Review of COREtec Plus | Waterproof luxury vinyl – Looks like hardwood and holds up to water

Coretec Plus Review - Waterproof engineered vinyl plank

What is Coretec Plus?

Coretec Plus Alabaster OakCoretec Plus is the perfect blend of form and function. It’s a high quality luxury vinyl that looks (and feels) real, and it’s designed to hold up in spaces that may have moisture (such as basements, kitchens, bathrooms).  Coretec looks like hardwood (the planks look like engineered hardwood…and look much more real than laminate)…in fact many of my customers don’t even realize they are looking at vinyl when they see the product – that’s how real it looks.  This is probably the most innovative flooring product of this decade.

 

Gold Coast Acacia Coretec PlusCoretec Plus comes in luxury vinyl planks that look like hardwood and luxury vinyl tile that looks like tile, natural stone and concrete.  Personally, I prefer the hardwood plan options as they are more stylish and look more real.  Here in the Mid-Atlantic/Northeast, hardwood is strongly preferred over tile.

 

 

 

Coretec Plus Luxury vinyl gold coast acaciaThese high end vinyl planks (and tiles) are individual pieces with beveled edges and real texture and graining, so they look real (unlikely sheet vinyl or cheaper vinyls or laminate which has simulated graphics).  The planks are installed in a randomized way so they also look more like real hardwood.

 

Coretec Plus gives you a high end look and provide the perfect solution when you want a hardwood look, but don’t want to worry about moisture/water.  It’s a great product because you it solves many challenges at once so that homeowners don’t need to compromise.  My installers love it because it’s a great product for customers and it’s one that you can really stand behind.

 

clear lake oak coretec plusCoretec holds up to water and cleans up easily, so if you don’t need to worry about water issues in the kitchen (e.g. from moisture from dishwasher, spills while cooking, pet spills from water dishes).

 

Coretec Plus is made by US Floors, and they are a very reputable manufacturer.  They make Coretec Plus, Natural Cork, Natural Bamboo and some specialized high end oiled hardwood floors.  The product has a limited lifetime warranty and it’s GreenGuard certified.  They really stand behind their product.

 

How is Coretec Plus constructed?

coretec plus construction - 4 layersCoretec Plus is a rigid luxury vinyl constructed in 4 layers – 3 you can see and 1 you can’t.  The top layer you can see is the luxury vinyl.  It’s designed well from a color, graining and texture standpoint, so it looks and feels real.  On top of this, there is the clear wear layer (.5mm) which protects against excessive wear and makes it easier to clean.  The middle layer is recyled limestone, wood and bamboo dust and the bottom layer is an attached cork underlayment.

 

 

All 4 layers are waterproof (including the cork). 

 

The cork underlayment helps in a few different ways.  First, it adds a bit of cushioning.  So, the floor has a bit more give and is easier on your feet.  Also, it can help camouflage minor imperfections in the floor (note: it will not hide sloping or major unevenness…see below about that).  It also gives a tad of insulation due to the air pockets in the cork.  Cork is naturally antimicrobial so it’s resilient to mold/mildew.  And, the attached cork backing will also help with sound absorption.

 

How is Coretec Plus installed?

red rock hickory coretec plusCoretec Plus is floating floor, meaning that it clicks together (in the same way that a laminate is installed) and is secured at the edges of the room via the base molding/shoe molding.  You can read more about a floating floor here:  What is a floating floor?  Because it’s a floating floor (and does not need to be nailed or glued), it has more flexibility as to where it can be installed.

 

vinyl telegraphing subfloor belowIt can be installed directly on top of concrete, and if you have minor discrepancies in the floor, you don’t need to worry about floor prep and smoothing the area out.  This contrasts with a glue down vinyl which does require smoothing (usually via a couple of skim coats) as glue down vinyl will telegraph all the imperfections (i.e. you’ll see all the dimples and imperfections in the floor…see picture on the right).  Because Coretec Plus is rigid and thicker than glue down vinyl, it will hide the minor imperfections in the floor.  The attached cork underlayment helps with this as well.

 

Coretec Hudson Valley Oak waterproofWhile I would recommend professional installation, talented do-it-yourselfers could install Coretec, since it’s a floating clickable floor.  If you feel confident installing laminate, you could probably install this floor as well.  That being said, the tricky part with all floating floors are the edges.

 

 

 

Hudson Valley Oak Coretec plus vinyl clickable planksThis product can be installed below grade (i.e. in rooms that are below the ground such as basements), on grade (i.e. on ground level) as well as upper levels, so it’s a very flexible product. 

 

Because it’s a floated floor (see above), it can be installed in any direction.  It can be done in straight lay, or diagonal and it’s not dependent on your joist direction.  Generally, I recommend following the longest length of the room as that is more aesthetically pleasing and makes your space look larger.  You can change direction of the floor in different rooms, but usually, it looks better to just choose one direction and stick with it.

 

Other advantages of Coretec Plus

can-you-believe-its-vinyl-1

  • Unlike engineered hardwood or laminate, Coretec Plus does not need to be dropped off for acclimation, so this shortens the timeline
  • Coretec Plus can be installed on top of radiant heat
  • It can also be installed on top of most surfaces (including concrete, tile and hardwood) provided that the floor is even/relatively even.

 

Color range and styles for Coretec

Coretec Plus has a wide range of colors – they have light (Rocky Mountain Oak, dark (see Deep Smoked Oak), reds (see Gold Coast Acacia), as well as some grays/white washes (see Ivory Coast Oak, Boardwalk Oak, Blackstone Oak, Alabaster Oak, Hudson Valley Georgetown Oak).  The 7″ line has more white wash/grays.

 

US Floors COREtec Plus 5 Deep Smoked Oak (Sample) Vinyl Flooring

 

Why is Coretec Plus better than laminate?

  • looks like hardwood but it's waterproof CortecLooks much nicer and more real.  Planks are individual pieces (while most laminates are 8″ wide with a picture that simulates several pieces together.)
  • Coretec Plus is waterproof and laminate is not.  Further, laminate warps just with moisture (and once it’s warped it can’t be fixed.  Laminate also tends to delaminate when it gets wet just from cleaning.
  • Less noisy.
  • More durable
  • Doesn’t require acclimation (so you can install it faster)
  • Disadvantage:  It costs a little more than laminate (but well worth it and lasts way longer)

 

What are the advantages of Coretec over Engineered Wood?

  • More durable, holds up better to scratchesweathered concrete coretec luxury vinyl tile
  • Waterproof and moisture proof
  • Costs less
  • Less noisy
  • Doesn’t require acclimation (so you can install it faster)
  • Disadvantage:  It’s not real hardwood.

 

What are the advantages of Coretec over Tile?

  • Easier on feet
  • Warmer on feet
  • Costs less
  • Won’t crack
  • Easier to clean

 

What are the Coretec Sub-lines?

Coretec Plus

boardwalk oak coretec plusThis is the original product.  It comes in 5″ and 7″ wide planks that are 4 ft long.  It’s also available in tile options which are either 12″ x 24″ or 18.5″ x 24″ for a nice brick lay.  (Note: as you go wider in the planks, it’s more important that your sub-floor is more even…the wider planks will show the unevenness more.)

Coretec Plus XL

Coretec Plus XL is a newer and upgraded option.  This line has extra wide planks (9″ wide) and extra long (they are 6 ft long (rather than 4ft).  They also have some very nice wire brushed styles.  These planks do cost more.  (Again, be careful if your floor is very uneven with the wider planks).

Coretec Plus HD

Coretec Plus HD used registered embossing (which means the surface follows the graining of the wood) for a more realistic look and feel.  The planks are 7″ wide and 6 ft long (vs. the base line is only 4 ft long).  In addition, the planks are a bit thicker (they are 8.5mm thick vs. the rest of line is 8mm thick.  These planks also have 4 sided painted micro bevel edges for an even more realistic look.  These planks do cost more.  (Again, be careful if your floor is very uneven with the wider planks).

Here are some pictures of some of my favorite Coretec Plus HD shades.

Coretec Plus HD Review - Delta Rustic Pine  Luxury vinyl plank reviews - Coretec Plus HD Dusk Contempo Oak  COREtec Plus HD Greystone Contempo Oak Coretec Flooring Reviews

Coretec Plus HD Review - Odessa Gray Driftwood  Coretec Flooring Reviews - Coretec Plus HD Shadow Lake Driftwood  Corete Plus HD Review - Timberland Pine

Coretec One

Coretec One is a less expensive version of Coretec.  It excludes the attached cork and in my opinion, the designs aren’t as nice and look a bit fake.  This is NOT a product that I would recommend.  The cork underlayment makes a big difference.  It costs a bit less, but if you use it, you should buy a separate underlayment…and that neutralizes the cost difference.

 

Why does Coretec Plus XL cost more?

Cortec Plus XL has wider planks (9″ vs the basic line is 5″ or 7″) and longer planks (6 ft long vs. 4 ft for the base line).  The designs are a bit more contemporary.  All that aside, I think the basic Coretec Plus line looks amazing and it’s not necessary to upgrade (note: warranty/durability are the same).  And, with the wider and longer planks, it’s super important that your sub-floor is flat/even as it will show more (see below related to floor prep/downsides).

 

Coretec moldings and trim

Coretec has matching moldings (reducers, t-molding, baby threshold, stair cap and stairnose).  Importantly, they also have matching quarter round (which really comes in handy if there are build in cabinets or paneled walls.  Note: most vinyl and look alike products don’t have matching quarter round and only 1 option for steps, so this is another plus for this product and gives it a more finished look.

 

Is Coretec Plus really waterproof?

coretec plus product reviewAccording to the manufacturer, it’s “100% waterproof,” so the floors can be installed in “wet areas and will never swell when exposed to water.”  Coretec is dimensionally stable and won’t expand or contract under normal conditions.

 

Please note that if you have a major floor or standing water, Coretec Plus (like ANY flooring) should be removed.  Standing water can do a lot of damage to your home when it’s sitting there and being trapped.  So, if you do have a major flood, I would recommend removing the Coretec Plus (carefully).  Then, let it fully dry out and then reinstall it.  (Virtually every other flooring would be destroyed, but Coretec Plus is resilient so it generally can be reinstalled.) 

 

The one exception we have seen to this is if you have a sewage issue.  If you have sewage, you want to remove the flooring…no matter what type it is (even tile needs to be removed).  I think this is obvious (and goes without saying), but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention it.  We did have a customer who had a sewage back up in their basement.  Half of their floor had to be removed, but the remainder was fine and then half of it was replaced.

 

What are the downsides and watch-outs for Coretec Plus?

coretec plus nantucket oakThe biggest downside (in my opinion) is that Coretec Plus doesn’t work well when your floors are very uneven.  Because it’s a floating floor (and clicks into each other), if your floor is rather uneven, the planks will depress/move a bit when you walk on them (in the same way that a laminate flooring or engineered hardwood floor would). 

 

If this doesn’t bother you, it’s not a problem.  If it does bother, then you would want to level out the floor before installing it (generally with self leveling mix and this does get expensive/adds extra costs).  Note:  If your floors are extremely uneven and you don’t invest in self leveling mix, the planks could snap apart.

 

mission oak coretec plus XLThe other minor downside is that the vinyl can scratch when you move heavy items (e.g. refrigerators) on top of it.  Now that happens for virtually every other flooring surface.  The thick wear layer gives it extra protection, but it’s good to avoid dragging sharp objects or very heavy items over these floors.  Also, it’s relatively simple to replace a piece of two if you need to later.

 

Do-it-Yourself Installation for Coretec Plus – Video

For do-it-yourselfers, check out this video from US Floors to see how to install Coretec Plus.  Soon, I will be adding links for the tools mentioned in the video.

 

DIY Tools mentioned in the video

If you click on the items below you can buy them Amazon. You can add them to your cart, even if you buy later.

 

How do you clean and maintain Coretec?

Coretec Plus is easy to clean and you should use a neutral pH cleaner.  The manufacturer recommends Bona stone, tile and laminate cleaner, and you buy that on Amazon. They also have a gallon refill bottle.

 

 

 

Overall Conclusion:

coretec plus review lux vinyl plank that's waterproofCoretec Plus is an innovative product that is durable and looks great.  It solves many issues and it’s a wonderful option for areas that may get wet and have minor moisture.  You know it’s a great product when your installers love it and recommend it.  We have installed Coretec Plus in many basements (including high end $1-$2 million dollar homes), kitchens and whole apartments.  We haven’t had any complaints about it from our customers (well except for the customer with the sewage issue – but that had nothing to do with us or the product.   I highly recommend it.

 

Where can you buy Coretec Plus?

You can buy Coretec Plus in most local flooring and carpet stores.  I don’t believe they are available in Home Depot or other big box stores, but that may change in the future.  You can now buy some of the items very cost effectively on Amazon and I’m sure they’ll be adding the other colors soon.  They also have samples you can order on Amazon (they only cost around $1).  You can also check out FlooringInc.   They are reasonably priced and have free shipping (which will help you for when you actually order them as shipping on flooring can get costly).

 

You may find these articles helpful:

 

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Complementary products that will prolong the life of your hardwood floors, whether they are light or dark


 

 

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If you’re looking for a good local contractor, check out Home Advisors. They’ll help you find a licensed and reputable contractor. You can read their reviews, too.

 

 

Coretec Plus Luxury vinyl planks Review – the marriage of hardwood and waterproof flooring

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60 Response Comments

  • Becky  January 18, 2017 at 9:34 pm

    Do you consider this brand better than other LVP lines?

    Reply
    • TheFlooringGirl  January 24, 2017 at 9:53 pm

      Yes, it is the original and seems to be higher quality in construction.

      Reply
  • Kelly  January 25, 2017 at 5:13 pm

    Hi – Is there a neutral colored vinyl wood you recommend? And I see you can put it over tile – do you have experience with this?

    Reply
    • TheFlooringGirl  January 25, 2017 at 8:14 pm

      Kelly – For Coretec Plus, I feel that most of the colors are neutral. If you like dark, I would go with Deep Smoked Oak. If you like light, I would go for Rocky Mountain Oak, if you want mid brown, dakota walnut. I’d avoid the red toned colors. I also think that gray is neutral, so you could try Boardwalk oak, or several in the 7″ range such as Alabaster oak, Blackstone oak or Hudson Valley oak. Or for very dark gray, Georetown oak.

      Yes, you can install this over tile and we have, but you want to make sure the tile is secure (not cracking/breaking) and it’s pretty even (or else the floor will bounce).

      Reply
  • Lyle Lanes  January 31, 2017 at 10:15 pm

    Is this something i could possibly install myself, or will I need to have it done professionally. Any idea what it costs to have installed per foot or yard (roughly)/?

    Reply
    • TheFlooringGirl  February 3, 2017 at 4:49 am

      Lyle – If you’re into do-it-yourself and you’re handy, yes, you can do it yourself. Or, you can hire a professional. A professional can probably do faster and better and has the right tools on hand. The cost per sf will vary based on area of the country. You are best asking some local flooring stores to get this information. I would guess may $2-4/sf…pending on what’s included (e.g. trim, transitions, etc. It can vary based on local rates and whether molding is included or not.

      Reply
  • Lyle Lanes  January 31, 2017 at 10:16 pm

    Is this something i could possibly install myself, or will I need to have it done professionally. Any idea what it costs to have installed per foot or yard (roughly)?

    Reply
  • Ginny Einfalt  February 5, 2017 at 12:57 pm

    Can u comment on why to stay away from the reds? I would like to have the entire floor in my waterfront condo done and my kitchen has cherry cabinets. I was thinking of Red River Oak but was a little nervous with the color throughout the rest of the condo. Can you suggest something more neutral that will not clash with the cherry?

    Reply
    • TheFlooringGirl  February 5, 2017 at 9:29 pm

      Ginny – Reds are more polarizing and will often clash with other reds.

      That being said, the Red River Hickory may be light enough (and it’s not too red) that it may work. I would order a sample and look it next to your cabinet. You can also try Rocky Mountain oak (which is lighter, no red) Norwegian Maple could also work.

      Reply
  • EMarie  February 9, 2017 at 6:15 pm

    Hello–Lumber Liquidators installed laminate in my condo dining room, living and hallway about four years ago. Unfortunately, some of the panels depress(?) especially in the winter months. Because I live on the terrace level (ground floor), I sometimes have water issues–reason I wanted laminate instead of carpet. I now want to have both my bedrooms done and I am encouraged by your article on Coretec Plus. I guess my question really is–if you don’t have good, experienced installers–won’t this make for trouble with the flooring in the future.? Also, do you recommend this product for a kitchen? Thank you in advance for your assistance.

    Reply
    • TheFlooringGirl  February 10, 2017 at 2:42 am

      Yes, Coretec is a much better option for you for laminate – both for the bedrooms and the kitchens. And, yes, you do want to have experienced installers. That is ALWAYS important. I would try homeadvisor or angieslist or yelp or ask your realtor or your friends who they would recommend.

      Reply
  • Jeff  February 10, 2017 at 4:29 pm

    Hi how does Mohawks Solidtech compare to this product?

    Reply
    • TheFlooringGirl  February 12, 2017 at 3:25 pm

      I’m not familiar with it. It sounds newer and hasn’t stood the test of time. Most of the knock-offs have been inferior quality. Some don’t have good backing and are having difficulty with water.

      Reply
  • Jo  February 13, 2017 at 2:13 pm

    What is the average cost per sq ft?

    Reply
    • TheFlooringGirl  February 13, 2017 at 4:42 pm

      Jo – This will range based on which line you select and where you buy from. And, installation costs will vary across the country. In general, this will cost you a little more than a cheap laminate and about equal to a good quality laminate and generally less expensive than hardwood.

      Reply
  • Pam  February 14, 2017 at 12:00 pm

    Have you had problems with denting in the floor where heavy furniture is placed? I am thinking about redoing my rentals with this product.

    Reply
    • TheFlooringGirl  February 14, 2017 at 2:05 pm

      Pam – No, I haven’t and I wouldn’t expect there to be a problem. Also, You can buy an extra box (or you’ll have left overs) in case you have issues. It’s a great option for rentals.

      Reply
  • Mary Beth Wolanin  February 14, 2017 at 6:52 pm

    We are considering this for our basement instead of carpet. Do you think it would support a full size old and heavy pool table? Should we use any type of protective pads between pool table feet and floor? The pool table will be reassembled onsite after floor installation. Thanks

    Reply
    • TheFlooringGirl  February 14, 2017 at 7:01 pm

      Mary Beth – Yes, I believe it should be fine for a pool table. I think it’s a good idea to put some support under there to be safe, and I would recommend that for any flooring. I’ve seen that for hardwood floors and carpet.

      The other thing you may want to consider (before you put the pool table back in) is getting a nice area rug for this section. I’m saying this not due to the floor, but rather because it may be more comfortable for the family/guests having carpet in this section as you are standing for a while. And, once you have that pool table in place, it may be challenging to get an area rug in afterwards.

      Reply
  • Becky  February 16, 2017 at 7:35 am

    We are looking for a floor for our screened porch, which is open to the elements summer and winter. Screens extend all the way to the floor. Currently covered with ugly old indoor outdoor carpeting. Would this type of flooring work considering that it would get rain and snow from time to time?

    Reply
    • TheFlooringGirl  February 17, 2017 at 8:05 am

      I would recommend that you contact the manufacturer on this. I don’t know if they put a warranty on “outdoor” items and snow/ice is not the standard of what you see in a home. This sounds like it would go to temperatures below freezing so there is a good chance that you may have an issue with any flooring surface. Note: ceramic tile would not hold up either. Porcelain supposedly can hold up to freezing, but I have even seen issues with that. And, if you have wood underneath, you’ll probably have issues with any tile as the wood underneath will contract.

      Reply
      • Becky  February 18, 2017 at 6:57 am

        Thank you. That’s helpful. We will probably do something like Trex decking material instead.

        Reply
        • TheFlooringGirl  February 19, 2017 at 2:49 pm

          Becky – Yes, that is probably much safer and designed for that.

          Reply
  • Laura  February 21, 2017 at 8:59 am

    Thank you so much for the validation. Coretec Plus is the line of flooring I am seriously considering for a home we are about to build. Have you ever seen their Carolina Pine installed?

    Reply
    • TheFlooringGirl  February 22, 2017 at 5:49 am

      Laura – Yes, I have and it’s great if you want a rustic look with warm tones.

      Reply
  • Kim  February 21, 2017 at 1:41 pm

    I’m looking at the Coretec Montrose have you installed this color before?

    Reply
    • TheFlooringGirl  February 22, 2017 at 5:48 am

      Kim – No I haven’t. That must be a new color. I’ll need to check that out.

      Reply
      • Linda C  March 21, 2017 at 4:29 am

        Flooring Girl – I am delighted to have found my way to your blog here via a post of yours Houzz. We have been considering Coretec Plus XL in Montrose Oak, which was inquired about above. I know for a fact that Montrose Oak has been around for well over a year, as it has been over a year ago that we started to do our search for new flooring for approximately 1,200 sq ft of our 2,

        Reply
        • TheFlooringGirl  March 21, 2017 at 6:30 pm

          Linda – That is excellent to know. I’ve been using Coretec Plus for years, so some of my samples/strap sets don’t have all of the newer colors/lines.

          Reply
  • Anthony  February 21, 2017 at 3:56 pm

    We’re redoing a large portion of our house, a bathroom, kitchen and new dining room and we want to redo the floor across most of the house, living room and bedroom, using area rugs. I see where this product is waterproof and my specific question is would this product stand up to dogs and grossly not scratch? Thank you in advance, your website is very helpful and informative.

    Reply
    • TheFlooringGirl  February 22, 2017 at 5:47 am

      Anthony – Thank you so much for your kind words. I really appreciate it. Coretec does hold up well with dogs. Laminate is probably a bit more scratch proof, but the laminate won’t hold up to the water. Coretec will also be a bit quieter. I would just keep an extra box on hand in case you need to replace a few boards. It’s a good insurance policy. You can just pop out a few boards if you need to.

      Reply
  • Donna Hubbert  February 22, 2017 at 9:44 am

    laying cortec on diagonal/how do I go the other way with cortec in center.

    Reply
    • TheFlooringGirl  February 25, 2017 at 7:53 am

      Hi Donna. I’m not understanding your question. But, yes, you can install coretec on a diagonal. You may find that you need to install transitions if you change direction in different rooms as the pieces may not lock into place and you’ve cut off the edges where the locking mechanism is. I’ve never seen it with 2 directions in the same room. I have a hunch that is not physically possible (like it is in solid hardwood). I doubt that would ever work with any type of floating floor.

      Reply
  • Shelley  February 23, 2017 at 5:54 pm

    I am struggling with what flooring to use throughout my first floor. I can’t decide between the cortex, a laminate or bamboo. We have a 60 lb golden and I am worried about scratches. Any suggestions? Also, have you seen a floor done in cedar lake oak in the coretec. I like a brown/gray somewhat rustic look.

    Reply
    • TheFlooringGirl  February 25, 2017 at 7:41 am

      Hi Shelley. For sure, I would stay away from bamboo. That is your worst choice out of all 3 and especially with dogs. It will not hold up well at all – it will both show scratches and will not hold up to water (including spills from water bowls) or paws when it rains. I would probably go with Coretec Plus because it looks, feels and sounds better and it’s waterproof. But, in all honesty, the laminate will probably hold up a bit better to the scratches. But, laminate looks and sounds much cheaper, many dogs slip on it and it’s not waterproof. There are trade-offs in everything.

      Reply
  • Mary R.  February 27, 2017 at 11:58 am

    Your site is wonderful, it’s been so helpful. I have Red Oak kitchen cabinets and trying to find a Coretec Plus color that compliments them. I currently have Rocky Mountain Oak, Norwegian Maple and Alexandria Oak samples laying on my kitchen floor. They all looked great in the showroom with my cabinet door, but at home that’s a different matter. My husband prefers my third choice which is Alexandria Oak. It’s darker than the other two and I worried that it doesn’t contrast enough. Are you familiar with that color? If so, what are your thoughts? I am leaning towards the Rocky Mountain Oak. Thank you in advance for any advice you can offer – Mary R.

    Reply
    • TheFlooringGirl  February 28, 2017 at 10:03 am

      Mary – Thanks for your kind words. Yes, you are doing the right thing by taking it home. The lighting in your home is always different than the store and you need to make the judgment call there. I have not seen Alexandria Oak in person (as it’s a newer color). It’s hard for me to say as I can’t see your kitchen cabinets…and red oak is a species (not a color)…unless you mean minwax red oak stain (which is actually red). I would say that you should go with your gut. I’ll also say that lighter colors are easier to keep clean and make your space look lighter.

      Reply
  • joeyg  February 27, 2017 at 12:31 pm

    all set to go with aqua guard 12mm thick heavy laminate. Looks and feels like hardwood. Why would i go Coretec plus xl is it much less expensive. What is thickness

    Reply
    • TheFlooringGirl  February 28, 2017 at 9:49 am

      Joey – First, Aquaguard is NOT waterproof. It is water resistant. there is a BIG difference. Second, in all honesty, I’m not familiar with aquaguard. It’s and “exclusive” through a small flooring store with no mention of a manufacturer behind it. Why would a reputable manufacturer who has an outstanding product only offer it to 1 small store? Why wouldn’t they offer it to all the big stores and the majority of the US (i.e they are missing more than 95% of the market? Third, it’s kind of odd that I can’t find any reviews about it online. On the other hand, I have full confidence in Coretec Plus. We’ve installed their product countless times. They invented a whole new category and it’s going gang busters. It was so popular that for a while, they couldn’t keep up with production. Now, they have opened up new plants and new distribution channels. But, if you prefer aquaguard, be my guest. BTW, in answer to your other question, Coretec is 8mm thick, so yes, it isn’t as thick as aquaguard. It looks like aquaguard is less expensive…that makes me even more suspicious of the quality of the product since you get what you pay for. And, if it’s an “exclusive,” they should be able to offer a premium. Makes me wonder.

      Reply
  • Rick  March 3, 2017 at 12:22 am

    Hi we have concrete subfloor with radiant heat. Would you recommend coretec one line over coretec plus in this situation as I assume the R value is lower? We had liked the Adelaide walnut but your comment on One has made me a bit concerned.

    Reply
    • TheFlooringGirl  March 3, 2017 at 11:43 pm

      Hi Rick. I think any of the Coretec Plus items are fine and it won’t make a difference on heat transfer…except Coretec One. Yes, Coretec Plus will give you lower R value (as any wood or laminate or similar product would do. I suppose Coretec One would have higher R value as it doesn’t have the coretec underlayment, but it wouldn’t be what I would recommend as it’s better to have the underlayment there and the regular line looks much better (and feels more real). If you are looking for best heat transfer, then do tile. But, recognize that tile will be “permanent” and you probably won’t be able to replace it without replacing the radiant heat floor.

      Reply
  • Pamela  March 6, 2017 at 1:06 am

    Oh my goodness! You are awesome. You answer people’s questions! I love this page. Thank you for the information I have been looking for in vinyl flooring for basements. 🙂

    Reply
    • TheFlooringGirl  March 6, 2017 at 4:53 pm

      Pamela – Wow, thanks for the compliment. I really appreciate that. Yes, it does take time to answer these questions. I hope this is helpful.

      Reply
  • Dawn Norman  March 7, 2017 at 3:47 pm

    I am planning to install Cortec Plus HD in my house (Main floor and basement with radiant floor). Can you tell me what your thoughts are on the stairs with Cortec. I will need to put a runner of sort due to animals and children. Thank you. Your website has been life changing for me!

    Reply
    • TheFlooringGirl  March 8, 2017 at 10:41 pm

      Dawn – First, thank you for the kind words. That means the world to me. Second, no I would not recommend Coretec Plus for the steps. It’s a floating floor and that isn’t safe for the steps. I don’t know what you have there now, but in an ideal world you would have solid hardwood treads and then put a carpet runner on top. If you have concrete, I would then just do carpet fully across the steps.

      Reply
  • Lori  March 11, 2017 at 6:31 pm

    We are considering Core Tec One Buxton for our living room, dining room and kitchen. It seems very thin and the sales rep said you don’t put anything between the slab and flooring. I’m worried it will feel like you are walking on cement. What are your thoughts? Thanks for providing so much information!

    Reply
    • TheFlooringGirl  March 12, 2017 at 12:18 pm

      Lori – As I mentioned in the article above, I would NOT do Coretec One. Instead, go with the full original product of Coretec Plus. Coretec Plus has the cork underlayment and it’s much better. It will provide a bit of comfort and warmth (and that’s especially important on top of concrete. It’s best to have an underlayment there, and we always avoided products without one as they are likely to have issues in the future. I also think Coretec Plus looks much nicer than Coretec One and it feels more real. The only reason to buy Coretec One is to save money, and in the long run, it will probably need to be replaced sooner.

      Reply
  • Ellen Roman  March 15, 2017 at 4:11 pm

    I am considering having this installed in our office that is currently under complete renovation. It is a Dental office so the flooring is very important. It must be glued down as the equipment is very heavy and a floating floor will cause problems. We have already done the floating floor thing and it is not a good idea. I have contacted several stores that carry this product and even spoken to Technical Service department of USFloors , the manufacturer of this product. They say it can be glued down as long as we use the type of glue they recommend and that is carries a 10 commercial warranty. I know that it is 100% waterproof which is also very important. The gentlemen that is on the job as the flooring contractor says he will not lay this product down with glue full spread as I have been told it can be. He said it will not work and only wants us to use a LVT which to me does not really look like wood like we want. Do you have any feedback for me.

    Reply
    • TheFlooringGirl  March 15, 2017 at 6:37 pm

      I agree with your contractor. I would not glue this product. Cork is not a good surface to glue. And, also, if you had issues with a floating floor before, it’s probably because your floor is uneven (and this is common), so that means the glue will not adhere properly/won’t hold. If I were the contractor, I would NOT do that job. And, certainly there wouldn’t be any warranty on the product.

      Using a glue down LVT is a much smarter option for you. I agree with your contractor. High end LVT’s are also waterproof (or extremely water resilient pending on the brand). Karndean has some good options that look real, so does Amtico. I don’t know what your contractor was showing you, but he is giving you good advice. If you don’t like the product/don’t feel it looks real, then you may just need to upgrade and pay more for a better looking product.

      Reply
  • Beverly Hood  March 20, 2017 at 7:14 pm

    Thank you for all the time you devote to your blog. We are building on a canal in Florida. We wanted the look of bamboo or hardwood, but we get mixed info from contractors. We had used Karndean for a restaurant floor which led us eventually to the Coretec Plus XL in Montrose Oak. My concern is the transitions to the sliding doors. I can’t find any pictures and don’t feel confident with how that part is going to look. Your perspective would be much appreciated.

    Reply
    • TheFlooringGirl  March 21, 2017 at 2:24 pm

      Beverly – Thank you for your kind words. I would definitely stay away from bamboo. I have consistently seen and heard complaints about bamboo and it does not hold up well and especially doesn’t do well in places with high humidity and/or places with varying humidity. I think Coretec Plus is a great option. There are transitions pieces you can use for the doorways (probably baby thresholds). But, look on their site to see the shape of the options as I don’t know your heights. I hope that helps.

      Reply
  • Linda C  March 21, 2017 at 5:39 am

    Flooring Girl – Great blog and review on CoreTec. We have been agonizing over a much needed floor replacement for approximately 14 months now, due to a minor flood due to a hole in a copper pipe under the slab foundation of our Master Bathroom. Due to both that and being past ready to replace 20 year old carpeting, we will be doing approximately 1,200 sq ft of our 2,400 sq ft house in Coretec. I found the link to your blog via Houzz. I have already read through the 500++ comments on the discussion thread on the pros & cons of Coretec. For the most part the comments there are positive, but a handful of negative comments have made me have an anxiety attack about making this committment. We finally narrowed our selection down to the Montrose Oak. It was recently mentioned in a previous post. I can definitely confirm that Montrose Oak has been available in the Coretec Plus XL for well over a year plus. We also drawn to the Acacia, but decided it was too smooth and shiny to pass for a good imitation of wood flooring. The Montrose Oak is a great color for pulling together the colors in our 4 rooms with our current furniture. Part of me is reluctant to commit to this color, as it does not seem to be popular amongst those commenting on the product. Our home decor is essentially traditional; and I try to steer clear of anything of a very trendy nature, as I don’t want to feel a couple of years down the road that our flooring may look dated. After taking early retirement from our jobs in Stamford, CT (your general areanI believe), we relocated to our home here in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Like all homes in this area, our house is built on a slab foundation. Although I would like to have real wood flooring in a medium dark distressed finish, we have a lot of factors working against us, including our 22 lb Cocker Spaniel. Given the humidity and high water tables, in addition to the necessary installation of glue and or nailing it down, real wood does not appear to be an option. However, with the community we live in there tends to be a real “snob” factor in favor of hardwood flooring. I have every reason to believe that my Husband and I will live out our the rest of our years here, and yet the idea of a potential move and resale of our house, it does concern me as to how CoreTec may impact the value of our home. I am hoping that potential buyers will appreciate the durability and low maintenance of Coretec. I have read a couple of other posts in Houzz, wherein people emphasized the need for acclimation. But I did read in one of your posts that acclimation is not necessary with this product. Due to too too many “accidents” by our dog over the years, and the extra thick carpet padding we had, we are opting to have an acid wash of the cement slab and a moisture barrier applied underneath the Coretec. Would you reccomend the sheeting style of barrier, or the painted on moisture barrier? As you can tell from this overly long post, I am still having some anxiety with committing to Coretec. Another deterent for us, was hearing of the soon to be released HD version of Coretec, that has since been released. From the color choice that I have seen to date, most appear to be lighter in color, and have more of a rustic cottage style appearance vs. the darker brown traditional looking style that I am drawn to. I have been researching this product for over a year now. When I tried using the Consumer Reports website as a resource, Coretec was not even on their radar as a potential LVP product. Is there any other LVP product or other type of a very durable and low maintenance flooring that you would recommend over Coretec? I had heard some good reports on Adura and a Armstrong / Congoleum product. I really hope you can help point me in the right direction, as my inability to commit is driving me crazy. Thanks in advance for any advice or direction you can give us on making a flooring choice.

    Reply
    • TheFlooringGirl  March 21, 2017 at 6:51 pm

      Linda – Wow, so many thoughts here. I understand your hesitation.

      First, cool that you used to live here. I lived in Stamford for 3 years. Myrtle Beach is really nice. Great choice. I think I may actually know a great flooring installer near you (is Shallot near you?) If you have a need, comment back here and leave me your phone # and I’ll call you. Don’t worry, I won’t publish your phone #.

      Second, regarding the preference in your area and resale value, it’s hard for me to comment on that. Here, solid hardwood would be a better choice. If you are saying that most homes are on a slab, then engineered wood there is probably pretty common. I would consult a realtor and a local flooring person to get their perspective (again, let me know if you need someone). And, yes, I understand your dilemma of living life with what you want. The coretec will certainly be a bit easier on your feet, and that may become even more important 10 years from now. Also, as you think about resale value, think about the type of people that would buy your place. Are they similar in age to where you are now (in which case their preferences may be similar to yours) or would it be a starter home for someone? All that aside, sometimes, you just need to do what’s right for you, especially as you just bought the place and are planning to live there for a while.

      Re: the color, I would definitely go with something neutral with strong graining and color variation (Montrose Oak is prob a good choice, and better than Acacia). That will help with your decor, dog and resale value.

      Personally, I think Coretec Plus is an excellent product. Of course, when people can do solid hardwood (over plywood), I think that’s better and better for long term, but for your area by water and concrete slab I think Coretec is an excellent solution. Our customers seem to love it and show it off to their friends. We have only had 1 issue with it…and no flooring would hold up to it…we had someone who had a sewage issue. Their insurance paid for it. But when you have sewage, all flooring needs to go (even tile…in fact, it’s worse with tile due to the sand in the grout.

      Anyway, I think sealing the concrete for the dog is a good idea, if only to put your mind at ease. Unfortunately, I’m not an expert on that, so I couldn’t give you good advice. I would speak to someone local about that.

      While I love Coretec Plus, the only other one that I would strongly recommend would be Armstrong Luxe with rigid Core. It has cork underlayment and Armstrong is a great company. I really like some of their grays, but for the colors/styles you are looking for, I think you may like Coretec better.

      By the way, I’m sure HD version is more expensive. Oh and no surprise about Consumer Reports. LOL they are not flooring experts (and this is a very specialized field).

      Finally, just thinking about your dog (I’m a huge pet lover), you may want to consider getting some area rugs (both for the dog and decor).

      I hope that helps.

      Reply
  • Cory  March 23, 2017 at 3:13 pm

    Do you know anything about Prime Aqua Shield Core Waterproof Flooring? I can find no reviews about it, but I have found it displayed at numerous flooring stores and like the look.

    Reply
    • TheFlooringGirl  March 24, 2017 at 1:45 pm

      Cory – No, I don’t, and I think it’s kind of fishy that there are no reviews posted. It sounds like they are trying to hide something.

      Reply
    • TheFlooringGirl  March 26, 2017 at 5:05 am

      Cory – No I don’t and I find it very suspicious that there are no online reviews. I have not used it, but I think I’ve looked it up before and it is NOT waterproof. It’s water resistant, and there’s a big difference.

      Reply
  • Debbie Davis  March 24, 2017 at 9:33 am

    We want to install Coretec in the entire downstairs but need a solution for the edge of the step down living room. The living room will remain carpet. Do they make any edge or stair nose that is flush mount? I do not want any kind of lip on the 15-20′ of the step down living room. Thank you so much for your very informative site!

    Reply
    • TheFlooringGirl  March 24, 2017 at 1:50 pm

      Debbie – Unfortunately, you probably will not find a good solution. I believe they offer a “flush” stairnose, but it’s not really flush,even though it says flush (call US floors to confirm and/or order a piece). This is a floating floor, so you NEED something to go over to attach it; otherwise it isn’t safe. I suppose you could do a psuedo solution of a black rubber stair nose (or maybe the vinyl places make them in dark brown. Of, you could carpet it or if it’s solid wood, you can refinish it to come close. In general, this product is not a great solution for steps.

      Reply
  • Carolyn Dunk  March 24, 2017 at 11:58 am

    We are deciding on which vinyl plank flooring to use throughout our living, dining, and kitchen area. We have seen a sample of a product called Hawthorn LVP FC822 that we like the look of, but I can not find much about it online and so far no customer reviews. Have you heard of it? It does not have an attached underlayment, is 4 mm thick and the wear layer is 12ml. Any help would be appreciated!

    Reply
    • TheFlooringGirl  March 24, 2017 at 5:56 pm

      I’ve never heard of it, but from your description, it doesn’t sound like a good product. It should have attached back (or else you need to pay extra for underlayment (attached back would be preferable) and it’s only 4mm. Coretec and other similar products are 8mm.

      Reply

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