If you have been thinking about changing your floor, there are so many factors to consider before installing new flooring.
For most homeowners, a floor needs to be durable and easy to install. The kind of floor you install also depends on your budget and there are so many options that you can choose from today from hardwood flooring, vinyl plank, laminate and even NuCore flooring.
What is NuCore
NuCore flooring is a kind of engineered flooring that resembles hardwood, but in actual sense it’s a tough luxury vinyl top layer that is adhered to a rigid, stable and a waterproof core. Due to that it not only looks like hardwood but feels like it as well.
Due to the waterproof nature of NuCore flooring, it can be installed anywhere in the house from kitchens to bathrooms and unlike laminate or hardwood, you don’t have to worry about water damage.
It comes ready to install due to the fact that there is no accumulation time required. The other good thing about this kind of flooring is that it can be installed easily over existing floors and even over slightly uneven floors.
It is the easiest to install due to its simple drop lock installation and as such you don’t have to pay a professional to do the installation. There are NuCore options that have an attached cork underlayment to make the floor soundproof and warm. The floor is also resistant to odors that may cause mildew and mold.
About Vinyl Plank Flooring
Vinyl plank is usually a great addition to any home if you are thinking about redoing your floors. It is versatile and not to mention well priced.
It’s just like COREtec flooring reviewed that’s designed to mimic hardwood flooring and has so many advantages over other kinds of floorings. For one, it can be installed in places were laminate or hardwood can’t, like the bathroom, basement and the kitchen.
It also wears well, feels soft and warm and is the easiest to maintain. While vinyl plank flooring is cheaper than hardwood flooring, it may not be the best choice environmentally due to the fact that it is not biodegradable.
Vinyl flooring has been around for decades and is available in either planks, tiles or sheets. Vinyl sheets measure 6 to 12-foot-wide and come in various textures and colors. Vinyl planks are just planks while the tiles are designed to mimic ceramic tiles in terms of texture as well as appearance.
Like mentioned, vinyl plank flooring can be installed in areas like the kitchen or bathroom unlike hardwood or laminate flooring. The planks are treated with an antimicrobial agent that makes the floor resistant to mildew, bacteria and mold.
They’re durable as well as scuff resistant which makes them ideal for high traffic areas like hallways and stairs and hard wearing areas like playrooms and bedrooms. The planks don’t dent easily and are scratch-resistant which means that they can be installed in homes with kids and pets.
The only downside is that the floor is susceptible to tears and cuts especially when you are moving heavy furniture across. Caring for this kind of flooring is very easy. Ensure that spills are wiped with a soft cloth and the floor is cleaned with the finest microfiber mops.
The floor should be vacuumed with a premium upright vacuum or best vacuum cleaners while on the budget regularly to prevent dirt and debris from scratching the floor or even a portable car cleaner. One thing to note is that this floor tends to fade when exposed to direct sunlight.
NuCore Flooring Construction
Luxury vinyl plank flooring is the most common type in the market. It is waterproof, very easy to install and maintain unlike hardwood or laminate flooring. It is cheap and ideal for homeowners on a budget.
Traditional vinyl plank flooring, both LVP and LVT, are made from synthetic materials formed after mixing and melting of polyvinyl chloride resins, calcium carbonate, white pigments, fungicide, plasticizers as well as UV stabilizers.
This is done using heat and pressure before being added to a backing layer. Traditional luxury vinyl is made of four-layers:
Layer 1 – Wear
This is a transparent layer that is usually the top coating that makes vinyl plank scratch, fade as well as stain resistant.
Layer 2 – Decorative Image
This is a thin digital image that is inserted into the vinyl core to give the planks the appearance of wood or ceramic tiles.
Layer 3 – Vinyl Core
This is the PVC material that is usually the main component of luxury vinyl tiles and luxury vinyl planks. The layer is flexible and also 100 percent waterproof.
Layer 4 – Backing Layer
This is usually the finishing layer that is not only waterproof but is responsible for preventing mold and mildew.
Benefits of NuCore Vinyl Plank Flooring
Traditional vinyl plank flooring is very common among many homeowners due to its durability and waterproof qualities. Here are a few reasons why most people prefer it over hardwood or laminate flooring:
Vinyl plank is 100 percent waterproof and as such can be installed in wet-prone areas of the house like the bathroom, kitchen or the basement. With it, you never have to worry about water damage due to the backing layer that makes it waterproof.
Easy to Install
Vinyl plank can either be installed below, above or on grade and can be installed anywhere. With this flooring, you can do the installation yourself since it can be found in either glue down or click-lock planks. Due to this, you don’t require a lot of tools or any special skills to do the installation.
Mimics Hardwood Flooring
Vinyl flooring has come a long way and today’s digital printing technology is the best. It mimics hardwood flooring and you can find vinyl in different styles and colors. Textures also vary.
What makes this flooring ideal for areas like the bathroom is the fact that it is anti-static as well as slip resistant.
Both luxury vinyl planks and tiles are soft and comfortable underfoot, more so than even porcelain tiles and ceramic. A thin vinyl, however, when installed over a concrete floor tends to have harder feel than plywood flooring.
When deciding between different flooring options, vinyl is the most affordable waterproof option. Click lock vinyl, however, is more expensive than glue down option.
Easy to Clean and Maintain
Unlike hardwood flooring that requires waxing every now and then, vinyl is easy to clean as well as maintain. You only need to sweep the floor once in a while with a durable floor sweeper or do an occasional deep cleaning to maintain good looking floors.
NuCore Flooring Product Range
When choosing vinyl floor, you need to consider the room where it will be installed as well as the décor. There are usually two choices when it comes to vinyl flooring:
Inland Vinyl Flooring
Inland vinyl flooring refers to floor that has color granules embedded into the vinyl sheet giving it a deeper look. This choice provides the option of choosing different colors when installing.
Printed Vinyl Flooring
Printed vinyl flooring is usually a color or pattern that is normally printed directly onto the vinyl. It is designed to look like the more expensive options and as such is popular in many homes. There are so many patterns of printed vinyl flooring and its installation is quite easy.
NuCore Flooring Designs and Sizes
Just like any other kind of flooring, vinyl comes in a variety of designs as well as sizes. It comes in different varieties of tile flooring, sheet flooring and plank flooring.
Vinyl Sheet Flooring
Vinyl sheet flooring comes in the form of sheet and is perfect for moisture-prone areas like mudrooms and bathrooms. Compared to other flooring kinds, it’s higher on the price range and comes in sheets of between 5 to 12 feet which makes it nearly seamless during installation.
Vinyl Plank Flooring
Vinyl plank flooring is a favorite for many people due to its durability and resistance to dirt. It is the one that closely mimics hardwood flooring.
The planks are cheaper and the installation is also very easy. It can be installed above a subfloor without the need for an underlayment.
Vinyl Tile Flooring
Vinyl tile flooring resembles marble or ceramic tiles. The tiles are easy to install and they give a new look to a room and just like tiles, they are also waterproof.
Pros and Cons of NuCore Flooring
Some NuCore vinyl planks have an anti-microbial layer to prevent mold and mildew. They are both water and scratch resistant but this may not be consistent across all brands.
NuCore planks are affordable to most homeowners and despite this, the thickness is not compromised as it is just like those of more expensive floorings.
NuCore comes in a variety of shadings and finishes that you can choose from. It comes in 35 colors as well as patterns. The finishes include either gloss, scraped or hand scraped and the styles range from deeper mahogany shades to whitewashed gray tones.
The warranty covers pet damage and there is the guarantee that the floor will not stain if spills and pet accidents are wiped immediately they occur.
No Clear Wear or/and Scratch Resistance Level
Unlike other kinds of flooring, there is no telling the scratch levels that NuCore can handle to determine what might damage the floor and what might not. The absence of non-endorsed reviews is also discouraging.
There is no downloadable catalog anywhere which means that the styles change often. As such, this would prove a problem when you are looking to replace damaged planks as it may be hard finding matching planks.
NuCore Vinyl Plank vs Laminate Flooring
Laminate consists of layers that have been stuck together in a lamination process. It can be installed through the click and lock method also referred to as the floating floor system which means that it does not require to be glued or nailed to the subfloor.
It is easy to install but the floating system means that the floor should not come into contact with water. While they are resistant to water, they are not entirely waterproof like NuCore. Humidity and moisture can easily damage them due to the aerated gaps underneath and the sponge-like fiberboards.
It should therefore not be installed in wet prone areas like kitchens, basements or bathrooms. Comparing vinyl plank vs laminate, NuCore holds well against water as it is waterproof.
It is also very easy to install on your own due to the drop-lock installation and there is no accumulation time needed. It can also be installed over existing floors, unlike laminate. There is NuCore that comes with an attached cork underlayment to make the floor as soundproof and warm as possible.
Unlike laminate flooring, NuCore performs very well in bathrooms and kitchens and its maintenance is also easy.
NuCore Vinyl Plank vs Hardwood Flooring
While vinyl plank is mostly plastic, it is the cheapest option that brings you the closest to hardwood flooring. Hardwood floors, however, are a great investment and they add value to your home when you are re-selling and not to mention last for so many years.
On the downside, they are easily damaged by moisture and as such you have to be extra careful where you are installing them. This is the complete opposite with NuCore which is 100 percent waterproof.
Installation of hardwood floors is also not easy and most of the time you have to spend money on a professional. NuCore, on the other hand, is one of the easiest to install.
In terms of cost, hardwood floors are expensive since they are 100 percent wood. If you don’t have that much money, it would be best to go with a cheaper alternative like NuCore.
NuCore Vinyl Plank vs Tiles
Both NuCore and tile flooring are waterproof and you never have to worry about water damage like with other floors. It, however, feels softer and more comfortable underfoot which means that you can stand on the floor for long, unlike tiles that tend to be cold and feel a bit hard.
Both tile and NuCore can be installed anywhere. Installation of NuCore plank is however much easier and is something you can do on your own, but it doesn’t increase your home value, unlike tile floors.
How to Install Nucore Vinyl Plank Flooring
Installation of NuCore vinyl plank is easy as they are installed using the tongue and groove system which only requires you to prepare the subfloor. When installing, ensure that you follow the instructions given by the manufacturer regarding vapor barriers.
One thing you need to be aware of is that most of the time the acclimatization time on the website is normally different from what is listed on the warranty and as such you need to get clarification from the manufacturer before installing.
Begin by preparing the subfloor and then lay the planks from left to right beginning from the longest wall. Ensure that you lay the tiles on the entire floor before you begin installing so that you can determine where to make adjustments.
Work from different boxes so that you can vary the texture and colors. Once you have finished, lock every board to the next at the edges. You can secure the seams by tapping them down and ensuring that you leave at least a quarter-inch from the walls to allow for expansion.
Does Nucore Vinyl Plank Flooring Need an Underlayment?
NuCore can be installed easily over any existing floor without an underlayment except for carpet. If you are installing it on tiles, for instance, you need to level out the tiles, by filling grout lines. If you are installing it over any other floor, you need to ensure that the floor is as flat as possible.
There are NuCore options that tend to have an attached cork underlayment if you are looking for a soundproof and warmer floor. If NuCore is installed directly on tiles, it tends to take up the harder feeling of the tiles.
How to Install NuCore On the Stairs?
For the stairs, install a few planks and then ensure that you fit the edges with the coordinating noses of the stairs that come with the planks.
You can choose to replace your old stair treads with hardwoods treads instead during installation and then use the stair noses for the edges where the top floor drops off the stairs.
How to Clean and Maintain NuCore Vinyl Plank
Step 1 – Sweep or vacuum regularly
When it comes to NuCore, to maintain the look of the floor, ensure that you sweep with a soft broom or a vacuum once in a while just to remove dirt and debris that may have accumulated.
Step 2 – Use the right cleaning products
Avoid going overboard and instead use cleaning products that are ideal for cleaning no-wax floors following the manufacturer’s instructions.
Step 3 – Do not wax
Unlike hardwood floors that require waxing occasionally, NuCore flooring, just like any other vinyl flooring, does not need to be waxed. Waxing will end up ruining your floor instead.
Step 4 – Use furniture paddings
To avoid denting your NuCore floor, use furniture paddings especially on the feet of chairs, tables and even cupboards.
Step 5 – Don’t drench the floor
Even if NuCore is waterproof, it doesn’t mean that you drench the floor when cleaning. Water can still get through the seams and edges and can cause the planks to warp.
How to Choose the Right NuCore Floor for You
When choosing any flooring, go with a brand that will last you for years and does not dent or scratch especially when dragging furniture across.
Resistance to Water
If your floor is to last your long, it needs to be water resistant. The levels of resistance vary across different brands with hardwood and laminate being more susceptible to water damage.
Unless you want to spend money on an installation technician, you need to ensure that the floor you choose is easy to install. Vinyl plank and laminate are the easier to install.
Ease of maintenance and cleaning is an important factor to consider when buying any flooring. It should be easy to clean and maintain especially considering where you will be installing the floor.
Vinyl plank and laminate are scratch resistant and as such are ideal for homes with pets. You need to ensure that the product’s warranty also covers pet damage as well as pet stains.
If you are looking to eliminate noise, you need to go with flooring that is as quiet as possible and can be installed even on top floors.
Styles and Sizes
Different floor options come in different style and sizes especially laminate and vinyl plank so that you can buy one that fits your needs and style.
When choosing flooring option, go with one that offers more comfort. Vinyl, laminate and hardwood flooring are warmer than tile floorings.
At the end of the day, your budget will determine the kind of floor your will need. However, avoid going with cheap options that you will have to replace in a few years.
Does More Spending Mean More Quality
When it comes to NuCore flooring, sometimes more spending does mean better quality especially when it comes to the level of comfort as well as how soundproof the room is.
The NuCore that has a pre-attached cork backing tends to be more expensive but more comfortable than the ones that don’t. Again, while NuCore vinyl is water and scratch resistant, this varies across different brands and models, with expensive models being of better quality.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is NuCore flooring waterproof?
NuCore flooring is waterproof and hence the reason it is installed in bathrooms as well as kitchens.
Radiant heating with NuCore vinyl plank?
NuCore can be used on top of radiant heating as long as the heat is not too much to compromise the quality of the floor.
Can NuCore vinyl plank flooring be trimmed easily?
Since NuCore planks are plastic, they can be cut and trimmed easily to the length you desire.
Is NuCore vinyl plank scratch resistant?
NuCore vinyl plank is usually scratch resistant hence can be used in homes with kids as well as pets.
Can you steam mop over NuCore vinyl plank flooring?
Even when using the perfect steam mop, steam mopping is not ideal as the steam and water seep between the planks causing them to warp.
Does new NuCore vinyl plank flooring increase home value?
New NuCore vinyl plank can increase home value as the buyer doesn’t have to worry about replacing the floors.
Where can you buy NuCore flooring?
NuCore flooring is mostly sold by Floor and Décor stores.
When it comes to flooring, NuCore vinyl plank is a cheaper option to hardwood flooring. It is easy to install and also scratch resistant meaning that you can install it even if you have kids and pets.
The main reason why most people go with this kind of flooring is that it is waterproof and unlike laminate or hardwood, you never have to worry about water damage. It can be installed in bathrooms, kitchens and other moisture-prone areas of the house.
Photos from: photography33 / depositphotos.com, urfingus / depositphotos.com, pproman / depositphotos.com, alfexe / depositphotos.com and NikD51 / depositphotos.com.