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

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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

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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  1. 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. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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. 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.