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Updated April 28, 2022
If you’ve been looking for the best vinyl plank flooring brands, you’ve probably seen CoreLuxe pop up at least a few times. Made by the company formerly known as Lumber Liquidators (that’s a story!), CoreLuxe is undeniably popular. But it is actually a good product? Is it as scratch-resistant as advertised? What do CoreLuxe reviews say?
❌ CoreLuxe didn’t impress our panel of experts ❌ But there are brands we’re certain on! Proximity Mills offers more collections, durability, styles, and eco-friendly qualities than CoreLuxe does, and Newton comes at a more afforable price tag without compromising on quality. Learn more here;
The only difference between them: their shape and appearance. LVP typically mimics wood planks while LVT typically mimics stone or ceramic tiles. Many people use one term or the other as a catch-all; we generally say “luxury vinyl plank” or “LVP”.
Rigid Luxury Vinyl vs. Flexible Luxury Vinyl
Luxury vinyl can be made with a rigid core or a flexible core. These days, however, rigid core luxury vinyl flooring has become the norm (and for good reason). It’s more durable, more comfortable, and feels more realistic. Have you seen people mention EVP flooring before? That stands for Engineered Vinyl Plank—which is just another way of saying rigid core luxury vinyl.
Types of Rigid Core Luxury Vinyl: SPC, WPC, and Pure Vinyl
And to make things even more complicated, there are different types of rigid core luxury vinyl. This is super important when discussing CoreLuxe and other vinyl plank flooring brands, because the best vinyl plank flooring options generally come with specialized cores.
The most popular types of LVP cores are:
SPC (Stone-Polymer Composite), which combines powdered stone and PVC for superior strength and durability.
WPC (Wood-Polymer Composite), which combines ultrafine wood powder and PVC for superior comfort and insulation.
Pure Vinyl, sometimes called “vinyl foam”. This type of core is rigid, but not nearly as durable as SPC flooring or as comfortable as WPC flooring.
What Is CoreLuxe Vinyl Plank?
OK! Now that we’ve gotten the basics out of the way, let’s talk about CoreLuxe flooring specifically.
CoreLuxe is a rigid vinyl plank brand sold exclusively by LL Flooring (formerly known as Lumber Liquidators; we’ll get into that in a moment) that comes in tons of wood floor colors and designs. There are also some tile looks, but not nearly as many. You can think of it as LL’s flagship in-house LVP brand.
CoreLuxe Is Made With an SPC Core
See? This is why we wanted to go over the basics first. Because it’s important to note that CoreLuxe flooring comes with an SPC core—meaning that it’s made (at least in theory) to stand up to heavy traffic and wear.
And it Comes in 3 Collections
We’ll go into each of these in detail below, but it’s important to note that CoreLuxe comes in 3 different collections.
Simple ol’ CoreLuxe flooring is the more budget collection, while CoreLuxe Ultra is on the premium end (with XD obviously between the two). It’s worth mentioning, though, that all 3 collections do feature an SPC core.
Who Sells CoreLuxe Flooring?
If you’re a fan of comparing prices, you might be disappointed—there’s only one place you can buy CoreLuxe flooring.
CoreLuxe Is Exclusively Made and Sold by LL Flooring
That’s right—as we mentioned above, you can only buy CoreLuxe from LL Flooring. The company also manufactures the product in its own factories overseas.
LL Flooring Also Sells Tranquility, Another Line of LVP
To avoid confusion, we should mention that CoreLuxe isn’t the only LVP brand that LL Flooring sells—they also make Tranquility.
Tranquility vs. CoreLuxe: What’s the Difference?
So what’s the difference between Tranquility and CoreLuxe? Tranquility is LL’s budget line—and it doesn’t offer anywhere near as many styles.
If you’re looking for peel and stick vinyl plank flooring, though, it might be something to consider. There are some flexible self-stick options sold under the Tranquility brand.
Who is LL Flooring? They Used to Be Called Lumber Liquidators
If the name LL Flooring doesn’t sound familiar, it’s probably because the company used to be called Lumber Liquidators.
Yeah. That Lumber Liquidators. They changed their name in 2020—officially, to “better reflect” all elements of the company, but more likely to escape some really negative press.
Now: it’s important to note that we’re not trying to bash Lumber Liquidators (er, LL Flooring) here. We just think it’s really important to why the company changed its name, because it reflects on the CoreLuxe flooring reviews you might read.
The Lumber Liquidators (LL Flooring) VOC Scandal
So: why did Lumber Liquidators get a bunch of bad press, and how does it connect to CoreLuxe flooring reviews?
In 2015, a 60 Minutes investigation found that people who bought Lumber Liquidators’ laminate flooring between 2009 and 2015 were getting sick. The company was sued and, in 2019, they were forced to pay a$36 million settlementafter it was determined they had knowingly liedabouttheir floors’ formaldehyde levels.
Then, in 2020, the company had to pay another $30 million for a 2018 lawsuit regarding defects with its bamboo flooring. The company said its bamboo was moisture resistant, when in fact, it was not.
Oh, and as if these lawsuits weren’t enough, the U.S. Department of Justice also fined Lumber Liquidators in early 2016 for illegally sourcing hardwood from China and Russia.
So it’s no surprise why they change their name to LL Flooring. But this also means that CoreLuxe flooring reviews may be skewed by this press—so keep that in mind when you’re going through common complaints.
And CoreLuxe Flooring Is Still Made Overseas
Despite LL Flooring now branding itself “your local flooring company,” it still sources its products from outside the United States. Full disclosure: this isn’t a bad thing, as plenty of great flooring companies source their products from outside the US.
But given LL Flooring’s history with quality control from overseas factories, it’s another thing to keep in mind.
There Are 3 Lines of CoreLuxe Flooring
Ok, now that we’ve talked about who makes the product, let’s talk about CoreLuxe flooring itself! As we mentioned earlier, it comes in three collections—all of which have SPC cores.
Budget Line: CoreLuxe
Price: $1.80 to $3.00/sq. ft.
LL Flooring doesn’t call its regular CoreLuxe line a “budget option” but the specs read that way. You can find 6 and 12-mil wear layer options here, of which we’d recommend the thicker option.
Why? Anything below 12 mils is generally meant for closets or other very-low traffic areas. Otherwise, the products have generally good reviews and about 25 styles overall. Just know that we wouldn’t purchase a 6-mil option from any brand and expect it to hold up to foot traffic.
Pro tip:a mil is a thousandth of an inch—much smaller than a millimeter, which is a thousandth of a meter!
Standard Line: CoreLuxe XD
Price: $2.10 to $3.40/sq. ft.
CoreLuxe XD is the standard collection. It offers the most styles (about 35) and a notably thicker wear layer at 20 mils.
CoreLuxe flooring reviews really recommend this line over the budget option. The price difference is minimal, there’s a wider variety of wood and stone looks, and the thicker wear layer can handle way more abuse.
Premier Line: CoreLuxe Ultra
Price: $3.00 to $4.00/sq. ft.
CoreLuxe Ultra is by far the best LVP option that LL Flooring sells. While it’s a bit pricier and offers fewer styles (17), the 28-mil wear layer is up there with what some of the best vinyl plank flooring brands offer.
Not All Wear Layers Are Created Equal, Though
A quick point about wear layers: a thicker option doesn’t exactly mean a better option. High-end products tend to have scratch-resistant aluminum-oxide or ceramic bead-infused wear layers—but budget brands generally stick to pure polyurethane, which isn’t anywhere near as durable.
CoreLuxe does not specify what its wear layer is made of, meaning it’s probably a lower-end option. High-quality wear layers (like Armstrong’s Diamond 10) are heavily advertised, generally.
Tip: Sort by “Wear Layer” on LL Flooring’s Website to Find What You’re Looking for
LL Flooring’s catalog isn’t hard to look through, but we noticed the only easy way to look at specific lines of CoreLuxe flooring is to sort by wear layer thickness.
How Do You Install CoreLuxe Flooring?
CoreLuxe flooring is relatively easy to install—or, it’s supposed to be (see Disadvantages of CoreLuxe Flooring below). We’d still recommend hiring a professional to make sure you don’t accidentally void your warranty, but you could call CoreLuxe do-it-yourself flooring at a stretch.
There are 2 primary ways to install CoreLuxe flooring:
CoreLuxe Can Be Glued Down
A decent percentage of CoreLuxe comes as glue-down vinyl plank flooring (and some products can be nailed down—though doing so could ruin the waterproofing). Glue-down vinyl is probably the most secure LVP install method, but it can be tedious.
According to the LL Flooring website, CoreLuxe comes with an attached felt pad—but the company does recommend the use of an underlayment as well. Just be sure to read the warranty info carefully—sometimes, using an improper underlayment can void it!
The Advantages of CoreLuxe Flooring
CoreLuxe flooring reviews suggest there are some things to love about the product. Most notably:
It’s Noticeably Sturdy (The Planks are Thick)
Lots of CoreLuxe flooring reviews say the product is noticeably sturdy. This is a good sign, as SPC floors can sometimes be a bit on the thinner side. CoreLuxe planks, on the other hand, seem to be plenty thick.
Now, we should caveat this by noting that the 6 and 12 mil varieties do have durability concerns—but with a 20 mil wear layer, it should stand up to even the most durable wood flooring. And bonus: since it’s waterproof, you can even use it as mudroom flooring.
Additionally, depending on how you install it, you can also use CoreLuxe to mimic classic wood floor patterns. A great installer can glue the product into a herringbone parquet flooring design; you can even mix dark and light wood floor planks into a 3D pattern.
Or, if your wood floor designs of choice lean more towards farmhouse looks than townhouse looks, you can use CoreLuxe to do mixed-width patterns—the product comes in options that mimic both narrow and wide plank wood flooring.
CoreLuxe flooring reviews are mostly positive in this regard too. We would recommend looking through the floor’s warranty guide before using any special cleaners, but it should be easy to clean and care for.
CoreLuxe Flooring is GreenGuard Certified as Low-VOC
VOCs, or volatile organic compounds, are substances commonly found in flooring and other processed products that are harmful in high concentrations. As such, much of the flooring industry has moved towards making low-VOC flooring.
This is super important to note given LL Flooring’s, er, issues with chemicals in the past.
But its Biggest Perk: CoreLuxe is Affordable
At $3 to $4 per square foot, even CoreLuxe’s premium option is affordable, at least compared to other floors. For example, top-shelf wood flooring costs can touch $20 and higher per square foot once you factor in installation.
But a conspicuous number of CoreLuxe reviews mention issues with changes in temperature—swelling, warping, things like that. And we’re not talking about outdoor vinyl flooring, here—we’re talking about normal, inside, run-of-the-mill flooring.
Not a great sign.
Some CoreLuxe Flooring Reviews Say It’s Surprisingly Hard to Install…
LVP is supposed to be some of the easiest flooring to install, but there are more than a few CoreLuxe flooring reviews that complain that it’s actually hard to install. How so?
…The Most Common Complaint: the Click-Lock System Doesn’t Work Well
Most negative reviews have a common complaint: the interlocking tabs don’t always seem to work. This wouldn’t be a big deal, except you have to use the tabs in order to install the floor correctly (and create a watertight seal).
To be clear, if these tabs don’t work, the floor is either useless or has to be glued down.
Many Buyers Complain That the Floors Scratch Easily
Another major flaw: some buyers, particularly those who didn’t buy CoreLuxe Ultra, say that CoreLuxe is notscratch-resistant flooring. This likely has to do with the thinner wear layers of the budget and standard CoreLuxe lines (and whatever they’re made of).
So it’s Pretty Clear that CoreLuxe is Not Very Durable
When you consider the bad warranty, thin wear layer, and scratch issues, it becomes pretty clear that ordinary CoreLuxe is not very durable.
Reviews of the Ultra line are much more positive, but again: we’d stay away from standard CoreLuxe.
Some CoreLuxe LVP Products Have Hazardous Chemical Warnings
LL Flooring says it’s working hard to make sure its products are safe but some products in their catalogs have chemical warnings like “may contain lead.”
It’s great that LL Flooring is trying to be transparent—but it’s also worth noting that lead is associated with a ton of health problems. It’s unclear whether other brands also contain lead, but considering LL Flooring’s recent history, this is a bit alarming.
CoreLuxe Has an Upsettingly Short Lifespan, According to Reviews
Another concern: the cheaper CoreLuxe lines have short lifespans. As in, 5 to 10 years maximum. If you’re looking for a floor that’ll last at least a couple of decades, this isn’t it.
CoreLuxe flooring reviews definitely favor the Ultra line, which allegedly has a lifespan that’s similar to top LVP brands (15 to 25 years). But again: you might be throwing away some money if you opt for a cheaper line.
Vinyl Flooring Isn’t the Most Environmentally Friendly Option in General
It’s true—vinyl doesn’t really make for the most environmentally-friendly flooring in general. Some brands are partially recyclable, but the fact remains that vinyl is purely synthetic (i.e. not sustainably sourced)
Only a Few CoreLuxe Products Are Compatible With Radiant Heating
Only some CoreLuxe flooring products can be installed over radiant heating systems, or the same systems used for heating wood floors. If this is something you want, be sure to read the warranty first. Otherwise, you could be replacing your floors much quicker than you’d hoped.
LL Flooring’s Previous Lawsuits Are Concerning (To Say the Least)
LL Flooring goes out of its way to highlight its floors’ low-VOC certifications and so on, but its history with hiding chemical concentrations is pretty concerning. Since you can only buy CoreLuxe flooring from LL Flooring, you have to take their word that their products are as safe as they say.
How Does CoreLuxe Compare to Other Popular LVP Brands?
CoreLuxe and LifeProof vinyl flooring (which is exclusive to Home Depot) are actually pretty similar. Both range between $2 to $4 per square foot and offer a similar range of wear layers and style choices.
LifeProof has okay reviews (for the most part), but CoreLuxe Ultra (not the standard or XD line) may be the better product—especially given its SPC core.
CoreLuxe vs. Proximity Mills
If LifeProof is inferior to CoreLuxe, then we can confidently say that Proximity Mills is superior to both. It’s sold in a similar price range and also comes with an SPC core—but it offers more collections, durability, styles, and eco-friendly qualities than CoreLuxe does.
Proximity Mills can even be partially recycled, which makes it about as close to eco-friendly flooring as vinyl can be. Plus, their products are FloorScore-certified as either VOC-free or low-VOC (depending on the collection), and they’re all completely and phthalate-free (which CoreLuxe isn’t, or at least doesn’t advertise).
CoreLuxe vs. SmartCore Flooring
SmartCore flooring, Lowes’ in-house LVP brand, is pretty similar to LifeProof and CoreLuxe in terms of price and wear layer thickness.
SmartCore comes in both SPC and WPC varieties (while CoreLuxe only offers the former) and enjoys generally positive reviews—though there are concerns that its SPC floors aren’t as durable as they should be.
CoreLuxe vs. Doma Flooring
Doma flooring is another popular vinyl flooring manufacturer, but one that focuses more on fashion-forward styles than anything else. That said, while Doma sells for just a bit more than CoreLuxe, Doma reviews suggest that these products are superior to CoreLuxe’s in… well, just about every way.
They’re also majority-SPC, but they offer better warranties, better wear layers, and have some of the most beautiful looks in the entire world of LVP.
CoreLuxe vs. Newton Flooring
When it comes to value-focused LVP products, Newton is our go-to recommendation. Their products are virtually identical to CoreLuxe’s (though Newton’s wear layers are slightly superior), they’re sold at budget prices, and they offer a better selling system. If you’re looking for a no-frills LVP, we’d recommend Newton over CoreLuxe any day of the week. Bonus: Newton also makes a couple great lines of waterproof laminate flooring, too.
CoreLuxe vs. NuCore Flooring
NuCore flooring is exclusively sold by Floor & Decor in the same price range as the options above.
NuCore has pretty mixed reviews outside of Floor & Decor’s website (which disables reviews) but it’s also slightly cheaper: $1.80 to $3.80 on average. It has a thicker wear layer than most CoreLuxe lines (except Ultra) but its core layer is only made of pure vinyl—not SPC or WPC.
Again: with box store brands, you really get what you pay for.
CoreLuxe vs. Stainmaster Luxury Vinyl
In our Stainmaster luxury vinyl review, we determined that the product barely worthy of the “luxury” moniker. It ranges between $1 and $3 per square foot, but customer reviews highlight a significant number of durability concerns (that its paper-thin warranty doesn’t cover).
One thing worth noting: Stainmaster and CoreLuxe are the only two LVP products here that are vulnerable to temperature changes (though Stainmaster is notably worse off).
CoreLuxe vs. COREtec
COREtec is a tried and true LVP brand and the original creator of WPC flooring.
COREtec offers wear layers as thick as 30 mils and a price to match. It costs between $6.90 to $10.20 per square foot, more than double CoreLuxe’s top line.
Our COREtec flooring reviews note that the product is exceptionally solid in terms of warranty, durability, and so on. It’s clearly a better product than CoreLuxe, but the price may be an obstacle for many buyers (Proximity MIlls is similar in performance and notably cheaper).
So: Is CoreLuxe Worth It? Only the Ultra Line Seems to Be… But There Are Better Options for the Price
The bottom line: CoreLuxe’s upper-tier collection—aka CoreLuxe Ultra—is a decent budget brand of LVP. But: for the price you’re paying, we just don’t know if it’s worth it.
For the same price, you could get something like Proximity Mills (more durable and eco-friendly) or heck, even a waterproof laminate like RevWood.
All of that to say: CoreLuxe doesn’t really seem to solve any of the problems with luxury vinyl tile, like its environmental issues. Usually, these can be overlooked for the benefits of getting a long-lasting, super durable floor—but according to CoreLuxe reviews, the floors don’t seem to be that long-lasting. And unless you buy the upper-tier collections, they don’t even seem to be that durable!
All of that to say, we probably wouldn’t get CoreLuxe for our own homes. But don’t take our word for it. Do your own research with the people who know floors best—local flooring retailers. There are tons of flooring stores near you that can help you find your perfect LVP floor!
Christian is a freelance everything-writer, editor, & SEO guy. When he’s not writing about flooring and remodeling, he’s either writing news for the California American Legion or writing fresh content for his camping & EDC blog (or, you know, actually camping).
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