Smartcore luxury vinyl plank review

Smartcore Ultra Vinyl Plank Flooring Review

We’re taking a closer look at a particularly popular vinyl plank brand: Smartcore Ultra Flooring.

With so many different options in flooring, how do you choose just one? Even if you narrow things down to one type of flooring, you still have a TON of options.

Even though luxury vinyl plank is relatively new to the flooring market, it’s now being produced by numerous manufacturers.

As big brands have begun to recognize vinyl plank’s demand, a huge range of styles and features have become available.

So, what is so great about Smartcore Ultra Flooring?

This unique flooring brand has some stand-out features the company is looking to patent, and offers a diverse product line. Lets dive a little deeper into those features, and find out what consumers are saying about the Smartcore Ultra line.


Smartcore Ultra flooring is a premium engineered vinyl plank flooring that is available exclusively through Lowe’s. It is durable, attractive, and very easy to install.

It is a glueless floating floor that can be installed on top of most hard surface subfloors. So, you don’t have to remove old tile, laminate, or another flooring first.

While there are many great vinyl flooring products on the market, what makes Smartcore unique is its patent-pending rigid construction. It is designed to hide the imperfections on your subfloor.

This unique construction also prevents telegraphing, which sometimes happens if the subfloor isn’t clean and clear of debris. Unfortunately, many of the alternative vinyl flooring options can show even the smallest speck of dirt or debris left behind.

Another great feature of Smartcore is that it is 100% waterproof and will not warp or swell if exposed to water. So you can install it in wet rooms like bathrooms, kitchens, and basements.

In addition to its waterproof core, Smartcore Ultra flooring has a resilient top layer of luxury vinyl plus a 12 mil. protective wear layer to prevent staining.

It comes with waterproof, structure, and residential wear lifetime warranties. And there’s also a five-year warranty for commercial use.

Smartcore also rates as an eco-friendly option, as it has the GREENGUARD GOLD seal of approval.

Not only is this line a practical option, it is also a very attractive one. Let’s look at the different styles and options available.

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Styles & Options

This vinyl flooring comes in several different sizes of planks or 12” x 24” tiles. You can also order moldings and trim work to match for a finished look.

The vinyl planks offer a number of wood looks in shades of brown and gray including Tahitian Walnut, Canberra Acacia, Rustic Hickory, and several variations of oak. You can also choose vinyl tiles that resemble stone.

Smartcore has a variety of looks to fit different tastes and designs. So, whether you want a trendier look, or prefer something classic, you can find a style to suit you.

Each carton covers anywhere from 15 to 28 square feet and costs between $3 and $4 per square foot. Of course, this can vary slightly depending on where you live.

And with a reasonable price point, this flooring is a great option for most budgets.

Even though Smartcore looks like wood flooring, it is as easy to install as laminate. So, you can save even more by laying it yourself.

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Installation & Maintenance

Smartcore’s 5” planks use drop/lock installation. They are fairly easy to install and only require a few tools such as a circular saw, rubber mallet, spacers, and a tape measure.

Simply lay them over your hard surface subfloor in a staggered pattern. To make sure that your planks have a nice blend of shades, remove them from the box and shuffle them up before installing.

The 7” planks are installed using the tap/angle method. You’ll need a crosscut power saw, tapping block, hammer, and a pull bar to install these planks.

But the process is still relatively simple and can definitely be a DIY project.

If you live in a colder area and want to install in-floor radiant heat, this flooring works well with it.

Whatever type of Smartcore you choose, maintaining these floors is easy to do.

Try to keep them away from too much direct sunlight and use floor protectors under your furniture.

To clean them, a broom or vacuum with a hard surface setting works great. You can also mop them for a deeper cleaning, but avoid using harsh chemicals on them.

With routine maintenance and a lifetime warranty, you can potentially enjoy your Smartcore floors for a very long time.

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So what do people think of Smartcore Ultra flooring? On average, these floors have received 4 stars across the sources we assessed.

Many people who purchased and installed this flooring were extremely pleased with the results. They loved the look of these floors.

A number of people even felt like they closely resembled wood.

Smartcore Ultra received mixed reviews on installation. Some felt they were very easy to install while consumers had more trouble.

However, many people noted how forgiving these floors were with imperfect subfloors (thanks to their patent-pending construction).

Overall, most people who purchased these floors were very happy with the result.

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The Verdict

If you are in the market for a long-lasting, durable flooring that can hold up to a variety of elements, then Smartcore Ultra could be the right choice for you.

It comes with a lifetime warranty, is reasonably priced, and is touted as being 100% waterproof.

It looks like hardwood, without the price or hassle of true hardwood. And it is relatively easy to install.

Smartcore works on most subfloors and is designed to avoid telegraphing. It even has a patent pending on this feature.

You can find it in several sizes, including a tile option, and there are some really nice wood species and colors to choose from.

However, you can only find them at Lowe’s. So you may have to order online if there is not a store in your area.

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Jennifer Lester

About Jennifer Lester

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

113 thoughts on “Smartcore Ultra Vinyl Plank Flooring Review”

  1. Avatar

    I just purchased Smartcore Ultra from Lowes for install in my foyer, living area, kitchen, and dining. After reading some of the comments I’m a little concerned about a proper install as well as the tiles staying together. I spoke with Rushing Floors who will do the install for Lowes. They indicated they had not had any problems with installing Smartcore. I am hoping that’s true.

    Not sure what magic they have that some of the commenters on here do not have. It’s a big purchase, and hearing US Floors is not interested or concerned with fixing issues makes me wonder if I made a huge mistake. Little worried here!

  2. Avatar

    I just had the vinyl floor installed in my bathrooms. Is it possible to use the wet swifter to clean them?

  3. Avatar

    Run run far away from Smartcore Vinyl flooring. Just installed 37 boxes of flooring in a house. Within two weeks the protective cover is coming off in several areas. Lowes is not much help with getting it fixed or someone to come look at it.

    1. Avatar

      Dan Griffith, had the same problem with 52 boxes installed in my mother’s home. The matte finish started to come off showing a high gloss sheen. However, Lowe’s has been very cooperative getting it resolved through Shaw. Shaw agreed after sending a floor inspector to take a look. They concluded it was defective. They have agreed to replace the entire floor, but they want to replace it with the same product and I have a problem with that. We are currently in the process of negotiating what to do.

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    How can I put a shine on the 12 x 24 Light Travertine Ultra flooring just installed in my kitchen and mud room? I wasn’t prepared for the flat finish! And would rather have a shine without making it slippery or affecting the finish.

  5. Avatar

    We purchased this floor in October 2018. (SmartCore Ultra Lucca Stone). It is gorgeous!! However we needed two T Mold transition strips. It is now the end of February and we are still waiting for them, Lowes has told us each month it will be shipped in two weeks, on backorder. We can’t finish molding at our staircase or the other entry because of no transition strips. Most unhappy with Lowes and their attitude.

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