COREtec is a brand of luxury vinyl. This type of PVC flooring is more commonly known as LVP, which stands for luxuryvinyl plank, or LVT, which stands for luxury vinyl tile (we’ll explain the differences in a moment).
COREtec was first introduced in 2017 as a new type of luxury vinyl, and it has become one of the top LVP brands in the years since.
A design layer that gives the floor its look and feel.
A super-durable wear layer.
LVP can come with either a rigid or flexible core (though most of the best vinyl plank flooring products are rigid). Additionally, you might occasionally see rigid LVP referred to as EVP flooring; this just stands for “engineered vinyl plank”, which is another way of saying—you guessed it—rigid vinyl plank.
Vinyl tiles generally look like different types of tile like porcelain or granite.
And that’s it! Confusingly, some people refer to both types of flooring as “LVT”—we just refer to all luxury vinyl products as vinyl plank.
Whatever you call it, luxury vinyl is a popular choice for people shopping for beautiful, durable flooring that’s great for kids, pets, and high-traffic areas.
What Makes COREtec Vinyl Plank Flooring Special?
Ok, back to our COREtec flooring review!
It’s all about the core in COREtec flooring
As we mentioned, vinyl planks can come with a flexible or a rigid core (and rigid-core products are usually better).
Well, when it comes to that rigid core, you have some options.
Some rigid-core LVP brands simply use a harder type of vinyl for their cores. Others, however, infuse their cores with other materials for added benefits.
The two most popular types of these infused rigid-core vinyl plank floors are SPC flooring, which uses limestone powder in its core for extra durability, and WPC flooring, which uses a super fine sawdust in its core for increased comfort.
So what makes COREtec special? They invented WPC flooring!
Using a wood-polymer composite helps soften the flooring while maintaining durability. Plus, the core is 100% waterproof. That’s one of the reasons COREtec flooring reviews are usually so positive—it’s incredibly comfortable to walk on!
And it also has a really good wear layer
COREtec vinyl flooring boasts a thick wear layer to protect it against scratches and dents. Their standard vinyl planks offer a 20-mil wear layer with the option to go up to 30 mils with different products in their lineup.
COREtec also just introduced products in its Advantage line that include the industry’s first 15-year scratch warranty. This is something that box store brands like SmartCore flooring aren’t able to come close to.
Plus, it features a cork underlayment for extra bounce
The beauty of this underlayment is that you get cork’s advantages—like flexibility and warmth—without any of the actual disadvantages of cork flooring. It helps create a more sound-dampening, insulated, and comfortable floor. Some of the best vinyl plank flooring brands use cork as their underlayment layer for this exact reason.
COREtec’s cork underlayment comes between its WPC core and the subfloor. And if you’re asking yourself “what is subflooring”, it’s the raw surface that your flooring is installed on top of.
There are Multiple Types of COREtec Vinyl Flooring
When you start diving into COREtec vinyl flooring, you’ll notice that there are a few different collections offered. Let’s take a look at how they break down.
What’s the difference between COREtec and COREtecPlus flooring?
COREtec Plus is the most popular product in the COREtec family. It’s the newer version of the original technology, which was called COREtec One.
COREtec Plus offers the widest variety of styles and appearances of any COREtec collection—including hardwood floor alternatives that range from thin strips to wide plank wood-flooring looks—and tile alternatives that look just like both porcelain and natural stone.
And what is COREtec Pro Plus?
COREtec Pro Plus is the company’s high-durability option, made specifically for commercial spaces and areas that see a high amount of traffic.
COREtec Pro Plus features extra scratch and impact resistance, and features a denser and more rigid core layer. This line has a compressed vinyl core instead of a WPC core, which makes it more suitable for high traffic (if a bit less comfortable underfoot).
COREtec flooring reviews confirm that both COREtec Plus flooring and COREtec Pro Plus are great products, though their price and warranty differences reflect their respective levels of durability and realism.
Update Spring 2021: New Lines, New Names
Recently, COREtec changed the names of their product lines. Now, rather than the old lineup of COREtec Plus and COREtec Pro Plus, there are three different options:
COREtec Original (formerly COREtec Plus and, before that, COREtec One)
COREtec Advanced+ (which has an SPC core)
COREtec Pro (formerly COREtec Pro Plus)
What other products are in the COREtec brand?
You may also come across COREtec Stone and COREtec Wood. These products each have a high-density mineral core which is also 100% waterproof and will not warp—but they’re different from the WPC in COREtec Plus or the compressed vinyl in COREtec Pro Plus.
COREtec Wood is essentially a hybrid between hardwood and vinyl flooring. While it has a composite core, it uses real wood veneers just like the best engineered wood flooring does.
COREtec Stone, on the other hand, is more like regular LVP—but it’s built with integrated grout lines to more closely resemble actual tile.
While both of these products have their uses, they’re not nearly as popular (or widespread) as COREtec vinyl flooring.
Which COREtec product is right for you?
Thanks to its comfort and huge range of styles, COREtec Plus flooring is the best option for residential use. If you do need something heavy-duty, though, you can look into the COREtec Pro Plus line.
Who Actually Makes COREtec Vinyl Flooring?
So: we know that COREtec was invented in 2017, but who actually makes it? Is COREtec its own company?
COREtec is a product of USFloors
COREtec vinyl flooring was actually created by USFloors, a well-known manufacturer that’s been around for decades.
In addition to their LVP products, you may also see USFloors pop up on lists of the best bamboo flooring, the best cork flooring, and/or different types of eco-friendly flooring. That was what they were best known for before creating COREtec vinyl flooring, which is now their most popular product.
They’re the second-largest flooring company in the entire world, and they make it all.
Where is COREtec manufactured?
COREtec products are manufactured at a Shaw facility in Ringgold, Georgia. Originally, COREtec was manufactured in China—but Shaw was able to bring production to the USA.
We think that’s great—buying American is a great way to support local businesses and get more environmentally-friendly flooring (since it doesn’t have to be shipped from overseas).
How Much Does COREtec Flooring Cost?
Now we reach the question that most people are curious about: price.
And there’s no way around it—COREtec is one of the more expensive LVP products on the market. While we would not recommend super-budget brands like Stainmaster luxury vinyl, the fact remains: you can get cheaper vinyl plank floors.
Here’s how it breaks down.
How much does COREtec Plus flooring cost?
COREtec Plus flooring costs between $6.90 and $10.20 per square foot, on average. Obviously, the prices depend on where you’re purchasing the material, how much you need, and which product you select.
It’s worth noting that these prices are somewhat similar to lower-to-mid-range wood flooring costs, though COREtec flooring reviews are much more positive than low-end wood reviews usually are.
And again: COREtec Plus is now (as of Spring 2021) known as “COREtec Original”.
How much does COREtec Advanced+ cost?
COREtec Advanced+ costs roughly $9.50 per square foot. The extra cost may be due to the product’s super-durable SPC core. And of course, the newer the product, the more of a premium a company can charge.
How much does COREtec Pro Plus cost?
COREtec Pro Plus ranges between $4.99 to $7.50 per square foot, on average. It’s cheaper than COREtec Plus because it’s meant for commercial settings. It doesn’t mimic wood flooring types as accurately as the Plus products do, but it makes up for that in durability.
And once more, COREtec Pro Plus is now known as “COREtec Pro”.
How much does it cost to install COREtec vinyl flooring?
COREtec can be glued down or purchased as click-together flooring for an easy-to-install floating floor. What is a floating floor exactly? It’s a surface that snaps or clicks together over the subfloor instead of being attached to the subfloor.
What Different Styles and Finishes Does COREtec Offer?
There are so many different style options within the COREtec family. If you love the look of hickory but are turned off by the disadvantages of hickory flooring, you’re in luck—hickory is just one of the many hardwood species looks that COREtec offers.
COREtec Plus Flooring—and COREtec Pro Plus—are luxury vinyl plank floors that emphasize the luxury part. They may not be the cheapest floors in the world, but they offer a ton of perks. Here are the advantages of COREtec vinyl floors.
The floor’s WPC core is incredibly comfortable
Even the best vinyl plank floors can feel hard and not-wood-like underfoot. COREtec flooring reviews confirm that the product’s WPC core makes it super comfy to walk on.
And its cork underlayment adds an extra level of bounce
When it comes to comfort, COREtec Plus takes the cake.
Its built-in underlayment adds all the bounce and insulation you’d get with cork flooring—but without all the bad stuff that actually comes with having floors made of cork. If you’re not familiar with the pros and cons of cork flooring, we’re talking water damage, a lack of pet protection—things like that.
COREtec products are 100% waterproof and will not warp or buckle. This product is recommended for kitchens, bathrooms, and even basements because it has no problem handling wet spaces.
And remember: waterproof is much different than water-resistant. For example, you wouldn’t want water-resistant wood flooring in a laundry room—you’d be asking for disaster. Vinyl flooring, on the other hand, is totally waterproof and perfect for laundry rooms.
COREtec flooring reviews agree: it’s super simple to install
COREtec vinyl flooring is super easy to install, whether you hire a professional or opt for some do-it-yourself flooring.
As we mentioned earlier, it can be glued down or installed as a floating floor. Both options are great, but COREtec reviews are especially positive about the product’s proprietary click-together technology—which uses angled locks for easier installation (and fixes one of the big disadvantages of floating floors: difficulty locking the planks together).
VOCs are volatile chemicals that are released from different industrially-made products.
So why is this on the list of pros? COREtec floors are GreenGuard Certified for indoor air quality. Products that are made from virgin vinyl, like COREtec Plus, have the lowest amounts of VOCs possible, making them a safe option in the LVP category.
The Cons of COREtec Vinyl Flooring
As with any product, there are some disadvantages of COREtec flooring. Let’s look into some!
COREtec flooring reviews often mention that it’s scratch-resistant, not scratch-proof
While the wear layer is great on this product, it is not fully scratch-proof. Scratch-resistant flooring can hold up to most pets, kids, and daily wear, but you do need to be careful when moving furniture or other heavy objects.
With a starting price of $6.90 per square foot, COREtec is not the most affordable LVP option on the market.
There are other budget options for LVP, but if you’re shopping for one of the best vinyl plank flooring brands, be prepared to spend a little more. That said, there are brands that can go toe-to-toe with COREtec at a much more affordable price point.
What Other Flooring Options Compare to COREtec?
Now that you have all the information about COREtec flooring, it’s time to compare it to other options out there.
The biggest differences between those brands and COREtec Plus are the core materials and colors/finish options. Proximity Mills, for example, is very similar to COREtec—but it’s made with an SPC core and comes with a more affordable price tag.
Unlike vinyl’s all-plastic composition, laminate uses high-density fiberboard as its core. In addition, instead of a vinyl design layer, laminate has a printed image that shows different wood floor patterns or wood floor designs.
That means laminate isn’t usually a waterproof option (though some products like RevWood are changing that). And while VOCs can also be a problem with this material, non-toxic laminate flooring products do exist.
Additionally, they can be a bit high-maintenance (unlike COREtec). And if you’re a little too rough with them, you might find yourself looking into the cost to refinish hardwood flooring sooner than you’d like.
You have to be extra careful about any spills or temperature changes because it can lead to warping and long-term damage to these floors. COREtec, on the other hand, has no special requirements.
Only ceramic and stone tile can complete with COREtec Pro Plus for scratch-resistance
COREtec Pro Plus can withstand heavy commercial traffic. The only type of flooring with that type of scratch-proof durability is tile, but even that can be chipped or broken. And while you can find porcelain wood-look tile, it’s not nearly as easy to install as COREtec (even snap-together tile flooring options).
Topics Most Commonly Mentioned in COREtec Flooring Reviews
As with any product, there are some customers that haven’t loved their new floors as much as others. Reading reviews is a great way to learn from others’ mistakes. Here are some of the topics most commonly mentioned in COREtec flooring reviews.
You need to follow the installation guidelines!
A few reviews mention the importance of following the installation guidelines and leaving a small gap along the walls so the floor has some room to move and expand. Any installation professional will know that information, but it’s good to note if you DIY the install.
You need to make sure to read the warranty closely
This one should go without saying, but some buyers have had poor experiences because they didn’t read their floor’s warranty before installing, leading to issues down the road.
But most of all: customers love their COREtec vinyl flooring
There are a lot of COREtec reviews in which customers simply rave about the look and feel of their floors. So, you know—it goes both ways.
The Bottom Line: COREtec Plus and COREtec Pro Plus are Both Great (But Expensive) LVP Floors
All of that to say: both COREtec Pro Plus and regular COREtec Plus flooring are fantastic LVP options. They’re beautiful, comfortable, durable, and relatively environmentally friendly.
Steph is a book nerd, rule follower, and pizza lover who can't get enough of playing outside. She was raised on the ice rinks of MN and currently resides in sunny San Diego. As a freelance writer, she loves research, producing content, and organizing information for a wide variety of clients. She currently has at least 10 browser windows open at all times.
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