Vinyl Plank Flooring Reviews: 2022 Brand Comparison | FlooringStores
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Vinyl Plank Flooring Reviews: 2022 Brand Comparison

BEST OVERALL VALUE
Proximity Mills
Best Premium Option
COREtec
LifeProof
SmartCore
Overall Quality
★★★★★

Thick, high-quality wear layers; multiple installation styles; zero-VOC options—all at an incredibly reasonable price. Proximity Mills offers the most bang for your buck.

★★★★☆

The inventor of WPC flooring, COREtec’s products are very well-regarded. However, that premium quality comes with an equally premium price tag.

★★☆☆☆

Home Depot’s premium LVP, LifeProof is one of the most popular vinyl plank brands around. It’s not the worst floor in the world, but it’s not the best either.

★★★☆☆

Lowes’ answer to Home Depot’s LifeProof, SmartCore is a decent floor for the price. It might not win any awards, but it’s not a bad product.

Price
$$

At $3.50–$7.00/square foot, Proximity Mills offers features you’d expect to find in a much more expensive LVP product.

$$$$

COREtec products range between $5–$10/per square foot and up, making it one of the most expensive LVP options around.

$$

At $3–$4/square foot, LifeProof is a relatively inexpensive floor. But at a similar price, you could get a vastly superior product.

$$

At $3–$4/square foot, SmartCore is a clear competitor to LifeProof—but offers a bit more value.

Wear Layer
12–22 mil

All Proximity Mills products feature an ultra-durable, ceramic bead-infused wear layer. Thickness varies between 12 and 22 mils, depending on the collection.

20–30 mil

COREtec’s polyurethane + quartz crystal wear layers are exceptionally durable. And at 20–30 mils thick, they’re seriously tough to scratch.

6.5–22 mil

Many negative LifeProof reviews mention its lack of scratch resistance. With wear layers starting at just 6.5 mils (and with no additives to increase durability), it’s easy to see why.

12–20 mil

SmartCore is offered in just two collections: Ultra and Pro. Ultra features a 12 mil acrylic wear layer; Pro features a much more robust 20 mil ceramic bead-infused wear layer.

Core
Rigid + Flexible

Proximity Mills offers both rigid-core and flexible-core options, depending on the product. All rigid cores are SPC (Stone-Polymer Composite).

Rigid Only

The majority of COREtec’s products feature a super-comfortable WPC (wood-polymer composite) core. The rest featured a compressed vinyl core for added durability.

Rigid Only

LifeProof’s core is made of vinyl foam. This makes it relatively lightweight, but not particularly durable.

Rigid Only

SmartCore Ultra features a comfortable WPC core. SmartCore Pro features a much more durable SPC core. There are no flexible options available.

Eco-Friendly?
5/5

All Proximity Mills products are FloorScore-certified as low-VOC or entirely VOC-free. Certain products can even be recycled.

4/5

All COREtec products are Greenguard-certified, but the company does not offer zero-VOC options.

4/5

LifeProof vinyl flooring is FloorScore-certified as low-VOC. No zero-VOC floors products are offered.

4/5

SmartCore vinyl is GreenGuard-certified, but does not offer zero-VOC products.

Install Options
Multiple

-Snap-Together (I4F Locking System)

-Loose-Lay

-Glue-Down

Multiple

-Snap-together (Angle-Tap)

-Glue-down

Snap-Together Only

LifeProof can only be installed as a snap-together floor. Unfortunately, LifeProof reviews tend to mention issues with the locking system.

Multiple

-Snap-together (Drop-and-Lock)

-Glue-down

Bottom Line

If you’re looking for the best cost-to-value ratio, Proximity Mills is an excellent choice. It’s durable, affordable, and surprisingly eco-friendly.

COREtec makes great vinyl plank flooring, but the high price tag might not be worth it for many buyers—especially with equally good products available from other brands.

Given its questionable construction and mixed reviews, LifeProof vinyl flooring is probably a product to skip—especially at its price point.

At its budget price, there’s no question that SmartCore is superior to LifeProof. However, mixed reviews suggest it may lack in quality. And at the same price, better floors are available.

BEST OVERALL VALUE
Proximity Mills
Overall Quality
★★★★★

Thick, high-quality wear layers; multiple installation styles; zero-VOC options—all at an incredibly reasonable price. Proximity Mills offers the most bang for your buck.

Price
$$

At $3.50–$7.00/square foot, Proximity Mills offers features you’d expect to find in a much more expensive LVP product.

Wear Layer
12–22 mil

All Proximity Mills products feature an ultra-durable, ceramic bead-infused wear layer. Thickness varies between 12 and 22 mils, depending on the collection.

Core
Rigid + Flexible

Proximity Mills offers both rigid-core and flexible-core options, depending on the product. All rigid cores are SPC (Stone-Polymer Composite).

Eco-Friendly?
5/5

All Proximity Mills products are FloorScore-certified as low-VOC or entirely VOC-free. Certain products can even be recycled.

Install Options
Multiple

-Snap-Together (I4F Locking System)

-Loose-Lay

-Glue-Down

Bottom Line

If you’re looking for the best cost-to-value ratio, Proximity Mills is an excellent choice. It’s durable, affordable, and surprisingly eco-friendly.

Best Premium Option
COREtec
Overall Quality
★★★★☆

The inventor of WPC flooring, COREtec’s products are very well-regarded. However, that premium quality comes with an equally premium price tag.

Price
$$$$

COREtec products range between $5–$10/per square foot and up, making it one of the most expensive LVP options around.

Wear Layer
20–30 mil

COREtec’s polyurethane + quartz crystal wear layers are exceptionally durable. And at 20–30 mils thick, they’re seriously tough to scratch.

Core
Rigid Only

The majority of COREtec’s products feature a super-comfortable WPC (wood-polymer composite) core. The rest featured a compressed vinyl core for added durability.

Eco-Friendly?
4/5

All COREtec products are Greenguard-certified, but the company does not offer zero-VOC options.

Install Options
Multiple

-Snap-together (Angle-Tap)

-Glue-down

Bottom Line

COREtec makes great vinyl plank flooring, but the high price tag might not be worth it for many buyers—especially with equally good products available from other brands.

LifeProof
Overall Quality
★★☆☆☆

Home Depot’s premium LVP, LifeProof is one of the most popular vinyl plank brands around. It’s not the worst floor in the world, but it’s not the best either.

Price
$$

At $3–$4/square foot, LifeProof is a relatively inexpensive floor. But at a similar price, you could get a vastly superior product.

Wear Layer
6.5–22 mil

Many negative LifeProof reviews mention its lack of scratch resistance. With wear layers starting at just 6.5 mils (and with no additives to increase durability), it’s easy to see why.

Core
Rigid Only

LifeProof’s core is made of vinyl foam. This makes it relatively lightweight, but not particularly durable.

Eco-Friendly?
4/5

LifeProof vinyl flooring is FloorScore-certified as low-VOC. No zero-VOC floors products are offered.

Install Options
Snap-Together Only

LifeProof can only be installed as a snap-together floor. Unfortunately, LifeProof reviews tend to mention issues with the locking system.

Bottom Line

Given its questionable construction and mixed reviews, LifeProof vinyl flooring is probably a product to skip—especially at its price point.

SmartCore
Overall Quality
★★★☆☆

Lowes’ answer to Home Depot’s LifeProof, SmartCore is a decent floor for the price. It might not win any awards, but it’s not a bad product.

Price
$$

At $3–$4/square foot, SmartCore is a clear competitor to LifeProof—but offers a bit more value.

Wear Layer
12–20 mil

SmartCore is offered in just two collections: Ultra and Pro. Ultra features a 12 mil acrylic wear layer; Pro features a much more robust 20 mil ceramic bead-infused wear layer.

Core
Rigid Only

SmartCore Ultra features a comfortable WPC core. SmartCore Pro features a much more durable SPC core. There are no flexible options available.

Eco-Friendly?
4/5

SmartCore vinyl is GreenGuard-certified, but does not offer zero-VOC products.

Install Options
Multiple

-Snap-together (Drop-and-Lock)

-Glue-down

Bottom Line

At its budget price, there’s no question that SmartCore is superior to LifeProof. However, mixed reviews suggest it may lack in quality. And at the same price, better floors are available.


Trying to choose the right LVP flooring is hard. There’s no way around it!

Even if you’ve looked through all the vinyl plank flooring reviews you can find, you still have questions. How does brand A stack up to brand B? Which has the better wear layer? Which is more expensive? The list goes on.

That’s why we’ve put together this easy-to-understand vinyl plank flooring comparison, stacking up the key features of the 4 brands we get the most questions about: Proximity Mills, COREtec, LifeProof, and SmartCore.

We hope this chart was helpful and, for a full breakdown of all the best LVP flooring, check out our full vinyl plank flooring review guide!

This post may contain references or links to products from one or more partners of our parent company and/or subsidiaries of our parent company. For more information, visit this page.

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About The Author

Samuel Greenberg

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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