NuCore Flooring Review: How Has It Held Up After 6 Years

This post is a customer flooring review from an actual homeowner answering frequently asked questions on how NuCore vinyl plank flooring has held up in not only one room of a home, but 4 rooms.

Read about the pros and cons of this popular low-maintenance flooring, it’s durability, and how it still looks like new, even after 6 years.

4 rooms where I installed Nucore vinyl plank flooring.

My husband and I installed NuCore luxury vinyl plank flooring in our home 6 years ago. We wanted hardwood flooring, but after reading about the affordability and ease of installation of LVP floors we chose to go with NuCore.

We installed the flooring in the color Gunstock Oak in the studioffice-craft room, two bathrooms, a hallway and laundry area. It is one of their textured plank flooring options. They also make other flooring products, and colors of planks that are high-gloss and smooth.

Even after 6 years, it looks just as good as it did when we first installed it in each room.

I have other LVP in my home that I also like, but if we need to update the flooring in another room of our home, I would go with with NuCore over other brands.

I believe that the floors will outlast the 15-year residential warranty. If they stand up to the wear and tear of use as well as they have the past 6 years, I feel the flooring could last a lifetime.

Why NuCore is the Best Vinyl Plank

If you have not heard of NuCore waterproof vinyl flooring before, it is a vinyl plank floor product that looks like hardwood. It is an engineered floor that has a few layers made up of durable materials. It is certified low-VOC.

A tough top layer, then the wood look surface layer of vinyl adhered to a stable, rigid, and waterproof core that has a cork underlayment that provides padding that keeps the floor feeling solid.

Why I Like NuCore Over Other Brands of LVP Flooring

How-to-use-maps-as-wallpaper-for-affordable-decor
NuCore installed over existing sheet vinyl flooring.
  1. The planks have a cork backing – I am often asked if the floors make a “clicky-clacky” sound that some floating floors make.

Our floors do not have that sound when you walk across them, so I believe that each plank cork back is what makes the floor feel solid and makes no movement when you walk across them. It is quiet and feels comfy.

This is not the case in a room with another brand of vinyl planks that have no cork backing.

Repurposed dresser sideboard into a sink vanity
NuCore over old sheet vinyl flooring.

2. Slight wood grain texture on the planks – the subtle sheen and layers of wood grain on the planks make them look and feel like real wood. It gives the wood a realistic rustic quality.

Bloggers craft room tours
NuCore flooring over plywood subfloor.

3. It truly is scratch-proof – The flooring has wear layers that are pretty much scratch-proof even in high traffic areas. We have had our daughters’ pets – a dog and cat stay with us over the years for extended periods of time. Their messes are easy to wipe clean and there are no scratch marks from their nails even in the rooms they stay in the most.

If I looked hard enough though, I am sure I would find small scratches somewhere on the flooring. They are hard to find since they are not white, but brown so they blend in with the floor.

NuCore Waterproof Flooring FAQ’s: How Is It Holding Up After 6 Years

Is the waterproof flooring installation hard?


For a complete tutorial showing how to install the flooring, see this post: How to Install NuCore Flooring

Did you install this on top of existing tile?


Yes. We installed it in a full bath that had a ceramic tile floor. We installed the vinyl plank flooring right over it. As long as the tile or any existing flooring is clean and level, like wood subfloor or sheet vinyl, you can use NuCore over it.

How to clean NuCore flooring?


All vinyl plank flooring is easy to clean, but since I get asked this question frequently I thought I should add it to this post.

For the last 6 years, I sweep the floors with a broom and dust pan or run the vacuum over to pick up dirt. I then go over them with a Swiffer Wet Jet or Bona Mop with their spray cleaner and washable cleaning pad.

I was asked if the floors are stain-proof? I am not sure since we have a darker color installed. If there are stains, they don’t show.

I do paint a lot and do know that paint spills are easy to clean up even after they have dried. I use a stiff bristle scrub brush, water and dish detergent with no damage to the floor.

How thick are the planks – have they worn down in places?


The planks are 6.5mm thick. They are rigid and have shown no wear even in a high traffic hallway.

The flooring is thick and rigid enough that any imperfections in the flooring or subfloor under it have never shown up.

How do you transition from NuCore to another height of flooring?


Depending on the two levels of flooring that are going to be next to each other, you will need to use an endcap, reducer or T-molding. T-molding is used when the two floorings are the same level.

An endcap and reducer need to be used when the levels are different – vinyl plank, carpet or hardwood. These pieces come in most of the floor colors to make the transition to different flooring feel and look seamless.

What to use where two types of flooring meet on a floor.
Marble threshold where two different types and levels of flooring meet.

In one of the bathrooms – we used the existing marble threshold between the NuCore and the carpet in the hallway that connects to the room. I did run a thin line of white caulk where the planks meet the threshold to make it look finished.

How does NuCore stay in place without gluing it down? 


NuCore is floating tongue and groove flooring. The more you connect the planks together, the heavier the flooring as a whole becomes, which helps to keep it in place.

When installing, you need to allow about 1/4″ all around for expansion.

Once the floor was laid, we added base cap molding around the edges where the floor meets the baseboard. This gives the floor a finished look and also helps to keep it in place.

Did you need to lay down a vapor or moisture barrier before installing the planks on the floor?


We did not install any type of sheeting or barrier like you need to do when you lay a wood floor or wood laminate floor over some floors like concrete. We just installed it straight on top of the existing floor in every room.

Will the NuCore waterproof vinyl floor ruin the flooring underneath? 


We have not removed any of the NuCore since we like it so much and it still looks great. I do not think it will ruin the floor underneath since there are no nails or glue used.

If you are a renter and want to add the flooring, I think the NuCore actually will act as a protector.

Is it really a waterproof floor?


The flooring all by itself is completely waterproof. The joints are tongue and groove that fit snugly together which helps to keep water from seeping through.

We have it installed in two bathrooms – one full bath with a tub and shower, the other a powder room and it is the best for these rooms. We have not seen any mold or mildew in the joints.

Since the flooring is dense and durable vinyl, even if water lays on it for some time, the floors have not gotten damaged like hardwood would.

Does it muffle sound well? 


Most of the flooring is on the first floor of our home. Only one bath upstairs has it and we never hear people up there when we are downstairs. I think the cork backing is one of the best features of the flooring that helps to muffle foot steps.

What does it feel like to walk on it in shoes, socks, bare feet? Does it feel cheap?


It does not feel like cheap flooring. The slight wood grain texture on the planks makes it feel real when walking over it. Since it is cork backed vinyl flooring, it keeps the floor from making any movement or clicking sounds when being walked over.

Will it break under pressure from heavy furniture?


We haven’t had any planks break even under a very large and heavy armoire I have in my studioffice.

Has it dented easily? Have you noticed denting or divots where chairs or furniture have been sitting on it?


There are no dings and dents from furniture, even in my studioffice where there is heavy furniture that I move around frequently.

Have you had any problems with it splitting or warping at the seams?


We don’t have any splitting or warping seams in any of the rooms, but do have one seam in my office that was caused by “user error”. This was the first room in which my husband installed the flooring.

As a newbie to waterproof flooring installation, he didn’t join two planks properly and hear the joining “click”. He realized his mistake after finishing half the floor and looking back at his work. He was going to rip everything out to go back and fix, but it is a small spot and I was fine with it letting it be.

Does it make a click-clack noise when the dogs walk across the floor?


Yes, the dogs nails do make that sound as they walk across the floor, but not as much as they do on the other brand of vinyl plank flooring in my home.

Where do you buy NuCore and how much does it cost?


You can purchase NuCore at Floor & Decor. It costs about $3.00 – $4.99 a sq ft.

Does NuCore flooring fade?


We have one room – my studioffice that gets full southern sun all day. All floors and carpet fade when getting that much sun. The flooring in front of the sliding glass doors in the room has faded slightly.

In the photo below, I marked where I rolled up an area rug in the room so you could see how the flooring has faded.

The full bath with the flooring is in a bright and sunny room, but since the sun isn’t on it all day long, it has not faded.

area rug pulled back to show how floor has slightly faded from sun

Have a Question About NuCore?

As you can tell from this flooring review, we really like all aspects of the flooring – style, price and durability. It has held up beautifully. I would definitely use it again in another room when we want to update the decor of our home.

If your question was not addressed in the post, please leave me a comment and I will try to answer it the best I can.

Read More about Luxury Vinyl Plank and Laminate Flooring:

Nucore Vinyl Flooring Homeowner Review

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41 Comments

  1. Janice Jordan says:

    We just laid Nucore lvp over existing tile and 2 rooms we had to place subfloor of 3/8” plywood to make all floors even. When you walk on it there are many areas in which it sounds hollow, even over the plywood subfloor area and can show a give. Is it possible to remedy this?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Janice – I am not sure there is a way to fix the problem. This didn’t happen to the rooms I put Nucore Flooring in, but in my bedroom where we installed wood laminate, there is one part of the floor that goes from subfloor to concrete, there is a give. I don’t have a sure fix for it, but maybe with a little time, the floor will settle in and the hollow sound we go away.

      Just a thought, maybe there is a syringe type device where you could shoot in some filler under where the hollow sounds are. It would leave a small hole in the top, but you could fill that will wood filler and stain to match. Sorry that I can’t be of more help for you.

  2. Thank you for the review. Do you know if the floor you used was Nucore Performance or the cheaper version?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Debbie – I don’t think it was Nucore Performance. It didn’t say it on the cartons. You can see the image of the boxes of the actual flooring I used here: https://bit.ly/3trsPcK. I am not sure they even had a Performance line when I did my flooring back in 2015.

  3. This article seems like absolute fraud. NuCore is garbage! The locking system breaks easily and then the unlocked edges buckle. Want to remove the surrounding pieces to replace that piece with the cupped edge? Go for it — but then ALL the locking edges on those planks will break too! It’s a far too brittle product and the locking mechanism is a cartoonish mess. Hard to imagine Floor & Decor will continue selling this trash unless they want to pay out a gargantuan legal settlement!

  4. Sal Cracco says:

    Does Nocor have bull nose end caps to finish top floor of a step ( matching color )

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Sal – I checked the Floor & Decor site and found a page where it lists pre-finished and unfinished trims, end caps, etc. From what I can tell, it looks like it is all wood, not actual NuCore vinyl pieces. Here is the page I found: https://bit.ly/45dNNw5

      If you need these pieces, you may have to stain a wood trim to match the color to finish the top floor of a step.

  5. Reading the web for reviews shows that NuCore is a trainwreck and should be avoided at all cost. We were about to spend $30k on materials and almost went with optimax until we read reviews. Now we’re looking at Shaw. Glad we avoided a NuCore disaster. Google NuCore and be prepared to suffer through other peoples nightmares with defective product and denied warranty claims.

  6. Would it be better if we used some kind of glue so it won’t detach and it will stay in place? And if so, what glue would be best to coat the floor with?

  7. Sherlock Holmes says:

    I agree with James. NuCore flooring is junk. Denting and planks not staying together. Please do not buy NuCore flooring. Trying to start a class action lawsuit. Many of us are out 1,000’s of dollars and they do not honor their warranty. Call Matt Metzger to be added to list. He is a lawyer that is looking into it. 513-488-1135

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Lisa – I am sorry to hear that you are not happy with the NuCore flooring you installed. I think the difference is that the older NuCore I installed 7 years ago was made better? I am not sure, but I could not be happier with how mine looks and has stayed looking nice.

  8. Robert lopez says:

    can uncore caesar springs rigid core luxury springs vinyl be laid in a herrenbone pattern even it does not come with a right and left tongue and groove

  9. Hi Diane, thank you for your informative article about LVP. We have a newly installed LVP (NuCore) floor that shows spotting since the time of the install. Normal mopping and cleaning does NOT remove the spots. The installer suggesting using lacquer thinner to remove them. That helps, but doesn’t remove 100% of the spots. I have 2 questions:

    1. Will the lacquer thinner damage the floor? It appears to be okay but I’m worried about deterioration of the vinyl over time.
    2. You had another article about painting vinyl flooring. We don’t want to paint our new floor. Can we “coat” it with something that will make spot clean-up easier? I hesitate to use a lacquer or shellac. Is there something else that might help? A clear, hard, latex enamel?

    Thanks in advance for any advice.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Bill – Sorry to hear that your Nucore floor shows spots. What kind of spots? Is it a defect? Since they showed up since install, have you contacted NuCore or Floor & Decor for a reason this has happened and a fix?

      I agree with you that using lacquer thinner may harm the floor over time. I have never sealed an LVP floor before, so I can’t recommend a product or process. Have you tried different floor cleaners on the flooring to see if one takes the spots out?

  10. Very helpful info in your review. We are getting to start a project with LVP flooring with cork underlayment. Your review helped me decide to go with this. Thank you.

  11. James alday says:

    Justin’s review is a true review. The product is bad. The warranty is useless. My claim was denied because my 100% waterproof flooring, that is “unaffected by moisture and humidity” had (as the official denial letter concluded) ” high moisture readings”. I am also out 10k. My family was so excited to get the flooring done (and the floor IS beautiful) but it began to fail 6 months after install. After speaking with a few lawyers and a class action lawyer we were told that this is a very common story with this particular brand, and it’s nearly impossible to get a successful warranty claim.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi James – I am sorry to hear about how your flooring held up. Mine has held up well in every room we installed it with no problems. The only thing that I can think of is that my flooring was manufactured in 2014 and installed in 2015. The product could have been made differently back then.

  12. James alday says:

    I couldn’t disagree more with this review. Nucore Luxury Vinyl Plank is absolutely NOT waterproof and the Floor and Decor will not honor the warranty if the floors ever become damaged due to moisture.
    My claim was denied on the grounds of “moisture detected” on the affected boards. I bought this with the confidence (based on reviews like this) that the product would last. And like advertised… The 100% waterproof product would not be affected by moisture or humidity (which is clearly stated on F&D website…and reviews like this). Buyers beware. As a test- pretend you own Nucore and try to find a place to leave a review…. Other than F&D directly, there are no places

  13. Thank you so much for this article. I am actually looking at installing Nicole Gunstock Oak in my own home of roughly 1250 sq ft. Your article was so helpful as I could not find any other photos or reviews of this product.

    One question I have for you: did you find that there was enough variation in the pattern? Roughly how many different plank patterns are there to choose from?

    Thank you in advance for any additional insight you might have!!

    -Courtney

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Courtney – I’m glad my post helped you. I am not sure how many plank patterns were in each box. What I do remember is that my husband had a few boxes open at once to use to vary the pattern as he laid the flooring. I think on the directions it said to open a few boxes at a time. Looking at my floors, I don’t see any pattern repetition – not sure if that helps you or not. I do love the floor – it has held up better than I could imagine and so easy to clean.

  14. Eric Nguyen says:

    Hello,

    I am about to purchase the NuCore Flooring vinal to install in a sumroom. However, the Fairfax county is asking for the ICC accredit evaluation report for vinal floor. Would you please let me know how or where can I get one.

    Thank you,

    Eric

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Eric – I am sorry I don’t know the answers to your questions as I am just a blogger reviewing NuCore flooring in my post. I also don’t not know anything about the codes in your area. The best place to find out is on the Floor & Decor store contact page. You can find it here: https://www.flooranddecor.com/contact

      I hope this helps you.

    2. Please research other brands. There are too many people being denied claims on this particular product. Unfortunately there are no ways to leave reviews other than through a review of Floor and Decor site itself. Or if someone builds a website like this one.

  15. We hate our nucore flooring. It started coming apart months after the install. The warranty is worthless as they will always blame the problem your having on installation. Maybe you don’t leave one gap along the wall quite large enough etc. There may have been some manufacturing changes since you installed your floor. The panels we received; you can break the locking mechanism with your finger tip, and the installer wasted tons of boards due to them breaking. And now we get to deal with the ones that broke and he laid down anyways. Flooring is coming apart all over and I will never purchase anything from floor and decore again. It’s so poor quality we pretty much got scammed and have spoken with a law firm about a potential class action lawsuit as we are not the only ones with this exact same issue.
    Floor and decor does not stand behind their product or warranty so it may as well have no warranty at all. Not even a year later and it all needs to be replaced. Also we have several dents and cracks that were from workers dropping some tools on it. I would highly recommend getting another product, it’s just cheap china junk flooring with a fake warranty.

    1. Oh ya, if you do decide to go with this flooring despite my warning. Have it installed by floor and decor. That’s probably the only way the warranty will do you any good as then they just can’t blame it falling apart on any minor installation issue.

      Use something else if your going to diy or hire a professional.

    2. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Justin –

      Sorry to hear your account of NuCore flooring. Mine is the exact opposite. Almost 7 years now and I could not be happier with the flooring. Floor and Decor does sell different types of NuCore flooring so perhaps yours is different style than mine is. My flooring and yours were probably made at different times and manufacturing plants. Since my floors have held up great, I never had to deal with the warranty. Again – sorry to hear you did not have a good experience with the flooring.

      1. Not your fault, I read many good reviews on older installs of this flooring before purchasing and that is why I beleive something has changed. The company really seems to have gone down-hill in my experience as there are now reviews all over the internet with the same problems I experience. Our boxes look very similar to yours, we installed the “light grey” 6.5mm thickness with 20mm+ wear layer (not that it matters when the locking mechanism is defective). There are better ways to waste 10 grand on flooring than to buy NuCore, there are so many other options out there these days. I would gladly pay twice as much to avoid these problems, although I’m sure you could find better flooring for less money too (it should last longer than a couple months for sure). Still feels like we were scammed by Floor and Decore and NuCore (they got our money and we still need a new floor), but some day we will fix it and be able to move on.

        1. Heather Taylor says:

          Justin we have had the same experience as you. Installed @ 3000 sq ft of NuCore rigid flooring throughout the home. Beautiful and sturdy…for about 10 months. Then the buckling and separating began. Installed by people who’ve put in 100’s of floors and to the specifications of the product. When the ‘independent’ inspector came out all he had to do is find one small error (quarter round was placed too tightly above flooring on one wall) for floor and decor to void the entire warranty for all the home. Total scam. Avoid this product at all costs!

          1. Sherlock Holmes says:

            I agree with James. NuCore flooring is junk. Denting and planks not staying together. Please do not buy NuCore flooring. Trying to start a class action lawsuit. Many of us are out 1,000’s of dollars and they do not honor their warranty. Call Matt Metzger to be added to list. He is a lawyer that is looking into it. 513-488-1135

        2. I have the same issue, I was told that a vapor barrier was not needed (by a F&D employee) and that is why I purchased Nucore. After I sent in a claim, they said that it says in the paperwork that if on concrete, a barrier is needed. No where else did it say this, no where in F&D, not with the product info, box, anywhere-EXCEPT FOR THE SMALL PRINT ON THE INSTALLATION PAPAERWORK IS WHAT I AM TOLD. Yes, 3 months it started to warp, by 9 months it was completely damaged. Like you money down the drain, and nothing to do about it. If you find some way to get a warranty will you please let me know. Thanks

  16. Kelsy Richards says:

    Did you install the regular NuCore or use the NuCore Performance line? We are definitely sold on this brand but don’t want to have to spend the extra money for the Performance line if we don’t have to. :)

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Kelsy – The NuCore flooring we installed was not from the Performance line. I don’t think it was even an option when we bought it 7 years ago. Ours is rigid and has a cork backing. Not sure if you read the installation post I wrote, but you can see a photo of the boxes. You can read that here: https://bit.ly/3trsPcK

  17. Thank you, thank you for this post! It is so helpful. You’ve been very thorough & answered all my questions. We have wanted to tackle this project but weren’t sure which project we’d be happy with.

  18. I just had Cortec Vinyl planks installed. I am told that you cannot use rubber backed or latex backed rugs or pads. That it will discolor and permanently stain the vinyl. Have you had any problems using throw rugs? It is hard to find rugs and pads that are safe for vinyl. I need rugs at 3 entry ways and one in front of my kitchen sink. If I had known the care this floor needed I would have went with carpet like my husband wanted to. They are telling me to put all these pads under everything. The pads under the chair legs where we eat did not stay on. They came off and were stuck to the floor. Then had to clean the them and the glue off the floor.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi – Sorry to hear that your flooring is not what you expected. Since my floor is dark, I do not see any discolor where rubber backed rugs are. In my previous house on a light vinyl floor – we did have that problem so I have seen what can happen. The felt chair leg pads that stick on always come off. They do make them that you can hammer on. Using them may be a better option, although with them, you just have to make sure to replace them once the felt wears down, do the nail isn’t exposed and scratches the floor.

  19. Wow, what a resounding endorsement! My hubby & I are going to take a look at it!

  20. We installed LVP in our lakehouse and it is almost my perfect low maintenance flooring. Like you I vacuum and mop with green label Bona and we are good to go. I say almost because my two large dogs slip and slide when they get excited or jump off their bed unlike our other home that has wood and wood laminate floors where they seem to have more traction. Not a good situation for old dogs with old joints. It has not been slippery for people, just them. Work around has been large area rugs and rubber mats around bedding, feeding areas and entrances.

  21. Hello, thanks for all the information. I was thinking of installing in basement. The existing floor is “pebble coat” I think it’s called 🤷‍♀️ It’s like tiny pebbles mixed with epoxy or something. Do you know what I mean? It’s pretty smooth, but since you don’t put an underpayment, do you think this product could be used? Thanks so much 😊

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Kathy – If the overall pebble level of the floor is even, then I would think you could install the flooring – even if some of the pebbles are shorter. As long as the lengths of the planks can lay evenly – it should be fine. But since I am not a pro at flooring, it would be a good question to ask at Floor & Decor or a flooring store near you.

    2. Installing without an underlayment over a concrete slab will void your warranty. Check the box. You might have to put down some plastic.

      1. James alday says:

        Please don’t use the premium Sentry underlayment. It is warranted, but will cause too many problems like creaks, snapping, popping, damage….which will then NOT be covered under warranty. Use a minimal vapor barrier without any padding.