstrong uses some of the best materials to deliver flooring that’s tough and durable. We talked about how Shaw uses ceramic in their wear layering. Armstrong takes it a step further by infusing cultured diamonds into theirs.
This man-made synthetic is just as strong as real diamonds, giving your floors stability and resilience not found in other lines of flooring. Called Diamond 10 Technology, your business will have unique flooring that is less likely to scratch, dent, scuff, or stain.
Some tests have shown cultured diamonds to actually be harder than the real deal. That’s pretty impressive. The fact that your floors will be as tough as or tougher than diamonds adds value like no other.
You’re going to be paying upward of $3.65 a square foot, but think of the money you’ll be saving in the long run. Floors this resilient means you likely won’t have to replace them in your lifetime. You’ll pay more upfront, but the investment will be well worth it.
With Vivero Best, you’re getting a solid 15-year warranty for commercial use. When you factor in your floors being tough as diamonds, this is a respectable combination that will serve you and your business well.
Armstrong also offers LifeProof, a Home Depot-exclusive. It’s a bit pricier compared to Vivero Best. But it comes equipped with a 22-mil wear layer and is backed by a 15-year commercial warranty.
Armstrong Vivero Best: 8.75 out of 10
NuCore (Best Value Luxury Vinyl Planks)
If you want your home to have the classiest vinyl flooring around, check out NuCore. This premium line is actually quite affordable compared to its competition. Its availability is a bit limited, but that’s what helps keep its costs as low as they are.
Why Is NuCore the Best Value Vinyl Plank Flooring?
By partnering with Floor & Décor and selling their line exclusively through them, NuCore is able to provide this premium vinyl flooring at an unbeatable price. For as little as $2.60 a square foot, you can get prime flooring that is absolutely stunning, both in looks and in value.
Although it isn’t anywhere near the quantity of Mohawk or COREtec, NuCore still has a commendable assortment of 100 or so styles and colors to choose from. You can either pick up this flooring directly from Floor & Décor’s brick and mortar stores or order online from their website.
Prices only go as high as $4 a square foot, so you’re really getting a great bargain considering the quality of this flooring. There are a total of 5 collections to choose from, with both plank and tile selections.
A big plus is that each and every piece of flooring comes equipped with 22-mil wear. When you factor in cork underlayment, low VOCs, and a waterproof core, it’s clear that NuCore delivers a worthy contender.
Looks and craftsmanship are great and all, but a solid warranty ties it all together. The warranty provided is decent, but it’s prorated. This means that NuCore is going to pay for less the longer you own the flooring.
You get a lifetime warranty for residential use, while the commercial warranty is 15 years. This sounds great on paper, but keep in mind each year will see NuCore paying less for repairs.
Home Decorators Collection (Best Cheap Brand)
Home Decorators Collection is the perfect blend of quality and value. If you’re needing to redo flooring on the cheap, this is the brand you want to go with. This is the type of flooring you want if you’re a landlord and need to do some quick remodeling.
If you’re turning an attic into a guest bedroom or fixing up the guest bathroom, you go with Home Decorators Collection. You’ll save a load of money in the long run, and the flooring is more than acceptable.
This is also the perfect option for house-flippers who need to sell quickly. You’re not going to be out any great expenses, and your buyers will be pleased with the quality. It’s a win-win for everybody.
What Makes Home Decorators Collection Stand Out?
When you consider that you’re going to be spending anywhere between $2 and $2.39 a square foot for solid vinyl flooring, there’s no question why Home Decorators Collection is a winner. Oh, and you get a lifetime warranty on residential use, as well.
It’s important to note that this flooring isn’t intended for commercial use. It’s only suitable for light traffic. Anything heavier and you’re putting the floor at risk for damage. It goes without saying, but you won’t find a commercial warranty on this flooring.
The wear is available in either 8 or 12 mils. If traffic is moderate to heavy, you can expect to get anywhere from 5 to 10 years of life from Home Decorators Collection vinyl flooring.
Home Decorators Collection: 8.25 out of 10
Cali Bamboo (Best Obscure Brand)
Many people might not be familiar with Cali Bamboo, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t worthy of your time. As a matter of fact, they offer some solid flooring at a pretty decent price. And although Cali Bamboo has been in operation for over 15 years, they only recently began manufacturing LVP flooring.
What Makes Them so Good?
Cali Bamboo delivers some really attractive flooring options at an affordable price. For as little as 95₵ a square foot, you can get quality vinyl with a respectable warranty. On top of that, their flooring is planet-friendly and safe for your home.
They offer two lines of flooring that both use sustainable materials in their manufacturing. The first one, Cali Vinyl Plus, consists of a bamboo polymer core (BPC). It functions very much the same way that wood polymer core vinyl flooring does.
The big benefit here, though, is that BPC flooring carries higher sustainability than that of wood. If you’re keen on going green, Cali Bamboo is a great fit for you.
If you want something a bit more durable, check out Cali Vinyl Pro. This line sports a stone and polymer core, giving you greater resistance to scratching and denting. The surface isn’t going to be as soft as their BPC line. But for many, the trade-off for durability is worth it.
Cali Bamboo provides solid warranties on both of their lines. For residential use, you’re getting 50 years of coverage. And if using their flooring in a commercial setting, it comes with a 15-year warranty.
Another big plus we like seeing is the padding. Cali Bamboo equips all of their flooring with cork padding. This helps to reduce noises in the flooring after installation. You’re less likely to hear squeaks, creaks, or groans.
You will also find a layer of 20-mil wear on all of their lines. This ensures that your flooring will have more longevity while working to resist scratches and scuffs.
Now that we’ve seen the best, it’s time to check out the brands you want to avoid. You’ll be better prepared while shopping by knowing what to steer clear of.
Vivero Good (Worst Quality)
Armstrong’s Vivero Good line is some of the worst flooring that they manufacture. To be clear, there are plenty of worse brands on the market. But for a top-seller like Armstrong, we expect to see better out of them.
Vivero Good really feels the heat under heavy traffic. This cheap LVP simply can’t withstand normal, everyday wear and tear like it should. If a large family were to install this, they would likely be sorely disappointed by the outcome.
Why Is It so Bad?
From a thin wear layer to a sad warranty, Vivero Good is anything but. At only 6-mil thick, this flooring is apt to wear out in no time. It might be OK in a guest bathroom that’s rarely used, but for regular use? Forget it.
Then there’s the warranty. For residential use, you’re looking at a paltry 15 years. Since this isn’t rated for commercial use, you won’t find a commercial warranty. When you factor in its thin wear layer, this isn’t what you want to see.
In the right setting, this might be a decent fit. The pricing is pretty low, starting at $1.49 a square foot, so it’s not all bad.
Vivero Good: 3.75 out of 10
Mohawk Smart Select 6-Mil Flooring (Worst Warranty)
Mohawk is one of our favorite brands. They have plenty of solid lines that rate really highly. But their Smart Select line just doesn’t cut the proverbial mustard when it comes to warranties. Of their three Smart Select lines, they all have a sad 15-year warranty for residential use, with no commercial coverage.
Why Is It so Bad?
Not only is the warranty disappointing, but many of Smart Select’s features are, as well. Their wear, for instance, is just 6-mil. Similar to Vivero Good, this is way too thin to expect any kind of longevity.
Also, their floating and glue-down lines have really thin planks. These range from 2 millimeters to 4.4 millimeters. There is a good chance that you’ll hear squeaking because of this. Plus, it doesn’t leave you with much confidence that the planks will stand up to much stress.
We will say that the pricing is OK, if not justified by the low quality. You can get many for less than a dollar a square foot. But when it comes to vinyl flooring, you often get what you pay for. But when you see that some planks go as high as $2.70, it’s clear you’re overpaying.
Mohawk Smart Select: 3.50 out of 10
That about wraps it up for today. We hope you found plenty of useful information in our guide. Our goal is to help you buy only the best flooring for your home or office. By knowing what brands rate the highest, you can save a lot of time researching all the different types of flooring.
And it’s always good to know which brands to avoid, as you’re less likely to get burned on a subpar product. Remember to check warranties closely so you know exactly what you’re buying and what’s covered.