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Review: COREtec Plus Luxury vinyl planks – waterproof and looks like hardwood

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.

 

 

 

gold coast acacia - coretec plus reviewThese 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.  US Floors was recently purchased by Shaw Floors.

Please note that this article may contain affiliate links; you can read my full disclosure at the bottom of the page.

 

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 sub-floor 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 it's vinyl - coretec plus luxury vinyl plank flooring

  • 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

coretec plus LVP flooring smoked oak

 

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 Coretec 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).

 

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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.

https://amzn.to/2W1WB5Z

 

Final thoughts on Coretec Plus:

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.  You can also check out other places online.   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).

 

Edit:  Home Depot now has their own private label knock of product called LifeProof.  It isn’t as good as Coretec Plus, so it’s not a product I would recommend, but it certainly is cheaper.  It’s thinner (6.5 mm vs Coretec Plus is 8mm) and I’ve heard from installers that it doesn’t hold up so well to water (even though they claim it’s waterproof).  I guess you get what you pay for.  But, if price is your primary driver, you can check out their color choices here.

 

You may find these articles helpful:

 

 

 

 

 

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


 

 

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

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416 thoughts on “Review: COREtec Plus Luxury vinyl planks – waterproof and looks like hardwood”

      1. I have Coretec Plus installed and furniture leaves impression mark and the floor scratches! It was also very hard to install as it clicks on all 4 sides. I would choose something else if I had to do it over again! My couch has left giant impressions in the floor that cannot come out.

        1. Andrea – Sorry about your experience. Most DIYers have found it rather easy to install, and installers think it’s a breeze. Regarding the furniture impressions, it’s better if use some of those rubber pads that distribute the weight. And, yes, vinyl does scratch, as I mentioned in the post – true for all LVPs. True for hardwood as well. Laminate is the most scratch resistant. Personally, I prefer solid hardwood and you can just refinish the floors to eliminate scratches. But, it costs more. No flooring is perfect. They each have trade-offs.

  1. 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?

    1. 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).

        1. Debi – Oh, I’ll need to go back and look at what I wrote. Red tones are just less popular. However, Gold Coast Acacia is very pretty and less red. It’s actually one of the most popular Coretec Plus shades (even though it’s much less popular in real hardwood).

      1. I am severely disappointed with the floor that was just installed. In fact it is going to be ripped out. The variations are unbelievable . We ordered Core Tea Plus Black Stone Oak and it looks terrible. I have pictures I can supply

        1. Hi Linda. I’m sorry that you didn’t like the Blackstone Oak. Yes, this shade has a lot of color variation and I feel that US Floors picture of it is representative of the color variation. I’m not sure if you ordered a sample or saw a sample but there is always color variation in the products (as there are in real hardwoods). This is something that you could address with the manufacturer as I do not make it. As I said before, I believe their images are pretty reflective of how it looks in real life. But, if you feel that’s not the case, send them your pictures.

          1. Have you seen or put down Cortec HD Espresso Contempo Oak. US Floors picture does not look kike sample i have (fairly large board). I am looking to use this for a basement finishing project bathroom, laundry room, great room, bed room. would appreciate any pictures that would show variation in color over large areas. will have natural pine and cedar for doors and trim and norhern white cedar plank type panneledc walls. also, should i not install this under a vanity in bath and mudrpom bench/cabinets? have 60 lb australian shepard. will this flooring hold up? what should i seal cement floor withsince i used to have older dogs that had a lot of accidents. i have blrached these floors many times. thanks

          2. Micky – I have not seen this laid down nor do I have a picture of it. You might want to try a local flooring store to see if they have a sample. You also may want to call US floors and see if you can get another board…as there is color variation in the boards.

            The flooring should be fine for the dog. I’m not sure about the sealer for urine as that’s tricky. A good paint primer to seal in paint odors is Zinsser 1,2,3. It seems to work better than kilz. You definitely something to seal in the odor before the floor goes down, otherwise, the smell will probably return later.

            I would not install under vanity. I don’t think the bench matters.

            I hope that helps.

  2. 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)/?

    1. 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.

  3. 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)?

  4. 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?

    1. 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.

  5. 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.

    1. 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.

    1. 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.

      1. You are not familiar with Mohawk Solidtech?? You seem to insinuate this major manufacturer is putting out a knock-off. Really??

    1. 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.

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

    1. 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.

  7. 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

    1. 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.

        1. I would say the same as a hardwood floor. If you go to my resources section (upper right in menu), I have a recommendation for area rug pad that you can buy on Amazon. (go to the page for doggies socks and hardwood supplies)

  8. 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?

    1. 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.

  9. 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?

      1. First off, you provide lots of great answers FlooringGirl. Thank you! Have you seen CORETEC PLUS HD Dusk Contempo Oak installed or the Klondike Contempt Oak installed? I’m a little concerned about color variations. Thx!

        1. Steve – Thanks so much. No, I haven’t seen those installed. (I’m often not there during installation process, and keep asking my people to take pictures, but I think sometimes it’s just challenging awkward when they try to). Anyway, I would order some samples. Also maybe look at larger samples in a local flooring store.

      1. 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,

  10. 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.

    1. 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.

    1. 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.

  11. 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.

    1. 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.

  12. 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.

    1. 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.

      1. I learned something new, I always thought that was the color of my oak cabinets! I’ve since found out our kitchen cabinets are red oak made by Haas and the oak stain is called Cinnamon ( http://www.haascabinet.com/signature_stains_oak.html#! ). Based upon my research I really like the Coretec Plus product. But, I’m struggling to find a Coretec Plus floor color that compliments my cabinets and I really don’t want to paint them. I’m finding the lighter colored Coretec samples do look better, but I don’t love them. I’d like a little variation with the color and they don’t seem to have that in the samples and any pictures I find online. I feel like it would give my house a very contemporary feel. It’s very hard to imagine a whole room based upon a sample sitting beside your cabinet! Based on your experiences and your familiarity with Coretec, do you have any color suggestions? Maybe I’m just not able to properly visualize those colors in my home (maybe I’m overthinking this!!). I do appreciate any help you could give me. Your website is such a wealth of information, thanks again! – Mary

  13. 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

    1. 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.

  14. 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.

    1. 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.

  15. 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. 🙂

  16. 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!

    1. 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.

  17. 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!

    1. 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.

  18. 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.

    1. 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.

  19. 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.

    1. 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.

      1. So true. We are getting ready to lay Coretec over our bamboo floors. Wouldn’t have chosen bamboo. It was installed when we bought our house. Scratched and digs everywhere and cant clean with any water products.

  20. 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.

    1. 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.

  21. 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.

    1. 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.

  22. 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!

    1. 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.

  23. 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!

    1. 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.

  24. We are looking to install something like this in our 3 season porch. The current condition is some kind of hardwood with fiberglass insulation between the joists, but no subfloor. Unfortunately the estimates we got to simply refinish the hardwood said they’d have to sand down too much so it wouldn’t be an option. Would the Coretec be a good option for a room that is not climate controlled?

    1. Matt – To be honest, almost no flooring holds up well in places with no climate control and extreme temperature variations. I believe you need to have the room at least 50 degrees. I would check this with the manufacturer…call their TECH department (not any sales reps) and then you’ll get the straight scoop. BTW, wood also doesn’t do well in this type of room. Ceramic tile would probably crack. I supposed you could level out floor with 3/4″ self leveling mix and make sure floor is even and at least 1/2″ concrete at all points between existing wood and then install porcelain tile. I supposed it carpet may hold up to the temperature and humidity swings, but it may not be the best option for other reasons. Call US floors and see what they say on this.

    1. Tina – I would think so, but I’m not 100% sure. I would look for it near you. If it’s not there yet, it probably will be soon, not only because it’s super popular and successful, but also because recently they were acquired by Shaw and I know that Shaw ships to Canada.

  25. This is for the 3rd time we had a leak in the furnace room and water seeped into the living area in the basement under the pergo wood flooring we have. Will Coretec Plus be durable and water resistant for our basement? or any other choices?

    1. Yes, I would think that Coretec would hold up to that (and I’ve seen it hold up in flooded basements. All that aside, you really should look into the root cause of the leaks and also see if there is a back up plan to catch the water if it does leak again.

  26. Have you heard of AQUA-Lok PLUS? My hubby likes it but I prefer COREtec PLUS. I lean toward Oak look, want warm color w/o red, medium brown with warm undertones. What finish would you recommend?

    1. Linda – No, I haven’t used it, but it is NOT waterproof! It’s only water resistant, and there’s a big difference. I also think that it’s odd that there are no reviews online about this product.

    1. Jayne – I would think that would be fine, but you may want to double check with US Floors tech department. The big issue that people have (which doesn’t apply here) is when they use steam cleaners on real hardwood.

  27. I have an older cat that has problems with going outside the litter box, so I’m replacing my carpet with something waterproof in my bedroom. I’m super interested in this product since it’s waterproof, but I’m worried about urine going between the boards and soaking in the cork and keeping the smell there. What would you recommend for dealing with that?

    1. Danielle – I would recommend you put something around the litter box. On this page, if you scroll down, there’s a good mat you can buy from Amazon. https://theflooringgirl.com/hardwood-flooring/recommended-wood-cleaning-products-and-hardwood-supplies.html

      If you’re worried that the cat may go in any area of the room, I’m not quite sure what to advise you, and in fact there may be issues with virtually ANY type of flooring. Hardwood has cracks, laminate is constructed in similar fashion, so it has cracks, tile has grout (which is sand…and that will permanently be absorbed and you’d have to rip up the tile, concrete will absorb it, too. I glue down luxury vinyl will also have seams. I suppose you could revert back to a sheet vinyl and then just wipe it up. But, I would try covering the area that the cat may use.

      Another solution could be to order some extra and have it around in case that does happen. I’m kind of doubting it will go completely through because of how it locks and that location is above the cork, but I don’t know for sure. I suppose anything is possible with enough accidents. So, my thinking would be buy a bit extra as the insurance plan and cover the area around the litter box or where the cat may be likely to go.

  28. Wow, what a fantastic blog! Looking to install LVP on my second floor, two bedrooms and hallway. Coretec was the first I looked at but am having trouble finding a color/pattern that agrees with me, and the existing circa 1980’s reddish oak trim, doors, and windows (that were recently installed but stained to match). Any thoughts on Karndean brand? Also, any experience/comments on installing LVP on stairs?

    1. Karndean is good for glue down vinyl. We’ve have done that and been happy with the Van Gogh line. But, I prefer Coretec Plus better, especially for upstairs. I don’t believe Karndean has an engineered luxury vinyl plank, but I suppose it’s possible that they just introduced one that I don’t know about. Many are trying to mimic Coretec Plus now.

      And, no, I would NOT install LVP on steps (read above section on steps). Not safe (and looks tacky). Karndean glue down would be safer, but looks cheaper due to transitions. Try to do regular solid wood treads on steps.

      1. Thanks! Karndean does have planks, but limited distribution in our area. Finally decided on Coretec Plus Gold Coast Acacia. Based on the advice of several installers we’re doing carpet on the stairs. Wood treads would be my first choice, but would require quite a bit of demo and reconstruction of the existing stairs. Thanks again!

  29. Thanks for all the tips and advice! My question is if you have any experience with Syncore X? I’m torn between that and Coretec. Thanks much!

    1. Tracey – No, I don’t. That sounds like a new knockoff. It’s made by a brand that typically makes cheap products for big box stores. It’s only 6 mm, so it’s a thinner and flimsier product. It also looks like a cheaper underlayment/not cork.

  30. I am looking at putting the Cortec Plus weatherd concrete 50LVT 1803 in my kitchen. I like to keep my kitchen nice and clean and wonder if the floor will clean up well enough with just water or that recommended Bona cleaner. also will the darkish grey color show scratches more?

    1. Linda – I believe any normal/standard cleaner will work, but you may want to call the tech department at US Floors to confirm.

      In general, dark floors show dirt more, regardless of surface. But, if you are mid to mid dark gray (as that is), it should be fine, and in fact the gray will help hide dirt, as dirt is often grayish (sometimes beigish). And, the more texture/color variation, the less it will show stuff, too.

      I hope that helps.

  31. We are in the midst of constructing a garage with an above apartment in coastal SC. We’re trying to decide on the upstairs flooring and like the idea of the Coretec Carolina Pine. While the product is advertised as waterproof, is it actually appropriate to install this on top of hardibacker in the bathroom? What are the main issues that you’ve experienced with this product? Thank you.

    1. Michael – Oh yes, that is perfect for the subfloor. We haven’t run into many issues at all with this product. One of our customers has a sewage back up in her basement and had to replace half of it. But, that would have happened on any product as you need to remove whatever is there and sanitize.

  32. The Coretec Sand Slate sample I saw in person looks a little dark beige and grey. Any pics I find on the web it has a very creamy color to it and very little beige. What colors are in this sample?

    1. Kate – I would contact the manufacturer directly to get another sample and/or reorder yours. There is color variation in the product as well as the samples. They are sending you real pieces of the samples. you may just need to get a few more or go to a local flooring store. Generally, the pictures are pretty representative.

  33. Looking at using about 2500SF of the Coretec HD throughout main floor living space in a new construction custom home on the water in Florida. House will be 3 stories (garage area on ground floor). We have 3 Labrador Retrievers.

    My biggest concernis that Consumer reports has glowing reports on other LVP products regarding scratching, but I have read personal review (even on consumer reports) that say the products scratch easily. CS rates them the best for scratch resistance, but people who use it say it scratches form simply moving a chair. I am wondering if the size of the area has any impact…we are talking about a 20 x 35 kitchen/great roo, area. Is this too big for thye floating floor- i was thinking about glue down, but see you reccomend against it.

    1. Hi Pk. First, I’d recommend that you order some samples. Then, scratch away and see what you think.

      It is true that vinyls can scratch, but they generally hold up pretty well. In general, there isn’t a difference on the scratching in a floating floor vs. glue down (well assuming equal quality…there are definitely some cheaper/less durable glue down ones and those would scratch easily).

      Re: floating vs glue down, we have used both. It depends on the make up of the floors and customer needs. Generally, we and our customers prefer the floating coretec plus floors, because they look and feel much better. They are also warmer and more comfortable on your feet (and your dogs will probably prefer them, too). However, the key for which one we use often lies in the subfloor and how even or uneven it is. If the floor is very uneven and wavy, the floating floor will bounce, and that’s not so great. So, if that’s the case, then you need to/should use self leveling mix and that adds to the cost. When this is the case, we often give the customer both options and let them decide. Most prefer the Coretec, unless their floor is really out of whack.

      All that aside, you will want to stress the importance of having both a level and flat subfloor. I see this issue way too often (even in new construction) – sometimes out of sloppiness and sometimes due to settling.

  34. What do you think about allure ultra wide plank ?It’s 5mm thick and 20 mil wear layer. My dilemma is having three rooms downstairs with hardwood, orangey toned (that are blocked off), large entry and kitchen in off white 12×12 tile, and a family room carpeted. Stairs and upstairs are same carpet. Have two pappilons small dogs that have accidents often. We want to get rid of all carpet. Was thinking vinyl plank (lvt) but would this work upstairs and what to do about stairs? Need truly waterproof. Is allure a good brand?

    1. I would not recommend Allure. We have not used it because in general Allure is a poor brand and has had many problems over the years, especially with separation. In general, I think it’s sold at Home Depot, so that should be your first clue that it’s an inferior product. Also, it’s only 5mm, so it’s not as thick or durable as the others. Sounds like a cheap knock-off. I would not expect it to last long. It looks like they just designed a cheap knock-off to sell to customers that either don’t know any better or those that can not afford a good product. Also, the issue with thinner products is that it doesn’t hide imperfections of the subfloor as much and they bounce more (which is annoying…plus more likely to split and separate from normal walking wear and tear. But, I have not tried it, so you can take what I say with a grain of salt. I would think that most respectable contractors would avoid this product as they would also know better and take pride in their work.

  35. We brought home quite a few different Coretec samples and settled on Empire Slate for our entire downstairs floor, and all of our bathrooms. My question is, we have two large salt water tanks, close to 1000 lb ea and a pool table along with the regular kitchen and laundry appliances. Will the Coretec Plus hold up with the weight, as it will be floated and not glued? We have a large, thick rug that will the pool table will sit on. However, we can’t place the tanks on a rug as water will get spilled and it’s not like we can move a tank to wipe up water. I don’t want to spend a ton of money and then regret my choice because I wanted a waterproof floor. Will this hold up to water spills that are wiped up where we can get to it, but may get into seams under the tanks?

    1. Hi Sue. I’d recommend that you call the manufacturer (US Floors) directly on this and speak with their tech department. I wouldn’t be worried about the water, but I have no idea on the weight. I would speak to them directly.

  36. We are installing COREtec Plus XL enhanced in harrison oak. What is the difference between the stair cap and the flush stair nose? Can you post a picture of stairs using each of these finishing pieces? In addition to adhesive glue, are nails used with installation for either the stair cap or flush stair nose? Thank you.

    1. First, you can see pictures of the 2 moldings here: http://www.usfloorsllc.com/product-category/coretec-plus/coretec-plus-xl-e/#/flooring-products/harrison-oak (at the bottom; you may need to select “show more”). Second, I don’t have pictures of either installed, but you can google it and see a few instance of each.

      You install them with adhesive, not nails. And, yes, they often come undone. And, note that cork does not adhere well to glue, especially as cork moves a bit over time. The transitions don’t have cork on them.

      Third, and very importantly, as I mentioned above in the blog post, I would advise you against installing on the steps. It’s a safety hazard in many ways. First, both the stair cap and flush stairnose are “overlap,” meaning that they are higher than the floor (the “flush stairnose” is misleading; it’s NOT flush. Second, if your steps are uneven these will wobble and most likely come apart very quickly. Third, even if your steps are level/even, these pieces often come undone on the steps over time, so yes, they can come apart and yes, someone can get hurt and slip. I would highly advise against it. Most professionals will avoid this and they certainly would not put a warranty on it. Generally, these pieces are just meant to go as a transition between floors (at the edge) not on the steps.

      Finally, if you are going to attempt this, please note the shape/dimensions on these…if you have wood treads, you will need to cut them to install these properly and hence permanently damage your steps.

      If you have hardwood treads, I would recommend sanding and refinishing them (and adding a threshold by the steps.

  37. First thank you so much for this very informative site. I am looking at cortec plus for my small 15X10 family room. Furniture is chocolate brown. I like the different shades in the Red River Hickory. Have you seen this in an entire room? Wondering if it’s too busy? I don’t want the lighter colors like the rocky mt oak since I have light in kitchen. Looking for something different .
    I don’t see any red in the Red River Hickory. Do you think this would be nice with dark brown furniture and are people happy with it?

    1. Hi Gail. There are a few pictures on line with the red rock hickory, so I would google those and see what you think. I do think it looks nice, but some feel its too busy, so look at the pictures and see what you think. If you feel it’s too busy, try gold coast acacia. This has a smoother grain and somewhat similar in color (a bit darker, a bit redder, but smoother and less busy). It’s a very popular color. Also, I would order some samples or see in person to validate.

  38. Hi your blog is one of the best we’ve come across! What do you think of the “Distinctuon Ipe” colour? We’re looking for a classic brown, wood look on the dark side (no red, but warm or neutral brown versus ashy colour. would love to hear your thoughts.

    1. Thank you so much. I really appreciate that. Distinction Ipe is pretty new so I haven’t seen it in person yet. But, I do love Brazilian Walnut as it’s has smooth graining. I agree that it’s a great neutral brown, too – not too light, not too dark. It’s a very rich looking wood (and in fact solid Ipe is very expensive and very durable).

  39. Colleen Hamilton

    I want to use Coretec to replace carpet in my family room – it butts up to my kitchen that has oak hardwood floors. I’m looking at the Coretec tile – what would you suggest that would go with the oak flooring?

    1. I strongly prefer the wood looks – they look much nicer and more real (vs. the tile options). I would probably do a color that contrasts with the wood and might even consider a gray or white was one. If you like the tile ones, I would probably do a lighter one and order samples. We rarely did the tiles; most customers prefer the hardwood look and there is much greater selection in wood looks (since that’s what most people like). Be sure to order samples or see in person…because you want to make sure it looks real (and I didn’t think most of the tile ones look real.

  40. Appreciate your blog and article on Coretec Plus. Our GC recommended this in our kitchen. My only concern is that the kitchen has a portable dishwarher that was to rolled to sink area to be used. Do you think this flooring be able to withstand that kind of use? Thanks!

    1. I’m not sure. rolling of heavy items on almost any floor is not a great idea. The same would hold true for hardwood and laminate. I would call the manufacturer (US floors to get their opinion). I wouldn’t be worried about the water…it’s just the rolling. One solution may be to get it and order an extra box so you can replace the section if you do get scratches.

  41. Hi, Which COREtec Plus line is more embossed/distressed? We are considering the XL Alexandria Oak. Do you know if the Enhanced or HD line (Waddington Oak) is more embossed? We are looking for something that our pets will not slip on! Thanks!

    1. I would order samples of both. I have found differences on this within the same line. So, I would order samples of the colors you like and then compare. They are probably both great choices.

  42. Hello

    I am getting conflicting messages about installing Coretec Plus in a basement on top of concrete in regards to whether a moisture (or vapour) barrier is required or not.

    The instructions ( http://www.usfloorsllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/USF-COREtec-Plus-Installation-Instructions.pdf ) specifically mention that a moist barrier is required (e.g. a 6 mil poly sheet).

    The contractor that is set on selling me Coretec Plus tells me that it’s not required. Is it true or is he trying to get out having to do extra work ? – the instructions clearly state a moist barrier is required.

    Yet another contractor (who is set on selling me another LVT type) tells me that I should not use anything with cork on top of concrete that can get moist.

    I know that the concrete in my basement can get moist.

    I have always known that cork does absorb water and expand (like the cork in a wine bottle for example). So why wouldn’t the cork under a Coretec Plus tile?

    I was hoping you could clear this out for me. What am I missing?

    Thanks in advance

    Bart

    1. I would call their tech department to see why they are sending conflicting messages. Generally, you would install this on top of concrete and would not need a vapor barrier. And, the manufacturer says it’s waterproof. That being said, in your case, it sounds like you have a lot of moisture, so if it were my home, I think the safer option is to add a vapor barrier. It would cost more for material (and a tad for labor), but it’s probably worth it both for peace of mind and an insurance against policy. BTW, I think the cork may be coated/treated to help but I’m not sure. And, yes, I have seen the product withstand flooding in the basement and it was fine.

      But call the manufacturer and speak with their tech department.

    1. I would still be careful with it. Laminate is more scratch proof (although nothing is fully scratch proof). But, you can buy an extra box so you have left overs if some pieces scratch.

  43. My house is on a slab I’m considering replacing the carpet in living/dining room and master bedroom with Coretec Plus. Would you recommend also using Pergo Gold underlayment to make it softer underfoot?

    1. Diane – probably not. That might make the floor bounce too much. But, you can call the manufacturer (US Floors) and get their perspective. Note: doing this may invalidate your warranty, so check first.

  44. What a great resource you are! I have been reading and reading and reading…
    So, we need to get rid of all our carpet — allergies. We have decided to put COREtec Plus in our basement and upper floor. However, the main floor has us stumped. Half of this level has light maple hardwood floors that desperately need to be refinished. We really don’t like the color, but have been told that staining maple darker is tricky since it becomes blotchy.
    The other rooms are a “step down” from that hardwood floor…with carpet. We need to find a suitable wood or wood look-alike floor for these “step-down” rooms…probably a contrasting color because it would be too hard to match.
    If we decide to refinish the current hardwood, do you think COREtec would look okay in the step-down rooms next to the real hardwood?. Our current hardwood is 2’’-wide strips and the COREtec Plus we like is 5” wide planks. (Not sure we can afford to put in new hardwood; but my husband can install the COREtec himself.)
    The other option is to put in COREtec for all the floors…covering up the current hardwood that is need of refinishing. While resale is always at the back of our minds, we are not too worried about the immediate future as we have no plans to move anytime soon. But when we do sell, we could let potential owners know that there is hardwood under the floating floor…
    What are your thoughts?

    1. Thanks for your kind words. I really appreciate it. Personally, I would try to avoid covering up your hardwood. Yes, maple is more challenging to stain (and you will need a conditioner). I would not attempt to do this yourself as it is likely to be a disaster. I would get a complementary color. You’re right, it will never match. (Going from 2 1/4″ to 5″ is not a big deal…as long as you get colors that work together and have enough of a color contrast. Sometimes, the grays work well for this.

      Re: the step down, if you mean that you are stepping down a step or something (e.g. 1 foot), I think that’s fine. (And, if you have an actual step, I would refinish this and not put coretec on it. If you mean a that the coretec area will be 1/2″ lower than hardwood, you can always add plywood on rest of floor to level it up.

      If you choose to add coretec on top, that is your perogative, but you are reducing the value of your home, so when you get ready to sell, I would look to rip it up and then refinish the wood. That is just my opinion and when the time comes, you can ask your realtor for advice. The good news is that this is a floating floor, so it won’t damage your wood underneath from nails or glue.

      I hope that helps.

  45. We are looking at remodeling our kitchen with off white cabinets. We want to take out our carpet in the living room and use cortex plus in the living room, dining room and kitchen. Problem comes when my husband is particular about colors. He says he doesn’t want anything like paneling on the floor and prefers the lighter oak coloration of the hardwoods he grew up with over 50 years ago. Everthing not brown seems to have some red coloration. What color of coretec plus would you suggest to go with the new off white cabinets.
    We currently have tile in kitchen and carpet in living room. House is on a concrete slab.

    1. Well I’m glad you have off white cabinets. White, off white, cream etc are much easier to work with (vs. wood cabinets). From there, it’s a matter of finding what you like. Obviously, the dark colors such as deep smoked oak will go great with the cabinets and are stylish, but it sounds like he doesn’t like that (and BTW, that color does not look like paneling to me). On the lighter side, I consider rocky mountain oak (which probably looks the most like what he described/remembers). I would also consider boardwalk oak…a completely different direction. This option is still lightish and is super stylish and contrasts well with the cabinets and no red undertones. The other light ones in the 5″ line are too red.

      There are also other grays in the 7″ line.

      1. We stopped by carpet one again today to review the core technology plus colors. Sales rep showed us an invincible h2o product line supposed to be similar to coretec plus. Do you know anything about the invincible line?

  46. That does help. So, if you think we should keep and refinish the current hardwood, our choice is either wait until we have enough money to put hardwood in the adjoining rooms (step down is about 6 inches…into three adjoining rooms) or pu Coretec Plus in the adjoining rooms…do you think it will look too fake to do it that way…noticeable that it is not real wood…since they will be right next to each other, but down a small step?

    1. I think it’s fine to do this in 2 stages (as you can afford it). If you are adding wood/refinishing, the colors will come out a bit different no matter what you do as the new wood would not have aged as much. BUT, the step down helps and makes it less noticeable and your eye will probably color correct (as long as you do get the same wood).

      If you want to do coretec for the lower area now, you can. Just contrast with what you have…or what you will have later (when you refinish the other area). I hope that makes sense.

  47. I noticed you said to one individual, Linda C. in Myrtle Beach, that you knew of a great flooring installer in Shallotte, (NC?) Will you provide the name for me? Thank you. Your blog is so informative.

  48. We will be installing Coretec Plus HD in a new construction on top of plywood subfloor. Our contractor has asked if rosin paper could be used under the Coretec to smooth our minor imperfections in the subfloor. I did not see any mention of this in the installation instructions. Do you have any recommendations along these lines? Thank you!

    1. Craig – Rosin paper is not needed for Coretec Plus. But, also, there should not be an issue of adding it. That aside, I’m not sure that rosin paper will do that much for the imperfections (as it’s just a thin paper). But, if it’s minor imperfections, I’m sure it would help a tad. The cork helps a bit too. But, I would look into the “imperfections” because if it’s more serious, you may need to do some leveling.

  49. This is a fantastic blog post, thank you for this! We are rebuilding our home (lost to a flood and fire 2 months ago) so we are looking into saving some costs and replacing our hardwoods with Coretec Plus XL as we are impressed with the ease of maintenance, durability and look. I have 2 questions. Can this be used in my master bathroom? I see that its waterproof but just wanted to verify that bathrooms are ok. Also, Ive seen 2 samples in my local stores of Montrose Oak and they look nothing like the picture. Im planning to order some samples but was curious for now what colors you think Montrose Oak is.. the stock image looks very dark and ed but in person it looks more of a lighter range of natural warm and distressed oak tones. Thoughts? Thank you in advance 🙂

    1. Alicia – Sorry about the fire and flood. That really stinks. I would NOT use this in your master bathroom. You are much safer with tile for the Master bathroom and it will help you with resale value. Master bathrooms can get wet in many places (including walls), so tile is a much much better solution as it can go on floors and walls (especially in the bath/shower area. Your bathroom will look much better with tile and it will be much more practical, and you don’t want to mix the two as that won’t look right and will make your space look smaller. Coretec is completely fine for powder rooms, but I would not be using it as a first choice in any regular bathroom that has a shower or bathtub or both.

  50. We bought luxery vinyl and as it was being installed it scratched easily. Took it back after a long ordeal with the store. Now we don’t know what to do- tile or vinyl? Living in an upside down house for months and afraid of making the wrong choice again.

    1. Jennie – I’m sorry about your situation. Luxury vinyl can scratch and certainly cheaper ones do. If you get a higher grade one, it might solve your issue, but you still may get scratches. I would advise getting samples and bringing home and “test” the scratch issue. Also, by the way, tile generally costs more than luxury vinyl when you factor in installation costs (and often the prep that is needed.)

      It’s really hard for me to advise you on this without seeing your house. I don’t know where you live, subfloor, area of home you’re doing. Also, I often see people who don’t have large budgets and then buy cheaper products and then you do “get what you pay for.” I see it all the time. It doesn’t matter what the surface is, it’s a general rule. When people are in this situation, I’d rather see them do a smaller area and do it right.

  51. Love your site. We are considering Coretec HD in Sherwood Rustic pine for entire home (new construction). We will have ivory and gray cabinets. The flooring pics on Coretec site do not look like samples we saw in person. Would appreciate your opinion.

    1. There is a lot of color variation in some of them, so that may be why. But, if the colors you received don’t go with the gray in your cabinets, then I would choose another option. You may also want to see if you can go to a store that has a larger sample (although many may not as there now have lots of colors). You always could order a whole box and see. But, I would trust that the sample you received is accurate. But, if it’s only 1 piece, it won’t give you the breadth of colors. I hope that makes sense.

  52. I hope you can help with some expert advice. Reflooring most of our 3k SqF tri-level home. Carpet in bedrooms upstairs. Cortec plus on family room slab downstairs.

    Trying to decide about wood vs cortec on main floor kitchen/great room/sun room vs cortec. This area is on a crawl space. I am concerned about hardwood UV fading as these rooms have multiple large SW windows. Water is also an issue- Current laminate is damaged from spills in the kitchen.

    I would love a dark hardwood but need advice.

    Dee

    1. I would recommend, when you can, to do solid hardwood over coretec. It will be nicer and last much longer. It will also improve the value of your home. Laminate is a poor choice for kitchens as it’s not waterproof; in fact, it acts like a sponge with moisture. Solid hardwood will hold up much better. And, it’s ideal to have it refinished on site for better sealing. I would not be overly worried about the light, especially on darker colors. And, if you have a UV light issue, you may want to look into treating the windows anyway as it can have an impact on everything – any type of flooring, area rugs, furniture (and of course your family). If you do have a fading issue, you can in fact refinish the solid wood in 7-10 years (but you would need to replace Coretec). I hope that helps.

  53. I saw in 1 of your comments, that you Do Not reccommend Coretec in the master bath? I’m thinking of doing my entire very open floor plan with Ivory Coast Oak. Thoughts? So glad I came across your blog!

    1. Coretec Plus would be great for that. For the Master bathroom, tile is much better. Master bathrooms require tile on the walls and Coretec is not made for that (and doesn’t have the right transitions pieces. For regular flooring, including kitchens and powder rooms, Coretec is an excellent choice.

  54. Hello, I need some advice. I am looking to install the Coretec HD Vineyard Barrel in the entire downstairs area of my home and all 3 bathroom floors. Due to some very heavy furniture that I have, US Floors has advised that our installer glue down the flooring using their approved adhesive. Our installer has agreed to do the glue down although he admits that he has never glued an area as large as ours (about 1200 sf). That has me worried although he is reputable and is offering a lifetime warranty on installation. What are your thoughts on gluing the product vs. floating? We live in Northern CA where we get 1-2 weeks a year with temps over 110 deg in summer and a few weeks below freezing in the winter. Another installer has told me that no way would he ever glue this flooring as it needs to float for expansion/contraction. I am so confused as to what to do. This is a hefty cost and I don’t want to replace flooring any time soon.

    1. Hi Sue. I’m not sure what to advise you. I would be more inclined to float it as well as cork and adhesive don’t generally work well together. It’s good that you called the manufacturer. I would actually have your installer talk to their tech department directly and explain the temp fluctuation. I might also see if their tech dept can sign something in case their is an issue in the future. they probably won’t, but it doesn’t hurt to ask.

      Regardless of which way you go, the MOST important things are that you keep the humidity levels and temp inside as consistent as you can throughout the year. You may need to get a dehumidifier. You will probably be okay either way if you can keep temp between 65-70. Ask them about rh/humidity level that they recommend. This may actually help you in the long run make the room more comfortable and believe it or not, it may save you in heat/AC cost as humidity can have a huge impact on comfort and how warm or cold a room feels.

  55. Hello, thank you for the information that you have shared. It has been very helpful.
    I am looking to replace carpet in a drop down den with orange toned hardwood steps, baseboards, plantation shutters, window trim and hardwood floors and trim in the adjacent rooms.
    This has limited my choices and I believe I have narrowed it down to the Carolina Pine. I am also waiting on a Gold Coast Acacia sample. I have not seen that color in person. First I am asking for direction if I am in the ballpark of the best color choices to blend with the orange toned hardwood floors etc. Second, do I need the quarter round that would go up against the current orange toned baseboards and steps? I also have a high rounded hearth that the flooring will go around. Thank you in advance for your help.

    1. Hi Jill. Probably one of those 2 colors will work. I can’t see the wood steps/trim you have, so when you get the samples, you’ll need to make the call when you look at them together.

      Regarding the trim, you have 2 choices: 1) add in the quarter round or 2) remove the current molding, then install floor, then replace the molding. Changes are in either scenario you’ll need quarter round for the steps (as you won’t be able to remove those. Actually, there’s a 3rd option, you could just get regular quarter round or shoe molding that is white primed and then paint all of your base molding white.

      If you have rounded areas (e.g. around steps or hearth), that is going to be a challenge no matter what surface you get. If you do, you’ll have to get flexible shoe molding (rubber) for steps (if they are rounded) and some sort of flexible molding for the hearth. These are generally white or black. You can often buy these at a local lumber store or online. If you get something white, you can paint it match. There are actually some that are white with fake graining and then when you paint/stain it, it looks more like wood.

      Curves are always difficult to work with. I hope this helps.

  56. Hi there! I’m going back and forth as to type of floor to install over my radiant heated basement floor. I was sold the Coretec HD Vineyard Barrell driftwood, but when I got the quote back from the retailer I was in shock that the price was more than my solid maple hardwoods? Really? So my question to you is, Is the coretec hd worth the price? $5.50 sf or should I just do an engineered hardwood or tile for that matter. it seems from your blog that you are partial to coretec products in general but you also seem to be very knowledgeable. Lastly, have you ever seen the product<Vineyard Barrel Driftwood, in use. I've only seen the US floors picture and their sample. Pretty good sized basement… so big $$
    Thanks in advance for your input..

    1. Terry – This is a tough question…because you need to look at TOTAL costs before making a decision and there are many variables. You can’t just look at the product cost.

      And, while I love Coretec Plus, I actually prefer hardwood to Coretec. If you read my entire blog, you’ll see I’m a huge hardwood lover and that’s the focus. Solid hardwood is the best…when you can do it. But, you really can’t do in a basement (if it’s below grade), nor on top of radiant heat (unless you get rifted and quartersawn which is much more expensive and have plywood or a way to nail plywood into the floor wo/ damaging the radiant heat.

      I’m not a huge fan of tile as it’s cold on your feet…although in your case with radiant heat that may not be an issue. And, I’m not crazy about tile because it’s hard on your feet and not a good play surface for kids. But, that may not be an issue for you.

      The next question or issue is whether you have moisture and/or big humidity swings in your basement. If so, coretec plus is a much safer solution and you won’t have to worry about that.

      Maple is generally more expensive, so if you have an engineered maple that is lower, there is a good chance that it is a cheap maple and also that it may not be right product/installation and may not hold up to the radiant heat. (e.g. in HD they have many cheap engineered woods with a paper thin wear layer. So, if you want to do maple, you need to make sure that the product you have is clickable/floating (you can not glue it down on the radiant heat (glue will can melt in some areas, and dry out in others). Second, you need to make sure that the maple is approved for radiant heat and 3) you want to make sure it’s good quality.

      Next, regardless of which choice you make, you need to look at the TOTAL costs. For Coretec, chances are you labor is the lowest. For maple, labor is probably just a little bit more than Coretec, but you will also need to pay for underlayment, so make sure to factor that in. For tile, chances are the labor will be most expensive…and you may need to prep the floor. In addition, be sure to factor in costs for delivery and transitions. ALWAY look at TOTAL costs, not just the product…but rather product + accessories + labor.

      Finally, the simplest solution to reduce your costs on Coretec is to just use the regular Coretec Plus in the 5″ or 7″. This will be same quality in durability but cost less. The extra cost for HD and other lines is how real it looks and/or length of planks. Get samples of both to see if you feel the difference in color/look is worth the extra costs. And, then get the full costs for your other 2 or 3 options.

      I hope that helps.

    1. Not really. It’s going to look sloppy. And, it will be very difficult to cut. You can try it, but I’m 99% sure you will need something here. You may want to hire a professional.

      BTW, you will have this same exact issue with ANY type of hard surface – laminate, hardwood, tile, other vinyls.

  57. Are you familiar with Home Depot’s new Lifeproof luxury vinyl planks? How does this compare to Coretec? Thank you!

    1. It’s much lower quality. It’s thinner. And, it doesn’t look as good. In general, almost all hard surfaces sold in Home Depot are lower quality. They serve an less discriminating audience who focus more on cost than quality and durability.

  58. Sue Ann Parrish

    I would like to butt this up against an existing tile floor but hate the look of transition trim work. Just seems to scream fake to me. Anyway, can this be done without transition pieces. The edges of the samples I brought home for color selection made me think transition trim would not have to be done. Thanks for your advice.

    1. Sue Ann – You WILL need some sort of transition piece because it’s a floating floor. Without it, there will be nothing to secure it in place and it will bounce and you’ll have a tripping hazard. But, you may be able to use a wood transition piece instead.

  59. We are seriously considering Coretec. It comes highly recommended by our flooring specialist.
    We are replacing nearly all of our first floor living area.Foyer, Kitchen, den, half bath, master bedroom and master bath.
    My question is in regards to emissions and VOC’s? I have severe allergies to chemicals, and plastics. The fact that this flooring does not require glue makes it VERY attractive health wise.
    The fact that this is made of vinyl does concern me somewhat.
    Do you have any data or knowledge about the outgassing of this flooring?
    Thank you soooo much! This is very important to us!

    1. Hi Sandy. I’m not the manufacturer, so I don’t have that info. I’d recommend that you call US floors directly and speak to someone in their tech department. I know that they are a very reputable company and follow all of the regulations, but they are the ones that would have this data.

  60. I’ve spent hours on your very informative website lately, and you’re so generous to take the time to answer reader’s questions! I have lots of family in Fairfield County and a sister in Westchester County-I’ll send them your way if they need any flooring work! We’re installing LVP on the main floor of our home. We tend to like rich or dark colors on the walls and some rooms don’t get a lot of natural light, so we want to stay with a light floor. Our challenge is that we have golden oak cabinets in the kitchen (a medium color with some orange and yellow) and a pink/salmon fireplace in the family room. We’ll probably change the cabinet color in a couple of years, so we want the new flooring to look decent with it for now but for that not to be our #1 decision maker. I’m looking at Rocky Mountain Oak and Norwegian Maple. On the samples I have, the color seems similar. Is it really? Would 1 of those work? Thank you so much for your help!

    1. Thanks so much, Rachel. I really appreciate it. Both of those colors are pretty similar in color/tone. It’s the graining that’s different. Rocky Mountain has more of an oak grain (as the name implies) and Norwegian maple looks a bit more like a combo of maple (which is smoother) and pine (which has some knots). I would try to order a sample of each to see what you think. Also, on their website, the room scene of Norwegian Maple doesn’t look that accurate, but their larger sample does. I hope that helps.

  61. Like many of the others who have posted questions, I must add my positive observation on your balanced responses to brand considerations. In my case, I am exploring installing the Coretec Plus on the third floor of our house that we primarily use as a gym. Any concerns you may have about that usage would be appreciated. Also, I am in the Chesapeake/Virginia Beach area, do you have any recommendations for an installer in my area? Thanks !!

    1. Robert – Thank you so much. I really appreciate it. Overall, I think Coretec Plus is a great option for your home gym. My only potential concern would be if you have some very heavy equipment. I think one person here had a concern over a very heavy pool table and she had called their technical department. For regular gym equipment, this flooring should be fine. If you have some extra heavy pieces, I have 2 suggestions: 1) Get a rubber mat to go underneath the piece both for cushioning and to spread out the weight and 2) you may want to add a bit of extra space around the perimeter (underneath the shoe molding) so you have a bit more give.

      I hope that helps.

      BTW, I you can probably get a rubber mat at FlooringInc.com. (I think I have a link to them at the bottom of the page (but above the comments).

      1. My understanding is that rubber is the one absolute no-no on Coretec Plus products, Perhaps a non-rubber yielding mat would protect the floor.

        1. Dee – That may be the case…rubber flooring doesn’t allow the floor to breathe. It probably tends to trap any moisture. I know it can create damage on top of bamboo floors, and probably hardwood too. I guess you really would be safer on putting rubber on top of other rubber, concrete or tile. I would probably ask their tech department as this is just speculation on my part.

          I would think though that the soft foam tiles (EVA foam) would be fine.

  62. Let me start, like many others on here, the time and energy that you have put into this sight is extremely appreciative. Your insight and attention to detail is a welcomed sight.
    We have purchased and are ready to install Coretec plus HD for the entire house. I want to install the floor first, in the whole house, and THEN install a stand alone tub in bathroom, kitchen cabinets and washer/dryer in utility room. I’ve read your responses to similar questions, but nothing pinpointed this exactly.
    I realize the concerns about a floating floor but also realize that with a entertainment center, bedroom furniture, dining and coffee tables all have weight to them also. So talk to me, my new guru of all things flooring, I do value your opinion! Thanks for your time.

    1. Jim – Thank you for you kind words. I will give you as much advice as I can, but please understand that I’m not a technical expert, and I’d recommend you contact the tech department at US Floors to get their opinion.

      First, I don’t think a washer/dry should be a problem. These generally don’t weigh too much and weight is spread out.

      Second, I think that it’s a bit risky to install this underneath the cabinets as it’s a floating floor. This will be especially problematic if your are doing granite or quartz or do that in the future. I think you’re safer using matching quarter round for the cabinets (you can either get it to match floor or cabinets. I would double check with the manufacturer on this. Maybe they feel it’s a non issue. And, whatever you do, make sure you will have enough clearance with all of your appliances (especially the dishwasher).

      Third, regarding the bathroom (and I’m guessing this is a master bathroom), Coretec Plus would not be my first choice (tile would be). And, independent of the tub, you need to consider the rest of the bathroom and how all the transitions work. Do you have a shower? How will this transition with the shower/tile in shower? What about the transition to the wall. Will you have a tile bullnose (which is good for moisture and/or minor water (e.g. if tub or shower or toilet “over flows.”) This can happen just from normal usage around the shower/feet wet getting out of shower (I was just in a bathroom a couple of days ago where someone has base molding on walls (rather than tile bullnose) and she’s concerned there’s mold there. (BTW, doesn’t look or smell like any mold, but water gets there and she keeps needing to repaint). So from an aesthetics and practicality standpoint (as well as resale value), this may not be the best choice. But, you know your bathroom and your plans and your area, so this may or may not be an issue. But you’d have to use something around the edges. If you have base molding, you can add coretec quarter round. If you have tile there now, you won’t be able to do it as you can’t nail into the tile. I hope that made sense.

      Now, regarding the stand along tub, that’s a new consideration for me. I don’t know what the weight of that is…and you need to consider the weight with water. Call the tech department and get their thoughts. Maybe it’s not an issue or maybe it is.

      But, independent of that, I would seriously consider tile for the bathroom as that’s generally the preferred surface for a bathroom, regardless of which area of the country.

      I hope this helps. I may not have solved everything (or anything) for you, but hopefully these concerns will help point you in the right direction so that you can make the best decision for your areas.

    1. I would think so. I would NEVER use it on hardwood (nor laminate), but it should be fine on Coretec (as well as other vinyls). You can call the manufacturer (US Floors to double check).

  63. This is really great. I’m working with contractor for kitchen remodel. And taking out ugly tile and putting in floor for kitchen, small hallway and laundry room. The Coretec Plus Dakota Walnut looks great as sample. Wasn’t displayed at my contractors showroom, but at another place, but I’m sure he can get it there. Looking also at Peruvian Walnut. Installing over concrete. Contractor did wonderful job on bathroom remodel, so I have no problems using him for kitchen.
    So my question is whether Coretec is better than the other makers of Luxury Vinyl. Are there better options, or ones I should avoid? But from all you’ve said, it seems that this is really good option. The cork on the back, the thickness. Quality.
    Thanks again.
    Eric King

    1. Eric – Thx. Yes, I think Coretec is best, especially with the cork. All the others are knock-offs. And, many have proven not to hold up to water.

      Important: Make sure the contractor doesn’t install this under the cabinets (and/or island) as this is a floating floor.

    1. Jackie – I’m not sure where you heard that. Cork is pretty stable and resilient. I’ve certainly seen cork in good condition from the 50s and 60s. That being said, I suppose over time all materials deteriorate including wood, laminate, carpet, tile.

  64. Thank you so much for all of your invaluable information regarding CoreTec. I just purchased Blackstone Oak online (saved $1/sq ft) and am anxiously awaiting its arrival. We are planning on self-installing the flooring in our walk-out basement on cement (we live in lower Michigan). We’ve never had any problems with water/moisture (house is 10 years old). I have three questions:
    1. Would an underlayment cause any harm if we used it? I see that you say it isn’t necessary, but my husband thinks that since US Floors says you “should” have it that it might invalidate the warranty if it’s not used. I prefer not to bother since water/moisture isn’t a problem.
    2. How do I determine if a leveling compound is needed? We do have a few cracks in the concrete.
    3. Should we use a dehumidifier so that we don’t have expansion problems (it was unfinished basement so never saw the need for a dehumidifier, nor is it particularly humid in the basement.
    Thank you so much for all of your help!

    1. Hi Kristi. First, you could add and additional underlayment/vapor barrier just to be safe. It won’t do any harm…unless it has a lot of cushion (in which case things may bounce too much. You may want to call US floors to see what type they recommend. Second, for the leveling, either use a level to see if floor is uneven and/or lay a long board to see. If floor is uncovered, it’s usually pretty obvious. Third, I don’t think a dehumidifier is necessary as this is vinyl, not laminate and also it’s not really humid there (per what you wrote).

    1. This is gray area and I’d recommend you call the manufacturer’s tech department. Most installers do not use this, but apparently some people have commented that their instructions now include this (I have a hunch they changed them just to be overly cautious. But, usually, it can be installed directly on top of concrete. I would call them directly to understand the discrepancy.

  65. What a great resource for us who need information. My question is will I need to reduce or eliminate the slope (currently about 3″ over 14 feet) on my covered screened porch before I try to use CoreTec vinyl planks as a floating flooring? This porch will be upgraded with vinyl windows, insulation and heating and air to be a four season room?

    1. Rob – You definitely do want to make sure temperature controlled…or else you can have issues with virtually any product. Regarding the slope, that depends. If the floor in on an angle, but flat, you don’t have to do that…unless of course the slope annoys you. If it’s sloped/uneven in more than 1 direction or wavy, yes you will need to. This is all about how/whether the boards will bounce from unevenness as it’s a floating floor. I hope this makes sense.

  66. Hi! Thank you for the helpful information. I am going to install Coretec plus flooring in my condo very soon. I am having a very difficult time picking a color from the samples I have obtained and the pictures of finished floors. I have been considering Margate Oak and Hudson Valley Oak. Margate Oak seems a little dull and has horizontal markings that seem unrealistic, but Hudson Valley Oak seems striped (highly varied light and dark) on the pictures I have seen–which seems too busy. For that reason, I have also been considering Metropolis Oak in the XL line, but worry about it being really dark. Is there a better way to know what color you will end up with?

    1. This is a toughie for sure. And there is no right and wrong – it’s what you like. My starting point would be to get a small sample and look at the room scenes for that color. If that’s not enough, you’ll want to see a larger sample. Some show rooms may have this, but most won’t (or they may not have in the colors you’re deciding between). The next step I’d take if I’m still unsure is to order (and pay for) 1 box of the 2 colors and then lay them out on your floor. The color you pick won’t be wasted because you’ll use that, but you will have for 1 extra box. It’s probably worth it to make sure you have the color you love.

      I hope that helps.

  67. I am looking at lifeproof and coretec plus. what is your expert opinion on these two products?

    is Lifeproof as effective on less than perect floors?

    I prefer the colors of lifeproof but the quality is really more important

    thanks

    1. Bob – No contest, Lifeproof is inferior. It’s much thinner and flimsier. I don’t think it has cork as the backing either. You get what you pay for. In general, almost anything you find a Home Depot is lower quality. They cater to less knowledgeable and less experienced audience with lower budget.

  68. We just installed Republic Flooring LVT planks throughout our house. I need to know about using area rugs on LVT. Do polypropylene rugs cause a chemical reaction and staining?

    Also can I use water and a little bit of vinegar to clean it? Thank you. Your blog has been very helpful.

    1. Cathy – I can’t imagine area rugs being an issue, but you can call the manufacturer to confirm. I am not familiar with the brand you mentioned. BUT, you should ALWAYS use an area rug pad. If you go to upper right tab under resources, you’ll see recommended products and I have an area rug pad in there I recommend. The area rug should prevent the issues you’re concerned about as well as help rug last longer. And, it will prevent scratches as well. I would think water and vinegar would be fine for cleaning as would almost any general purpose cleaner. Again, you can double check with the manufacturer.

  69. LOVE your blog! Thank you @flooringgirl for reviewing this product. Question for you: We are like ok if to install the Coretec Plus HD. Is Sherwood Rustic Pine close in color to Blackoak? I haven’t been able to locate pics online.

    1. Jennifer – Thank you. If you google the names, you find pictures for both. And, you can order samples to see for yourself. To me, these are not similar in color/style, but the graining is somewhat similar. Rustic Pine, looks like a mid brown rustic wood. (Not sure if you understand what I mean when I say that…but those are the words that come to mind). Black oak is more modern and contemporary and they are shades of gray. Black oak has a lot more color variation between light grays and darker grays. I guess there are brown undertones in it, but it reads more gray to me.

      Order the samples so you can see for yourself (or go to a local store).

      I hope that helps.

  70. We are currently in the market to change our flooring. At present we have carpet and vinyl and we are considering the cortec Plus XL vinyl plank 9″ in mission oak. We are on a crawl space and the subfloor is wood. Our home is about 15 years old and in good condition. We have pets including three dogs and plan to install the cortec in the entire downstairs including the kitchen and mudroom. Is there an consideration to installing over a crawl space/wood subfloor as far as a floating floor goes? Any recommendations that you might have or thoughts that would help us with our decision. Your input and advise is greatly welcomed.

    1. I think Coretec is a great product, and there should not be any issues installing over a crawl space, as long as it is properly insulated. Please be aware that with the dogs, there is a possibility of scratches on the floor. I might buy an extra box as an insurance policy. And, try to keep their nails trimmed.

  71. Help, I have scratched my core tech within 1 min of moving furniture back with a lightweight end table. I am devistated. We haven’t even paid contractor yet. this was by pulling it flatly across the floor. It left a nice white streak. Please help me to stop crying

    1. Amy – I’m so sorry to hear this. You should never drag furniture – on any type of flooring. that can scratch all types – hardwood, lux vinyl, laminate and even tile. You should also put felt pads underneath all furniture. Hopefully, this is only on a few boards and hopefully you have some extras. If so, then I would pay your contractor to come back and see if they can pop some boards out and then put some new ones in. If not, you can probably order a new box and then do the same. I would not try to do this yourself, because you may in the process break the locking mechanism and then replace more. Good luck.

  72. I had Shaw vinyl floors professionally installed in April on my entire first floor. I went with Shaw vs Coretec because I loved the color of the Shaw Classico Antico plank. I noticed once we started getting hot and humid weather, the corners of the planks were popping and clicking in some places when you walked on the floor. I asked the installer about it and he said that was normal with any vinyl flooring. As the temps and humidity has risen over the summer, the corner popping has gotten worse. They used Scuba Thermal Silencer under the floors. I love the floors. The color is very pretty and my 60 lb dog has not made any scratches. I just don’t know if I just need to get use to the clicking and popping or have the flooring company come back out and take a look. Is that normal? Thank you for your time.

    1. Shelley – Yes, I wasn’t crazy about Shaw’s Floorte product. It is indeed inferior to Coretec Plus (they tried to mimic them, and I’ve heard various issues from flooring places about it, including that it wasn’t waterproof). Ironically, Shaw now bought US Floors (owner of Coretec Plus).

      What you’re saying doesn’t sound normal to me, as it relates to vinyl products. I would call Shaw’s technical department and see what they say. You may also be able to bring in an inspector, but that would need to be done via the place you bought it from. But, start w/ the tech department to get their take on it.

      Weather/humidity really impacts wood and wood related products, not vinyl. But, I don’t know for sure what they have in the core, so maybe they have wood shavings mixed in and maybe that’s why it’s happening and also why they are having more problems with it. You may also do a search for reviews of the product to see what others are saying about it.

  73. We recently had alabaster oak installed in our bedroom. What kind of rug pad is safe to put under area rugs. We would like soft padding that is nonslip.

    1. Jacob – Actually, I think you should hire a professional for both. Very few people are able to sand or screen their floors correctly and often they need to be redone (or worse). With a screen and recoat, many feel that it’s easier as the machine is smaller, but the issue is that most don’t put the proper pressure on it and screen too much or too little, and then they need to call in a professional to do a FULL sand and refinish which is messier, more expensive and a longer period of time off the floor. As an FYI, most general contractors and handymen who try this, fail.

  74. Hi, Thank you for the detailed review. It is very helpful. We are looking at coretec for our basement, but someone told us that it now requires plastic underneath, which actually could trap moisture and create mold issues. We were told that it is now required and wasn’t in the past. Do you have any suggestion on it? We are removing carpet because our son has dust mite allergies and we don’t like carpets anyway. We are considering coretec because of humidity in the basement and also because it is softer and good for kids to play on. We were looking at Sherwood pine color. It is a bit rustic, which is nice, but also wondering about resale value as trends tend to change. Would appreciate your thoughts on these two questions.

    1. Hi Gosia – I just called US Floors Tech dept to try to clarify, because there has been a lot of misinformation out there.

      First, US Floors has never required a plastic underlayment nor have they made any changes. Adding a 6 mil poly underlayment is OPTIONAL. HOWEVER, they do recommend that if you are install it directly over concrete that you are safer installing a thin plastic underlayment…for the OPPOSITE of what you’re saying.

      So let me clarify. Coretec Plus is waterproof. HOWEVER, concrete is NOT waterproof. So, if your concrete hasn’t been sealed (and it often isn’t in a basement), then if your concrete gets wet or moist from the underground water tables, then you will get moisture underneath Coretec (or any flooring for that matter). Note: this doesn’t usually happen all year round, but can happen after large storms as well as in the spring when snow/ice melts and/or there is lots of rain over a period of time.

      So, then, the moisture gets trapped under the Coretec and this can cause mold or mildew. IF you add the thin plastic underlayment, it will PREVENT MOLD…as the moisture will not be able to reach the cork (which is a natural product…and therefore mold can live off of it. Mold can live off of almost anything, including carpet, walls, etc, so Coretec is not unique to that. So, either have your concrete sealed or add the underlayment. (the latter is probably less expensive). And, same thing goes with laminate or wood floors, etc.

      Re: resale value, I would think that Coretec is a great product and certainly preferred over carpet and laminate for resale value. And, it’s just been growing (and rapidly) in popularity. That being said, you don’t get you don’t get much of a return on investment for anything that’s done in the basement. This, in my opinion is smart flooring choice and smart investment, even if it doesn’t raise the value of your house, as it will a) help you sell it faster and make it more appealing, b) won’t need to be replaced…vs carpet will need to be, so in the long run it will save you money and c) this is a much better surface for your family to enjoy (and easier to clean).

      I hope that makes sense.

      1. Thank you very much for your prompt response. It makes sense and is the most professional and to the point answer I have received. I really appreciate your time and effort. Have a great day!

  75. I am considering replacing carpet (while we takeout useless built in closets) with hard wood Vs coretec plus for a 23’x20′ bonus room with exercise equipment over a garage that gets very hot and cold, and so does the bonus room that the central AC/heating is not able to control well. I love hard wood and have it everywhere else and am replacing carpet in part because it adds to resale value. I do not expect/anticipate any spills. Does a hot and cold garage underneath the floor influence your recommendation: has wood Vs Coretec plus? (I plan to have a separate AC/heating unit for this bonus room so it air temperature is controlled better than currently as recommended by an AC specialist who has seen a lot of this over an uninsulated garage room AC problem in this area Nashville). Thanks for the invaluable info you provide, my local Prosource dealer seems to have given me good advise in recommending Coretec Plus.

    1. I would first recommend that you take care of insulation and heating/AC issues before installing the floor. You are going to notice this even more once you go to a hard surface. So make the room comfortable. In general, I prefer solid hardwood over coretec…for when it makes sense. That’s because it’s a longer term product (that will last 100+ years) and improves the value of your home (and also gives you some tax benefits…lower tax on installation and later may be able to reduce your capital gains tax). It also give you more flexibility if you want to change the color in the future (or future buyer wants to do that.

      I’m of course assuming you have a 3/4″ plywood floor and stable temp/humidity. If you don’t, then Coretec is a safer option. This assumes you have flat/level subfloor.

      I hope that helps. And, this is just my opinion. Both are great options, but if you can do solid hardwood (and can afford it), I would.

  76. Hi,

    I am interested in the better Coretec. I have a living room/dining room to do but the rooms are not large. Does Coretec plus come i 5 inch size? If not what would you recommend?

  77. Hello, I’m so glad I found your site..you have such wonderful info..I’m getting ready for new kitchen remodel white shaker cabinets with grey quartz countertops.The flooring has been the most hardest choice of this project. I’ve herd conflicting stories that coretec buckles..however we found a authorized flooring company that stands by Coretec..so our choice is Coretec or invincible h20. samples I brought home are Montrose, Atlas, foggy border by invincible h20. I don’t like the stripy looks… I have 2 dogs but know the trade offs since we have laminate now. Any suggestions are so appreciated.. thank you for your time.

    1. Bev – Thanks so much. Coretec Plus is an awesome product, and you shouldn’t have any problems with it. I’ve never heard about buckling. That should NOT happen with Coretec nor have I ever seen it. However, some people install this themselves and they may not install it properly, so maybe that’s why a few have had issues. BTW, if you are using this for a kitchen, Coretec must be installed AFTER the cabinets are put in. Then, do the Coretec Plus, then do the cabinet kickplates (or else quarter round. This is true for any floating floor. I’m not familiar with invincible h20. It sounds like a new product (or else a private label).

  78. This is a great blog! My husband is insisting that this product (Coretec) is just like a Pergo floor with the layers that can separate and would not be waterproof once the water got past the vinyl layer. He says the sub-layers have wood products in them and they cannot possibly be waterproof . I brought home a small sample from the flooring company nearby, he inspected it and concluded that it is no different than any other laminate floor. Help me! I really like this stuff and wanted to have a run of it from our open floor plan kitchen through the dining room and living room. (He wants tile in kitchen. He says it’s the only truly waterproof flooring out there.) He has also said he read the Coretec warranty, which said that it was pro-rated for water damage, meaning they pro-rate the refund based on the age of the floor, and it does not cover the cost of installation for replacement. If it’s truly waterproof, why would they have that be the policy? Any advice and words of wisdom much appreciated!

    1. Teresa – Sorry about your challenges. Your husband is mistaken. This is definitely a different product than Pergo. Pergo is a brand of laminate, and laminate is not waterproof at all; in fact, it absorbs water like a sponge. This is a luxury vinyl, so it’s a different classification. And, all 4 layers (only 3 visible) are waterproof. And, if you don’t believe me (of if he doesn’t), call the manufacturer (US Floors) and speak with their tech department.

      I have no idea what he’s talking about on the pro-rate, but it sounds like he may be misunderstanding. If you do in fact have an issue (e.g. major flood), replacement costs for ALL items (floors, walls, cabinets, furniture, etc…pending on the damage) would generally be covered by your home insurance, not by the manufacturer! Home insurance policies generally provide FULL replacement value for the product (even if the price of the product has increased) and all labor associated with that. For most water issues, you would not have a problem with coretec (e.g. dishwasher, refrigerator, mechanical issues). We did have one customer where it had to be replaced…due to sewage. And, any flooring, including tile, would need to replaced. And, believe me, removing sewage from tile is way worse, because the grout (which is sand) absorbs it, so the whole thing has to be jackhammered…and yes, we have seen this happen with sewage disasters. I have a feeling what your husband is referring to is something else…sounds like faulty installation, and that liability would be on the installer. Coretec’s language for this is probably standard language for all products, including tile (if tile even has any sort of warrant…which it usually doesn’t since tile often cracks (and often due to poor installation, subfloor issues). I hope that helps.

  79. Currently, my kitchen has the original builder grade vinyl flooring. I’m going to remodel my kitchen, and Coretec is the type of flooring the remodeler is recommending. My question is that do you install Coretec on top of the existing vinyl flooring or do you rip up the vinyl flooring before installing the Coretec? Thanks!

    1. Kevin – Typically, you would install luxury vinyl on top, assuming that the old vinyl is in “good condition” (i.e. it’s not peeling up and floor is relatively even. Coretec is a floating floor, so you don’t need to worry about subfloor if it’s stable/level and that there aren’t height issues, especially with appliances. Also, bear in mind that if you rip up the existing vinyl, pending on when it was made, you may have asbestos in the adhesive, so safer to install on top. If vinyl is peeling up, you may want to remove it and/or smooth it down with concrete, pending on the situation.

      1. Thank you for the info! I can’t find any comparison between different types of CoreTec products. Do you have any recommendation for CoreTec Plus vs CoreTec HD? Thanks!

        1. Kevin – The HD is (obviously) more expensive. It looks more real (HD = high definition) and the color line is bit more contemporary. I believe the planks are longer, too. In terms of durability, I think they are the same.

  80. Thank you for all the information.

    We are doing a very significant and costly remodel of our home which includes an entire new floor. We are considering the cortex xl plus throughout the house – not really because of costs but because of practicality and consistency throughout the house.

    My concern is that people will clearly tell that it is not wood and it would diminish the WOW factor we are trying to establish in the remodel.

    Would using DVP diminish the WOW factor in your eyes?

    Thanks!

    1. Matt – Honestly, I think this depends on where you live and what’s expected in the area. Where I live (Westchester NY, right outside NYC), hardwood is expected in houses, and yes, in my opinion it will probably decrease the wow factor, and it would certainly reduce your home’s value (vs. hardwood). But, for an apartment over concrete floors, it would make perfect sense and would look great for that context.

      I don’t know where you live, but in our area, solid hardwood flooring is expected and common, so therefore the prices are actually a bit lower than other areas of the country, despite the fact that we live in a high cost of living area. So, if I have a plywood subfloor, the cost for hardwood is not that different vs. Coretec, esp the XL line which costs more. That would be different if I was somewhere where the houses are built on slabs such as Florida, Texas, Arizona, Southern Cal, etc.

      I hope this info is helpful. I would also look around at houses in your area (even if you go to a few open houses).

  81. I looked at 2 floorings today. Shaw Flooring, Floorte Alto Plank, and the AquaLok Luxury Vinyl AQA 1225. Can you give me your thoughts on these 2 floors. Not sure that I saw the Coretec in the store.
    Thanks so much

    1. Hi Cindy. Sorry for delayed response. I’m a bit busy and don’t get to check the site everyday. I would not recommend Floorte as it’s not waterproof and I’ve heard complaints about this product from Shaw. Shaw recently acquired Coretec Plus which is a MUCH better product. Shaw had tried to mimic the product unsuccessfully. So, when you can’t beat them, join them (or buy them). Aqualok is a new product – looks like a private label. It is thinner than Coretec Plus and appears to be lower quality.

  82. Hi Cindy…thanks so much for taking the time to share your knowledge…I’m in south Louisiana & my home was involved in the major flooding last year…we live in a pier/beam constructed home with 1&1/8 inch tongue & groove plywood subfloor…my home is 24 years old …subfloor has had plenty of time to dry & we have sanded it with floor sander…I’m very interested in Coretec plus xl, but a little apprehensive because of your comments about using wider planks if flooring is not perfectly level…could you elaborate? My professional installer says my subfloor looks good…joints are even, etc
    Second question, after all rebuilding is completed, my husband wants to spray the bottom side of subfloor with closed cell foam insulation (under house in crawl space) is this ok to do??

    1. Stacy – You want your floor to be level (and it sounds like your contractor said it is…can be validated w/ a level) as well as flat/smooth. If it’s bumpy, the floor will not lay evenly on top of it and will move/bounce a little. This is the same w/ any other type of floating floor. If the subfloor isn’t, the floor on top of it won’t be even either. So, just check with your installer.

      Side note: First, so sorry about your flood. That totally stinks. Hopefully insurance is helping you. And, you may want to read the article I wrote about insurance companies and getting full compensation. If not, just type in Insurance in the search bar on the right side. Also, even though it’s been a while, make sure some tests the moisture of the wood with a moisture meter.

      Finally, yes, that should be fine to add insulation below the subfloor. In fact, that will probably help you with everything you do as you’ll have less temperature/humidity variation.

  83. Interested in Coretec for a while now. Any thoughts on the HD line and how the texture works with a 90lbs dog? He slips on laminate and is comfortable playing on carpet. I’m not too worried about him scratching it as it seems very sturdy.

  84. We are having Coretec Plus laid in large livingroom. I found a large area rug I want that has non skid backing. I’ve looked all over web and do not know if I can use this on the floor without ruining it

    1. Connie – Oh yes, you should be fine with that. Just be sure to put an area rug pad underneath it. You should do that with ALL area rugs and with ALL types of flooring. It will make the area rug last longer (and be softer). It will also be better for the floor, so you reduce any chance of scratches (I would tell you the same even w/ hardwood or tile).

  85. We are having installed
    coretec Pus 7″ in our office. Will floor mats be needed under the rolling office chairs? And if so, any recommendations?

    1. David – Nucore is a cheaper and inferior product. It is much thinner (5.5 mm vs 8mm). Also, good luck in finding any reviews out there. It’s a private label and do not allow customers nor installers to rate it. There’s a reason for that.

  86. I was looking at the Floorte waterproof line as we have some elderly dogs who have accidentally, but the reviews online were terrible. I found your site and good reviews for Coretec Plus but wondered about the beveled edges. Would they be a problem with pets? I’d also been researching the new smartstrand silk carpets but think this might work in my basement instead. Any guidance you’d give would be greatly appreciated. Also, how does the price compare for these options? Thanks so much for your help!

    1. Hi Vicki. Yes, I’d stay away from Floorte. I’ve heard bad things about Floorte, including that it’s not waterproof. I’d go with Coretec Plus which is much better. It usually costs a tad more than Floorte, but the price difference is insignificant. I think it’s a good product for pets, but you can call US Floors tech department to check. I suppose with pet accidents, every floor can have an issue including tile (where the urine is absorbed into the grout.) I guess I’d make sure I had an extra box of Coretec Plus on hand, just in case, and among all of the EVP’s, I would say that their locking mechanism is the best.

      Regarding Smartstrand, they are great at marketing their product, but it does not seem to hold up so well to stains in the long run. It’s basically a glorified polyester molecule. If you want a better product, I’d probably use a nylon from Shaw with great stain protection. Or, since it’s a basement, you may not care and may just want to go with a cheaper product. You do get what you pay for, and there’s a reason that product is less expensive and sold in Home Depot. But, as I said, I get that most people want to save money for the basement, and I usually advise people to reinvest that money for upstairs.

  87. Hi, I have decided on Coretec Plus Norwegian maple after many trips to the flooring stores! I agree with you after much research that this is a superior product. I will be installing over a 20 year old concrete slab. I have not ripped up the “old” carpet yet, cut it should be in pretty good condition. I read where the cork backing is not a moisture barrier, do I need to put something down first, if so what would that be, remembering I am on a budget! thanks so much for any help…

    1. Nancy – Great. If you’re going over a slab, you are much better off doing some sort of thin plastic underlayment (6 mil). The purpose of this is that if moisture comes from the ground (i.e. hydrostatic pressure from the natural water table…happens more in the early spring as snow melts and we get a lot of rain, but can also happen after a big storm), you don’t want it to get to the cork and get trapped there. honestly, any think waterproof layer will do for this – cheap or expensive. It just needs to be waterproof (and probably all of them are) and taped correctly). Quality here is not really an issue (whereas it is important for the floor.). Even plastic bags would work, but they would be very inconvenient/inefficient to tape.

  88. I had my tub overflow which seeped through the laminate subfloor and under the carpet in the masterbed room.

    My insurance is paying for replacement and I was planning to upgrade to the Coretec Plus Antique Marble. I’ve heard varying things about using it in a bathroom and wanted to get your opinion. I do not have tile walls in the bathroom so it’s painted with a baseboard and the 1 piece tub/shower thingy. There’s also a custom counter over the floor vent.

    1. Nate – While I love Coretec Plus, it would not be my first choice for a bathroom. Instead, I think tile is better and safer option (due to potential water overflows are more importantly working around all the edges – with tub, vanity, toilet, etc. Tile just usually comes out better and cleaner vs a floating floor.

      Coretec is head and shoulders above laminate which is also a floating floor.

      Since you have baseboards at bottom of walls, that is much better, but I’m still worried about your transition at the tub. I suppose you could do a flexible white rubber transition here and glue it. (Remember you can’t nail into the porcelain tub. For the custom cabinet area, you can probably do matching thresholds for that area. But, I don’t think those will work well by the tub, especially if there is any bit of curvature around the tub at the edges. And this is where the problem may come in later on, too. If tub over flows at any point and you don’t have a seal here, water will get trapped under the cork and that could cause mold. The water should not flow from on top of coretec and get below if installed properly, but it can get underneath at the edge of the tub.

      I hope that made sense.

  89. Hi There, Thanks for helping us all out here- We chose CoreTec XL – now there is a new project in the market ‘NovaCore’ – did you come across this – if yes what is the difference ? Thanks in advance.

    1. Gokul – That’s a new product, so I’m not familiar with it. It looks like US Floors (makers of Coretec Plus) licensed their technology to them (just like they did with Beaulieu for Coretec One…which is not a product I’d recommend). This seems to be geared for commercial. But, it is thinner (it’s only 5mm vs Coretec Plus is 8mm). I’m guessing it doesn’t have a cork underlayment.

  90. Hi! Thanks so much for your great information and website! It’s a great service you’re providing. So are in Charleston, SC on the coast and have a kids playroom in our downstairs garage. Our home is elevated over the garage since we’re in a flood zone on the marsh. The kids room had carpet and during Hurricane Irma, the room got flooded for the first time. In fact, the entire house was surrounded by about a foot of water including the entire downstairs garage/basement. It was only like that until the tide went back out so probably 3 hours at most. Would the Coretec Plus survived this type of flood do you think? We were a bit worried about the cork backing and didn’t know if the Coretec One would be a better option in this case since it didn’t have the backing. This is going over a concrete slab. Generally we never have any water down there – 1st time in 30 years but with all the Hurricanes this year, we just want to try and make sure what we put down there, might hold up should we get flooded again. Thanks for any thoughts and all your great advice!

    1. Sandy – First, Coretec Plus is an excellent product. It is “waterproof” from the top. The issue, though is that if you have flooding from beneath, as in a hurricane (or worse sewage), the water can come from the ground and/or possibly underneath via the transitions, edges. And, it’s not good to have the water trapped underneath a floor as you could get mold…and worse if there is sewage and/or other debris that gets trapped underneath. Please note that this would be the case with virtually any floor…even tile as the grout will absorb the debris.

      I suppose Coretec One would be better as there is no cork for mold to feed on, but it’s a worse product and won’t be as comfortable.

      It’s up to you how important it is to get a good/more comfortable floor, but also that if you get another flood that you may need to replace it (and if you have flood insurance, you would be covered).

      But, let me give you an alternative solution. It won’t look as nice, but it will be comfortable and survive a hurricane. You can get some sort of rubber flooring – interlocking squares. You could either get the black (w/ dots) rubber flooring (more expensive) or the EVA foam pieces (colorful, softer). Then, if you get a flood, you can dissemble these, wash them as needed and put them back together. If you know a hurricane is on the way, you can remove them beforehand. They are easy to assemble/reassemble (and even rearrange the colors. I did this for my brother in his basement as he had a chronic issue in his basement (due to the grading of his house) so it gave him a good solution.

      You can read more about that here: https://theflooringgirl.com/blog/soft-rubber-gym-tiles-colorful-interlocking-squares-kids-babies.html

      I hope that helps.

  91. I have to replace my wood floor due to water damage. I really like Core tec Plus — but I am concerned about the differnence in thickness between the wood which is 1/2″ and the Core tec. Is there a way to mitigate this difference so that door frames don’t have a large gap at the floor? Thanks

    1. Janet – Yes, that’s a toughie. You can either replace the door frames (or bottom of jambs) or else install a thin layer of plywood under the coretec plus to raise the height. That of course assumes you can nail into the floor beneath. If not, you could do something else to raise up the subfloor (e.g. self leveling concrete).

  92. Hi, our installer just a few weeks ago finished laying CoreTec Plus (Rocky Mountain Oak) and we noticed that there are quiet a few planks that are off in color and surface texture. Can you explain this?

    1. That is probably the natural color variation of the planks…just like real hardwood has different colors and graining in the planks. If something seems more off than that, you could contact the manufacturer (US Floors).

  93. would CoretecPlus be slippery of it gets condensation on it, such as in a beach condo where it is hot outside and a door is left open with air conditioning on?

    1. Judith – In general, I would not think this would be a problem as the vinyl has texture. That being said, I suppose all surfaces can get a bit slippery when whet. But, Coretec would be less slippery than tile, hardwood and regular vinyl.

  94. I saw there must be a product – Coretec Plus Enhanced Planks. I noticed the construction is a little different than the Coretec Plus 5″ and 7″. Is this a better product? How would you describe Calypso Oak and Manila Oak? We had wood walls about the color of Gold Coast Acadia. Do you think one of the two colors above would be a nice contrast or are there some other colors you would recommend. Thank you!

    1. Dona – No, the construction is the same! The warranty is the same. The difference on this product is VISUAL. It has a thicker bevel and bevel is generally a different color for a more rustic look. Some people love that, some hate it.

      I will need to look up the colors later, but in general, I don’t like a wood on wood look. Most people these days are painting the paneling in white, in which case you can do any color you want. Wood on walls makes the space look dark, so I would in general say the lighter the better and see what works best (via a sample). Also, I’d say doing a simpler/smoother look is better vs. a grainy look. It may be too much. And, the darker bevels may be too busy too. I might even look into a white was or one of their tile options.

  95. Hi, I am doing my kitchen completely over. I was told by the cabinet installer that I have to have flooring down before installing cabinets. The salesman for CORETec Plus HD does not install this under cabinets and waits until cabinets are installed. I am so confused. Who’s right?

    1. You’re cabinet installer is WRONG. He/she is NOT a flooring expert! ALL FLOATING FLOORS SHOULD BE INSTALLED AFTER CABINETS. Otherwise, it’s a recipe for disaster (and yes, I’ve seen it happen). The sales rep is CORRECT.

      Here’s where contractor and cabinet installers get confused. If you are installing solid hardwood or tile, those should go in before the cabinets. That is IMO best practice. Solid hardwood is nailed into the ground and tile is “glued” (via thinset)…and some engineered wood is done this way, too. So, in those cases, you install cabinets afterwards. If a floor is floating, regardless of whether it’s hardwood, bamboo, engineered vinyl or laminate, it is done AFTERWARDS.

      Also, bear in mind that you may need to get the cabinet kickplates installed after the floor or get matching coretec quarter round and install that w/ the floor. Also, you should speak to your cabinet installer to see about adding a bit of thin plywood/lauan to even things out. In the case of coretec, the floor is only 8 mm (probably around 3/8″ of an inch). If they do this, then every thing should “line” up in heights and you won’t have future issues if you need to repair/replace appliances.

    1. I wouldn’t worry about the tiny groove. It’s never been an issue for customers and is barely noticeable. I would not recommend coretec for bathrooms (as you’ll see in many of the other comments. Powder rooms are fine, but not bathrooms. You won’t have clean edges, and water could get underneath along the edges.

  96. I was just wondering if I can put this product in front of a fireplace? I want to get a gas insert. I do not like the tile we currently have and am considering putting all cortec down. Thanks!

    1. Jason – No, I don’t think that would be safe, and believe it would be against building code regulations. Some sort of stone or tile should go there. If you’re not happy with the tile, I’d recommend replacing it with a stone or granite slab. You won’t have to worry about heat nor sparks. If you’d like to find out more info about this, call US Floors and speak with someone in the Tech Department. But, this doesn’t sound so safe to me. (I would give you this same advice on all other types of floor, too).

  97. I have several walls in my home that are wormy chestnut. What is your opinion on using the Coretec plus Golden Coast Acacia in the whole house for new flooring to replace the carpet.?

    1. Betty – You’ll have to look at it together. It may be too busy. I definitely think going from Carpet to Coretec is a great idea. You may also want to consider painting the wormy chestnut…as you may have an issue with most shades of coretec (or even hardwood). If it’s cheap looking paneling, I’d paint it white. Paneling seems to be very dated. I just wrote an article on painting wood paneling. You can read it here: https://theflooringgirl.com/blog/paint-wood-paneled-walls.html

      If the paneling is nice (and I have seen some nice paneling or shiplap), then I understand. But, if you paint it, you can choose whichever flooring you like.

  98. Thank you for the reply. I would not want to paint the wormy chestnut paneling. Do you think the red river hickory would look OK or what is your opinion on which coretec flooring would look really good with the wormy chestnut?

  99. Thank you for the reply. I would not want to paint the wormy chestnut paneling. Do you think the red river hickory would look OK or what is your opinion on which coretec flooring would look really good with the wormy chestnut?

  100. Thank you so much for the reply. I do not wish to pain the wormy chestnut. Which coretec plus color do you recommend to go with wormy chestnut? Do you think the red river hickory would be a good choice?

  101. Thanks for the reply. No I do not wish to paint. Do you think the red river hickory would be suitable? If no, which color of coretec would you recommend?

    1. Betty – You will need to look at all of the colors to see what goes and what isn’t too busy. Most of them have a lot of variation and it may not go with the wormy chestnut walls. I can’t see what you have, so it’s hard for me to say. I would start by ordering some samples and looking at the pictures online. Then, if you still aren’t sure, you may want to order a box. It’s always hard when you have wood on the walls, especially if the wood has a lot of character.

  102. My husband does not want to paint our paneling, so do you think the Manila or Calypso oak might match? We went to 2 different stores that carry Coretec, but they do not have samples of them. Any other color you might recommend? Thank you!

  103. Did you have a chance to look at the Calypso or Manila Oak? Any other recommendations? Painting walls is out, my husband said no.

    1. Hi Dona – Sorry, just trying to catch up on all the comments. So yes, I think those 2 colors are nice, BUT you need to see what they look like next to your walls. These are newer colors, so they are not in most stores. You can order samples for free directly from US Floors. I just called them to confirm. To do that, email them at [email protected]. You need to see it in person as the colors do not look the same online.

      I hope this helps.

  104. This is a great blog and helps me understand the pros and cons better. I question I have is, does this branch of vinyl release any odor? pretty much everyone at home is a bit sensitive to chemical odors. IS this a Phthalates Free product?

    1. Sumedha – I’ve never noticed any odor. But, apparently, with ANY packaged product of any flooring (or pretty much anything) there apparently is a very minor odor…this would even be true prefinished solid wood floors). I’ve never had any customer complain about the smell…or even comment on it. I just called US Floors, and they said that if someone is particularly concerned about minor odors, they could open up the boxes and air it out in the garage for 2 days before installing and any odor traces should be gone. Also, the tech department expert said that when he opened boxes himself, the only smell he noticed was from the cork (which is a natural product).

      And, yes, Coretec plus is Phtalate free. It’s also Green Guard certified.

  105. We have been all over trying to find the best non-wood floor for a home we just purchased. The previous owners have an engineered wood floor that sits on the original sub-floor from a mid-80’s build. Can I install this over the engineered wood? It will be a big job to remove all of this old stuff and am unsure how straight the subfloor will be. The engineered floor is very flat of coarse…your thoughts?

    1. Rodd – Oh yes, if the engineered wood is flat, you absolutely can install Coretec on top of it. No need to rip it out…unless there are height issues (esp with front door or appliances). But that is unlikely if you have engineered wood which is thinner and this product is 8mm thick, so the combo is unlikely to create height issues.

  106. Dear Debbie,
    It appears that I may have come across your blog at the perfect time. Due to a flood caused by my neighbor in the adjoining house, I’m having to redo my basement, this is a once in 20 yr event. We know that we want vinyl wood (looking) planks but, have been delayed by weeks trying to find the right vinyl, with the right thickness, right quality and right look/feel. Out of sheer frustration I went into CarpetOne yesterday determined to select something and came across Invincible H2O, which appears to be a CarpetOne proprietary product. Are you familiar with this product? I haven’t been able to find reviews about this product and it’s pricier than many of the other brands at $5.49 per sq ft. I’d greatly appreciate your insight.

    1. Lori – So sorry about the flooding. That stinks. I highly recommend Coretec Plus and it’s the best out there. I keep hearing stories of others that are copy cat products, but they are underperforming, especially as it relates to be waterproof. I’m not familiar with Invincible H2O and it sounds like it’s a private label. Find out who the manufacturer is. If it’s US Floors, you are probably all set (or potentially Shaw which recently bought US Floors). US Floors did not do private label, but it’s possible now that Shaw owns them, maybe they are now. What I can say is that you’ll be safe with Coretec Plus. Also, if this is a private label product made by US Floors/Shaw, make sure that it is 8mm and cork underlayment. Shaw had another product call Floorte which did not hold up well to water. And, I know that US Floors also made a product for Beaulieu which did not have a cork underlayment.

      I hope this helps.

  107. First let me say that I appreciate all of your information in this blog and have read each and every comment above. You’re amazing for all of your advice and taking the time to respond to everyone! I am sold on Moran Oak XL Enhanced but my husband is not sold on the price or giving up carpeting in the bedroom because he is worried it won’t be warm and too loud. I went to our local floor covering place and found a product that is cheaper – multiCore and was wondering if you ever heard of it. It says 100% waterproof and has cork backing. He is also worried about us putting the floor in ourselves but I’ve looked at a dozen videos and it truly does not look that difficult to do. Any thoughts or comments you have would be very much appreciated. Thank you in advance!

    1. Thank you. You’re so sweet. I really appreciate that, Glenda.

      I’ve not head of that product, but I have been finding that all of the cheaper knock-offs tend to be inferior. There’s a reason that they are less expensive. Most of them are thinner and many don’t have a cork backing (which gives it a bit of cushioning and insulation.

      I’d recommend that go with Coretec Plus…but, you don’t need to go with the Enhanced version. The regular base version will hold up just as well and will save you money without sacrificing quality.

      I can’t tell you if you’ll be able to install this yourself or not. But, you certainly can try, and if that doesn’t work, call in a professional.

      Sorry for the delay in getting back to you. I’ve been a bit busy these last couple of weeks.

  108. Thank you very much for the very informative page. I’ve been searching a lot online to learn about vinyl floors and this page is the best source of information by far that I’ve been able to find anywhere. I was pretty much thinking vinyl plank floor was too risky due to the lack of useful feedback/reviews until I read this page. And thanks in advance for answering my 3 questions!

    First, do you have any thoughts on the new Coretec Pro Plus line that is cheaper and only 5 mm thick ( 1 mm cork, then 1 mm vinyl, then 1.5 mm core, then 1 mm vinyl, finally the 0.5 mm clearwear layer)? We are struggling to find a color and pattern combo that we like so we’re hoping that line will be our answer our local store can get us a sample to see.

    Second, I don’t see a lot of details online about the different kinds of Coretec transitions between rooms. Are they typically used in the same color of the floor or are they provided in the base board colors (white, etc)? I saw one online video where the homeowner didn’t like the “t-molding” because it was a raised spot to step over. I don’t think I’d like that either. Do you think the “reducer” and the “baby threshold” can be used to go up to a different floor (covering up part of that floor) as well as to go down to Coretec (covering up part of the Coretec? I suppose you could machine off half of the “baby threshold” transition to make it match a smaller step up that isn’t the full 0.45″?

    Finally, I would prefer not to have the quarter round / shoe molding installed. Especially where there is no base molding (doorway casing and wood stairs), I don’t like the look. I currently have carpet in the room I plan to get Coretec installed. When I removed the carpet in the corner, it seems like it will fit nicely under the standard builder grade baseboard trim and doorway casing. But is that a bad idea because the Coretec edges will show? Is it necessary that molding on the walls be in contact with the top surface of the Coretec?

    1. Max – First thank you for your kind words. I really appreciate it. I will do my best to answer your questions. I’m on hold right now and may get interrupted, so bear with me.

      First, regarding the new 5mm line, I have not seen nor used yet. But, I have spoken with the manufacturer about this. It’s designed for commercial settings (e.g. stores, very busy traffic areas). It’s not designed for homes, so it’s not necessary for there, but I suppose it wouldn’t be a problem to install it in your home. I’m not sure if it costs more or not. If it does, I would just stick with one of the base lines as you would be paying more for something you don’t need. (I would then only do it if you fell in love with a particular color).

      I was surprised by the thickness of it (i.e. that it’s much thinner), but the tech guy explained to me that it is MUCH denser and stronger and that they basically compressed everything. So don’t be mislead by the thickness.

      Regarding the transitions, let me first acknowledge that they are not perfect…and they never are with floating floors. That’s due to the way that all floating floors are constructed and installed. They are floating and therefore need to be …to be continued

      1. For the transitions to the wall, you can either use matching quarter round (i.e. matches coretec plus) or use quarter round or shoe molding that is white primed (so it will match the white base molding) and then paint it. Or, your 3rd option is to remove the base molding install the flooring and then reinstall the base molding. There is no other way around it as it’s a floating floor. And, honestly, you really should do this with any type of flooring for cleaner edges.

        Most likely, you will need to use some sort of quarter round or shoe molding by the step. If you don’t, your edges won’t be clean. But, you may be able to go to a lumber yard and get a much smaller/thinner piece for that. If your step is curved, you can purchase flexible shoe molding and should be able to get at a lumber yard.

        Regarding the other transitions, they do go up a bit. You can purchase different options to see what you prefer. But, before that, go to the coretec website (it’s the US Floors site…sorry I can’t remember their domain name) and you should be able to see the shapes and sizes for the various transitions.

        I hope this helps.

  109. Great info, thanks for providing this service! We are considering ways to eliminate 1,005 sqft carpet from our home, and cover/replace 292 sqft kitchen tile that is in poor condition. We also have another 100 sqft of tile in bathrooms that is in decent condition, and 156 sqft of 3/4″ cabin grade gunstock hardwood in a dining room and foyer that is in good condition. Option 1 is to replace carpet with matching gunstock hardwood and cover the kitchen tile with Coretec or possibly even vinyl. Little worried about having 3 different flooring types in a small house, what do you think?
    Option 2 is to replace virtually everything with Coretec or a similar product. We do feel Coretec will not add value to our home, but at the same time hardwood and tile are not considered essential in this area. In fact, it seems some folks are removing them due to care and maintenance requirements. My concerns are as follows:
    1) Coretec has a limited lifetime warranty, but as you point out, that doesn’t mean it will LAST a lifetime. For the money, it seems hardwood is a much better investment, so long as you don’t replace it for any reason. Do you agree?
    2) While most Coretec reviews are favorable, I’ve found several that complain about “tracking”. Here is one such review that was just posted in November: “Have only had my new coretec vinyl plank floors for about a month. I’m finding it hard to get them clean. It’s almost like they are porous. I’ve noticed that when I mop them, some spots shine and the rest is dull. Dog footprints, drops of dried water, etc do not come off when I use a damp mop. I got down on my hands and knees and rubbed with a terry cloth towel and plain water, the stains still did not go away. I chose vinyl plank because my laminate was shinier and showed dog prints more easily. So far this shows dog foot prints just as easily and then you can’t get rid of them. I have not used any harsh cleaners, only water and wet mop. I swear the floors are missing the top layer of protection. Not happy with my purchase.” I saw at least 3 more reviews that expressed similar sentiments. Have you run into this issue?
    Thank you for taking the time to deal with our questions!

    1. Ernie – Wow, lots of questions. I will do my best.

      While I am a big fan of Coretec Plus, in your case, I would be inclined to add solid hardwood to match existing (as much as you can/can afford) as you already have hardwood and you will get the most value for that. (I’m assuming you have solid hardwood there and a plywood subfloor where you would install). Then, do Coretec Plus in the kitchen…probably and tile in the kitchen.

      For the areas of hardwood, if you like the gunstock, keep it; if you don’t refinish it to a color you like.

      For the bathrooms, coretec plus or any LVP in inappropriate and I would never recommend these products for bathrooms. There are many issues putting this in the bathroom. First, because it’s a floating floor, edges will look sloppy if you have a tub or shower there and/or tile on the wall. You won’t have clean edges, nor will you be able add quarter round to the edges (as you can’t nail into tile. I suppose you could glue it, but it will come off eventually. Second, it’s not safe from a mold perspective. So, while coretec plus is waterproof…it’s waterproof from above. However, if water gets underneath it, you can have a problem. And in a bathroom, it’s very likely to get water beneath it. Sink usage is not a problem, as that would be water on top. But, water from shower and bath can easily be a problem at the edges where you have a transition. If a toilet overflows, that could be an issue too, but this doesn’t happen as often as water from shower/tub.

      Re: tracking and having problems cleaning, I have not see that at all. And, in fact that is one of the advantages as it’s waterproof and easy to clean. I suppose there are always some people that have problems with any product, no matter what it is. and, perhaps that was a faulty batch. If you are really concerned about this, I would call the tech department at US floors and get their perspective on this and what you should use to clean the floors. I would use Bona Laminate and Tile Cleaner (which you can buy on Amazon and is inexpensive). Water should also be fine.

      Oh and for what it’s worth, if people use a regular soap on their floors, which may be the issue in this case, they can have problems if they don’t get the soap fully off. Soap is an emulsifier and if you don’t get it off, it attracts dirt (from socks, dogs paws, etc.) Same thing happens on carpet and it’s the reason that many seem to have issues w/ stains that keep reoccuring. they get the stain out of the carpet, but they don’t get the all the soap out, so the soap keeps attracting new dirt. It’s actually a new stain that just happens from people or pets walking in the area.

      I hope that helps.

  110. Hi Flooring girl, I have gained a lot of information from your website. I have a small oceanfront condo and am going to install Coretec throughout. I am leaning towards a light color so that the condo looks larger and have narrowed it down to Ivory coast oak and rocky mountain oak. The ivory coast is my favorite, however, I am concerned it will show dirt and scratches and would appreciate your comments. FYI, I rent on a weekly basis in the high season, so the floor will get quite a bit of activity for a few months out of the year. Thank you for your help!!!

    1. Sandy – Thx so much for your kind words. Personally, I prefer the Ivory oak, too and especially for your location. In general lighter floors show dirt less than darker floors so you will probably be okay with either choice. These floors are easy to clean. If you’re still concerned, order some samples and step all over them.

  111. Mike Giaquinto (Ex New Yorker now living in Phoenix)

    Great Blog! We are planning to replace about 1600sq of carpet in our upstairs bedrooms and hallway. Here in the desert southwest (Phoenix), solid wood is generally not recommended due to extreme dry weather, so engineered wood is often used. But with 6 cats, we’re concerned about scratching and the occasional “leak”. Engineered wood can be sanded once or twice at most, and the water/urine could damage it beyond repair, so we’re looking at alternatives, including LVP (EVP) and laminates. The subfloor is 3/4 plywood and seems flat and stable.
    1) How does CoreTec compare to engineered wood (1/2 inch with 2 or 3mm veneer) for scratch resistance?
    2) Does CoreTec require transition pieces in doorways or long runs?
    3) What is your opinion of Pergo Outlast+, which is supposed to be watertight for 24 hours? It seems like the best of both worlds.

    I’ve read your reviews of CoreTec and it sounds like a great choice. We looked at Lifeproof and Nucore but they did not impress us and we’ve also heard that it scratches easily.
    Laminates sounds like they solve the scratching problem but they have water issues. Our bathrooms are all tile, so we’re only concerned about incidental water spills. Thank you!

    1. Hi Mike. Thanks and I’m your weather is much better than ours now (although this weekend, it’s been unseasonably warm.

      I would probably go w/ Coretec. Also, I in my experience with cats (I have 2 and have had at least 1 most of my life), scratching is really not an issue with cats (but it certainly can be with dogs). Dogs and cats walk/run differently and cats nails are usually retracted unless they get scared. It’s the urine issue that would be my deciding factor.

      1) Coretec is more scratch resistant than engineered wood (much more). (it is less resistant than laminate, but should be resistant enough, especially for cats)

      2) Not sure I’m fully understanding the question, but Coretec Plus does have transitions when you need to transition to surfaces. Unlike laminate, you do not need to add expansion joints. That’s because laminate uses recycled hardwood, so it expands and contracts with swings in temp/humidity. Coretec doesn’t…although no material does well at temperature extremes, so best not to let you home’s temperature get below 50 degrees (inside).

      3) I’m not familiar with Outlast, but they make laminate which is not waterproof. It can delaminate if it gets wet. I don’t get waterproof for 24 hrs or what that really means. I mean if you go away and leave your cats and they pee and your gone for a week (or the weekend), that wouldn’t do so much. While laminate may be pretty close to scratch proof, I don’t see that as a real issue with cats (I love cats and have 2…from one of my customers). The only “issue” I’ve seen with cats and “scratching” is from the kitty litter which sometimes gets caught in claws. So it’s best to have that in a different area and best to have a mat where they can double wipe their paws. (If you go to resource section on upper right, there’s a mat I recommend).

      Yes, avoid Nucore and Lifeproof. Neither seems to be waterproof (even though they claim it is) and they are both thinner. The wear layer is probably thinner, too (but you can’t see that). I’ve been hearing complaints about both, so I would never buy that.

      I hope that helps.

  112. Hi! I am experiencing the same problem with cleaning my floors. I have Montrose Oak XL throughout my house. The floor is so hard to clean. There are scuff marks everywhere and they will not come up. It is shiny in some places and dull in other places. Footprints remain after I clean the floors. I feel like I am always trying to maintain this floor. The color is beautiful though. Luckily I placed a claim with Shaw flooring and they approved replacing my floor. I am so hesitant cause I do not want all that hassle just to have the same problem with a new COREtec Plus floor if they are all made the same way. I am interested in the vineyard barrel drift HD. This color mimics what I already have and when we built our house we matched our wood beams with the montrose oak. I cannot use a color that is totally off from the rest of the house. I have two pre teen kids and a small 7 lb dog so not much traffic. I also thought about looking into US floors engineered hardwood but there are not many reviews available on their hardwood. Any suggestions before I go thru the labor of moving furniture and replacing a whole house of flooring?

    1. Elizabeth – Sorry about your troubles, but so glad Shaw is replacing. You should ask them why/what the issue is and what they would suggest about avoiding similar problem. It may be as simple as switching cleaning product.

      Regarding US floors engineered woods, many of them look nice. But, obviously the wood will scratch more. Also, many of their engineered floors are oiled floors. These look very nice and are super stylish, but they are not very practical as they aren’t sealed, so water can penetrate (which is not good if you have a dog. Regular hardwood with a regular polyurethane finish would hold up better/protect floor from water. But, I supposed with the oiled floors, you can easily do spot touch up. But, I fear that you’ll have more maintenance with an oiled floor vs anything else.

      But, as I say that, US floors may have other woods now. It’s been a while since I used them for wood. And, Shaw has many other regular wood floors.

      I might order samples of what you’re considering…and maybe even a whole box before making a commitment. But, seriously talk to their tech department as they seem to be very helpful.

  113. Mike Giaquinto (Ex New Yorker now living in Phoenix)

    2) Yes, that was it – I wanted to know if I needed to add expansion joints at doorways or wide rooms and it’s good that CoreTec doesn’t need them.

    3) Outlast is a new laminate from Pergo. The core is standard HDF so not waterproof, but they “claim” that their click-lock seams can keep standing water out of the core for up to 24 hours.
    Here’s their marketing: “Uniclic joint technology combined with SpillProtect24 keeps liquid from seeping into joints, protecting against spills you might miss for up to 24 hours.”
    Thanks again for the floor and kitty litter mat advice! 🙂

    1. You’re welcome, Mike. I think you’re safer with Coretec Plus which actually is waterproof. I also think Coretec looks really nice and real, but in all fairness, I haven’t seen the Pergo product. Coretec has individual planks (Not sure about this Pergo product, but most laminates have “multi-looking” planks on each plank and the pieces are wider, so they look more fake. Again, I’m not sure about this new product, and I am making a general statement.

  114. Elizabeth Stegall

    Hey. Thank you for your response. I visited my flooring place where I purchased Coretec in montrose oak. Coretec has a new collection called hearthscapes. Are you familiar with it and what are your thoughts.

      1. Hello again. Do you have any pictures of the HD barnwood rustic oak or any opinions on it. I have a sample and love it but worried the rustic wear on it will give me issues as it wears. Thank you!

        1. Elizabeth – I don’t have a picture of that, but you should be able to find it on the US floors site. The “wearability” would be the same on all products. And, the more rustic, more color/grain variation, the less everything shows.

          1. Elizabeth – For the vacuum, I would recommend the same one that I do for hardwood floors – see this article: https://theflooringgirl.com/blog/best-vacuum-hardwood-floors/.

            For a mop, I really don’t think it matters. But here’s a link to the hardwood cleaning products I recommend and you could use the bona microfiber mop in there https://theflooringgirl.com/hardwood-flooring/recommended-wood-cleaning-products-and-hardwood-supplies/. I don’t think it matters which mop. But, for the cleaner, US Floors recommends Bona Tile & Laminate cleaner (not Bona hardwood cleaner).

            If you follow the links in articles, you can buy them directly on Amazon.

  115. Thank you for your earlier response, you’re awesome! I have one more Coretec question for you. I spoke with an experienced installer who says he shares your concerns about installing in bathrooms, but says I can leave a 1/8″ gap at the edge of the tub and shower, and simply fill it with waterproof caulk and cover it with trim. This would actually not change the appearance at all because I already have trim in those locations. But…is it okay to caulk the edge of a floating floor? The caulk is not rigid of course, but I just wonder if it’s okay to do this and if the caulk seal will remain intact over time. Thank you for all your help!

    1. Ernie – I suppose you can try it. It probably won’t look very nice and then my concern is how you attach the trim to tub and what trim. I suppose you could buy some white rubber flexible trim and glue it to the tub. If you do this, get extra as you will likely need to replace it in the future. I don’t know how well that will hold up (i.e. the glue) with water). Also you would need to keep a close eye on the caulk to make sure it doesn’t crack or anything and let water underneath.

  116. Hi, I am debating on the COREtec Blackstone and the Shaw Floorte Fiano.
    Love the colors in both but feel like the Blackstone looks more “fake” near my back door that faces north and gets sun and seems to show more dusty footprints :/ Blackstone is less and in stock, Floorte Fiano has more ridges not as smooth as Blackstone and deeper beveled edges, any opinions on the overall look of either one of these floors once laid. I’m planning on doing the majority of our home 3000sf (covering up dark hard wood and tile and getting rid of carpet in bedrooms) I’ve got to get this right!! Thanks so much!!

    1. Dara – I would go with Coretec for sure. I’ve heard many problems about Floorte (from installers and other store owners who had to file claims) and that it’s not actually waterproof. Perhaps that is because of the beveled edges. Also, the bevels make it much harder to clean and that will especially be an issue in heavy traffic areas.

      Also, you may want to consider buying 1 box before pulling the trigger if you’re unsure. And, you may be able to resolve back door issues with area rug or area mat.

      I hope that helps.

  117. Hi, I’m thinking of installing coretec plus in the living room (san francisco area). It has ceiling to floor glass with southern exposure, so lots of sunlight during winter time. How is this floor’s color fastness to light? I have pergo there now and the color has faded. thank you very much in advance.

    1. Ling – I believe the color holds very well and better than laminate, but you are better off calling the tech department at US Floors as they would know better than I do. Also, you may want to look into some UV protection or sheers for your windows. You may have issues with ALL types of flooring (and it’s not good for your skin either).

  118. Thank you for all the information on coretec – I have sent for samples: Norwegian Maple,Accolade Oak & Rocky Mountain Oak. My kitchen cabinets are a golden maple . I have 5 dogs mostly small & read reviews on another site complaining of being easily scratched which is not indicated here. I have always used felt pads under everything & makes things easy to move while cleaning. My question is how does coretec compare to Calibamboo vinyl plank,sample on the way- I am looking at the “natural” from them & sold at Lowes. They seem comprable on spec sheet. I did subscribe to Consumer Reports & have basically nothing worth while to use shopping for vinyl plank flooring – and I did let them know. Thank you for your time! Anne

    1. Anne – Coretec Plus holds up relatively well to scratches, but it certainly isn’t scratch proof. (Nor is hardwood). If scratch proof is your most important criterion, then go for laminate which holds up better to scratches…BUT, laminate isn’t waterproof. Also, it doesn’t look as nice and sounds more tinny. You see there is no perfect flooring option. It’s all about choices.

      Out of all the engineered planks, Coretec is the best. They are the originators of the product and everyone is trying to mimic them..and do it cheaper and hence the others are inferior. If Cali bamboo has one and targeting Lowe’s, I’m sure the product is inferior. The thing you CAN’T see is the wear layer and most have thinner wear layers compared to Coretec (this is not visible to the naked eye).

  119. Hi TFG,

    I am love the Coretec Plus HD product and I have chosen a color for my basement. However part of the basement will be a work out area and have a bike, elliptical and weights — I was planning on using a rubber mat under each machine. My concern is how will the vinyl planks handle 1) the weight – will they dent or leave an indentation? 2) Will the rubber mats, especially given the weight of the machines or weights discolor the vinyl planks 3) should I even bother with the high end Coretec Plus HD product given the workout area – go with something else? Thanks

    1. Hi Green Hunter. I believe that the coretec plus will fine with that weight and I would definitely use the rubber mats to help prevent any denting (you should use those with any flooring. Also, it’s easier on your feet. You may want to contact US Floors tech department to confirm this, though. Also, while I think Coretec Plus is a great surface, for this area, you may want to consider getting the regular coretec plus here, so save money (and it will be covered by mats.

      I’m not an expert about the rubber flooring. I don’t think it would be a problem, but I would check with the rubber manufacturer. Also, an alternative would be to simply do rubber gym floor for the entire room. Then, you won’t worry about any of this and then use the HD version in the other areas of the basement. I would especially consider this 2nd option if your floor is uneven or rough as the rubber will camouflage that better and won’t bounce at all.

      I hope that helps.

  120. Building a New Home

    Thank you for all of the infromation. It is really helpful. We are amazed at how many questions you answer.

    We are building a house on a lake. Like you, we prefer the look of hardwood but are concerned with hardwood getting wet since we are on a lake. Plus, we would prefer to keep the windows open during the summer which limits the effectiveness of a dehumidifier with the hardwood.

    What do you think? Should we go with hardwood or Coretec Plus.

    1. Mike – Thx. Thank goodness the questions come gradually, or else I would be in the insane asylum. But, yes, it does take time.

      Okay, this is a tough one. I think I would gravitate towards hardwood as that’s what I usually see at a lake house. So, I’m guessing that the humidity is not too bad…except for when it’s really humid everywhere…in which case if it’s too humid you may want to close the windows and/or run fans. Now, I don’t know where you live, but when people here in the Northeast/Mid Atlantic have homes on the beach (think Long island or the Jersey short), they usually have solid hardwood floors. In Florida, they usually have tile…due to the heat and the homes are built on slab. It’s more about what’s used in the area, as it tends to work with the construction and temperature.

      But, if you are going to use hardwood, I probably wouldn’t go as wide…and I might nail + glue it. The wider the plank, the more it expands and contracts. Normally, when you go 5″ or wider, you need to nail and glue solid wood. But, I had someone here on a Lake who wanted to play it safe with 4″, so we nailed and glued it. I don’t think you would have an issue with 3 1/4″ or wider.

      But, maybe you should consult your builder and/or architect. There may be additional things you should be doing with the structure and/or insulation to help with the overall comfort in the home.

      Also, you may want to consider Coretec Plus for certain areas of the home (e.g. lower level (if there is one) and/or area that is close to the lake if you anticipate going into/out of lake (and have wet feet) or if you have a pet that goes in/out of certain areas.

      Also, there are other ways to protect your hardwood from getting wet (e.g. outside mats, indoor mats, etc.)

      This is just my two cents.

  121. Great website! We have been looking at vinyl, but have read horrible reviews about the chemical smell and toxins released in the air for other brands. Do you know if Coretec uses the same chemicals to make their vinyl? We have a small child and don’t want to expose any chemicals in our house. But we want to put the floors in our kitchen too, so we need something waterproof. Have you heard about the VOC levels for Coretec? Any other options?

    1. Brent – I’d recommend that you call US Floors to get the exact technical info from them. They are probably the best out there, but I don’t know the specifics on chemicals and I don’t want to mislead you. That being said, most people don’t notice or complain about a smell, but based on a conversation that I had with the tech department at US Floors (based on some q’s I got on here), there is a small percent of people that have heightened smell and have noticed an odor. The minor odor (that I have not noticed myself) seems to dissipate after 24-48 hours. So, they suggested that for anyone that is concerned about this to leave in the garage, open the boxes and let it air out there for 24-48 hrs before installing. They also said that opening the windows can help as well. I have a feeling that this may have more to do with how the wood is stored in storage facilities as the tech person said the same sort of thing happens with other products including solid hardwood.

      Oh, and I do believe the product is Carb compliant in case that helps.

  122. Thanks for all of your helpful replies. I’ve learned so much from your site. I am looking at having Coretec Plus installed in my second floor condo unit. When I pulled up a bit of the carpet, the subfloor looked to be some type of concrete/gypcrete. Would we still need to put a moisture barrier down or is that not necessary because it’s not on the ground floor?

  123. Hi, Flooring Girl. I just found out about CoreTEC today, so I’m researching, and am so glad I found your blog! Lots of great information! Thank you!

    We were pretty ready to go with a strand-woven bamboo from Home Depot for our first floor (basement below), until I started reading your blog, although you haven’t specifically addressed the strand woven (I hear you loud and clear on bamboo in general). We’ve read that the Janka score is in the 3,000 to 4,000 range, which should be good. What is your opinion on strand-woven bamboo versus regular bamboo, and each one compared to Coretec?

    I’ve read many of your responses, but if given a choice over hardwood and Coretec, which would you choose? Is hardwood still the king of flooring? If yes, what is the best step down from hardwood?

    We had solid oak in another home, even in the kitchen, and never had a problem with water there, so I’m not anticipating water being a huge concern (unless I drop a pot full of water, I guess LOL).

    Thanks in advance!!

    1. I’m not a big fan of bamboo at all…and I am hoping to write an updated article on it soon (when I have time). While strand woven is better, it’s still not very strong nor hard. I would not trust that janka scale rating at all. They seem to be testing it differently. It does not hold up well…and certainly does not hold up well to scratches which has nothing to do with hardness. Scratches have to do with the finish and bamboo uses water borne poly, and most water borne polyurethanes do not hold up well, and often worse in cheaper products…the only way to make it cheaper is to use cheaper product or cheaper process or cheaper poly. Home Depot caters to a cheap and often inexperienced audience.

      AND, and this is very important, bamboo doesn’t absorb the poly well.

      We have not installed bamboo for years…because it just doesn’t hold up well. And, I have spoken to numerous customers who have it. Some had it installed, some moved into homes with it already installed. Virtually all of them dislike it and found it does not hold up well, including those with strand woven. They especially don’t like it in the kitchen as there is more water there (and it does worse with water than regular wood). And, if they have pets, they also dislike it even more.

      Now, if I had my choice between solid hardwood and Coretec, I would go for hardwood (assuming you have a plywood subfloor and enough clearance). Hardwood flooring will last way longer (100+ years…often longer), it’s the real thing and it improves the value of your home. It’s also better if you decide to change your cabinets or cabinet color later…because you can refinish it to be a different color. Or you can refinish it if your tastes change (or if you had an accident – e.g. ice damming, flood/water damage, fire, etc.

      For kitchens, I would recommend using unfinished wood and refinishing on site (so you have better protection from the poly) and I would also recommend white oak over red oak as it’s more water resistant. (See https://theflooringgirl.com/blog/advantages-white-oak-hardwood-flooring/)

      I hope that helps.

  124. We are considering Coretec Plus Dakota Walnut for the majority of our first level, however I have seen many negative reviews regarding ease of which the flooring scratches, along with comments about watermarks not being able to be polished off of the flooring. We plan on being in our home for many years, and want to invest wisely in the flooring we choose, but the amount of negative reviews are giving us second thoughts. My questions are twofold. 1) What are your thoughts on Dakota Walnut and 2) What are your sources for the high amount of praise for Coretec Plus? Is Coretec Plus a product that you have personally purchased?

    Thank you for your perspective.

    1. Dave – My source is that we have installed hundreds of these floors and our customers love them. I also personally know many installers who have also installed them, and them and rave about them, too…and it is rare for installers to rave about any flooring.

      The floors are not scratch proof, but they are pretty resilient. Also, you can keep some extra pieces if you get a few scratches in some area. No floor is perfect, and I’m not going to pretend it is. If scratch proof is your most important criterion, then go for tile or laminate. Bear in mind that laminate will not hold up to water and tile will be cold and hard on feet (and cost a lot more). Most people do not have difficulties with cleaning nor water spots (in fact, that’s a new one for me). It’s most likely that they are using the wrong cleaning product. US Floors recommends Bona laminate and tile cleaner or else another more expensive exclusive product (I forget the name). BTW, we have never had any customers complain about the cleaning.

      Regarding the fact that you can’t sand or polish is basically the same for all items (including laminate, tile, most engineered hardwoods). If you want to be able to refinish the floors, then solid hardwood is your best bet. Hardwood (obviously) scratches more…and needs to be refinished over time. As I said, everything is a trade off. And, there is NO PERFECT FLOORING for all circumstances. You need to determine which factors are most important to you.

      I think Dakota Walnut is a fine choice, and if that’s what you like, it’s a great choice. Because it’s a midtone (not too light, not too dark), it’s great because it should show dirt, etc. less.

      I hope this helps.

  125. Thank you for your prompt and frank opinion about Coretec Plus. I am not terribly familiar with your blog, and found your background information after typing my questions. I appreciate the work you put into responding to each question posed. Your reply was very helpful.

    1. Dave – Thanks. I really appreciate that! It takes a lot of time. Thanks for noticing that. And, you’re right that there are a lot of bloggers out there with little flooring experience. Some of them put out some misleading info.

  126. Hello! We just purchased the Coretec Plus Hudson Valley Oak floor. I’m nervous about a couple of things. 1. I purchased some of our flooring from a local store in my hometown, but a week later, ordered the rest from Weshipfloors.com because it was .70 cheaper! I’m hoping there isn’t a discrepancy in the looks of the floor. Ya know, like a knock off or something. 2. I’m quiet nervous about some of the reviews, like Dave mentioned above. I’m glad I ran across your response to him because that makes me feel better that we made a good decision. We have 2 very active dogs and I am afraid of what their claws will do to the floor. I am also worried about how we will clean them without it ‘ruining’ them or making noticeable marks. Our carpet is (I’m pretty sure) from 1995! Yuck! So we want a good floor having dogs and 3 kids! 🙂 Also, we have fish tanks. 55 and 75 gal. Will these floors be able to hold them without cracking, denting, etc..?
    Thanks for your time!

    1. Jamie – First, I doubt that weshipfloors gave you a knock off product, so I would not worry about that. However, it’s very possible that it’s a different dye lot. So the best thing you can do is mix up the planks among the boxes.

      Second, the Coretec floors are pretty resilient, but they can scratch. Just make sure you have some extra on hand that you can switch out. Also, I’d probably get some area rugs. This will be good for the dogs anyway, so that they are more comfortable. If there are key areas that are heavy traffic and they pivot or jump a lot (e.g. front door…that’s where my dog would jump around getting excited for her walk), put a mat/area rug there. Also area rugs will make your space look nicer and reduce noise. For cleaning, use the Bona tile and laminate cleaner. I think I have a link up above so you can purchase on Amazon.

      Regarding fish tanks, I’m not sure. It’s probably fine, but you may want to call their tech department. You may want to have some sort of tray or rubber mat underneath…not so much for water (although it might help) but to diversify the weight.

      I hope that helps.

  127. Hello,

    I am curious if you have heard about Evoke Flooring, its a vinyl composite. I think it is distributed by Metropolitan Flooring. I am torn between them and Coretec. Thank You!

    1. Kathy – I have not heard of them until you mentioned them. Looks like they are a new product. At least it’s the same thickness. I can’t speak for this product (but it’s looks better than most knocks offs), but I know that Coretec is excellent and is actually waterproof. Many others claim to be, but aren’t.

  128. Hi, we are remodeling our kitchen. I am thinking of cortex plus to replace old ugly vinyl. The remodeled wa btw to install the floor before the cabinets. Will that lose a problem with cabinets on top of it? My other question is: The f don’t of my ranch home Is Solid Hardwood – Gunstock Oak. Wil corotex PLus work Adjacent To This kind of floor? I Assume i Would Be better With tile Or slate VS. Another Wood grain. Thanks.

    1. Beth – I’m not sure that I’m following all of your questions, so feel free to clarify (there are several typos).

      First, if you are doing ANY sort of floating floor (like Coretec plus), it should be installed AFTER the cabinets (but before the kick plates are installed). If you are installing a floor that will be nailed in (like solid hardwood) or glued (like tile), you would install those BEFORE the cabinets.

      It is fine to have solid hardwood in other rooms. Just make sure the colors go together…and often that means contrasting the color.

  129. You’re the best – I’ve been perseverating over this floor decision, and having read your blog top to bottom, I feel pretty good about the decision, but will ask about my specific situation …
    First – Am remodeling a commercial space for our retail piano showroom. The pianos are typically placed on rubber-wheeled dollies before being pushed around, and many of the pianos will be displayed on top of heavy Persian carpets. Do you think there would be an advantage to going with the Coretec PRO plus? You described it as thinner, but more dense – but it truly a commercial-grade product relative to the Coretec Plus?
    Second – The building is built on a concrete slab around 8″ thick to the dirt. We are in Northern CA, not typically a lot of rain. Would you recommend placing an underlayer when we install?
    Regards, Nerissa

    1. Hi Nerissa – You’re so sweet. Yes, I think the commercial one would be better for sure since it’s denser. Yes, I would put some sort of barrier in between the concrete and the coretec. That could either be a waterproof underlayment, or it could work with a glue, too. Ask the installer which they think is better based on the condition of the subfloor. (You want to avoid ground water seeping in from underneath the concrete (hydrostatic pressure) and getting trapped underneath. Concrete never fully dries and if the water pressure from the ground is too high or the water table is super saturated (e.g. hurricane, tons of rain). I hope that makes sense.

  130. Nerissa again … Interestingly, the Coretec PRO plus is actually CHEAPER than Coretec Plus …? If it is denser, and hence more durable, and indeed a commercial grade product, how on earth can it come with a cheaper price?

    1. Nerissa – Interesting. You can call them to find out. It may be that it’s based on production – i.e. they produce in larger quantities for commercial establishments. I’ve seen them do that on other commercial grade vinyls (they have fewer color options, but produce in larger quantities). Also, their shipping charges may be lower since it takes up less space.

  131. Penelope Ciocchi

    Hi, I am just about to spring for some coretec xl Hayes Oak for my kitchen. How do I merge them, meld in with my existing wood flooring in the dining room, which is pretty much a color match.
    I’ve seen some nice snazzy metal strips used for wood to ceramic tile. Are you familiar with them?
    Wondering if i should use those? Thanks

    1. Hi, I am planning to replace my entrance foyer, hallway and adjoining dining area with core-tec LVT. Currently these areas have parquet flooring which is looking poorly after years of coming in and out the front door. The hallway leads into the living room which has a floating hardwood floor. My question is if I used plank instead of tile, would it look like I’m trying to match the existing hardwood? Would tile be a better choice? Thanks, Nancy

      1. Nancy – Personally, I think the planks look way better and real than the tile options, and they are clearly way more popular. So, I would probably go with a plank option, BUT, I would probably contrast the color with the hardwood floors, so that it doesn’t look like you’re trying to match. you may be able to achieve this by going significantly darker (or lighter) or going with a gray (or white wash). Just make sure the 2 colors go together and coordinate well.

        1. Thanks, I was thinking of gray as my dining table and chairs are dark gray-almost charcoal gray. There’s more options as well in the planks. I fell better now about reconsidering them!

  132. Thank you for taking the time to answer all these questions, it’s very helpful! We had a sample of the Coretec plus enhanced in the Fairweather Oak. It was on our kitchen floor for a couple of days and it dented. So I’m really worried about putting this throughout my whole downstairs. Salesman says that he can’t believe it and that it must’ve been there prior to taking it home. It wasn’t. But I have 3 dogs and grandchildren running around. Any thoughts on this? It got me looking at the Republic Flooring SPC Great Oregon Oak line. The salesman took scissors to it and it didn’t do a thing. Do you have any advice on this line?

    1. I’m not familiar with that product, but it looks like a laminate, so it’s not waterproof. Basically, you have a choice to make. If scratch/dent proof is what you need, go with a laminate, but know that it absorbs water and moisture. Or, if waterproof is more important to you, go with Coretec or other LVP/EVP. These are waterproof, but they are not scratch nor dent proof. I’m here to tell you that there is NO perfect flooring. It’s a matter of trade-offs.

      But, if you’re considering a laminate, I’d strongly encourage you to consider upgrading to hardwood which is a bit more resilient to water, and you can refinish it when you get scratches or dents. And, the truth is, with dogs and a busy house hold, you will get dents and scratches over time, even with a laminate (or vinyl).

  133. We are looking for new flooring for our rental. We initially were looking at the porcelain tile that has the wood grain. Our contractor was telling us about coretec plus flooring with the big point that it was almost scratch proof and easy to keep clean. We want something that renters would have a hard time damaging, but also look very appealing. We don’t want to have to replace flooring every few years with new renters.
    Looking at reviews for the Coretec on Consumer’s Report it said that it was very durable, but the customer reviews on CR and https://floorcritics.com/coretec-plus-review/, all warn on how easily it is scratched. We liked the Coretec HD and were talking about putting it in our home to replace the current beat up cheep vinyl the previous owners put into it. However, we have 3 big dogs and 2 busy young kids and are concerned that they will scratch it up. What are your thoughts? Porcelain tile vs Coretec?
    Sarah

    1. This is a toughie…no flooring is perfect.

      Where do you live? Is it warm/cold?

      I can’t imagine installing tile here in NY area, nor anywhere in Northeast/Mid Atlantic/mid West. It’s just too cold and too hard on your feet.

      Also, this depends on your subfloor. If you have plywood, or any sort of wood, the tile will crack. You would need to either install cement board or mud job and then install tile, so then tile would be significantly more expensive.

      Coretec is an excellent product, and it’s very durable, but it can scratch. But, you can get an extra box or two to fix up areas if you need to. You can also ask renters to have area rugs…which many people here do (as most people here have hardwood flooring).

      If scratchability is your main concern, and you don’t care about waterproof, go for a good quality laminate. Or, if you are planning to rent out for a long period of time, consider solid hardwood flooring which will last you much longer vs any of the alternative options (including tile). And, remember the tile will look dated over time (and it can crack, and if not installed properly it will crack).

      it’s really hard for me to answer you, as I don’t know the details of where you live nor your subfloor.

      Also, BTW, I think the floorcritics.com is a new site. And, not sure if they are really flooring experts.

  134. Thank you for the great advice. I have a condo in Mt kisco, I think coretec in the Dakota Walnut finish is the way to go!

    1. How do you like the Coretec Dakota Walnut? I’m seriously considering have it installed in my kitchen, den, family room, living room and foyer.

  135. Can I install Cortec Plus HD over an existing vinyl floor? My den has concrete subfloor and a vinyl floor (currently has carpet but under the carpet is probably the original 70’s vinyl floor). thanks

    1. Pooneej – Yes, you can. Just make sure the vinyl isn’t peeling up. You can just click coretec plus together on top of it. But, do be aware that the floor should be level.

  136. Can you please describe what the Corvallis Pine looks like in a large room? What color is it? Would you consider it a busy pattern or a subtle pattern?

  137. The pictures online looked sort of gray with darker gray graining. I didn’t realize it had an orange tint to it. I was hoping it was a soft pattern. Do you know which of the 5″ planks are a light gray-brown?

    1. Dona – It may be your computer screen.

      In the 5″ plank, try Boardwalk oak. There are several gray options in the 7″ plank. But, they are gray, not a gray brown. You may want to go into a store and look at them in person.

  138. I just went back to the Coretec website and noticed they now have a Plus Premium line that has a 20 mil wear layer and the cork layer is 3 mm. Is this line better than the other lines? I’m still searching for the correct color. Thank you.

  139. This has been incredibly helpful, thank you! I’m ready to purchase and install coretec over radiant heat but my husband is super skeptical, he says vinyl should not go over heat and he’s afraid the floor will get ruined from the heat. Have you heard back from clients who had this installed over radiant heat? Has anyone had issues? I have the manufacturers recommendations but still hestitant…

    1. Sandy – Oh you definitely want to check this with the manufacturer. The heat probably isn’t good for this. I know you can’t use steam mops over coretec plus (or any other EVP). Not sure how high the heat gets with radiant heat, so it’s possible it’s okay.

      All that aside, this is not a great product for radiant heat due to the cork, so it will lower the transfer of heat.

      And, no we have NEVER installed on top of radiant heat, and I would be very hesitant to and would not give a warranty on that!

      Tile is the best flooring for radiant heat…by far.

  140. Looking at Coretec Plus Dakota Walnut. Reading conflicting articles about the need for an underlayment with this. This will be in a daylight basement with a concrete slab foundation. What are your thoughts about some vapor barrier or underlayment when installing it with Coretec Plus flooring?

    1. Brett – No surprises there…it depends on the circumstances of subfloor.

      Yes, you are MUCH safer putting a vapor barrier since it’s a concrete slab foundation. That’s because water can seap through the foundation…unless it’s sealed…and most basements aren’t. The water can enter via hydrostatic pressure if/when the ground gets super saturated with water. This sometimes happens in spring after snow melts and there is a larger accumulation of water. It can also happen after a period of a LOT of rain or hurricane. The water has to go somewhere, and sometimes it gets absorbed into foundation and comes up into the basement.

      Usually this is minor, but sometimes it’s a bit more. But, where this becomes a problem is when it comes up and gets stuck between the subfloor and underneath the Coretec Plus (or any LVP/EVP). And, that can cause mold (as the mold can feed off the cork…or whatever backing there is.

      If you add a vapor barrier you are safe. I hope that made sense.

  141. On the Coretec website, they now have a Plus Premium line that has a 20 mil wear layer and the cork layer is 3 mm. Is this line better than the Coretec Plus?

    1. Dona – Yes, this looks like a super new line. I haven’t seen it in person yet, but yes, I would assume it’s better given its name and thicker underlayment. You could call US Floors to find out more info about it.

  142. We are considering Coretex plus Carolina Pine for our home in VT. We do have dogs and lots of grandkids that visit for ski season. The current floor is pine and is really scratched and marked after 25 years. I have read many reviews and there is a common thread that this product will show scratches very easily. Could you comment?

    1. First, while Coretec Plus can scratch, Carolina Pine tends to show the scratches a lot less than the other ones as it has a rustic pattern. That being said, if you have Pine floors, I’d highly recommend that you just sand and refinish them. Having real wood looks better and goes more with the style. And, it will cost way less. Furthermore, if you have pine floors, chances are that your house is older and as a result, the floors are probably rather uneven, so if you do any sort of floating floor on them, they will bounce.

  143. We are thinking of using COREtec Plus Northwood oak in our house. Mainly living room and the three bedrooms. Once installed we would like to put out 75 gallon fish tank in one of the bedrooms. It weighs approximately 750 lbs. will this flooring hold up to that weight ? I’ll be the installer and looking forward to a new look.

  144. what is the best color option for not too dark and not light. but towards light over dark?
    thank you for any insight, having a hard time deciding on color, have farmhouse look

    1. Joan – Not quite sure how to answer this as there is not “best color option” – it’s a matter of personal preference. But, I would try to get one that is browner in color (ie. without red undertones and don’t go too yellow…to be more stylish). Also, I want to preface this by saying that my definition of dark and yours may be completely different. I would probably consider boardwalk oak, clear lake oak, dakota walnut. But look to see if you like them and order samples. Otherwise, if you go lighter and like yellow, choose one without the reds.

  145. Our contractor recommend this brand for our beach condo remodel. But I’ve read so many bad reviews and then the next person loves it. There are many complaints about scratching and cupping. This is a vacation rental so we need something very durable. Do these planks tend to scratch and cup?

    1. Jeanine – First, let me say that no flooring is perfect – all types have pros and cons. I’ve never had any complaints about the product from my customers…but I also advise them carefully on pros/cons and set expectations properly.

      Regarding cupping, that is NOT normal and not sure how that would happen since the product is waterproof. In fact, even after people have had floods, I haven’t seen cupping. But, I guess it could happen with incorrect installation by do-it-yourselfers. So that to me is not an issue.

      But, the product can scratch…because it’s vinyl..so with heavy scraping, yes, it can scratch…just like any other vinyl.

      It’s hard for me to advise you on what’s the best flooring for your situation as I don’t know where you live (i.e. part of country), subfloor (concrete vs. plywood), what rooms, or which factors are most important to you (e.g. waterproof, scratch resistant, longevity, hardness on feet, value to home, cost, etc.)

      Another consideration may be hardwood floors – that’s what most people do here in Northeast or Mid Atlantic. Solid hardwood will scratch, but it can also be sanded and refinished many times. Or, if the beach house is in an area that is warm year round and built on a slab, you could consider tile…which will not scratch (if that is important to you) and is waterproof. But it is hard on your feet, and often costs more.

  146. Thank you for your detailed response! We’re on the Emerald Coast in Florida. We are removing carpet in some areas, while there is already tile in other areas. We were advised by contractor that Coretec can be installed right over our existing tile and that the “carpet” areas can be leveled to be flush with the tile areas to have a uniform look throughout the condo. Will this work well? Will the grout lines show through the tile?

    Last question, I read complaints about the transfer pieces. That they are more like “stickers” on plastic and do not hold up. Again, thank you for all of your information. We want to make the right choice as it’s a $10,000+ decision.

  147. Hi, Flooring Girl~I like the idea of the Coretec for my elderly parents home-they want to do something like Jeannine, who commented above, putting the Coretec on top of the tile, but leveling up the areas where they have carpet, so the entire house would have the Coretec. Is that something you have done before? I believe I may have read on your blog somewhere that you don’t recommend the Coretec for the bathroom when putting it over tile-is this correct? Thank you in advance for your input! Have an awesome day!

    1. Your could definitely use it throughout the majority of the house and level it up for the areas that are lower. And, NO, I would never recommend for the bathroom! Read above. In short, you can get mold (and edges won’t work well).

  148. We have shiny ceramic tiles with 1/4″ grout that is slightly lower than the tile. We want to cover it with Rigid Core LVT. We are concerned with telescoping in the grout area. we have been told by the installer that it will be fine. Have you seen seen any issues with this?

    1. Charlene – That should not be a problem with Armstrong’s Rigid Core LVT. This does, however, happen with regular glue down vinyl which is why when you use those, you need to smooth out and prep the floor. You are welcome to call Armstrong’s tech department to confirm.

  149. I was looking at both COREtec Plus LVP and Resista Plus H2O LVP at ProSource. I was told by the salesman that Resista Plus H2O is identical to COREtec Plus but is just a private label made by US Floors/Shaw for ProSource to sell. Is that really true, Resista Plus H2O is identical to COREtec Plus in composition and durability?

    1. Sarah – I don’t know. That must be new. Check out the product colors for each and compare them side by side, and then you’ll know. And, compare the prices. Not sure which you would be paying more.

    1. No, coretec plus is not good for bathrooms with showers or bathtubs as water can seap through the edges and can trapped underneath and then cause mold. Also, you can not get clean edges around bathtubs/showers and tile walls so it looks sloppy. Tile is MUCH better for bathrooms.

  150. Thank you for this great blog! My question is about flooring trends — I’m looking to install Coretec Pro Plus Biscayne Oak in kitchen, family room and guest bathroom (no shower). It is “moderate” in shade variation — is shade variation popular now?

    1. Kathy – Yes, that’s a good choice (as long as you like it and it goes with everything in your kitchen). It looks like it may have a bit of orange tones (please check out the sample in person) and more people are gravitating towards from brown colors (without red or undertones).

  151. Hello and thanks for sharing your time and experience with us!
    I have a small slab home with well-attached asbestos tiles on a pretty flat kitchen floor. My cabinets are natural maple and I briefly get sunlight in the morning. It’s been tough to find flooring that I like. I’ve been considering CoreTec’s Dakota Walnut or Carolina Pine (sample not at the store yet), or Earthwerks Parkhill EIR (but warranty doesn’t seem so hot). I’ve struggled to find flooring that I know will go with the cabinets. While I am not a tile fan (the cleaning of it), Paramount’s Myrtle Beach tile I know will be beautiful in my kitchen. So, I am considering paying the extra and getting that. I have some foot issues so always wear shoes in the house, so this might make the cold, hard tile on my already cold, hard concrete a moot point?! Any thoughts, especially about the CoreTec options? I like the Dakota Walnut better but am concerned it will be too dark for my kitchen. Thanks!

    1. Lisa – If you have foot problems, I’d recommend doing some sort of engineered luxury vinyl such as Coretec Plus. You can also look at the RigidCore items that Armstrong has – both have cork underneath. Also, recognize that Coretec Plus has options that look like tile. (I’m not sure if Armstrong does) and you may have an easier time with tile looks.

      Bear in mind if you do real tile over asbestos tile, you would need to first do 1/2 mudjob or self leveling mix to encapsulate/secure the asbestos, so most likely that will add a bit ofer 3/4″ height to your floor. This may become an issue for your appliances (esp dishwasher and may be odd for the height vs your cabinets. This will also add a lot of extra cost.

      Generally, if you do a wood look plank, you want to contrast more with your cabinets. The 2 options you selected are a bit too close in color and have some reds, so you would probably want to go darker if you do wood look. Maybe try Deep Smoked oak (or a tile look as I mentioned above.

      I’d stay away from Earthwerks. Looks like a lower quality product as it only is 6mm and doesn’t look like it has cork underlayment (or any for that matter). Also, it has beveled edges making it hard to clean (dirt will get caught in those bevels. And, oddly enough, it looks like it only has 1 year warranty. Most EVP products have 25 years or more or lifetime warranty.

  152. Hi Debbie. Love your blog and excellent feedback~Thank you for being such a great resource!!! Here’s my question: I see that you are a big fan of the Coretec Plus. How would you compare this to Tarkett ProGen series? I need to install about 1000 sq ft in an office, light traffic~South Florida. Need to have a realistic idea of how both products will react to sun exposure. I’m looking to have something that will stand the test of time and also maintain it’s beauty over time. I was leaning heavily towards the Tarkett ProGen product because my perception is that this is a very strong, durable, waterproof product, with rigid core technology. But, you have me wondering if maybe I should consider Coretec Plus or maybe even the Armstrong Luxe. ??? Are they equals, all things considered? Please let me know your thoughts on these three, side by side comparisons, if possible. Thanks so much!!!

    1. Esther – Sorry for the delay. I’ve been on vacation Thanksgiving week. I have not used the Tarkett product, but it looks much thinner – only 5mm, rather than Coretec and Armstrong’s which are 8mm. And, it doesn’t look like there’s a cork backing.

      In the past, I have occasionally used other Tarkett products, and they have all been cheaper and inferior to the standards.

      Also, I’m sure Cortec and Armstrong’s products hold up better to the sun and have some built in protection. You can call their tech departments to get more detail on that.

  153. Hi
    Thanks for this thread. I’ve gotten a great deal of information from this Can I ask what is your opinion of he coretec Pro Plus line?

    Tony

    1. Anthony – You’re welcome. I’m sure it’s good because it’s does need to hold up to commercial traffic. So, it’s probably denser and higher grade than the other lines. However, we rarely do commercial work, so I haven’t actually used it.

  154. HI Flooring Girl,
    Stumbled across your blog with a google search. THANK YOU! Very helpful 🙂
    Sully question–if we install a Coretec Plus floor, can we conceivably pick it up and move it with us?! We are renting with the hope of eventually buying the place and doing a total remodel. Being able to re-lay the floor once done is a real plus and makes a it less expensive option.
    Thanks again!

    1. Leslie – You could try this, but it can be rather challenging. You have to be super careful when removing it so that you don’t break the locking mechanism. So, I would expect to have some breakage. If the space you are going to put it into is less, it might work. But, be very careful and be prepared to buy some extra.

  155. you recommend no glue but manufacture recommends glue down if heavy objects.we are doing our kitchen, is it okay in your opinion to not glue and still be ok with a heavy fridge

  156. We are remodeling our house and plan to install Coretec HD. We have narrowed it down to Barnwood Rustic Pine and Delta Rustic Pine. We have a beautiful slate tile in our foyer that we are planning to keep. Our kitchen cabinets will be white. My family is split evenly between the 2. Any thoughts, opinions or advice to help us!

    1. Oh gosh, please don’t make me the decision maker. Both are great choices. It’s hard for me as I can’t see your space. Personally I would probably go with Delta as it’s a bit more neutral and will have more staying power…and easier to decorate with (as it’s brown as opposed to reddish/copperish. But, I can’t see the colors of your slate…there are many varieties of slate. Some have that copperish woven in and if so, the Barnwood could look perfect with it and it’s a bit lighter. Glad your cabinets are white, BTW.

  157. Barnwood looks great with our slate tile foyer. My major concern is that it will have more of a streaked look than the delta. It is so hard to tell by the sample board and by looking at pictures. We want something that definitely looks like real hardwoods. We will never remodel or replace floors again in my lifetime so I don’t want something that is trendy now but won’t be in 5 years.

  158. Hello! I’m planning a kitchen remodel and as part of it will replace the kitchen flooring (currently sheet vinyl) as well as all flooring on the main level which includes entry (currently tile) and formal living and dining rooms (currently carpet.) Think I will have to break up the tile, but wondering if I’ll also have to tear up the sheet vinyl to let level subfloor throughout? Also, I’m looking at the new CoreTex Plus Premium line with 3mm of cork backing. Has your company had any experience with the thicker underlayment (double the thickness 3mm versus 1.5mm cork on other product lines.)

    1. Rachel – I would have someone local look at your situation. It depends on what type of vinyl you have, how level your floor is and what condition it’s in as well as the type of flooring you plan to use and your subfloor. But, if you decide to use Coretec plus, it’s a pretty flexible product as it can go on top of vinyl (and most other surfaces), so then you only need to worry about how level your floor is. And, I’m sorry, I’m not familiar with the thicker cork underlayment. I would guess that it helps a bit more for floors that a bit less even and gives a bit more cushioning and insulation. I’ll have to check it out.

    1. Linda – So glad to hear that. Coretec Plus is an amazing product. No, it doesn’t have a wood-like smell. At least I’ve never noticed a woodsy smell. It’s not made of wood.

  159. I was told that the cork underlayment is not waterproof but water resistant….that is a concern for me. Also, you mentioned sewage blockages….how about if the toilet overflowed?
    Thank You

    1. Dawn – Cork is waterproof. Just looks at your wine bottles with cork if you don’t believe me.

      Not sure about toilet overflow..for ANY surface. In tile it is the worst as the grout will absorb toilet water.

      BUT, this should NOT be an issue as you should NOT install Coretec Plus (nor other LVPs) in bathrooms (as I’ve mentioned several times in the article.

      Tile is best for bathrooms and be sure to seal the grout and reseal every year, and you’ll be fine

  160. I love your blog – very helpful! What color LVP would you recommend for a home with Agreeable Gray walls (by Sherwin Williams)?

  161. Thank you for all your input and sharing your knowledge. You have convinced me this is the right product for my family.
    Here are my questions:
    I just recently bought a house that has sheet vinyl, laminate carpet and tile in the bathrooms. I was wanting to install the Coretec plus XL through the whole house. Do you think I will need to rip out all the flooring or just the carpet? My plan was to install it in the bathrooms too. Why do you not suggest it?

    1. Leave the tile in the bathroom. You do not want to put coretec there. rip up the carpet and the laminate (laminate is floating and you would never want to put a floor on top of that. You can leave and go over the vinyl.

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