Nucore Vinyl Plank Flooring Reviews

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.

Line

Thickness (1)

Wear Layer

Cost/sq. ft.

Warranty (2)

Textured

6.5mm - 8mm

22 mils

$2.59 - $3.89

Lifetime/15

EIR

6.5mm & 8mm

22 mils

$2.89 - $3.49

Lifetime/15

Handscraped

6.5mm

22 mils

$2.69 - $3.09

Lifetime/15

High Gloss

6.5mm

22 mils

$2.89 - $3.09

Lifetime/15

Smooth

6.5mm

22 mils

$2.99 - $3.09

Lifetime/15

(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

NuCore Gunstock Rigid Core Luxury Vinyl Plank - Cork Back

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.

  • Styles: About 50
  • Types: Mostly wood, but a few stone and tile looks too.
  •  Colors: The whole spectrum is covered including grays and those with “high variation.”
  • Widths: Planks 3” to 8”. Most are 6” to 8”. Tiles are 12”x24”. About 10 of the wood-look plank styles come with planks of mixed width to give any room a unique appearance.
  • Edge: Mostly beveled, which gives the floor a more finished look. A few straight edges are available if you prefer a more traditional or rustic appearance.

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

NuCore Crosswind Rigid Core Luxury Vinyl Plank - Cork Back

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.

  • Styles: NuCore makes about 20 styles with EIR technology.
  • Types: All styles are wood looks. No stone or tile.
  • Colors: Light, medium and dark, but none with “high variation.”
  • Widths: Most styles are uniform widths from 6” to 8”. A few are multi-width, usually with planks of 3 different widths.
  • Edge: Beveled.

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

NuCore Ombre Gray Rigid Core Luxury Vinyl Plank - Cork Back

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.

  • Styles: About 20
  • Types: Wood only
  • Colors: Dark, medium, light and grays. No “high variation” styles.
  • Widths: Planks are 6” to 8” in most styles.
  • Edge: Beveled.

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

NuCore Adelino High Gloss Rigid Core Luxury Vinyl Plank -Cork Back

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.

  • Styles: About 10 (we say “about,” because some styles are eliminated and others added from time to time – as with any luxury LVP/LVT brand).
  • Types: Wood only.
  • Colors: A few each of light, medium, dark and gray.
  • Widths: Most are 6” to 8” planks.
  • Edge: Micro-beveled edges give the flooring a contemporary, finished look.

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 Lineage Grey Rigid Core Luxury Vinyl Plank - Cork Back

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.

  • Styles: Less than 5 (currently).
  • Types: Wood and stone options.
  • Colors: Light and gray.
  • Widths: Wide plank wood and 12”x24” tile/stone
  • Edge: Micro-beveled.

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:

  • 22 mils wear layer: It is one of the thickest in the industry, and the outstanding warranty shows the confidence Floor & Décor has in this product. The wear layer includes an anti-microbial coating to prevent the growth of mold and bacteria.
  • Print layer: Realistic wood, stone and tile designs create beautiful decorative layers. As noted above, several textured and smooth finishes are available.
  • Vinyl core: This is a rigid core that gives the flooring stability. It is waterproof.
  • Angle-locking design: Similar to tongue & groove design promotes easy installation.
  • Attached cork underlayment: The cork is softer than plastic underlayment used by LifeProof. The cork also reduces noise.

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.

Installation Tips

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.

Pros:

Value. Selection is in the top 5, and that’s pretty good for a brand most haven’t heard of.

Cons:

It is only available from Floor & Decor stores and the company’s website.

Ratings: 

  • Range of color/style options: 5
  • Quality: 5
  • Ease of installation: 4
  • Green/Low-VOC: 4
  • Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5

The Bottom Line

This is a Top 5 vinyl plank flooring for value – which we define as quality at a fair price. We rank it right up there with mid-grade and premium lines from Shaw, Armstrong and Mohawk.

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.

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