coretec plus vinyl plank review

Review: COREtec Plus Vinyl Plank Flooring

There is a growing interest in luxury vinyl plank flooring as a more affordable and versatile alternative to wood flooring. But with so many brands on the market, it is difficult to know where to begin. We think you should consider COREtec Plus LVP flooring among your options, and our review will tell you exactly why.

This LVP flooring looks and feels more realistic than its competitors, and it is at the higher end of the market when it comes to quality. In addition, COREtec Plus has done a lot to deal with health and environmental issues often associated with LVP flooring.

Want to know more? We are going to deep dive into COREtec Plus in the following sections. We will look at its features and styles, how much it costs and where to buy it, plus everything related to the installation, maintenance, and warranty consideration(s). Finally, we’ll weigh the benefits and disadvantages to help you make your final decision.

Here are some COREtec Plus flooring options to give you a sense of different varieties to purchase. Continue reading and check out our in-depth review.

What Is COREtec Plus?

COREtec Plus is a high-quality luxury vinyl plank (LVP) flooring. This is a type of flooring made from polyvinyl chloride resins (PVC), which is melted down and combined with a series of other elements, such as stabilizers and fungicides, to produce durable and resilient materials that are then pressed into multi-layer planks, designed to resemble hardwood floors.

 

This particular line of LVP flooring is made by USFloors, which opened in 2001 and began selling domestic floors in 2008. They are the leading producer and importer of sustainable, eco-friendly floors in the United States.

Below are a few examples:

COREtec Plus HD Sherwood Rustic Pine
COREtec Plus Premium 7 – Penmore Walnut
COREtec Plus Premium 7 – Pinnacle Oak

Features Of COREtec Plus

While most LVP flooring is designed to resemble hardwood flooring, COREtec does a better job of this than most. When you open the box, you could be forgiven for thinking that you were looking at engineered hardwood planks.

This is because, unlike some of the other LVP products on the market that use simulated graphics, COREtec has real texture and real graining. These planks also have a micro bevel edge for a true, hardwood flooring look.

But unlike solid wood and engineered hardwood flooring, you do not have the same maintenance issues.

COREtec LVP is made using a patented construction method that makes it highly durable and extremely attractive.

Each style of COREtec Plus vinyl planks features a 20 mil wear layer that protects your floors even in high traffic or commercial areas. As a bonus, it also helps make this product easy to clean and maintain.

Underneath the wear layer, COREtec vinyl planks have a luxury vinyl top layer. This layer is highly resilient and made of virgin vinyl.

Below the layer of vinyl is the heart of the matter – COREtec’s core structure. This inner core is very stable and will not expand or contract in normal conditions, unlike many other products.

This LVP also comes with underlayment made out of cork. The cork layer adds extra insulation to your floors and absorbs sounds, making it quiet to walk on.

The manufacturer also claims that all COREtec Plus products are 100 percent waterproof, rather than just water-resistant. This means they are appropriate to use in wet rooms, bathrooms, and basements (unlike real wood flooring).

COREtec Plus Styles

COREtec Plus comes in a variety of beautiful wood grains including rustic looks, multi-tone planks, and even extra-wide and extra-long planks. So, there are plenty of different design styles that will work with COREtec LVP.

Where To Buy COREtec Plus

COREtec comes in both 5” and 7” wide planks that are 4’ long. With this style, you can create a custom, authentic-looking floor design.

 

If you are looking for the best quality, check out the COREtec Plus HD line. It is extremely realistic-looking because it uses a registered embossing technique. The surface of each plank mimics the graining of wood. It also has thicker planks at 8.5 mm and comes with realistic-looking four-side painted micro-beveled edges.

COREtec Plus XL and XL Enhanced are the largest luxury vinyl planks on the market at 9 inches wide by 6 feet long. Because these planks are larger, they are more expensive than the other options.

Price Of COREtec Plus

COREtec Plus is a highly affordable flooring costing between $6.50 and $8.50 per square foot, which is at the higher end for LVP flooring, but this is significantly cheaper than solid wood or engineered hardwood floors.

It also comes with integrated cork underlayment and is suitable for DIY installation, both of which offer savings.

Where To Buy COREtec Plus

 

COREtec Plus can be bought directly from USFloors via their website or from most flooring retailers around the United States such as Floor City.

It is worth looking out for partners that are listed as White Glove Retailers. Some resellers have been trained as specialists in COREtec flooring, and they can give the best advice, and as a result of their relationship with USFloors, they offer cheaper prices on all COREtec options.

Find your closest retailer with the Find A Retailer application on COREtec’s website.

Installation Of COREtec Plus

A great benefit of COREtec LVP is that although it looks like hardwood flooring, it is much easier to install. If you are somewhat handy, you can even do it yourself and save even more money on your flooring project.

The floor “clicks” together using a handy tongue and groove system, which helps you get the spacing just right.

Unlike many of the other types of luxury vinyl, COREtec planks do not require any acclimation. Plus, there is very little floor preparation needed before laying the planks.

Since COREtec is a floating floor, you can easily install them over your current hard surface flooring. And since they come with attached cork underlayment, you don’t even need to lay one first.

COREtec’s cork underlayment also helps to hide any subfloor imperfections. And with its resistance to mold and mildew, your family is protected from the effects of these allergens.

To install COREtec vinyl planks, make sure that your subfloor is clean, dry, and clear of debris. Your subfloor must be flat and structurally sound.

You’ll need a few simple tools (most of which you probably have already) like a tape measure, hammer, and blue painter’s tape. You will also need a crosscut power saw and a tapping block.

Once you have your COREtec planks and supplies, the process is pretty simple. Full instructions from the manufacturer on how to install these floors can be found here.

COREtec Plus Maintaining And Cleaning Specs

COREtec vinyl planks are highly durable and easy to maintain. But if you want to get the most out of your floors, there are a few general rules to follow to prevent damage.

First, when you move furniture on your floors, always use a hand truck or furniture dolly. It’s also a good idea to put felt pads under pieces of furniture that you frequently move.

For floors in sunny areas, use drapes or blinds to shield your floors from sun damage.

To clean your COREtec floors, simply use a broom or vacuum with a hard surface attachment. For deeper cleanings, a damp mop works well.

However, you should avoid harsh cleaning products and chemicals. Instead, use a diluted pH-neutral cleaner like Bona or Hilway.

Allow your floors to dry after mopping and make sure to clean up any spills quickly.

Warranty Of COREtec Plus

While you should always check the details of the warranty with your retailers as they may vary, in general, COREtec comes with a limited lifetime warranty for residential installations and a ten-year limited warranty for commercial installations.

The residential warranty covers both manufacturer defects and wear through that affects at least three percent of the installation. Wear-through means that the inner layer is exposed and does not cover a loss of sheen.

The floor is also warranted to be 100 percent waterproof, though it does not cover damage caused by continued and excessive exposure to water.

Full details of the warranty are available here.

COREtec Plus Pros And Cons

While everything we have said about COREtec flooring sounds pretty good, what are the main reasons you should consider this flooring? Also, no floors are perfect, so what are the drawbacks? Let’s have a look at the pros and cons.

Pros Of COREtec Plus

Price

If you are looking for the wood floor look, but can’t afford the price tag, then COREtec LVP offers an excellent alternative. It looks and feels just like wood but for about half the price that you can expect to pay for solid wood or even engineered wood flooring.

While COREtec is more expensive than many other LVP brands, it is top of the range both in terms of look and style, and quality and durability.

Durability

Price is not the only reason many people avoid wood floors. Wood floors scratch and scar easily, and they so often end up looking ragged pretty quickly when dealing with significant foot traffic or pet paws.

LVP flooring is significantly more durable than wood when it comes to scratches, marks, and scars. COREtec is also among the most durable with a 20 mil wear layer on their standard planks.

Versatility

Another issue with wood is that it is not appropriate to install everywhere. It does not work well in spaces that are wet or have a lot of moisture; wood tends to warp with moisture. Wood also isn’t generally compatible with underfloor heating, as the changes in temperature can also cause the planks to warp.

While all LVP flooring is more water-resistant than wood, COREtec is marketed as 100 percent waterproof, so it should be suitable to use in bathrooms, kitchens, and basements. There should also be no underfloor heating problems, as long as heating is kept below 140.

Installation

Not only is wood flooring expensive to buy, but it is also expensive to install, as it is not really something that you can do yourself. You need a professional.

COREtec Plus was designed with the weekend warrior in mind. It’s simple tongue and groove system makes it easy to install, and the attached cork underlayment means there is no need to mess around with underlayers. If you know how to prepare the subfloor, installing COREtec plus on top should be easy and affordable.

Sound and Comfort

Other issues that are often raised with wood floors are, first that they are noisy and conduct sound around the home, and second, that it can be hard on the limbs to spend a lot of time walking on hardwood.

COREtec Plus’ cork underlayment helps deal with both of these issues. It helps muffle sound and also provides a level of bounciness that is kinder on the limbs than hardwood.

Cons of COREtec Plus

Associated Health Risks

Many people choose to steer clear of synthetic flooring such as LVP because it can emit gasses and volatile chemicals, called VOCs, into the home. While this is regulated, even the small amounts that come off some floors can be problematic for individuals with respiratory or related medical issues.

COREtec Plus floors are better than most LVP, being made exclusively from low emitting virgin vinyl and being coated with a zero-VOC natural oil. So, if you are worried about VOCs, you can breathe easy with COREtec.

Resale Value

The key issue with LVP flooring is resale value. Wood flooring is considered highly desirable, and both solid wood and engineered wood will add considerable value to your home.

LVP flooring, and even incredibly realistic options like COREtec, will add almost no value to your home’s resale value.

Limited Lifetime

Solid wood floors, cared for properly, can have a lifespan of well over 100 years. Engineered wood flooring should last at least 40 years. For LVP flooring, a maximum of 15 to 20 years is realistic.

Cons of COREtec Plus

While COREtec provides a lifetime warranty on residential installations, this is for the structural soundness of the boards. They will lose their sheen, scratch (they are scratch-resistant, not scratch-proof), and otherwise start to look dowdy at around the 10 to 15-year mark.

Unlike wood floors, that can be sanded and refinished, there is no way to breathe new life into LVP floors. It is time for a replacement.

Environmental Impact

The fact of the matter is that synthetic flooring like LVP is not biodegradable, so it will sit in landfills forever. The materials are also incredibly difficult to recycle. So, when compared to wood floors, LVP floors are a major environmental issue.

COREtec flooring does a better job than most companies when it comes to making LVP flooring as environmentally friendly as possible, as can be seen from their Environmental Responsibility Policy. For example, they use recycled wood and bamboo in their core layer, which is also biodegradable. So, while it is hard to call LVP flooring green, COREtec is one of the greenest brands on the market.

COREtec Plus FAQs

What Is The Difference Between COREtec Plus And COREtec Pro Plus?

While COREtec Plus is approved for home and commercial spaces with relatively light traffic, COREtec Pro Plus is the brand’s solution for heavy traffic commercial spaces.

Pro Plus also has a lower profile, making it more versatile for installing in commercial spaces, but it maintains the high 20 mil wear layer.

Is COREtec Plus Scratch-Resistant?

When compared to wood flooring, COREtec’s LVP flooring is extremely scratch-resistant. It comes with a 20 mil wear later as standard. This is the clear top layer that protects the plank underneath.

But that is not to say that COREtec Plus is scratch-proof; there really is no such thing. Extremely heavy objects and sharp objects can leave scratches and marks on the floor. But shoes and pet’s paws should do very little damage.

Can You Use A Steam Mop On COREtec Flooring?

Even though COREtec Plus floors are 100 percent waterproof, it is not recommended to use steam mops on these floors. Using one will likely void the product warranty.

COREtec only recommends using a slightly damp mop that is well-wrung and to use a neutral pH cleaner mixed with cool water.

Does COREtec Flooring Fade?

Just like wood floors, COREtec LVP floors will fade when exposed to sunlight. It is recommended to use curtains or blinds to limit exposure to direct sunlight. Fading is not covered by the COREtec warranty.

The Verdict

If you are looking at luxury vinyl plank flooring, COREtec plus is one of the best and most reliable brands on the market and should certainly be on your list of options to investigate.

There are many reasons why you might decide that wood floors are not appropriate for your home. It could be expense, or it could be durability, heating, or moisture concerns. But that doesn’t mean you cannot achieve a wood look.

LVP looks like real wood but is almost half the price of wood flooring. It is also DIY-friendly when it comes to installation, which can save you further. It is more durable than wood flooring, so it will not scuff and scratch as easily under daily use, and it is water- and heat-resistant. This means that it is compatible with moist spaces and underfloor heating.

While the limited lifespan of LVP flooring and the problem impact of resale value continue, COREtec has done a lot to deal with some of the key issues raised about LVP flooring. Specifically, they use environmentally-friendly material that makes the construction and disposal of LVP flooring less environmentally damaging and limits the likelihood of LVP flooring releasing damaging gases into the air of your home.

If you want wood-look flooring that looks and feels authentic, you can’t really go wrong with COREtec Plus.

If you have any comments or first-hand experiences with CORErec Plus flooring, please post them below or share your pictures via our social media.

About Jennifer Lester

Jennifer Lester is a freelance writer, blogger, and home improvement finatic. She loves to write about things that will transform your house into your dream home. Jennifer is a graduate of Texas A&M University. LinkedIn.