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Updated August 31, 2023
Shaw vinyl plank flooring is one of the first things you’ll come across when you’re looking for LVP. That’s because the company’s products (particularly the Floorté line) are immensely popular. But: they also come with a lot of questions.
💲Highly Rated But High Price Tags💲 Customers seem satisfied, but when you compare the product to other options on the market, you’ll likely be confused by the price tag. If you’re looking for alternatives, here are our recommendations;
All Shaw vinyl plank flooring lines have a rigid core, as you might expect. With the exception of certain types of floating vinyl plank flooring, almost all the best vinyl plank flooring on the market is rigid.
That being said, there are different types of rigid cores. We’ll talk about this a bit more further down, but the very best rigid-core products often have core layers that are infused with things like wood flour (in the case of WPC flooring) for added comfort, or stone powder (in the case of SPC flooring) for added strength.
While the basic makeup of most LVP products (including Shaw vinyl plank flooring) is roughly the same—a core layer, a design layer, and a protective wear layer—the quality of these elements can vary hugely.
Translation: a floor with a thicker wear layer is not necessarily more durable.
For example, an LVP product with a 12 mil polyurethane, ceramic bead-infused wear layer is going to be waymoredurable than a product that sports a 22 mil wear layer that’s only made of vinyl.
So if you’re looking for the best flooring for kitchens or other rooms in which you need serious durability (dropped knives, anyone?) this is something to keep in mind.
And Remember: LVP and LVT are Basically the Same Thing
One final note before we get into the meat of our Shaw vinyl plank flooring review: LVP (luxury vinyl plank) and LVT (luxury vinyl tile) are essentially the same exact thing.
The only realdifference is the shape and look of an individual piece of flooring. LVP is cut into planks and mimics (no surprise) hardwoods like ash flooring or Douglas fir flooring.
LVT, on the other hand, is cut into tiles and mimics different types of floor tiles like marble or slate.
Some vinyl brands tweak their LVT and LVP offerings to fit different needs, but most brands simply divide their catalogs by wood looks (LVP) and stone looks (LVT). Otherwise, the perks and problems with luxury vinyl tile are the exact same as they are for luxury vinyl plank.
To prevent confusion: anytime we mention Shaw vinyl plank flooring, it’s safe to assume we’re talking about their vinyl tile as well.
Who Is Shaw? A Shaw Flooring Overview
US-based Shaw Industries has been around for the better part of 100 years and is well known as one of the biggest and best flooring companies around. In fact, they’re the second-largest flooring company in the world.
What Styles and Options Does Shaw Vinyl Plank Flooring Offer?
The styles that Shaw vinyl plank flooring offers can broadly be categorized into 2 groups: wood-look LVP and stone or tile-look LVT. We’ll go over these a bit here, and in a lot more detail farther down.
You’ll also find plenty of options that mimic mixed and wide-plank wood flooring. And if you’re crafty, the Floorté collection’s easy installation (we’ll come back to this) allows installers to replicate cool wood floor patterns (but we should note that Shaw doesn’t sell products that mimic intricate parquet flooring designs out of the box).
…But There are Tile and Stone Looks Too
If hardwood floors don’t speak to you, you’ll be happy to know that the Shaw Floorté collection also offers a handful of stone and tile looks as well.
Shaw Vinyl Plank Flooring: The Ins and Outs of Each Collection
Ok, now that we know all about vinyl plank and all about Shaw, let’s get to the main event: our Shaw vinyl plank flooring reviews!
Shaw Floorté Overview
Shaw vinyl plank flooring comes in a few different varieties, but their EVP flooring collection, Floorté, is the most famous (we should mention: EVP stands for engineered vinyl plank, which is just another way of saying “rigid core vinyl”).
There are 3 different versions of Floorté, but unlike many of the other best vinyl plank flooring brands, Shaw doesn’t really separate collections by wear layer or overall quality.
Instead, Floorté collections are mostly separated by core type, which loosely corresponds to their intended use. From here, you can find different quality tiers within each collection.
For those who don’t want or need the best Shaw vinyl plank flooring, Shaw also makes budget lines of LVP (like the DuraTru collection), which we’ll also cover.
Regardless, here’s how each collection of Shaw vinyl plank flooring breaks down.
Shaw Floorté Classic
Price: $6.20 – $11.10 per square foot Wear Layer: 12, 20, or 30 mils Core Construction: Vinyl Foam, WPC Warranty: Limited Lifetime Residential, 10 Years Light Commercial
Floorté Classic is the base model of Shaw vinyl plank flooring. It has a vinyl foam core, which is lightweight, if not particularly durable. Shaw notes that the main draw of this version of this core is that it offers the best sound absorption of the bunch as well as increased comfort.
Some versions of Floorté also seem to come with a WPC, or wood-polymer composite core. Shaw lists both on its website, but it’s unclear which is which. The company also seems to switch between calling this product “Floorté” and “Floorté Classic”, so it’s possible that Shaw may be in the process of sunsetting and replacing one of these product lines.
Beyond that, Floorté Classic comes in about 130 different style options, all of which imitate hardwood and have a 12, 20, or 30-mil wear layer (hence the wide price range).
Oddly enough, the wear layer—what shields the flooring from general wear and tear—doesn’t have a significant impact on the warranty, as all Floorté Classic products have a limited lifetime residential warranty and 10-year commercial warranty.
Note: as with the core construction, it’s unclear what this collection’s wear layer is made of (various listings on Shaw’s website conflict with each other). The same goes for warranty information.
Shaw Floorté Pro
Price: $5.50 – $11.40 per square foot Wear Layer: 6, 12, 20, or 30 mils Core Construction: SPC Warranty: 25 Years or Limited Lifetime Residential, 7–20 Years Light Commercial
Floorté Pro is virtually the same as Floorté Classic, except it uses a stone-polymer composite (SPC) core rather than a vinyl foam or WPC core. This makes Floorté Pro the more durable option, but at the cost of comfort and sound absorption.
The only other major differences: Floorté Pro offers wood and stone-look floors as well as a handful of products with a more budget-friendly 6-mil wear layer.
Our take: this is an odd quirt because wear layers provide scratch resistance, so while the 6-mil Pro products may be cheaper, they’re also going to be more scratch-prone by default.
Shaw mentions that the Floorté Pro collection “includes” options with the company’s proprietary ArmourBead finish (a type of ceramic bead-infused polyurethane wear layer), but does not give buyers the option to search for or sort by this feature.
There are about 140 different styles of Floorté Pro to choose from, but again, it’s hard to understand what (if anything) makes this SPC floor more scratch-resistant than Floorté Classic.
Shaw Floorté Elite
Price: $8.90 – $9.70 per square foot Wear Layer: No Information Available Core Construction: PVC-Free Mineral Warranty: Limited Lifetime Residential, 20 Years Light Commercial, 15 Years Scratch-Resist
Our next Shaw vinyl plank flooring product: Floorté Elite. And yes, as the name implies, this is Shaw’s top-of-the-line LVP brand.
But: as with the previous two collections, Shaw’s lack of information as to the specifics of this floor’s specs is… worrisome.
Unlike the previous two entries, the Floorté Elite line uses a mineral core that’s 100% vinyl-free. What makes that different from an SPC core? SPC cores contain vinyl. Does that mean Floorté Elite’s core is just a piece of stone? It’s unclear.
The unique mineral core supposedly offers the best in waterproof vinyl flooring, in additionto upper-level strength and durability. We didn’t see any Shaw Floorté reviews that disagreed, but this definitely seems like a marketing gimmick given that all vinyl flooring is waterproof by default.
Floorté Elite is also the only Shaw vinyl plank flooring collection equipped with a PawDefense finish, which the company describes as a “thermo-resin top coat”. What does that actually mean? We have no idea.
More importantly, there is no information available about this product’s wear layer. Even the downloadable specification sheet for Floorté Elite doesn’t mention its thickness or material.
That said, Floorté Elite uses an improved version of the already-great embossed-in-register texturing process for extra realism, which we love. Sparing the technical details: this process takes a super-accurate mold of real hardwood and applies it to planks of Floorté Elite. The end result: LVP that looks and feels exactly like prefinished hardwood flooring.
Best of all, Floorté Elite comes with a 15-year scratch warranty on top of its lifetime residential and 20-year light commercial warranties.
The downside: there are only 20 styles of Floorté Elite, total.
Price: $1.70 – $6.10 per square foot Wear Layer: 10, 12, or 20 mils Core Construction: Unclear Warranty: Dependent on Wear Layer
DuraTru is Shaw’s ultra-budget brand of LVP. This is not a Floorté product, so don’t expect to see anything about DuraTru if you go searching for Shaw Floorté reviews (an issue we ran into).
As for the flooring itself, this collection of Shaw vinyl plank flooring includes over 100 different color choices, most of which are protected by a decent, 10-mil wear layer. However, there are also a handful of options protected by stronger wear layers (and also backed by better warranties).
As with the more expensive collections of Shaw vinyl plank flooring, there are a few weird missing pieces of information when it comes to DuraTru. What’s the wear layer made of? What’s the core made of? How many DuraTru options are actual LVP, and how many are actually sheet vinyl with an added wear layer? Shaw’s website makes it impossible to know.
All of that to say: there’s not much info about DuraTru available—even from Shaw itself.
Other Shaw Vinyl Plank Flooring Products
Finally, Shaw also sells LVP through big box stores like Lowes and Home Depot. We won’t go through all the collection names (because there’s a ton of them), but they all offer similar specifications to DuraTru.
So what’s the difference between DuraTru and these other brands? Not much, actually!
This is a common tactic flooring companies use to help their products reach more markets.
You bet! And yes, this is just as confusing to us as it is to you. Why would the branding for the flagship collection of Shaw vinyl plank flooring also be used to brand non-vinyl products? We don’t know either.
But, yes—at the end of the day, Shaw Floorté review materials also include hardwood and, oddly, tile. Yes, like porcelain tile.
Shaw vinyl plank flooring doesn’t really change the rulebook when it comes to installations. There are two main installation styles, as with most LVP: glue-down and floating.
Some Shaw vinyl plank flooring products specify that they must be installed using one method or the other, but others can be installed either way.
Installing Shaw Vinyl Plank Flooring as a Glue-Down Floor
Most positive Shaw Floorté reviews mentioned that they glued their floors down (though this does not show causation). That said, glue down vinyl plank flooring is a bit more forgiving (and sturdy), even if it does take a lot longer and is more labor-intensive to install.
Installing Shaw Vinyl Plank Flooring as a Floating Floor
If you go the floating route, your floors may be slightly less stable (one of the disadvantages of floating floors) but the install process is much easier and normal residential use shouldn’t present any problems. Click-lock systems are also necessary for some products to retain their waterproofing.
You can find Shaw vinyl plank flooring all over the place. But: where you shop can have a big impact on the quality and pricing of your floor.
Shaw Floorté and DuraTru Are Only Sold at Local Flooring Stores
Like many of the best vinyl plank flooring brands, the best Shaw vinyl plank flooring is sold at local flooring stores. If you didn’t catch it, Shaw Floorté is definitely the company’s premier line of LVP, and you can only buy it from an authorized dealer.
Other Shaw Vinyl Plank Flooring Products Are Sold at Big Box Stores Like Home Depot and Lowes
Shaw vinyl plank flooring can also be found at warehouse stores like Home Depot, Lowes, and Costco. These products are generally targeted at budget buyers, however, so if you want the best of the best, you’re better off going through a local Shaw retailer.
A word of caution: big box store floors tend to be geared towards budget buyers. Home Depot’s TrafficMaster flooring and Select Surfaces laminate flooring from Sam’s Club are two good examples. They won’t break the bank (relatively speaking) and should work fine in the right conditions, but they’re not winning any premier flooring awards either.
The Pros and Cons of Shaw Vinyl Plank Flooring
After searching through hundreds of reviews of Shaw vinyl plank flooring (made by real buyers), here’s a quick summary of the floor’s biggestperks and most glaringflaws.
Advantages of Shaw Vinyl Plank Flooring
Let’s start with the good stuff—here are some of the pros of Shaw Floorté products.
Shaw Floorté Reviews Are (Generally) Very Positive
While premium Shaw vinyl plank flooring is pricey (and we’ll get to that), Shaw Floorté reviews are pretty solid across the board. To be fair, though, this is what you would expect from a high-end brand of vinyl flooring.
All Shaw Vinyl Plank Flooring Products Are FloorScore Certified (as Low-VOC)
That said, many of the best vinyl plank flooring brands make low-VOC flooring nowadays, so this isn’t exactly far from the norm.
Floorté Elite Looks and Feels Very Authentic
Shaw uses embossed-in-register technology to give its Floorté products an authentic look and feel.
This goes double for products from the Floorté Elite line, which are made using an advanced technique to further improve authenticity when mimicking different types of wood flooring. To the untrained eye, all Floorté floors are very hard to distinguish from the real thing, but Floorté Elite seems to take it to a new level (and Shaw Floorté reviews agree).
We should note that this embossed-in-register technology isn’t unique to Shaw vinyl plank flooring—Floor & Decor’s mediocre NuCore flooring offers a similar feature—but this is an area where Shaw seems to really excel.
Most Shaw Vinyl Plank Flooring Comes With an Attached Backing
Most Shaw Floorté products come with a pre-attached SoftSilence acoustical pad. And yes, “acoustical” is, in fact, a word. We looked it up just to be sure.
Anyway, this backing is designed for both noise reduction and comfort, and most Shaw vinyl plank flooring reviews we read were pretty positive about it.
Shaw Floorté Reviews Say the SoftSilence Padding Really Is Quiet
LVP isn’t exactly loud, but it can carry an echo.
Shaw’s SoftSilence backing goes a long way in improving noise absorption—to the point that Shaw Floorté reviews really like it.
Moreover, SoftSilence is especially beneficial for buyers who buy products from Shaw Floorté Pro or Elite lines, as these stiffer SPC and mineral core floors aren’t as good at absorbing sound.
You Can Install Most Shaw LVP on Any Level (or Just About Anywhere Indoors)
Shaw vinyl plank flooring can be installed anywhere inside your home. Whether you need the best basement flooring around or just temporary floors for your kids’ bedrooms, it’ll get the job done. You can even put Shaw vinyl plank flooring on stairs—special pieces (stair noses, etc.) are available just for this purpose.
Now, Floorté isn’t explicitly marketed as do-it-yourself flooring, but it does seem to be designed in a way that makes DIY installation plausible (though hiring a professional is always the smart move).
The only major requirement for installing Shaw LVP is to do so on a clean, stable surface—the norm for all flooring.
Premium Shaw Vinyl Plank Flooring Maintenance Is Super Easy
Lastly, Shaw vinyl plank flooring is pretty easy to care for. Shaw recommends avoiding harsh chemicals but buyers can mop, vacuum, or sweep their floors until their hearts are content.
Going back to buying hardwood flooring, though: it’s crazy to think that a substitute could cost as much as the real thing. Now, to be fair, premium Shaw vinyl plank flooring is waterproof, easy to install, and easy to care for, but you might still expect to pay less than what you’d pay for quality hardwood.
Shaw Floorté Elite Is the Only Line Shaw Calls Scratch-Resistant
Before you panic, this may be a false alarm—but Shaw only calls its Floorté Elite line scratch resistant flooring. Neither Floorté Classic nor Floorté Pro receive this designation on Shaw’s website. Plus, the Elite line is the only version to get a 15-year scratch warranty.
So what’s the catch? None of the Shaw Floorté reviews we read mention issues with scratching. That said, we don’t really know what the wear layer on this surface is made of, or even how thick it is—so it’s hard to say how long it’ll stand up for.
Putting two and two together: this seems to be a marketing ploy for Floorté Elite. Floorté Classic and Floorté Pro are scratch resistant, but not as much as the Elite line.
On the other hand, it’s a completely different story for DuraTru. Budget Shaw vinyl plank flooring reviews are filled with angry comments about scratches, dents, and more.
And the Budget Shaw Vinyl Plank Flooring Products Have So-So Reviews (At Best)
Continuing off the last section, it seems that Shaw put a lot of energy into making Floorté exceptional—at the expense of DuraTru and the other budget lines.
Consumer reviews for Shaw LVP not from the Floorté lines are middling at best, abysmal at worst—like, Stainmaster luxury vinyl-level bad. Why? It’s not exactly clear (but we have some ideas in the next section).
Of course, not all budget Shaw vinyl plank flooring has bad reviews. First-party reviews on Lowes’ and Home Depot’s websites are mostly positive, though they still acknowledge durability concerns.
Budget Shaw Vinyl Plank Flooring Products Have Durability Concerns
The common theme among budget Shaw vinyl plank flooring reviews: these floors seem to start falling apart within a few years. That’s incredibly concerning considering even a small space (maybe 100sq. ft.) is going to cost hundreds, if not thousands of dollars to buy and install.
Do you really want to have to buy new flooring every few years? Even if it is relatively inexpensive?
The chief culprit seems to be elusive, too. Some reviews blame excess moisture while others blame an inability to hold up under normal everyday use.
How Does Shaw Vinyl Plank Flooring Compare to Other LVP Brands?
Before we wrap up, let’s take a couple of moments to compare Shaw vinyl plank flooring to a few of the best vinyl plank flooring brands.
Is Shaw LVP Better Than COREtec?
Hands down, COREtec vinyl flooring is better than the budget lines of Shaw vinyl plank flooring like DuraTru. However, the comparison to Shaw Floorté is much harder to discern. Both products have great reviews, great features, and a hefty price tag.
So which is better: COREtec or Shaw Floorté? The winner’s probably going to depend on your needs, but COREtec is really hard to beat here—especially because Shaw shares so few details about Floorté’s actual specifications.
Shaw Floorté vs. Proximity Mills LVP
Proximity Mills is way cheaper than Floorté (like, half the price of the Elite line); it offers similar and often superior features; it even enjoys better reviews.
We talk about Proximity Mills a lot, because to us, it’s everything a floor should be. It offers excellent value for the price, the company is completely transparent as to what it’s made of and where, and it doesn’t have any of those marketing gimmicks that tell you nothing about the actual floor (like the “PawDefense” spiel).
Just a high-quality SPC core, an excellent wear layer, and an extremely reasonable cost. We’d probably give the nod to Proximity Mills here.
Instead, LifeProof—a Home Depot exclusive—mostly targets budget buyers with… well, let’s say “acceptable”floors that score well enough without a bloated price tag. In other words, LifeProof is comparable to budget Shaw vinyl plank flooring.
Shaw Vinyl Plank vs. Doma Vinyl Plank
Of all the vinyl plank manufacturers out there, Doma might be the most similar to Shaw. The company makes similarly great-looking floors at a similar price range, but here, we’ve got to give the nod to Doma.
Why? Well, all of their LVP floors are SPC-core, they’re all low-VOC, and they’re not quite as expensive as Floorté products. But most of all: they are seriously stunning. Like, the best visuals of any LVP we’ve ever come across. And Doma reviews agree that people love these floors.
What About Shaw Vinyl Plank Flooring vs. SmartCore Flooring?
SmartCore flooring is Lowes’ answer to Home Depot’s LifeProof, and in many ways, they’re very similar floors. SmartCore is slightly more expensive on average but also has better reviews overall.
In terms of how SmartCore compares to Shaw vinyl plank flooring, it’s comparable, if not a little better than budget Shaw LVP. But like LifeProof, SmartCore isn’t trying to beat Shaw’s premium LVP.
How Does Shaw LVP Compare to Newton LVP?
Newton is well known for making some of the best flooring around if you’re looking for the basics—no frills, no extra features, just solid, excellently-priced floors. So how does it compare to Floorté? In a word: favorably. Newton LVP products are also majority-SPC, eco-friendly, and with excellent wear layers. They’re definitely not as fancy as Shaw vinyl products, but they’re also much cheaper.
Conclusion: Is Shaw Vinyl Plank Flooring Worth Buying? Maybe.
The answer to this question very heavily depends on what kind of Shaw vinyl plank flooring you’re going for.
Shaw Floorté Reviews Are Positive, But the Product is Super Expensive
Shaw vinyl plank flooring reviews are solid, but aside from a handful of options, the cheapest Floorté products all cost at least $7/sq. ft.
For some buyers, this isn’t a problem at all, but others might look at brands like Mannington, Karndean, or Proximity Mills and wonder why Shaw Floorté costs so much.
But Other Shaw LVP Products May Sacrifice Too Much for the Lower Price
On the flip side, budget Shaw vinyl plank flooring doesn’t seem to do anything to make it more appealing than other budget products like LifeProof or SmartCore—which also happen to have better reviews.
Go with a brand like Proximity Mills instead and you’ll pay only slightly more than budget Shaw (and maybe half of what you’d pay for premium Shaw), but get a much better product.
And More Than Anything, The Company’s Lack of Clarity is Super Concerning
As we mentioned above, it’s surprisingly hard to get clear information from Shaw’s website.
Is Floorté Classic the same as Floorté? Why do some have WPC cores, while others have vinyl foam cores? What are Floorté wear layers made out of? Why isn’t there any information on the Elite line’s wear layers, in either thickness or construction? The list goes on.
We’re not saying Shaw is trying to hide anything here—in our experience, issues like this usually boil down to a disconnect between a company’s website team and its marketing team, or an overall lack of organization.
But: this makes it impossible to really compare similar products from different brands. And given that flooring is a very pricey investment, knowing exactly what you’re buying is crucial.
Whatever You Choose, Make Sure to Shop Local!
It’s not a coincidence that the best Shaw vinyl plank flooring is only available through local retailers (and not through big box stores). The brand is very likely aware that big box stores rely on general contractors that may or may not have a clue about flooring products or installations.
Local stores carry better products and are staffed by people who actually understand flooring ideas! So, if you’re dead set on buying Shaw vinyl plank flooring, it’s absolutely in your best interests to go through your local top-rated flooring store instead of a chain warehouse store.
Or, if you’re not sold, check out the articles below for more information. And whatever you choose, we hope this Shaw vinyl plank flooring review was helpful and good luck on your project!
Christian is a freelance everything-writer, editor, & SEO guy. When he’s not writing about flooring and remodeling, he’s either writing news for the California American Legion or writing fresh content for his camping & EDC blog (or, you know, actually camping).
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