amoore1205_gw

Has anyone used Smartcore Floors from Lowes

amoore1205
6 years ago

Hi, we're looking for something that we can put over ceramic tile in a rental property. The smartcore flooring from Lowes is advertise to lay over existing flooring. Has anyone used this product?

Thank you!

Comments (174)

  • Karen Jorde
    2 years ago
    I'll ask one of the flooring people tomorrow for you. My shot in the dark guess is that maybe its faux stone appearance works something like the nap of a fabric.
    As I understood the directions for the wood planking, it was always best to have the "groove" side against the wall, even if you need to work using the backfill process. Unless the directions said differently, it sounds as though the "groove" should always be removed from the piece flush to the starting wall. Given that the two edge pieces should be of comparable size, or else the floor would be out of balance, cutting/trimming the edge pieces seems almost a given.
  • Nancy
    2 years ago

    Mike, you can work "backward", but with the way the end locking mechanism works it will be more difficult to get them joined/locked. Try installing a few pieces the way you want and see how tough it is and what issues might crop up.


    I'm not aware that even the tile look vinyl planks have any "nap" to them. But I've only installed wood looks so far.


    And many laminate manufacturers do recommend cutting off the tongue that will be against the spacers. One factor would be, what are you using to cover the gap? If you want a fairly small piece of quarter round, cutting the tongue off before installing insures that as the floor contracts, you won't see any of the tongue showing (because these floors do expand and contract some, although generally not as much as laminate).

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  • Nancy
    2 years ago

    You can install some flooring right to left, but it's harder to get the locking mechanism engaged without unlocking prior installed planks. Try a couple rows and you'll see.


    And cutting the tongue off against the spacers enables you to use a smaller piece of quarter round to cover the gap, without worrying about the tongue showing when the floor contracts (even vinyl floors expand and contract a little).

  • Mike Smith
    2 years ago

    Hello Karen/Nancy, thanks so much for your responses. The base molding has not been put yet in the basement, so I was planning to cut the tongue/groove off the 1st row against the spacers and the base molding should cover the gap.


    Still not clear about the requirement why we need to go to from left to right during the install. Like Nancy said, its has to be tried and seen.

  • chance cruz
    2 years ago

    BEWARE!! We just purchased the SMARTCORE Ultra Blue Ridge Pine laminant flooring fom LOWES. My brothe and myself have installed numerous vinyl floors in the past and have been very successful in doing so. Unfortunately this particular flooring is defective., there are numerous issues tha I will list. #1 The ends of the flooring will not snap together because the groove on the bottom side is cut down to low, this allows the flooring to not snap in and hold like it should. This creates a problem mostly because while laying the floor down as you go the others come apart and you have to go back and re-work, once you have it down and move on it will stay together but only after numerous times, it is still not locked in but will stay down due to the other planks holding it. #2 The LOWES employee said they had just lost a $25k job due to the flooring being an issue. Apparenly some of this flooring is made in the USA, some is made in China, they mix these products and they do not match up. I will add a picture of the boxes to show you. Not only do they not match up but if you try to get them to you will damage the ends so they won't even go together, and if you do get some of them together they are a different height. #3 The backing is different on each one, it does not even look the same whichis why the height is off between the two. LOWES has acknowledged this as an issue and currently sending all of this product back, the company is also recognizing this as an issue and has already made a replacement for this particular style of vinly. The vinly I purcahsed has a rubber backing and also some type of white material in between the vinly and rubber backing,this white material is very weak and unfortunately is what is supposed to lock the planks together.


    Notice in the picture that the numbers are differrent, same flooring just differetn manufacturing codes based on where it is made. If i had a picture of the whole box you would see they are identical otherwise.


  • Nancy
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    Chance, no pictures came through, would love to see them if you can repost them.

    I'm assuming you're returning all your flooring for a full refund?

  • chance cruz
    2 years ago

    For some reason it will not accept the photo.

    No I did not return the floors, I already had a couple of the rows donw and all of the floor laid out. I was able to install all of the floor but I have every intention on contacting the manufacturer and LOWES, I want someone to send me a letter stating that the floors are defective and i I ever have an issue i want them to replace them at their cost. I should not have to do the work twice.

  • Mike Smith
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    Chance, if the product from US and China were not compatible and it had a different under layment based on place of manufacturing, then how did you manage to get them to lock ?

    Earlier you said that they will not lock but now you are saying that you are able to finish the install ?

    And if there is so much issue with the product, then why will you not return it for a refund ?

    Its fairly easy to load a photo. I just uploaded a pic from Lowe's website.


  • Karen Jorde
    2 years ago
    Mike--I asked one of our flooring specialist why the directions would say specifically for you to work left to right (Or right to left for that matter!) and she said she's never heard that as a requirement either. So, she thought it might be more as a figure of speech. The only other thing I can think of is when you are giving directions to people on a stage, you always have to remember that your right is their left. So, if you want them to move to your left, you have to tell them to "Move to stage right." I once had a shelf where the back and front looked very similar. I had it all put together and it was a bit wobbly. Too late to change, (unglue) I realized the diagram was like looking at a stage. For me, their right should have been left and changed how front and back fit together as well. Oops!
  • chance cruz
    2 years ago

    Mike Smith the underside was not different from the USA made product to the China made, it was different only on one box of the USA made product. The LOWES floor sales/installers said they had never seen that type of underside before, we couldn't find another box with it either. Same box, numbers, everything but different product.


    I returned the China made product and got boxes that were only manufactured in the USA. These did snap in but do not lock in, you can pull them apart with little force, that should not be. On previous floors I have installed once I locked the planks together you could hold them up and they would stay together. These do not do that, so while snapping other pieces together some would move and required rework.


    I will try again with the picture, yes seems to be easy but mine would not load up, dont know why.


    So are you asking out of curiosity or are you questioning me?

  • chance cruz
    2 years ago



    China made vs USA made. Same product but will not match

  • Mike Smith
    2 years ago

    Chance, I am planning to order Smartcore Travertine this week. So I am curious regarding the install issues (specially the locking part) and a bit surprised that no one else has had this problem..

  • chance cruz
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    Mike I would highly suggest you steer away from the stuff I used. While I was at Lowes the salesman showed me a new style they are already stocking to replace what I used. The manufacturer recognizes there is a problem. Wish I had more photos to show you. I do have one spot on my floor where you can see that the floor did not lock in, however it can be interpreted as not being installed correct. I should have taken photos of the different backing, at the time I just wanted what I needed to finish my floor.

    My floor did come out great but only after having to fight with it and many trips to the store to bring and pickup product. I purchased my floor from the Lowesn Slidell on Natchez drive, I'd suggest you call there and see what they say regarding the flooring. Good luck on your floor.


  • chance cruz
    2 years ago

    Mike I was just speaking with my brother, there were two other issues I forgot to mention. The ends of some were cut at a slight angle so they wouldn't go together without pulling the middle apart. Also we found about a box worth that was bowed in the middle. There were so many issues...

  • Mike Smith
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago


    Hello Nancy and Karen, I figured out the left to right install reason. The way the Travertine Tile is designed, it has the male groove on top and left side and female groove on right and bottom. If I reverse the tile, it will make the install very difficult. I have attached a pic for reference.

  • Mike Smith
    2 years ago

    Hello Karen, what brand extra underlayment do you recommend or just use plastic moisture barrier ?

  • Nancy
    2 years ago

    Mike, in case Karen doesn't respond. Most LVP has restrictions on how much underlayment you can use. Too thick/too cushy and you risk damage and separation of the locking mechanism. Most places that sell flooring have special underlayment specifically for LVP. If the LVP already has underlayment attached, you might not be able to use any additional.


    And most but not all require moisture barrier over concrete slab or crawlspaces.....your underlayment may or may not count as a moisture barrier.



  • Karen Jorde
    2 years ago
    Apparently the specific product I used is currently unavailable. If were to have to choose a product for this project right now I would probably choose Pergo Gold Underlayment. Normally a very basic underlayment will do. However, this part my effort was my front hallway, right on the concrete slab. In that case an underlayment with a little more depth is fine. What's more, I didn't want to have a cold floor!
  • Karen Jorde
    2 years ago
    P.S. There were a variety of depths listed in the various SmartCore Ultra on line (official) sources. The thickest I saw was 6mm. I think what I used was 3mm. Extra underlayment is suggested only for flooring laid on concrete. On the stair landing I laid it directly on the OSB.
  • Michael Anthony
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    Hello. I am deciding between basic smartcore product (without padding) and the ultra product for a second story condo. We want to prevent noise from protruding down to the condo owner below. Should I buy the basic entry level smartcore product with good padding like easygo, to ensure a good sound barrier or will i be fine with no underlayment/Ultra product? Which is better? The floor is concrete yes concrete on second floor. I assume I dont need a moister/vapor barrier either. I hear good things about ultra, but dont know if its quiet enough. Could I add additional underlayment to Ultra? When we pulled back the carpet, we found and inch of some type of floor leveler applied to the top of the concrete, its sandy and when you walk on it dust comes up..its awfull mess.. It came up in one place as shown in pic..the floor is level but has dirt or sandy touch to it. It appears the nieghbors below can hear us walking once we tore the carpet out.. So back to my questions, basic with good underlayment, ultra by itself or ultra with extra underlayment? I dont see any reviews on the entry level smartcore without padding..it looks the same as ULTRA in terms of wear layer and core without the padding. Oh, yes
    Since this is concrete on second floor with no moisture, only sandy dust, do I need underlayment regardless? Please help!!!

  • sutrotower96
    2 years ago



  • sutrotower96
    2 years ago

    When we were selecting our LVP for out 2nd level condo we couldn't find pictures of the floor color we were going with, so I am posting it here for others that may want to see the Lowes Smartcore Ultra Brunswick Maple color.


  • danandthres
    2 years ago

    Looking at the Smartcore Naturals, specifically the Rivers Edge Oak. i have not read any of the above specifically regarding that product. I am wondering if the real wood veneer layer holds up with no splitting or cracking.

  • danandthres
    2 years ago

    Has any one had experience with the SmartCore Naturals? I’m looking at the Rivers Edge. Wondering if the real wood veneer holds up to splitting and cracking.

  • anyid
    2 years ago

    I have been looking for reviews and firsthand experience with the Smartcore Natural products, also, but it is so new that there is no info out there yet. I wish it had even a little sheen but the Maple seems to be pretty matte, which is trendy now, but to me it looks like I'm putting unfinished lumber on the floor. Just not my taste.


    I did soak the sample piece in a bowl of water for 36 hours and then dried it out. The only way you would know is if you looked at it when wet-a little water seeped into the wood pores a few millimeters up the cut edges. After drying a few hours, you'd never know. It didn't swell or discolor-it just dried out and looked the same! If you read the install instructions, it does say to use silicone caulk around the perimeter in tropical locations (as in Florida where I am) .



  • sutrotower96
    2 years ago



    A few more pictures of the brunswick maple for those that want to know what it looks like. Project done.

  • Claire Smith
    2 years ago

    Thanks for posting your pics. I’m considering Brunswick Maple.


  • czibell
    2 years ago

    We have small rental houses. When a tenant moves, out with all carpet. We do the entire house in Brunswick Maple. Next vacancy -Brunswick maple. Absolutely love it. Have three houses left with carpet

  • csunbean
    2 years ago

    Looking for reviews of The Smart core NATURALS. I want to know if the wood veneer and finish hold up. Thanks

  • Nancy
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    Csunbean, you might want to start a new discussion/thread because that's a totally different type of product. Your question will get more attention if it's on it's own.....

  • HU-651303912
    2 years ago

    Help! I purchased the Smartcore pro gardena marble.....and cannot get the planks to lock. What is the trick? I've bebbeen through 2 boxes and they don'don't lock and break.....not my first floor either.

  • Nancy
    2 years ago

    If you've installed click flooring before, you know to clean out the tongue and groove to remove any dust or bits left over from cutting?


    Can you get them to lock if you try just two pieces on a table top? If not, it may be a defective lot.


    This was a review on Lowes.com, in case your issue is the end joints:


    As a flooring installer with almost 30 years experience I know what I'm talking about. This is a very fine quality floor and I highly recommend it. As you can see in the reviews almost all of the bad reviews are because of difficulty snapping the flooring together. The designee of the Smartcore Pro is a little different from the Ultra or the Standard Smartcore. We had a customer call and say that his installer could not get the end joints to snap together. The end joints simply overlap and are tapped into place with a Dead blow hammer. Buy the black plastic dead blow hammer that is available at Lowe's I did a practice floor with a rubber mallet and it did not work. The rubber is too soft and absorbs the blow . With the dead blow hammer the end joints snapped right together with no problem.

  • Smokie Yaznomi
    2 years ago
    ultra comes in two flavors. one product made in USA and One made in China. The China one has holes in the padding. The US version has no holes and consists of a piece of solid foam. when you make a large order, they sneak in the USA version. The China version is what is on display. We did not like the way the two locked together. larger gap, it appeared the overall thickness is not the same on the two. my advice make sure you buy one with holes
  • James Brooks
    2 years ago
    Has anyone used the Smartcore transition moldings? The T mold appears to be incomparable with installation next to existing tile. Also, the all purpose mold for carpets seems to be unavailable in Lexington Oak from Lowes. Any solutions appreciated.
  • Angie Armstrong
    last year

    We are using Smartcore Ultra in Blue Ridge Pine and having nothing but major issues. Have talked with Lowes and the manufacturer. We like another man that posted have some made in China (has a halograff symbol on the box) and some from the US. 77 boxes and 41 to 36! We measured height and seems to be the same. It just does not seem to want to marry together right. Too many gaps no matter how hard you pound it. It does say to use a rubber mallet and not a dead hammer. Husband jas messed with it since Dec. and not getting anywhere with it other than redoing, redoing, redoing, redoing! Still have the WHOLE house to go! Pics show gaps. Looking at large area, not close up, then it looks ok. It isn't ok! We purchased ours at Lowes in Bridgeport, WV.





  • HU-417376677
    last year

    We have Smartcore flooring and are very pleased. Installation was great, and a year into this, it it tough as nails. We price shopped extensively and it was the best deal, plus still a quality product.

  • Dina
    last year
    last modified: last year

    I shopped for months for a flooring I loved to look at. I bought several boxes and put them together to see what they looked like and lived with them for a while. To my surprise, I fell hard for smartcore Rustic Hickory. They just released a smartcore underlayment, so I picked that up as well. I’m grateful I had found this thread a while back because as we were loading up 42 boxes onto our cart, I noticed some were made in China and some in the USA. There were less of the China-made, so we swapped those out with USA. Now, we are having it installed this week and the person installing it who was recommended by our neighbor is contracted out by Carpet Wholesalers, and appears to push their products. That being said, when he saw what flooring I had, he got annoyed. He said it’s trash, and now I’m upset and trying to figure out if I need to haul this load back to Lowe’s with two little children and go hunting again. Or is he just trying to sell to me? It has COREtec technology, the same as many of their products. We had water damage, so the downstairs renovation is not exactly planned and convenient. I also considered SUPERcore SPC flooring, but couldn’t find a floor I loved. I’m not a huge fan of the trendy ‘looks like the wood was left outside all winter long’ weathered look that’s everywhere now. I don’t want grey tones or super grainy texture. And if we decide to stick with the smartcore, I don’t want this guy installing it because he isn’t familiar with it and may break it (on accident or purpose). I wound do it myself, except, again, I have two little boys, the youngest being 15 months old and very clingy. I can’t even make a sandwich, let alone put in flooring. Any advice appreciated!

  • Nancy
    last year
    last modified: last year

    Politely fire him and find another installer. It’s not crap. It’s just a less expensive product made by a reputable company. He may just not want the hassle of getting those first two rows started (hardest part with any luxury vinyl).


    Or he may may get a commission for every product he sells and wants you to buy from him.

  • Amanda Hart
    last year
    Has anyone installed Smartcore on a covered porch? We are building a second floor screened in porch in the south and looking for flooring to keep mosquitos for coming in from underneath.
  • Dina
    last year

    An update to my above statement. I went ahead and had rustic hickory installed anyway... Turns out the locks are the most brittle locks on the market. Most of my panels broke apart at a joint or two. After speaking to a flooring associate at Lowe’s when returning, she told me smartcore was sold to Shaw a year or so ago, and since then the quality in production has gone down significantly. I’m so disappointed. I loved this floor so much. I found SUPERcore through Another thread on here And ordered The oak gunstock and had zero problems with install. Look up SPC vs WPC. Smartcore ya wood plastic composite (as is most wood look vinyl) and SUPERcmore is Stone Plastic composite. Cost is comparable.

  • Nancy
    last year

    Amanda, I’m pretty sure smartcore and other similar floors shouldn’t be used in a situation where they’ll be exposed to weather.

  • James Keidel
    last year

    I have just installed 300 ft of lowes smartcore cottage oak flooring. I wanted to leave a review as there seems to be a lot of mixed reviews. First off, I have never installed flooring before, but did my homework and watched a few hours of online videos. I was pretty happy with the overall result and hope to get a chance to lay some more flooring as I felt I learned as I went. A few things I learned and remember, these are my opinions and not meant to hurt anyones feelings or beliefs. First off, you can toss that box of spacers and tapping blocks that the lowes worker said you needed. Its apsolutely not needed with this type of flooring. It may be required for the ultra or pro, I dont know. If you try to tap this flooring with a block you will just break the locking tabs. Also this floor does not expand or contract as other flooring so the spacers are just a pain, just butt it up to the wall. This comment will raise some eyebrows but do your own research, and you will see. Get yourself a rubber hammer. I used an old one I had and put duct tape on the end as not to leave black marks on the flooring. The most important thing I learned was that after you completed 3 rows, go back and check for pieces that come unlocked. Untill you get some weight on the flooring by additional layers it seems it has the potential to seperate just a bit and can easily be fixed if you notice it sooner than later. Make sure the groove of the piece you are attaching to is clean of debree, its amazing how one speck in there can ruin your day. If you have a piece that seems to lock on one side but not the other, just lock the one end and then gently lift the other end and you will hear it click ,then lower it and tap with your hammer. When tapping the hammer ,do an angle hit toward the direction of the groove of the connecting piece. Do this correctly and you actually see the gap disapear. Most of my pieces were all usable but some were chipped so I just used them as cut pieces and ended up fine. I used underlayment and really happy I did, I love the feel of the floor and was well worth the 60 bucks for 3 rolls. Follow the directions and lay the long end first, slide it to the short end and gently push in at a 45 angle and you will hear it click and then tap with your hammer. Take care when you lift each piece out of the box, Yes the tabs are fragile, but treat it with care and you wont have any problems. In closing, I know this wasnt the most expensive flooring available, but for the price, I am very satisfied with the results. Remember I am referring to the smart core flooring. Not the smartcore ultra or pro flooring. Good luck with your project.

  • Nancy
    last year

    James can you post some pictures of your project?

  • jamie kelly
    last year

    Has anyone had any issues with the Smartcore floors fading? We Are wanting to install it in our house but wanted to poll the audience first :)

  • lindsheath
    last year

    @jamie kelly We haven't had any fading in ours and it's been installed for a year and a half now. we have direct sun beaming in the living room all morning and the sun hasn't done anything to the floors! We still love them!

  • jamie kelly
    last year

    Good to know! Thank you.

  • Joanne Aliber
    5 months ago
    last modified: 5 months ago

    I just installed with the smartcore naturals maple and love it for the basement. Used the underpayment too. The installer said it was good. The floor is not even and we didn’t level it- so the baseboard molding has done gaps. I love the wide planks and light color!
    It makes the room look so much bigger and the light color is so soothing




  • kudefilipps
    18 days ago

    Happy New Year! I have a few questions for anyone with knowledge or experience. 1) Does the underlay serve to even out uneven floors? The website descriptor seems to say this, but I don’t necessarily trust that it will adequately even out the floor well enough to prevent problems down the road. 2) What is the difference between Ultra and Pro? Which is of better quality? Thanks so much.

  • Nancy
    18 days ago

    Kudefilipps, I can answer about the subfloor question. There are specific requirements for the “trueness” of the floor. Very minor imperfections will be softened by underlayment. But if you have a very wavy floor you need to level it first. The specs should be listed on the smart core website. You’ll need to get down with a long level or straight edge and check the whole floor.

  • kudefilipps
    18 days ago

    Thank you, Nancy. Happy New Year!