Shaw Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring: Basics, Reviews, and Recommendations

Shaw Floorte Blue Ridge Pine Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring
Shaw Floorte is a type of luxury vinyl plank flooring with extra durability characteristics. Shaw 

Along with Mannington and Armstrong, Shaw is one of the more prolific manufacturers of man-made flooring, especially resilient flooring. Shaw currently produces six to eight lines, or collections, of luxury vinyl plank floors, each line having between seven and thirteen different variations of colors or simulated wood species.

Like many of the major luxury vinyl plank manufacturers, Shaw is continually changing up its lines.

Often, Shaw brings in and prominently features new lines. Other times, it shuffles products around and relabels old lines as new. Finally, a number of Shaw lines are maintained by Shaw (and can be purchased at Shaw-authorized retailers) but are no longer featured by Shaw.

Floorte Collection

Floorte is the newest collection in Shaw's luxury vinyl plank offerings. Shaw's key advertising point for Floorte is that it is impervious to moisture through a feature called Lifeguard. This accomplishes two things. First, it makes Floorte a candidate for same-day delivery and installation (flooring made from wood must first acclimate to a room for 48 hours before installation). Second, it means that Floorte will resist excess water so that it can be installed in high-moisture environments like bathrooms. However, it is worth noting that all luxury vinyl flooring is waterproof. So in this sense, Floorte is little different from other luxury vinyl products found at Shaw or even from other flooring companies.

Floorte's Fold-n-Tap joining system, though, does help prevent water from migrating through the seams to subfloors and underlayments. Independent lab tests have shown that a set of casters (of the type used for office chairs) run over Floorte 25,000 times will not result in seam separation. This is important because physical contact is the main way that luxury vinyl plank will separate.

Another distinction that Shaw likes to highlight is that Floorte does not telegraph tiling seams from below. Telegraphing means that certain types of thin flooring, vinyl in particular, conform to the ridges and grooves of the flooring or underlayment below. Floorte's 5.5 mm overall thickness qualifies it as one of the thicker luxury vinyl planks produced by Shaw. 

Floorte Pro Collection

With an overall product thickness of 6.5 mm and a 20 mil wear layer, Floorte Pro is a premium off-shoot of the main Floorte category. Durable enough for commercial applications, Floorte Pro has a thicker wear layer than ordinary Floorte. Styles tend to be more high-end, as well, with offerings such as Heritage Oak, Cross-Sawn Pine, and Blue Ridge Pine. Like the main Floorte line, Floorte Pro also minimizes telegraphing because the boards are a bit thicker than boards found in other Shaw luxury vinyl projects.

But the main difference between Floorte Pro and Floorte (plus other Shaw luxury vinyl products) is the attached acoustical pad. One frequent complaint about resilient flooring is that it feels thin and cold underfoot. Shaw's attached underlayment is the element that makes Floorte Pro one of the thickest luxury vinyl flooring products offered by Shaw, plus it provides for a slightly softer footfall and warmer feeling.

Classico and Premio

Premio planks reproduce the look of extremely battered, "rain-struck" wood, as company literature says. Classico and Premio share the same 6.5 mm total thickness and 20 mil wear layer thickness.

Navigator and Aviator

Navigator and Aviator lines have the same 3.2 mm total thickness and 2 mil wear layer thickness and are considered mid-range products in terms of quality and cost.

Urbanality and World's Fair

Urbanality and World's Fair are two of Shaw's economy-grade luxury vinyl flooring collections within Shaw's mega-collection called Array. True to its name, Array is a large, disparate collection of planks, squares, and rectangles (12-inch by 24-inch products). The common thread is that all Array products tend to fall in the bargain area. 

Shaw reproduces a few actual faux wood species in the Urbanality line, such as maple and white oak.

Urbanality planks resemble a generic non-wood. Shaw calls them "woodlike but [they] don't represent a species." Thus, it's a flooring that can be used in many regions and many different types of homes.

World's Fair is a plank-sized, embossed (for texture) resilient product strip measuring 48 inches by 6 inches. World's Fair emulates the appearance of reclaimed wood or barn wood.

Sizes, Edges, and Joining Systems

LineJoints / EdgesDimension (Inches)Comments
PremioFold-n-Tap; beveled5.83 x 48.03Premio is considered to be the highest end Shaw luxury vinyl plank with a highly weathered, reclaimed look.
ClassicoFold-n-Tap; microbevel5.83 x 48.03Classico emulates basic finished hardwood.
AviatorVersalock; square edge5.9 x 48Lightly embossed, Aviator is a mid-range floor that represents a basic hardwood look with woods like scraped hickory and oak.
Navigator"Locking" (type not specified); square edge.5.9 x 48Navigator is a square edge, scraped-style embossed flooring.
Easy Street"Locking"; beveled6 x 48The large bevel edges give Easy Street (part of the Array series) a realistic look. These are the darker shades and wider grains that have a more down-home appearance. 
World's FairGlue down; square edge6 x 48World's Fair is a collection that offers two different wear layers: 6 mil and 12 mil. Take note that some styles are embossed, some are not. World's Fair is a basic, economy luxury vinyl product.
UrbanalityGlue down; square edge6 x 36There is no embossing for this extremely basic commodity type of luxury vinyl flooring. Urbanality comes in both 6 mil and 12 mil wear layers.

Thickness of Flooring and Wear Layer

With luxury vinyl flooring, total product thickness is critical. It is not that thicker luxury vinyl produces a softer footfall or absorbs sound better. In that respect, all luxury vinyl is essentially the same. 

But what it does do is allow for deeper and more realistic embossing, beveled edges, and fold-and-lock type of joints. When you get down to those thin 2 mm boards, there is no joint option other than adhesive.

LineThickness: Total ProductThickness: Wear Layer (mil)
Premio6.5 mm20 mil
Classico6.5 mm12 mil
Aviator3.2 mm6 mil
Navigator3.2 mm6 mil
Easy Street4 mm20 mil
World's Fair2 mm6 mil and 12 mil are both available
Urbanality2 mm6 mil and 12 mil are both available

Note: Mil is equal to one-thousandth of one inch