Problems with Smartcore Vinyl Flooring

Many people choose SmartCore vinyl plank flooring for their homes because it is both cheaper and easier to install than carpeted floors. Homeowners simply glue the planks directly to the subfloor instead of installing baseboards around them. Vinyl plank flooring has some inherent problems, some of which are not specific to any brand, including SmartCore.

The primary disadvantages of SmartCore vinyl flooring are it easily scratches, has denting issues, and lacks protection from moisture that can seep from the subfloors. Furthermore, homeowners also complained about discoloration, stains, peeling, and cracking associated with vinyl flooring. Another con of SmartCore vinyl flooring is that you can’t just repair the damaged or marked-up section of your flooring; you have to replace the entire thing.

That said, I will explain those disadvantages in detail in this article. I’ll also go through how to minimize the negative effects of these problems, as well as how to tackle them.

Problems with Smartcore Vinyl Flooring

7 Problems with Smartcore Vinyl Flooring

1. Scratches and Scuffs Easily

The major issue with Smartcore vinyl flooring is that it scratches easily. This can be an absolute nightmare if someone has pets or children at home. This makes it a poor choice for areas with high traffic or that receive a lot of use. Scratches can quickly ruin the appearance of these floors and make them seem old, worn out, and dirty even when they are relatively new. While there are many different types of vinyl flooring available, including from SmartCore, they all scratch quite easily.

In addition to scratching easily, vinyl flooring scuffs very easily as well. The tiny peaks on the surface allow dirt and other debris to get caught in them easily, which will cause a build-up over time if not cleaned regularly. Even if cleaned regularly, these floors will never look good as long as they have been installed because the fine grooves hold on to markings and dirt.

If you’re not careful, your floor may be scratched. Nobody, not even a visiting guest, should walk on their shoes inside the house. Use indoor slippers instead. It keeps the dirt outside and the heels from scaring the floor. Additionally, vinyl floors also need to be swept, vacuumed, and mopped at least once a week.

Although vinyl flooring can scratch easily, a good quality clear vinyl is usually very resilient to stains and scratches.

2. Surface Wear over Time

Another issue with Smartcore vinyl flooring is that it seems to show signs of surface wear over time. This can make your home look old before its time and extremely noticeable in high traffic areas like entry ways or hallways. Again not good if you want your new floors to last long. If you are doing a rental property, this might be something to think about as people may not want to rent your property if there is going to be damage every time someone moves in. SmartCore vinyl tiles can also scratch easily if chairs are dragged across them, and they make an awful noise when they do it. You can follow the remedy we explained above.

3. Dents Easily

Another big issue with this type of flooring is that it dents easily, especially in high traffic areas like hallways. For instance, people reported that they accidentally dropped a water bottle on the floor one night, and there was a huge dent in it the next morning. If that happens, you’ll need to spend to replace the tile and the underlayment, and all kinds of money for extra supplies like spacers. The point is denting is a major problem for the SmartCore vinyl flooring.

4. Discoloration & Stains

Vinyl flooring can discolor and stain. The solid black vinyl flooring is the worst for staining, while a vintage look in a brown tone or wood level custom looks will hide stains better.

Discoloration from sunlight over time is hard to avoid with clear vinyl floors, especially if you have a lot of southern exposure to your home. In this case, plan on replacing your vinyl floor every several years as it begins to turn yellow from the sun or move furniture around so that it does not suffer from UV rays beating down on it all day long.

Spillage on the floor is inevitable. However, food or drink spillage on SmartCore flooring causes staining and discoloration. Discoloration from staining is possible with all vinyl floors but will vary depending on the topcoat of the product – some have a stronger top coat that will resist staining better than others. In general, any spills should be cleaned up as quickly as possible using a cleaner safe for use with vinyl floors.

5. Peeling & Cracking

The main problem with vinyl floors is the peeling and cracking of the floor. The peel and stick method, also known as “floating” a vinyl floor, creates a problem in that there is no foundation for the floor to be secured to. In most cases, this type of installation requires 2-3 layers of subflooring to provide a solid surface onto which the adhesive can stick, allowing for proper installation.

Floating vinyl floors are easily lifted by holding the edges of the planks. Pulling on them in this manner can cause damage to the seams and adhesive that was applied during installation.  When the adhesive around the flooring corners begins to wear down, you’ll notice peeling and cracking. I would not single out the SmartCore as the cause because it affects all brands. This is something that won’t happen overnight, but your vinyl flooring will become unsightly over time, and you need to be prepared for it.

6. Not Environmentally Friendly

Yet, another issue is that these floors are environmentally friendly? NOT! They produce a lot of vinyl waste during production, and they’re only made from approximately 52% recycled materials. Also, there’s a problem with toxins in the glue used for this type of flooring. It takes a long time to dry and emits toxic gases, especially when heated using hot water or taken from warm or cold storage. The fumes can cause dizziness and nausea, so I would not recommend installing Smartcore flooring in your home if you plan on doing it yourself unless you want to feel sick all day for 4-5 days afterward.

7. Limited Warranty Issue

As mentioned earlier, the warranty issue is a significant problem with SmartCore Vinyl Flooring. The fact that this product carries a limited 5-year warranty compared to other types of flooring, which have up to a 10-year warranty, can be a huge turnoff for potential customers. Furthermore, their guarantee is only valid for indoor installation.  This means that if the product is installed in an outdoor environment and fails to hold up, they will not replace it. For this reason, we highly recommend you thoroughly research whether this flooring is right for you before purchasing it. If you are looking for a more durable option, we suggest considering laminate or hardwood flooring instead.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are the most common problems with vinyl plank flooring?

Vinyl plank flooring is prone to cracking, flaking, and color changes due to scratching and staining.

Does SmartCore flooring expand and contract?

No, it does not.

What is the proper way to keep SmartCore vinyl flooring clean?

To clean this flooring type, you’ll need a microfiber wet mop pad and a decent cleanser. If you mop the floor in sections, you’ll get a better result. Replace the filthy pad after mopping.

Can I replace and reinstall my vinyl plank flooring?

The vinyl plank flooring may be removed and reinstalled easily if installed using the floating floor technique.


When it comes to vinyl plank flooring, SmartCore is a good brand. It will suffice for the vast majority of people. However, after learning about the numerous shortcomings associated with SmartCore vinyl flooring, I would seek alternatives with a higher budget.

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