Cheap Luxury Vinyl Plank Floor Options

​It is possible to buy luxury vinyl plank (LVP) flooring for between $1 and $2 per square foot. But to realize this price, you will need to accept a certain kind of flooring.  In other words, you will not be getting 6.5 mm Shaw premium flooring.  Instead, it will usually meet the following five conditions: 

  • 01 of 05

    5 Rules of Cheap Vinyl Plank Floor

    Inexpensive Luxury Vinyl Flooring Gracing a Living Room
    Inexpensive Luxury Vinyl Flooring Gracing a Living Room. Getty / Hero Images

    2mm Total Product Thickness: Always. 2mm total product thickness is the norm for cheap plank and this is exactly as thin as LVP gets. If it were any thinner, the product would not be durable enough to withstand foot traffic.  To put this in perspective, expensive LVP, like Shaw Premio or Classico, is three times thicker than this.

    6 Mil or Thinner Wear Layer: The wear layer is the thinnest and top-most part of this multi-layer product. Like total product thickness, the thinner the wear layer, the...MORE cheaper the flooring will be. Do not confuse mm (above) with mil.  Mil is a measurement equal to one thousandth of an inch (or 0.001 inch).

    Minimal or No Embossing: You can spot cheap LVP in an instant. Look at it from a angle.  If it looks completely smooth, the floor has little or no texture. Because you cannot introduce texture into a thin product, texturing goes hand-in-hand with product thickness. Thicker flooring (4mm and above) allows for a reasonable simulation of wood grain.  Do not be fooled when a retailer, such as BuildDirect, indicates that a product is, "Surface Texture:  Textured."  Those are hair-thin, hair-deep lines that barely show up.

    Bland GraphicsLVP manufacturers put more effort into making the expensive lines look better.  In fact, some manufacturers like Shaw (not listed in this article) do not even attempt to emulate wood species for their cheaper products, preferring for a generic wood look that is found nowhere in nature.

    Peel and Stick: Rather than click-and-lock type of floating LVP, you will find that the cheaper products are still peel-and-stick. Again, this is not so much a case of "let's be mean to the bargain shopper" as it is the difficulty of introducing click-and-lock to a thin product.  Thin materials cannot accept click-and-lock structuring.

  • 02 of 05

    Smoked Hickory

    Vesdura Smoked Hickory Luxury Vinyl Plank Floor
    Vesdura Smoked Hickory Luxury Vinyl Plank Floor. via Amazon

    A luscious deep-brown hickory species LVP with light texturing.  Generally, LVP tends to look better in darker colors rather than lighter colors.

    Buy on Amazon - Vesdura Smoked Hickory Plank

    • Species: Hickory
    • Plank Size: 6" x 36"
    • Total Product Thickness: 2 mm
    • Wear Layer Thickness: 0.15 mil
    • Attachment Method: Peel and Stick
    • Brand: Vesdura
    • Available From: BuildDirect or Amazon

    Note that if you purchase through BuildDirect, the retailer's minimum order is 216 square feet. This is not an...MORE overly large size, but it is something to be aware of if you intend to only floor a very small space such as a powder room or guest bathroom.

  • 03 of 05

    New River Gorge Mahogany

    Tranquility Mahogany LVP
    © Lumber Liquidators/Tranquility

    This is a deep, rich wood species with pronounced streaking and red undertones. The low-priced Tranquility line is found at Lumber Liquidators.

    If you are not a fan of their Bellawood solid hardwood, take note that they have improved that product slightly as well as shaped up their stores and trained employees more thoroughly with an eye toward customer service.

    • Species: Mahogany
    • Plank Size: 36" x 6"
    • Total Product Thickness: 2 mm
    • Wear Layer Thickness: Not disclosed
    • Attachment Method: Peel...MORE and Stick
    • Brand: Tranquillity
    • Available From: Lumber Liquidators
  • 04 of 05

    Maple Plank

    Maple Plank Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring
    © Lowe's/Style Selections

    Lowe's Style Selections Maple Plank is a soothing, even-colored simulation of maple wood in vinyl plank form.

    If you like lighter colors--you may have a dark kitchen or bathroom that needs lightening--this may be for you. 

    • Species: Maple
    • Plank Size: 36" x 4"
    • Total Product Thickness: 2 mm
    • Wear Layer Thickness: Not disclosed
    • Attachment Method: Peel and Stick
    • Brand: Style Selections
    • Available From: Lowe's
    Continue to 5 of 5 below.
  • 05 of 05

    Vesdura Oak

    Vesdura Amber Oak Luxury Vinyl Plank
    © BuildDirect/Vesdura

    A lightly textured light-dark wood LVP simulating stained oak.  Oak is a classic look for homes, so this should fit in your home, as well.  

    Buy on Amazon - Vesdura Oak

    • Species: Oak
    • Plank Size: 6" x 36"
    • Total Product Thickness: 2 mm
    • Wear Layer Thickness: 0.15 mil
    • Attachment Method: Peel and Stick
    • Brand: Vesdura
    • Available From: BuildDirect or Amazon
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