Smartcore vinyl plank flooring quality is above average, but not quite premium. The cost is competitive. That combination of higher quality and lower cost gives you good value.
You can expect 8-12 years from the floor, possibly more if it is treated with TLC.
Here are facts about Smartcore:
This Smartcore LVP/LVT flooring review provides in-depth research to assist your buying decision. It includes:
Smartcore Vinyl Plank Flooring Reviews
There are two lines of Smartcore: Ultra and Pro.
Here’s a bit of technical information about their construction and where they are typically installed.
Smartcore Ultra LVP is called WPC flooring:
Smartcore Pro is called SPC flooring:
Here is a summary table, with details following:
$3.20 - $3.40
$3.50 - $3.65
(1) Thickness: This is the total thickness of the plank.
(2) Warranty: The first number is the residential warranty. The second is the commercial warranty.
Cost: The prices shown are just the flooring planks and tiles. Trim and transition strips, if needed, are extra.
Installation: This is DIY-friendly flooring, but if you hire a pro, expect estimates to range from $1.50-$2.75 per square foot for installation. Cost varies based on the complexity of the job and cost of living in your area.
Smartcore Ultra Vinyl Plank Flooring Review
Best described as midgrade LVP/LVT, Ultra is available in fewer styles than most major brands. But cost is reasonable for vinyl plank flooring of this quality.
The wear layer is 12 mils. 6-12 mils is average for residential-grade vinyl plank flooring.
All styles are 7.5mm thick and have attached pad.
Where to Use Smartcore Ultra LVP and LVT
This is a popular choice for homeowners that want good quality at a fair price. Both cheaper and more premium vinyl plank flooring is available.
It is waterproof LVP, so it is suitable for any room or your home and any level, including the basement.
We recommend Smartcore Ultra for residential use if you expect to live in your home for at least 5 years. That’s how you’ll get the best value from your investment. If moving soon, then cheaper LVP is a more cost-effective choice.
Smartcore Pro Vinyl Plank Flooring Review
This is slightly thinner (6mm) but tougher LVP due to the rigid stone and polymer core. It has a 20 mils wear layer, which is about average for commercial-grade LVP.
Pad is attached.
Smartcore Pro is waterproof and suited to wet areas in homes and commercial buildings.
Where to Use Smartcore Pro LVP
It’s backed by a lifetime residential warranty, so putting it in your home is an option.
However, since it is harder, many homeowners use throw rugs where they commonly stand or in front of couches and easy chairs.
The ideal setting is a commercial building. It has a 10-year commercial warranty.
Smartcore suggests Retail (Shops, salons, showrooms), Medical (waiting/patient rooms, hallways), Hotels (guest rooms, lobby), Offices & Restaurants and Institutional (classrooms, training rooms, residence halls).
Special Features of Smartcore Vinyl Plank Flooring
These are notable features, though not all are unique to Smartcore.
Waterproof Construction – with a Recommendation
Even the WPC – wood/polymer core – is labeled waterproof because it is fully encased in vinyl.
However, if floors are consistently wet, then we recommend Smartcore Pro with the stone/polymer core.
These days, most LVP and LVT comes with attached pad. This slightly raises product cost, but lowers installation cost by reducing a step.
Float it or Glue it
The tongue & groove interlocking construction creates a floating floor.
However, once interlocked, the flooring can be glued down too. When would you glue a floor?
We mention these for comparison as you research other brands.
The Pro wear layer is thicker and tougher, a better choice in commercial settings and in homes with big dogs and where shoes are worn indoors.
Most Subfloors and No Telegraphing
Smartcore vinyl plank flooring can be installed over wood, concrete and tile with the proper preparation (see the Installation Guide for your flooring type).
Both Ultra and Pro are rigid enough to prevent slight imperfections and tile grout lines from showing through the flooring, a problem called telegraphing.
VOCs, or volatile organic compounds, are a significant source of indoor air pollution when they leach from building materials.
Smartcore Ultra and Pro are both certified GreenGuard Gold as low-VOC products, which means, “this flooring meets stringent indoor air quality emissions criteria.”
Smartcore Vinyl Plank Flooring Pros, Cons and Ratings
As we’ve said, this is a COREtec brand in the cheap to midgrade range.
Both WPC and SPC cores are available. Both offer a lifetime residential warranty. Selection is fair to good. Quality is excellent.
Cost is higher than for comparable flooring.
The Bottom Line
Smartcore, made by COREtec, offers quality that is better than average, though not the best. It’s one of the better options in the mid-priced range.
Selection is only so-so, at it is sold only at Lowes.
Here’s what we recommend:
If you’ve had good experiences with Lowes (or at least not bad experiences), take a look at the selection. Start online, and if a few options get your attention, go to a Lowes to see and feel the planks in person.
If you like the flooring but can’t find a color/style you want, then look at COREtec, since Smartcore is COREtec flooring by another name. View the much larger COREtec selection online, and then find a local store using the Store Locator to see it in person.
Another option is to browse Shaw, since Shaw is the owner/manufacturer of COREtec and Smartcore. Shaw Floorte is comparable to Smartcore Ultra. Shaw Floorte Pro is comparable to Smartcore Pro, and the Shaw selection is much larger.