SmartCore Vinyl Flooring: Pros, Cons & Cost Estimate

When it comes to choosing your flooring in a new or lived-in home, you likely want to purchase a floor that will last for years to come, can handle the wear and tear of everyday life, and fits your lifestyle and décor. Real hardwood and real stone tiles may not be in your budget this time around, however, there are affordable engineered alternatives that will give your home the same look. Brands such as SmartCore Flooring produces some of the best styles, colors, and durable, waterproof options, at a reasonable cost per square foot.

There are four types of Smartcore products: Standard SmartCore, SmartCore Ultra, SmartCore Pro and SmartCore Naturals. While each collection is priced affordably, the notable differences between the four vinyl types are their core and wear layer compositions and thickness specifications.

SmartCore Vinyl Flooring Reviews

SmartCore Flooring Construction

SmartCore Flooring manufactures both Wood Plastic Composite (WPC) planks and tiles as well as Stone Polymer Core (SPC) to provide long-lasting floors for the home. You will learn what elements are used to create the different floor cores and layers, a roundup of each collection, installation and design notes, costs, and warranties available.

Wood Plastic or Polymer Composite or WPC

WPC is a type of vinyl floor together created from recycled wood fibers along with plastic/polymer elements and foaming agents to create a rigid core or middle layer. This means the plastic components help to keep the floor strong and stable and to protect the vinyl floor from water damage, other liquid stain damage, surface scratches, and the usual everyday life weathering.

Stone Plastic Composite or SPC

SPC is another type of vinyl floor, also a rigid core. This vinyl floor includes powdered limestone, polyvinyl chloride, and stabilizers. This type of vinyl is durable and quiet.

SmartCore Flooring Layers

To create a quieter room, easier to walk through, durable, water-resistance, and scratch and dent protected, SmartCore products come out on top in the flooring industry. SmartCore ensures four layers in the engineering of the flooring product. Each SmartCore collection is comprised of unique four-layer construction.

  1. Providing tread protection, the wear layer defends against scratches and dents. According to the vinyl flooring industry, the wear layer thickness is essential to its sturdiness. It is measured in mil or mL. 1 mil = 1/1000 of an inch. 1000 mils = 1 inch.
  2. So that your vinyl floors appear to look just like marble or real wood, a realistic image is digitized in this image layer.
  3. The core layer (WPC or SPC) is where the flooring gets its high functioning traits including waterproofing and surface protection against stains and scratches.
  4. Finally, the underlayment layer, which is the bottom of the floor, is the layer that makes the floor comfortable to walk on. Either constructed of rubber or cork, the floor will feel warm and soft to the foot’s touch and it keeps any echoes from sound in the room to a minimum.

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AT A Glance

 Standard SmartCoreSmartCore UltraSmartCore ProSmartCore Naturals
Rigid Core Materials  WPC  WPC  SPC  Hybrid Wood/Vinyl
Specs6.5mm thickness 12 mil wear layer7.5mm thickness 12 mil wear layer6mm thickness 20 mil wear layer6mm thickness
Cost$2 – $2.90/sq. ft.$3.30 – $3.40/sq. ft.$3.50 – $3.70/sq. ft.$3.50 – $3.80/sp. ft.
WarrantyLifetime limited to include wear, structure, and waterproof. Professional installation required. Commercial warranty is 5 years.Lifetime limited to include wear, structure, and waterproof. Professional installation required. Commercial warranty is 5 years.Lifetime limited to include wear, structure, and waterproof. Professional installation required. Commercial warranty is 10 years.Lifetime limited to include wear, structure, and waterproof. Professional installation required. Commercial warranty is 10 years.

Collections of SmartCore Flooring

1. Standard SmartCore

No doubt the Standard SmartCoreline is the one to choose when you are on a budget. This floor collection is plainly not as durable as its siblings and generally is just a thinner floor. Still durable, Standard SmartCore has a WPC rigid core, made to be waterproof. It is a good choice for your bathroom and basement.

Specifications

Standard planks and Standard tiles are 6.5mm. The least thickness of the overall SmartCore brand, the floor is overall durable and waterproof. The wear layer measures 12 mil.

Designs

Its range of wood-style planks offers you enough to choose from including various shading of oaks, maples, walnuts, hickory, and pines. However, you’ll have fewer options for the stone-like tiles. Designed to mimic a generic stone, you can choose dark or light gray. A few wood-like floors to check out are Shady Pine and Lanier Hickory, and stone-like tiles including Chatham Stone and Sedona Concrete.

Installation

Standard SmartCore vinyl planks and tiles use an interlocking system whereby the planks connect and are secured atop the subfloor.

Cost

The estimated retail cost for Standard SmartCore flooring is $2 to $2.90 per square foot.

Warranty

All warranty is guaranteed upon professional installation, not DIY. Standard SmartCore products offer a lifetime limited residential warranty which includes wear, structure, and waterproof warranty.

The commercial use warranty is 5 years.

2. SmartCore Ultra

Similar to Standard SmartCore, the Ultra core is a WPC. What makes this collection Ultra and unique is that it features a higher definition image layer and a thicker underlayment layer. Ultra is the next level up from Standard.

Specifications

The Ultra planks and tiles have a 7.5 mm thickness. Ultra features a 12 mil wear layer.

Designs

With the higher definition image layer, Ultra’s scope of design options offers both realistic wood lookalikes and stone lookalikes. You’ll find a variety of wood-like planks designed to mimic oak, maple, and pine, in various shades. Ultra gives you more choices than the Standard line. You’ll shop travertine, dark slate, and sandstone options. Some favorite vinyl woods include Woodford Oak and Blue Ridge Pine. And stone-like tiles that are design-friendly include Mandalay Marble and Tivoli Travertine.

Installation

SmartCore Ultra vinyl planks and tiles also use a lock and drop system. The product’s tongue and groove system guide you through the installation.

Cost

Ultra retails at an estimated cost of $3.30 to $ 3.40 per square foot.

Warranty

All warranty is guaranteed upon professional installation, not DIY. SmartCore Ultra products offer a lifetime limited residential warranty which includes wear, structure, and waterproof warranty for indoor use only.

The commercial use warranty is 5 years.

3. SmartCore Pro

Leveling up, SmartCore Pro is a collection perfect for a home with lots of activity, kids, and pets. Commercial businesses also prefer the Proline as well. Created with a robust SPC core, the Pro planks and tiles do a great job of waterproofing, and preventing scratches and dents. Durability is a key factor in the Pro flooring.

Specifications

Pro features the widest planks of the SmartCore brand. Both the planks and the stone tile slabs are 6mm thick and have a 20 mil wear layer.

Design

Both Pro planks and tile slabs have a very authentic appearance to real wood and stone, respectively. Available in wider planks, you can shop from a myriad of woods and shades including Toasted Eucalyptus, Sugar Valley Maple, and Covington Oak. Pro stone-like tiles to check out are Gardena Marble.

Installation

The Pro vinyl planks and tiles use an interlocking system that enables the planks to connect and are secured atop the subfloor.

Cost

The estimated retail cost of SmartCore Pro is $3.50 to $3.70 per square foot.

Warranty

All warranty is guaranteed upon professional installation, not DIY. SmartCore Pro products offer a lifetime limited residential warranty which includes wear, structure, and waterproof warranty, for indoor use only.

The commercial use warranty is 10 years.

4. SmartCore Naturals

Unlike the three more traditional engineered vinyl lines of SmartCore discussed earlier, SmartCore Naturals has a completely different composite. This flooring is a hybrid of engineered wood and vinyl. The top layer of hardwood or bamboo veneer is protected by a sealant. This top layer is bonded to a rigid (vinyl) core, which gives the product its waterproofing quality. Customers like the Naturals line for its sustainability. Made of recycled elements, Naturals is environmentally friendly.

Customers like Naturals for easy maintenance, water resistance, strength in keeping scratches and dents to a minimum and slip resistance.

Specifications

SmartCore Naturals planks are 6 mm thick.

Design

Because the Naturals line utilizes a hardwood or bamboo veneer for its top layer, there is quite a selection of natural looks. Each plank appears unique since doesn’t use a digitized photograph layer. Natural grains and textures show off so nicely in all rooms of the house. Favorite wood veneers include Timber Creek, Hawks Crest, and Oak Cliffside, and other shades and textures available in oak, hickory, maple, and bamboo.

Cost

SmartCore Naturals retails between $3.50 to $3.80 on average per square foot.

Warranty

All warranty is guaranteed upon professional installation, not DIY. SmartCore Naturals products offer a lifetime limited residential warranty which includes wear, structure, and waterproof warranty, for indoor use only. The commercial use warranty is 10 years.

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