VOCs, also known as volatile organic compounds, are emitted as gasses from certain solids and liquids. When it comes to vinyl plank flooring, most of its VOCs are released as soon as the manufacturing process is completed, and only safe amounts are emitted in households. Vinyl plank flooring that releases low VOCs must be either FloorScore or GreenGuard certified. In this guide, we picked the five Best Low VOC Vinyl Plank Flooring Brands based on emission levels, durability, affordability, and style.
Our team ensured to only compare brands that are Greenguard or FloorScore certified for low volatile compound emissions. GreenGuard and FloorScore are the most recognized indoor air quality certification standards in the United States. We only chose flooring brands that offer the highest quality vinyl planks and compared them on factors such as overall thickness, wear layer thickness, warranty, water resistance, scratch resistance, and pricing.
Need low VOC? Why not no VOC?
Whatever the reason is that you’re after low VOC flooring, flooring with no VOCs is better; that’s why we have to recommend Proximity Mills vinyl plank.
Keep scrolling to discover our top five brand recommendations, learn about the key things to consider when choosing low VOC vinyl flooring, and the pros and cons associated with vinyl plank flooring in general.
Disclaimer: Please note this post may contain affiliate links. We may receive a commission if you click at no extra cost to you. All recommendations and opinions remain our own.
Best Low VOC Vinyl Plank Flooring Brands
Above are our top five brand choices for low VOC vinyl plank flooring. Keep reading below for an extensive description of each brand, including the reasons why we chose it.
Best Low VOC Vinyl Plank Flooring – Comparison Table
|Vinyl Plank Brand||Low VOC Certifications||Price per Square Foot||Overall Thickness||Wear Layer|
|Proximity Mills SPC||FloorScore Certified for Zero VOCs||$3.50 – $7 SFT||5.0 – 6.5 mm||22 mil|
|Coretec LVP||GreenGuard Certified||$5.19 – $10.99 SFT||5.5 – 15 mm||20 – 30 mil|
|Shaw LVP||FloorScore Certified||$2.99 – $6.99 SFT||5 – 12 mm||6 – 30 mil|
|Cali Vinyl||FloorScore Certified||$3.99 – $6.49 SFT||5.5 – 12 mm||20 mil|
|Mannington Adura LVP||FloorScoreCertified||$5.50 – $6 SFT||5.5 – 8 mm||20 mil|
1. Proximity Mills SPC Vinyl Plank
First on our best low VOC vinyl plank flooring list is our #1 choice, Proximity Mills SPC Vinyl Plank Flooring. It’s one of the fastest-growing brands in the US, and that’s for a good reason. The brand specializes in vinyl plank flooring but also offers hardwood, laminate, and carpet flooring.
Proximity Mills is an ideal choice if you want low VOC vinyl flooring. This is because their vinyl floors are made to the highest manufacturing standards possible and release zero VOCs, yes, absolutely zero. Every one of their products meets even the strictest indoor quality standards in the country, including FloorScore, Benchmark, and GreenGuard. In addition, Proximity vinyl planks are mold-resistant, easily sanitized, and entirely phthalate-free.
The brand offers a wide range of stylish vinyl plank flooring, including dark, light, rustic, aged, and whitewashed styles. Thanks to an SPC (stone-plastic composite) core and a 22mil wear layer, Proximity vinyl planks are tough and scratch-resistant. Additionally, they are waterproof and can be installed in kitchens and bathrooms. Furthermore, the brand’s flooring is covered by a respectable lifetime residential and 10-year commercial warranty.
Why Proximity Mills LVP?
We chose Proximity as our #1 low VOC vinyl plank flooring brand because they are FloorScore certified as zero-VOC. Proximity is the only major brand offering zero-emission vinyl plank flooring that we know of. Another reason why we chose this brand is its affordability, with prices as low as $3.50 per square foot. Other than that, Proximity vinyl planks have a thick wear layer and are covered by a good warranty. All in all, definitely a brand worth considering for high air quality in your home.
2. Coretec Vinyl Plank
Second on our list of the best low VOC vinyl flooring brands is Coretec, a leading LVP brand in the industry. Back in 2013, Coretec was the first brand to introduce 100% waterproof rigid core vinyl plank flooring that can be installed using the locking method. This completely revolutionized the industry, and other brands followed with their own rigid core version. The brand is known for the durability of its planks, thanks to their heavy-duty multi-layer construction.
All Coretec products are GreenGuard certified, meaning they only release safe levels of VOCs and are suitable for residential households. Currently, the brand offers a large selection of vinyl plank products with five unique collections, each with its own purpose.
By far, the most durable of their lines is Coretec Grande; it is 15mm and has a 30mil wear layer making it the thickest vinyl plank product on the market. We even ranked Coretec Grande as Most Durable in our Best Vinyl Plank of the Year Ranking. The brand’s other lines have a thickness ranging from 5.5 to 12mm, but these are also highly durable.
Furthermore, Coretec covers all its products with a lifetime residential and 10-year commercial warranty. The only major downside is the price. The cheapest Coretec lines are $5 per square foot, while their premium lines are priced as high as $10 per square foot.
Coretec is certified as low VOC under the GreenGuard air quality certification; therefore, it’s a safe option for homes with families. In addition, Coretec offers some of the highest quality vinyl planks on the market with industry-leading wear layers and overall thickness. If you want something guaranteed to last long and don’t mind a higher price tag, Coretec is the perfect option.
3. Shaw Vinyl Plank
Third on our list of the best low VOC vinyl plank brank is Shaw Industries, a huge US flooring brand with a good reputation. Shaw has a long history; it was first set up in 1946 as the Star Dye Company, mainly selling rugs. In 1967, Shaw started selling carpet flooring. Nowadays, Shaw offers an extensive range of Carpet, Hardwood, Vinyl, Tile, and Laminate for both residential and commercial environments.
Shaw’s vinyl plank ranges are FloorScore certified as low VOC, meaning they only emit safe levels for residential use. The brand offers a wide range of vinyl plank flooring consisting of over 68 unique styles. Styles include stone tile look, hardwood look, rustic, aged, wide-plank, and whitewashed.
Shaw’s leading and most popular line of vinyl plank flooring is Shaw Floorte. It can be split into three collections: Floorte Classic, Floorte Pro, and Floorte Elite. All their Floorte ranges have an ultra-strong mineral core and are highly water and scratch-resistant. If you want something durable, the Shaw Floorte Plus line is 12mm thick and has a 30-mil wear layer.
If it’s affordability that you’re after, Shaw offers that too, as some of their ranges start as low as $2.99 per square foot. However, those lines are between 5 and 10mm in overall thickness. Shaw LVP is widely available in Lowes and HomeDepot stores nationwide. Furthermore, Shaw Floorte is covered by an outstanding lifetime residential and 20-year commercial warranty, one of the longest commercial warranties on the market.
Why Shaw LVP?
Shaws Vinyl Planks are certified as low emitting by the FloorScore certification standards. In addition, Shaw is a colossal flooring brand with a good reputation and over 75 years of experience. They give you a wide choice of vinyl, including highly-durable premium planks as well as more affordable but slightly thinner options. All in all, you can’t really go wrong with their Floorte ranges.
4. Cali Bamboo Vinyl
Cali Bamboo is the brand that first brought bamboo flooring to the united states. It was founded in 2004 by two college friends and had been steadily expanding since then. The brand mainly specializes in hardwood flooring; however, they also offer a wide range of cork, decking, and high-quality vinyl plank flooring.
Cali Bamboo’s vinyl range has two types of vinyl, one made with a composite bamboo core and one with a composite stone core. Both of them are FloorScore certified as low VOC. All their vinyl plank ranges come with acoustic insulation and pre-attached underlayment.
The brand offers multiple lines of trendy LVP, with Cali Vinyl Classic and Cali Vinyl Select being the most popular. All of their lines are highly scratch-resistant, thanks to a thick 20 mil wear layer. If you want something ultra-durable, consider Cali Vinyl Legends, their premium line, which is 12mm thick. Besides that, Cali Vinyl is covered by a generous 50-year residential and 15-year commercial warranty.
Why Cali Vinyl?
All of Cali Bamboo’s products are certified as low VOC under the FloorScore certification standards, making them safe to use in family homes. Cali’s vinyl ranges are highly durable with highly scratch-resistant and waterproof abilities. Their planks have a solid wear layer and are covered by a good warranty. Cali Vinyl is an excellent choice if you want something stylish, high quality, and relatively affordable.
5. Mannington Adura Vinyl Plank
Last on our list of the best low VOC vinyl plank flooring brands is Mannington Mills, a reputable brand in the industry. Mannington Mills was founded in 1915 and is based in Salem, New Jersey. The brand specializes in many types of flooring, including hardwood, laminate, vinyl sheet, and vinyl plank. Mannington’s mission is to be the best people to do business within the flooring industry.
Mannington’s main vinyl plank range is called Mannington Adura. It can be split into four collections; Adura Max, Adura Apex, Adura Rigid, and Adura Flex. All their Adura lines are FloorScore certified as Low VOC. Adura Vinyl Planks feature a 20mil wear layer for ultimate scratch protection, a HydroLoc Core for water resistance, and an acoustic pre-attached underlayment pad.
Mannington offers over a hundred unique Adura styles to choose from, including stone-look, hardwood look, aged, rustic, light-dark, and distressed styles. Furthermore, the brand covers its vinyl plank floors with a lifetime residential and 15-year commercial warranty.
Why Mannington Adura?
Mannington Adura planks are FloorScore certified, meaning they only release safe VOC levels for residential use. Besides that, their Adura lines are waterproof, scratch-resistant, and on point with recent style trends. If you’re after a durable, low VOC vinyl plank floor, Adura is undoubtedly worth considering. The only downside is the higher price tag; the cheapest Mannington Adura lines start at $5.50 per square foot.
Things to Consider When Choosing Low VOC Vinyl Plank Flooring
Before choosing your low VOC vinyl plank floor, you should consider many vital factors before making a final decision. Below are some of the most critical factors.
Low VOC Certification
The first thing you need to consider when choosing a low VOC vinyl plank floor is if it has the proper certifications. The two most common and government-recognized certifications are GreenGuard and FloorScore. GreenGuard-certified products are tested for over 10,000 chemicals and VOC emissions. FloorScore measures VOC emission levels, ensuring they meet the California indoor air quality requirements, which are the strictest in the country.
Overall Thickness & Wear Layer Thickness
The overall thickness of a vinyl plank plays a key part in its strength and stability. Generally speaking, the thicker the plank, the better. The same goes for the wear layer thickness. The wear layer is a clear top layer that acts as a protective barrier against scratches and dents. The thicker the wear layer, the more scratch-resistant a vinyl plank floor is. These thickness levels also reflect pricing. Thicker vinyl floors are always more expensive.
Checking the manufacturer’s warranty is something many online shoppers overlook. Having a long warranty always helps if any problems occur. If they do, brands will usually send someone to inspect, and if the problem isn’t your fault or the fault of poor installation, you will receive a partial refund, replacement, or repair service. Most flooring brands offer a lifetime residential warranty, so it’s always better to compare them by checking the commercial warranty, which varies from brand to brand.
If you’re considering installing a vinyl plank floor, you probably want something fully waterproof. However, not all luxury vinyl plank floors are waterproof; we’ve seen some vinyl floors expand and contract in bathrooms when exposed to constant moisture. Therefore it’s crucial to check the specifications and warranty details on moisture. The most waterproof vinyl floors have a WPC (wood-plastic composite) or an SPC (stone-plastic composite) core.
Vinyl plank floors are installed using the locking method, which usually requires a sheet of underlayment to be laid down before installation. However, more and more brands are now offering planks with a pre-attached underlayment pad, meaning you can save money on buying extra underlayment. On average, underlayment costs around $50 per medium-sized room. Keep this in mind when comparing the cost of different lvp products.
We always suggest checking online reviews of a specific brand before making a final decision. Sites like houzz.com, youtube, or Reddit are excellent places to find unbiased reviews. You should always pick a brand with a positive overall review score and avoid brands with numerous reviews. However, be wary as there are many fake reviews as brands compete against each other.
The Pros & Cons of Low VOC Vinyl Plank Flooring
Like all floor types, low VOC vinyl planks have their pros and cons. Find the most significant advantages and disadvantages below.
Pros of Low VOC Vinyl Plank Flooring
- Safe Air Quality – Low VOC or Zero VOC certified vinyl floors have been tested for air quality levels and are safe to use in residential homes.
- Water Resistance – Some vinyl plank lines are fully waterproof; they can be installed in bathrooms, toilets, and kitchens. Most brands also cover this in their warranty.
- Stunning Looks – Nowadays, premium vinyl plank floors are almost identical to hardwood floors with detailed engraving, edging, and embossing, thanks to new technologies.
- Easy Installation – Vinyl plank floors can be installed using the locking (floating) method, the easiest installation method for hard surface floors. The process doesn’t require nails or glue and is the easiest for an installer to complete.
- Scratch Resistance – Thanks to extra-thick wear layers, some vinyl plank floors are very scratch resistant. We’ve seen some products being scratched with a metal key with no visual effects. An excellent choice for pets if you choose the right product.
- Longevity – Vinyl plank flooring generally lasts between 5 and 20 years. With the proper care and maintenance, they can last up to 30 years.
- Semi-Affordable – Although vinyl plank floors are not as cheap as laminate, they are still cheaper than hardwood, with prices starting at $2 per square foot.
Cons of Low VOC Vinyl Plank Flooring
- Shorter Lifespan Than Hardwood – LVP cannot be refinished. Hardwood can. Some types of solid hardwood can last anywhere from 50 to 200 years if cared for and refinished every 5-10 years.
- Not Eco-Friendly – The manufacturing process of Vinyl Plank flooring releases large amounts of harmful gasses into the earth’s atmosphere.
- No Impact on House Value – Unlike Hardwood flooring, which increases house value, vinyl plank flooring does not impact the house value it’s installed in.
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In a nutshell, choosing a vinyl plank floor certified as low VOC or even zero VOC is certainly a wise idea to keep your family safe from harmful substances. However, with so many options on the market, it can be challenging to pick a specific product. You can’t go wrong with any of the brands listed in this guide; they all offer high-quality vinyl plank floors. Before making a final decision, pay close attention to the wear layer, overall thickness, and warranty.
On a final note, thanks for reading. We hope our best low VOC vinyl flooring guide has helped you find the perfect floor for you. However, if you’re looking for something completely natural, check out our best hardwood flooring brands ranking, where we include many options that are completely free from VOCs.
Feel free to share your thoughts, questions, suggestions, or experiences with any of our featured brands in the comment sections at the bottom of the page.
Which vinyl flooring has the lowest VOC?
After researching the flooring market, we only found one major brand offering vinyl plank floors with zero VOCs, Proximity Mills.
Is vinyl plank flooring suitable for commercial kitchens?
Vinyl plank flooring is unsuitable for commercial kitchens as it can release harmful toxins and even burn under high temperatures. Stone or ceramic tiles are a much safer option.
Which flooring is the least toxic?
If you want something completely natural, go for solid hardwood flooring. It’s the least toxic flooring type. However, pay close attention to the finish type as some brands use oil-based polyurethane, which releases potentially harmful gasses over time. A natural wax finish is the safest for indoor air quality.
Which is healthier laminate or vinyl?
Laminate floors mainly consist of several layers of engineered wood, such as plywood and other wood types. Vinyl plank floors are made using plastic or plastic composites. Therefore, laminate is a healthier option for air quality in general, although it all depends on the top finish type.