8 Common COREtec Flooring Problems (+ Tips To Fix)

Kenneth Wilson

Floor enthusiasts have long since adored the joys of COREtec flooring. The brand would offer highly durable floors with several stunning finishes to your liking.

It is an excellent investment to consider for your next home remodel project. This flooring material is waterproof and gives a comfortable underfoot feel– giving you great value for your money.

However, COREtec floors are not all about rainbows and butterflies. Several previous buyers have raised different complaints about their flooring products.

That said, let’s take a closer look at the common problems of COREtec floors to help you manage your expectations and make an informed buying decision.

COREtec Floors Average Costs

COREtec floors start from $7 to $10.50 per square foot, with most of their products marketed towards middle-class and upper-class homeowners.

In particular, COREtec Pro Plus LVP floorboards will cost you somewhere between $5 to $8 per square foot.

8 Common COREtec Flooring Problems

For your reference, here are some of the most common COREtec floor problems as reported by previous buyers.

1. Prone to Scratches

COREtec floors are marketed to be incredibly scratch-resistant, but this doesn't mean they are 100% scratchproof. Although these flooring products are designed with a thick wear layer, they can only protect your floors to a certain extent.

You may want to avoid dragging heavy furniture across your COREtec vinyl floors to avoid visible scratches.

Tip to fix this problem: Opt for COREtec LVP flooring with a rustic pattern so that any minor scratches and gouges won’t be as visible. Even if you drop sharp objects on the floor, the design may effectively conceal them.

2. Problems with Radiant Heat Installation

Experts suggest avoiding COREtec vinyl over radiant heat. For one, vinyl floors are incredibly prone to damage with a radiant heat system beneath it.

Since COREtec flooring features cork underlayment for foot cushioning and soundproofing– it may block the radiant heat system.

Tip to fix this problem: If you’re left with no choice but to install COREtec floors over radiant heat, you might be better off choosing the COREtec One LVP. This material doesn’t have cork underlayment, which may affect heat transfer.

3. Bouncing or Separating Planks

Another problem you may encounter with COREtec vinyl floors is bouncing or moving planks once you walk on them. This is especially true if the floors are installed on an uneven surface.

In particular, an extremely uneven subfloor may separate the COREtec floorboards. It may also leave your subfloor exposed to water damage.

Tip to fix this problem: Before installing COREtec floors, it’s best to ensure your subfloor is entirely even. Use a leveling mix if you must.

4. Floor Cushioning Issues

Unlike other COREtec collections, affordable flooring products in the COREtec One line lack a bottom cork underlayment.

Note: if you opt for COREtec One flooring, it may lack proper cushioning, making it uncomfortable to walk on. Since it lacks adequate cork padding, it may also have poor sound dampening and heat insulation properties.

Tip to fix this problem: As much as possible, consider other COREtec collections instead of the COREtec One line.

5. Tendency to Peel and Curl

If you compare COREtec floors to solid hardwood flooring (which can last up to 100 years), you’ll discover it’s not the most durable flooring option. In particular, COREtec vinyl floors show signs of wear and tear after 10 to 15 years of good use.

Peeling starts when the glue wears out along the edges and corners. Curling problems may leave your floors unsightly, so you should have them corrected. Additionally, there might be dust and debris build-up under the peeled layer.

Tip to fix this problem: Fortunately, you can solve this problem by reapplying the floor adhesive or pressing down the plank’s edges.

6. Gaps In-between the Planks

Adjoining COREtec EVP floors often show gaps and separation between the floorboards. Note that this naturally occurs over time as the planks usually shrink and expand.

Gaps may also happen because of the disengagement of the click-lock mechanism during its installation.

Tip to fix this problem: Some homeowners use a commercial wax filler to fix this issue and seal gaps in the process. However, if there are numerous gaps– you may be left with no choice but to reinstall the entire floor properly.

7. Not an Eco-friendly Flooring Option

Bad news for homeowners who want a greener flooring option, COREtec vinyl floors aren’t eco-friendly. Even though COREtec floors are known to have lower VOC levels with a GreenGuard certification, trace amounts may still pose a risk to your health.

Vinyl planks, in general, are known to have high Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) levels. This can emit toxic gases and reduce indoor air quality in the long run.

Tip to fix this problem: Choose COREtec EVP floors which are constructed with virgin vinyl. As such, this flooring material has low VOC levels.

8. COREtec Flooring Warranty Issues

All COREtec flooring collections (COREtec Plus, COREtec Plus Pro, and COREtec One) have limited lifetime warranties.

However, buyers often note how meticulous the process is for a claim to be approved. The COREtec floors must have followed the company’s product installation guidelines and specifications, along with its maintenance recommendations.

  • Manufacturing defects - The brand remains 100% confident that all commercial COREtec floor planks do not have any manufacturing defects. This includes core voids, dimensional stability issues, and delamination. Customers who want to approve their warranty claim must show proof of strict adherence to the installation guidelines.
  • Wear - Another aspect guaranteed in COREtec flooring products is their increased wear durability. Under everyday use, the design or print layer won’t fade.One thing to note is that this specific warranty guideline doesn’t cover superficial damages, such as scratches or finish fading.
  • Limited Lifetime Structural Warranty - Suppose your manufacturing defect claim is approved, Shaw Industries will shoulder all the product replacement costs. This excludes the professional labor expenses (unless the defect occurs post-installation).
  • Limited Lifetime Petproof Warranty - Your COREtec floors are protected from unsightly flooring stains brought by pet soiling or vomit. However, the warranty will be voided if the stain is due to anything else other than your furry pets.
  • Limited Lifetime Waterproof Warranty - The issued warranty will only cover damage from topical moisture: everyday spills, floor cleaning moisture problems, and subfloor moisture damage. Note that the claim will only be approved if your subfloor does not have extreme moisture conditions. That said, ensure the subfloor is entirely dried up before installation. Excessive moisture may only encourage mold growth and flaring/lifting of COREtec floorboards from the vapor pressure below.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Do COREtec vinyl planks have an underlayment?

Technically, yes. Pre-installed cork underlayment is already included when using COREtec vinyl planks.

Are COREtec vinyl planks waterproof?

Yes, all flooring products of COREtec LVP are 100% water and moisture-proof.

How durable are COREtec vinyl planks exactly?

Compared to other brands of Luxury Vinyl Planks, the COREtec LVP has a far greater wear layer between 20 to 30 millimeters. Your COREtec LVP floor will last for years while sustaining scratches and dents with the help of such thick layers.

What are the most common issues with vinyl floors?

Vinyl flooring is not known to be easily scratched, but keep in mind that it is not 100% scratchproof. As such, it is still one of the most common problems with this type of flooring. Additionally, the planks may bounce and move when you walk if the subfloor is not completely leveled or if the flooring is not properly installed. This issue is usually observed in DIY installations. Homeowners' other problems include cushioning problems, peeling and curling issues, and gaps between the planks. (Related: NuCore Vinyl Plank Flooring: Is It Worth The Premium Cost?)

Kenneth Wilson
January 13, 2022
Contractor Tips, Flooring

Kenneth Wilson

Retired contractor. Currently residing in Southwest Florida. Now in semi-retirement, I write and manage this blog focused on helping home owners make savvy decisions when it comes to finding contractors and getting their projects done. I also operate remodeling design service for homeowners.

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