COREtec Flooring | 2022

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Among the most popular choices for flooring today is Luxury Vinyl Plank, Engineered wood and stone tile. One company,  COREtec, makes high quality flooring in all of these styles .

This article will cover the COREtec brand and show you what to expect. I will also explain what to look for with the various flooring types and give you an honest COREtec flooring report.

COREtec Flooring Features

coretec flooring
  • Extra-thick wear layers prevent damage, scratches and excessive wear.
  • Waterproof designs.
  • Lifetime residential warranties on most styles.
  • Simple DIY installation with minimal tools needed.
  • Readily available online or through most flooring retailers.
  • Large selection of colors, styles and sizes.
  • Ideal for installation in any room of the home.

What to Expect from COREtec

When shopping with COREtec, you should  expect a highly durable, reliable and efficient plank or tile . While prices are higher than most mid-tier lines, they aren’t quite as expensive as the best of the best top-tier flooring companies.

COREtec focuses the bulk of their flooring for the middle and upper-middle class homes. There are a few budget flooring that apply to any budget, but for all of the features they offer, you will pay for them.

COREtec has the largest portion of their collections in the luxury vinyl plank (LVP) section. This is followed by the engineered hardwood lines and finally the smallest section, stone tile.

One thing that sets COREtec apart is their attention to detail. While their construction and manufacturing is top-notch, they go one extra step.  Each plank is textured or rendered to not only look like real wood or stone tile, but is textured and constructed to give the feel of the wood or stone underfoot. 

COREtec Construction

COREtec uses a common construction method with 3 to 5 layers per plank or tile, depending on the cost and style.

The bottom layer is one of the most important layers as this is where all of the pressure and shifting get absorbed.  COREtec uses a cork or rubber base on almost every line of their LVP and engineered hardwood, which saves you money. 

You won’t need to purchase an underlayment or sub-flooring with these planks. Instead, you can install on top of most current floors or directly on your slab. The rubber underlayments are warmer and softer regardless of where it is installed.

The core layers will use tougher materials than a lot of other brands. The stone tiles, for example, have a mineral deposit core. It adds strength and durability to the plank, which allows COREtec to  offer longer warranties, even lifetime warranties for residential installation .

The embossed thermal-resin top layers are beautifully designed with full color, wood or stone aesthetics and textures. Each tile matches at the grout lines and all planks seal and seam perfectly. You don’t have to worry about color mismatches or uneven looking floors.

From top to bottom, each plank and tile is constructed with comfort, eye-appealing designs and durable, high-traffic installations in mind.

Installing COREtec Flooring

installing coretec flooring

Installation is one of the biggest decisions you can make after the type of flooring you choose. Professional installation is always an option. If you have a large space or cannot otherwise perform the installation yourself, it is a viable option.

For LVP flooring, professional installation across the US averages $1695 according to Home Advisor. If you want to save that money, you can install the COREtec flooring yourself.

While each style and type of flooring will be different, the basic concepts are the same. Here is a run down of the DIY installation process.

  • Acclimation. The first step is to place the boxes of the flooring in the room they are installed in for at least 24 hours. This will acclimate the planks to the temperature of the room where they will be installed.
  • Preparation. Next you need to prep the area for install. If you are installing over the existing floor, then you only need to remove transition molding and baseboards.
  • Marking. Using a chalk line, you need to measure and mark the floor. Find the center of each wall and mark to the corners with the chalk line. You need to leave about 1/4th of an inch from the wall for expansion of the planks.
  • Mix planks. For stone you won’t need to mix tiles, but it is a common practice and doesn’t take any more time. For LVP and engineered wood, though, you will want to pull your planks from alternating boxes to help hide any discoloration in the planks.
  • First row. The first row is crucial. You want to maintain the 1/4th inch gap from the wall. It is also important that your rows off set at least six inches. Cut the first plank by at least 6 inches before moving on. Obviously for square tiles you will want to line the grout lines without an offset.
  • Next rows. The following rows need to maintain the 6-inch offset between edges. This will keep the ends from bowing or coming undone. It also gives you that nice wood plank or brick pattern.
  • Final row. The final row will need to bend and twist to get into place, but isn’t difficult. Make sure all the pieces are locked together, using a mallet or knocking hammer to get them in place.
  • Wait. After the floor is complete, you need to wait at least 15 hours before you move the furniture in or walk on the flooring. This allows the planks to expand and settling down. During this time you can reinstall the trim and baseboards, but you will want to avoid walking on it too much.
  • Enjoy. After the 15-hour wait time, move your furniture back in the room and enjoy your new flooring.

Care and Maintenance

COREtec goes out of their way to make sure that their planks and tiles are easy to care for. Not only does this help minimize the work you need to do, but it also helps the floors last longer.

The care routine is simple, but it starts on day one. After the flooring is installed you need to sweep and damp mop it before you move any furniture in. You should avoid using a dripping wet mop and make sure it is rung out really well.

When moving your furniture in, non-marking, furniture pads should be used on the feet. This is optional, of course, but will help prevent scratches and scuffs if you move the furniture later.

Where possible, you will want to use throw rugs and entrance mats, too. This will cut down on dirt and debris being ground into the flooring.

On a regular basis you will want to sweep the floors. You can also vacuum but make sure your vacuum doesn’t have a rotating beater bar, or comes with the option to turn the brush roll off.

You should also mop the floors too.  Clean water is recommended.  However you can use floor cleaners as long as they are Ph neutral. They also shouldn’t contain any soaps or detergents. COREtec offers a cleaning product line known as Encore, that fits all the needs of your floors.

Also, as tempting as it may be, you want to avoid using steam mops. While they work well, over time they will loosen the glues and adhesives that keep the various layers held together, resulting in warping, lifting or cracking of the tiles or planks.

Cost and Warranty

coretec warranty

LVP and tile planks come in boxes with a various amount included in each one. Styles and colors will contain the same amount. However there may be variances when looking at different styles, thicknesses or widths.

You are charged by the square foot, which is not the cost of a single box of planks. So, for example, you may require 1000 square feet of flooring, and each square foot may cost you $2. However, a box of planks may contain 100 square feet, so the box will cost you $200, and you will need 10 boxes.

The cost is important, and you should always buy more boxes than you need based on measurements. This will allow you to have some wiggle room in your installation. Some planks may be cut too short, or you could drop and damage one. Having the spares on hand will also allow you to have replacements should anything happen to a plank in the future.

When calculating your cost make sure you pay attention to things you will need. Underlayment, for example, isn’t included with all COREtec styles. This is an additional cost you need to account for.

You will also want to look at the warranty.  A lot of COREtec flooring options offer a lifetime residential warranty. Some of the stone tiles, though, are only a 10-year warranty. 

You need to learn the nuances of the warranty, including how to make a claim or what is required on your part to initiate the warranty. Sometimes you may need to retain proof of purchase. Other times you may need to register your purchase online.

Follow all instructions and plan your budget properly. You will have no buyers remorse and be able to enjoy your floors even more.

Comparing COREtec Vs. Other Brands

COREtec isn’t your only option when it comes to new flooring. There are several other well respected companies that also produce high quality flooring solutions. How does COREtec compare?

COREtec Vs. LifeProof

LifeProof is a proprietary brand that is made for and sold exclusively through Home Depot. The LVP comes with a  lifetime warranty and is 100% waterproof . Like COREtec, the final result is an aesthetic flooring that is durable and capable of handling medium and high-traffic areas.

The primary difference here is the cost and the warranties. LifeProof is less expensive, and while durable and high-quality, the quality isn’t as high as COREtec. You will pay more for COREtec, but the quality may not be worth it to your budget.

The warranties are another point of interest. COREtec has several styles and options that come with a professional installation recommendation. While it isn’t a requirement, using this flooring with a DIY install can shave years off of the warranty period. LifeProof doesn’t have this limitation.

For higher quality and a better feeling underfoot, COREtec is the better option. However, for those with a tighter budget, LifeProof is a suitable option with great wear and construction.

COREtec Vs. Shaw

Shaw is one of the preeminent flooring manufacturers.  When it comes to LVP and engineered hardwood, there are few, if any, that are better.  However, Shaw also has one of the highest prices in the market.

You do get what you pay for, though it may be too negligible to pay the costs that Shaw charges. That being said, COREtec does have some comparably expensive options and Shaw does offer lower cost models.

When it comes to production, construction and durability, Shaw and COREtec are almost identical. Each one has their own process of the core layers and making them stronger. They each also make thicker, tougher wear layers.

The primary difference is the stock availability. COREtec has much more to offer in sizes, colors and styles than Shaw does.

If you have smaller spaces to floor, along with a higher budget, Shaw is a great choice to make. However, if there is more than one room, or you are looking to save room in your budget, COREtec is the more sustainable option.

COREtec Vs. Mohawk

Mohawk is a sister company to Shaw.  They have high quality and durable builds, like Shaw, but not the higher price tags.  Compared to COREtec, the price ranges are about the same. The primary differences are the quality.

Mohawk is a symbol of quality and there is no doubt the distinction extends across their entire flooring line. Compared to the production methods of COREtec, though, they do fall a little short.

COREtec has a stronger core and a thicker wear layer making them slightly better in high-traffic areas than Mohawk flooring. The installations and warranties are the same, though. When professional installation is recommended, you can lose years on your warranty.

Mohawk has more options than Shaw across the board, but still less than COREtec. If you are looking for a flooring solution that has beauty functionality and durability, you could go either way here. Mohawk is a little cheaper, but that is both in cost and materials. 

What to Like About COREtec

coretec pros
  • Waterproof planks. Not every style is waterproof, but COREtec has the vast majority of their products labeled as waterproof.
  • Antibacterial. A lot of the lines from COREtec are treated on the wear and bottom layers with antimicrobial coatings.
  • High-quality. The core layers are rugged and durable, creating strength and extended wear.
  • Thicker wear layers. COREtec wear layers are thicker than most other brands on the market.
  • LVP, engineered wood and stone options. With multiple options, you may find better choices if you search long enough.

What to Dislike About COREtec

coretec cons
  • Installation-based warranty. Not all styles fall under this characteristics, but some can limit the warranty term unless there is professional installation involved.
  • Higher cost compared to most other brands.
  • Professional installation is requested and recommended on most styles.
  • Expensive cleaners from a specialty brand owned by COREtec is their recommended cleaner.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below, I answer some of the commonly asked questions people have about COREtec flooring. If you have further questions, please use the comment section below.

Q. Where is COREtec made?

  1. COREtec is made by US Floors, which is based out of Dalton, Georgia in the USA. COREtec is only one of a few companies that are produced and manufactured by US Floors, though it is their most profitable brand.

Q. Where can I buy COREtec flooring?

  1. COREtec  prefers to control who sells and installs their floor. This helps maintain their stricter control methods and ensures a higher-quality product. Because of this, you won’t find the brand in big chain box stores. However, you can use the search tool to find a retailer near you.

Q. Can you install COREtec flooring over radiant heat floors?

  1. You can install over radiant heat. There are special precautions that need to be adhered to. These precautions are clearly outlined in the paperwork that comes with the flooring. The precautions aren’t difficult, but you will need to pay attention to the type of underlayment used and other installation concerns.

Q. Does COREtec stain or subjective to water damage?

  1. COREtec, like any other flooring, can stain though it is more difficult. That being said, you should clean up any wet spills right away. Mud, wet marks and other stains that don’t clean up and be removed with isopropyl alcohol and a light scrubbing.

Q. Can I install COREtec floors in any room?

  1. The 100% waterproof styles are capable of being installed in any room of your home. The only consideration you need to make when choosing your installation location is the ambient temperature. COREtec flooring needs to be stored and installed in rooms that stay between 55 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Conclusion

COREtec is among the leaders in flooring solutions for homes and businesses. With options in LVP, engineered Hardwood and stone tile, you have your choices cut out. The right option is something only you can decide on.

This article aimed to familiarize you with the company and what it takes to own their fine flooring. Installation and warranty methodology are the most negative things to speak of. Otherwise, COREtec is an ideal choice for almost every budget, and projects of any size.

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AUTHOR

Nora has more than 5 years experience in the floor covering industry, acquiring vast knowledge about installation and material selection. She now enjoys working as a writer and an interior decorator. Her work has been featured in The Spruce, Homes & Gardens, Southern Living and Real Homes. See full biography here.

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