When it comes to choosing a floor for your home, you want to go with the best. You want the kind of flooring that will last you for years, looks good and most importantly gives your house that stylish and lavish look.
While there are so many types of floorings on the market, at the end of the day, your budget will determine what kind of floor you have. Hardwood flooring ranks the highest in terms of durability and authenticity but not everyone can afford it.
So how do you get the kind of flooring that makes people think that you spent a fortune while you didn’t? Luxury vinyl plank flooring is the ideal choice for homeowners who want to have that luxury feel. However, there are so many luxury vinyl plank options to choose from.
Lifeproof vinyl plank is one of the ideal flooring options that is aesthetically appealing and within the budget range of many homeowners.
What Is a Lifeproof Vinyl Plank Flooring
Lifeproof is one of the most popular vinyl flooring brands that is sold by Home Depot. The main reason why it’s popular is that it is cheaper than other flooring types.
If you are considering using Lifeproof luxury vinyl plank the main factors to consider are waterproof rigid core and affordability.
Vinyl on its own is already an affordable option and it might be tempting to want to save even more by going with Lifeproof vinyl plank which sometimes isn’t always the right move.
Benefits of Lifeproof Vinyl Plank Flooring
Just like when choosing between vinyl plank and laminate, Lifeproof luxury vinyl plank flooring has its benefits that make is the go-to flooring option for a majority of homeowners.
Compared to other flooring options like tiles, hardwood and laminate, Lifeproof is more budget friendly and has way better features than the rest even with its price range.
Hardwood floors, for instance, are prone to water damage and require to be polished and refinished every once in a while. Tiles, on the other hand, tend to crack although they are easy to maintain.
Both hardwood and stone tiles are expensive to install compared to Lifeproof vinyl that can easily be installed over an existing floor reducing the installation costs in the end.
Variety of Styles
With other flooring options, there are very few different styles to choose from. However, with vinyl planks, you have different looks as well as patterns to choose from depending on the look and style that you are going for.
Generally, vinyl floors are durable since they are water-resistant, don’t stain easily and don’t get scratched if you have pets or small kids. They should last you years and not to mention that they are quite easy to maintain, unlike hardwood floors.
Pros and Cons of Lifeproof Vinyl Plank Flooring
Just like with the best NuCore vinyl plank flooring, luxury vinyl has its advantages and disadvantages which you should be aware of before you make a purchase.
Lifeproof luxury vinyl plank flooring comes in a variety of styles that make it possible to customize your look. For instance, Seasoned Wood normally has a weathered look, Ocala Oak is clean and contemporary at the same time, while Walton Oak is rustic and grainy.
Then there is the herringbone and stone styles, lights, mediums and darks. Whatever your style is, you will easily find something at the Home Depot store.
The Lifeproof Rigid Core multilayer that has a wear layer that is enhanced with ceramic beads provides amazing long term stability as well as wear.
Thin and Lightweight
The ISOCORE foam core is what gives stability and strength to the material like the one found in heavier and thicker materials. This makes it easy to work with and tile grout and other imperfections will not show when the floor has been installed or when you want to install long-lasting flooring in the kitchen or basement.
Easy to Install
While hiring a professional is one way of ensuring that the flooring is installed properly to last for years, if you have the experience, you can easily do the installation yourself as the material is very easy to install.
Can Be Installed on Existing Floors
Compared to hardwood flooring or tiles that require the subfloor to be prepared before installation, Lifeproof flooring can be installed on any existing floor as long as there are no rises or low spots on it.
Can Be Installed Over Radiant Heated Floors
Unlike other floor types, Lifeproof LVP can be installed easily on radiant heated floors.
Once installed, Lifeproof LVP can last you long and may require replacement maybe once every 6 to 10 years in commercial settings and 15 to 20 years in home installations depending on the quality of the flooring that you install and the amount of traffic.
Lifeproof LVP is usually FloorScore certified in that they are usually low VOC products that don’t contain formaldehyde or phthalates.
Mold and Moisture Resistant
One of the reasons why you should consider going for Lifeproof vinyl planks is that they are waterproof and mold and mildew resistant hence can be installed in basements, kitchens, bathrooms and laundry rooms.
Compared to other warranties, the Lifetime warranty for residential uses is usually way better. It does not have excess qualifications and is not prorated which usually makes it easy for manufacturers to deny claims.
Easy to Maintain
Lifeproof vinyl planks are easy to care for compared to hardwood floorings.
Can Be Easily Damaged
If for any reason you decided to do the installation yourself, one thing you should note is that the Lifeproof vinyl planks can easily be damaged when installing forcing you to spend even more replacing the broken pieces. As such, these planks don’t make for a very good DIY project.
Length of Commercial Warranty
The 5-year warranty for the commercial setting is usually an issue for most people since its shorter than what is offered by other products. Premium COREtec flooring, for instance, has a 10-year warranty for commercial application which goes well with their lifetime residential use warranty.
Warranty Isn’t Transferable
With Lifeproof LVP, the warranty can only be used by the first owner which makes theur warranty, that attracts so many people to the product, useless after some time.
Types of Lifeproof Vinyl Planks
There are different types of Lifeproof vinyl planks that you should be aware of.
6.5 Mils Wear Layer
A majority of these planks have as 6.5 mil wear layer with lifetime warranty for residential settings and a 5-year warranty for commercial uses.
This wear layer is usually urethane and is fitted with ceramic beads to increase toughness but at the end of the day, 6 mils is still way too thin for flooring. As such, this wear layer is considered a builder’s grade flooring or an entry-level.
This kind of flooring is ideal for residential use rather than commercial due to its lightweight nature. However, it is built better than the other 6.5 mils of other brands and is more expensive as well.
If you are renovating your home to resell or want to install flooring in areas that experience low foot traffic, then it is recommended that you use the cheaper 6.5 mil vinyl floors.
7 Mils Wear Layer
This flooring option exists in five styles that come in a variety of colors. It consists of Sterling Oak, Scratch Stone, 8.7” Trail Oak, Fresh Oak and Biscayne Oak that has a herringbone look.
8 Mils Wear Layer
The 8 mils wear layer comes in three styles in several colors. Alys Oak is 8.7”x72”, Ocala Oak is 8.7” x 59.4” and the Alys Oak that can be distinguished by its length and higher cost.
12 Mils Wear Layer
With these kinds of vinyl planks, the warranty covers 10 years for commercial settings which is a better warranty than what most brands offer on LVT and LVP with a 12 mil wear layer.
This is normally a small selection of 8mm thick planks and few tile sizes. A majority of them are standard wood planks although there are a few parquets that are mixed in.
The most popular use of 12 mil vinyl plank flooring is in residential settings. If you don’t plan on moving, this type of flooring will give you good value for 10 to 15 years. The flooring can also be used in lobbies, offices as well as small retail shops and other light commercial settings.
22 Mils Wear Layer
This is the best Lifeproof luxury vinyl. It is backed by a lifetime residential warranty and a 15-year commercial use warranty. The only downside is that you only have a few styles to choose from with most of them being traditional styles of oaks and other kinds of hardwoods.
However, there is still enough light, medium as well as dark colors that you might fancy.
One other feature of these kinds of planks is that they come with extra-long 72’’ planks ensuring that there are fewer transitions and butts from one board to another during installation.
Lifeproof Vinyl Plank Flooring Features
Lifeproof vinyl plank flooring is a choice for many homeowners as you will find out when checking reviews of durable Pergo flooring options since it offers a variety of selections with planks of different widths. Additionally, the Lifeproof vinyl plank has the look of natural wood like pine and oak.
The wear layer comes in the traditional wood look and is more trendy and has a rustic look. There is also a 6 mil wear layer than is usually resistant to marks, scratches as well as skids and as such this flooring is ideal for homes with small kids and pets.
The planks come with an attached underlayment to provide warmth and comfort when walking. The underlayment also ensures that the floor is quiet compared to hard tiles.
Lifeproof luxury vinyl planks are antimicrobial which means that the flooring option is ideal for those who suffer from allergies. The vinyl planks are treated to prevent the growth of stain and odor that can lead to mold and mildew growth in the underlayment or on the surface.
This way, you are assured of the flooring serving you for years before needing replacement.
Formaldehyde and Phthalate Free
Lifeproof vinyl plank flooring is formaldehyde-free and phthalate-free which means that the planks are free of harmful contaminants that some of the other products contain.
The waterproof feature is what sets vinyl plank apart from hardwood or water-resistant laminate flooring. Waterproof means that the floor doesn’t absorb water.
Lifeproof luxury vinyl plank flooring is made with a closed-cell foam core that is waterproof called ISOCORE which means that the flooring is made of lasting plastic flooring from top to bottom.
Lifeproof Vinyl Plank Flooring Alternatives
There are so many alternatives to Lifeproof vinyl plank flooring that you might want to consider. Chances are that you have made up your mind on vinyl flooring and are just stuck on the quality.
When shopping for vinyl flooring, one way to determine quality is to look at the price. While more expensive may mean quality, it isn’t always the case. One other thing to look out for is the thickness of the planks.
At the end of the day, you want something that can withstand heavy traffic and is durable. The thickness of the planks varies depending on the style.
However, in this case, the thicker the planks, the more the quality and more durable your floor will be. Thicker planks also tend to have more protective layers that help them last longer.
There are Lifetime vinyl planks that are thin and some that are quite thick which means it is important for you to go beyond the brand name. With that in mind, here are a few alternatives to Lifeproof vinyl plank flooring that you might want to consider before making up your mind.
The Armstrong Vivero products come in three durable options, allowing you to choose depending on your needs and where you will be installing the flooring.
The flooring is 100% waterproof, comes in a variety of styles and is very durable. If you have the DIY experience, you can easily install it on your own.
The products also have a lifetime limited warranty for residential uses and a 15-year commercial use warranty. Depending on the style, you can pay twice as much for these products compared to Lifeproof.
Congoleum’s DuraCeramic normally is a mixture of ceramic tiles and vinyl. It has the benefits of both floorings with little of the downsides.
The price of DuraCeramic is usually higher than even the expensive versions of Lifeproof, but you will see the difference right away by looking at both. Congoleum offers both sheet and tile options.
This is one brand that has been in existence for decades and continues to offer high-quality vinyl flooring although at higher prices usually costing $4 to $8 per square foot range. The warranty is longer usually covering 20 years and comes with several unique designs and accent pieces that can be used to bring the look together.
How to Install Lifeproof Vinyl Plank Flooring
Lifeproof luxury vinyl flooring normally has the interlocking drop and lock system ideal for floating installation. You shouldn’t glue the planks as this limits the expansion and contraction of the flooring due to environmental changes.
Lifeproof flooring, unlike hardwood or tiles can be installed on existing floor types or over plywood underlayment.
Step 1 – Preparation
If the floor has imperfections, the first thing you need to do is sand it. Also, if you have grout lines that are more than ¼” wide, you need to fill them to have a level foundation.
Before you begin the installation, you must inspect a few boxes of material for defects and color variations to decide whether to return or go ahead with the installation.
Step 2 – Fist Raw Installation
Begin by laying out a row of loose planks without securing them to determine whether you need to adjust the length.
Start the installation at the left-hand corner and proceed from the wall with the plank tongue facing the wall leaving a gap of a quarter inch for expansion and contraction.
Lay the first row ensuring that it is in a straight line and then interlock the shorter end inserting every tongue to the groove of the adjoining plank ensuring that you install the sequential planks making sure that they lineup evenly.
You can then stagger the rows such that the short edge seams aren’t aligned uniformly.
Step 3 – Second Row Installation
After you laid out the first row, you can proceed to secure the second one with planks that are cut at 2/3 lengths. Use shears or a utility knife to snap the planks.
Attach the first plank of the second row by connecting the longer side to the first row ensuring that there is a ¼ inch gap left. You can then attach the second plank by sliding it up to the first row.
Do this for the remaining planks. You will need to cut the end of the groove when you are cutting the plank to start a new row.
Step 3 – Last Row Installation
Proceed to cut the first plank of the last row and placing it over the previously installed plank row and then take another plank and place it against the wall leaving ¼ inch of space.
Step 4 – Fitting Around
At this stage, you can make patterns out of heavy paper to fit around irregular shaped objects. Place the pattern on the trace and plank by cutting across the trace lines ensuring that you leave a ¼ inch gap around the fixed objects and door jambs.
Fill any space in potentially humid areas like around tubs, refrigerators and other appliances with waterproof silicone caulk.
How to Maintain Lifeproof Vinyl Plank Flooring
Lifeproof luxury vinyl flooring is easy to maintain and keep clean with these few tips.
Step 1 – Loose Dirt Cleaning
Use a vacuum that helps fight allergies or a dust mop to get rid of debris and loose dirt. If the vacuum happens to have a beater bar, turn it off or better invest in a vacuum for hardwood floor with great suctioning that has no beater bar to ensure your flooring lasts you longer.
Step 2 – Spills and Pet Accidents
Clean up spills immediately they occur and clean the area with a mild detergent. This is especially important for acidic spills like soda, juice or wine and then rinse the area thoroughly to remove all detergent.
Step 3 – Sticky Stuff Cleaning
Spray any dirt that may be stuck to the floor with warm water or a wet cloth and allow to sit for about three to five minutes before wiping and rinsing the area.
Step 4 – Protecting the Floor
If you want your floor to last for years, avoid using harsh chemicals when cleaning or dyes and paints in the room. If that isn’t possible, ensure that you cover the area with plastic clothing when you are working.
Step 5 – Mopping the Floor
Depending on the traffic, mop the floor at least once a month more if there is heavy traffic with a neutral vinyl floor cleaning solution and also eliminate pet hairs with the help of a vacuum.
Change mop water and rinse cloth when they get too soiled to remove streaking and residue.
Where to Purchase Lifeproof Vinyl Plank Flooring and Its Prices
Lifeproof vinyl plank flooring is normally sold at Home Depot and is formally called Allure. The flooring option is priced per square foot.
The planks cost around $3 per square foot with a case covering around 20 square feet. You can order Lifeproof flooring online or buy it at your local Home Depot store.
However, not all styles can be shipped to your home but you have the option of shipping your order to the nearest Home Depot store.
Quick Tips On How to Prevent Lifeproof Vinyl Plank Damage
- Use felt protective or nylon pads under furniture and ensure that you clean them as required.
- Lift furniture rather than dragging it to avoid denting and scratching your floor.
- Ensure that you use non-studded mats for all office chairs or broad surface casters.
- Ensure that all pet nails are trimmer.
- Avoid as much as possible walking on the floor with heels or gold spikes as this will end up shortening the life cycle of your floor.
Does More Spending Mean More Quality
At the end of the day, you want to purchase a product that serves you for long. One of the best ways to determine the quality is to look at the pricing.
However, when it comes to Lifeproof luxury vinyl plank flooring, more spending doesn’t always mean more quality.
With so many options falling in the $1 to $2 per square foot range, you will be missing out on important features like waterproof or scratch-resistant if you are stuck on the pricing.
Do’s and Don’ts to Do with Lifeproof Vinyl Plank Flooring
- Do encourage a shoe-free house since dirt acts like sandpaper on vinyl flooring and will scratch the floor in no time.
- Do wipe spills immediately they occur to avoid them seeping through the planks and causing them to warp.
- Don’t use rubber mats on the floor as the chemicals in such mats might react with the flooring discoloring the vinyl.
- Don’t use a steam cleaner like you would steam clean your carpets and floors or shop vacs for superior cleaning that have rotating brushes, scouring pad, oil, wax or polish on the floor.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who makes Lifeproof vinyl flooring?
Lifeproof vinyl flooring is made by Halstead New England Industries and then sold by Home Depot.
Does Lifeproof luxury vinyl plank increase home value?
If you are thinking about re-selling your home someday, then luxury vinyl plank flooring should not be your ideal choice as this type of flooring has been known to decrease home value.
Should you use underlayment for vinyl planks?
With vinyl planks, you don’t need an underlayment. All you need is to ensure that the floor is even as they can be installed on existing floors.
Does luxury vinyl plank scratch easily?
Yes, luxury vinyl plank flooring gets scratches easily from daily wear and tear especially if you have small kids or people walking in the house with shoes.
How long does vinyl plank last?
Thicker vinyl flooring usually lasts as long as 25 years and the warranty covers this. Thin vinyl, on the other hand, is designed to last for about 5 to 10 years.
If you are on a budget and can’t afford flooring options like hardwood or tiles, then luxury vinyl will do. You can even go a step further and install Lifeproof luxury vinyl flooring which is sold by Home Depot and is designed to last for as long as 15 years.
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