Luxury vinyl plank flooring has been gaining in popularity over the last few years, and it’s easy to see why. The combination of good waterproofing, great looks, and solid durability has resulted in an increasing number of people buying luxury vinyl plank.
Duralux is a great example of a brand that has exploded in popularity over the years. Unfortunately that explosion has led to a plethora of negative reviews on its durability, look and ability so sustain water.
The Duralux products have a resemblance to wood, which is intended and achieved, but it should be noted that it’s not a 100% lookalike. In fact, it’s not even close and only somebody who had never seen real wood before in their lives would be totally duped by Duralux.
Duralux is a brand owned by retailer Floor and Decor and comes in two broad varieties: Duralux and Duralux Performance. We’ll take a walk around its features and look at its price point, durability, and installation matters. We’ll then go through a list of pros and cons before delivering our Duralux review verdict.
At the end of the day though, we would not recommend Duralux. It might seem like a reasonable product for the money, but for a little more money, you can get a much higher quality floor. We recommend other brands such as Proximity Mills, Doma, Newton and TruCor if you are looking for a vinyl plank flooring brand in this range.
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Unlike most flooring brands, Duralux doesn’t have its own website. As mentioned, it’s part of Floor and Decor, whose website carries a degree of detail regarding the range.
We’ll start with the basic variety, called simply Duralux (which we’ll term Duralux basic, for clarity). It’s built around a rigid stone core, delivering solid strength to the plank. In common with most luxury vinyl products, it features a multi-layer construction which includes, as well as the core, a vinyl layer that carries the design and a wear layer to give resistance to life’s everyday knocks and scuffs.
Furthermore, overall thickness stands at 3mm, which is very thin indeed, certainly when compared to wood laminate products like the 12mm thick AquaGuard. Even when compared to other LVP products, it’s thinner than the 5.5mm thickness of NuCore.
However, for all that, Duralux features reasonable dent resistance and is claimed to give some scratch resistance. I wouldn’t rate its chances much against a big dog with sharp claws though. But then again, a floor that can stand up to this kind of treatment is very hard to find.
On the plus side, Duralux is rated as 100% waterproof and, as a result, is recommended for use all around the house, from basements to bathrooms. Wherever you choose to install it in the house, it comes with a 30-year guarantee, which is fair enough. No warranty is given for commercial use, however.
Design-wise, Duralux basic features a compact range of twelve faux-wood looks, from the very light Alpine Frost and Platinum Wheat to the appropriately dark Midtown Charcoal.
The size of each plank is 48.03cm x 5.91cm, and they are micro-beveled around the edge. The surface is textured to impart more of a wood feel.
The other variety, Duralux Performance, is constructed in the same way, except it features an additional anti-microbial underlayment of IXPE foam, which helps with stability, hygiene, and acoustics.
There’s a better warranty with Performance: lifetime for residential use and ten years for commercial. The overall thickness of the Duralux Performance plank is listed as 4mm plus, which, again, is quite thin by LVP standards.
Moreover, Performance shares all the benefits of the basic Duralux range, such as 100% waterproofing and dent resistance, but also boasts stain resistance.
There’s much more of a range of looks with Duralux Performance, there being 62 different finishes, from the rich brown Washington Park to the very pale Willow Bianco. Duralux Performance also includes tiles that give a stone look, such as the 23.74cm x 12.01cm Marble Bianco. The wood effect planks are 59.92cm x 7.09cm and feature micro-beveling and texturing just like their Duralux basic cousins.
Both basic and Performance are good for acoustic muffling, with Performance being the better, courtesy of its extra layer. No acclimation is needed with either variety. Finally, both have GreenGuard gold certification, so tick the low VOC box.
- Available in a total of 74 different finishes
- 4-Layer structure (for Performance; basic has 3 layers)
- Suitable for commercial use (Performance only)
- Flooring Name: Duralux and Duralux Performance
- Thickness: 3mm and 4mm+, respectively
- Wear Layer: 6 – 12mil
- Commercial or Residential Use: Both (for Performance)
- Installation Type: Floating
- Underlayment Required: Yes for Duralux, no for Duralux Performance
- Material: Vinyl
- Brand: Duralux
As you’d expect, Duralux is cheaper than Duralux Performance. But there’s actually not that much in it: the former averages out at just under $2 per square foot, and the Performance planks at around $2.90 per square foot. The Performance tiles, however, are a little more still, at between $2.79 and $3.49 per square foot.
This compares quite favorably with similar luxury vinyl brands such as NuCore, which comes in from $2.79 to $4.99 per square foot, and Optimax, which is around the $4.99-$5.99 per square foot mark.
DuraLux Pricing Compared to Other Vinyl Brands
|Product Name||Price per Square Foot||Overall Thickness||Wear Layer Thickness|
|Home Decorators Collection LVP||$1.79||4 – 4.2 mm||8 – 12 mil|
|DuraLux Performance||$1.49 – $3.49||4 – 5 mm||6 – 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|
|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|
|Optimax Eco Resilient||$3.99 – $4.99||7 – 8 mm||Not Stated|
|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|
|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|
To take a closer look at how Duralux’s price depends on the variety and finish chosen, consult the table below.
|DuraLux Variety & Finish||Cost per Square Foot||Thickness|
|Classic Hickory (Performance)||$1.49 SFT||4mm|
|Paradiso Pine (Performance)||$1.98 SFT||4mm|
|Midtown Charcoal||$1.99 SFT||3mm|
|Brunswick Coast (Performance)||$2.19 SFT||5mm|
|Somerset Heights||$2.49 SFT||3mm|
|Baywater Mist (Performance)||$2.49 SFT||5mm|
|Ebony Grove (Performance)||$2.69 SFT||5mm|
|Tahoe Spring (Performance)||$2.79 SFT||5mm|
|Paisley Cape (Performance)||$2.99 SFT||5mm|
|San Romani Tile (Performance)||$2.99 SFT||5mm|
|Cityscape Tile (Performance)||$3.09 SFT||5mm|
|Sonora Valley (Performance)||$3.19 SFT||5mm|
|Calacatta Tile (Performance)||$3.49 SFT||5mm|
Durability is usually determined by three main factors: waterproofing, wear layer thickness, and warranty length.
To take Duralux basic first, it’s guaranteed 100% waterproof, so that’s a good start. However, the wear layer is disappointing as best. The thickness of the wear layer is often regarded as hugely important; it is what protects your flooring from being permanently ruined. 12 – 20 mil is often seen as a good figure. Duralux, however, is described on the Floor and Decor website as having a wear layer of between 1 and 8 mil, which is disappointing both in its vagueness and thinness.
However, on drilling down into the product datasheet, it would seem that Duralux actually has a wear layer of 6 mil. That’s not all. In the FAQ section, a wear layer of 12 mil is cited. The plot (and the wear layer) thickens. While this uncertainty obtains, it’s difficult to feel entirely confident about Duralux basic’s durability. It feels like Floor and Decor purposely keeps this information vague and that doesn’t sit right with us, and clearly with consumers who bought it.
There aren’t that many Duralux flooring reviews available. Sad to say, what is available is largely negative, especially in the installation area. This Facebook thread is particularly telling with customers having installation difficulties, as well as those who are disappointed with the color, durability and claim that it is 100% waterproof.
This Youtube Duralux review is worth checking out to see how Performance coped with some pretty tough testing. It scored an overall figure of 7 out of 15, and honestly we felt that was generous.
Overall the reviews online about DuraLux leave something to be desired. There are way too many flooring brands out there to choose from to end up buying DuraLux.
Both varieties can be installed over most subfloors (such as concrete, plywood, and tile) and can deal with slightly irregular surfaces. The installation uses the floating technique, so no adhesives or fixings are required. The planks and tiles are designed to click into place. If being installed in a sunroom, however, gluing down is recommended.
With Duralux Basic, an underlayment is needed, such as Eco Ultra Quiet. With Duralux Performance, an underlayment is already attached, although an extra layer might be desired for acoustic purposes, for instance.
Furthermore, a six-mil poly vapor barrier is required when installing either product over concrete. Instructions for installing Performance can be found here.
Proper care & maintenance is essential for a long-lasting luxury vinyl floor. Regular cleaning combined with the right protection methods helps your floor keep its shine for longer. Below are some key instructions to follow for a proper care and maintenance routine.
Rules of Cleaning
- Vacuum your floor regularly, perhaps even every day. Dirt and dust are abrasive to hard-surface flooring and can cause scratches and scuffs.
- Use a hard-surface-approved vacuum. Most vacuums are not suited for hard floors and can potentially do more bad than good. We recommend the Dyson V15 Cordless Stick Vacuum.
- Mop your floors at least once a week to remove dust. When mopping, it’s crucial not to over-saturate your floor, hence why you should use a damp mop that is not dripping with water.
- Alternatively, you can use a spray mop. Spray mops release a fine mist of cleaning solution with the touch of a button, which prevents over-saturation.
- Speaking of cleaning solutions, make sure you use a PH-neutral one. Dish soap and vinegar are acceptable as long as you don’t use too much of them. You can add a few drops of essential oils for a pleasant room odor.
- If you want to take a professional approach, use a cleaning solution specifically designed for flooring. We recommend Bona Hard-Surface Floor Cleaner.
Mistakes to Avoid
- Avoid vacuuming too fast. Take it slowly. If you go too fast, you may end up scratching your floor and even damaging furniture corners.
- Don’t use scouring pads or steel wool for cleaning. These two will certainly scratch your floor.
- Do not use a steam mop. Although some brands allow it, we found that using a steam mop causes your floor to lose its shine faster than usual due to the high steam temperature.
- Don’t use vacuums with beater bars.
- Don’t use all-purpose or multi-purpose cleaning solutions.
- It’s well known that furniture legs can damage flooring. Attach large-diameter felt pads to them so they can glide smoothly when moved around and don’t cause dents.
- Place walk-off doormats at house entrances to prevent bringing in dirt from the outdoors.
- Avoid wearing shoes indoors, as these can bring in a lot of dirt and debris. Wear socks instead.
- Office chair casters are notorious for scratching floors. Invest in a protective chair mat or rubber blade casters to prevent this problem.
- Maintain a room temperature between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. This prevents moisture problems.
- 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.
- Place rugs in high-traffic areas, such as the living room couch area.
Read our How to Clean Vinyl Plank Floors – Care & Maintenance Guide for a complete, step-by-step guide on cleaning vinyl floors.
Pros & Cons
It’s fair to say that Duralux has its ups and downs. Let’s take a quick look at them.
- Extensive Range of Different Effects – with 74 different wood and stone looks to choose from, Duralux has most interior styles covered.
- No Acclimation Needed – you can get straight on with the job of installation.
- Multi-Purpose – can be used in any room, including basements, kitchens, and bathrooms.
- Easy to clean – cleaning and maintenance are very straightforward. Wet mops, damp mops, and (with Performance) even steam mops can be used to clean Duralux.
- Economical – from as little as $0.99 per square foot, Duralux can be a very inexpensive option.
- Can Replace Damaged Planks – should one or more of the planks or tiles sustain damage, it’s possible to replace that component without having to replace the whole floor.
- Product Information Feels Patchy – the confusion over wear layer thickness, in particular, is enough to make some feel a little uncertain about matters.
- Abundance of Bad Reviews – You can’t find much online that is positive about Duralux and what you can find seems paid for by Floor and Decor.
- Cannot Be Refinished – If there is damage to the surface, this cannot be easily dealt with, short of replacing that plank.
- Doesn’t Look Exactly Like Solid Wood or Stone – The wood and stone looks visuals are one of the lowest grades we have seen.
- Color – Most people complain of inconsistent colors and each box looking different.
- Waterproof – The claims are that it’s waterproof but from the reviews you can tell it is clearly not.
Style – 2 out of 10 points
Point blank, the only thing good about the styles and colors is that there are a lot of them. Other than that we were extremely disappointed with the quality of the visuals.
Durability – 1 out of 10 points
You can’t get a straight answer on the wear layer and based on all the customer reviews, this product does not hold up like they say it does. I guess you get what you pay for, but consumers claim that the product scratches and dents easily.
Affordability – 8 out of 10
When flooring starts at under a dollar per square foot, you know you’re looking at something eminently affordable. The very most you’ll pay is $3.49 per square foot, so still not an enormous amount.
Overall Score – 3 out of 10 points
Duralux is cheap, and if you just want something cheap to put down in a rental or a home flip, than this product is fine. If you actually want something quality though that you are going to live on, we would recommend skipping this product.
In truth, there are plenty of other brands of luxury vinyl flooring that might be worth checking out before you decide Duralux is for you.
Good Alternatives to DuraLux
Proximity Mills – The most popular vinyl plank flooring brand in 2023 with our highest rated score and best consumer reviews.
Doma – A vinyl plank flooring brand originally focused on style forward colors that has now branched out into more regular tons.
Newton – A value brand of flooring that can compete with DuraLux on price point but is much more durable.
Trucor – A brand that has been around forever, and is made by one of the most renowned manufactures in the industry.
How much does Duralux cost?
Duralux starts at $0.99 per square foot and goes up to $3.49 per square foot.
Is Duralux waterproof?
DuraLux claims 100% waterproofing for as long as the exposure to water lasts. Consumer reviews suggest otherwise however.
Does Duralux require underlayment?
Duralux Performance comes with a 2mm underlayer already attached. Duralux basic does not, so it will require underlayment.
Can Duralux be installed in basements?
Duralux is good for any room in the house and is approved for basements.
Can Duralux be installed on the wall?
Duralux is for floor use only.
2 Replies to “DuraLux Vinyl Flooring Review: Is It Worth Buying?”
I just had the Dura Lux waterproof vinyl Ridge Stone & Basal Core put in a few weeks ago. It’s in a new remodeled home every day I go there the planks are lifting and bending about a quarter inch at the edge. I had to replace six of them already. I need about 12 more replaced.
I have this flooring in my basement. We had three days of rain and some water came up to my flooring. There is no padding underneath the floor. is this flooring, mold resistant?