NovaCore Vinyl Plank Flooring Review

NovaCore Vinyl Plank Flooring Review

You may have recently noticed a new upscale display of NovaCore vinyl plank flooring at your local flooring retailer. If you didn’t immediately take notice, the sales rep may have been more than happy to steer you towards it.

This premium price tag product from NovaFloor is touted as luxury floor plank. It is advertised as waterproof, rigid, and installs over most subfloor imperfections, but does it live up to the hype?

While no floor is perfect, this product hits most of the high marks and is eco-friendly to boot.

Let’s look at some features and benefits of this well-known vinyl plank brand and one of its better offerings.

Style and Appearance

NovaCore offers two basic collections divided by plank size. You can choose from the standard 6” x 48” planks or opt for the 9” x 60” extra-large planks.

In the 6” wide collection, you will find a small eight-color range of brown, tan, and gray in several oak and hickory species patterns. This collection also features a four-sided matching micro beveled edge.

The 8” wide collection isn’t much different. You also have eight colors to choose from including a beautiful charcoal gray and tobacco brown. The species patterns here are also reminiscent of hickory and oak with a few planks that are vaguely maple.

The design of these patterns relies more on texture and color. They do that rather than trying to truly represent a tree species.

The result is something grainy with a lot of knots. Somehow, it resembles shiplap more than a real wood floor.

Some folks really go for this look. For others, a floor with this much character can seem too busy in a small room or an area with minimal furnishings.

That said, the color palette and ambiguity of the patterns make this floor versatile for many modes of décor. It works for every style from classic to trendy.

Overall, NovaCore is underwhelming when it comes to style. The lack of options and plain palettes aren’t much to write home about. However, if you are a person that gets easily overwhelmed by too many color choices, this may be a bonus for you.

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Construction and Durability

This is one area NovaCore does well in. The core and plank construction make for a very durable product that is also waterproof and suitable for install over a variety of subfloors.

The core construction is marketed as a “High Performance Core” or HPC.  Realistically, this core is not any different than other WPC cores that are made from vinyl, resin, and wood fiber composites. Despite the gimmicky name, the HPC core is still impact-resistant, waterproof, and dimensionally stable.

The printed visuals are laminated onto a thick sheet of fiber-reinforced vinyl and bonded to the core, then topped with a durable 12 mil. urethane wear layer. These planks come in at a 5.0mm overall thickness.

While not as durable as aluminum oxide or a ceramic bead wear layer, the basic urethane coating is scratch-resistant and waterproof. However, it may be more prone to discoloration in direct sunlight.

This product is great for active homes with kids or pets and can be installed in wet areas such as kitchens and bathrooms.

NovaCore comes with a lifetime limited residential wear warranty and a 10-year light commercial warranty. These warranties cover product failure, delamination, and wear-through but do not cover things like damage or failure due to improper installation.

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Ease of Installation

NovaCore, like other luxury vinyl plank products, is highly desirable for their DIY-friendly installation. A vinyl plank installation is a great first project for new homeowners. People can complete a room of medium size in a weekend with minimal tools and expertise.

NovaCore features an easy click and lock system that fits together like a puzzle. It’s a true floating floor than you can install without adhesive, fasteners, or special tools. You can even put away the power saw because you can make cuts with a heavy-duty razor knife.

This product does not come with a pad attached and it is completely optional. You can purchase a high-quality vinyl plank underlayment from your local flooring retailer.

Underlayment can help with noise reduction in large rooms with vaulted ceilings or upstairs areas to help with sound transfer to the lower level. However, it will not affect the durability or the longevity of your floor.

The rigid core feature means you can install this flooring over a variety of subfloors including plywood, particle board, gypcrete, and cement.

Another benefit to this product is the suite of matching trims available including a quarter round, t-mold, and multi-purpose reducer and stair nose combo. You can install the trims with either a snap-together trim track or set with a construction adhesive.

Whether you are a first-time DIYer or a seasoned professional, you will appreciate the easy installation that NovaCore provides.

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Eco-Friendliness

In recent years, manufacturers have been making continual efforts to produce building products that are both safe for our homes and our planet. This effort included giving vinyl flooring products a much-needed green makeover.

NovaFloor has been at the forefront of this movement with the bulk of their product line. This has come to include the NovaCore engineered vinyl plank collections.

NovaCore flooring is 100% phthalate-free bio-based content, FloorScore, LEED, and GREENGUARD Gold Certified. These standards have the purpose of defining low-emitting materials suitable for environments where people, particularly children and sensitive adults, spend extended periods of time–think schools and healthcare facilities.

Those are some impressive accolades for a vinyl product to hold.

While you may not be able to throw it in the compost pile when you’re done with it, programs exist to recycle your floor once it’s reached the end of its useful life. Check with your local waste management company to find a program in your area.

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Cost

You can only purchase NovaCore products from authorized dealers. This means your local mom and pop flooring retailer and not the big box stores. You can use the dealer locator feature on the NovaFloor website.

Many people will argue that buying from your local flooring dealer provides the best floor shopping experience. They wouldn’t be wrong.

Most dealers have a sample check-out program where you can take home a large swatch of product for a day or two. It’s much easier to see how the floor is going to look in your home from a big sample board versus the little drink coaster-sized free floor samples you get at the big box stores.

Considered a premium product, NovaCore vinyl plank costs around $6.00 per square foot. Trims and transitions range from $15-$30 each. Underlayment is variable but can cost $.30 to $.75 per square foot and the company typically sells it on a 100 square foot roll.

Since most small business flooring dealers do not carry stock, expect to pay shipping costs as well. This is highly variable but can be upwards of $150.

Depending on the dealer you purchase from, you may be able to garner a better deal for a large bulk order. It never hurts to ask.

Due to the ease of installation, this is a project you could tackle yourself and save a bundle on installation labor costs. Should you choose to hire a professional instead, you can expect to pay anywhere from $2 to $4 per square foot for installation depending on many factors.

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The Verdict

NovaCore vinyl plank flooring from NovaFloor hits a lot of high marks—or all the things we want our vinyl plank floor to have.

It’s scratch-resistant, waterproof, impact-resistant, rigid, and you can install it over a variety of subfloors. It also has a suite of matching trims and is eco-friendlier than most vinyl plank options on the market.

However, the lackluster color palette and minimal design options are not the best. Furthermore, the lack of attached pad, while not completely necessary, is certainly nice to have in a product at this higher price point.

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Sarah Williamson

About Sarah Williamson

Sarah is a self-described “flooring nerd” with over a decade of building industry experience including installation, estimation, and sales. She thrives on finding unique solutions to interior design challenges and sharing her love of creating inspired spaces through writing.

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