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February 18, 2021
Curious about Proximity Mills vinyl plank flooring? You’re not alone.
Over the past year, we’ve reviewed dozens of the best vinyl plank flooring brands to see whether they’re worth purchasing. And recently, we’ve been getting tons of messages asking us to review Proximity Mills.
That’s why below, we’re going to cover everything you need to know about Proximity Mills. We’re going to talk about who the company is, the products they make, how much they cost, plus warranty and installation info. Then, we’ll go through some Proximity Mills product reviews so you can decide whether this vinyl plank is right for you.
If the number of questions we get about Proximity Mills is any indication, it’s one of the fastest-growing vinyl plank flooring brands in the country.
They advertise themselves as “a better kind of floor buying experience” that’s focused on sustainability, performance, ease-of-purchase, and buying local—which are all things we can get behind.
We would almost compare them to Warby Parker, because they source their products directly from manufacturers—so there’s no middleman or big price markup.
Additionally, they really stress that they only sell their LVP at certain independent flooring stores rather than at national chains (and again, we’ll talk about that in more detail below).
Why Haven’t I Heard of Proximity Mills Flooring Before?
As a private-label brand (i.e. one that isn’t owned by one of the giant flooring corporations), Proximity Mills has always focused on making the best flooring possible and letting the salespeople sell it (according to their brand representatives).
According to their advertising, they seem to pride themselves on letting their products’ quality speak for itself. And if you’ve read our reviews of some other LVP brands, like Lowes’ SmartCore flooring or Floor & Decor’s NuCore flooring, you’ll know that level of quality isn’t particularly common.
What Products Does Proximity Mills Offer?
Now that we’ve gotten the basics out of the way, let’s talk about the actual products that Proximity Mills sells.
Proximity Mills Currently Sells 11 Collections of Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring (LVP)
Within each Proximity Mills collection, you can find 5–10 different styles. And by that, we mean different colors, different finishes, even different plank sizes. Want faux-wood flooring that comes in squares? How about totally waterproof wide-plank wood flooring alternatives? Or LVP that mimics organic types of tile like porcelain or granite?
Yep. There seems to be a little something for everyone here. And like we said—the company claims there’s more on the way soon.
And All Proximity Mills LVP Floors Have an SPC Core
If you’re not familiar, SPC stands for Stone-Plastic Composite. This type of EVP (engineered vinyl plank) flooring mixes limestone powder with its core-layer plastic to make for an incredibly durable and scratch-resistant floor. That’s why SPC is generally recommended for use in areas that see a lot of foot traffic.
And in our opinion, Proximity Mills’ products mimic different types of wood flooring well enough to go in a bedroom, living room, or dining room.
Plus, They’re Entirely Waterproof
Like all vinyl plank, Proximity Mills’ LVP floors are totally waterproof—making them a great water-resistant wood flooring alternative for any rooms that might see their fair share of moisture. We’re thinking bathrooms, kitchens, basements, or even mudroom flooring here.
And They Have Super-Thick Protective Wear Layers (for Extra Scratch-Resistance)
Sure, Proximity Mills floors are pretty. But so are a lot of other floors. And yes, they’re waterproof. But again, all PVC flooring products are.
So what really impresses us about Proximity Mills products? Their super-thick wear layers.
If you don’t know, most vinyl planks feature wear layers that are somewhere between 6 and 20 mils thick. However, we don’t recommend buying anything under 12 mils thick, even for residential use. In fact, we actually used that as our cutoff when we stacked up the best vinyl plank flooring brands.
Proximity Mills LVP products all come with 12- to 22-mil wear layers. And they’re UV-coated, too—meaning you can use them as sunroom flooring without having huge fading issues.
For reference: Home Depot’s LifeProof vinyl flooring—which retails for around the same price as Proximity Mills—only has a 6.5-mil wear layer. So you can understand why we’re impressed by this brand.
Proximity Mills Products are Low-VOC Certified (and Recyclable)
All Proximity Mills products are FloorScore-certified as either low-VOC flooring or entirely zero-VOC flooring, which is pretty impressive. Additionally, Proximity Mills made a point of telling us about their commitment to sustainability, which includes creating products that can be completely recycled.
That might not sound super impressive by itself, but most vinyl products can’t be recycled at all—meaning they end up in landfills.
This question is a little more difficult to answer, since different stores sell Proximity Mills at different prices. In general, though, we’ve seen it sold for as low as $3.50 and as much as $7.00 per square foot. It all depends on where you live, how much you need, and the product you’re getting.
For context, that puts Proximity Mills squarely in the middle of the average cost to install vinyl plank flooring (which is roughly $1.50 to $10/sq. ft. nationally). And for a product with this many perks, we think that’s pretty great.
How Do You Install Proximity Mills LVP?
According to Proximity Mills, their floors can be installed in 3 different ways depending on the product:
Glue-down and loose-lay floors are exactly what they sound like. But what is a floating floor? It’s an installation style that uses tight-fitting, snap-together grooves in the sides of each plank to join them together. That’s why floating floors are sometimes known as “snap-lock” or “click-together” flooring.
Does Proximity Mills Vinyl Plank Need an Underlayment?
It depends on the specific floor. According to the company, all of their floating floors feature an attached “premium cushion underlayment”, but their glue-down and loose-lay products do not.
Translation: if you need a moisture barrier, or want an underlayment to address noise issues, creaking, or any other typical floating floor disadvantages, you’ll have to get one separately.
That said, Proximity Mills is very up-front about this, which we respect. A lot of brands will claim their attached underlayments are all-in-one when they really, really aren’t. See our LifeProof and SmartCore reviews for more info on that.
Proximity Mills Warranty Information
Every floor Proximity Mills sells is covered by a lifetime limited warranty for residential use.
Obviously, the “limited” in that phrase is important (because there are some exceptions you’ll want to be aware of before you buy), but overall, that’s a super solid warranty compared to the warranties from almost any other vinyl plank flooring brand.
As far as commercial warranties are concerned: one collection has a 5-year warranty, one collection has a 7-year warranty, and the other 9 collections all feature a 10-year commercial warranty.
Again: that might not sound impressive—but if you spend all day researching floors like we do, you’ll know that’s an extremely solid warranty (especially for the price).
Where to Buy Proximity Mills Flooring
Here’s the thing about Proximity Mills (and depending on who you ask, one of the only downsides to the brand): it’s difficult to find.
Sure, some of that has to do with the company being so niche. But it seems to have more to do with the fact that Proximity Mills doesn’t allow box stores or national chains to carry their products.
And even smaller flooring stores have to meet super-strict criteria in order to sell it.
Why Can’t You Buy Proximity Mills Vinyl Planks at Box Stores or National Chains?
Well, the company website tells us that it’s their way of ensuring that people actually like their floors.
They don’t want their floors being sold or installed by people who don’t know what they’re doing, because they believe this leads to unhappy customers. So they make sure anyone selling their products meets certain standards for customer satisfaction, installation expertise, and use of technology.
And That Might Be the Most Impressive Thing About Proximity Mills
If you ask us, the company’s dedication to great customer service might just be the best thing about them. We’ve never heard of a flooring company (or any company, for that matter) actually limiting the number of people who sell their stuff.
But like we mentioned earlier, Proximity Mills’s site tells us they’re trying to create a better, easier kind of floor-buying experience—and it seems like customer service and transparency are a big part of that.
So Where Can I Find Proximity Mills Flooring Near Me?
PS: Proximity Mills Makes The Buying Experience Super Easy, Too
It’s also worth mentioning that Proximity Mills makes it super easy to compare their different products with their standardized icon system.
One of the big issues a lot of people have when they’re buying LVP or laminate—or even buying hardwood floors for that matter—is that it’s incredibly difficult to compare the pros and cons of different products.
And when it comes to comparing entirely different types of flooring—like vinyl plank vs. laminate or tile vs. wood—it gets even harder. Every floor has special gimmicks to make it more attractive, and comparing them against each other is like comparing apples and oranges.
With that in mind, Proximity Mills created a proprietary icon system to make comparisons easier. And we’re told that when they roll out laminate products and different wood flooring types in the future, the standardized icon system will carry over as well.
Proximity Mills Flooring Reviews
Overall, we’re impressed by what Proximity Mills offers—particularly at the price it’s sold.
The design layer detailing and texture are excellent, with a ton of variation. While the trained eye can tell it’s not a genuine hardwood species when viewed up-close, it looks much more like wood-look tile than it does “fake wood flooring”—so not cheap or plasticky at all.
But the most impressive thing about Proximity Mills’ LVP, we’d have to say, is its wear layer. Usually, even thick wear layers can turn a milky white when they get heavily scraped. Proximity Mills LVP is built to resist this issue, because the wear layer is infused with ceramic beads, which essentially act like ball bearings—making sharp objects slide off the surface rather than gouging it. Either way, color us impressed.
Conclusion: Proximity Mills is Absolutely Worth Buying
Of all the vinyl plank brands we’ve reviewed over the past year, we’d rank Proximity Mills at or around the top of the pack.
Is it the cheapest vinyl plank in the world? No. Is it the fanciest? No. And is it the most durable? Probably not.
But: of all the LVP brands out there, we think it offers the best cost-to-quality ratio, the best cost-to-warranty ratio, and the best buying experience. So if performance vinyl plank is what you’re looking for, we wholeheartedly recommend it.
Plus, we think what the company is doing in terms of sustainability, transparency, and shopping local is really, really wonderful—so we’re happy to support those efforts too.
Associate Director of Content Marketing at FlooringStores (and its parent company, Broadlume), Samuel is a former travel writer, English teacher, and semi-professional trivia host. When he’s not creating content, he can be found doing crosswords, drinking coffee, and petting the office dogs.
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