Vinyl plank flooring is practical, relatively inexpensive compared to many other materials, easy to install, requires little maintenance and can look simply stunning.
However, not all products or companies are equal, so here’s our guide to the 13 best vinyl plank flooring brands to help you find the best one for your needs.
The Best Vinyl Plank Flooring Brands
Shaw Industries is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway. The company is known for producing a range of different flooring types and is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of carpets.
The company was founded as a small business by the name of Star Dye that specialized in bedspreads and rugs in the 1940s. Since then, it has gone on to grow into a multi-billion-dollar business employing around 22,000 staff around the world. The current headquarters is in Dalton, Georgia.
Shaw makes several lines of vinyl plank flooring, from mid-range to high-end. The company’s products have a reputation for excellent quality relative to the price. This means that while Shaw flooring isn’t the cheapest option, you know you are buying a reliable product that represents great value.
Shaw also tends to back its products with generous warranties, demonstrating the company’s faith in what it sells.
The most affordable line of vinyl plank flooring made by Shaw is known as DuraTru. Above this is the Floorté collection, while the company’s top-end ranges are known as Floorté Pro and Floorté Elite.
One of the advantages of choosing vinyl plank flooring from Shaw is that most of the company’s products are fully waterproof – rather than just being water-resistant.
The company also offers their flooring in a wide range of colors as well as many different styles including imitation wood and stone.
As already mentioned, Shaw products include generous warranties. The length of the warranty will depend on the quality and thickness of the flooring in question, but Shaw warranties are highly competitive when compared with other manufacturers.
This means that some of their less expensive flooring comes with a residential warranty in the 20-year range – but for their top-end versions, it can be as long as 30 years.
In sum, this is one of the largest and most famous vinyl plank flooring brands – and while that alone doesn’t necessarily guarantee quality, in this case, you can rest assured that you are buying from one of the best in the business.
Karndean is another company with humble beginnings, having been founded in the UK as a family-run business in 1973.
The company’s philosophy was based on the idea that luxury flooring should be beautiful as well as just practical, and this ethos has seen Karndean grow from a business run from the family home to one of the most respected manufacturers of vinyl flooring in the world.
The company’s products mostly take their inspiration from nature, and Karndean also prides itself on being an environmentally friendly manufacturer. Their flooring products include versions that mimic stone, wood or tile, and they are among the most highly realistic on the market.
Karndean has an especially good reputation among professional installers, who are often likely to recommend products from this company – which tells you that they must be doing something right!
Their offerings include a budget-friendly option, a mid-range product and a top-end flooring solution – but everything they produce is high quality and durable.
Flooring from the less expensive end of their range represents excellent value for money while some of the pricier versions look stunning.
All Karndean plank flooring is designed to be simple to install, although, for some versions, you may need to pay for professional installation for the full warranty to be valid.
The company’s loose-lay flooring system includes rubber backing to help keep the planks where you want them. However, if you prefer your flooring to be fixed, you can also choose from self-adhesive and tongue-and-groove options.
Speaking of the warranty, Karndean is one of the best performers in this area, and most of the company’s products include lifetime residential warranties.
Karndean floors are also 100% waterproof, resistant to stains and are suitable for homes with children or pets, so if you are looking to invest in a floor that’s made to last, this is a company whose products should be high on your list of possibilities.
All in all, flooring from this company will appeal to the kind of person who insists on high quality and who doesn’t mind paying a bit more to obtain it.
When it comes to the size of the range, with over 200 styles and fitting options, Mohawk is a brand that’s hard to beat. The company is also proud of its environmental credentials, something that is more important in today’s world than ever.
They also offer products that are suitable for most budgets, from the lower end of the scale to more high-end options, so when choosing flooring from this company, you are all but certain to find something suitable for your project.
Within Mohawk’s vast range, the majority of the company’s flooring is based on imitation wood – although they do also produce floors that replicate stone or tiles.
One distinct advantage you get from Mohawk products is that many of the company’s vinyl flooring is 100% waterproof. Furthermore, Mohawk floors are easy to clean and care for, making them a popular option with those who have young children or pets in their homes.
Even though Mohawk produces some high-end flooring solutions, even their most expensive options are among the most affordable for the quality, so if you are looking to save a bit of cash while ensuring you are getting great bang for your buck, Mohawk is a company that should appeal.
Mohawk floors are designed to be as easy to install as possible, featuring the company’s special click-lock that creates a seamless effect once the flooring is in place.
Some Mohawk products include a special pet-friendly warranty, so even if damage is caused by one of your furry companions, you’ll still be covered – contrary to many of Mohawk’s competitors.
That said, Mohawk’s warranties tend to be slightly shorter than some of the others on our list, so if the peace of mind that comes with a long warranty is important to you, Mohawk might not be the best pick.
With a history stretching back around 150 years, Mohawk is a company that is backed by plenty of experience, so if you’re looking for flooring from a reputable company that also comes at the most reasonable price possible, this is a brand that should be on your radar.
Although it might not be among the best-known names in the world of vinyl flooring, COREtec is nevertheless another brand that’s worth taking note of.
As of 2016, COREtec belongs to the Shaw portfolio of businesses, which means it combines the backing of one of the market leaders with a dedication to quality and innovation that made it such a successful company in the first place.
COREtec is known as a high-end brand. The company does produce some more affordable versions of its products, but even these don’t come cheap.
One of the features that mark out most COREtec plank floors is the use of cork underlay. This increases the durability and comfort of the floor, but this is also one reason why COREtec costs more.
Most COREtec products are 100% waterproof and also include generous warranties. Most of the company’s top-end flooring comes with a lifetime warranty, but even the versions from the lower end of the price range come with warranties of 25 or 30 years.
In terms of range, COREtec offers around 200 color and style options, so this is a brand that can compete with companies like Mohawk when it comes to breadth of choice.
Most COREtec floors are also made to be easy to fit. There are both floating and fixed options, and if you plan to lay the planks yourself, COREtec products will allow you to do it. That said, the company recommends its floors to be fitted professionally and even provides this service at an additional cost.
COREtec currently has three main lines of vinyl flooring, Original, Pro and Advanced, representing the company’s budget, mid-range and top-end products respectively. You may also hear or read about something known as COREtec One, but this line has been discontinued in the US and is now only available in selected other countries around the world.
It will be clear from everything we’ve said about the products from this company that their flooring is aimed at people who prefer something a little more special than the average. So if that sounds like you, this could be the brand you are looking for.
Armstrong is a venerable American operation with over 100 years of experience. The company is also the largest vinyl flooring producer in North America, and with credentials like those, this is a company you should be able to trust.
Armstrong sells its products through local retailers, and the company’s website is not particularly consumer-friendly, which means for precise details of their products, you are best off talking to a supplier directly.
However, generally speaking, the company produces three main lines, PRYZM, Luxe and Vivero.
The company is known for its Diamond 10 technology, which incorporates synthetic diamonds into the finish to provide a high degree of scratch, stain and scuff resistance.
In theory, this makes Armstrong floors among the toughest and most durable on the market, and the company’s products are unsurprisingly a popular choice in commercial settings.
In terms of the company’s range of products, the bulk of their output tends to be imitation wood, although they do also produce some vinyl flooring that reproduces the look of stone or tile.
Armstrong also concentrates on making self-stick flooring, although some floating vinyl plank flooring is available too.
Some people might complain that Armstrong doesn’t offer such generous warranties as other companies, but the Vivero line featuring the Diamond 10 technology comes with an impressive commercial warranty of 15 years.
At the same time, partly due to economies of scale, Armstrong is able to offer their products at some of the most competitive prices around, so if you buy Armstrong flooring, you can expect to get exceptional value for what you pay.
As mentioned, Armstrong is a popular option for commercial settings, so if you need something that will prove tough and durable under heavy use, this is a brand that you’d do well to consider.
At the same time, even if you are shopping for residential flooring, Armstrong is not short of solutions, and if you are keen to get the best value for your money, this is a brand that will fit the bill.
Proximity Mills’ website states that the company was founded based on three principles.
First, they believe that there’s a better way to buy luxury vinyl flooring. Second, you should be able to buy luxury flooring without paying a luxury price. And third, you shouldn’t need to be an expert to find the right flooring for your home.
So they talk a good game, but do their products and service back up their claims? Well, in a word, yes!
The types of flooring offered by Proximity Mills can be divided into three installation types, Floating, Glue-Down and Loose-Lay. They are also available as either tile or wood imitation, and with wear layers of 12, 20 and 22 mil. You can also choose between several different thickness options.
As you can see, the brand has a wide range of products to offer, so most people will be able to find the ideal solution for their needs. However, unlike many other companies, Proximity Mills’ different lines and styles are also extremely easy to understand, making it easy to choose – as promised in their mission statement.
One of the best things about this company, though, is the wide range of attractive colors and designs you can choose from. Their products tend to be highly realistic, adding a real touch of luxury and class to any room.
Furthermore, all Proximity Mills floors boast advanced toughness and durability, and all flooring from the company comes with a lifetime warranty for residential use – although their commercial warranties are not as good as those offered by some other companies.
Proximity Mills is a brand that prides itself on exceptional customer satisfaction. The downside of this is that they don’t allow just anybody to sell their products, so it can be a little difficult to get hold of Proximity Mills flooring.
However, if you want top-quality flooring at surprisingly affordable prices – and are willing to go the extra mile to find someone who can supply and install it – this is a company that is unlikely to let you down.
Floor & Decor’s own brand is known as NuCore, and for those looking to combine decent quality with more than reasonable prices, this is an option that’s worth considering.
Unlike many other brands on this list, the NuCore range is simple to understand since there are fewer options available. While this might give you less choice overall, it makes it easier to be clear about what you’re getting when you buy NuCore flooring.
For example, all NuCore flooring is 100% waterproof, and this is the only brand that can make this claim. Of course, most other companies offer 100% waterproof flooring, but you need to check that the particular version you’re buying has this quality before you buy – this is something you don’t need to consider with NuCore.
All NuCore flooring also boasts a respectable 22 mil wear layer and cork underlay for softness. The cork underlay also helps to absorb sound as well as being more comfortable to walk on in colder climates.
NuCore flooring also has a low VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) rating, for which it has received GreenGuard certification, giving you peace of mind that it is an environmentally friendly option.
Another positive associated with this brand is the lifetime residential warranty that comes with the flooring. The commercial warranty is 15 years, although this is pro-rated and so less attractive than the warranty offered by some other brands.
Despite the fact that most NuCore flooring options share many features, there is still plenty of choice when it comes to style, so if this is a brand you’re interested in, you should have no trouble finding something that matches your taste.
Overall, NuCore would be the right choice for someone looking for a more affordable flooring solution that offers reasonable quality and good value for money.
While NuCore can’t be called high-end or luxury flooring, if you’re looking for something a bit more budget-friendly, this is a brand that should fit your expectations.
For those who are particularly concerned about investing in green products, Cali is a brand to check out. The company was born of an idea that came to the founders after a surfing trip in Hawaii, and their original products were engineered bamboo flooring.
From there, they also branched into vinyl flooring by replacing the sawdust component of regular vinyl flooring with bamboo, making their products more sustainable and environmentally friendly than many of their competitors’ lines.
Unsurprisingly for a company created by surfers, their products tend to feature designs inspired by coastal regions, and the company’s wood imitation vinyl flooring is highly realistic.
Among the lines produced by Cali is the so-called Mute Step flooring, which incorporates a cork underlay to help reduce noise while also increasing comfort. Other lines of note include Vinyl Pro Classic, designed for ease of installation, Vinyl Plus, which also includes the same cork underlay as Mute Step, and Longboards, vinyl planks sold in a larger format.
One advantage of choosing Cali is the reasonable prices they ask for such a quality product, and they also offer very generous warranties to back their flooring.
Although not the largest of companies, Cali’s pricing, quality and environmental credentials make this a brand to look out for – and one that’s sure to continue to grow in the future.
Another of the longest-established flooring companies, Mannington has been in business for over 100 years and is now the world’s largest producer of Luxury Vinyl Tiling. The company is especially known for its commercial lines, but you can also find plenty of Mannington products that are designed for residential use.
Mannington flooring products belong to one of their four Adura lines, Adura Rigid, Adura Max, Adura MaxApex and Adura Flex. They are available in a variety of styles, including wood imitation, stone imitation and more abstract designs.
This is another brand that offers exceptional value for money, combining solid quality with very reasonable pricing.
Mannington’s Adura flooring is designed for residential use, features a 20 mil wear layer and boasts a lifetime warranty. The commercial lines are available in a range of thicknesses and with warranties of 15-25 years, depending on the product you choose.
This is another brand to check out if you’re interested in getting the best possible value for your money.
In particular, the Adura Rigid and Max lines are 100% waterproof, which when combined with the 20 mil wear layer represents quality that’s hard to match at the kinds of prices they sell for.
For those who like to keep things simple, Flooret is a company that should appeal. They sell their products direct-to-customer only – you can only buy Flooret floors from their website – and their lines could hardly be easier to understand either.
In fact, Flooret only has a single line of vinyl flooring, divided into the Base version and the Signature version. The difference between the two is the wear layer, with Base offering 20 mil and Signature providing a whopping 40 mil, making it practically indestructible.
Both types are UV-protected and feature ceramic bead technology to enhance toughness and durability. The warranties offered back this up, and in residential settings, all Flooret products include a lifetime warranty. The commercial warranties are 10 and 20 years for Base and Signature respectively.
Thanks to the simplicity of the range and the direct-to-customer business model, Flooret is also able to offer flooring at scarcely believable low prices. It might seem too good to be true, but in this case, it happens to be the real deal, so by buying Flooret, you will be getting excellent quality for far less than you would expect to pay with other companies.
Flooret is not counted among the best-known companies, so some people might not be willing to take a gamble on a lesser-known brand. However, if you are comfortable buying from an up-and-coming company, Flooret represents the opportunity to grab yourself a real bargain.
Home Depot’s answer to vinyl plank flooring is their Lifeproof range. It is a popular range of flooring notable as an affordable option rather than a luxury product. However, since it is Home Depot’s in-house line of flooring, this should guarantee a certain level of quality.
This is a line of flooring that’s aimed at the more budget-friendly end of the spectrum, so if you’re looking for top-end quality, this probably won’t be the right choice for you. However, if you are looking for flooring that won’t break the bank, it’s an option to keep in mind.
Forbo is a Swiss-based company that makes a point of being as environmentally friendly as possible through the use of green energy, minimizing transport and cutting down on waste.
Their Allura residential line offers a vast array of around 100 different styles to choose from as well as no fewer than eight installation methods.
The company also offers specialist flooring such as their acoustic flooring that helps reduce noise, their durable low maintenance “homogenous” flooring and their versatile and varied “heterogenous” option that opens up plenty of creative possibilities.
Although not a company with a large presence in the US, Forbo is an option to consider, especially for those interested in installing ecological, high-quality flooring in either residential or commercial settings.
Raskin is a company that specializes in attractive modern flooring solutions that are also quick and easy to install – both loose-lay and glue-down options are available.
The company offers several flooring options, including Premium Waterproof, Commercial and Loose-Lay, but all of them are characterized by high levels of quality and attractive, artistic designs.
This is not a large or well-known company, but if you are looking for flooring options that can make a real impact, this is a brand that’s more than worth checking out.
How to choose the right brand for you
If you want to choose the best vinyl plank flooring for your home – and the best brand to buy from – you’ll need to know a bit about the different features to look for as well as the difference between the high-end versions and the cheap stuff. So let’s look at this now.
When looking for vinyl flooring, you’ll come across a whole set of technical terms and acronyms, some of which might be unfamiliar to you. So what do they all mean?
First, you need to know what vinyl plank flooring is and how it differs from vinyl sheet flooring. This one’s simple. As the names suggest, sheet flooring is laid in sheets, much like carpet, while plank flooring comes in planks.
Both are made of vinyl, but the plank version can be made to mimic wood, stone or other surfaces, giving you a realistic imitation for far less money than the real thing.
You may see vinyl plank flooring referred to as LVP, standing for Luxury Vinyl Plank, which is contrasted with LVT, Luxury Vinyl Tile. These are essentially the same, with the only difference being that the tile version comes in tile shapes rather than planks.
Other than this, the two are very similar, and for the most part, you can treat them as practically the same thing.
Toughness and durability – thickness
One of the most important aspects of any flooring is its toughness and ability to withstand use. This is measured in a number of different ways, and two things to look out for are the overall thickness of the plank and the thickness of the wear layer.
Overall thickness is measured in millimeters and is self-explanatory. The wear layer, on the other hand, is a thin, transparent layer that covers the design layer, and is measured in mil (which refers to thousandths of an inch).
Residential flooring with a wear layer of 12 mil or above will be quite capable of standing up to regular use – while in a commercial context, 20 mil or above is necessary. For areas with heavier use, thicker wear layers may be required
Toughness and durability – composition of the wear layer
The durability of the wear layer is not only determined by its thickness but also by what it is made of.
For example, some companies use ceramic bead technology to reinforce their wear layers –while one company on our list uses diamonds! As you can imagine, this obviously costs more, but this is why you pay more for higher quality products.
There are several different ways to install vinyl plank flooring, and the most common are glue-down, click-together and floating.
Glue-down holds the flooring in place most securely while click-together does a similar job without the need to stick the planks to the floor. Floating, on the other hand, is just laid on the floor without being held in place by anything other than gravity.
Some flooring also offers other features like cork underlay which helps improve comfort when walking on it as well as reducing noise. Points like this are important to note when choosing flooring and the brand that makes it.
Vinyl plank flooring usually cost in the range of $1-10 per square foot, with $4-5 representing decent quality stuff and $10 and above giving you a top-end product. Be careful about choosing anything too cheap since the quality may be inferior.
Plenty of reliable brands to choose from
As you can see, there are plenty of reputable brands to choose from, each with its own strengths and weaknesses.
When choosing, make sure you think about how much traffic the flooring is likely to receive – as well as any other considerations you think are important to you – and you should easily be able to pick out the most suitable brand for your needs.