Homeowners looking for an affordable way to improve their property and house should consider NuCore vinyl plank flooring in their list. As a type of flooring, this one does have its own appeal and charm.
If you are looking for a way to include natural stone or wood into your house, and yet you don’t really have the budgets, then this type of flooring can be the best pick.
But before you march to the store and buy one, make sure that you have done a thorough and complete research so you really know the in-depth facts about the floor.
Quality of NuCore Floor
It is common nowadays to install vinyl plank floor for homeowners wanting to have an improved aesthetic look.
Nowadays, this type of floor can mimic and imitate the look of real organic materials (such as stone or wood) without the burden of the cost. It means that you are able to have beautiful flooring finish without spending a fortune.
Sounds like a good bargain, eh?
And NuCore vinyl plank flooring is one of the available options for homeowners with a budget.
It has a real and solid hardwood look you won’t be able to tell the difference once it is installed!
This floor has cork underlayment, which makes it comfortable and somewhat plush to step on.
The cork layer is able to absorb sound, providing a good sound insulation. This floor has 22 mils for the wear (protective) layer. It means that not only it is durable, but it is also resistant to scratch and stain.
However, the floor does have its own flaws.
First of all, it may not be as durable as you think. Many users have complained the fact that this floor is easily stained and scratched than the company has claimed.
Not to mention that the gaps between planks are perfect spots to build up dirt. The floor itself isn’t difficult to clean, but the build-up dirt on the gaps can make the cleaning process more difficult.
But in the overall end, the easy installation and the affordable tag price are some of the winning elements of this floor. It is advisable, though, to check the warranty. And you should also consider the placement of the furniture.
If you are going to place heavy objects or furniture, you may consider using the furniture pad so it won’t scratch the floor.
Pros and Cons
What are the great benefits of NuCore vinyl plank flooring?
- The appearance is great. It imitates natural stone or hardwood just perfectly
- The floor is easy installed by yourself, especially if you are considering not to hire professional installer
- The tag price is nice. The expenses start from $2.35 a square foot to $3.80, which is super affordable
- It is relatively easy to find this brand and product. Interested homeowners can check the local stores as well as online shops
However, this floor isn’t 100% flawless and perfect as there are several downsides to it:
- Although it comes with wear layer, the floor is still easily scratched and scuffed
- The gaps (between the planks) are the potential spots to capture grime and dirt. It makes the floor hard to clean
- Some users have complained about the lost of sheen
- The styles are changing quite often. It can be a good thing, but it can be a problem too. You may have the difficulty to get the same replacement in the future.
Price and Cost
As it was mentioned before, the cost of NuCore vinyl plank flooring is quite affordable.
Depending on the variants, the quality of construction, and the performance of the floor, expect to spend around $2.35 to $3.80 for a square foot.
Even when you choose the top end products, it won’t burden your financial.
It would be a good idea if you get samples before making the purchase. By doing this, you won’t get the wrong floor for the installation.
There are also some brands offering discounts for the next purchase if you already buy the samples first. Not a bad idea, huh?
Buying the Floor
So, where can you buy NuCore vinyl plank flooring?
It is exclusively sold at Floor and Decor stores. It is a national-wide chain liked by consumers and contractors. Set up in Georgia in 2000, the store has 100 locations all over the United States.
In case there are homeowners from other parts of the world are interested in buying the products, they can buy those items online. Buyers have the options to pick up their own stuff or have those items delivered to their homes.
But always read and understand the store’s policies and regulations concerning returns, damages, and shipping. Just go to the official website and explore it.
Returns, Damage, and Warranty Policies
Expect to find a limited lifetime warranty for this NuCore vinyl plank flooring, which includes:
- An official warranty concerning the floor should be free from any (manufacturing) defects
- The floor won’t fade or stain as exposed to artificial light or sunlight
- It isn’t wear through. Gloss loss and scratches aren’t considered wear through
- The floor won’t stain from pet urine provided that the urine isn’t let to dry and you clean it right away
The company may refund or replace the portion of the affected floor, but they won’t cover labor cost.
However, in case the claim is finally approved within a year after the purchase, they are willing to cover only a prorated percentage of the (material) cost.
The warranty itself won’t cover any damage resulting from:
- Cleaning method other than being advised
- Water erosion
- Extreme temperature or heat
- Improper installation
In case you get damaged products, contact Floor and Decor right away. Go to their Damages Specialist to return the products and get the replacement.
They accept returns, but you (as the customer) are responsible for the return shipment cost.
NuCore Flooring FAQs
You may be deceived by its appearance imitating the stone or the wood just perfectly. But the truth is, it is vinyl, but it is included as luxury vinyl plank.
The ability to imitate the look of other organic materials isn’t the only factor that makes this floor a favorite. The floor is comfortable. It is easy to clean. It absorbs sound and noise.
However, when compared to the real hardwood, this one isn’t the perfect match. It isn’t solid or sturdy. It is pretty durable, but not as tough as hardwood. The floor is prone to water, heat, and sunlight.
So, think careful when you want to install the floor in any room as it isn’t perfect for all locations.
The floor has 22 mils of wear layer. Theoretically, it has a pretty good scratch resistance quality.
However, you need to remember that scratch resistant doesn’t mean that it is completely scratch proof.
Some customers claim that the floor scratched quite easily easier than they have expected.
However, the scratches tend to be brown not white. It is a good thing, really, because it blends pretty well with the entire floor. The brownish scratch is kind-of invisible, unless you look closely and carefully at it.
But then again, matte finish can hide the scratch better than high-gloss finish.
Despite the fact that it is claimed to be waterproof, water spills must be cleaned and removed in 30 minutes or less so stains won’t set in.
Basically, all types of floors need underlayment.
However, NuCore vinyl plank flooring has its own cork underlayment attached to it, so you won’t have to install or buy the underlayment in a separate manner.
Keep in mind, though, that if you are thinking about installing the floor onto the concrete (sublayers) directly, you need an extra vapor barrier.
NuCore cork underlayment has better softness than the general plastic underlayment. It reduces noise quite significantly and it is also comfy to walk in.
If you are still doubtful, consult the professional installer.
The floor has tons of different collections you won’t get bored from their lines of products.
They have 35 variants of patterns and colors, including hand-scraped, gloss, and scraped finish. Expect to find deeper mahogany hue to whitewashed airy gray shades.
The planks have various thickness options from 5.5 mm to 8.0 mm. They have pre-attached backing from cork for softer and more comfortable feel.
The planks also have anti-microbial feature to prevent mildew and mold.
The NuCore vinyl plank flooring comes with tongue in groove mechanism, which promotes DIY easiness and simplicity.
There is no need for any extra underlayer because the plank already has its own cork underlayment. Just make sure to prep the subfloor carefully and thoroughly.
Simply follow the manufacturer guideline. Pay attention to the company’s specific requirements, especially concerning vapor barriers.
It would be better to get written clarification (from the manufacturer) before the installation.
When laying the subfloor, start from the planks going from left to the right. Start from the longest wall too. It is crucial to lay the floor entirely before the installation begins.
In this way, you know where to cut or make adjustments before starting out. Be advised that the grooves and tongues are pretty sensitive and delicate, so be careful about it.
Start from various boxes so you may be able to vary the textures, patterns, and colors. It would be nicer to have 10% extra in case you need extra.
For the installation, check the edges. Lock every board to the next ones at those edges. Secure the seams by using a rubber mallet and a vinyl piece of scrap.
Tap the seams carefully. And remember to leave around ¼ inches of area around obstacles and walls for the expansion.
At first, the progress may be slow, but as you get the hang of it, you will move faster.
A handy tip: The room temperature should be within the safe range of 60 degrees Fahrenheit to 80 degrees after the installation.
If the temperature goes exceeding that limit, the floor may contract or expand, resulting in visual defects. The defects won’t be covered by the warranty.
Another tip: The company recommends glue down planks if the floor is installed in areas with direct sunlight.
You mustn’t use any poly vapor barrier because you must attach the floor to the subfloor directly.
NuCore Comparisons to Other Brands
It is only fair if you compare NuCore floor with other brands within the same vinyl line. By comparing products and brands, you can see the quality of NuCore vinyl plank flooring and decide whether it would be perfect for you.
NuCore and LifeProof
Known as Allure, LifeProof has the same quality flooring. Their products are able to deliver authentic wood floor, including the deeply embossed designs. The floor has similar look and even textures as pine, hickory, and oak.
Both of the floors have cork underlayment that is soft and plush, along with the microbial resistance feature.
However, when it comes to the waterproof quality, LifeProof is better than NuCore. Not to mention that it comes with phthalate and formaldehyde free feature.
It means that homeowners can safely use chemical products although it isn’t advisable.
The wear layer of LifeProof is 6 mils, which means that it is pretty resistant to skid marks or scratches with normal use. But it isn’t safe against animals or active kids’ impacts.
If your house has a pretty heavy foot traffic, go with 12 mils. For busy house, NuCore with its 22 mils is a better pick.
NuCore and COREtec
COREtec is the brand by US Floors. When compared to other vinyl flooring types, this brand is able to deliver authentic and real wood touch to it. If you don’t know it any better, you may even think of it as the real hardwood.
However, authentic quality comes with a price. Be ready to pay a bit higher for COREtec products.
In terms of durability, both brands are the same. COREtec comes with 20 mils of wear layer which isn’t very different from the 22 mils from NuCore vinyl plank flooring. It is pretty sturdy against heavy traffic.
Both of them also come with cork underlayment for extra comfort. In terms of installation, though, COREtec is more complicated because it needs crosscut (power) saw.
NuCore is more of the DIY-friendly type. But COREtec is better in dealing with imperfect underlayer when compared to NuCore.
NuCore and Pergo
Besides vinyl plank, Pergo is also known for their laminate flooring products. They started the business with the floor more than 3 decades ago. Their hardwood products are impressive but they have better collections in ceramic and stones.
In terms of durability and water resistance-quality, both brands have the same features.
But if you are looking for a brand having the old and past patterns, then Pergo is your best pick. The problem with NuCore is the constant changes of their designs.
Let’s say that you install the floor 10 years ago with a certain pattern or color. It may be difficult for you to find the same color or patterns now.
NuCore and SmartCore
When compared to NuCore vinyl plank flooring, SmartCore only has several design variations. But each of it is packed with features that make the floor a winning quality.
That’s why the price is slightly higher than NuCore, but it is still with the affordable tag considering that you are spending money for innovation and quality.
Both floors have tongue and groove mechanism but SmartCore has better technology with its solid construction.
The floor would be absolutely a breeze for subfloor with imperfections. And unlike NuCore, SmartCore is 100% waterproof. Feel free to use the floor in wet rooms and areas.
However, when dealing with pets and active kids, NuCore is better because the surface is able to stand against all the beating and abuse.
Moreover, SmartCore only comes with 12 mils of wear layer, while NuCore is 22 mils. It means that NuCore is stronger and more durable than SmartCore.
Cleaning and Caring the Floor
NuCore vinyl plank flooring can last for many years, even decades, but it is crucial to pay attention to proper caring, cleaning, and maintenance. According to the company, the advised ways to clean the floor are:
- You should sweep the floor on a daily basis with soft brush or soft bristle attachment. Feel free to vacuum it too, but use the soft attachment only
- Damp mop is allowed, and it should be done regularly. Use mild cleaners that don’t contain oil or wax. What about steam cleaning? As long as you use the residential type, it is okay. But make sure to use the lowest setting. And there is no need to do it every day occasionally would be fine.
- Whenever there are water spills or splashes, remove them right away. Don’t let the water sit or pool.
These are the cleaning guidelines are set by the company. If you fail to follow them, the warranty is likely voided.
Moreover, the company also advises buyers and homeowners these things:
- Don’t slide or drag heavy items on or across the floor
- It’s better to use furniture pad or felt protectors for the furniture
- Don’t let the floor being exposed to direct sunray, especially for a long time. It’s advisable to use the rugs or have the windows treated.
There are so basic facts about this type of floor, from this particular brand.
As you can see, it has some of the best and positive sides, but you should be prepared for the downsides too.
Think about these two sides of NuCore vinyl plank flooring before making a decision.