LifeProof luxury vinyl plank (LVP) flooring is a popular choice for homeowners across the country. What is LifeProof? Is LifeProof worth the cost? These and many other questions about the LVP brand are found right here in this review. Read on to find out if LifeProof is your next vinyl flooring solution.
Best LifeProof Flooring Features
- 1 Best LifeProof Flooring Features
- 2 What to Expect from the LVP
- 3 LifeProof Flooring Construction
- 4 Installing LifeProof Floors
- 5 Care and Maintenance of LifeProof LVP Flooring
- 6 Cost and Warranty
- 7 Comparing LifeProof Flooring to other Top Brands
- 8 What I Like About LifeProof LVP Flooring
- 9 What I Dislike About LifeProof LVP
- 10 FAQ about LifeProof Flooring
- 11 In Conclusion
LifeProof has quite a few standout features that make it a top choice for many flooring DIYers and professionals, alike.
- Simple interlock installation.
- No need for additional underlayment.
- Rigid PVC composite core for strength and softness.
- 100% waterproof design.
- Over 20 color and style options to choose from.
- Free of formaldehyde, phthalate and is antimicrobial which prevents mold and mildew growth
- Ideal for wet area installs.
What to Expect from the LVP
LifeProof LVP flooring used to be called Allure. It is a vinyl plank flooring manufactured by Halstead New England Industries exclusively for Home Depot . The LVP is revolutionary inHalstead New England Industries its construction and the result is a rigid plank that is waterproof and soft to walk on .
While the planks are considered mid-range, the truth is that they have a lot of high-end attributes and features at a low-end price.
While it may not be as durable in certain situations as planks that cost twice as much, it isn’t a cheap flooring that needs constant care or replacement.
For homeowners looking for an ideal match with their needs and budget, LifeProof is there to fill a void. When you purchase the planking, you can expect an easy to install flooring that will hold up for many years.
LifeProof Flooring Construction
LifeProof planks are constructed from three layers. The bottom, or base layer is a padded underlayment made mostly of rubber and PVC foam composite. This layer provides a cushion when walked on, and a firm foundation to help cover any imperfections in the flooring below.
Not only does the PVC make the planks more pliable and easier to install but they add a strength normally found in the top-tier brands.
The top layer is made from stains and textures to give the plank the natural wood or stone finish it is famous for. The top layer (known as the wear layer) also consists of ceramic beads to prolong the wear of the planks.
One thing to note, is that the planks are made from all new vinyl and none of it is from recycled pieces . However, the construction does not include formaldehyde or phthalates which is found in some other brands.
It is also worth noting that both the top and bottom layers are treated with an antimicrobial coating that helps prevent moisture build up and resists stains, mold and mildew.
Installing LifeProof Floors
When installing flooring of any type it is important to decide if you want to attempt the install yourself, or hire a professional. When it comes to LVP, the choice is more difficult. LVP is relatively simple to install, if you have any DIY experience at all.
If, however, you are concerned with the finished product, don’t want to be on your hands and knees for hours or want the job done with a labor warranty, a professional should be considered. According to Home Advisor, the average professional installation costs about $1,695. Keep in mind though, that their calculations also include the cost of the materials.
If you are considering taking on the job yourself, let’s look at what you will need to do.
- Acclimation. The first step is to place the boxes of the LVP in the room they are installed in for at least 24 hours. This will acclimate the planks to the room temperature.
- Preparation. Next you need to prep the area for install. This will include removing baseboards, transition molding and old planks or tiles if you aren’t laying the new on top.
- Marking. Using a chalk line, you need to measure and mark the floor. Find the center of each wall and mark to the corners with the chalk line. You need to leave about 5/16th of an inch from the wall for expansion of the planks.
- Mix planks. You don’t need to mix the planks from the boxes like you’re shuffling a deck of cards. However, you will want to randomly pull the next plank from a different box each time. This ensures the dyes and patterns mix better (each box will have more or less dye and playing a whole box can have an adverse appearance when done).
- First row. The first row is crucial. You want to maintain the 5/16th inch gap from the wall. It is also important that your rows offset at least six inches. Cut the first plank by at least 6 inches before moving on. Cut the last plank in that row to fit the room.
- Next rows. The following rows need to maintain the 6-inch offset between edges. This will keep the ends from bowing or coming undone. It also gives you that nice wood plank or brick pattern.
- Final row. The final row will need to bend and twist to get into place, but isn’t difficult. Make sure all the pieces are locked together, using a mallet or knocking hammer to get them in place.
- Wait. After the floor is complete, you need to wait at least 24 hours before you move in the furniture. His time allows the planks to expand (filling that gap) and settling down. During this time you can reinstall the trim and baseboards, but you will want to avoid walking on it too much.
- Enjoy. After the 24 hours (or more) wait time, move your furniture back in the room, turn on the TV and enjoy your new flooring.
Care and Maintenance of LifeProof LVP Flooring
Caring for your new LifeProof floor is relatively simple to maintain. A sweep or vacuum will keep your floors free of debris and looking good . However, if you want a deeper clean, feel free to bring out the string or sponge mop at any time.
The LifeProof LVP is 100% waterproof . This means that regular mopping isn’t an issue. However, if you use anything other than water, make sure the cleaner is approved for vinyl flooring. Not all cleaners are created equal and some harsher chemicals can eventually remove the protective wear layer.
If a plank is damaged, it isn’t the end of the world. While there isn’t a way to repair the plank, you can replace them. Thanks to the “drop and lock” install method, removing a plank is made easier.
You still need to be cautious of the surrounding planks, but unlike LVP from a few years ago, you don’t need to remove the entire floor to that point. Still, it is better to be cautious than to replace.
LifeProof is durable and rugged, though, and will withstand most of what any high-traffic flooring has to deal with, including children and pets.
Cost and Warranty
When hopping for the planks, you will pay for the square foot. Each case of LVP will cover about 18 to 20 square feet and run you a little under $3 per square foot, or $55 to $60 per case.
You will also want to make sure you have enough to cover your floor entirely, plus some planks left over. If you buy too much, you can return any unopened cases up to 90 days after purchase, for any reason.
When installed in a residential home, LifeProof comes with a lifetime warranty . This doesn’t cover gouges and damage caused by misuse (pet claws, dropping things sliding furniture, etc.).
However, should anything go wrong with the planks, discoloration, moisture barriers compromised, bowing or cracking, you can have the planks replaced under warranty.
In a commercial setting the warranty will depend on the style and thickness you purchase and install and will range between 10 and 15 years.
Comparing LifeProof Flooring to other Top Brands
How does LifeProof compare to other top-rated brands? Below I compare the LVP to a few of the highest selling, best reviewed brands to find out.
LifeProof Floors Vs. COREtec
COREtec is a high-quality, High-price LVP that comes with elegant styles and incredible durability. The downside to COREtec for many is that it is highly recommended you have the planks professionally installed. If you choose to do the install yourself, you may find that you lose several years of your warranty.
LifeProof, on the other hand, doesn’t lower the warranty because you decide to install it yourself. You will always have a lifetime warranty (residential) with LifeProof. COREtec averages a 15-year warranty.
Both planks are durable and have a range of different thicknesses to choose from. COREtec has a larger selection in styles and colors, but some find this to be a distraction. Depending on your preferences this can be a win for either brand.
The biggest difference here is the set time and cost . While COREtec only needs about 15 hours to set, it will cost you more than twice the cost of LifeProof. The trade off, though, is that the LifeProof floor needs at least a full day to set properly before you can use it.
If you want an elegant flooring that will look good for years to come and one that you can use a lot sooner, go with COREtec. If, however, you want to save quite a bit of money and still have a great floor, LifeProof is an excellent choice.
LifeProof Floors Vs. Armstrong
Armstrong has been in the flooring game for over 100 years and has quite an arsenal of LVP to sift through. If you want options, Armstrong is your choice. However, this can be a bad thing, especially if you need to buy a new box to make a few replacements.
The standout feature with Armstrong is that they don’t use ceramic beads in their wear layer for added durability . Instead they use synthetic, or lab-created diamonds. This creates a wear layer that is virtually indestructible and will provide a firm foundation and comfortable flooring for years to come.
That being said, they don’t have a lifetime warranty like LifeProof does, but the cost per square foot is about the same, depending on style. If you want rugged, durable planks with a lot of styles and colors to choose from, Armstrong is a solid choice.
If, on the other hand, you want a longer warranty, less options to wade through and a softer feel underfoot, then LifeProof is the brand to go with.
LifeProof Floors Vs. NuCore
NuCore is another exclusive LVP. Instead of Home Depot, though, NuCore is sold exclusively through Floor & Decor. Like LifeProof, NuCore is soft underfoot and easy to install.
You will also find that both brands are 100% waterproof across their entire line . Not many brands can offer that.
Instead of rubber and PVC composite, the base layer of NuCOre is made from cork. It is also hypoallergenic, but not antimicrobial. The NuCore planks are a bit softer to walk on, and some report an almost giving, or “squishy” feeling that is welcomed to bare or socked feet.
With NuCore’s design, though, you can lay more flooring without the need for transition trim pieces. NuCore claims to be able to lay flat and stay solid with up to 6,400 feet of planks without transitions.
Both models also offer a lifetime warranty, though NuCore is slightly higher in price per square foot.
If you have a large space to lay, want an extra cushion while you walk and prefer a warmer floor, NuCore is worth looking into. However, if you want to save a little cash, have a durable plank that handles any area of your home, LifeProof might be your choice in the end.
What I Like About LifeProof LVP Flooring
- 100% waterproof. All LVP is stain and water resistant. To be waterproof is a huge step in application areas and cleaning.
- Highly durable. The three layer construction with PVC composite core means a lower cost with a top-tier durability.
- Limited selection. There are only 20 colors and styles to choose from. Keeping things simple helps the initial decision as well as finding a match later on in the future.
- Lifetime warranty. When you install LifeProof in your home, it comes with a lifetime warranty. Not many brands make this claim.
- Antimicrobial. You don’t need to worry about bacteria, mold or mildew with LifeProof, the top and bottom layers are treated to prevent these things.
What I Dislike About LifeProof LVP
- Exclusive retailer. Being sold at a single outlet is okay, but Home Depot limits the styles that are shipped to your home. If you aren’t close to a Home Depot, you are severely limited in what you can order.
- Grain and pattern dispersing. All LVP has slight variances in the colors and grains of their individual batches. LifeProof has more drastic variances that can be quite noticeable once installed.
- Long set time. The average set time for LVP is 12 to 15 hours, but LifeProof needs at least 24 hours to set properly.
FAQ about LifeProof Flooring
In this section I will cover some of the most common questions about LifeProof LVP flooring. If you have other concerns or questions, please use the comment section below.
Q. Who makes Lifeproof and where is it sold?
- LifeProof is made by a company called Halstead New England Industries. The brand is owned and sold exclusively through Home Depot stores in the US.
Q. Do I need a professional installer for LifeProof LVP?
- You are not required to have a professional installation of LifeProof LVP. However, it is recommended that any flooring have a professional installer. You will get a guaranteed finished product and not have to worry about cleaning up or damage.
The DIYer can install LVP with relative ease, though, and saves hundreds doing the install themselves. Luckily, LifeProof has a lifetime warranty, no matter who does the installation.
Q. Will LifeProof honor my Allure warranty?
- Allure is the name given the flooring before it was changed to LifeProof. Both floor brands are exclusive to Home Depot, who holds and honors the warranties. That being said, if your Allure flooring is still under warranty, Home Depot will honor it. Finding an exact match, though, may be more difficult.
Q. Is LifeProof vinyl plank flooring good for bathrooms?
- LifeProof LVP is ideal for any floor space, including wet areas. With the antimicrobial finish and 100% waterproof design, installing in a bathroom, kitchen or laundry room is a great idea. Not only will you have a beautiful floor, but it will also withstand spills or leaks and maintains a lifetime warranty in the process.
LifeProof flooring is an exclusive brand by the Home Depot. With several styles and colors to choose from, you can find a match for your décor in any room.
The brand is considered mid-range, but offers a durability found in higher-end LVP brands . The PVC composite core and antimicrobial finish offer a sturdy, strong and waterproof plank that will last for years to come. If you are looking for an affordable, DIY installed plank flooring, LifeProof is worth a decent consideration.