NuCore Vinyl Plank Flooring Review: All You Need to Know

LVP (Luxury Vinyl Plank) flooring is one of the most favored on the market now, people all over are hooked on it and its sales are skyrocketing.

It makes for versatile, durable, and waterproof flooring that gives you exactly what you need for any room in your home. The biggest issue you will face with LVP flooring, is which brand do you go with, and for that matter, which style?

Today we will be taking a look at LVP flooring from NuCore, which is a Flooring and Decor company that makes exclusive flooring, including the much-coveted LVP options.

We will give you all the features, and option information you need to make your decision on whether or not NuCore is the flooring you needed all along. 

Why NuCore Should Be Considered

NuCore is a fantastic option for homes as it has so many home-friendly features that make it a perfect choice.

Its first tip-top feature is that NuCore offers 100+ options, giving you so many choices so that you get the best match and feel that you want from your floor.

They also deliver high-quality planks at an affordable price, of course, Luxury Vinyl Planks cost more, but NuCore decided to ignore that tradition and are selling them with no focus on cost for quality.

They also offer a lifetime warranty, which means that if you have NuCore installed in your home, you can rest easy for as long as you own the flooring.

Giving you that comforting peace of mind. It is also super easy to install these flooring planks yourself too, a super easy peasy DIY job that can also be enjoyable.

NuCore vinyl flooring is also super low maintenance, a simple sweep and mop will keep your floors looking new for years to come, unlike other floorings which can just be a hassle.

You also do not need to worry about transitional molding, some brands may need this but with NuCore you do not need to worry about transitions when you install.

Finally, all NuCore Vinyl is 100% waterproof, which no other brand can say, so this is a flooring that can go anywhere in your home with no worries.

What does NuCore have to offer?

Shopping for a new floor can be overwhelming at times, especially if you are on a budget or a timeframe.

When looking at LVP brands, each has its own extensive line ups of colors, styles, textures, thicknesses, durability, and waterproofing. This is why it is so great that NuCore has one of the largest LVP selections available, so there is something for everyone.

NuCore provides you with over 100 colors and styles to choose from, so you can expect to spend quite some time browsing, but you can also expect to find the perfect option for you amongst these many options.

With NuCore LVP flooring you can be sure that you will also get a soft and flexible plank that is easy to clean.

You also need not fret about the installation, as it is super easy and DIY friendly so that you can cut any additional costs or worries about having to bring in an outside person to do it for you.

Although you can get a contractor to install it for you and you don’t have any restrictions on installer options with NuCore either.

NuCore floors are notorious for lasting a long time while also looking good.

How is NuCore made?

When you buy anything, it is always good to know what goes into making it, so you know exactly what it is you are getting out of your purchase.

NuCore is made with solid construction and a hardwood appearance that will shine through the installation and for long after.

They are started with a cork underlayment, this is a padding that is applied directly to the planks individually. This is a great money-saving feature because it means that you don’t need to get another underlayment layer fitted before you install the flooring. The only exception to this is if you install over concrete.

If you are laying down your flooring over concrete then it is best for you to first lay a moisture barrier underlayment before you put your planks down.

The cork padding that each plank is fitted with is hypoallergenic and fights off bacterias, molds, mildews, and the accumulation of odors. With makes it fantastic for bathrooms and old homes that might encounter mold and mildew as a recurring household nemesis.

After the core layer comes to the rigid core. This is a 100% waterproof core that gives the plank extra durability and flex. Without this core, the planks would be useless, flimsy, wouldn’t last against weight, pressure, or even movement. This part adds muscle to the skeleton.

On top of this is the photo layer. Which is a thin layer of photo film that has the image on it, the style, providing you with that aesthetic you want. This is done by cutting the photo layer, processing it, and dying it, giving each individual plank a natural wood aesthetic, or whatever aesthetic it is that you seek.

Then you get the wear layer, this one is also important. It is the top layer and therefore, the one you walk on and look at when you view your floor. It is durable and clear, which allows the photo layer to be viewable.

Combined, these planks are 22 millimeters thick, which is quite large, but it makes for very durable and strong planks that withstand the beating that comes with years of heavy foot traffic.

The Benefits of NuCore

Now that we know what NuCore has to offer, and how they make their planks, we want to know, what are the benefits of this brand of LVP, and how will it impact your life after installation.

Well, first of all, you have the 100% waterproofing of these planks. Since all NuCore planks are 100% waterproof, you don’t need to spend ages sifting through their products trying to narrow down which ones are waterproof like you might have to with other brands.

All of their planks are waterproof! Not only this by they also have a rigid SPC (Stone-Plastic Core) mid-layer that is both waterproof and heavily durable.

Then the cork underlayment will also give you benefits. This layer absorbs sound and makes your floor soft beneath your feet. They will also stay warmer in the winter, without scolding your feet in the summer, so walking around barefoot, is no problem on these planks.

If you want to spend a little extra money on your floor, NuCore also has another special little option called ‘NuCore Performance’, which includes something they called ‘Techtanium Plus’. This is the addition of a wear layer that will further prevent scratch and dent resistance.

It does cost a little extra, but if you are in a household with young children or playful pets and find your floors take a lot of damage, it can be well worth the extra cash.

NuCore Installation

You get two choices when installing NuCore LVP flooring, you can either DIY the job or you can hire a professional.

This is a personal choice and is dependant on you and your situation. Let’s take a quick look at these two options and what they require.

Pro Installation: If you decide to get a professional in to install your flooring, you will need to seek out a contractor that can lay LVP.

The first thing you need to do is get a quote for the service, as there is more than just laying down some planks that will need to be accounted for in the costs.

They may need to move furniture, this is dependant on if they provide that as part of their service, you may need to move furniture yourself, so this is something to think over.

If you do seek out a professional you should also get three quotes at a bare minimum. You also want to know what additional costs may be incurred, things such as other material expenses. You do not want to be blindsided.

Also, be aware of warranty, some contractors will offer a warranty on their labor, if they do not, we recommend you steer clear, for your peace of mind.

DIY: If hiring a contractor is not your style, or if it just seems easier to do it yourself, then go for it. It is simple and there is minimal number work involved. First of all, you will need to remove all furniture from the area, making sure that the flooring area is obstacle-free.

Unlike other brands, NuCore doesn’t need an acclimation period, but it is still wise to open the boxes up and mix the planks so that the dye patterns are more evenly distributed.

Although not a requirement, we still recommend an acclimation period of 15 hours, so the planks can settle into your home; expanding and forming based on temperature and humidity. This can prevent any warping or swelling post-installation.

Next, you want to start laying the planks, removing any old flooring if necessary, however, this is not a requirement action unless the previous flooring is very thick or carpet.

Then remove the baseboards and transition molding and take the flat edge against the wall. Leave about a quarter-inch between the first row and the wall, this will allow for expansion when the install is completed.

Once the first layer is run you want to cut around 6 inches from the first plank of the second row. This prevents end seams from lining up and adds to the overall durability and locking nature of the planks.

Continue this process for each row until the room is done. Once complete you can reinstall baseboards and let the flooring rest overnight.

After 24 hours the planks will have adequately expanded and adjusted to the setting and will be totally flat, now you can move furniture back into the room.

Caring for a NuCore Flooring

There is nothing complex about caring for your NuCore flooring. All that you need to care for and maintain this flooring is a broom and a mop.

Sweeping regularly will keep dirt and debris off your floor and mopping will maintain a sleek shine. That being said you should still consider a few things. The wear layer can still get scratched and dented, however, depending on the type of planks you have chosen, you may need to vacuum.

Some styles will have larger grooves between the planks than others will and so dirt or dust can gather in these places, this is why you may need a vacuum, as this will get them out.

That being said, if you do need to vacuum you should get one that is made for cleaning hard flooring, as many will have motorized cleaning heads that that will allow you to shut down the brush roller and therefore prevent any scratching.

You should also note that you should be wary of what you use when you mop it. The use of certain cleaning chemicals when you mop can lead to the wear layer becoming dull or foggy after some time.

To prevent this only use warm tap water or a cleaning solution made from water and vinegar or water and dish soap when you mop to keep your floors shiny.

NuCore Vinyl vs Competitors

So, it is clear that NuCore provides fantastic, easy flooring, but how exactly do they compare with their competitors.

There are a few competing top brands in this regard, let us take a look at them and see what they have got to offer in comparison.

Shaw Vs NuCore

Looking at many ‘Best of’ lists you will usually find Shaw. These are probably the best on the market for LVP and they like to prove it. However, they are not budget-friendly, being one of the most pricey options on the market.

Shaw has 3 lines for LVP, and they are all luxurious and comfortable. The biggest benefit of their line is that they don’t just go with wood grain imaging, they also offer stone and tile imitation too, providing creativity in your flooring choices.

They also offer 10 color options, which is rather tiny in comparison to NuCore’s 100 options. But they do give you one thing that no one else can, a color match, meaning that you can upload or send an image to them and they will match up the color for you, providing you with the exact color that you want.

However, they do let you down in one area, as do many others, warranty. Their warranty ranges from 7-20 years for home installations, depending on the style, thickness, and color of the planks. Which is much less fantastic than NuCore’s lifetime warranty.

Lifeproof Vs NuCore

Much like NuCore, LifeProof is another exclusive flooring option, however, instead of Floor and Decor, LifeProof planks are sold through Home Depot.

Similar to NuCore, LifeProof is also waterproof, although they have a few water-resistant options. These are also easy to install and will last you quite some time. That being said, unlike NuCore, LifeProof LVP flooring only sometimes comes with a lifetime warranty for residential settings.

They also lack the variety that NuCore has, but LifeProof is rugged and durable enough that it is designed for high traffic areas and is accommodating to pets. When compared with NuCore, LifeProof flooring has the durability level of NuCores ‘Performance’ line.

COREtec Vs NuCore

COREtec is made by USFloors. They are known for high-quality and design standards. Their LVP flooring is more expensive but has a reputation for being worth it.

Although they do not fit every budget they do offer a waterproof line that has a cork backing. They do have differing levels of cork underlayments through, only their Premium line gets the best 3-millimeter cork.

They also recommend using their White Glove service to get your floors installed professionally.

This service is not a mandatory one, but if you do not take it, you can lose a 5-year warranty. They also do not offer a lifetime warranty as NuCore does, their warranties range from 15-30 years depending on which type you buy.

While their quality is outstanding they lose it with the installation in comparison to NuCore.

Pros of NuCore

What are the best features of NuCore? Let’s take a moment to look back over what makes NuCore one of the best LVP brands on the market. What do we love about them.

  • Their 100% waterproofing across the whole line, makes them outstanding, no need to go searching for this feature with NuCore, it’s on all of them!
  • Cork Underlayment on every plank providing consistency over the whole line and no extra fuss.
  • Installing yourself does not reduce your lifetime-warranty as it may with other brands.
  • Bank account friendly, despite being Luxury the price tag doesn’t act like it. You can get this LVP on any budget.
  • Extensive style and color options, more than many other brands, allowing you to be as picky as you want.

Cons of NuCore

So, we have looked at the good stuff, the tip-top best features that NuCore offers, but what about the areas where it slacks a little. Everything has room for improvement, what could NuCore improve?

  • Their extra wear layer of protection, or Techtanium, is only available through their Premium line, which is more expensive.
  • Their Pro-rated commercial warranty only lasts 15 years.
  • Their only seller is Floor and Decor, so they don’t have suppliers as widespread as other brands.

NuCore Overall

To wrap up, NuCore Vinyl is one of the most wallet-friendly and durable Vinyl flooring options out there.

They are a brilliant choice for those looking for new flooring and they have more going for them than they have going against them. 

With a simple DIY install and plenty of options, you can’t go wrong. 

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