webuser_461674326

Has anyone used the new SmartCore Pro vinyl plank flooring?

HU-461674326
2 years ago

I'm looking for vinyl click-together flooring for a bathroom. The old shower leaked, so this time I'm going with all waterproof flooring with the new shower. SmartCore Ultra has mixed reviews, although I still like what I see of the product. The new SmartCore Pro is slightly thinner and has a different, possibly more dense, filling layer. And is slightly more expensive (of course). I'm wondering if this product got rid of the some of the quality/wear/installation issues of the Ultra. Any stories?

Comments (49)

  • Amy Hinojosa
    2 years ago

    I don't know much about the product you are looking at, but I just went through this myself! I chose an LVT. It is waterproof and rated for commercial use. It also has color all the way through so it won't scratch white like most do. Also, the pad was already on the back of it and they clicked together so easily. I am attaching a pic of my sample. I chose the Soverign version because that one was the one commercially rated. I have dogs, cats, and kids so I needed the extra ease of mind! It is Trends...I am sure that you can find it through a local dealer.



  • Nancy Ball
    2 years ago

    I think this is similar. It's the newer version of the SmartCore Ultra - click-together LVT with the attached backing.


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  • Smokie Yaznomi
    2 years ago
    hello

    just installed it

    1/ smartcore ultra boxes are made in two different places China and USA. China is what they put on display and is what we thought we bought..The China one has different padding underneath (holes in it) and also appears to be better quality by touch, weight and thickness then the one made in USA. USA product is different its a smooth padding without holes in it. it appears they were trying to save money with the USA one just my opinion

    2/ lowes employees are clueless about this so dont bother asking. talk to manufacture. they told me all is fine and they work together without issue. when we lock the two together, it appears to be a wider gap when clicking together they also said there was a problem back in January and it was corrected

    3/ colors are not the same in each box for example the dark gray is a different texture brightness from one box to the other. furthermore. some boxes where missing one color or the other. it was a nightmare just trying to make a pattern. this problem occured in both boxes. I dont know if we just got a bad batch or what

    3/ we had already installed half the floor, and it was too late to stop.. I got assurance from manufacture the planks go together just fine
    but it just does not pass the eye test. the colors were frustrating

    I have samples of these issues as well as several pictures. it you buy the product, get the boxes made in China that has the word ULTRA on the ends.. that is what they put on display. they just feel better

    other issues with it as well but really dont have time to go into it

    I like the softness of the floor and the color,

    I was told the boxes where made in USA and China by a professional flooring company.. one product says made in China on it, but at the moment I did not verify if the other one is made in USA. I will make a correction if needed

    I have documented everything.in case something falls apart.
    HU-461674326 thanked Smokie Yaznomi
  • HU-461674326
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    That's for the information on SmartCore Ultra. I appreciate the comments. But there is a new product called SmartCore Pro (not Ultra). It's a little more expensive. It is similar, but slightly thinner. The inside layer is dark and denser, and the padding on the bottom is dark with smaller bumps. Here are photos of the Ultra (lighter) and the Pro (darker). Any information on this?





  • HU-461674326
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Thank you for the information on the Ultra. I appreciate it. The product I'm considering is the (supposedly) newer version of the Ultra called SmartCore Pro. It's a litle thinner, denser, and more expensive. The middle layer is dark and seems to be denser. The bottom is dark and the bumps are smaller and more distinct, no holes. I'm wondering if maybe smartcore responded to some of the complaints about the ultra? The photos compare Ultra (lighter) with Pro (darker)




  • Smokie Yaznomi
    2 years ago
    I was told by the lowes rep the only difference is a thicker wear layer giving it a longer commercial use warranty.. wear layer is different from overall thickness.

    I was told by another lowes rep the core on the pro is different and made of something other than plastic. I forgot what it was. I thought the prices are the same ultra vs pro. 3.28 to 3.79 square. we bought ultra because it was in stock and we liked the color option over the pro. I would stay away from ultra mainly because the product was bought and sold us floors to shaw, and quality control issues that is my opinion. pro is probably more solid. I dont like the fact they sneak in the other plank with different padding other than what is on display. that is miss representation
    HU-461674326 thanked Smokie Yaznomi
  • HU-461674326
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Thanks. I liked the medium gray color of the Pro and am trying to do my diligence! Thanks for your comments.

  • danslack
    last year

    We are also considering the PRO. Have you made any decisions? Any pros or cons you came across? Ours will be going in a basement. Thanks for your thoughts.

    HU-461674326 thanked danslack
  • AJCN
    last year

    My Dad put Coretec in his whole house. I was worried it would look cheap and plasticy, but it looks great. And it's comfortable underfoot. There are many competitors in this market. I think every flooring/carpet brand now has a waterproof LV line, such as Shaw, Armstrong, etc. I was told that the wear layer was the most important thing to look for.

    HU-461674326 thanked AJCN
  • HU-762835416
    last year

    Did you wind up going with this product? We are considering the exact same. If so, how is it working out so far?

    HU-461674326 thanked HU-762835416
  • HU-579985857
    last year

    I just purchase the SmartCore PRO, It does NOT lock together. The Ultra is supposed to lock together. The PRO is "drop" in technology. The top of the PRO has thicker wear layer. So as far as being waterproof, the drop in technology is junk, it will allow for liquid to reach subfloor easily. I also have pieces that are not of the same size, so they do not install properly. I would stay away from the PRO version of this product, and Ultra version has cheap wear layer. Better off going with Shaw or Armstrong. During installation, the long pieces of boards seem to connect better, the ends of the plank have NO locking at all. So thinking of terms of waterproof, the product is waterproof, but it would be easy for water to flow between end of planks to subfloor, causing a MOLD nightmare.

    HU-461674326 thanked HU-579985857
  • HU-461674326
    Original Author
    last year
    last modified: last year

    We're laying the subfloor this week so haven't bought the LVT yet. HU-579985857: The interlocking mechanism between the PRO and Ultra seem to be the same. It locks on all sides (except for the wall edges which one scores off and caulks). The sample pieces that are free in the store have been chopped up for demonstration, so most only have two interlocking edges - the whole tiles in the boxes have the interlocking edges all around. If you received mismatching pieces, you should definitely return them! You must have received a defective batch. I think we're still planning on the PRO version. My biggest concern is that the PRO will feel more like a commercial restroom floor because it's thinner and harder than the Ultra.

  • Kristine White
    last year

    If you go with the PRO id like to know what you think, we are debating between that line and the Pergo Outlast. I really want the waterproof part of the vinyl though.

    HU-461674326 thanked Kristine White
  • HU-461674326
    Original Author
    last year

    Yes, that's why we didn't really consider Pergo. We're doing the remodel to fix a black mold problem from a slow seep from the shower.

  • Allison S
    last year

    Did anyone end up with Pro? If so what color?

    HU-461674326 thanked Allison S
  • Kristine White
    last year

    We are still considering, just trying to make a decision on color...Our house isn’t that big and I really wanted to go lighter ( Burbank oak ) but also considering the Claremont oak. There isn’t a perfect color. The only other brand we’re considering is the Tranqulity line from Lumber Liquidators..thinner by about a mm, cheaper....same wear layer...honestly it is overwhelming

    HU-461674326 thanked Kristine White
  • Allison S
    last year

    I understand completely! It is a big choice! I am having trouble with finding a color that isn't too orangey or yellowy and not too dark.


    HU-461674326 thanked Allison S
  • Kristine White
    last year

    I don’t want orangey either (actually what we replacing) , I was looking for a light medium warmer oak..so far it’s either the Burbank oak from lowes or the Lumber Liquidators river walk....waiting on a few more samples to be mailed

    HU-461674326 thanked Kristine White
  • Stephanie Elliott
    last year

    We bought the Smartcore Pro to put in the bathroom of a small rental house we bought. The room is very small, so we sprang for the more expensive product since the cost wouldn't be very much for the small area. We definitely needed something waterproof, and I liked the marble-look design we chose. Well today we attempted to put it down. We have never put down any of these types of floors before. These pieces do NOT snap into place, so if you're expecting a snap to indicate the pieces have sealed, you won't get it. We had to take a rubber mallet and hit the end edges fairly hard to get them to connect, and even at that, they didn't seem to be fast. They can be disconnected very easily, which makes us worry that water will seep through the cracks. On the long side, they seem to connect very well, but still no "snap." We haven't finished it yet, but will put a bead of bathroom caulk in the 1/4" gap next to the tub. The floor is a floating floor. When you put pressure on it (like when walking) the floor raises up slightly. We're concerned the caulk won't hold with that type of movement. If anyone has had any experience with this flooring and can ease our minds that our concerns aren't warranted, I would appreciate it!

    HU-461674326 thanked Stephanie Elliott
  • HU-461674326
    Original Author
    last year

    Thanks for all the comments. We bought the SmartCore Pro (Riverside Granite) and it arrived yesterday. I just opened the box. The tiles do fit together (no Snap) on the long edges, but the short edges just overlap, no click, no snap. I poured some water on the edge and none had seeped through in 15 mins, but that doesn't mean a longtime seep wouldn't get through. I'm not sure what I'll do. In any case, I'll let Lowes know. I'll either take them back or put a bead of caulk on the bottom flap of the short sides. Stephanie: Did you have any compressible underlayment on yours which might account for the raising up when walking on it? That's a distressing observation in terms of caulking the short joints. (BTW, the color/pattern on the tile is really pleasing. We like it much better than any of the Ultra patterns)

  • HU-461674326
    Original Author
    last year

    I'm going to return the SmartCore Pro tiles to Lowes. I'm planning to oder some Mannington Andura Max LVT interlocking tiles. They have several patterns and colors that are similar to the Riverside Granite we liked in the Pro. they're a little more expensive, but I want to do this job only once! I'll probably order through Wayfair if I can't find them locally.

  • Kitty Lanier
    last year

    WeShipFloors.com sells the Adura Max flooring. They have their own brand called SuperCORE which is what we're putting in our home. It's a limestone polymer composite, and is far better than what you will find at the big box stores. It's worth checking out.

    HU-461674326 thanked Kitty Lanier
  • Tana Hill
    last year

    Just had the installer put in Pro, Claremont Oak. The trick is adding the small bead of glue which guarantees the waterproof install. The product has a cushioned feel (not pronounced) and exceeds my expectations. The cost for professional install is well worth it for something receiving the abuse a floor does daily. Our Lowes rep was extraordinarily helpful and informed. I research as part of my work and feel a high level of confidence with my choice.

  • Lisa Miller
    last year

    We've been looking at LVT for some time now. My son installed the Mannington Adura Max in a black/silver metallic dark color, in his home 2 years ago and has been very disappointed at how it has scratched. Finding something we like that has a 20 mil or higher wear layer has been incredibly difficult! We recently found, and are planning to purchase, the Smartcore Pro in Burbank Oak from Lowe's and use them to have it installed within the next month or so. We will be putting it in our 3 season porch, so the ability to install it in -25 - 155 degree fahrenheit environment is fantastic. Some of the consumer questions and answers were confusing as to wether it could be installed in a non-heated porch so I contacted Shaw directly. They confirmed that it indeed can be. Thanks for the insight and tip of using a bead of glue. Hoping all goes well.

  • HU-601735993
    last year

    We have worked all day trying to install and have come to conclusion that it is garbage. Getting ready to box up and return to Lowe’s. It does not snap together on the ends which makes the installation very difficult. About the time you think you have got it what you have laid begins popping up. It has taken about 6 hours to lay 3 rows and that needs to be pulled back up because doesn’t appear stable. I have rubber malletEd it to death and it just won’t work

  • Kitty Lanier
    last year

    HU-601735993, you are not the first person who has thought that about that particular flooring. We ordered our flooring from WeShipFloors.com after researching various kinds of flooring for more than a year. I ordered a sample box of the SUPERCore Krypton from WeShipFloors.com and was impressed with the flooring. It’s an SPC product (stone polymer core) and is more stable and dent resistant than the WPC (wood polymer core) products. There is a lot of info on their website about the SUPERCore flooring. If you are interested, read Flooring 101 on the website. They also have very good pricing on their flooring and sometimes have a sale on it. There is a huge thread here on Houzz that has a lot of info and pictures of SUPERCORE installed if you’re interested. It’s Adura Max Versus CoreTec.

    Sorry about your experience with the Lowe’s product. Good luck in finding something you like.

  • Smokie Yaznomi
    last year

    Hello Everyone its it's been 8 months since installing smartcore ultra ...very disappointed We have a dog and there are scratches everywhere. So dissatisfied..stay the hell away from this product

  • Michelle Antkowiak
    last year

    Amy Hinojosa how is your Sovereign floor holding up? I am actually looking at purchasing Sovereign myself but am having trouble locating it locally. I can have it shipped from Florida for an extra cost and would love to know where you got yours from?

  • mnorma1380
    last year

    We love the look and feel of our smartcore pro gardenia marble, but installation is a challenge. Followed the directions but we have had sections pop up. Our house is old, 1870, but we put in a sub floor. So ready to pull it all up and return it for a different floor

  • HU-461674326
    Original Author
    last year

    So, after all this time, I finally installed vinyl flooring in the bathroom! I went with Mannington Ultra Max Plank. It interlocks on both the ends and the sides. Once it's locked together, it seems fairly stable. I love the foot feel of it (but wish I'd gone with a more daring color!). The installation was challenging. Every piece has to have at least one interlocking end on it (only one if it goes up against a wall, otherwise two interlocking ends). So there's at most one cut per plank. It took more planning but worked out okay.

    The videos show how to lift up the row, interlock the end, and then slide the plank up into interlock groove on the long edge before lowering it down. This takes some finessing and the plank never does "slide up" neatly. And it has to be totally in the right place in order to be stable. My 6x7 foot bathroom took 11 hours to place.

    The other challenge concerns the floating floor. You keep it 1/4" from the walls so it ca shrink and expand.. But that means that caulking around the shower is dicey. Also, I set the toilet on the tile - the room is small and I presume it can just move in other places! I hope the caulking around the shower keeps its integrity.

    Overall, I'm happy with it so far (haven't finished or used the bathroom yet). But I see the advantages of glue down tile!


    Thank you everyone for your comments. I'll continue to read these, as I have one more half bathroom to floor.


  • Smokie Yaznomi
    last year


    we insinstalled many LVT floors since ULTRA and ULTRA remains the worst product we've installed, other brands no problemproblems My guys install floors of all types for many years as I explained in previous posts the issues. I am very upset over scratches and now going to see what this warranty is all about The gaps between the planks are different between the two different manufactures. I will add photos some day when time persists

  • Sherrie Kappa
    last year

    Tanna Hill what kind of glue did you use?

  • Cassidy Beach
    last year

    @Tana Hill i just purchased the same color choice. Yours looks amazing! We’re putting ours in the living room, and have the laminate tongue and groove shaw Brand in two other rooms of our home. We installed both rooms, one was fairly large, ourselves and plan to do this flooring ourselves also. We chose the vinyl for the livingroom due to the laminate chipping on top, from wear. It’s fairly new (less than 2 years old) so im really hoping this flooring will be great! And a lot more resistant to the heavy and rough traffic we get!

  • Nikki Rein
    last year

    I'd like to know why the samples at Lowe's of this product are thicker than the actual planks. Seems deceptive to me. Anyone else notice this?

  • HU-391474507
    last year

    Honestly, our Lowes is so bad. The help is clueless. I hate Home Depot even more. Although I'm carrying around a Smartcore Pro sample I'm pretty worried about the installation and all the comments on here.

  • Mittens Cat
    last year
    last modified: last year

    @HU-391474507, curious if you or anyone here has considered Swiss brand LICO's HydroFix? Or their new US product (in partnership with a Wisconsin company) Finesse Floors? Or their Microdur or Lipur floors? They talk up their organic, non-toxic bonafides, but who knows. Lico U.S. info: Lico U.S. website

  • Stephanie Elliott
    9 months ago

    HU-461674326 No, we did not use a thick underlayment. Six months in with this floor, I hate it and would not recommend it. It has not stayed together and we are going to have to remove the toilet and sink to replace the flooring with another product. We are DIY'ers, and see no need to hire anyone to do this seemingly simple task. There was no mention of glue, so we didn't use any. I have used other Smart Core products including SmartCore Naturals, in another bathroom, and we are very pleased with it. It went together very well with no beating with a rubber mallet necessary. I would highly recommend that product, but not the SmartCore Pro - at least not in the granite pattern.

  • Barbara Newman
    9 months ago

    Just went through trying to use Smartcore Ultra travertine flooring from Lowes. The product looked good in the sales floor. But when my installer tried to install...it would not click together properly....there are flaws in the clicking mechanism that prevent the product from butting up fully. In about 20% of the seams there are gaps...some as big a 1/4" which makes the floor no longer water proof. Additionally, there were color flaws in the surface of the tiles...one tile with extra black dye for example and popped bubble looking circles on quite a few of the tiles. My installer will never work with this product again. Lowe's agreed to refund my money for the cost of the tiles if returned within 90 days of purchase. However, nothing on the installation.

  • Cynthia
    9 months ago

    It may have already been stated but the reason it is thinner and denser is because the core is limestone and not PVC. I think what they've done with vinyl flooring lately is amazing, the looks and color possibilities are fabulous. I just wish it had a "green" story.

  • mxk3
    9 months ago
    last modified: 9 months ago

    DH installed Smartcore Pro in Burbank Oak in a small bathroom refresh recently; he didn't make any comments about it being difficult to work with, and I think it looks great, I'm very happy with it -- we are easy on our floors, though (no shoes in the house other than an occasional guest, and dog nails are kept pretty short).



  • PRO
    Paratus Resources
    8 months ago
    last modified: 8 months ago

    I just installed an ultra bathroom floor and I'll NEVER do another one!

    It doesn't lock unless everything is PREFECT! which no house is. Spent a ton of time to get it right... NOT a fan.

    The customer loves how it looks but I'm not sure if it will stay locked. I'm pretty sure this will be a warranty issue... I'll just say no in the future.

  • ladybug1016
    6 months ago

    We installed in our small bathroom we went with Burbank oak, we are installing in all three of our bedrooms now, we love it and it looks beautiful

  • HU-58010899
    4 months ago

    My wife and I just laid 322 sq ft of SmartcorePro LVP in our LR and DR. We had only 2.6% waste. Looks great and was fairly easy to lay. We have never done this before. I am a physical therapist and she is a teacher and NOT professionals at this work.

    We watched several youtube videos before doing it. They had great tips. Also, uncharacteristically, we read the entire instructions before laying it.

    Don’t expect a loud click when putting it together, but you can easily tell if it did not seat, properly, in which case, you just do it, again.

    Take care to do the simple math needed to lay out the room, before starting, as was recommended on ALL the videos. Ours worked out very well.

    We were surprised at ourselves. We are, already, planning to do another room.

  • Wes Peters
    2 months ago

    We just finished a SmartCore Ultra install in our Den. It looks and feels gorgeous. The install was a bit rough, the concrete foundation had been patched badly and required a lot of grinding to get it level. I'm thinking of installing the same flooring across the entire back of the house--17x60 feet--but if we do, we'll float the floor instead of grinding.


    The Ultra installed easily enough once we learned how to get the edges to truly lock in, on the third try. Watch a few videos and have your rubber mallet ready.


    1/ Once you think you've got the plank locked in, tap along both of the locking seams -- left and top as you're kneeling looking at the plank -- to get the locks to fully engage.


    2/ Use another plank or a piece of scrap to bridge between the plank you're installing and the previous one as you tap the ends together, it will really help guide them together.


    3/ It also helps to have someone stand on the plank you are locking into; she can feel when the seam has fully closed because now you're tapping on her foot.


    We've had the floor down for two weeks now, so obviously we can't speak to wear at all yet. We'll be here another 8 years, hopefully it will look good enough to sell the place without replacing it then. If that holds true, we're absolutely golden.


    The people at Lowes were unhelpful. Taking advice from someone who hasn't installs this is just not helpful. The tools Lowe's carries are adequate for this 12 x 12.5 room, but I will want a better pull bar if we tackle the big install. The one Lowes carries is too short, if you're not careful working near the wall you'll end up bonking the wall and leaving rubber mallet smudges on the paint.

  • debt71
    last month

    Lisa Miller... Did you install it? How do you like it? I have 22 boxes and my husband gave up after the 3rd row. Will NOT snap in the short ends. Incredibly frustrating! Not sure if we should bother going ahead. It's on concrete and perfectly flat.

  • David Spillman
    11 days ago

    I used Smartcore Pro in a Kitchen back in February and it was easy to use and seems durable so far!


    Just finished an entryway with the same stuff today!


    Used the Burbank and I'm very satisfied with the results!

  • debt71
    11 days ago

    **please read if you are considering this flooring. My husband tried to install when I wasn't home. Wanted to surprise me. I have never seen this man so defeated in my life. Worked for 3 hours she couldn't get 3 rows to stay connected. He was ready to return it all! I sat down, researching, found this post and Wes' comments were the MOST helpful along with youtube on this exact floor. It changed EVERYTHING. The trick is YOU HAVE TO TAP LONG EDGE WITH 2X4 GENTLY AND USE A RUBBER MALLOT to really WACK the short sides together. It is TIGHT once it's correctly hammered together. We finished 600 sq ft in 6 hours. It looks great and we are SO happy we didn't return it because it took me sooo long to pick out. If you love it... Do not give up!

  • Hilary LaBarre
    5 days ago

    We purchased smart core pro in glendale pine color. After less than a year we discovered the backing was falling off. The glue was defective. We had to go through Shaw and Lowes for manufacture warranty. Painful process. I would not reccomend this product.