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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.



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


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

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Cathy shelton

    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. Cathy shelton

        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?

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.


    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.

  11. Marcee Roberts

    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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Robert Barbour

    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.

  20. 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).

  21. 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.

  22. 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.

  23. 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.

  24. 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.

  25. 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


    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.

  26. 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.

  27. 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.

  28. 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.

  29. 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.

  30. 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.

  31. 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.

  32. 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!

  33. 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.

  34. 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?

  35. 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).

  36. 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.

  37. 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.

  38. 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?


    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).

  39. 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.

  40. 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.

  41. 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.

  42. 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).

  43. 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.

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