The Best Vinyl Plank Flooring Installers of 2022

Melissa Bradford

Photo: istockphoto.com

Vinyl plank flooring is one of the fastest and most affordable ways to transform a room. This material is made to mimic hardwood or tile, and compared to those materials, shoppers can save $2 or $3 per square foot. Among vinyl flooring’s other benefits, very few people will be able to tell that the floor isn’t actually wood or tile.

But a lot of pulling off the best vinyl plank flooring transformation comes down to the installer. Tight seams in the right spots and a fitment that doesn’t buckle when the floor expands can be tough to achieve without some expertise. For that reason, we put together this list of the best vinyl plank flooring installers to help shoppers find a company for their project.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Empire Today
  2. RUNNER-UP: LL Flooring
  3. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: National Floors Direct
  4. ALSO CONSIDER: The Home Depot

The Best Vinyl Plank Flooring Installers Options

Photo: istockphoto.com

What to Consider When Choosing One of the Best Vinyl Plank Flooring Installers

There’s more to having a vinyl plank floor installed than simply dialing up the first installer that pops up in a search engine. Below are some of the most important considerations that shoppers will want to keep in mind when comparing and selecting a vinyl plank flooring installer.

Service Area

Vinyl plank flooring installers typically work within a certain distance of their shop or warehouse. For this reason, it’s important to consider companies’ service areas when comparing several installers.

A smaller company may only install flooring within 50 or so miles of its location. Larger companies with multiple locations may have options covering the majority of the country.

Also, there are companies known as aggregators that help put customers in touch with one of the best flooring companies in their area. These services can be particularly helpful for folks who are having a hard time finding a flooring company near their home.

Estimate Scheduling

Before professional flooring companies begin their installation process, they’ll typically send a representative to the home for an estimate. This person will measure the rooms to calculate how much flooring and installation time is needed, as well as note any unique features or designs that the installer might have to work around.

Often, these companies will help potential customers set up a time for an estimate over the phone. Other companies allow customers to schedule these appointments online. This is a convenient feature for busy folks who would rather not make phone calls to schedule their estimate, and they can typically reschedule using the same method if something comes up.

In-Home Shopping Option

One of the most exciting parts of a vinyl plank flooring project is when the shopper gets to actually shop. They can compare styles, colors, quality, prices, and even designs to some extent. When they can do it from the comfort of their own home, the process can be even more enjoyable.

During the in-home estimate or consultation process (some companies may combine them), the customer will typically be able to check out several sample materials. They’ll also get an idea of the different moldings or transitions that the installer will use when switching from room to room. This gives the customer a better understanding of what goes into the project and how it will impact their home specifically.

Pricing and Financing

Pricing and financing are some of the biggest factors a customer needs to keep in mind when considering a vinyl plank floor installation. While these flooring materials are less expensive than wood or tile, they’re still a big investment, and shoppers will want to do their research.

Very often, different companies will carry either the same product or very similar products at slightly different prices. Also, the cost of installation may be more or less, depending on the installer. Comparing those prices is critical to ensuring the project remains within budget.

Some vinyl plank flooring companies may offer financing. Financing may come in the form of a credit card or a project loan, but this allows the customer to pay for their floor one month at a time rather than with one big check.

Warranty

Things happen. While the hope is that the flooring will last for years and years, issues with manufacturing may cause some of the flooring to fail. For these instances, customers can rely on the flooring’s manufacturer warranty (which ranges from 5 years to 25 years or more). But what happens when there are issues with the installation?

While professional installers do know best, even they can make mistakes. Most vinyl plank flooring installers will offer their own warranties to cover their workmanship for that reason. These warranties are generally up to 1 year from the date of installation, but since they may vary from installer to installer, customers will want to check with their prospective installers.

Customer Support

Customers need to know that the company they’re selecting to install their floors has their best interests in mind and is easy to contact. Folks should be able to reach out with questions, concerns, complaints, or compliments and be able to speak with someone right away.

In the past, customer support has been primarily over the phone, with email also a popular option. Some of today’s top vinyl floor installation pros may also offer live chat options on their websites that allow the customer to message back and forth with a representative. Regardless of the method, customers should ensure they know how to get a hold of customer support in the event that there is a warranty issue or other reason to call.

Our Top Picks

Knowing what to look for in a flooring installation company is half the battle. Now it’s time to compare some of the best vinyl plank flooring installers in the business. Customers will want to keep the top considerations in mind when evaluating these companies.

Photo: empiretoday.com

Why It Made the Cut: Between a wide selection of vinyl plank flooring options, next-day installation, and shop-at-home convenience, Empire Today sets itself apart.

Vinyl plank flooring customers who are looking for plenty of options and the ability to get their project rolling quickly will want to check out Empire Today. This company offers online and phone scheduling for estimates as well as in-home shopping, during which time a sales representative will come to the home with samples and photos. Empire Today even gives customers the option of next-day installation for most in-stock flooring options.

One of Empire Today’s biggest upsides is its transparent, all-inclusive pricing. The price estimate includes moving furniture, removal and disposal of the old flooring, the new floor and the underlayment, thresholds, trim, installation, and cleanup. Customers know exactly what to expect, and there are no hidden fees. While the warranty is relatively short (just 1 year), Empire Today does offer a service plan for incidents and accidents—a bonus for folks with young children or pets.

Specs

  • Estimate scheduling: Online, phone
  • In-home shopping: Yes
  • Next-day installation: For in-stock flooring
  • Warranty: 1-year installation warranty

Pros

  • Wide selection of vinyl plank flooring styles
  • Transparent, all-inclusive price estimate
  • Next-day installation available
  • Service plan coverage for incident- or accident-related damages

Cons

  • Relatively short 1-year installation warranty

The Best Vinyl Plank Flooring Installer Option LL Flooring

Photo: llflooring.com

Why It Made the Cut: Folks looking for a modern approach to vinyl plank flooring shopping, as well as a wide range of options, will want to consider LL Flooring.

LL Flooring offers plenty of options, many of which cost under $2 per square foot, including wood- and stone-look planks. And though LL Flooring doesn’t offer in-home shopping, shoppers can request up to four free samples both online and in stores.

The search for the right flooring is relatively painless as well. When searching through the many flooring options, shoppers can use LL Flooring’s helpful search filters to pinpoint the perfect options for their space. Then, they can use LL Flooring’s augmented reality tool to see how the different flooring options will look in their home. Once shoppers find that ideal flooring option, they can schedule their estimate online or over the phone.

Specs

  • Estimate scheduling: Online, phone
  • In-home shopping: No
  • Next-day installation: Not available
  • Warranty: Not specified

Pros

  • Wide selection of vinyl flooring styles
  • Augmented reality visualizer tool
  • Free samples available online and in-store

Cons

  • No installation warranty information readily available
  • No in-home shopping option

The Best Vinyl Plank Flooring Installer Option National Floors Direct

Photo: nationalfloorsdirect.com

Why It Made the Cut: National Floors Direct guarantees it will beat competitor installation prices and provides discounts for online booking.

Vinyl plank flooring shoppers who want an installer that offers the most bang for the buck will want to consider National Floors Direct. This northeastern U.S.–based flooring installer guarantees its installation price will be 15 percent lower than its competitors, saving shoppers money on their vinyl flooring installation.

National Floors Direct offers customers other ways to save as well. Customers who book online will save $150 off the cost of their floor. Also, the company doesn’t charge for services like premium padding, furniture moving, and next-day installation (though next-day installation isn’t available everywhere). Note that warranty information isn’t readily available online, but shoppers can take advantage of online and phone scheduling, as well as in-home shopping where it’s available.

Specs

  • Estimate scheduling: Online, phone
  • In-home shopping: Yes
  • Next-day installation: At select locations
  • Warranty: Not specified

Pros

  • Installation cost guaranteed to be 15 percent lower than competitors’ costs
  • $150 discount available for online booking
  • No additional charges for furniture moving or premium underlayment

Cons

  • Next-day flooring installation restricted to the northeastern U.S.
  • No installation warranty information readily available

The Best Vinyl Plank Flooring Installer Option The Home Depot

Photo: homedepot.com

Why It Made the Cut: With its widespread service area (over 2,300 locations), The Home Depot is one of the largest vinyl plank flooring installation companies, ensuring shoppers can find an option in their area.

Folks who are struggling to find the right floors or even an installation contractor near them will want to consider The Home Depot. This powerful big-box retailer not only carries a wide selection of vinyl plank flooring options, but it can also provide installation services. And since there are over 2,300 locations, most shoppers should have no problem finding a local store to handle their project.

The Home Depot gives shoppers the option of selecting online estimate scheduling, making it as convenient as possible. Obtaining an in-home measurement costs $50, and despite the fact that it doesn’t offer in-home shopping, the Home Depot offers inexpensive samples. Also, beyond the individual products’ manufacturer warranties, The Home Depot warranties its installers’ work with a lifetime labor warranty, providing peace of mind for shoppers.

Specs

  • Estimate scheduling: Online
  • In-home shopping: No
  • Next-day installation: Not available
  • Warranty: Lifetime labor warranty

Pros

  • Over 2,300 locations nationwide
  • Lifetime labor warranty

Cons

  • $50 fee for in-home measurements
  • No in-home shopping option

Our Verdict

Folks who are looking for a wide selection of options, next-day installation, and the convenience of in-home shopping will want to consider Empire Today. However, those looking for the best deal might want to start their search with National Floors Direct.

How We Chose the Best Vinyl Plank Flooring Installers

Assembling a list of the best vinyl plank flooring installers isn’t a task we took lightly. First, we called upon all of our experience with DIY projects, projects we’ve hired out, and home improvement in general to come up with some of the most important features we felt shoppers should look for.

With those important features in mind, we performed extensive research on several vinyl plank flooring installation companies. We compared their service areas, warranties, prices, and services in order to determine which options would meet our criteria and which wouldn’t. Those that failed were removed, while those that offered enough value were given awards based on their strengths.

Before You Hire One of the Best Vinyl Plank Flooring Installers

Hiring a vinyl plank flooring installer might not be ideal for everyone. In fact, some folks may prefer to learn how to install vinyl plank flooring on their own. Generally speaking, installing vinyl plank flooring is easy, so many DIYers can handle the project on their own. However, customers who don’t have the time in their busy schedules can benefit from hiring out this project. And since vinyl plank flooring installation is typically a 1- to 2-day process, homeowners don’t have to worry about their homes being upended for too long.

Additionally, customers will want to understand that many flooring installers may have hidden fees in their estimates. It’s important to ask the company to break down their estimate line by line and explain each of the costs. Even then, they may have a way of inflating costs, so it’s important to compare several installers’ estimates before choosing an installer.

Cost of Hiring One of the Best Vinyl Plank Flooring Installers

The cost to hire one of the best vinyl plank floor installers ranges between $1 and $5 per square foot. This is in addition to the cost of materials, which typically range between $1 and $6 per square foot. In the end, this brings the average cost of vinyl plank flooring to $2 to $11 per square foot.

Note that installers may or may not include certain costs in their price. For instance, some companies include furniture removal and underlayment (the padding underneath the planks) with their labor costs. Others might charge separately for underlayment and charge a flat fee for removing furniture. It’s important to ask what’s included in the price.

Also, cheap vinyl plank flooring may not be as comfortable underfoot or do as good a job mimicking real materials, so customers will want to weigh the pros and cons at both ends of the price range.

The Advantages of Hiring One of the Best Vinyl Plank Flooring Installers

Laying vinyl plank flooring is generally easy, but in some cases, knowing which moldings or transitions to use can be tricky. Professional installers have plenty of jobs under their belts and know exactly which pieces of trim or molding to use to ensure their installation looks seamless.

For large installations, hiring a professional vinyl plank flooring installer can be worth it in terms of time alone. These outfits may often send two installers to the home, allowing one to install planks while the other runs back and forth to the material pile to keep things moving. This means less time with the house in shambles as is often the case with DIYers.

Gaps around the edges, chipped faces, and other blemishes are telltale signs of a poor DIY vinyl flooring installation. With a professional installer, customers know they have a warranty to rely on, so should the installer make a careless mistake, the work is covered and the company will fix it.

  • Professional installers know which moldings and trim to use for different scenarios.
  • Professional installers can finish a vinyl plank flooring installation sooner than a DIYer.
  • Customers who hire pros to install their floors have a labor warranty to fall back on should the floor have gaps or chips.

FAQs

That’s a lot of information about the best vinyl plank flooring installers. However, there may still be some questions that need answering. The following are some of the most frequently asked questions about vinyl plank flooring and the installation process. Be sure to check for an answer to your question listed below.

Q. How much does it cost to install vinyl plank flooring?

The cost to install vinyl flooring planks will generally range between $1 and $5 per square foot, and the flooring itself costs $1 to $6 per square foot. Free services are often built into these costs, including furniture removal.

Q. Is there a difference between vinyl and luxury vinyl plank flooring?

Typically, vinyl flooring is very basic; it may come in large sheets that roll out, or it may come as peel-and-stick tiles. Vinyl flooring costs are comparatively low. Luxury vinyl plank flooring does a much better job of mimicking wood or tile materials and features a locking tongue-and-groove installation process.

Q. Do vinyl plank flooring installers offer free consultations?

Some vinyl plank flooring installers offer free in-home estimates as well as in-home shopping. A rep will come to the home with photos and samples, discuss prices, and help the customer choose an option that works for their home.

Q. How long does it take to finish vinyl plank flooring installation?

Vinyl plank flooring installation is generally very quick when compared to other flooring materials. A professional can install vinyl plank flooring for most projects in less than a day.

Q. How do I find a good and reliable vinyl plank flooring installer?

Our list of the best vinyl plank flooring installers is a good starting point. For folks outside of the service areas of the first three options, The Home Depot’s widespread service area should allow customers to find an installer in their area.

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