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Old 07-24-2016, 12:31 PM   #1
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COREtec Plus Engineered Flooring Review


I am presently installing COREtec Plus flooring in our new old house. We chose COREtec because it is waterproof and we're in Florida.

According to their website:
COREtec Plus is inert and dimensionally stable; it will not expand or contract under normal conditions. Further, COREtec Plus never needs expansion strips in large rooms. Each COREtec Plus plank has an attached cork underlayment for a quieter, warmer vinyl floor that is naturally resistant to odor causing mold and mildew.

Now, I probably need to qualify my "expertise" in installing engineered flooring. In the mid-90s I installed about 900 sq/ft of the old glue-and-clamp Pergo. I made sure every joint got a generous portion of glue and the seam was clamped tightly. It withstood 20 years of everything three kids and their friends, dogs and cats could throw at it and when we sold the house last August, it still looked almost as good as the day it was laid down. Bulletproof but very labor intensive to install.

In 2014 I installed about 300 sq/ft of Pergo XP. It was very easy to install but couldn't take the beating of the original stuff.

That's it for my experience so take that into consideration in this early review of COREtec.


This is all I have laid down so far. I opened four boxes to make sure I got a nice random selection of patterns. There is a slight roughness to it, much like what real reclaimed wood would be but not so much it makes cleaning a problem.

Installation is much easier than the original Pergo but a bit harder than Pergo XP. There's a video online I found that explains the proper way to install the flooring and I soon found it needed to be adhered to exactly.

In order to lock the flooring in place, you need to give it a pretty good rap, first on the end and then along the length. This is needed to create a seamless joint that even a fingernail can't get in between.

That butt joint needs another rap! I'm using a deadblow mallet and the Pergo tap block I bought for the original Pergo flooring install. It's not the best fit. But I probably gave that butt joint three good raps and it still needs another. The butt joints are harder to seat flush than the seam along the length.

When I saw COREtec installed in the showroom, I was very impressed with how tight the joints are and as long as you drive the joints in completely, you get a very tight joint that no dirt can settle in.

They tell you to use 1/4" plastic spacers against the walls but it would probably be better having something longer and more solid. The impact necessary to drive the joints home can crush the spacers into the drywall or make them pop out.

So far, I really like this flooring. I haven't seen any other flooring on the market today that compares (visual inspection and mfg. claims). I did test the waterproof claim by putting the end of one plank in a bucket of water for a few hours. No sign of water absorption in the core or on the laminate. The cork did hold some water but no damage was done.

Another plus is there's no need to acclimate the flooring. The saleslady said you can throw a box in the pool, leave it overnight and install it the next day. But I'll leave that for the adventurous.

That's it for now. If I learn anything new, I will post it here.
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Old 07-24-2016, 12:58 PM   #2
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Re: COREtec Plus Engineered Flooring Review


It looks very nice. I like the color you chose as well. How would it hold up to long-term water abuse, such as a kitchen or a bathroom where spills happen more often?
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Old 07-24-2016, 02:32 PM   #3
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Re: COREtec Plus Engineered Flooring Review


I installed Coretec Plus in my bath remodel, the tile version. We love it. I left a piece in a bucket of water for a week without damage.
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Old 07-24-2016, 07:06 PM   #4
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Re: COREtec Plus Engineered Flooring Review


Quote:
Originally Posted by r0ckstarr View Post
It looks very nice. I like the color you chose as well. How would it hold up to long-term water abuse, such as a kitchen or a bathroom where spills happen more often?
The manufacturer claims the flooring is completely waterproof. But they also say it's not a moisture barrier.

If a spill was left on the flooring, I suppose it's possible moisture could get through the seams, even though the seams are very tight. If moisture gets underneath the flooring, the cork backing would hold it for some time. The manufacturer says the cork is "resistant to odor causing mold and mildew" but I'd guess any moisture under that flooring would take a long time to evaporate.

The only engineered flooring I know of that completely seals the joints are ones that use glue in the joints and have T&G joints tight enough to keep moisture from penetrating once glued. But you still have an exposed perimeter.
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Old 07-24-2016, 07:15 PM   #5
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Re: COREtec Plus Engineered Flooring Review


Update on the installation:

This flooring has to start on the left and be installed to the right and out from the wall. I am now at the point where I have to enter a closet. The closet wall wraps back and to the left, the exact opposite direction of the way it needs to be installed. So if I tried to install the flooring into the closet from the existing room, I'd have problems.

The solution I came up with is I have to rip some planks along the back wall of the closet so that as I build out and to the right the closet flooring will come up and match the bedroom flooring.

Not a big deal in a small closet but it's going to be a big deal when I get out into the dining room and living rooms. I'll have to do some very precise measuring.

I also found out this flooring does not like sharp objects dropped on it. I now have one ding.
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Old 07-24-2016, 07:26 PM   #6
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Re: COREtec Plus Engineered Flooring Review


I always use a transition when I go thru a door, to another room or a closet. I custom mill my transitions out a piece oak stained to match flooring. None of that cardboard junk they sell as transitions.
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