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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

 

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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. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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).

  7. 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).

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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).

  12. 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.

  13. 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?

  14. 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?

  15. 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?

  16. 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.

  17. 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!

  18. 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.

  19. Sumedha Kodipyaka

    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.

  20. 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.

  21. 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.

  22. 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.

  23. 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.

  24. 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.

  25. 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.

  26. 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.

  27. Elizabeth Stegall

    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.

  28. 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.

  29. 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. Elizabeth Stegall

        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. Elizbeth STegall

            What kind of vacuum or mop or combo do you recommend with taking proper care of luxury vinyl.

          2. 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.

  30. 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.

  31. 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.

  32. 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).

  33. 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).

  34. 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.

  35. 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.

  36. 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.

  37. 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?

  38. 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.

  39. 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.

  40. 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.

  41. 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.

  42. 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.

  43. 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.

  44. 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.

  45. 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.

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