Luxury vinyl 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 availing themselves of its quality.
Duralux is a great case in point. The Luxury Vinyl Plank (LVP) that it produces demands to be seen – moreover, it demands to be trodden upon – by those whose only exposure to vinyl dates way back when. A resemblance to wood is intended and achieved, but it should be noted that it’s not a 100% lookalike. Only somebody who had never seen real wood before in their lives would be totally duped. But it’s attractive, nonetheless, as we’ll see below.
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 assemble a list of pros and cons before delivering our Duralux review verdict.
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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)
- 100% waterproofing
- Suitable for commercial use (Performance only)
- Affordable price tag
- GreenGuard Gold certified
- Acoustically beneficial
- Flooring Name: Duralux and Duralux Performance
- Thickness: 3mm and 4mm+, respectively
- Wear Layer: 6 – 12mil
- Warranty: 30-year residential/no commercial and lifetime residential/10-year commercial
- 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’s where the doubts surface. The thickness of the wear layer is often regarded as hugely important; it is what gets in the way of your tile being permanently defaced. 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.
On the other hand, it should be recalled that the residential warranty is 30 years, which, while not top of the range, is OK.
Things are a lot brighter with Duralux Performance. Again, 100% waterproof, so that’s reassuring, and a wear layer of 12-16 mil, which rates as superior. This is reflected in the warranty, which, at lifetime residential and 10-year commercial, is not too shabby at all.
Finally, it’s worth noting that both varieties are reckoned to be dent-proof by the supplier. However, they do advise against installing under heavy objects such as cabinets.
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 rife with customers having installation difficulties, as well as those who are disappointed with the color. Having said that, one or two in the thread are pleased with their Duralux Performance choice. Elsewhere, a question is raised in Houzz about Duralux, but no answer is given.
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, but in truth, the testing did seem a little OTT, at least from a residential use standpoint. (At one point, the flooring is subjected to impact from a sledgehammer and concrete block.)
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.
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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.
- GreenGuard Gold Certificated – low VOC, which means that fume levels from the installed flooring are minimal.
- Wear Layer Can Be Okay – with a thickness of 12-16 mil, Duralux Performance has a wear layer that will survive a domestic situation for life.
- Foam Underlayer With Performance – this is a nice bonus as it saves a bit of expense and bother.
- No Acclimation Needed – you can get straight on with the job of installation.
- Installation Is Relatively Straightforward – most competent DIYers will manage the job. What’s more, Duralux can be installed over most subfloors.
- 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.
- Water-Resistant – Duralux boasts superb water resistance, withstanding water contact for, according to the warranty, the life of the product, with no significant effect.
- Long Warranty – Duralux basic’s warranty’s nothing to write home about, but the lifetime residential and 10-year commercial warranty that accompanies Performance is pretty impressive.
- Product Information Feels Patchy – the confusion over wear layer thickness, in particular, is enough to make some feel a little uncertain about matters.
- Lack Of Reviews – this can be a red line to some, and for a good reason. Especially when what reviews there are tend not to be exactly glowing.
- 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 – in common with most products that simulate natural materials, it’s not a 100% convincing substitute.
Style – 8 out of 10 points
The range is quite impressive, with both wood and stone covered. The wood range, particularly, contains a nice breadth of color and style, with the usual oak and hickory pepped up by more unusual shades like Twilight Ash. Luxury vinyl, in general, can impress with its look and feel, and Duralux is no exception.
Durability – 6 out of 10 points
Duralux is certainly pretty rugged and will cope with most that a domestic environment will throw at it. This is why, with Performance, in particular, the residential warranty is good for life, and there’s a commercial 10-year coverage too. The waterproofing’s especially good, with permanent imperviousness to water being claimed. It’s a pity about the uncertainty over the wear layer.
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.
Online Reviews – 5 out of 10
This is where it hits the buffers. No product reviews from customers on the Floor and Decor website and very little available elsewhere serve to cast doubt on the quality of the product, fairly or unfairly. What can be found tends not to be what you might call gushing, hence the low score here.
Overall Score – 6.5 out of 10 points
Duralux has decent build quality and good looks too. It’s also highly economical, especially at the bottom end of the range. At less than a dollar a square foot, you may think it’s worth a punt.
However, online reviews are important, so the absence of Duralux reviews is problematic. Nobody likes to leap into a major project without reassurance from others. OK, there’s reassurance from the warranty, so that’s something. Still, overall, we would have liked to have seen more enthusiasm from existing customers before awarding it a higher score.
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.
What do you think of Duralux 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 DuraLux
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.
TritonCore Vinyl – Rated as our Best Value vinyl plank of the year, TritonCore is an affordable vinyl product sold only at FlooringInc stores. If you want something that’s pocket-friendly and good quality, TritonCore is the perfect option. Their vinyl plank floors are priced at $2.79 per square, making them one of the cheapest rigid core vinyl products on the market. Despite the low price, TritonCore is 8mm thick and has a respectable 20-mil wear. In addition, this product is fully waterproof, meaning you can install it in bathrooms and kitchens.
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.
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.