Let me just say that when I first wrote about the new flooring we would be installing in the main living area and kitchen at the 70’s Landing Pad, I was not ready for you. I thought I had done enough research on the flooring we chose, but you guys brought the questions and had me saying multiple times, “Why didn’t I think to ask that?” You brought your A-game.
If you don’t remember, we went for NuCore flooring from Floor & Decor which is an engineered floor that has luxury vinyl on top of a waterproof core. It also has a cork backing which was supposed to give better noise resistance than traditional vinyl planks or wood laminates. There are more details on the flooring and how we installed it in this post. Floor & Decor did provide me with the NuCore flooring, however it was the top contender in the flooring department after we researched various types and we would have bought it for the renovation anyway. While they did provide me the flooring, all these opinions are mine.
There were a few reasons that NuCore stood out to us:
We were able to install NuCore ourselves. It’s a tongue and groove installation that snaps together. We were on a budget and having someone else install the flooring wasn’t much of an option. Grunt Labor had installed our traditional hardwood at the Beloved Foreclosure, but literally every piece had to be nailed down and it was a back breaking task. He didn’t want to go through that again and I didn’t want him to either. Now of course, we did have to think things through a bit in the beginning, but once we got going, it was relatively smooth sailing. The video below shows how to install the NuCore Flooring.
NuCore is waterproof. We have a four year old and a dog. That in itself should be enough to warrant waterproof flooring for us. Honestly, until I started researching, I didn’t know there were any wood look waterproof floorings available that weren’t straight sheet vinyl. When I found out NuCore was, it was a game changer.
- Look & Feel
Of course, when you are putting new flooring in such a large space in your house, you want it to look good. We knew for the 70’s Landing Pad, we wanted wider planks and maybe even a little more texture to the flooring. We wanted to stick with a darker stain as well. The Cocoa Oak shade of NuCore fit the bill.
The photo above was taken just after I had cleaned the floors, thus the oily look, however it’s also the best way for me to show you in pictures the texture of the flooring. You can see the hand-scraped texture in each plank. The texture isn’t so much to where it’s hard to clean or bothers you when walking on it. It’s just enough to add a little depth.
This image best shows the color of the floor up close. It’s dark, but not too dark. To me, the color seems to somewhat have a 70’s vibe going on and that of course, fit perfectly for the house.
We installed NuCore in January of this year, so we’ve had it for about five months. Since then, the following things have happened:
- The flooring got covered in at least a 2 inch layer of dust.
Okay, maybe not 2 inches, but pretty close. Either way, it was disgusting, but cleaned up perfectly well.
- It also took it’s fair share of paint splatters and tile mortar splotches from us working on the house.
Once more, those also cleaned up just fine with the help of a regular kitchen sponge scrubber.
- The dog has peed on it – multiple times.
And the pee just sat there. The flooring didn’t absorb it, there wasn’t a stain, and it wiped right up.
- The dishwasher leaked.
When I say the dishwasher leaked, I mean that water was pouring out of the sides like no tomorrow. The NuCore didn’t let it go anywhere though.
- We moved in.
While I was certain that moving in would cause at least a few dents / dings /scratches on the flooring, I was wrong. Even the three piece cabinet unit that Grunt Labor and Nicky refer to as the three steel boxes I bought didn’t hurt the flooring. The only place where we got scratches on the floor was when the kitchen oven had to be moved in and out while we were working on the cabinetry. I think most of that was due to the fact that Grunt Labor was doing it alone and therefore couldn’t really lift it like it needed to be lifted to be moved.
Like I said earlier, there were many questions you guys posed that I didn’t think to ask when I went with this flooring. I tried to get you the best answer I could by asking the people at Floor & Decor if I didn’t know and responding to your questions in the comments of the first post or email. There were also some questions I had asked, but forgot to include in the first post about the flooring, so I thought I would take this time to answer questions most frequently asked here:
Q: This flooring has joints. How can it be waterproof?
I’m assuming since this is a tongue and groove flooring that when those snap together, they form a waterproof seal. Now, that isn’t to say that some tiny amount of water wouldn’t get in those joints, but I don’t think it would be enough to damage the flooring as long as it was installed properly.
Q: Does it feel like vinyl? Does it feel cheap or plastic-y?
I am not a great one to ask this because my experience with wood look vinyl flooring is minimal. I had it in one other house and I can tell you that that flooring did feel cheap to me. That was also nearly 10 years ago and things in the vinyl department have greatly improved since then. I often associate vinyl flooring with being really shiny – like sheet vinyl we all used to have in our kitchens. This flooring doesn’t look or feel like that to me. It does feel different than traditional hardwood flooring because obviously it isn’t hardwood flooring and isn’t as thick or hard like hardwood. I’ll have to pay more attention to how my feet feel and sound on it when I’m walking and come back to this one again.
Q: How long did it take to install?
Like I said earlier, once you get the hang of installing it, it goes pretty fast. Grunt Labor worked on the flooring for about 2-3 hours each day after work. He was probably able to complete one room every 2-3 days.
Q: Did you lay down a barrier or put it straight on the floor?
No, we did not lay down a barrier. NuCore has a cork backing which helps as a sound barrier. NuCore can be installed over many existing floors. We went right over the old laminate flooring in the den area with NuCore. Of course, we pulled up the carpet in the living room and dining room before installing it there and put it on top of the subfloor. Most people would also be able to take it right over vinyl flooring in their kitchens, but we had some issues in our kitchen where previous owners had remodeled and the kitchen actually had two subfloors, so we had to rip some of that out first before installing NuCore in there.
Q: Does it scratch easily?
Like I said above, the only problem we had with it scratching was right around the oven.
Q: How do you install it on stairs?
They make stair noses that fit over the front edge of the steps and then you would do regular installation on the rest of the step.
Q: We have 700+ square feet of tile in the kitchen, laundry room, bathroom, etc that’s gonna cost $7000 to demo and re-tile, so I’m trying to see if there’s a cheaper DIY alternative. I assume you can install this on top of existing tile? But how thin is it? The issue I see there is a dropoff when transitioning into other rooms.
I do believe you could install it over existing tile if your tile is level for the most part. I’m pretty sure that each color of NuCore has various accessories in that same shade you can purchase. I know they have transitions you could use for the variation in floor levels. The flooring is thin, so it shouldn’t add too much height. We installed this on our landing which actually had tile previously. We could have went right over the tile, but the problem we ran into was that the tile was really thick and we would have had a really large transition which I didn’t feel too comfortable with. I was worried it would be so much that someone might trip over it.
Q: This flooring is thin. I’m worried it won’t hold up and will snap.
Dude. This was my biggest concern when we were considering this flooring. The flooring is 6.5 mm thick. According to Google, that translates to 0.255906 inches. It’s tough though. One of the first things I did was get a piece out and try to bend it in half to break it. It didn’t crack at all. The only way to cut it is with of course with a saw or score it with a utility knife and then snap it while holding one half of the piece on a solid surface and bending the other half. I won’t lie – this thinness still freaks me out a little, but time will tell….
Q) How does this stuff stay in place without gluing it down? My concern would be if there is a slightly uneven place in the floor then this could shift or not rest flush.
The way I understand it, the tongue and groove locks it all together. Once it’s all locked together it’s pretty heavy enough that it stays in place. Most people will need to go back around the edges where the flooring meets the baseboard and add quarter round, which will hold it in place even more.
If you’ve got any other questions, send ’em my way! I’ll do my best to answer them or get the answer for you.
UPDATE: I did a review of our NuCore Flooring one year later. You can read about it here.
Disclosure: Floor and Decor provided me with NuCore flooring. However, all opinions and roughness that our family and this renovation gave our floors are 100% mine.