NuCore Vinyl Plank Flooring – 2022 Buying Guide

By Fortino Rosas / April 15, 2022 / 134 Comments

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    NuCore Vinyl Plank Review

    Wondering if you should purchase NuCore Vinyl Plank flooring?

    If you are looking to install new floors in your home, and you want a real wood or natural stone look but don’t have the budget, you may want to consider NuCore Vinyl Plank flooring as an affordable alternative.

    In this article, we will provide you with an in-depth review of NuCore Vinyl Plank flooring across 9 criteria to help you decide if it is the right choice for you.

    Our Overall Rating of NuCore Rigid Core Luxury Vinyl Plank

    Check out our ratings for NuCore flooring products across 9 criteria below:

    NuCore Vinyl Plank Overall Rating

    Pros and Cons of NuCore Flooring

    – Resembles hardwood
    – Easy installation
    – Cost effective ($2.69 to $4.79 per square foot)
    – Can be purchased online or at more than 100 Floor & Decor retail locations nationwide
    – Reported to scratch and dent relatively easily despite the wear layer
    – Grooves between planks tend to hold on to dirt and grime, making them difficult to clean
    – There have been some cases of the floor losing its sheen
    – Styles appear to change frequently, which means it may be difficult to find matching replacement planks in the future

    NuCore Waterproof Flooring Manufacturer Overview

    NuCore is the in-house LVP brand of Floor & Decor – a national chain, frequented by both contractors and consumers. The company was founded in 2000 in Georgia and is one of the fastest-growing Fortune 500 companies.

    Take note that Floor & Decor is not a manufacturer but a retailer of flooring products, including NuCore, at factory prices. Although the product’s design is from the US, it is manufactured in China but the company didn’t specify who is manufacturing the planks.

    The Complete NuCore Flooring Buyer’s Guide

    1. Selection: Styles & Colors

    Floor Critics Rating: 5.0

    NuCore vinyl planks come in numerous colors in different shades, finishes, thicknesses, and widths including wide planks. Thus, we can assure you that you’ll surely be able to find a style that will complement your existing decor with NuCore’s tons of styles.

    NuCore Vinyl Plank Flooring in a Kitchen

    If you prefer a flooring brand that can give you a wide array of options to choose from, then NuCore might be among the best options for you. Many reviewers including us love the gorgeous colors and authentic look of the planks that mimic real wood, especially the textured and EIR finish options.

    NuCore can give you what you are looking for through its two variants:

    • NuCore Waterproof Flooring
    • NuCore Performance Waterproof Rigid Core Flooring

    Below are the key features and differences between these two lines:

    NuCore FlooringNuCore Performance
    QualityStandard LinePremium Line
    Major ColorsBrown
    Multi Color
    High Variation
    High Variation
    StyleWood look
    Stone look
    Wood look
    Hand scraped
    Approximate Thickness5.5 mm
    6.5 mm
    7.5 mm
    6.5 mm
    Approximate Dimensions12 x 24 in.
    16 x 32 in.
    24 x 48 in.
    3 to over 8-inch widths
    3 to 8 inches
    Wear Layer20 mil and aboveTechtanium Plus

    What Styles Are Available?

    One of the benefits of NuCore Vinyl Planks is that there are over 100 different SKUs to choose from. NuCore Vinyl Planks come in a variety of 35 different colors and patterns. Your choices of finish include high gloss, smooth, textured, authentic texture (EIR), and hand-scraped. Styles range from airy whitewashed gray tones to deeper mahogany shades.

    As for the different finish options, below is a brief description of each so you’ll know their differences:

    • Smooth

    NuCore planks with a smooth finish have a subtle glossy effect and offer the fewest options.

    • High-Gloss

    High-gloss options have a more noticeable glossy finish but only the original NuCore line has limited options for these.

    • Hand Scraped

    Although not really scraped by hand, these options have added texture to the planks but not as defined as NuCore’s textured and EIR-finished options. Again, only the original NuCore line has hand scraped planks.

    • Authentic Texture (EIR)

    EIR, short for Embossed in Register, creates more realistic looking grains which intensifies the appearance, depth, and texture of your flooring. Majority of NuCore Performance planks have an EIR finish but original NuCore options still offer more EIR choices.

    • Textured

    Lastly, the textured option takes up the majority of the original NuCore plank options. It also imitates the source material’s real texture like EIR, but Floor & Decor didn’t really specify its exact difference with EIR options. Textured variants, though, are a little cheaper compared to EIR which is considered the premium option.

    Available Sizes and Thicknesses

    For the original NuCore, the average plank sizes are between 6”-7” wide and 48” inches long is available in thicknesses of 5.5 mm – 8.0 mm.  On the other hand, most NuCore Performance planks are 6 to 8 inches wide and only have one thickness option – 6.5 mm.

    Also, the original NuCore flooring offers approximately three times more style options compared to NuCore Performance. So if you want the premium version, you’ll have limited choices.

    Design Services

    Floor & Decor also provides free design services where you can get product recommendations and help with understanding installation methods. You can request a free design consultation from them here.

    Product Visualizer

    If you can’t decide which style is best for your room, Floor & Decor offers a product visualizer where you can upload your own photo or use their existing room samples.

    2. Durability & Quality: NuCore Performance

    Floor Critics Rating: 3.5

    NuCore offers planks that are scratch, dent, water, stain, and fade resistant. However, there is not much information about the construction of the products and there are reviews that said NuCore might have exaggerated the planks’ durability performance.

    NuCore Flooring ConstructionNuCore Performance Flooring Construction
    Source: NuCore

    Proprietary Technologies

    Although Floor & Decor did mention that they used cutting edge technology and innovative ideas, we didn’t find further information regarding what these technologies are.

    Their NuCore Performance variants do use what they call “Techtanium Plus” which is what differentiates it from the original NuCore. This extra additive to the planks’ wear layers is supposed to provide an extreme level of protection from scratches and dents for a flooring that can withstand all damages.

    But then again, there is really not much information about Techtanium Plus which makes it sound just a mere fancy name that’s not special at all. In fact, we can’t actually tell the exact difference between the regular NuCore and Performance NuCore due to lack of information.

    What we are sure about is that NuCore Performance does provide more scratch resistance than standard NuCore. Floor & Decor also stated that Techtanium Plus is at least two times more scratch resistant compared to traditional LVP.

    Core Layer

    The material construction of a flooring product is among the most important determinants of its quality and performance, especially the core layer. Most vinyl plank manufacturers would specify the type of core their products are made of.

    Vinyl plank cores are either made of wood-polymer composite (WPC) or stone-polymer composite (SPC).

    • SPC Cores – These are popular for their durability and toughness which makes them ideal for commercial settings.
    • WPC Cores – These are quieter and softer so they are more comfortable to walk on.

    While SPC cores provide resistance against damages, WPC cores provide comfort. However, NuCore didn’t provide much detail about its core composition.

    Learn more about the differences between SPC and WPC.

    For the standard NuCore planks, they just specified that it is a thick rigid waterproof core. On the other hand, NuCore Performance has what they call a thick rigid stone and vinyl-based core which seems to imply that they used an SPC core. However, this is still unclear.

    Wear Layer

    As we’ve mentioned before, the major difference between the original NuCore and NuCore Performance is their wear layer:

    NuCore Flooring

    Standard NuCore Planks also feature an anti-microbial layer to help resist mold and mildew. Although most reviews say that these planks have a 22-mil wear layer, Floor & Decor only specified a “20 mil or greater” wear layer, so there is really no exact value.

    For comparison’s sake, vinyl flooring with 12 mil to 20 mil wear layers are enough for residential spaces. So NuCore still has a good wear layer thickness.

    NuCore Performance

    Instead of the original NuCore’s anti-microbial, scratch, and stain-resistant wear layer, NuCore Performance has Techtanium Plus which they say offers maximum resistance against stains and scratches.

    Does NuCore Wear, Stain, & Fade Easily?

    Floor & Decor guarantees NuCore planks to not wear through or fade due to sunlight. The floor is also stain-resistant, and although flooring is marketed as 100% waterproof, spills should be thoroughly cleaned and dried within 30 minutes to ensure no stains set in. 

    However, do take note that there are reviews that are complaining about the grout lines being easily stained and the flooring being susceptible to scratches. Also, they have mentioned the seams popping up under specific conditions which renders the flooring not waterproof.

    But not all reviews have reported the same problems. In fact, there are those who are satisfied with their flooring’s durability with stains being easily wiped off. This proves that the quality of NuCore planks is not the same for all of the products in the same line.

    Does NuCore Flooring Scratch And Dent Easily?

    All NuCore Planks are water and scratch-resistant; however, the exact levels may not be consistent across the brand

    NuCore has one of the best scratch-resistant ratings for this type of flooring. The styles have a 20 mil or greater wear layer, which means that it should stay in tip-top shape even under heavy use, such as from the paws of pets or in commercial areas.

    But scratch-resistant does not mean scratch-proof, and if something sharp and heavy abrades against your floor, it will get scratched. Some customers who have purchased the product have noted that it scratched more easily than they had anticipated.

    Fortunately, scratches appear brown rather than white, so they blend well with the floor. They probably won’t be obvious to see unless you are looking for them. But also be aware that high-gloss finishes are more prone to see scratches and dents than matte finishes.

    We feel that the style has a huge impact on the overall durability of the flooring. (Or maybe older products are just more durable compared to the new ones.) It’s just too bad, though, that not all reviews specify what type of NuCore flooring they had a problem with and vice versa.

    For instance, customers who used NuCore Driftwood Oak said that the flooring was able to handle scratches well including those caused by moving heavy furniture. It may be because the texture and pattern of the flooring can hide flaws better compared to other styles.

    Padding or Underlayment

    NuCore. NuCore Vinyl comes with a pre-attached cork backing, making it softer on your feet and more comfortable to stand on for prolonged periods. The cork layer acts as padding and helps reduce noise from pet nails and second-floor stampedes. It is also resistant to mold and mildew which prevents your flooring from producing bad smells.

    3. Warranty, Returns And Damage Policies

    Floor Critics Rating: 4.0

    NuCore and NuCore Performance have different warranty coverages with NuCore Performance covering more scope being the premium variant. However, despite the claim that they are scratch-resistant, scratches are among the many things not included in the quite frustrating warranty limits.

    NuCore Residential and Commercial Warranties

    Both NuCore variants have a Lifetime Limited Residential Warranty, but NuCore only has a 15-year limited commercial warranty while NuCore Performance has a 20-year duration.

    What’s Covered?

    NuCore offers a limited lifetime warranty on residential installations of their product. Standard NuCore planks only cover manufacturing defects, wear, stain, fade, and pet-friendly warranties.

    On the other hand, NuCore Performance covers all of these including pet proof, extreme dent resistance, structure, moisture, underlayment, and installation over a radiant-heat subfloor warranties.

    Below is a description of each of the warranties:

    • Manufacturing Defects: A guarantee that the floor will be free of manufacturing defects.
    • Stain and Fade Warranty: It will not stain or fade as the result of exposure to sunlight or artificial light.
    • Wear Warranty: It will not wear through; wear through is considered a total loss of pattern in a minimum area of two square inches – scratches and loss of gloss are not considered as wear through.
    •  Pet Friendly Warranty: The floor will not stain due to pet urine if the floor is cleaned immediately and the urine is not allowed to dry.
    • Pet Proof Warranty: The flooring will resist stains from pet vomit, urine, and feces but you should clean them within 24 hours.
    • Extreme Dent Resistance Warranty: The product will not dent deeper than 1/16 inches under normal residential use.
    • Structure Warranty: It will not delaminate.
    • Moisture Warranty: When installed properly, the planks will not lose their integrity, buckle, or swell due to normal spills and mopping. 
    • Underlayment Warranty: The product comes with a pre-attached underlayment and you shouldn’t use additional underlayment.
    • Installation Over A Radiant-Heat Subfloor Warranty: You can install the flooring over radiant-heated subfloors given that you follow the installation requirements. (More on this later.)

    NuCore will replace or refund the portions of the floor in question, but they do not cover labor. But if the claim is approved after one year of purchase, they will only cover a prorated percentage of the material cost, determined by the number of years from the date of purchase.

    The same warranty conditions extend to commercial installations for a period of 15 years for NuCore Flooring and 20 years for NuCore Performance, excluding “high traffic” areas such as entry foyers and food preparation areas.

    The warranty is also not transferable and applies to the original purchaser only.

    What’s Not Covered?

    The warranty specifically does not cover damage caused by:

    • Improper installation
    • Negligence
    • Water erosion
    • Abrasion
    • Extreme heat or temperature
    • Cleaning other than advised
    • Heavy rolling loads
    • Non-compliant casters of furniture
    • Loss of gloss
    • Scratches

    For NuCore Performance, the moisture warranty doesn’t include damage from prolonged exposure to moisture in addition to the exceptions above.

    If you receive damaged goods, contact Floor and Decor’s Damage Specialists to arrange for the return of the product and a replacement shipment.

    Floor and Décor also accepts returns but requires the customer to cover the cost of the return shipment.

    Proration Schedule

    NuCore also has a proration schedule which determines the amount of money you’ll get back when you file a claim.

    For the residential warranties, the amount will be determined by the following formula:

    Prorated Percentage = (50 – # of years from the purchase date) / 50

    If you make a claim after 50 years, NuCore will only give you a 5% discount for your next purchase.

    For the commercial warranties, the formula below is used:

    Prorated Percentage = (Length of Commercial Warranty – # of years from the purchase date) / Length of Commercial Warranty

    For more information, read the complete warranty details for NuCore Flooring and NuCore Performance here.

    4. Price

    Floor Critics Rating: 5.0

    The price of NuCore planks is more affordable compared to other brands, so you’ll get a lot of savings in addition to the tons of styles you can choose from and it’s good performance.

    How Much Does NuCore Flooring Cost?

    Original NuCore planks cost between $2.69 and $4.79 per square foot while NuCore Performance ranges from $3.19 to $4.29 per square foot at the time of writing. The cost will depend  on what style you go with, with the top quality textured wood finish being at the top end.

    But really, these planks should comfortably fit into most home improvement budgets. NuCore flooring is at the lower end of the average cost for floors of this type, making them highly affordable. They are sold in cartons that will cover between 19-30 square feet. 

    In addition, Floor & Decor offers financing options to make completing your project more affordable and easier.

    5. Availability

    Floor Critics Rating: 4.0

    You can only buy NuCore planks in Floor & Decor stores nationwide. What’s great is that you can pick up your products the same day since they always have stocks. However, they don’t provide free samples. But when you do buy them, you’ll get discounts on your next purchase.

    Where Can You Buy NuCore Luxury Vinyl Plank?

    NuCore is sold exclusively through Floor and Decor stores. Floor and Decor has over 100 retail locations nationwide. They also have a user-friendly website with a chat feature that allows representatives to answer questions immediately.

    Items can be either shipped to you or can be picked up in store, usually within 5-10 days. NuCore’s availability ranges from in-stock styles that can be picked up the same day to special order lines. The store also carries a line of coordinating moldings to go along with your NuCore planks. Be advised, smaller items are not always in stock and may take longer to become available.

    Make sure you allow for enough time to receive everything before scheduling or planning an install.

    Before ordering anything, read the store’s policies on shipping, damages, and returns. You can find these listed on their website.

    Where to Buy Samples

    We highly recommend getting samples before making a purchase. Floor & Decor offers samples on most flooring options. The price for each flooring sample is $3.00, including shipping, and these samples are three by six inches.

    You can order samples online, up to 10 options at a time. Floor and Decor also offers a $30 discount off your next purchase over $150 when you purchase samples.

    Plus, you can return the ones you don’t like and they will give you a refund.

    6. NuCore Flooring Installation

    Floor Critics Rating: 3.5

    NuCore can be easily installed through a tongue-in-groove system, but you need to prepare the subfloor properly to avoid issues after the installation that many customers are complaining about.

    NuCore Vinyl Plank Installation Review and Guide

    NOTE: You need to follow specific guidelines when installing NuCore planks to prevent voiding the warranty and to make sure that your flooring will provide its expected performance. If you want to ensure the success of your flooring project, we highly recommend hiring a professional instead.

    Where Can You Install NuCore LVP?

    For the original NuCore flooring, you can install them on specific subfloors only like tile, plywood, vinyl, and concrete. But with NuCore Performance, the company says that they are suitable on all types of subflooring. You can find the recommended subfloors under the specifications of each product.

    A special note: if you are installing in areas of direct sunlight such as a sunroom, the manufacturer recommends that planks be glued down in those areas.

    Where Can’t You Install NuCore LVP?

    • Heavier traffic areas like commercial food preparation areas and entry foyers
    • Areas with heavy rolling loads
    • Areas affected by repeated condensation
    • Exterior applications
    • Improper/unstable subfloors
    • Areas prone to ground and excessive topical moisture

    Unlike some other lines of LVP, they also shouldn’t be used in wet room spaces.

    How Is NuCore Installed?

    NuCore Vinyl Planks are installed with a tongue-in-groove system. This system is DIY friendly and simple to understand. The flooring comes with an integrated cork underlayment, which means there is no need to purchase and install an additional underlayer.

    The key to a successful install is to prepare the subfloor adequately.

    The planks should not be installed over the carpet or an additional underlayment (except Sentinel Protect Plus Underlayment. Also, a poly-film moisture barrier is required over concrete). Make sure to follow all manufacturer guidelines and pay attention to the specific requirements for the use of vapor barriers.

    After preparing the subfloor, lay the planks out from left to right, starting at the longest wall. Make sure you lay out the entire room before beginning the installation. You’ll want to see where you need to make any adjustments or cuts before you start working.

    Remember to handle the planks with care as the tongues and grooves are pretty delicate. Work from multiple boxes so you can vary the colors and textures.

    Always buy about 10% more than you think you’ll need. It’s better to have additional material on hand in case you run short or need to make more cuts than you initially anticipated than run to the store or order more every time you are short.

    There is nothing more frustrating than running out of planks a few feet shy of finishing your project.

    When you’re ready to install the planks, lock each board to the next at the edges. You can secure any seams by tapping them down with a scrap piece of vinyl and a rubber mallet. Don’t forget to leave ¼” for expansion around walls and obstacles.

    Don’t worry if it’s slow going at first. You will get the hang of it. The flooring will go down easier and you will be able to move faster once you become more comfortable with the procedure.

    If you need installation services, Floor & Decor has partnered with Installation Made Easy to help you find certified floor installers. If you book with them, you’ll get a 5% discount.

    For more information about installing NuCore planks, you can find specific instructions under the INSTALL & PRODUCT DOCUMENTS on the product pages of your selected NuCore style.

    Also, check out the video below for installing NuCore flooring:

    Acclimatization Tips

    Be advised, the necessary acclimatization time listed on the website conflicts with the product’s warranty. Make sure you get written clarification from the manufacturer before you install the flooring.

    Although acclimatization is often not required, you need to do it if the boxed planks have been exposed to extreme temperatures below 50˚F or above 100˚F. Keep the unopened planks under room temperature for 12 hours or more. Room temperature must remain in the range of 60°F to 80°F. 

    Temperatures outside of that range may cause the product to expand or contract and lead to visual defects, which are not covered under the warranty.

    Other Installation Tips

    • DO NOT use a poly vapor barrier as the flooring material must be adhered directly to the subfloor.
    • The surface needs to be clean, stable, and most importantly, meet the installation guidelines. Also, screwing in your subflooring into the joists and sanding it to remove imperfections before installing your flooring will make a big difference to the outcome.
    • In case your flooring was exposed to moisture for a prolonged period of time, the company suggests uninstalling your flooring and drying the planks before installing them again.

    NOTE: A lot of customers have reported problems with the click-lock joints breaking and won’t fit properly, planks curling up, spaces forming between the boards, and others. But take note that the majority of the problems encountered after installation is due to an improperly prepared subfloor most of the time.

    7. Care & Maintenance

    Floor Critics Rating: 4.5

    NuCore doesn’t have special care and maintenance instructions, but cleaning and maintaining it is pretty much the same as other vinyl plank flooring. Also, they are easy to clean through mopping or vacuuming.

    NuCore Care and Maintenance Guide

    How To Clean NuCore Flooring

    In order to keep NuCore floors looking their best and lasting as long as possible, it is vital to clean them frequently and appropriately. According to the advice provided by NuCore:

    • The floor should be swept or vacuumed daily using soft bristle attachment.
    • Damp-mop regularly as needed with cleaners that do not contain wax or oil.
    • Clean up water spills immediately and do not allow water to sit.
    • Steam cleaning with residential steam mops is permitted, but it is recommended to use the lowest setting.

    Remember that failing to follow these cleaning guidelines can void your warranty.

    NuCore also advises owners:

    • Not to drag or slide heavy objects across the floor.
    • Not to leave the floor exposed to direct sunlight for long periods of time.
    • Use felt protectors on furniture and mats under rollers.
    • Place exterior and interior door mats to prevent collecting moisture and dust at entrances.
    • Wipe spills immediately and don’t allow them to dry.
    • Not to install fixed objects or cabinets on top of your flooring.

    Again, the specific care and maintenance instructions are specified in each product page.

    8. Health & Environmental Safety

    Floor Critics Rating: 3.5

    NuCore planks are GreenGuard Gold certified and have a hypoallergenic cork backing which makes them safe for your home and family.

    When searching for NuCore vinyl plank flooring reviews, you should also consider environmental and health risks associated with the flooring. The good news is that NuCore is GreenGuard Gold certified which is the highest standard for VOC emissions in addition to having a hypoallergenic backing.

    This means that NuCore is an eco-friendly and low-VOC flooring which makes it totally safe for your family. However, we didn’t find other information about sustainability on their website.

    9. NuCore Vinyl Plank Vs. The Competition – LifeProof, COREtec, Pergo, And SmartCore

    Floor Critics Rating: 4.0

    NuCore’s selection is almost the same as that of the competing brands and seem to have thicker wear layers which makes it more durable. However, if you are looking for flooring that has stood the test of time, there are better options out there.

    NuCore vs LifeProof, COREtec, Pergo, and SmartCore

    While NuCore is one of the leading new vinyl plank flooring brands on the market, it is certainly not the only option for affordable flooring that looks authentic. Let’s take a look at how NuCore compares to some of the other leading vinyl flooring brands.

    NuCore Vs. LifeProof

    LifeProof, previously known as Allure, offers a similar range of LPV flooring that is designed to look and feel like authentic wood flooring. They offer a similar flooring selection to NuCore, including designs that are more deeply embossed than standard wood-look flooring to ensure they resemble natural grains such as oak, hickory, and pine.

    Both brands also feature a soft cork underlayment for comfort and to dampen noise, as well as microbial protection that helps prevent mold. Where LifeProof stands out is that it is 100 percent waterproof, which means it is a better option for wet rooms than NuCore. LifeProof is also formaldehyde and phthalate-free, which will be reassuring to anyone conscious about bringing harsh chemicals into their homes.

    LifeProof has a wear layer of 6, 12, and 22 mils, which means it shouldn’t pick up any scratches or skid marks under normal use.

    If your floors need to put up with a lot of use, you probably want to invest in at least a 12 mils wear layer.

    NuCore Vs. COREtec

    COREtec, a line of luxury vinyl plank flooring, is manufactured by US Floors and probably looks and feels more like authentic wood than any other vinyl line currently on the market. They even look like beautiful wood planks when you take them out of the box!

    They combine real texture and graining and a micro bevel edge for the most authentic hardwood finish. While COREtec’s range looks more authentic than NuCore’s, you can also expect to pay a little more for it.

    When it comes to maintenance and durability, COREtec and NuCore are very much on a par. COREtech features a 20 mil protective wear layer, compared to NuCore’s approximately 20 mil layer, which means that both will stand up to heavy traffic, including the kind of traffic you might see in commercial spaces. Both lines use cork underlayment for walking comfort and they also mute any sounds.

    If you are planning to install your flooring yourself and you are not a DIY expert, then NuCore is your best choice. It uses a simple tongue-in-groove system. COREtec is quite a bit more complex and will require a crosscut power saw, and this may be best left to the professionals.

    But if the surface you are intending to lay your floor on has imperfections, then COREtec is your best option, as its underlayer helps hide and protect against subfloor imperfections.

    NuCore Vs. Pergo

    Pergo is probably one of the most trusted brands when it comes to laminate flooring, since they did invent the stuff about 35 years ago. They have an extensive range of hardwood-style flooring, which matches NuCore’s, but has a slightly more impressive range when it comes to other textures, such as stone or ceramic styles.

    So, if you are looking for something a little bit different, you may wish to start your search with Pergo.

    Pergo and NuCore are very similar in terms of the durability of their LVP flooring. Both offer a top of the market wear layer so your floor won’t pick up scuffs and scratches and will continue to look good, even if it is dealing with heavy traffic. Both floors are also water-resistant and won’t stain after spills if they are cleaned up within about 30 minutes.

    If your design project is ongoing and you think you may need to go back for additional flooring of the same style, then Pergo is a good choice. They are a well-established brand that is likely to have back-catalog stock available.

    NuCore seems to change their designs more frequently, which means it may be difficult to match your floors if you leave it too long. Both brands are a little unclear on the specifics of their warranty, so clarify this with your retailer before purchasing.

    NuCore Vs. SmartCore

    SmartCore certainly has fewer design options than some of its competitors in the market, including NuCore, but their design is packed with features that make it a highly desirable flooring.

    The high quality of this flooring does mean you need to pay a little more, but it is still highly affordable and you are paying for quality and innovation.

    SmartCore’s vinyl plank and tile flooring share NuCore’s easy tongue-in-groove installation system, but installation is made even easier by its patent-pending rigid constructions, which means it can smoothly overlay any imperfections in the subfloor.

    Among other things, this means there is no need to remove other flooring before laying SmartCore on top. Their product is also 100 percent waterproof, so unlike NuCore, it can be used in wet rooms.

    However, if you are laying your floor in a high traffic area or one which may need to put up with the abuse of children or animals, NuCore is your best option.

    SmartCore offers a nice 12 mils wear protective layer to prevent staining and scratches, but with NuCore, you get an ultra-durable 20 mil or more wear layer. Nevertheless, while the warranties on NuCore are a little unclear, SmartCore comes with a lifetime warranty on residential wear and a five-year warranty in the case of commercial use.


    Is NuCore Luxury A Vinyl?

    If you browse the internet for images of NuCore, you could be forgiven for thinking that it was a hardwood floor line. But in reality, it is a line of vinyl floor planks designed to mimic the look and feel of hardwood floors, at a fraction of the cost.

    But cost is not the only reason some people prefer vinyl flooring to hardwood. Vinyl flooring is easy to clean, comfortable underfoot, and can reduce the noise of feet on hardwood. This can be important to people with houses full of kids and pets or commercial spaces with a lot of foot traffic.

    Vinyl flooring is certainly not as durable as hardwood. It can get scratches and scuffs, and it has a tendency to get damaged by sunlight, heat, and water. So, vinyl is not ideal for all locations.

    Is NuCore Flooring Good?

    When it comes to luxury vinyl plank flooring, NuCore is an affordable brand that provides a genuine hardwood floor finish upon installation. It is also comfortable to walk on thanks to its cork underlayment, which also helps muffle any sounds.

    NuCore comes with an impressive 20 mil or higher wear layer to provide durability, stain, and scratch resistance. However, despite promises about long-term durability, some customers have found that it is more susceptible to scratches and stains than the wear layer would suggest.

    Customers have also noted that dirt tends to build up in the grooves between the planks, which can make the floor difficult to clean. The warranty that comes with the floor should also be reviewed closely so you know what is covered.

    Overall, this is a nice affordable option for areas where it is unlikely to need to deal with heavy items of furniture that might cause scuffs and scratches and where it isn’t going to be subject to heavy-duty dirt. The price point and easy install certainly make it an option worth considering.

    Does NuCore Flooring Need Underlayment?

    While all floors require an underlayment, NuCore comes with attached cork underlayment, so there is no need to purchase or install this separately. However, if you are laying the flooring directly onto concrete sublayers, you should still install an added vapor barrier layer.

    While NuCore has additional anti-microbial protection against mold, skipping this additional layer on concrete may still result in related issues.

    This cork underlayment is a lot softer than the plastic underlayment that is used by many other LVP lines, which means that it is both comfortable to walk on and reduces noise. People walking around in shoes upstairs shouldn’t sound like a stampede from below.

    Can you glue down NuCore flooring?

    Yes, you can glue down NuCore but use an adhesive that has been approved for installation cork flooring such as Sikabond T-21.

    Final Thoughts

    NuCore Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring is an affordable LVP option for those who want a hardwood look in their home but are working within a tight budget. The planks are affordable and the installation is easy; it is something you should be able to do yourself with care. Therefore, it is worth speaking to the specialists at Floor and Decor.

    But despite promises from the company in terms of their wear layers and their warranty, some customers have found that the floor is not as durable as it appears, and the warranty contains many exceptions, suggesting it might be difficult to make a claim.

    For this reason, NuCore should not be used in high traffic areas, where it is likely to get scuffed or in wet rooms as where it may become stained if not properly cared for.

    If you are looking for something more durable and versatile, there are a number of other LVP options on the market that are worth investigating.

    Whenever you buy this type of product, always shop around, get details in writing, and know what you’re buying before the money leaves your hands.

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

    About Fortino Rosas

    Chief Floor Critic, 32 years of experience in flooring installation and sales

    Fortino Rosas is an independent flooring contractor with 32 years of experience in residential and commercial flooring installation and sales. He joined the Floor Critics team to share his expertise with our readers. Fortino has acquired vast knowledge and skills in the areas of product selection, space planning, and installation. He has installed flooring in residential, government, and commercial office projects in the Midwest. Visit Website.

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    134 thoughts on “NuCore Vinyl Plank Flooring – 2022 Buying Guide”

    1. I have had Nucore Driftwood in my house for a month, so I cannot attest to its durability yet. But so far I LOVE this floor. I do dog rescue and have anywhere from 6-10 dogs in my house at a time. This floor cleans up so easily and is gorgeous. Everyone who has walked into my house since installed comments on how beautiful the floor looks. WOW comes out of everyone’s mouth. I cannot even feel most of the seams, so I don’t see how dirt can get stuck in there. I am also working remotely from home now in front of my computer, and I push my chair in and out at least 30 times a day. There are no marks on the floor at all. If this floor continues to hold up well, I will be thrilled. I AM thrilled right now. Best decision I ever made (for a floor).

    2. Beware of company that does not allow you to leave reviews on their product on their website. NuCore product looks amazing, but their click-lock joints are absolute junk. Installed in May 2020 in our Laundry room (less than 80sq ft). By August 2020, the click/lock joints had already cracked and began to separate from the tiles just from walking over the floor. The ‘grout’ lines of the tile also had a tendency to stain easily and I could not get them to look the same once they had stained. Have to completely re-do this floor after less than 3 months of traffic. Fortunately the investment was small because it was a small room. So disappointed because the product looks nice overall.

    3. Margaret Tolliver

      I wished we had read some of these reviews before buying NuCor Rigid Core flooring. My husband has installed many floors in the past including vinyl plank, regular hardwood, and even bamboo. They have always turned out great, but this flooring is the pits. The seams pop up so that you cannot even slide a chair with felt pads across the floor without it catching on a seam. It was only installed 6 months ago so I hate to think how bad it will get after a couple of years. It was not cheap either. It should be recalled in my opinion.

    4. Hi. I rarely leave feedback about items, but wanted to put feedback here so that others don’t have to go through what we have. We decided to redo the floors in our entire house with NuCore (about 1100 sq ft). We absolutely loved the color (Graycliff, I believe) and the price. We did install ourselves, which was shockingly difficult. The boards were not easy to cut (we ended up using a table saw), the tounge and groove connectors would break, and some pieces simply wouldn’t fit together properly. After install, there were a couple of areas that we wished we’d done better, but we loved the overall look and feel. We’ve had zero issues with scratching and we have two very active border collies. Now, 11 months later, the big issue is that more of the connectors are breaking over time. The planks are separating and some of the ends are curling up. At first we blamed ourselves, thinking we should have hired a professional installer. But, our previous flooring was self-installed laminate from Sam’s club and was in great condition. The only reason we replaced it was because we wanted a new color. Over the last month has been severe deterioration and we have no idea why. More spaces between boards are forming. Sadly, we are hoping to move in the next few years and we’ll have to replace the flooring again. It should have been a huge red flag that Floor & Decor doesn’t allow reviews on their products. Bottom line: do NOT buy this product.

    5. This is the worst possible flooring. It was installed per spec. Within 15 minutes, our furniture made major dents in it. ANYTHING that slides across it, from a small plant stand to a dog, makes huge scratches in it. A drop of wine soaked straight into it and is permanently stained. We saw the positive reviews and were horribly sorry for our choice. Can’t wait to tear it up and replace it. It looked awful within a week. Should also note that when I went back to try to warranty it, it took forever to get responses and eventually we were told that scratches and dents were not part of the warranty. So… just expect scratches and dents.

    6. Their lack of contact info says everything. Look through their warranty guide and install PDFs. No address. No phone number. No tech support. Much like other products sold by floor and decor. It all seems very sketchy to me. No thank you!

    7. It looks like we may be the only ones to have had a positive experience with this product.
      We used the color “Westover Hickory” (No longer available).. is a darker brown with pattern variations in it- (kind of looks like an old barn floor), is 8mm thick.
      Was laid over a plywood subfloor, (Pier and Beam home). My college age sons built the house, and installed this themselves. (Translates into the subfloor was in no way perfect:)
      Usage: We installed this in a ranch house in far West Texas.
      High dirt area! Wind storms 50 mph, sand blows in windows, under doors, you name it. (It is swept daily). Cowboys come in daily with boots on (Occasionally spurs). Dogs in and out, sometimes a “bottle baby” goat during kidding season. We sweep it daily, but don’t overmop it. Have only ever used water on it, no soap. We didn’t start with a high gloss finish to begin with, ours looks kind of “flat”, so maybe that’s why we don’t appear to have lost any “sheen”?
      1). We do have a scratch where we replaced the refrigerator and it dug into the flooring.
      2). I agree, the material is flimsy to install, appears to be a “thick cardboard” on the “click and lock” part. If the seams are not butted incredibly tight at installation, you can see them in the flooring. (Someone mentioned using a mallet during installation- we just “click and locked” it, no mallet, no glueing seams, no underlayment)…..In my opinion, any area where we have that you can see a seam has NOT happened after the fact- my kids laid it that way. (Installation error). (You could see it as they laid it if it was not done correctly)…They pulled and redid:)
      Even with a few of those spots, the floor has held up well under high usage.
      3). I agree, dirt can get stuck in the “seams”- but I personally don’t find that any more irritating than trying to keep grout clean in a floor tile installation. (Yes, we seal our grout:).
      1). We have it laid in a wet area (kitchen), and have no floor damage due to water, even with the ice cube spills in front of the refrigerator. (We do clean up water spills regularly).
      2). We have one area that gets direct sunlight. It has not discolored or warped, nor suffered any damage. (May be cause the cat is always laying here:)
      3). We did put cushion castors under furniture- they appear to have worked. (But we aren’t a family that frequently rearranges our furniture).
      Note: This is the second ranch home we have used it in-the other one was in South Texas, (much higher humidity), again pier and beam, we had no major issues with it there..
      Our dye lot was made in 2017. I notice most of these posts are after that time period. I wonder if possibly the product used to have a higher quality???
      After reading all of the above reviews, we won’t be putting it in the 3rd ranch house, now under construction:).

    8. I replaced about 900 square of this flooring in my condo myself. I am a very detailed oriented and anal person when it comes to this kind of stuff. I will tell all the people that are putting in this floor that the wooden sublfoor beneath it is the heart and sole of how its going to turn out and last. You HAVE TO SCREW in your subflooring into your joists! Before i installed these floors i screwed in all the subflooring into joists, i then sanded the entire floor to get any slight imperfections out before flooring. I did all this on half of the room and the other half i didnt because i didnt know about it at the time. About 1 year after you should see the difference. The part of the room that i didnt prepare properly is terrible. All the boads are splitting , it creaks and you can feel the unevenness in them. It has to be redone. The other half of the room i did prepare probably is a million times better and even in the kitchen ive had a few pretty big water leaks and the boards are still fine. For the price i would have gone with a different brand from home depot but im about to do another 350 square feet next week to finish 2 bedrooms so ill give another update later in time. Also i did not use any moisture barrier with these rooms. Im not a contracter and i do not do this for a living but ive learned how to do alot of home projects throughout the years and most times do a better job myself then most professionals. If you want a near perfect floor spend alot of time preparing the wooden subflooring PERFECTLY!

      Elliot S

    9. When I decided to install NuCore LVP throughout my house, there were not a lot of reviews. The ones i read were mostly neutral or promoted most likely funded by NuCore. At first I loved this flooring! For about two weeks. I first noticed that the flooring lost its sheen even though I used Bona which is what Floor and Decor recommended. I also started to see small scratches, which according to the F&D rep, it was scratch resistant. Not. Within less then one year of installation, planks started coming up. I believe the connections are basically made of cardboard and are likely to fail. We pulled out the separating planks and redid them, being excruciatingly careful that it locked in. Well, within 2 days, it started separating again. Listen, I paid thousands of dollars for this flooring so my expectation is that it would last longer than it did. I regret this purchase so much. . I called floor and decor and talked to the manager who said they he would email me a claim form. He never sent it. At this point I am ready to glue these planks. But I highly recommend to anyone looking to install LVP, to wait until they have perfected it. I have read numerous sites where separation and failure is a common problem. I find it interesting that the flooring industry promotes a product that consistently fails consumers.

      1. Having the same issue. Did gluing help with the separation at the joints? I’m about to replace about a dozen planks after only 2 years.

      2. Hey,
        I am in the same boat as you. I hate these floors. We purchased them because after all the reviews stating they don’t scratch and could stand up to life. I thought I was getting good quality. That is NOT the case. I have two small kids and whatever they do will scratch the floor. I have already decided if we sale the house, my son’s playroom would need to get replaced. We put furniture pads under everthing but the floors still dent to the weight of the furniture. I regret the purchase. In addition, I can see every toe and foot print on the floors. I have used the Bona cleaner as recommended, but I am curious if I should be using something else. At this point, I don’t know what my next steps will be. I have had them a year and they’re horrible. I plan to do a REAL blog post to share how horrible they are with people.

      3. We had NuCore flooring installed by our contractor after he convinced us it was the best option during our remodel. Basically he didn’t want to deal with the demo of 1,300 of tile floors so convince us to go with NuCore and lay it over the tile. BIG mistake. Like others, planks are popping up. We also have strange smell (musty) coming from floors no matter how often they are cleaned. We have large dog so they are scratched like crazy. We were assured this was not going to happen. Now trying to get contractor out to at least fix the planks that are popping up is near impossible. And I can feel uneven areas if I walk barefoot. I wish like crazy I would have listened to the voice in my head saying not to get these during our renovation! When we go to sell our house in the future these floors will hurt us.

    10. I’ve read most of these reviews and am very disappointed in how they are written because most of them leave out the details that make a difference. If you have a problem with NuCore, why not provide all of the relevant details instead of just sounding off about your bad experience. What NuCore product did you use? Provide the manufacturer’s specs for the product. What type of subfloor did you install it over? …and so on. If you say you will follow up later with an update – then do so. If you are not going to follow-up, then don’t say you will. To further clarify what I am driving at, if I say I bought a car made by some well known manufacturer (Ford, Toyota, etc), and it is a piece of junk – that is not useful at all. Why? Because all car manufacturers typically make reasonably good cars, but sometimes some have problems. When they have problems, it is not all of their cars that have problems, but usually a specific model, possibly with certain features. The same applies to flooring, or TVs, or whatever else you are buying.

    11. Installed in July, now it’s February. 2 bathrooms, bedroom and hall way.
      Terrible smell of damp coming from I don’t know where!
      Additionally, I had numerous issues:
      1. Pink paper builder put down, got wet and turned flooring PINK. Could not clean with anything. Had to replace these pieces.
      2. A lot of pieces warped by sliding door which gets full sun.
      3. Scratches and potted
      4. Floor and Decor told me to have a licensed flooring specialist come out to inspect at my cost ($330.00). If it is mft fault they will pay, but I can guarantee they will blame installers.
      Wish I read here before I purchased this crap…
      I’m first time at home addition/remodel single female, single income who does not have money to waste.
      So may mistakes made, and you don’t know who to trust.

      1. Thank you for posting this…. We don’t have a lot of money and you basically are saving me from a big mistake. Floor and Décor really pushing this floor.

      2. Sorry you had this bad experience. I am hoping you can save me from the same. Can you tell me if a 6 mil vapor barrier was installed on top of the concrete before laying down the underlayment and flooring? Also, did this ever get resolved for you?

    12. After hearing from Floor and Décor how great NuCore was in regard to water, scratch resistant, and look….we had our new $700,000 house installed with NuCore…….NOT happy about it. Can’t get Floor & Décor to do anything……Does anyone have NuCore Corporate information / contact info?…….Thank you.

        1. Whatever you do, don’t buy it!!!!! No matter what you do or use, it never looks clean. It always looks streaky. I hate this floor!!!!!

          1. I agree! Do not buy this product! Its the worst! The floors do not look clean regardless of what you have purchased. I regret going with this floor. It was a waist of money. I really believe I’ll sale in the next 3 -5 years or pay another 7k replacing the freaking floors. They spilt at the seams, never look clean, and my all time number one reason… THEY SCRATCH AND DENT! Its awful.

        2. I also was talked into using NuCore by Floor and Decor. We have had this flooring less than one year and the sheen is gone, the flooring has already started to fail at the seams. And unfortunately, there is not enough reviews to assist people in making a decision. I was pro NuCore until the flooring started to look terrible. It cost me thousands of dollars and I regret every dollar I spent as I am planning to sell my house. I don’t know what I will do now as I am looking at large areas of replacement. Do yourself a favor and steer clear of NuCore.

          1. I have the same problem. After 6 months, my floor looks terrible. It is completely scratched up and dented everywhere. I have furniture pads under all of my furniture so that the scratching is minimized. I am even getting scratches under my area rugs. I filed a claim with Floor and Decor and their answer was basically, sorry, scratches are not covered. I get that there is some wear and tear expected, but this is ridiculous. I’m talking hundreds of deep scratches. I had an inexpensive laminate floor for 10 years that performed far better than this.

        3. The house we just bought last year had Nucor put in the whole house in 2018. It was put over cement slab. It already had a few deep scratches in it from the previous owner moving out I suppose. The slab was uneven and not prepped properly before putting the new cord down but did not seem to make any difference we had to replace a few boards due to a leak that was not terribly difficult we did it ourselves. My only problem with the floor is it
          Has lost it shine and Bona cleaner is not giving the shine back. Manufacturers say not so use wax or oil based cleaners. After mopping twice with Bona and water ( because we had popcorn scraped off the ceilings ) the floor still looks hazy. I used Pledge and it looks much better. It helped a lot.

          1. Sharon Diane Merritt

            Can you use fabuloso on these floors?
            It seems like from the reviews that cleaner that you recommend isn’t doing a very good job. I have some sticky tape residue on my floor from the installer what can I use to take that off?
            So far the only thing I’ve used on it is a swiffer, I’ve only had the floor for 2 weeks.
            Sharon Merritt

          2. I decided to remodel my condo which had some laminate installed already and was very satisfied. So decided to purchase nucore. Concrete was leveled this time since salesman said If not warranty would be voided.had to purchase lot more than needed since they break very easy.eas not happy with outcome so paid another contractor to redo entire floor came out same. Removed flooring, threw in trash bought lifeproof. Very happy. Do not waste your money on this product

            Since I was paying about double the price as previous flooring. I was expecting it to be a superior product. The salesman went on and on about how great it was. I hired a professional flooring contractor to install, contractor was not happy with product kept

      1. Francesco Mallamace

        my daughter has the same issue here in GA floor decor said contact the manufacture try the corporate number has been disconnected .

      2. Thank you for posting this and keeping me from making a BIG mistake! I will NOT shop at Floor and Décor! Sounds like they are horrible and they keep pushing this floor!

      3. You bought a 700,000 dollar house,and bought one of the most important items for your home at floor and decor?
        Why would you go to a outlet who does not install,does not lable their boxes as to indoor air quality,and is notorious for blaming installation for product failure?
        Why would you bypass a store who sells and installs flooring that has a top rated history in the flooring business?
        Was the savings worth the do over?
        Every flooring store wishes it could just sell flooring to the consumer then wash their hands of any responsibility.
        It simply is not reality-based.
        It order to operate in this manner you have to careless about the consumer and have passed responsibility for selling cheap products to your customers.

        1. Joshua Sherrill – I have to say, that was the first question that popped into my head as well. If you’re buying a $700,000 home, why would you go with the cheap stuff, a dicey guarantee, and a seller who doesn’t back the product? And to install it throughout the house, including all the high-wear and public areas, and not just in some out-of-the-way areas where you could reasonable sacrifice the high-end stuff for basic?

          I think Elliot’s review on his self-install project was the most valuable here. You’ve got to do the prep work, and do it properly – no skipping, no short cuts. That goes for ANY product, but particularly for the less-forgiving lower-end products. If you’re hiring out the installation, then you need to stay on top of the person doing it to make sure this happens.

          Thanks to both Joshua and Elliot – I appreciate the details and you’ve both helped me make a decision.

    13. Nucore sucks. I spent thousands on the plank flooring with grout and it is awful. The grout strip breaks off during install (had it professionally installed) and Nucore doesn’t back their product — blamed all the breaking of the grout strip on my installer. Don’t buy it!

      1. I’ll remain anonymous until I get a resolution. I had these floors professionally installed 2 months ago over 900 sqft. The floor is squeaking and the grout lines are popping out all over the place. If you drop anything on the floor and it hits the grout line, it stains. I dropped a potato chip and it stained the grout line. Weird! I had initial hesitation but loved the pattern so much that I went with it. I’m so upset right now and hoping that I get it resolved with F&D.

        1. I wish I would have seen this sooner. I would venture to say we have the same style flooring. If you don’t mind would you be willing to give an update on a resolution? We absolutely love style and pattern but the staining of the grout line is definitely a problem.

    14. DO NOT BUY THIS PRODUCT!!!!!! I spent thousands of dollars on a floor for my basement. I was assured that it was waterproof. Recently we got water when a pipe broke. We immediately pulled up the floor as instructed and let the floor dry. We started getting mold on some of the boards before we put them back down. I was told by the manufacturer that while the boards are waterproof, they are not flood proof. This was not a flood. The boards were pulled up immediately when they got wet. It has taken two months to get this response from the manufacturer. Every step of the way has been completely and utterly frustrating. I have had to call repeatedly and email repeatedly to get anyone to respond. I think they give you the run around hoping you will eventually just drop the claim and repurchase.

      1. As a professional flooring installer with 19 years of experience, this is the first time I have installed NuCore flooring. The installation was for a commercial application – a clubhouse for a small homeowners association. Manufacturers recommendations were followed and installed over a plywood sub-floor that required no vapor barrier. The installation was performed in January of this year 2019. I received a call back in September (nine months later) and was surprised how much of the flooring had separated at the butt joints and is now lifting up at the seams. This floor will require complete replacement. Approximately 1200 square feet. I will be in contact with Floor and Decor to see what the manufacturer will reimburse or replace. Very disappointed in this product.

        1. I am freaking out over all of these comments about how bad this floor is…. Have decided not to purchase and not going to use Floor & Décor as I don’t see they are helping with any of the issues I’m reading about. They sure push this flooring!

    15. Trying to find out what type of furniture castors I need to buy. My floor is being installed this week and I need them quick, but don’t know what to get. Can I put my rubber backed rugs on this flooring without a problem?

    16. The wear layer is listed under specs. I have used Nucore Windsong with no problems. 6.5 thickness. 22 mil wear layer. Cork back.

    17. We plan to install Nucore 6.5mm vinyl with a cork backing onto a concrete floor in our lower level. Any insights as to the type of underlayment to purchase? Will a plain moisture barrier suffice? Or, should we get a premium underlayment to increase warmth and to soften the floor? We live in Illinois, so it gets very cold in the winter.

      1. What did you decide to do? I’ve been debating the standard moisture barrier or Sentinel Protect Plus Underlayment. The later is appealing because it says if helps with minor subfloor imperfections.

        1. I just purchased the Nucore Performance and in the instructions it says that the Sentinel plus underlayment is necessary to not void warranty. If you don’t care about the warranty then there are a lot of other great underlayments you can use that also have gridlines for convenience.

    18. As I finished 2 additional rooms for phase 2, I’m back to share my experiences on the 6.5mm Dune Rigid Core SKU 100494475 from Floor & Decor.

      I’m happy with the first room finished about 4 months ago. The vinyl top finish seems to withhold normal day to day use just fine, as long as you don’t drag heavy objects over it (furnitures etc), as clearly stated on the product packaging. Regarding the waterproofing capabilities, I had some scrap pieces left outdoors on the front patio. Aside from slight bending, they held up pretty good against rain. I even dusted off a couple of pieces and used it in phase 2.

      The 2 rooms in phase 2 have concrete sub-floors, which in general are flat in very good condition, and everything went pretty smooth. One of the rooms has sunlight come in thought a sliding door for most of the year. Time will tell if the color on the planks will hold up.

      My experience with the installation is that these Luxury Vinyl Planks do need to be handled with care, as others have pointed out. The tongues and grooves are pretty delicate, nowhere near the rigidity of the hardwood/bamboo/laminate counterparts. But as I previously mentioned, these LVPs cut like butter and installation was really a breeze. I mainly used a wet tile saw (not nearly as powerful as a circular saw/miter saw) to make some long cuts. For most of the short cuts in phase 2, I simply used a utility knife. Cut a few times and it snaps in half along the cut line.

      Link to my previous post:

    19. Just had 1500 sf of Cheyenne installed in AZ. The color is good, and I wanted something with some texture after removing a very slick laminate. However, this is WAY too much texture. It looks dirty even after being cleaned, as both sweeping and damp mopping leave residue in the grooves. Dust mop is worthless, and have to go with vacuum to clean up pet hair from 1 cat, as it catches on the rough surface. I regret not waiting for CaliBamboo to ship their LVT when they offered to match the Nucor price!

      1. There is a product called Quick Shine. It works beautifully. Shines and seals. Can be found on Amazon or at Home Depot. Reapply every few months.

        1. I am an installer and retired USAF IG inspector. When I install any type of flooring I take photos of the surface the rolls of poly vapor barrier, the tape used to join the poly sheets, the amount of overlay between the poly, and everything mentioned in the installation guide. When the floor is complete i burn a CD for the customer and walk them through all the photos and how the install is done to the tee. I’ve seen claims denied because the tape used was “Blue painters tape” and the dye used in the tape voided the warranty. Crazy as it sounds, I don’t plan on giving any wiggle room if a claim has to be made. The floor is a major purchase and should be an investment not a liability, I don’t know everything about how the product is made but I love making the manufactures live up to their claims.
          If you have a floor installed ask the installer to take photos of everything possible, box lot #, store receipt, salespersons name, store #, and all original product packaging required to match the install instructions. I even take pics of removing old flooring and prep. If the product requires acclimation be creative.
          The response you get from the installer will tell you how confident they are. You can never have too many pics.
          I’m anal and proud of it.
          Good luck.

    20. As a consumer who purchased and installed, I would warn you, DO NOT BUY THIS PRODUCT unless you want divots throughout your floor and the run around from Floor and Decore AND the manufacturer.

      I purchased this product and had this JUNK product installed throughout my home. And immediately after installation there were indentations everywhere from my furniture!!!! If you sat in the dining room chair indentations were left on my floor. My twin bed in the guest room left marks without having anyone sleep in it.

      I filed a claim and Floor and Decor sent a company to ‘inspect my floors’. The report came back saying there were no defects in the product and blamed my installer. Tell me how a flooring with divots in it is the cause of an installer?!? Additionally they said my furniture had no protectors. Excuse me but am I supposed to put furniture protectors on every single piece of furniture in my home?!? Absolutely absurd to expect this from a consumer. I get a phone call from the manufacturer which is based out of FL and the woman on the phone is absolutely rude and not understanding whatsoever. They offered me more of this ***** floor to replace the pieces that had dents! WTF, you really think this is going to fix my problem… by giving me more of the crap to put in my home?!?

      I’m sorry to anyone that has purchased and installed this product in your home. I know you pain… buckling at the edges, locking mechanisms that are flimsy as heck, so soft the weight of your furniture leaves dents all over, a company and manufacturer that won’t accept responsibility for the poor product. You don’t see any reviews online because if you had to rate it, THIS LEMON product would get POOR reviews from so many consumers. Sure you will get a positive review from time to time but in my opinion this product deserves more negative review than positive. TRUST me on this. DO NOT PURCHASE. Spend the money and buy a better quality laminate than this, you will thank me later. I would post pictures if I could.

        1. I bought spalted black walnut 6.5 flooring for several rooms in my house; appropriate 720 square feet. About 4 months I finished installing it in my kitchen and family room. The problem is there are spots on the floor that will not clean no matter what I use they are still there. I have three more rooms to do but I feel this product does not stand up to the durability it represents. I’m hesitant to complete the other rooms in fear of the same thing happening. It’s a shame because I really like the floor.

      1. Douglas Summers


        I agree with you, I purchased and installed this product in my basement, I FEEL LIKE A SUCKER! DO NOT BUY THIS PRODUCT!

        Poor quality, awful material. Please stay away from this product!

        1. I’m sorry to hear about your experience! Can I ask the specs of your flooring? Plank thickness and wear layer? Thanks!

          1. I would like to purchase this flooring, but I would like to know if it was installed professionally or DIY from YouTube.

      2. Thanks for the insight on the divots in the floor, we were considering this flooring and didn’t think about the marks from furniture sitting on it. As we just got a sample and can see how divots could be left in it, it doesn’t have a hard surface. We’re definitely reconsidering to our other option. I hope you get your issues fixed to your satisfaction.

      3. all heavy furniture and chairs should have plastic and or felt on bottom of all legs that touch the ground. That is common sense . With the way this review was written , maybe you gave too much attitude-FIRST

    21. We bought a home with NuCore flooring installed through the whole house. No problems with dents or scratches, but it has a woodgrain texture that is hard to clean. Sand stays in the grooves and mopping does not get all the dirt. People leave with dirty socks. Yuck.. I would never recommend this textured flooring.

    22. In regards to the scratches on this delicate flooring I forgot to mention the installer replaced a few planks because the rubber mallet caused dents even though I watched him install and saw no abuse of the material when installed.

      Bought from Floor and Décor in Costa Mesa, CA. Not helpful. Stated it was out of their hands and have to go to a website to file damage claim.

    23. Just installed nucore waterproof flooring 2 days ago and saw a 3 foot deep visible scratch across it after dragging a light wood dining chair while cleaning. The chair has no metal/debris under the legs – only wood. I then looked under a plastic plant vase on the floor and under the plastic legs of a plastic 3 lb child chalk board, and those too caused deep scratch marks. Very disappointed. Afraid to walk on it with shoes or my wife wearing high heels.

      1. We did our entire home with Nucor and am so unhappy. Scratches everywhere and the finish is so dull that it always looks dirty. And lastly, the sections under our sliding glass doors keep popping up from the sun and heat, so I have to keep it covered in heavy carpets! We have used laminate in other houses and never had any of these problems.

    24. I see a lot of posts here but none of them list the thickness of the product they settle on, 3 mil, 6 mil or 6.5 mil Nucore? To compare 3 mil and 6 mil is like comparing apple and oranges. Please list the thickness when you post. Thank you.

      1. 1mm = 40 mils

        Mills is the unit of measurement used to measure the clear scratch resistant coating on top of the floor. Also used to measure the thickness of paint in walls.

        MM (millimeters) is the unit of measurement most commonly used when measuring the overall thickness of vinyl or marinate flooring.

      2. Tom, I think what you are asking is what is the thickness of it, 3mm, 6mm, 6.5mm, etc? The thicker the product, the easier it is to install over non-perfect substrates. And what is the wear layer, which could start low around 5 and go up to 22 for residential and much higher for commercial. The wear layer is what will determine how easily it dents and scratches I just ran a quarter over and over a Lawson WPC until the quarter became hot and it didn’t have a mark on it. The Lawson is a 20 MIL WPC. I also left water sitting on it for 24 hours (where the planks meet) and the water just dried up and washed away the water ring. NuCore is 20 MIL. I intend to put down a test area in our home to see how true the claim is, as well as for pet urine damage, since that is our primary reason for changing from carpet to WPC.

        Update: Oops! Meant to clarify the wear layer of around 5 MIL – 22 MIL.

        1. How did your test go? I was considering buying this NuCore flooring with cork back but after reading all the complaints about NuCore flooring, I’m a bit hesitant. How was your test?

    25. Did one of the 3 rooms as phase 1 about 3 weeks ago with the 6.5mm Dune Rigid Core SKU 100494475, so far so good. I agree with what others mentioned that the planks are pretty thin thus require very flat sub-floors. Spent an entire day removing carpet and prep the wood sub-floor, removing every staple and patching every hole I could find. Also must handle the planks with extra care to avoid damaging the corners. The plus side is it’s very easy to cut and didn’t generate a lot of dust. I used a wood circular saw blade on a wet tile saw (not nearly as powerful as a circular saw/miter saw) to make some very long cuts, even a tile saw cuts it like butter.

      We have a metal frame king size bed putting all the weight on 4 tiny feet. Time will tell if the planks would dent over time…

      Phase 2 with the other 2 rooms will start next month, difference is they have concrete sub-floors. Will update here when done.

      1. Any update on installing over concrete? We’ve had it installed over tile and were disappointed with the way it seems to pop up on some seams along with just generally feeling hollow where the floor isn’t completely even. We are building a home now and the builder uses this instead of wood, but obviously will install over slab instead of existing tile. We hate their tile selection at the design center, so we are curious how this installs over concrete?

        1. We installed over concrete and have had no problems. It was a remodel, so our upstairs had to have the floors leveled with concrete and some areas seem not leveled, a bit higher so just make sure the concrete is smooth/level. Otherwise, great product for dogs and kids, ours looks like French Oak.

        2. I had this professionally installed 6 months ago this n a concrete floor. There are issues with mold on the cork due to moisture. I greatly recommend placing a moisturize barrier down first.

          1. Unanimous:
            Did you purchase the NuCore Performance / Regal Forge/ Waterproof rigid plank with cork back? Did you lay a moisture barrier? I was told that NuCore Performance came out only a few months ago and I really like the look but the reviews I’ve read say otherwise. i understand there are 2 NuCore product lines?

    26. If we already have tile down do we still have to install under layment? By the way, we’re in Az where we have almost no humidity.

      1. You can but expect this crappy product to dent from the weight of the pool table. Mine dented heavily from the weight of my living room couches. I would NOT recommend this junk product. Floor and Decor should be embarrassed to sell this crap.

        1. I completely disagree with Stephanie. We’ve had this floor for a year and absolutely love it. I’ve had no issue with furniture dents and we have a family with 3 small kids. Our furniture gets moved a lot and our kids are rough. After 12 years with pre-engineered hardwoods that damaged super easily, this flooring has been a dream! We love Nucore! About to install in the house we’re building as well.

          1. Where do you live? I’m in Texas and my aunt has this flooring and LOVES it, so we were also giving it a go as well. I already bought 1120 sqft of it, but have yet to lay it out.

          2. I haven’t had any issues with nucore either. And we have cats that run all over it with full sized claws and plenty of furniture has been moved across it. There are places it has scratched when my mom dragged a dresser with a metal point sticking out over it, but that’s to be expected. We had engineered hardwood in the old house and the nucore vinyl is so much more durable and much more forgiving of floor that’s not level during install. Our engineered woods would click and squeek over unlevel areas..

    27. Can you use Nucore laminate planks (6.5mm) to support an 8′ pool table or will it dent and/or buckle from the heavy weight?

      1. NuCore is vinyl, not laminate. And from Kamila’s comment that it is 6 MIL, I would not suggest a pool table. The higher the wear layer MIL, the better the plank – little to no damage.

        The NuCore we are looking at for our house is 6.5mm thick and 22 MIL wear layer, 100% waterproof. Use felt protection, never use rubber-backed protection on furniture or rugs.

      2. I had an 8’ pool table on my nucore with a water vapor lining in my basement as well as an iron queen bed, a single bed and furniture of which I move all around with ease. I never took my pool table off the little individual dollies I had on as it made it easy to move around.
        No dents any where or buckling after 4-5 years

    28. Just went to floor and decor to check out their NuCore line after going to several local flooring companies and getting outrageous prices for vinyl plank. The look and feel of the flooring seemed on par with the higher end brands I’d seen at half the price. Was told it has a 22mil wear layer!

    29. Don’t understand why we had to order the transition pieces. They were special order and not available in the store. We were also charged around 20.00 for delivery to the store. These pieces should be available, you need them to install.

    30. Small project but am not at all happy with the effort going into making the seams not visible. Light color could be problem but I don’t feel this is a quality product. Snap in system is too thin and delicate. Aborting this product and going with tile. Not at all happy after 2 boxes. Would not recommend.

    31. I have over 12 years residential remodeling and painting experience. I have installed numerous hardwood floors and laminate floors over the years and with the exception of normal aggravations and things that go along with this type of work I have no real complaints… until now.

      I just installed some NuCore vinyl plank flooring (cityscape 12 x 24 x just shy of 1/4”) And within a couple of days corners are popping up and edges are coming loose especially in the main walkway of the room. I did have my doubts when I noticed how small the groove is that the flooring snaps into. I measured just shy of a 16th of an inch. Where it did snap together easy that part was true, but the tongue and groove is very fragile and would break with any slight adjustment. I do not recommend this flooring. It was a complete waste of time and money.

    32. We are trying to compare quality difference between Lowes, Smartcore Luxury Vinyl Plank/Cottage Oak and Nucore 6mm light gray plank with cork backing.

      Any comments or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

      1. I must say, I am totally pleased with NuCore to date. My wife and I started installing our floor in our lake home in Michigan… colder winters than here in Ohio… and a lot of sand! We started putting the floor down in January and just now finishing up (with having to order additional product – no problem with matching or similarities which may cause concern). We have no complaints… a full summer of use… water, sand, moving items around during construction and at times 10 people and 3 labradoodles and one golden doodle!

        Price was in line and installation… once you get started, goes easier. I highly recommend using a scrap piece to tap pieces together… also I like the option of using glue if needed along some edges.. like the bath tub or by our kitchen island. We ran this floor throughout our entire house- bedrooms and all- love the ease of making it all fit together from room to room. RECOMMEND. Bought in Columbus Ohio… installed in NW Michigan!

    33. I purchased my flooring in Arizona from Floor and Decor who assured me that summer heat would not affect the product. NOT SO. It buckled under the heat and they now deny my warranty because the manufacturer said the room temperature should not have exceeded 80 degrees. I am a snowbird and I know of no snowbird that leaves their airconditioning below 80 when they leave. I would never recommend this for hot climates. Floor and Decor ignores my complaint and I am now left with replacing an entire floor in my house even though the product is less than a year old.

      1. First of all 80* is too high, I’ve been in HVAC for 37 years and I have recommended that. More so, my clients would do so. High temp equals high humidity. That was your problem, not the flooring.

        1. You May Be Wrong! The humidity in AZ is extremely low! So low that people often use Evaporative coolers down there instead of A/C systems.

        2. 7/7/2019 — I’m in Florida. My air-conditioning thermostat is set at 79°. And I use ceiling fans. If you would like to come and keep my thermostat lower, would you pay the electric bill from Duke Energy that’s going to come? Sometimes we have to keep our thermostat up some. We can’t afford not to…

      2. Also purchased Nucor flooring at Floor and Decor in Arizona and the flooring buckled the first summer when there was no air conditioning.

        Was not told by anyone that there was a temperature range that this floor needed to stay within or it would not be covered by warranty. Temp range is 60-80. Interesting that now this temperature range is talked about by the sales people at Floor and Decor. Be aware snowbirds, do not install this flooring in Arizona unless you plan to run your air conditioner during the hot summer.

    34. I used Nucore Driftwood Oak Plank on my rental 2 years ago and it still looks brand new. When I got a sample I wanted to see how tough it was compared to laminate. So I took my house key and rubbed it multiple times with pressure against the surface of the product to test its scratch resistance. It survived without a mark. The laminate samples had gouges and unsightly scratch marks after my little test. The Nucore has survived renters with dogs and kids.

      As for divets from walking or heavy furniture use I haven’t seen any. But then again the Driftwood Oak Plank pattern and texture maybe hiding those flaws better than other types.

        1. I have the Driftwood Oak also, Put it throughout the house except for 2 bath rooms, Kitchen, and entrance. This was installed 18 months ago over a concrete fool only the Driftwood planks. They are waterproof, proof has been provided by my male Japanese Chin he misses the training pad sometime on rain days. Aside from that my wife and I have moved couches with convertible beds and if you want to talk about heavy furniture that”s it. I have not had one problem with them. My wife loves the floor and after 54 years of marriage she finally stopped complaining. I live in Florida and bought our flooring in the Tampa store. I will use NuCore again with no reservations.

    35. We installed NuCore in our home under the guise that it was very durable. However, there are many “divets” in the floor. It also has scratched easily. It was installed only a few months ago. We have no pets and are extremely careful with the flooring. I don’t ever post reviews, but we spent so much on this flooring plus the installation that I don’t want anyone else to make the same mistake. We bought Red Mahogany High Gloss. The color is stunning–the divets, not so much!

      1. My guess is that because it’s a high gloss finish, any dents will easily show. With the reviews for their matte textured finished flooring, this doesn’t seem to be as much of problem or at least it’s not as noticeable.

      2. We’re looking at installing the Red Mahogany High Gloss in a home we’re building in Kauai, Hawaii that will also be a rental part of the year. How is your flooring holding up, and how does it look? Do you know if Hawaiian temps or humidity would pose a problem?

    36. We are looking at Coretec Pro Plus – Galveston Oak or Shaw Floorte Antica HD Plus -Tempesta. Coretec is cork backed and Shaw is rubber backed. What is the difference/pros-cons of the two types of backing? This is for our bedroom and we are on a concrete slab.

    37. We installed NuCore throughout our 2100 sf home in Austin, TX. It was installed over a year ago. We have children, a labradoodle, and a pool that could have impacted these floors but happily we have no issues to report. In the past, we have had hardwood floors but this time decided to try NuCore. We are very happy with our decision..

    38. I just bought Nucore for my entire house and having a difficult time putting it in. It’s hard to cut small areas around air vents and post etc. Any tips on what to use to make better cuts without messing up the planks? Some of the planks break on the sides when I take them out of the box. Can I exchange for more? Thanks

      1. You need to contact Floor and Décor where you bought the flooring about returns and how to install the flooring. This website is just for consumers looking for information, it is not the manufacturer.

    39. Spent almost $4,000 on 1200sq ft of flooring and I’m not satisfied with the product at all. Took me and a friend that’s laid many laminate and hardwood floors over 8 hours to do 2 rooms. Not only was it hard to work with but we took our time when making sure every joint and seam was perfect. (Especially being on my own house). I had told my wife who is just as picky as me to look it over. After 3 days the floor in the second room started to split at the 4’ seam. Looks to me the planks are warped. Now I realize why it was so hard to lay. I made sure the subfloor was properly screwed and nailed down on my hands and knees and level. Also swept and vacuumed several times in the days leading up to the project! I followed every step on the website side of the box. I tapped every piece in 3 different spots. Not only that it was on the second room of the day in the 8 hours. And it was only about 400sqft. I have contacted the manufacturer and I’m still waiting for a response, and I have to pay for a licensed contractor to come out and inspect the job I did. I did another 600 the 2 days after and have no problem. Just the one room. I was told by them I have to stop laying the floor and keep my house torn apart so they can inspect. It’s getting to the point where I just want a complete refund and they can take their product with them and I’ll go with something of better quality for the price I spent!

      1. Hello, We are considering NuCore. Were you told by Nucore or your contractor to stop? Did you get a reply from NuCore? Any other issues, or what point are you at?

      2. Hi Joe
        Were you able to get a response or refund from the manufacturer? I have the same problem with the splitting of the 9″ side and corners are popping out everywhere (2000 sq ft). My contractor ripped it out and redid the subfloor and installed new flooring, and after 2 months, same thing is happening and they said that there my be an issue with the tongue because it so thin. Thanks for your info.

      3. Does anyone have the NuCore Corporate office or NuCore Customer Service address?……A very unhappy buyer of NuCore in Dallas Texas!

    40. Love it. Easy to install with a beautiful finish. Highly recommend. No issues with scratching from our large dog.

    41. I have Nucore throughout my home. Although I like it, it seems a little dull. Can I add anything to my cleaning methods to give the floor a little shine?

    42. I’m about to lay NuCore throughout my condo. It’s on-grade slab in Florida and the carpet I’m replacing had an issue with mold. There are cracks in the slab that were sealed prior to me moving in. I’m about to do a calcium carbide test to see the moisture levels but I can’t find the acceptable levels for NuCore. I plan on sealing the flooring and using liquid leveler. We’re you able to find the acceptable levels of relative humidity or moisture?

    43. I installed it on a cement slab, (because of the cork backing no other underlayment is needed) in my living room, entrance, kitchen, bathroom and master bedroom. I’ve had it for almost 3 months and love it. Soft to walk on with the cork backing, and spills wipe right up, even stains!

      Use either a dry Swiffer to get dust and stuff off the floor or once a week I vacuum. I have an attachment on my Shark for floors. Had contractors working in the house and just had to wipe up snow prints, even dried up salt from boots wiped up with a damp paper towel! It was also easy to install.

      1. 1st guy at the store said I did NOT need underlayment when installing this on concrete, A week later, the 2nd guy at the store said I still need underlayment when installing on concrete. Even the packaging says this. Who to believe??

        1. The manufacture is the one to trust. Cork gets moldy… think of concrete in the ground as a sponge, it will bring the cork in contact with moisture and in time it will mold. 6 mil visqueen will separate you floor from the moisture concrete will weep up. Remember to bring it up the wall just under the height of the baseboard. It’s pennies a foot and very cheep insurance to protect you floor and home from unwanted mold. I hope this helps!

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