COREtec Flooring Problems + Fixes to Try

COREtec flooring is a collection of vinyl flooring products that was invented by USFloors but now falls under the Shaw Industries brand. CORETEC floors come with great durability and a variety of beautiful finishes.

However, past buyers of vinyl flooring planks and tiles have also expressed complaints regarding the product. Below, I have discussed the common problems of COREtec floors to help you understand the expectations and hopefully make a better decision when buying.

I’ve also analyzed how good CORETEC vinyl flooring is, with a specific focus on its problems and the warranty conditions.

Are COREtec floors worth the money?

While not necessarily budget-friendly, COREtec flooring products offer great value for money. They have great durability and comfortability due to their waterproof nature. Their feel under the foot is really so great.

COREtec flooring is targeted at and marketed to the middle-class and upper-class consumer segments. This means that it’s relatively expensive compared to regular vinyl flooring brands. You’ll part with about $6.90-$10.20 per square foot to purchase COREtec Plus vinyl flooring planks. COREtec Pro Plus LVP floorboards- on the other hand- sell for $5- $7.50 per square foot.

Common COREtec Flooring Problems

If you’ve bought vinyl planks before, you’ll easily tell if they have a problem when you see the packaging dust doesn’t clear even with cleaning. But that’s not the only problem; I expect vinyl floors to scratch, but not so easily.

Common COREtec Flooring Problems and isssues with their possible fix

I have discussed some of the most common problems with COREtec flooring options and what you can do with your warranty to fix the probmes.

Here are the COREtec flooring problems:

COREtec Flooring can Scratch

While COREtec flooring lists their products as being scratch-resistant, this doesn’t mean the same thing as ‘scratch-proof’. The thick wear layer will withstand scratches, but only to a certain extent. As such, avoid dragging heavy items such as furniture across your COREtec vinyl surface.

You can also work your way around this problem by going for COREtec LVP flooring that features a rustic/distressed pattern. Scratches and gouges won’t be as visible on such a floor should you drop very sharp objects on it.

Installation over radiant heat problems

You should probably avoid installing COREtec vinyl over radiant heat, as vinyl floors are susceptible to damage when there’s radiant heat underneath the flooring. Even worse- COREtec flooring features cork underlayment for cushioning and soundproofing.

However, this cork padding significantly blocks the transfer of heat if installed over radiant heat. Therefore, if you must install COREtec flooring over radiant heat, you might as well go for the COREtec One LVP, which lacks cork underlayment.

Bouncing/Separating Planks

One of the biggest problems with floating floor systems such as COREtec vinyl is that the planks start to move or bounce as you walk on them. This is usually due to the flooring being installed on an uneven surface.

An extremely uneven subfloor can cause the COREtec floorboards to separate, exposing your subfloor to water damage. Therefore, before you install COREtec flooring, you may want to level out your subfloor first using a levelling mix.

Floor cushioning problems

COREtec products that fall under the original ‘COREtec One’ line are relatively budget-friendly. But there’s a catch! They lack cork underlayment at the bottom- which is unlike every other COREtec collection.

This- therefore- means that COREtec One flooring lacks proper cushioning and consequently feels hard to walk on, which is a problem for most of us. The lack of cork padding also results in this type of COREtec flooring having poor sound-dampening and heat insulation capabilities.

Peeling and curling issues

COREtec flooring is not the most durable type of flooring when compared to other types of floors such as solid hardwood that can last even 100 years. COREtec vinyl will start showing signs of wear such as peeling and curving planks at around 10-15 years.

The peeling is usually due to the wearing out of the glue along the edges and corners of the vinyl planks. Curling of COREtec LVP leaves the floor looking unsightly and should be corrected at the onset.

What’s more, dust and debris particles will start to collect under the peeled layer. Luckily, you can solve this problem by reapplying the adhesive and pressing down the edges of the COREtec planks.

COREtec issues, scartching, Peeling and curling issues, Gaps between planks

Gaps between the planks

Sometimes, adjoining COREtec EVP flooring may show signs of separation/gaps between two adjoining floorboards. This happens over time due as the planks shrink and expand. The gaps can also occur due to the disengagement of the click-lock mechanism during installation.

To solve this problem and seal such gaps, you can use a commercial wax filler. However, if there are several gaps, you may have to reinstall the entire floor the proper way.

Not an eco-friendly flooring option

COREtec EVP floors boast virgin vinyl construction, making them significantly lower in Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). These chemicals lower indoor air quality and can trigger respiratory issues in some people. However, being a low-VOC flooring option doesn’t make COREtec floors exactly the safest.

While COREtec is GreenGuard certified as being safe for use, even trace amounts of VOCs can still pose a threat to user health. What’s more, other flooring options like natural hardwood contain no VOCs at all and are thus considered as more eco-friendly alternatives to COREtec vinyl.

COREtec Flooring Warranty

Shaw Industries offers customers of all of its COREtec collections warranties. These include limited lifetime warranties for COREtec Plus and COREtec Plus Pro flooring products; as well as 25-year warranties for COREtec One flooring products.

However, for a customer’s claim to be approved, the must adhere to the company’s product installation guidelines and specifications; as well as the maintenance recommendations.

The COREtec flooring warranty covers the following aspects:

Manufacturing defects

The company guarantees that COREtec floor planks are devoid of manufacturing defects such as thickness variation, delamination, core voids, and dimensional stability issues.

Wear

Shaw Industries guarantees that its COREtec flooring products- under normal use- won’t wear through to the design/print layer. However, this warranty doesn’t cover superficial wear such as scratches and fading on the finishing.

Limited Lifetime Structural Warranty

If a customer’s claim of a manufacturing defect is deemed valid, Shaw Industries shall cover the product replacement costs. However, this warranty doesn’t cover any associated labor costs, unless the manufacturing defect develops post-installation. In such a case, the warranty will cover the installation labor costs as well.

Limited Lifetime Petproof Warranty

The owners of the COREtec collection guarantee that staining of the floor due to pet soiling (urine or stool) and vomit will not occur. This warranty doesn’t cover any staining due to soiling or vomit caused by anybody other than your pets.

Limited Lifetime Waterproof Warranty

The Shaw Company warrants that topical moisture will not cause damage- such as cupping, warping, or swelling- to their COREtec EVP flooring products. The warranty covers normal spills, moisture from floor cleaning procedures, and moisture from the subfloor.

This warranty only applies to damage occurring from topical moisture. As such, it doesn’t cover damage resulting from moisture seeping through the edges of the floorboards into the subfloor. Also, while it covers moisture from the subfloor, a claim will only be considered valid if the moisture conditions of the subfloor are normal and not extreme.

An extremely wet subfloor should be dried up prior to installation, as the excessive moisture can cause mold growth and lifting/flaring of the COREtec floorboards due to vapor pressure from underneath.

No acclimation

The company guarantees that their COREtec flooring products can be installed right away after purchase, with no need to acclimate the planks to the room conditions.

Advantages of COREtec Flooring

Apart from the problems and issues I’ve discussed above, COREtec has its own benefits and advantages that make it one of the best flooring options out there. Here are some of the reasons why it is worth the money especially when you receive yours without manufacturing defects.

Comfortable Underfoot Feel

Regular vinyl floors usually feel hard and offer little underfoot cushioning due to their vinyl-only cores. However, luxury vinyl floors like COREtec vinyl planks feature a Stone Polymer Composite (SPC) or Wood Polymer Composite (WPC) core that provide a comfortable underfoot feel.

Great Durability

COREtec vinyl planks boast wear layers that are significantly thicker (between 20-30 mils) than those found in other brands of Luxury Vinyl Plank (LVP) flooring. With such a thick wear layer, you should expect your COREtec LVP floor to hold up well to scratches and dents for years.

Cork Underlayment

The bottom part of COREtec vinyl planks feature cork padding that dampens sounds and provides heat insulation. You’ll- therefore- hear no sounds as you walk across the floor; and you’ll also enjoy a warm underfoot feel.

Diverse Product Range

Whether you’re looking for domestic flooring options or heavy-duty vinyl flooring for your commercial establishment, COREtec has something for you. The brand’s flagship product line- COREtec Plus- is an improvement upon the original line- COREtec One.

Meanwhile- the ultra-durable COREtec Pro Plus collection is targeted towards owners of commercial establishments where high amount of foot traffic is expected. It boasts a denser core layer for topnotch durability.

Additional COREtec products include COREtec Wood and COREtec Stone. While the latter is simply a collection of standard vinyl flooring that have a stone tile look, COREtec wood is LVP flooring that incorporates a real hardwood veneer.

All these COREtec collections feature planks in a wide range of styles and finishes, giving customers plenty of choices to pick from. With COREtec flooring, you’ll always find something that matches your personal style preferences.

100% Waterproof

All COREtec LVP flooring products are 100% moisture-proof. As such, they can’t suffer common structural issues linked to water damage, such as buckling and warping. Other types of flooring- such as engineered hardwood floors- are often listed as water-resistant.

However- water-resistant isn’t the same thing as waterproof; and such floors are vulnerable to water-damage when subjected to significant amounts of water. This isn’t the case with COREtec, which boasts four moisture-proof layers and can be installed in wet spaces such as kitchens, bathrooms, and basements without the fear of any potential structural problems.

Easy to Install

COREtec vinyl flooring is easy to install- making it great for DIY enthusiasts who would like to save on installation costs. The planks have a click-lock mechanism that allows them to be quickly installed as a floating floor. Even better- you can opt to glue down the planks. Due to the ease of installation, professional COREtec LVP installation costs are relatively low, ranging from $1.50-$5.00 per square foot.

3 thoughts on “COREtec Flooring Problems + Fixes to Try”

  1. I have just installed core tech flooring.
    The hard plastic floor protectors on the bottom of my bedroom furniture have left many permanent orange stains.
    Cortex said they will not cover this because it wasn’t an “approved” floor protector.
    No warning from floor company or on the box.
    The stains are permanent and will not come out.
    I noticed it after 6 months.
    The protectors are hard brown plastic. No rust.
    I had replaced them with felt but at least a rep could come out and check .
    I will now need to replace a whole room.
    Beware if what’s under your furniture .. they don’t tell you and then won’t cover it !

    Reply
    • I understand exactly what you’re talking about, Sharon. I recently installed Coretec flooring as well. The mil-layer on top of the flooring (polymer plastic) is faulty as it appears to absorb certain soaps/cleaners which end up leaving a visible stain that cannot be removed. I talked to one flooring professional about this. He said that he does not recommend Coretec to his customers because the company is known for having problems with the mil-layer that covers their flooring product. Instead of fixing the problem, Coretec spends too much time focusing on the “core” of their product instead. When these type of stains take place, the only way to solve the problem is to replace the planks entirely. To say that I am dissapointed with the Coretec product, is a vast understatement.

      Reply
  2. We recently (March 2021) had a Coretec floor installed in our kitchen. First issue: Sales rep stated there was no need to worry about scratches from pets’ nails on floor and this is not the case. Scratches do show on floor. Second issue: you cannot remove simple water marks without getting on your hands and knees and scrubbing with wet rag to remove them. We expected honest answers to our questions before we went forward with this product and this was not the case. We are waiting for sales rep to get “a deeper cleaner” in for us to buy to resolve the water spot problem. Not happy with this product and it was not cheap. Would not recommend.

    Reply

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