Home Depot’s LifeProof Vinyl Floor Review
LifeProof flooring is Home Depot’s in-house brand of affordable vinyl flooring. Homeowners love the LifeProof flooring for basements, basement suits, and mudrooms. This product is inexpensive, durable, and comes in a variety of colors, but is LifeProof vinyl really worth the investment? Most users compare LifeProof flooring to other products and brands and often prefer the other brands over it. We’ll go over everything you need to know about LifeProof flooring before you buy.
A Quick Overview: What’s LifeProof Flooring?
LifeProof flooring is also known as LifeProof luxury vinyl plank (LVP). As far as waterproof flooring is concerned, it’s the most popular and affordable LVP on the market. This product is Home Depot’s in-house produced by Halstead, meaning that LifeProof is really just a white-label brand for Home Depot.
Although this is fake wood made from plastic materials, it has a wildly authentic texture and color that is comparable to hardwood. LifeProof has one of the largest color ranges of vinyl plank flooring from oak to even darkened flooring. Generally, you should be able to find this with other brands as well, but LifeProof is definitely the most accessible, as it’s available in all Home Depot stores.
LifeProof is relatively easy to install and is normally the go-to option for any DIYer. It’s installed as a floating floor and attaches itself through an interlocking design. This product is also compatible with heated flooring systems.
Also Read: What Are Floating Floors (Plus Installation Tips & More)
What’s LifeProof Flooring Made Of?
LifeProof is made of vinyl- or in other words, plastic, for the most part. There are several other components to LifeProof flooring.
- The Base, or underlayment, absorbs impact. This makes it easier to walk on and reduces noise. It also helps insulate your home.
- The Core is LifeProof’s signature closed-cell PVC foam core or ISOCORE. This makes the vinyl lighter and stronger than regular sheet vinyl.
- The Top is a clear wear layer for durability and treated to prevent mold. This top is engrained with wood or stone texture of your choice.
- Interlocking Attachments hold the pieces of plank together.
After going through what LifeProof vinyl flooring is made of, you’d think that it’d be a relatively durable option. Well… that may not be the case.
In theory, LifeProof flooring is scratch-resistant and doesn’t need any kind of finish. It’s vinyl created specifically for dogs and children but often doesn’t compare to some of the other options on the market.
LifeProof vinyl flooring is thin and lightweight. This definitely makes it easier to install and ship, but losing weight means losing some of the material’s strength. If you want more durable floors, you’ll need to go for a heavier option.
Since this material is so light, there are another issue users often have with LifeProof floors: the interlocking tabs break easily. This isn’t just frustrating, it’s a waste of time, money, and materials.
Also Read: Best Floor For Basements Prone To Floods
LifeProof Flooring Cost
LifeProof vinyl costs anywhere between $3 to $4 per square foot. As far as flooring goes, that’s a great deal. If you only have a 1,000 square-foot home, you could redo all your floors for around $3,000!
To professionally install LifeProof flooring costs an additional $1.50 to $6 per square foot. In many cases, that’s still cheaper than installing real hardwood yourself.
|Cost (per square foot)||Wear Layer||Thickness||Warranty|
|$2.59 – $3.09||6 mils||6mm & 7mm||5 years to life|
|$3.29 – $3.59||6 mils||8.5mm||5 years to life|
|$2.79 – $3.59||12 mils||8mm||10 years to life|
|$4.09 – $4.39||22 mils||8mm||15 years to life|
If you want to find good quotes and rates, check out our page on floors, or call Home Service Stars to find a partnered contractor near you.
Although it’s relatively easy to install, most users found that installing the LifeProof floors is what caused the most damage. The warranty covers numerous factory defects but does not cover installation damages. There are also many other situations whereupon installation, you void the warranty.
Installing LifeProof Flooring
LifeProof vinyl flooring is said to be the perfect floor for both experienced and first-time DIYers. This flooring doesn’t require any glue and locks into the floor easily with the interlocking clips. That means all you need to do is place and clip over your subflooring, otherwise known as a “floating floor”.
With this being an easy-to-install floating floor, even first-time DIYers can install a LifeProof floor, making it more affordable than hiring a professional to do it. However, if you look at some of the reviews, you’ll see that users often have the most issues and damage when installing the floor themselves.
LifeProof flooring isn’t the sturdiest or most durable flooring as we’ve discussed. Most users found that the interlocking clasps break easily during installation, which may not make it that “DIY-friendly” after all. Even more concerning, users also found that floors shift easily especially in high-traffic areas. LifeProof flooring must be installed as a floating floor, gluing down the vinyl planks voids the warranty.
LifeProof Flooring Warranty
Most LifeProof flooring has a warranty of between 5 to 10 years. The warranty changes depending on if you’re using the materials in a commercial space, a residential space, and which sized wear layer you choose. LifeProof vinyl flooring covers the following:
- Factory defects
- Water damage that affects the structural integrity.
- Fading to where the floor is completely discolored.
- Staining from normal household cleaning products and chemicals
- Wear to where the pattern is altered
This warranty seems pretty standard, but there are a few catches to look out for. LifeProof’s warranty only covers the first owner. If you plan on selling your property soon, the warranty is completely void for the next owner.
The warranty is also void if you glue the vinyl planks to the floor. Although it’s totally possible to live comfortably with a floating floor, you may notice some shifting from the pieces and we’ve discussed, these aren’t the most durable floors.
LifeProof vinyl flooring also does cover the following under warranty:
- Fire damage or burns.
- Damage from construction or improper installation.
- Using improper cleaning materials.
- Scratches, dents, and scuffs from vacuums.
- Fading from sun damage.
- Damage from high heels.
- Loss of the gloss finish.
- Minor color differences.
Users found this floor was especially susceptible to sun damage and wear from high-traffic areas. With this kind of warranty policy, LifeProof is definitely not suitable for commercial spaces.
Since LifeProof only has a 5-year warranty that won’t cover most wear damage, you likely won’t get to see the full life of your floors through. These floors are advertised as suitable for kids and pets, which means you’re naturally going to see a lot of damage with these floors if you have those. As we’ve discussed, these aren’t the most durable floors, so this warranty really doesn’t do much for users aside from protecting them against basic factory defects.
Later in this article, you’ll see that other comparable brands have a standard warranty of 10 years for commercial spaces and a lifetime warranty for residential spaces.
Toxicity and Environmental Impact
LifeProof flooring has a low VOC (volatile organic compound) concentration. A VOC emits gas from certain solids that can have adverse health effects, according to the EPA. LifeProof vinyl flooring is certified as a low-VOC and also formaldehyde-free and phthalate-free.
Since vinyl flooring is made of plastic, it’s not the most environmentally friendly. It’s even harder to recycle and isn’t sustainably produced.
LifeProof Flooring vs. Other Brands
There are plenty of other vinyl plank flooring options available, especially at Home Depot. Just because LifeProof is readily available at most Home Depot stores doesn’t mean it’s your only option.
The options we chose to compare are highly reviewed, come in realistic shades and textures, and installed through a click application. For this comparison, we paid close attention to the price, availability, and warranty.
LifeProof Vinyl Flooring vs. Mohawk
Mohawk vinyl plank has a 6-mil wear layer and costs a little less than LifeProof flooring. Their SolidTech Plus would be the closest comparable option. This flooring has up to 10 years of commercial coverage and a lifetime warranty for residential spaces.
Mohawk’s products are only available at certain specialty retailers. You can see where to buy on Mohawk’s website.
LifeProof Vinyl Flooring vs. Armstrong
Armstrong vinyl flooring is far more expensive than LifeProof but is a significantly stronger and more durable competitor. It uses synthesized diamonds to create the extra-strong wear layer. This floor is significantly more durable than LifeProof flooring.
Armstrong’s vinyl flooring requires a little more expertise to install. The warranty covers 15 years in commercial spaces and has a lifetime residential warranty. You can purchase Armstrong’s flooring at specialty retailers, Walmart, and Lowes.
LifeProof Vinyl Flooring vs. NuCore
NucCore Vinyl Flooring costs around the same as LifeProof flooring. It’s made with a lot of the same materials as LifeProof but uses a cork underlayer. As with most of these other options, NuCore comes with a lifetime residential warranty and a 15-year commercial warranty.
This may be a personal preference, but as far as aesthetics go, NuCore vinyl has a gorgeous, truly life-like texture. However, NuCore can only be bought in specialty stores and retailers.
LifeProof Vinyl Flooring vs. Proximity Mills
If you’re looking for an ethically sourced option that’s recyclable, check out Proximity Mill’s line of vinyl plank flooring. These floors have high-quality styles and colors you can only find at boutiques. The biggest downside to these floors is they’re not as accessible as most of these other brands.
Like many of these other brands, you get a 10-year commercial warranty and a (limited) lifetime warranty. Surprisingly, their flooring is around $2 to $6 per square foot, which is about the same as LifeProof.
LifeProof Vinyl Flooring vs. COREtec
COREtec vinyl plank flooring is on the more expensive side of our comparable options. It uses cork and a fiberglass core to make a more sound-proof and durable floor. You can even register your COREtec floor with several different kinds of warranties.
You can purchase COREtec at specialty retail stores
Also Read: Laminate Vs. Vinyl Floor Review
Upkeeping LifeProof Vinyl Flooring
Upkeeping LifeProof floors is relatively easy, but keep in mind, they aren’t the most durable and have a lot of precautions. Mop your LifeProof vinyl floor at least once a month with a pH-neutral cleaning solution. Make sure your water is clean while mopping to prevent streaks. Experts recommend going over your streaky floors with a clean mop with just water to rinse away any residue.
Always cover your floor with a plastic sheet whenever using dyes, chemicals, or paints that could damage the color of the LifeProof floors. Put a protective stick mat under your shoe mats. Dirt trapped underneath LifeProof flooring can severely scratch the floor. Stay away from rubber mats and only use “colorfast” mats on your LifeProof floor.
Avoid using steam cleaners, vacuums with rotating brushes, wax, oil, polish, scouring pads, and furniture cleaner on LifeProof floors.
To avoid damage on LifeProof vinyl flooring, users should also:
- Use nylon, felt, or protective pads under furniture.
- Lift furniture instead of dragging.
- Use hard-surface, non-studded chair mats.
- Trim pet nails.
- Avoid walking on the floor with golf shoes, soccer cleats, or high heels.
Who Is LifeProof Vinyl Flooring Suitable For?
LifeProof vinyl isn’t the most durable, meaning you’re not exactly getting “bang for your buck”. These are cheap floors that aren’t made to last too long. They’re great if you need a temporary solution if you want to quickly sell your home and give it a refreshing touch. If you have rental property, these floors work well for long-term (up to 5 years) tenants. This is especially true if you have a “no pets” rental property.
If you don’t think you have the capacity to install your own floors, but need to stay within your budget, LifeProof is also a good solution. As mentioned, LifeProof vinyl is only around $3 to $6 and you’re only paying a few extra bucks per square foot to have them professionally installed.
To find a contractor in your area with quotes on LifeProof floors and other vinyl flooring solutions, check out our page here.