This article shares our review of Flooret Modin luxury vinyl plank flooring after installing the Signature planks in our basement.
Our review of Flooret luxury vinyl plank flooring
I’ve been sharing progress on our partial basement finishing project via my Instagram stories for a few months now. After getting a quote for $57k to hire everything out, we decided to project manage it ourselves instead to save some money. And to do a lot of the work ourselves.
We’re adding a den, a bedroom, and a bathroom, which I’ll have an in-depth article about in the future. Today we’re just focusing on the flooring. That’s because I worked with the company Flooret on this project.
They very generously gifted us the flooring to review. Given that my article 9 of the Best Vinyl Plank Flooring Reviews From a Homeowner is one of my most popular articles, I felt this would be a great task for me to take on. In addition to being gifted the flooring, this article also contains affiliate links. So let’s dive in!
- A primer on Flooret flooring
- Flooret’s vinyl plank options
- What we chose for our basement
- How our basement looked before work began
- Installation steps and supplies used
- Lessons learned from my experience…
- Ready to buy samples?
A primer on Flooret flooring
Flooret is a direct-to-consumer flooring company that was created as an alternative way to manufacture, source, and purchase flooring. Direct-to-consumer brands have skyrocketed in popularity over the last 10 years or so, and for good reason. It’s easier than ever to cut out the middleman in industries that have traditionally used one.
When Flooret was created, the monopolization of distributors in the flooring industry had led to limited options and over-priced floors. By the time the product reached consumers, flooring could be marked up as much as 300 to 600% from the factory cost.
The lag between manufacturing and the consumer also meant that flooring designs could not keep up with trends. So many layers of distribution led to products being outdated by the time they reached a consumer’s hands. So the company Flooret was born with a simple mission statement: the best flooring products available, priced competitively.
Flooret offers two main flooring options: Modin Luxury Vinyl Plank (LVP) and Silvan Hardwood. This article will focus exclusively on the Modin LVP flooring options because that is what I installed. There are a variety of colors available, and the three different lines offer different plank options.
The Signature line has extra-large planks, enhanced bevels, and industry-leading wear layer.
- $4.50/square foot
- Size: 9 inches wide and 72 inches long
- Wear layer: 1 mm/40 mil PVC
- Core: 4.5 mm SPC (60% limestone)
- Attached underlayment: 1.5 mm IXPE
The Craftsman line has the same wear layer as Signature, but in a narrow plank size with micro bevels.
- $4.95/square foot
- Size: 3.35 inches wide and 72 inches long
- Wear layer: 1.0 mm/40 mil PVC
- Core: 4.5 mm SPC (60% limestone)
- Attached underlayment: 1.5 mm IXPE
The Base line features smaller planks and less prominent bevels at an even lower price point.
- $2.95/square foot
- Size: 5.9 inches wide by 48 inches long
- Wear layer: .5 mm/20 mil PVC
- Core: 3.5 mm SPC (60% limestone)
- Attached underlayment: 1.0 mm IXPE
No matter which line you choose, they will have a very realistic texture and low sheen, a commercial-grade wear layer, a 100% waterproof rating, and a lifetime residential warranty. All planks are also independently FloorScore® certified by a US-based third party for low emissions.
What we chose for our basement
So which did we choose for our basement? They are all great options and had great reviews. I think that any of the lines would have been a good choice, but I decided on the Signature line in Nakan for our basement.
I’m the type of person who agonizes over big decisions…and this was a big decision! So I found Flooret’s Room Studio tool to be extremely helpful. You can upload photos of your space and “try on” different plank lines and sizes. To launch the Room Studio tool, visit the page of the flooring you want to test out and click “see our floors in your room.”
Ultimately I felt that the larger plank size on the Signature line would be great for the large open space in the den. Their size, coupled with a thicker attached underlayment and 40 mil wear layer, made them a great choice for laying on the cold concrete subfloor of a basement.
Here’s a look at the Signature planks laid out in our basement using the Room Studio tool. I tried out several different photos of the room at different angles before I settled on my final choice. Nakan is also one of their most popular colors—it’s a beautiful warm light brown.
How our basement looked before work began
As you can see in the Room Studio picture above, we were starting from absolute scratch. The basement has basically been a dumping ground for stuff since we moved in. Older couches, toys, a TV we didn’t use…it need a major facelift! Below shows a few angles of the basement with its painted concrete floors.
Because we have an older cinderblock foundation, we opted to line the walls with rigid foam insulation as the very first step. (The walls were already sealed.) Then we framed on top of that and added batting insulation to code in the cavities.
We hired out the electrical work that needed to be done as well. The electrical down here was original to 1962 and needed some major updating. We also hired out the drywall work because that is my least favorite task. When that was done, I was ready to paint and lay flooring!
Installation steps and supplies used
I spent my Christmas break off work painting and laying flooring. I can’t think of a better way to spend my time off work! Here’s what we used to install our floors and how we did it.
- 6 mil thick black plastic moisture barrier
- Miter saw
- Jig saw (Flooret recommends a table saw for the most precise cutting option when cutting planks lengthwise, but we don’t have one)
- Tapping block, pull bar, and heavy mallet—this is a nice set that is a little heavier duty than the sets you’ll find in big box home improvement stores
- 1/4″ spacers
- Chalk reel
- Work gloves—we have and like these
- Safety glasses—I absolutely recommend wearing safety goggles, especially when cutting vinyl planks!
- Measuring tape
- Pencil or maker
Step 1: Measure and plan
You will want to skip this step. I always want to skip the planning stage and jump right in. Don’t skip this step! Make sure you set yourself up for success by planning our your first row. Here’s how I planned our floor:
- Measure the room and sketch it out on paper
- Take the width of the room and divide it by the width of your planks to determine if you need to rip down your first row of planks
- For example, if your room is 122″ wide and you are using the 9″ signature planks, that will mean your final row will need to be ripped down lengthwise to 5 inches wide, which is fine.
- However, if your room were 118″ wide and you are using 9″ planks, your final piece would need to be ripped down to 1 inch wide, which is too narrow. If your last row comes out to under 2 inches wide, you’ll need to rip down your first row accordingly.
Step 2: Lay first row of flooring
Once I was ready to go, I laid down a 6 mil plastic moisture barrier. Flooret recommends using a moisture barrier if you are laying on a concrete subfloor. Keep that in mind as an extra step if your subfloor warrants it.
I also recommend emptying at least 3 boxes of flooring in stacks and picking from each stack randomly while you’re laying the floors to ensure a good mixture of patterns and colors. The signature planks are heavy, too—so getting the unloading process out of the way all at once seemed like the best option.
Then, using 1/4″ spacers along the perimeter of the walls, I laid my first row and clicked them in place. The first few rows are going to be the hardest. But once you get into a rhythm, it will really start to fly.
I mentioned calculating your width measurements before getting started. But for the length measurements, I worked row by row. You can usually start your first row with a full piece and cut the last piece in the row accordingly. Then use the other half of that cut piece to start the next row.
But I do recommend laying out your pieces for each row before locking them in to make sure your patterns are ok. Flooret provides instructions on how to do this, but in a nutshell, you want to avoid repetitive patterns. Pieces should not be cut under 8″ long, either. So if a row ends up needs a 5″ piece to finish it off, you’ll need to cut down the first piece in the row to allow for a longer last piece.
Step 3: Cut pieces as necessary using a jigsaw
As we were laying our floors and got to tricky spots, we used a jigsaw to cut out openings. We didn’t have to work around trim or door jambs because we were finishing this space from scratch, so we had a little more wiggle room.
But wherever you cut out openings on your flooring—like around door openings, corners, or other boxed-in elements in your space—make sure you include that 1/4″ expansion space as well. You can see some of those cuts in the photos below around the support posts we chose to box in.
Step 4: Adding transitions and baseboards
When we were done laying all of the flooring, we installed our doors and baseboards. And then I added transitions in areas where we’d planned for them. I wanted to continuously lay the floors, but there were some areas where adding a transition piece made more sense.
For example, between the hall and the den and between the den and the bathroom. The cuts can get a bit wonky, and a continuous lay in such a large space can be hard. So don’t hesitate to plan in some t-molding transitions (or other types) if it improves the layout.
And here are the finished floors! I am blown away by how good this space looks now. Honestly…the difference is staggering. And I’m so proud that I laid all of this flooring myself in just about a week. And the planks themselves are just gorgeous. Nakan is the perfect color, and the size of the Signature planks really gives them a rich look.
Lessons learned from my experience…
Now I want to share a few lessons learned from my experience laying Flooret Modin floors. Hopefully these will help to prevent any issues during your installation.
- If you are laying the flooring yourself and are laying the Signature planks, I would recommend investing in a heavier duty pull bar. I did not find the wimpy little pull bar I had to be helpful with such large planks.
- If you lock a plank in lengthwise and are having trouble pulling it in to seal the butt joints, try this. Lock the butt joint first and then carefully lift the plank and the one next to it to lock everything in lengthwise. Then make sure to re-tap all planks in the row with the block in case anything came loose.
- If you are new to laying floors and will be DIYing, I might suggest going with the Base or Craftsman planks. This is the second floor I’ve laid, and the size and weight of the Signature planks made it more challenging. Smaller, lighter planks might be easier to work with if you’re new to flooring.
- It was challenging for me to plan out my full layout since I was laying the flooring from a bedroom out into a hallway and then into a den and bathroom. If you can plan transition areas for t-molding in advance, definitely do that.
- When you have scrap pieces that have lips on either size, put them in their own pile. You never know when you’ll need to pull from that pile to conserve a larger piece. Don’t run out of flooring!
Ready to buy samples?
Ready to buy samples? You can do so on the Modin landing page—and make sure you use the Room Studio tool to narrow down your choices first! If you have questions about our experience, feel free to leave and comment below, and I’ll respond as soon as I can. Happy floor shopping!