Armstrong Flooring is based in Pennsylvania, US, and has been around for at least 100 years with around 3500 employees as of today. The brand’s flooring is known to be of high quality and made in the USA. Armstrong currently offers various flooring types, mostly vinyl. This includes Rigid Core Vinyl Planks, Luxury Vinyl Tile, and Vinyl Sheet products. In our Review, we are going to see if the brand really is of high quality and how it compares to other LVP brands. We will discuss all aspects, including Price, Thickness, Durability, pros & cons, and Armstrong Vinyl Plank Reviews found online.
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Armstrong has a very wide Vinyl Plank flooring range consisting of three main collections; Rigid Core, Luxury Vinyl Tile, and Engineered Tile. These collections make up a total of more than 200 unique flooring styles.
Armstrong’s Rigid Core range is the brand’s main contender for solid, thick, and scratch-resistant Vinyl Plank Flooring. Rigid Core has a strong mineral core and is 100% waterproof. Vinyl Planks with mineral cores are known as SPC flooring and are usually very tough.
All of the Rigid Core ranges are 100% waterproof, come with pre-attached underlayment, and can be installed using the floating (locking) method.
Amstrong offers four different Rigid Core collections; Empower, Rigid Core Vantage, Luxe Plank with Rigid Core, and Rigid Core essentials.
Amstrong’s Empower range is mainly known for its reinforced mineral core but, most importantly, for being the first LVP range to use Diamond 10 technology.
Diamond 10 was first introduced by Armstrong; the brand states that this technology uses cultured diamonds. These cultured Diamonds are a lab-made type of diamonds and are much cheaper than real ones. These diamonds are used to strengthen the brand’s planks providing the ultimate scratch and stain resistance.
The Rigid Core Empower collection is available in 12 different visual styles; these mainly include hardwood-look designs of different shades. The Empower range is available in two main plank sizes; 9-inch x 72-inch and multi-width (mixed-size planks).
Rigid Core Empower also has good thickness specifications; the planks are 7mm thick overall and have a 20 MIL wear layer. This is a respectable thickness compared to other Vinyl Plank brands. The Empower range comes with pre-attached underlayment and can be installed straight over sub-floors.
Rigid Core Vantage
The Vantage range is based on realistic hardwood looks and extra-long planks while also being 100% waterproof.
This collection consists of 26 available products, all being different shades of hardwood-look vinyl planks. All the styles of Rigid Core Vantage are 60 inches long, while their width ranges from 7 to 9 inches.
Rigid Core Vantage has an overall thickness of 5.8mm, which is slightly thinner than the brand’s Empower Collection. However, the Vantage collection has a solid 20 Mil urethane Wear Layer and a pre-attached underlayment.
Luxe Plank with Rigid Core
With Luxe Plank with RigidCore, Armstrong aims to satisfy customers who want durable, thick, and waterproof Vinyl Planks.
The Luxe Plank range is available in 23 unique designs that resemble mainly hardwood and porcelain tile floors. The Plank size of Luxe Plank is 7 inches wide and 48 inches long.
This range is the hardest out of all Rigid Core ranges. The overall thickness is 7.8mm, which is on the high end of the scale when it comes to LVP thickness. Luxe Plank also comes with a 20 Mil acrylic wear layer.
Rigid Core Essentials
Essentials are the most affordable Rigid Core line from Amstrong. However, it is also the thinnest overall. Rigid Core Essentials is available in 10 different styles reminiscent of Hickory, Oak, and Walnut hardwoods.
Compared to other Rigid Core lines, Essentials is thinner, the overall thickness of the planks is 5mm, and the wear layer is only 12 Mil.
However, this line does still come with pre-attached underlayment and can be a good semi-durable option.
Luxury Vinyl Tile
Armstrong’s Luxury Vinyl Tile range consists of thinner glue-down planks which don’t require underlayment. This range is much more affordable than Rigid Core; however, it isn’t as durable as thick and sturdy Vinyl Planks.
The brand Luxury Vinyl Tile range is available in 3 lines; American Personality 12, American Charm 6, and Vivero. These three lines make up a total of 72 unique flooring products. Most of these are hardwood-look, but there are also some tile-look options that are good for kitchens and bathrooms.
It is important to note that Glue-Down Vinyl Tiles are much harder to remove and may sometimes require the removal of the subfloor.
American Personality 12 and American Charm 6
The American Personality line consists of 12 traditional hardwood-look options; these are sized at 6.5 by 48 inches.
The overall thickness of this line is 2mm, whilst the urethane wear layer thickness stands at 12 Mil. Because they are thinner, it also means that they are more flexible than Rigid Core, for example.
American Charm 6 is very similar to American Personality 12; the line features 16 hardwood-look designs that are 2mm in overall thickness. The only difference is the wear layer which stands at a 6mil in thickness.
The Vivero range is Armstrong’s only Luxury Vinyl Tile that makes use of their patented Diamond 10 technology. The brand claims that the Diamond technology offers ‘superior scratch resistance’ and that their Vivero range is ‘built to last.
Vivero can be split into 3 performance categories Vivero Good, Vivero Better, and Vivero Best; these three lines make up a total of 41 different Vivero products.
The Vivero Good line is at the bottom of the Armstrong Vivero performance scale but is still supposed to be a good line, as the name suggests.
This line features a 6mil wear layer and an overall thickness of just 2mm. Vivero Good is available in 6 different hardwood-look options, with plank sizes being 6 by 36 inches.
The Vivero Better line is a slightly better-performing line than Vivero Good. The main difference is that Vivero better has a thicker 12 mil wear layer which is what protects your floor from scuffs and scratches.
The overall thickness of this line is 2mm; it is available in 16 hardwood-look options and features larger plank sizes (6 by 48 inches).
As the name suggests, this is the most durable Armstrong Vivero line. Why? Mainly because the Vivero Best line is thicker than other Vivero lines.
Vivero Best has a respectable 20 Mil wear layer and an overall tile thickness of 2.55mm. The line is available in 19 options; these are mainly hardwood-look and stone-look Luxury Vinyl Tiles. The tile size is 6 inches wide by 48 inches long.
Engineered Tile – Alterna
Alterna Engineered Tile is Amstrong’s alternative to traditional tiles. The range is 100% waterproof, has a natural stone look, and comes in the same sizes as porcelain tiles. Additionally, Alterna engineered tiles are comfier and warmer than ceramic tiles, as well as being more crack resistant and easier to install.
Alterna Key Features;
- 100% Waterproof.
- Limestone Composite Core.
- Natural Stone (tile) looks.
- Available in 69 designs.
- Only Glue-Down Installation.
- 4mm Overall Thickness.
- Tile sizes 12×24, 16×16, and 8×16 (inches).
- Easier to Cut than Tiles.
- Better Crack Resistance than traditional Tiles.
- Softer and Warmer than Tiles.
- Needs Grouting.
- Don’t Require Underlayment.
- Limited Lifetime Residential Warranty and 5-year Commercial Warranty.
The Durability of Armstrong Vinyl really depends on which range you choose; Rigid Core definitely seems like the most Durable range. When determining a Vinyl Planks floors durability, we mainly look at the wear layer thickness and overall thickness. The wear layer is a clear protective layer on the top of the Vinyl Planks; the industry standard for durable vinyl planks is 20 mil or more.
Armstrong offers good wear layer thickness; most Rigid Core ranges and their Vivero Best line have a 20 MIL wear layer. Additionally, some of the Armstrong Rigid Core lines are thick compared to other LVP brands; the overall thickness is as high as 7.8mm (Luxe Plank with Rigid Core).
As mentioned before, Armstrong uses Diamond 10 Technology on some of their lines, such as Rigid Core Empower. The brand claims that this technology provides ultimate scratch and wear resistance.
On the other hand, some of the Armstrong lines are not what we consider durable. For example, Rigid Core Essentials, which is the most affordable Rigid Core line, only has a 12 Mil wear layer and 5.0mm overall thickness. Additionally, some of their Glue-Down lines, such as American Charm 6 or Vivero Good, only have 6mil wear layers, and we wouldn’t go for them if you are looking for durability.
Overall, Armstrong has some promising (thick) Vinyl Plank ranges but also has some thinner, more affordable options. If you want Durability, go for Rigid Core Empower or Luxe Plank with RigidCore, these two lines are the brands’ thickest options.
Overall you get what you pay for with Armstrong; the thicker the plank thickness, the higher the cost. In other words, if you want durability, you have to buy the most expensive lines. If you just want a quick-fix cheap solution, then they have that as well.
Compared to other leading Vinyl Plank brands such as Shaw and Mohawk, Armstrong has similar pricing; it is not the cheapest but also not the most expensive; it’s mid-range.
|Armstrong Line||Cost per Square Foot||Overall Thickness||Wear Layer Thickness|
|Rigid Core Empower||$4.89 – $5.79 per Sq. Ft||7.0 mm||20 Mil|
|Rigid Core Essentials||$2.69 – $2.99 per Sq. Ft||5.0 mm||12 Mil|
|Luxe Plank with Rigid Core||$4.39 – $5.39 per Sq. Ft||7.8 mm||20 Mil|
|Rigid Core Vantage||$3.89 – $5.19 per Sq. Ft||5.8 mm||20 Mil|
|American Personality 12||$1.39 per Sq. Ft||2.0 mm||12 Mil|
|American Charm 6||$1.29 per Sq. Ft||2.0 mm||6 Mil|
|LVT- Vivero Good||$1.59 – $1.79 per Sq. Ft||2.0mm||6 Mil|
|Vivero Better||$2.89 – $3.19 per Sq. Ft||2.0 mm||12 Mil|
|Vivero Best||$3.89 – $4.49 per Sq. Ft||2.55 mm||20 Mil|
|Alterna – Engineered Tile||$4.39- $5.39 per Sq. Ft||4.0 mm||?|
Sources: homedepot.com and wayfair.com
Armstrong Vinyl Compared to Other Vinyl Brands on Pricing
|Product Name||Price per Square Foot||Overall Thickness||Wear Layer Thickness|
|Home Decorators Collection LVP||$1.79||4 – 4.2 mm||8 – 12 mil|
|Mohawk SolidTech Essentials||$2.05 – $2.70||4.5 mm||12 mil|
|ProCore Plus (Lowes)||$2.49 – $2.59||5 mm||12 mil|
|Armstrong Rigid Core Essentials||$2.69 – $2.99||5 mm||12 mil|
|Proximity Mills LVP||$3.49 – $6.99||5 – 6.5 mm||22 mil|
|NuCore RigidCore 8mm||$3.79||8 mm||22 mil|
|SmartCore Ultra XL||$3.89||7.5 mm||12 mil|
|LifeProof RigidCore||$3.99 – $4.99||7 mm||20 mil|
|Pergo Extreme||$4.19 – $4.79||5 – 6 mm||20 mil|
|Mohawk SolidTech Plus||$4.35||6 mm||20 mil|
|Armstrong Luxe Plank||$4.39 – $4.79||7.8 mm||20 mil|
|Flooret Modin LVP – Signature||$4.50||7 mm||40 mil|
|Mannington Adura Max||$5.49 – $5.99||8 mm||20 mil|
|Coretec Plus Premium||$6.49 – $7.49||12 mm||20 mil|
|Cali Bamboo Legends||$6.49||12 mm||20 mil|
|Shaw Floorte Classic||$6.99||12 mm||30 mil|
|Coretec Grande||$9.99||15 mm||30 mil|
You can buy some Armstrong Vinyl lines at your local Home Depot or other local flooring stores. Alternatively, you can shop online on the Home Depot website or the Wayfair website and have the flooring delivered to your home.
Armstrong Vinyl Plank Reviews Online
After extensively scouting on the web for Armstrong vinyl plank reviews, we found that the majority of reviews are on HomeDepot.com and ConsumerAffairs.com. Here are the overall scores from those 2 websites:
|homedepot.com||4.3 out of 5 stars||75 unique reviews||92% Recommend|
|consumeraffairs.com||3.9 out of 5 stars||68 unique reviews||78% Recommend|
Commenting on the RigidCore Essentials line, one of the reviewers stated this:
This floor has a real sheen. Really reflects the light coming in my window as well as my overhead lighting. Thinner than I expected for the weight. Thin may be better because my doors won’t have to be shaved. I love the grain like texture of the planks. The color is deep, rich and varies throughout each plank giving it a real wood appearance. Each plank is rigid and feels strong and well made.4 out of 5 stars – source: homedepot.com
However, as with every flooring brand, there are always some negative reviews; one of the unhappy reviewers said this:
Recently received a carton of rigid core vinyl flooring for product review. We have installed many types of click lock floors over the years due to the waterproof ,ease of installation and wear factors in both our home and rental units. I am a bit disappointed in this, however. It’s thin and fragile in comparison making installation trickier. IMO, the quality just isn’t there & not what I look for when choosing flooring options.2 out of 5 stars by Byrdik – source HomeDepot.com
Although we found very few negative reviews, many reviewers mentioned that the corners of the planks break off easily. Overall, however, Armstrong Vinyl Planks have a good online reputation and a good amount of Armstrong vinyl plank reviews.
Armstrong Vinyl Plank and Tile installation depend on the range you choose; Armstrong Rigid Core can be installed using the floating method.
The floating method is when the flooring is not fixed to the subfloor but just installed over it; the planks are put together using a Locking system. This type of installation method is the most common with Vinyl Plank flooring and is the easiest to master for a beginner.
Armstrong’s Luxury Vinyl Tile and Engineered Tile ranges can only be installed using the Glue-Down method. This method is harder and more time-consuming than the floating method. However, Glue-Down Vinyl Planks are often good for floors with heavier loads and foot traffic, and they can be more stable.
Prior to installation, make sure your sub-floor is flat throughout and has no rot or damp issues. If your old subfloor is uneven, you can screw down large ( at least 9mm thick) plywood boards to level out the surface and create a better subfloor.
It is important to leave (mm) expansion gaps between the edge of your new floor and your skirting boards (meaning you need some trim to hide the gap); sometimes, it’s better to take off the skirting boards for installation and put them back on after installation has been completed.
Need an Installation Pro?
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Does Armstrong Vinyl Plank need Underlayment?
Simply put, No. Armstrong’s Rigid Core comes with pre-attached underlayment pads and can be installed over many subfloors without the need for buying underlayment. Armstrong’s glue-down lines also don’t need underlayment, as this installation method doesn’t allow it.
Care & Maintenance is key to the longevity of your floor. Below are some helpful cleaning tips, mistakes to avoid, and protection methods.
- Dirt and debris are abrasive to flooring, which causes scratches. Regularly vacuum your floor, especially before mopping.
- Only use vacuums listed as suitable for hard-surface floors by the manufacturer. We recommend the Dyson V15 Cordless Stick Vacuum.
- When mopping, it’s vital not to over-saturate your floor. To avoid over-saturation, use a damp mop or a spray mop.
- For best results, we recommend using the Bona Premium Hardwood Floor Spray Mop, which releases a fine mist of cleaning solution with the touch of a button.
- Although some vinyl plank brands allow it, we advise you not to use a steam mop. The high temperature will cause your floor to lose its shine and become dull faster than usual.
- Always use a PH-neutral cleaning solution. You can use water and dish soap or a water and vinegar solution as long as you don’t add too much dish soap or vinegar.
- To ensure your solution is completely PH-neutral, use a professional cleaning solution such as the Bona Pro Series Luxury Vinyl Floor Cleaner.
- Avoid using Wax & Polish products. These can leave a yellow residue on your vinyl plank floor.
- If you want to fill your room with a pleasant odor, you can add a few drops of your favorite essential oils to your cleaning solution.
- Spillages of stain-causing liquids such as coffee, wine, and other liquor should be cleaned as soon as possible.
- Maintain a room temperature between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. This prevents excessive moisture and mold problems.
- Attach large felt pads to the legs of your furniture so your furniture can glide easily without causing scuffs and scratches.
- Place rugs in high-traffic areas, such as near the living room couch.
- Office chair wheels are notoriously known for scratching vinyl plank floors. To stop this, invest in a protective chair mat or floor-friendly blade casters.
- Place walk-off doormats at house entrances to avoid bringing in dirt from outdoors, which can potentially scratch your floor.
- If you have a dog, nail trimming will prevent them from scratching the floor. Plus, most dogs like their nails to be trimmed now and then.
- Avoid wearing shoes indoors as they bring in outdoor dirt and can cause permanent scuff marks. It’s best to wear socks.
Pros & Cons
Of course, Armstrong Vinyl Planks have its Pros and Cons; interestingly, there were not many cons for this brand.
Wide Range – First of all, Armstrong has a huge range of vinyl plank products. The three main collections, Rigid Core, Vinyl Tile, and Engineered Tile, make up a total of over 200 unique LVP flooring products.
Made in the US – For more than a century, Armstrong Flooring has been manufacturing home flooring primarily in the U.S. currently, they have six production plants in the country.
Good Thickness – Armstrong’s Rigid Core ranges are thick and sturdy, some lines, such as their Empower and Luxe Plank, have a thickness of above 7mm. This is quite thick for vinyl planks; the average is 5mm.
Good Online Reviews – Armstrong Vinyl Plank ranges have a good online reputation. In summary, the brand averages a 4 out of 5-star review rating from over 140 unique reviewers. Their Vinyl Planks are also reviewed on many websites, not just one.
Diamond 10 Tech – Armstrong introduced this patented technology to the flooring market. The technology features the use of cultured diamonds (diamonds made in a lab), which are supposed to provide ultimate scratch resistance and durability.
Fair Pricing – The brands’ pricing rates are mid-range; you get what you pay for. The more durable the product, the more you have to pay. Armstrong also offers very affordable ranges for budget customers.
No Need for Underlayment – Armstrong Vinyl Planks don’t require underlayment; this saves the consumer money. Many other vinyl planks do require underlayment, which is an extra cost for the consumer.
Some very thin lines – Some of the more affordable Armstrong glue-down lines are very thin overall. For example, the Vivero Good line only has a 6mil wear layer and is only 2mm thin. Those are some of the lowest figures we have seen for vinyl flooring. However, in defense of Armstrong, their Vivero Good is a very cheap option, so what can you really expect? For sure, don’t expect these lines to last long.
Not as thick as some other brands – To be honest, we are being a bit picky here as it was hard for us to find many downsides to Armstrong Vinyl Plank flooring. However, the thickest Armstrong Vinyl Plank line (Rigid Core Luxe Plank) is 7.8mm thick, while some brands like Shaw, Coretec, or Cali Bamboo have lines that go up to 12mm in thickness.
Durability – 8.5 out of 10 stars
Affordability – 8.5 out of 10 stars
Range/ Style – 9 out of 10 stars
Overall Rating – 8.83 out of 10 stars
In Summary, Armstrong scored 8.5 out of 10 stars in this vinyl plank brand review. We think the brand is a good choice for Vinyl Plank flooring; Armstrong has a good reputation and reasonable pricing. We recommend that you go for the thickest lines (Rigid Core Empower or Rigid Core Luxe Plank) if you are looking for Durability.
What do you think about Armstrong Vinyl Plank flooring? Have you had any experiences with the brand? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section at the bottom of the page.
Good Alternatives to Armstrong Vinyl Plank
Shaw Vinyl – Shaw Industries is a huge, US-based flooring company; the brand has been producing flooring for over 40 years. They offer many highly rated and fully waterproof vinyl plank flooring lines, including both hardwood and tile look styles. Most of their lvp ranges are between 8 and 12mm thick and have a durable 20mil wear layer. You can purchase some of their lines for as low as $3 per square foot, while their thickest, premium lines can set you back $9 per square foot. Whether you want a low-cost but decent-quality vinyl floor or an ultra-thick premium one, Shaw has that to offer.
Coretec Vinyl – Coretec is one of the leading vinyl plank brands on the market. Their floors are known for their outstanding durability and style. Their LVP products are 100% waterproof and have very thick wear layers, such as their Coretec Grande line, which has a 30mil wear layer and is 15mm thick overall, or their Plus Premium line which is 12mm thick. If you want a vinyl plank floor that’s built to last, Coretec is undoubtedly a worthy contender. In addition, some Coretec lines are relatively affordable, with options starting at $4.39 per square foot.
Where is Armstrong Flooring Made?
Armstrong flooring is made in the United States of America, and it has been for over a century. Currently, they have six plants across the USA.
Does Armstrong Vinyl Plank need Underlayment?
Armstrong Rigid Core comes with a pre-attached underlayment pad and doesn’t need underlayment. Armstrong’s glue-down lines also don’t need underlayment, as this installation method doesn’t allow it.
Is Armstrong Vinyl Flooring Waterproof?
Armstrong states that their Vinyl Flooring is 100% waterproof. Therefore it should be good for installation in Kitchens and Bathrooms. However, we don’t recommend installing any vinyl plank flooring in walk-in showers.