Let’s talk a bit about LifeProof vinyl flooring! Home Depot’s in-house brand is relatively inexpensive, decently durable, and increasingly popular. But is it one of the best types of vinyl flooring out there?
That’s a loaded question—and to be fair to LifeProof, it requires a thorough response.
Because let’s face it—if you happened to read our review of the cork flooring Lowes sells, you might think that private-label hardwood floor alternatives from big box stores might be of… well, let’s call it “mixed” quality. And you wouldn’t be wrong.
But: we also know that at its price point, LifeProof flooring can be a pretty attractive option.
That’s why below, we’re going to show you everything you need to know about LifeProof vinyl flooring. We’ll talk about its pros and cons, the collections it comes in, and talk about the most common themes that pop up in LifeProof vinyl flooring reviews. Finally, we’ll compare it to some of the other best vinyl plank flooring brands on the market.
By the end of this guide, you should have a good idea of whether LifeProof flooring is right for you!
PS: if you want to jump straight to the “is LifeProof worth it” answer, scroll to the bottom of the article!
LifeProof is Home Depot’s in-house brand of vinyl plank flooring (aka LVP)—one of the most robust and popular types of flooring on the market today.
One of LVP’s biggest selling points is that it’s a fantastic fake wood flooring choice. LifeProof vinyl flooring certainly leans into that, and if you check it out on Home Depot’s website, you’ll find it in endless patterns that mimic dozens of wood flooring types.
That said, there’s a big gap between high-end vinyl plank and budget vinyl plank—and below, we’ll show you where LifeProof flooring fits on that scale.
LifeProof Flooring Is Exclusive to Home Depot
Again, LifeProof flooring can only be bought at Home Depot. The entire product line is Home Depot’s in-house brand.
How to Purchase LifeProof Vinyl Plank Flooring
Some options are available in-store at your local Home Depot location, but if you want to view the full LifeProof vinyl flooring catalog, you’d be better off visiting the store’s website.
Who Makes LifeProof Vinyl Flooring?
Though Home Depot holds the exclusive rights to LifeProof, many LifeProof vinyl flooring reviews note that the manufacturer is actuallyHalstead New England Industries.
About Halstead New England Industries
If you’re unfamiliar with this brand, don’t worry—you’re not alone. Halstead isn’t exactly a household name.
Home Depot contracts Halstead to produce LifeProof flooring, and if you peruse Halstead’s website, you’ll notice that some of its offerings are suspiciously similar (read: identical) to LifeProof’s.
Translation: LifeProof is basically just Halstead’s normal LVP, but branded as “LifeProof” for Home Depot. To be fair, this sort of thing is actually pretty common in the business world, where it’s known as “white-labeling”.
What are the Most Popular Lifeproof Flooring Colors?
Anyway, let’s get to the fun stuff! LifeProof vinyl flooring comes in tons of wood floor designs and colors. If you want something like ebony flooring (but don’t want to spend a million dollars trying to buy the real thing) LifeProof might offer a decent substitute.
In fact, one of the best things about LifeProof flooring is the huge range of hardwood species it can look like. We’re not just talking normal stuff like oak and hickory—we’re talking darkened and bleached wooden floor finishes that make for gorgeous contrasts.
So: if you want mixed-species wood floor patterns, you can totally achieve them with LifeProof vinyl.
The Pros of LifeProof Vinyl Flooring
There’s a lot to like about LifeProof vinyl flooring, but we’d be lying if we said there weren’t some concerns too. Let’s start with the product’s advantages.
The Cost of LifeProof Vinyl Flooring Is Relatively Low
LifeProof flooring generally costs between $3 and $4 per square foot, which isn’t too bad. However, the price is dependent on the thickness of the wear layer (which we’ll discuss below).
Many LifeProof Vinyl Flooring Reviews Mention That the Residential Warranty is Great
Lots of the LifeProof reviews we read mentioned that the product’s residential warranty is excellent. The policy includes a limited lifetime warranty for factory defects, water damage, fading, stains, and general wear if the print pattern has been damaged.
This is definitely one of LifeProof flooring’s best features. But there’s also a less-great side to the warranty that we’ll cover below.
Of course, low-VOC doesn’t mean non-existent-VOC. If you want something even safer, you’ll probably want to look at something like solid hardwood or non-toxic laminate flooring.
LifeProof Vinyl Flooring Reviews Often Mention That It’s Easy to Install
A frequent point in LifeProof vinyl flooring reviews is that it’s a pretty good product for DIY-ers. And you can even install it as a floating floor. However: as with the warranty policy, there’s a catch here we’ll explore below.
Compared to Hardwood, LifeProof Flooring’s Care and Maintenance Requirements are Minimal
On the surface (no pun intended), LifeProof vinyl is a scratch-resistant flooring choice. Like all LVP, it’s great for mudroom flooring or anywhere that might get wet or dirty. And it doesn’t require any special maintenance.
But: some reviewers have noted that LifeProof doesn’t compare favorably in scratch-resistance to the best wood flooring for dogs—which is a problem because most wood-look vinyl is bought specifically for dogs and children. Yikes.
LifeProof Flooring Can Work with Radiant Heat
LifeProof vinyl flooring is marketed as being compatible with radiant heat (aka floors heated from below). So, if you’re wondering whether to use carpet or hardwood in a bedroom, maybe the real answer is LifeProof. You don’t have to sacrifice the warmth of a carpet, but you can still get the look of wood floors!
LifeProof Vinyl Flooring Is Thin and Lightweight
Okay, so, this is a “pro”, but there’s definitely a catch.
LifeProof flooring is thin and lightweight. This means it’s much easier to ship and install—but there’s a general rule about flooring (and maybe anything that’s supposed to be durable) that more weight means more strength. There’s a reason the most durable wood flooring also tends to be the heaviest.
So, LifeProof vinyl flooring is sacrificing something for its light weight—and we’ll touch on that soon.
LifeProof Flooring Comes in a Huge Variety of Styles
One more thing: when searching through LifeProof vinyl flooring reviews, you’ll notice people talking about a ton of different products. And that’s because LifeProof comes in an endless array of styles.
LifeProof’s Warranty Applies to the First Owner Only, So it’s Not Ideal for Resale Value
And here’s the first knock on LifeProof flooring’s warranty policy: it only applies to the first owner. So, if the first owner sells their property and the flooring gets damaged when a second owner moves in, that second owner can’t redeem the warranty.
LifeProof’s Commercial Warranty Isn’t Great (and Hints at the Product’s Quality)
To this point, we’ve only mentioned the residential warranty. And that’s because LifeProof vinyl flooring’s commercial warranty is… not great. The average commercial warranty only lasts five years, and doesn’t cover a host of common occurrences like wear.
This begs the question, is LifeProof flooring even intended for heavy-traffic areas? According to many LifeProof vinyl flooring reviews, the answer seems to be no.
But The Most Obnoxious Problem With LifeProof: It’s Seriously Breakable
Of course, none of those problems even come close to “the big issue”. Namely, that many LifeProof vinyl flooring reviews note that the product’s interlocking tabs (which are used to install the flooring) break super easily.
And if you break these tabs, which is apparently easy to do, the entire plank is virtually useless. That produces A) a lot of waste B) a lot of frustration and C) a lot of wasted money.
DIY Damage Is Way Too Common in LifeProof Flooring Reviews
In fact, for a product that’s supposed to be some of the easiest flooring to install, a lot of LifeProof owners note that they damaged at least a few planks during installation.
That begs yet another question: do you need to hire a professional to install LifeProof flooring? Because if so, it might be more economical to buy higher-end vinyl plank flooring that’s easier to install by yourself.
LifeProof Flooring Can’t Be Used Outside
If you’re looking for outdoor flooring options, keep looking. Vinyl plank flooring, in general, can often be used outdoors. However, some products do fade in direct sunlight (even indoors).
Unfortunately, lots of the reviews for LifeProof vinyl flooring mention that it’s especially vulnerable to sunlight. So it’s probably best to keep it indoors,
But LifeProof’s Biggest Problem: Reviewers Don’t Really Like It
We’re not going to say that LifeProof is terrible. There are many lower-end EVP flooring options that are a lot worse.
But many reviewers who compare LifeProof to other products—particularly other vinyl products—tend to prefer the other options. That’s not a good sign.
Plus: The Special Features of LifeProof Vinyl Flooring Aren’t Really That Special
The fact is, there’s nothing overly innovative about LifeProof vinyl flooring—many of its features are industry standards. (Now, if you want something truly innovative, check out the magic that is magnetic flooring.)
LifeProof Vinyl Is Waterproof—But So Is Most Other Vinyl Plank
If you’re looking for water-resistant wood flooring, a fake wood substitute like LifeProof is actually a great way to go. But, there’s nothing about LifeProof’s waterproof qualities that makes it better than any other waterproof option.
Even laminate flooring has waterproof choices nowadays, like Mohawk’s RevWood. Check out our vinyl plank vs. laminate guide if you’re curious to see how they stack up.
LifeProof has better water-resistant properties than real wood, but otherwise, it’s pretty standard. If you want the best in waterproof flooring, check out some Pergo Extreme reviews—it’s super-popular for a reason.
The “Authentic Texturing” of LifeProof Vinyl Flooring Is an Industry Standard Too
Another “feature” of LifeProof vinyl flooring is that it has authentic texturing. This is true, but most modern vinyl plank options have this.
Virtually All Vinyl Plank Can Be Installed as a Floating Floor—Not just LifeProof
As we’ve discussed before, one of LifeProof’s big selling points is that it’s (supposedly) DIY-friendly because it can be installed in a floating style. (Read up on the disadvantages of floating floors here.)
However, considering that most LifeProof flooring reviews mention how easy it is to break the interlocking clasps… maybe it’s not really that DIY-friendly after all.
Note: Good and Bad LifeProof Vinyl Flooring Reviews Largely Depend on Wear Layer Thickness
So, we won’t go super in-depth here (because the concept is pretty straightforward) but one noticeable pattern in lots of LifeProof vinyl flooring reviews is that the thicker the wear layer, the better the review. And if you didn’t know, wear layers are measured in mil (aka 1/1000 of an inch).
6.5-Mil Wear Layer Reviews
This is the most common wear layer thickness, with dozens of styles available (including wood-look).
Reviews for these products are mixed at best. First-time buyers seem to like them, but people who have had other types of vinyl rarely do.
The commercial warranty isn’t great but the residential warranty is decent.
7- and 8-Mil Wear Layer Reviews
There are only eight total options that come in this thickness range.
These options are slightly more expensive, but more durable than the 6.5-mil options.
Reviews are better for these products but, again, largely mixed.
12-Mil Wear Layer Reviews
Almost double the thickness of the 6.5-mil floors, the 12-mil options are notably more durable (and better reviewed). But they’re pricier, too.
22-Mil Wear Layer Reviews
The 22-mil wear layers are the best LifeProof flooring choices in terms of durability.
However, there are very few choices.
The commercial warranty is decent, and reviews are much better for these. However, there is also a smaller sample size.
Comparing LifeProof Vinyl Flooring to Other Top Brands
So what are the best vinyl plank flooring brands out there and how does LifeProof compare? Below we’ve selected four top brands (though by no means the only top brands) and stacked them up against LifeProof flooring.
LifeProof Vinyl Flooring vs. COREtec (by Shaw)
COREtec is known for its COREtec Plus line, which uses cork in its base layer for strength. Don’t worry—you don’t have to worry about the pros and cons of cork flooring here—it just adds bounce and sound-dampening properties to the floor. COREtec is the original creator of WPC vinyl. And while it’s more expensive than LifeProof flooring, we believe it’s also more innovative.
LifeProof Vinyl Flooring vs. Armstrong
Armstrong vinyl flooring is also notably more expensive than LifeProof, but it also uses synthesized diamonds in its ultra-strong wear layer.
NuCore costs about the same as LifeProof flooring, but you don’t have to pay a premium for its 20-mil wear layer. It comes with a lifetime residential warranty and 15-year commercial warranty (that isn’t as restrictive as LifeProof’s). And it’s one of the other brands that comes with a built-in underlayment.
LifeProof Vinyl Flooring vs. Proximity Mills
Proximity Mills is one of the fastest-growing vinyl plank brands in the country—and for good reason. The company’s products are similarly-priced to LifeProof’s, but with better warranties, thicker wear layers, and a much better buying experience (they only sell Proximity Mills at certain flooring stores for more boutique-style customer service).
Plus, Proximity Mills is ethically-sourced and fully recyclable. So if you’re looking for a floor in this price range, we’d recommend going with a brand like Proximity Mills instead.
So, Is LifeProof Vinyl Flooring Good?
We’ve delayed our judgment long enough! Is LifeProof vinyl flooring any good? Our take: it’s okay.
The simple truth is that there are better options available in similar price ranges (especially Proximity Mills.) LifeProof’s best selling point might be that it’s relatively easy to find, since there’s a Home Depot in virtually every county in the U.S. That said… well, we’ve all been to Home Depot. That’s all we’ll say.
What to Expect from LifeProof Vinyl Flooring
LifeProof flooring in the 6.5-mil category may compare favorably to low-end LVP products, but not by much and not for the price.
If you look at the LifeProof vinyl flooring in the 12- to 22-mil wear layer price range—and don’t mind the narrower selection—then you might actually end up with a decent floor.
LifeProof flooring is still vinyl plank—so you don’t have to worry about any solid or engineered wood disadvantages. But if you’re going in expecting high-performance luxury vinyl, there are better choices out there.
In Conclusion: LifeProof Vinyl Flooring Is… Okay. But There Are Much Better LVP Options Out There.
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: if you want vinyl plank flooring, you’re probably better off looking elsewhere. LifeProof flooring isn’t terrible, but it doesn’t bring anything new to the table. And at its most affordable price point, it doesn’t offer a great product.
So if you’re ready to find a great LVP floor for your home, don’t go to a box store. Go straight to an actual flooring expert by finding a top-rated flooring store near you. They can steer you in the right direction.
We’re going to cover a lot of information here, so please feel free to reach out to us with any specific questions! Our team of flooring experts is here to help.
About The Author
Take any subject and there’s a good chance Christian has written about it. From marketing and international relations to wildlife (hobby!) and sports, Christian writes, edits, or helps publish just about everything that’s resigned to written form. His love for home design and remodeling began with his first job working for his uncle’s property management business.
May 4, 2021 So: what’s the difference between flexible core and rigid core luxury vinyl flooring? Is one better than the other? Do some brands sell one, but not the other? While these are pretty simple questions, their answers are surprisingly complex. That’s why below, we’re going to explain everything you need to know about […]
April 21, 2021 Outdoor vinyl flooring: is it the same as indoor vinyl flooring? Does it actually last in the elements? Who makes it? Is it even a thing? We know you’ve got questions. And luckily, we’ve got the answers. While most vinyl products are strictly intended for indoor use, vinyl is a seriously robust […]
April 20, 2021 So: is it better to glue down vinyl plank flooring, or to install it as a floating floor? It’s an age-old question (well, old-ish), and there’s really no right or wrong answer either way. Both options have their own sets of challenges and perks—and luckily, we’re here to lay them all out […]