NuCore vinyl plank flooring is sold exclusively by Floor & Décor online and in its stores.
It is high-quality vinyl flooring, aka luxury vinyl plank (LVP) and luxury vinyl tile (LVT). The full name is NuCore Rigid Core luxury vinyl plank.
Our “bottom line” opinion is below. We’ll say upfront that with a 22 mils wear layer, attached cork underlayment and an impressive range of styles and finishes, NuCore should be considered along better-known names like Shaw, Armstrong and Mohawk luxury vinyl plank flooring.
This NuCore vinyl plank flooring review includes an overview of the styles, their cost and features with NuCore flooring pros and cons.
NuCore Vinyl Plank Flooring Reviews
Floor & Décor makes it easy to browse your NuCore options. Filters on the site include Finish – so that’s how we’ll do it.
This summary table shows you at a glance what is available. Our reviews of other top brands include these tables for easy comparison.
A review of each Line follows.
6.5mm - 8mm
$2.59 - $3.89
6.5mm & 8mm
$2.89 - $3.49
$2.69 - $3.09
$2.89 - $3.09
$2.99 - $3.09
(1) Thickness: This is the total thickness of the plank including attached cork underlayment.
(2) Warranty: The first number is the residential warranty. The second is the commercial warranty.
Price: This is the cost of the flooring only. Installation accessories like molding and transition pieces are extra.
Installation: DIY installation is cheap, usually just the cost of a few tools you might not have. Pro installation of luxury vinyl costs $1.50-$2.75 depending on the size and complexity of the job and who you hire.
NuCore Textured Vinyl Plank Flooring Review
About half of your NuCore style options are textured. The term “textured” means that molds are used to give the planks real wood or stone feel.
All the styles are locking. Tongue & groove edges make DIY installation an option if you’re a handy homeowner.
The wear layer is 22 mils for all styles. The Lifetime/15 warranty is one of the best available from any manufacturer.
As you can see from the table, there are multiple plank thicknesses. The cost range reflects that. The thicker the plank, the higher the cost.
Where to Use NuCore Textured Flooring
This is the widest range in terms of styles, colors and costs. Depending on plank thickness, it is mid-priced to fairly expensive when compared with competitors.
Textured flooring is popular for residential and commercial settings when the look of traditional wood or stone flooring is desired.
The flooring is easier to clean than EIR flooring because the texturing isn’t as deep, so stubborn dirt doesn’t get lodged in it. However, it is slightly more difficult to clean than High Gloss and Smooth finishes.
NuCore EIR Vinyl Plank Flooring Review
EIR stands for embossed in register. Molds are made from real wood, so the flooring comes out of the molds with deep wood grain with very authentic appearance.
As with the Textured style, all have 22-mil wear layers, include attached cork pad and are backed by lifetime residential and 15-year commercial warranties.
Where to Use NuCore EIR Flooring
This NuCore vinyl plank flooring looks the most authentic.
We prefer this flooring for residential use. The heavy grain pattern feels wonderfully real to the touch and underfoot. That’s the “pro” side.
The “con” is that the deep graining tends to collect dirt and dust, so requires more regular cleaning.
In commercial use, the floor should be swept and/or mopped every day to keep it looking its best. If that’s not a concern, then there is no reason not to use it in retail, office, educational and similar settings.
NuCore Handscraped Vinyl Plank Flooring Review
Handscraped wood is wood that has been worked by hand to give it a traditional, Old World or rustic appearance.
NuCore handscraped planks are made in molds that give them this traditional look and feel.
It has the same specs as the other types: 22-mil wear layer, locking installation and strong warranty protection.
Where to Use NuCore Handscraped Flooring
The ideal setting for handscraped wood is in a residential or commercial building with traditional or rustic design and décor.
Homes set in the woods, cottages and cabins, lodges and retreat centers are popular applications for NuCore Handscraped LVP.
NuCore High Gloss Vinyl Plank Flooring Review
If you like a floor that sparkles, really bringing out the woodgrain beauty, than consider NuCore High Gloss vinyl plank flooring.
Just keep in mind that dirt and mopping streaks are more visible on a high gloss flooring. This means more consistent cleaning and the use of a non-streak cleaning solution.
The specs are the same: 22-mil wear layer, locking/floating installation and lifetime/15 warranty coverage.
Where to Use NuCore High Gloss Flooring
When you want the flooring to be a prominent part of the design scheme, and you don’t mind daily sweeping, consider high gloss NuCore vinyl plank flooring.
The designs fit traditional and contemporary settings very well. They’re less suited to rustic and very modern homes and buildings.
NuCore Smooth Vinyl Plank Flooring Review
NuCore Smooth vinyl plank flooring gives you a modern look and is the easiest to clean.
The downside is that just a few style options are available, and most are light.
Where to Use NuCore Smooth Flooring
These planks and tiles have a clean, understated look. The colors are light.
This presents design pros and cons.
The result is luxury vinyl flooring that suits homes and commercial space with a modern vibe. It does not pair well with medium to dark colors, furniture or cabinets.
Special Features of NuCore Vinyl Plank Flooring
NuCore is similar to other luxury vinyl with a solid plastic core (SPC). These include Armstrong LUXE RigidCore, Shaw Floorte Pro, Mohawk SolidTech and LifeProof ISOCORE.
Here are notable features along with pros and cons.
Waterproof Construction with Pad
The high-density vinyl (plastic) core won’t absorb water like LVP with wood in the core.
From the top down, here is what you get:
Standard LVP Features
This is a floating floor, but it can be glued (see Installation Tips). The waterproof construction means it can go anywhere – bathrooms, laundry area and basements.
NuCore is certified to be a low-VOC flooring. The certification is by GreenGuard from Underwriters Limited. We could not find a FloorScore certification for NuCore.
A Word about the Warranty
There are pros and cons here.
The length is good, but it is a prorated warranty.
The residential warranty is based on 50 years. It is reduced by 2% every year until it reaches 5%. The warranty says, “For example, if the claim is made 20 years after the original purchase, then NuCore will pay 60% (30/50th) of the material.”
The commercial warranty is prorated over 15 years.
Labor is paid for just 3 years on both residential and commercial claims.
Also, the warranty is only good to the original purchaser of the LVP.
Acclimate the flooring inside in unopened boxes for 12-24 hours before installation. This allows the material to reach room temperature. Some brands don’t require acclimation – but we think it is always a good idea.
The indoor temperature should be 60F to 80F during installation.
Glue down the flooring – after locking it together – in areas where sunlight hits it. The reason is that warm flooring is prone to expanding. This might cause the planks or tiles to come apart. Gluing the floor will hold it in place.
Flooring on stairs should be glued too.
NuCore Vinyl Plank Flooring Pros, Cons and Ratings
NuCore makes our Best Brands list as the vinyl plank flooring with the Best Value. That means it is high-quality, but the price is competitive.
Value. Selection is in the top 5, and that’s pretty good for a brand most haven’t heard of.
It is only available from Floor & Decor stores and the company’s website.
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The Bottom Line
The problem is the limited options for quality and price. There isn’t any cheap/affordable NuCore vinyl plank flooring. It ranges from $2.59 to more than $4 per square feet.
If you want a cheap fix-up for your floors, consider low-end Mohawk, Armstrong Vivero Good or Costco Golden Arowana.
Q: Can I install NuCore flooring in my sunroom?
A: Yes, sunrooms are an acceptable location for NuCore luxury vinyl flooring, but only if it’s a glue-down installation.
Q: Is NuCore vinyl available through any other retailers or just Floor & Décor?
A: At this time, you can only purchase NuCore through Floor & Décor, where it is sold as an exclusive through the company.
Q: How long should NuCore acclimate before being installed?
A: There is currently no acclimation period on NuCore vinyl flooring lineup with cork backing.
Q: Will NuCore produce VOCs after it has been installed in my home?
A: No. The company’s lineup of rigid core luxury vinyl are certified by GreenGuard and meet their standards for indoor air quality.
Q: Can I use underlayment with NuCore when it already has pre-attached cork backing?
A: That’s usually not advised, but there are a handful of companies with products suitable for an additional layer of underlayment. In this case, you’ll need to contact the manufacturer beforehand.
Q: Are attics and basements suitable for NuCore vinyl flooring?
A: Yes. While you still need to follow the installation instructions, NuCore is rated for installation on, above, or below ground.
Q: How far can I go with NuCore before I need to use transition molding?
A: According to the company, you can install up to 6,400 square feet of flooring before need to use transition modling with NuCore vinyl
Q: Are any of NuCore’s products available with a matte or smooth finish?
A: Most of the company’s rigid core vinyl has a textured finish, but there are a handful of products with smooth, high gloss, and hand-scraped finishes as well.
Q: Can I find vinyl flooring thicker than 8mm from NuCore?
A: At this time, the majority of their vinyl flooring is 6.5mm, with 8mm being the thickest option currently available.