The flooring market is positively groaning with wood substitutes that promise the charm of the real thing while offering durability way out of wood’s league. Life being what it is, you’ll usually find that while there may be advantages in terms of wear, most of these wood stand-ins are all too obviously synthetic. So, whenever a new one comes up for review, it’s always interesting to see if this is the one that breaks the rule. CoreLuxe is a luxury vinyl product that’s under the microscope today.
We’ll give it a good checking over, looking at its varietal range, its price compared to its competitors, and its durability. We’ll take on board whatever online CoreLuxe flooring reviews are saying before checking to see if there are any installation issues worth reporting on. Finally, we’ll decide whether CoreLuxe is worth your attention.
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Although one or two CoreLuxe options describe themselves as EVP (Engineered Vinyl Plank), most of the CoreLuxe range is luxury vinyl (i.e., LVP and LVT). So this means it’s a multi-layered structure incorporating a waterproof vinyl core, together with a wear layer of aluminum oxide or polyurethane. Between these two elements is a design layer, which is basically a photograph of the natural material it’s meant to emulate. It’s this design layer that will mostly occupy us in this section.
So, the first thing to point out is just how wide a range is included in the CoreLuxe banner. It goes from an entry-level mega-affordable LVP to something pretty high up the desirability scale. There are three sub-ranges available: they are, in order from basic to enhanced, CoreLuxe, CoreLuxe XD, and CoreLuxe Ultra.
It’s made and sold by LL Flooring, the company that used to be called Lumber Liquidators, before surmising that a change of name might be a good idea due to the negative press arising from a VOC emissions case. All good now, though, so we can forgive and forget.
Starting with CoreLuxe, there’s a good range of wood effects, including the ghostly pale Daydream Meadow Oak and the restrained elegance of Puget Sound Oak. Most of the options here are 5mm thick, with a high-density IXPE pad attached to the bottom layer. The plank sizes vary from 48” x 5.9” up to 60” x 8.9”.
CoreLuxe XD contains some very interesting varieties: exotic Bali Teak and refined Mount Washington Birch caught our eye. Thickness is in the region of 5-6mm, again with pad attached, but look out for exceptions such as the 8mm Driftwood Hickory. Plank sizes of 48” x 7”, 51” x 6.8”, and 60” x 7” are available, as well as herringbone style 24” x 4” in Chantilly Oak and Cambridge Hickory. You’ll also find quartz and slate effect tiles sized 24” x 12”.
CoreLuxe Ultra consists of a select spread of 10 choices, such as the hip Urban Loft Ash and the historic tones of Old Dominion Walnut. You’re looking here at a thickness of around 8mm, plus the attached pad. Sizes start with the travertine effect 24” x 12”, and go on to encompass 48” x 5.87” up to 72” x 9”. There’s also the multi-length and multi-width Tobacco Road Acacia.
Most of the options have a subtle wire-brushed texture, although there are also distressed and EIR (Embossed In Register) varieties available.
It should be mentioned here that although the designs look pretty good, there’s quite a low pattern repeat count. In the case of CoreLuxe, it starts at only five, which means that there are less than half a dozen uniquely patterned planks. With a figure this low, the potential for adjacent repetition is fairly high. Even CoreLuxe Ultra only manages, at best, a pattern repeat count of ten. With most synthetic flooring options, you’d be hoping for a figure of twelve at least.
Having said all that, one variety – Cardiff Red Oak – carries 21 uniquely patterned planks, so top marks there.
- Available in 75 Different Wood and Stone Looks
- Multi-Layer Structure
- 100% Waterproof
- Suitable for Commercial Use
- Highly Durable
- Scratch and Dent-Resistant
- GreenGuard Gold and/or FloorScore low VOC Certified
- Flooring Name: CoreLuxe, CoreLuxe XD, CoreLuxe Ultra
- Thickness: 5mm – 8mm (some with attached pad)
- Warranty: Most Varieties Lifetime Residential, CoreLuxe Ultra 15 Years Commercial
- Commercial or Residential Use: Both
- Installation Type: Floating or Glue-Down
- Underlayment Required: Some Varieties Have Pad Supplied Already Attached; Extra Can Be Applied
- Material: Luxury Vinyl (SPC)
CoreLuxe covers a fairly wide price range, from the eminently affordable ($1.39 SFT) to the relatively pricey ($4.99 SFT). With this spectrum of prices, CoreLuxe offers something to suit most pockets and is by no means the most expensive luxury vinyl option out there.
|Buttercream Maple||$1.39 SFT||3mm|
|Carson City Oak||$1.99 SFT||5mm + pad|
|Dockside Ash||$2.99 SFT||5mm + pad|
|XD Grizzly Bay Oak||$2.99 SFT||5mm + pad|
|XD Old Port Pine||$3.99 SFT||7mm + pad|
|Ultra Jove Travertine||$4.49 SFT||8mm|
|Caribbean Maple||$4.99 SFT||8mm + pad|
How Does That Compare With Other Luxury Vinyl Brands?
|Product Name||Price per Square Foot||Overall Thickness|
|Home Decorators Collection LVP||$1.79||4 – 4.2 mm|
|DuraLux Performance||$1.49 – $3.49||4 – 5 mm|
|CoreLuxe XD||$2.99 – $3.99||5 – 7 mm|
|LifeProof Vinyl Plank||$3.41 – $4.59||6.5 – 8 mm|
|NuCore RigidCore 8mm||$3.79||8 mm|
|Mohawk SolidTech Plus||$4.35||6 mm|
|Armstrong Luxe Plank||$4.39 – $4.79||7.8 mm|
|CoreLuxe Ultra||$4.49 – $4.99||8 mm|
|Mannington Adura Max||$5.49 – $5.99||8 mm|
|Coretec Plus Premium||$6.49 – $7.49||12 mm|
|Cali Vinyl Legends||$6.49||12 mm|
|Shaw Floorte Classic||$6.99||12 mm|
|Coretec Grande||$9.99||15 mm|
With most luxury vinyl, you’re assured of a certain amount of durability, and this is indeed what you get with CoreLuxe. It features an SPC (stone polymer composite) core as well as scratch and dent-proofing technology.
Somewhat disappointingly, the all-important wear layer starts at a relatively skimpy 6 mil. However, it would seem to be able to stand up reasonably well to family use, even at the cheaper end. This is why you’ll get a 30-year residential warranty with the $1.39 SFT CoreLuxe. You won’t get a commercial guarantee at this price point though.
The More Expensive, The Better…
Go further up the scale, and you’ll find 12 mil thickness at around the $2.00 SFT price point, which you can’t complain about at this outlay. This will give you a lifetime residential warranty and a 5-year light commercial warranty.
To get a beefier commercial warranty, you’ll need to spend in excess of $2.50, which will get you a much more respectable 20 mil. With this, you get a 10-year light commercial warranty or a 5-year heavy commercial cover.
At the Ultra level, you’ll be getting a wear layer of 28 mil, which is very impressive, and a light and heavy commercial warranty of, respectively, 10 and 15 years.
Regardless of which variety you go for, one of the key elements of luxury vinyl durability is waterproofing, and you most certainly get this with CoreLuxe. So, good for use throughout the home, regardless of the likelihood of spills.
Let’s start with the LL Flooring website, which, perhaps unsurprisingly, carries a lot of very positive reviews. We’ll have to be fairly circumspect in how we take these. To take one option, it scores 4 stars, with 65% likely to recommend it to a friend. Digging deeper into the reviews gives a wide spread of opinion, with a great many praising its appearance and value, while some decry its vulnerability to damage.
This one’s a good example of both opinions in the review below. Love the title of it, like a moody and unpredictable Bond girl. We’re thinking Vesper Lynd.
Beautiful but Damaged
We absolutely love the look of these floors and get questions and compliments about them all the time. However within a few months they started chipping and peeling… Very frustrated and disappointed in how they look now.
Elsewhere, the CoreLuxe review scene is very sparsely populated. This reviewer on YouTube gave Ultra an 8 out of 10 following some very rigorous testing. A TikTok reviewer loves the look but found it a little time-consuming to install. Talking of this, let’s move on to installation matters.
You can install using the floating method, i.e., using gravity and friction to hold the planks in place. The procedure is eased with the grooves that run along the edges of the planks, enabling you to slot them neatly into place. When clicked in like so, the waterproof seal is enabled.
You can also glue it down if you’d prefer – some people like the added stability of a glued-down floor, while for others, it’s a needless complication.
Whichever approach you go for, you’ll need to bear in mind two things. Firstly, CoreLuxe requires a 24-hour acclimation period, so you won’t be able to install it straight away upon coming home from the store. Don’t rush this bit. You may invalidate the warranty if you do.
Secondly, because CoreLuxe is an SPC material, it means that you should always use respiratory protection when cutting it. Although remote, there’s a chance that the stone component can put anyone cutting SPC vinyl at risk from silicosis. As we say, it’s a remote risk but one we wouldn’t like to run without a good mask in place.
To DIY or Not To DIY?
Some people might prefer to get professionals to install their new flooring. This is certainly an option, and no need to feel ashamed if you think your skills aren’t up to the task of installing it yourself. If you do take on the task, though, make sure you give yourself plenty of time and always ensure you’ve got all the tools necessary ready and to hand before you start.
Most of the CoreLuxe range comes with an underlay pad attached, but whether it does or doesn’t, it’s a good idea to consider installing your own underlay for feel and acoustic benefit.
CoreLuxe can be installed over most subfloors. Remember to include a moisture barrier if you’re installing on concrete.
Finally, although the manufacturer flags up the product’s dent-proofing, it’s not designed to sit under heavy units such as kitchen fixtures and fittings, so do bear this in mind when laying in a room yet to have its main units installed.
Need Help With Installation?
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The tool is powered by Networx, who have been helping people find qualified flooring installers for over 20 years.
Pros & Cons of CoreLuxe Flooring
- Cheap – Luxury vinyl at $1.39 SFT isn’t expensive.
- Good Range Available – A thorough spectrum of possibilities is offered.
- Ultra’s Good Wear Layer – 28 mil’s a reassuring thickness
- Multi-Use – Waterproofing makes it suitable for any room, even splashy bathrooms.
- Planks can be Easily Replaced – Take out damaged planks and put in new ones with relative ease.
- Waterproof – There’s no reason to believe that CoreLuxe’s waterproofing isn’t as good as the manufacturer states.
- Low VOC Emissions – GreenGuard Gold and FloorScore Certified.
- Good Warranties for Higher End – As one would hope, you get a lifetime residential warranty with all but the cheapest varieties, and there’s OK commercial coverage with the most expensive options.
- Disappointing Entry-Level Wear Layer – 6 mil is the very definition of getting what you pay for.
- Eco-info Lacking – Although VOC emissions are certifiably low, it would be nice to have some aspect of the company’s environmental efforts reflected somewhere on the website. Vinyl’s traditionally quite eco-harmful, but there are things that a manufacturer can do to mitigate damage. It would be good to find out if LL Flooring is doing any of these.
- Visibly Artificial – It’s pretty much always the case that luxury vinyl, although sometimes very attractive, simply can’t replicate the look and feel of real wood or stone.
Style – 6.5 out of 10
No problem with the looks available. Some of the wood effects are genuinely very attractive, and there’s enough of a range of brightness and tone to suit most decor schemes. The poor unique pattern scores for most of the options are a little underwhelming, and this can be an immediate giveaway for synthetic flooring, so quite a big deal.
Durability – 7 out of 10
Like the best luxury vinyl, CoreLuxe seems to have excellent waterproofing credentials and generally good wear resistance, albeit with a tendency to chip reported by some customers. Our advice – don’t go for the very cheapest. A 6 mil wear layer is just too thin to spend all that time and effort installing.
Affordability – 7.5 out of 10
Even if you go straight past the cheapest option, you’ll find excellent value for money in the $2-$4 SFT range. To get a 20 mil wear layer in this financial neck of the woods is good going. The most expensive end is worth the money, especially if you need a fairly solid commercial warranty.
Reviews – 5.5 out of 10
It’s quite interesting how few reviews there are out there for CoreLuxe. The Houzz.com community, for instance, normally such a good barometer for customer experience, carries no significant content. So, most of our review material has had to come from the manufacturer’s website, which is never a perfect route. For this reason, we’ve had to be fairly miserly with the review score.
Overall Score – 6.5 out of 10
We ended up giving CoreLuxe a relatively paltry 6.5 out of 10. In some ways, this may seem a little harsh – it’s a good-looking product that seems to stand up well to wear and tear on the YouTube video. However, for us, there are questions concerning its wear layer and reported vulnerability to chipping. And, not to be underestimated, there’s a real paucity of review material out there, which makes it difficult to award a higher score.
If you decide that the look of CoreLuxe is for you and your home, our recommendation is to go for something from the higher end of the range. That way, at least, you’ll be sure of having something hard wearing down where you need it.
We hope you’ve found this CoreLuxe flooring review helpful. Whichever flooring you end up with, we wish you and your feet many years of happiness with it.
Have you had any experience with CoreLuxe flooring? Can you add to the sparse body of independent reviews available online? If so, please add your thoughts to the comments section below.
Is CoreLuxe waterproof?
In common with most, if not all, luxury vinyl, CoreLuxe is impervious to water damage, hence waterproof.
Is CoreLuxe made in the USA?
CoreLuxe is made in China and Vietnam.
Can you install CoreLuxe outside?
Although it is waterproof, CoreLuxe is for interior installation only.