COREtec Plus Problems

An image showing COREtec Plus ProblemsDo you have a penchant for swank yet durable floors? COREtec flooring can be the perfect investment for your next home facelift project. What’s in it for you? You get a resilient and beautiful floor at a pocket-friendly price.

However, does it mean that COREtec flooring is devoid of issues? Like any other type of flooring, it has concerns associated with moisture, poor installation, and heat. Read on to discover COREtec Plus problems and how to fix them to get the most out of your floors.

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COREtec Plus problems (with Tips on How to Fix)

At times, COREtec flooring encounters problems such as delamination, peeling, chipping and edge swelling. High moisture levels beneath the flooring predispose it to cupping and buckling problems. COREtec floors can suffer issues such as curling, separating or bouncing of planks due to poor installation. Thankfully, seeking the services of a flooring expert helps prevent most of the quoted problems.

While COREtec is a resilient flooring option, it, too, is not immune to facing problems. In a general sense, these issues arise from poor installation protocols or poor storage practices. The silver lining is that preventing these problems from occurring is possible.

But first, here’s a perspicuous insight into COREtec Plus problems and remedies to help you resolve them. They include;

  1. Peeling and Curling

While COREtec flooring is notably durable, it tends to succumb to peeling and curling problems. These issues can become apparent after many years of use, usually 10 to 15 years. High traffic is a predisposing factor for peeling.

To identify peeling, examine the top layer of your COREtec luxury vinyl planks and see whether it is coming off. Improper installation lays them open to peeling, especially at the corners and edges of planks. Defects in manufacturing can also cause your planks to encounter peeling.

When the adhesive at the planks’ edges wears out and looses its bonding ability, curling and peeling ensue. Consequently, the edges curl upwards. This creates a space where dirt and debris can collect beneath the peeled layer, making your floors an eyesore.

How to fix: One invaluable hack is to fix the peeling issue soon as you notice it. If the peeling is minimal, you can resolve the problem by applying an adhesive and pressing the edges back into position.

Remember to get rid of dirt trapped beneath the peeled layer before rubbing adhesive. However, if you’re dealing with extensive peeling, the best call is to uninstall the affected planks and replace them with new ones.

  1. Scratches

You can count on COREtec Plus flooring to stand against minor scratches with daily abuse. Its construction empowers it to be scratch resistant. However, it is not scratch-proof. There’s a significant contrast between the two.

COREtec flooring bears a thick wear layer that holds out against mild scratches. This layer does not prevent scratches, especially when you move bulky items such as furniture. Dragging heavy equipment across your floor will cause scratches and dents.

If you need to move hefty things across the floor, it is advisable to lift the equipment, move it, and gently set it down. Also, you’d be wise to place protective pads under your furniture’s legs.

How to fix/prevent: For deep scratches, begin by cleaning the spot. This allows you to evaluate the extent of the damage. Then, sand the affected area till the scratch is smooth and level with the plank. Clean the spot and then apply quality wax. If the scrape runs deeper, you might have to replace the affected plank.

With an eye towards concealing scratches, it would help if you opted for a design that hides scratches. Fortunately, COREtec flooring offers a broad range of colors, patterns, and designs. An example that perfectly fits the bill is the Rustic COREtec LVP flooring style. This flooring is less likely to accentuate scrapes, scratches, and other unpleasant marks.

  1. Buckling and cupping

Moisture can be an enemy to your COREtec floors if present in high levels underneath the flooring. While COREtec flooring can stand against moisture remarkably, exposure to excess moisture over long periods can still cause damage.

The damp conditions beneath your flooring cause the planks to react by pulling away from the subfloor, referred to as buckling. Cupping, on the other hand, results from the saturation of moisture beneath the planks. This causes the sides of the planks to become higher than the center, giving the affected plank a cupped shape.

How to fix/prevent: You have to ensure optimal air circulation beneath the flooring. This prevents moisture buildup and wetting of the planks from underneath. Ample ventilation will help in drying out the area.

  1. Bouncing/separation of planks

If you have floating luxury vinyl or COREtec flooring, you definitely have many things to rave about your floors. Floating floor systems are easy to install and do an excellent job of concealing subfloor imperfections. As a plus, a floating LVT floor delivers an appeal similar to hardwood.

You will, however, experience issues with your COREtec flooring if the installation is done on an uneven subfloor. The problem manifests as the separation of planks. You’ll probably detect a bounce as you walk on the floorboards.

At times, you might even feel the planks move. In extreme cases, your flooring can spit to reveal the subfloor. While this problem by itself is somewhat moderate, it predisposes your floor to other serious issues. Separation of the boards enables water to seep through, causing detrimental effects such as curling and peeling.

How to fix/prevent: Utilize a leveling mix to ensure the subfloor is even before installation.

  1. Environmentally unfriendly

If you’re enthusiastic about green products, you’ll want to cogitate about the eco-friendliness of COREtec floors. While the GreenGuard Gold Certification accredits this flooring, it is not exactly eco-friendly.

This is because most LVT floors emit Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). However, COREtec flooring has low levels of VOCs since it is fabricated from virgin vinyl. This means that it still bears traces of the hazardous chemical in its structure, making it incompletely safe.

VOCs are of fundamental concern since they can cause health implications to the users. They can cause respiratory problems with prolonged exposure. The emission of harmful gases into your home also degrades the indoor air quality.

How to fix/prevent: If eco-friendliness is the determining factor for your flooring decision, you might want to consider natural hardwood. It is an environmentally friendly option that lacks VOCs. However, you should note that compared to most LVT flooring products, COREtec products have minimal VOCs.

  1. Crumbling

Most COREtec products come with a backing made of cork. This backing poses a problem when it starts crumbling. As a result, you’ll notice crumbs and small bits collecting beneath the floor or in the tongue and groove locks or latches. Accumulation of these crumbs between locks or latches interrupts the tight fit created when the boards connect.

How to fix: Once you observe crumbling, it is advisable to eliminate the tiny bits and crumbs by sweeping. This way, your floor’s latching ability remains intact.

  1. Flooring warranty issues

Most, if not all, flooring products within the vast COREtec collection come backed by a warranty. This also goes for products in the COREtec Plus line that features several varieties, including COREtec Plus XL, XL Enhanced, COREtec Plus HD, and COREtec Plus Enhanced planks, among many others.

By purchasing COREtec Plus products, you also get to bag a lifetime warranty for residential use and a 10 to 15-year warranty for commercial use. This might vary depending on the retailers involved.

Here’s the catch. To claim the warranty, you must strictly adhere to the recommended usage of COREtec flooring. This means that you’ll have to prove that you’ve followed the recommended instructions to have your warranty claim approved. Therefore, claiming the warranty might be a problem.

Below is a breakdown of the elements covered by the warranty. They include;

  1. Residential wear – The vinyl layer is guaranteed to be wear-resistant under normal foot traffic. This layer will not fade with everyday use. Wear, in this case, means exposure of the inner layer. This means that this warranty excludes superficial wear, such as scratches and loss of sheen.
  2. Manufacturing defects – include thickness variation, delamination, core voids, and dimensional stability defects. For the brand to acknowledge your warranty, you’ll have to prove adamant adherence to the installation instructions.
  3. No acclimation – the brand also guarantees installation of COREtec Plus without acclimation. The only requirement is your house has to be climate controlled and acclimated based on their recommendations.
  4. Lifetime structural warranty – This warranty covers the manufacturer’s defects post-installation. This means the brand covers all the product replacement costs if your claim is approved.
  5. Lifetime waterproof warranty – COREtec flooring is warranted to be completely waterproof. The brand shoulders damages caused by spills, topical moisture, moisture issues from recommended wet cleaning methods, and damage from subfloor moisture. You should remember, however, that your claim will only be deemed valid if extreme moisture conditions in the subfloor are absent. Also, it excludes damage caused by excessive or prolonged exposure to water.
  6. Lifetime Petproof warranty – also warranted by Shaw Industries are unsightly stains due to pet urine, feces, and vomit. It excludes stains caused by other sources apart from your pet(s).


  1. Mold and mildew problems

Mold and mildew can take root in any flooring, and COREtec floors are not immune. If your home or house faces moisture problems, this could precipitate mold invasion on your COREtec floors, settling and eventually spreading.

COREtec flooring has waterproof properties. Even so, damp conditions favor the growth of mold on your floor. Mold becomes problematic after invading your vinyl tiles as it rapidly spreads to other tiles. Besides, it even becomes a challenge to clean mold from your floors.

How to prevent/fix: Fortunately, there are a number of hacks you can use to prevent mold and mildew from taking root on your COREtec Plus floor. They include wiping spills immediately after they occur, employing a dehumidifier during winter and summer, and ensuring adequate ventilation in your home.

In addition, you ought to be cautious when moving from a wet environment. You should ensure that your feet are dry when exiting showers and bathrooms. This way, you’ll avoid tracking wet feet on the floor. Also, when deep cleaning your floor, use a mop specifically meant to wipe up the water. You don’t want to leave puddles sitting on the floor.

  1. Floor cushioning issues

While this is not a problem encountered in all COREtec products, it is still worth mentioning. It is particularly specific to products under the COREtec one line. Flooring products under this line are quite affordable.

However, they experience cushioning problems. This is because they are devoid of cork underlayment, which is present in all other collections. You’ll notice that this flooring feels rigid to walk on. It also has poor inferior heat insulation qualities and poor sound absorption properties. This is attributable to its inadequate cork padding.

How to fix: To counter this problem, you should consider purchasing other COREtec collections, such as products within the COREtec Plus line. It would be best not to solely consider the price factor to avoid dealing with cushioning problems.

COREtec Plus Installation Problems

Without the proper installation know-how, your COREtec flooring will undoubtedly have imminent problems. Whether failing to prep the subfloor appropriately or improperly handling the boards, you ought to keep an eye out for potential mistakes.

On that score, let’s delve into problems caused by improper installation techniques. They are as follows;

a)  Problems due to installation over radiant heat

By installing COREtec flooring over radiant heat, you’ll be putting the floor at risk of damage. Vinyl floors are significantly susceptible to damage by a radiant heat system beneath them.

Most COREtec collections have cork underlayment for soundproofing and cushioning. If installed over radiant heat, the cork padding hinders heat transfer, making your floor prone to damage.

How to fix: If you truly desire to install COREtec flooring over radiant heat, opt for a product devoid of cork underlayment. COREtec One LVP would be an excellent choice for such situations.

b)  Uneven flooring

Proper subfloor preparation and assessment are akin to success. You should pay attention to the floor beneath prior to COREtec flooring installation. Neglecting the status of your subfloor can cause the edges of the floorboards not to lie flush with each other.

An unlevel subfloor can yield flooring boards that tend to sink at one end when stepped on. Also, laying COREtec flooring on an uneven subfloor makes warping, tilt, or unevenness more conspicuous.

How to fix/prevent: There’s only one way around this. Simply make sure that the subfloor is nicely even and dry before installing COREtec flooring.

c)  Cracking

Poor installation technique is mostly to blame for causing this problem. Incorrect alignment of boards can cause them to crack when stepped on. Usually, wider planks (like 6”) have higher chances of cracking than narrower boards. Occasionally, cracks can also occur due to flexing of the floor.

How to fix: Intervention depends on the severity of the cracks. You can ignore the cracks if they are shallow. However, if they are wide or they run deep, it would help if you repaired the cracks. An example of an ideal paint for the job is Permanent traffic paint from VIvex. This paint shields your floor from further damage by preventing further cracking.

d)  Chipping

As the name suggests, it simply means breaking off of a fragment. Chipping occurs when debris and dirt get trapped in the serrations found on the edges of your planks. As a result, a small piece of wood is left exposed, that then breaks off after coming into contact with something solid.

How to prevent: Luckily, most bargains come with a bottle containing adhesive and sealant to facilitate easy application. All you need to do is ensure that your planks’ edges are well covered with the sealant.

e)  Gaps between the boards

This problem ties up with uneven flooring, a common mistake during installation. It manifests as a separation between adjacent planks. The fact that boards expand and contract over time only aggravates gap formation. Also, during installation, disconnection of the click-lock system can be responsible for forming gaps.

How to fix: Begin by assessing the extent of gap formation on your COREtec flooring. If you notice numerous gaps, it might be necessary to replace the entire floor. However, if the gaps are minimal, utilize a commercial wax filler to close evident gaps and resolve this problem.

How to care for a COREtec Plus floor

Cleaning is a solid way of looking after your floors. Using a neutral pH cleaner such as COREtec cleaner or Encore is advisable. Spray the cleaner onto the surface, then use a microfiber wet mop pad to wipe the floor using the cleaner. Remember to replace the pad with a new one once it gets dirty.

Here are more clear-cut tips to empower your floors to look their best in the long run.

  1. Sweep/Vacuum – This routine practice helps rid dirt and debris from your floors. If ignored, grit and other pieces can dull or scratch your floor. When vacuuming, steer clear of using one with a beater brush to avoid damaging your floor.
  2. Spills – wipe up spills immediately after they occur. Letting liquids sit on your flooring for extended periods could cause detrimental effects.
  3. Floor protectors – Furniture can be quite bulky. Employ large surface floor protectors on all furniture legs to protect your floor. Remember, the protectors should be non-staining. In addition to that, you can also utilize flat smooth glides that feature self-adhesive pads to avoid scratches.
  4. Protective mats – You’ll have won half the battle by positioning mats outside entrances and exits. This is because mats capture oil, grit, soil, asphalt, and other outdoor agents that could cause damage if carried into your home.
  5. Swiveling casters – ensure that mobile appliances in your home have swiveling casters. The casters should possess non-staining properties and have a diameter of 2” and ¾” solid rubber treads.
  6. Flat non-staining cups or casters – you should use the quoted items on bulky equipment or furniture that is hardly moved. Be aware that various sizes and shapes range between square, 1 1/2” to 2 5/8”, and round,1 3/8” to 1 5/8” are available. Choose an appropriate size.
  7. Heat-producing appliances – you should be cautious with any item or device that generates heat. Hot air registers, refrigerators, or ranges can yield heat above 1200F, which can discolor, fade or burn your COREtec floor.

The video below illustrates how to deep clean LVP floors using ZEP neutral pH floor cleaner for pristine results.

Advantages of installing COREtec flooring

Despite the quoted problems, COREtec flooring has a ton of benefits to its name. Its dimensional stability and unique aesthetics make it a competitive flooring bargain. Discussed in detail below are reasons why COREtec floors are good value for your money.

i) No need for extra underlayment

Underlayment is a requisite for most floors. Thankfully, besides products within the COREtec One line, all other products come inclusive of cork underlayment. This cork padding helps in soundproofing and insulation against heat. Purchasing COREtec floors save you a great deal of time and money in your flooring project.

ii)  Comfortable and quiet underfoot feel.

COREtec planks feature a Wood Polymer Composite (WPC) or a Stone Polymer Composite (SPC). This composition gives luxury vinyl floors a cushy underfoot feel. On the other hand, typical vinyl floors offer minimal cushioning and have a rigid underfoot feel due to their vinyl-only cores.

Besides COREtec One, all other COREtec products have excellent sound absorption qualities. This is attributable to the bonded cork underlayment. Therefore, you can enjoy walking across a COREtec floor as no noises are produced.

iii)  No acclimation needed

One merit that makes COREtec flooring tower above other types of flooring is that COREtec products do not need to acclimate. Upon delivery of the planks, you don’t have to wait for them to acclimate to the environment. You can kick off the installation process immediately. The distinguished dimensional stability of COREtec planks makes them fail to contract and expand in normal conditions.

iv)  Easy to install

With basic DIY skills, installing COREtec flooring should not be a headache. The tongue-and-groove system ensures proper latching and spacing of planks. Rejuvenating an existing floor, such as ceramic tile or laminate, is even easier. You’ll simply install it over the existing floor.

v)  100% waterproof

Most COREtec products have a waterproof rating. This means that the boards provide protection from humidity and will not allow water penetration. The water-resistant rating enables the floor to withstand water, meaning that damage can occur due to water penetration.

COREtec planks have a distinct wood-polymer composite core that makes them resilient in extreme moisture conditions. Thanks to the moisture-proof layers within the planks, you can install COREtec in areas susceptible to moisture, like basements and bathrooms.

vi)  Diverse product options

You can be sure to find what you’re looking for in the vast collection of COREtec products. If you’re looking for a product that suits your commercial needs, you can be on the ultra-durable COREtec Pro Plus line. With a denser core layer, this collection can impressively stand against heavy traffic.

If you wish to achieve the natural look of hardwood, COREtec got your back. You can choose COREtec wood, which has an ingrained hardwood veneer. Alternatively, you can choose COREtec wood to achieve a stone tile look. What’s more, these COREtec collections come in plenty of finishes and styles to choose from.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Does COREtec stain and wear easily?

COREtec has an ultra-resilient extra wear layer that makes it withstand pet stains, including vomit, urine, and feces. It also boasts a strong and stable core for extended durability. All COREtec Plus products are even warranted to resist wear from moderate foot traffic and staining caused by pets.

  • Is COREtec vinyl plank flooring waterproof?

It is 100% waterproof. COREtec planks have four layers: the wear layer, the luxury vinyl top layer, the Core structure, and an attached cork underlayment. The core structure has four moisture-proof layers that prevent water from penetrating into the inner surface.

This means COREtec vinyl planks are not prone to structural problems associated with water damage, such as warping and buckling. You can install this flooring in wet areas such as basements, kitchens, or bathrooms.

  • Can you tell if your COREtec Plus flooring is showing signs of wear and tear?

COREtec Plus flooring has a decent lifespan. If you want to determine whether your floor is still in shape, watch out for scuffs, scratches, or other marks on the surface. The presence of these imperfections may be proof that your floor is beginning to show its age. You might need to replace the entire floor soon.

  • Does COREtec flooring fade?

Under regular use, COREtec flooring does not fade. However, just like wood floors, COREtec Plus can also discolor upon overexposure to sunlight. To prevent this, utilize blinds or curtains to minimize exposure to sunlight. It would help to keep window coverings closed if there’s heavy sunlight.

Bottom line

While COREtec flooring has some imminent flaws, it still makes a solid argument. Besides being extremely durable, it also provides you with a diverse assortment of products to choose from.

To get the best out of your floors, you should be aware of the potential causes that yield COREtec Plus problems. Aspects such as installation, handling, and maintenance are fundamental for the prevention of future COREtec Plus problems.

Pay special attention to the installation process and technique, as this forms a foundation for the success or failure of your COREtec floor. All the best!

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