NuCore vs. Lifeproof Vinyl Flooring – Which Is Better?
NuCore and Lifeproof Vinyl Flooring are the best options for low-cost flooring. Moreover, choosing durable and stylish flooring for your home is always a wise decision.
There are advantages and disadvantages to these floors, which I have outlined in my comparison of NuCore vs. Lifeproof. But the main difference is:
NuCore is an affordable flooring material that is easy to install and looks gorgeous when installed in a home. Compared to Nucor, Lifeproof flooring has better durability. Plus, Lifeproof flooring has a low VOC certification and is scratch-resistant, making it an ideal flooring for homeowners.
Moreover, NuCore Floorings are $1 cheaper per square foot than LifeProof. To learn more about both flooring types, read the complete guide.
What is NuCore Vinyl Flooring?
Nucore vinyl flooring is a great option for home improvement projects. It is an affordable flooring material sold exclusively by Floor & Decor. These floors are dependable, easy to install and look gorgeous in any home.
The low cost of this option makes it easier to get more bang for the buck with this purchase. Nucore also comes in hundreds of different colors and styles, which means that you can find one that matches your taste.
Moreover, it is a high-quality, environmentally friendly product that can be installed in any residential area.
- NuCore offers a wide range of flooring options.
- Installation is relatively easy with NuCore flooring.
- NuCore flooring comes with an integrated cork underlayment.
- NuCore flooring is low in volatile organic compounds.
- This flooring is also antibacterial and easy to clean.
- Besides being affordable, it is easy to clean and has waterproof technology.
- With frequent changes in style, finding a matching replacement can be difficult.
- NuCore scratches and dents easily.
- NuCore’s wear layer is thick but not effective.
- Maintaining NuCore vinyl flooring is difficult as dust and molds quickly build up.
What is Lifeproof Vinyl Flooring?
Lifeproof is an innovative sanded textured PVC material that has been manufactured to offer a higher quality finish than other PVC products on the market.
With Lifeproof, your daily spills and accidents are no big deal. It’s stylish, durable, and made to last. You won’t have to keep the kids and the dog out of the family room anymore.
Additionally, its innovative technology makes Lifeproof vinyl flooring impervious to stains and scratches. And the vinyl flooring features a pre-attached underlayment to prevent mold and mildew from growing on the bottom and top, which causes odors and stains.
The Pre-attached underlayment also makes it softer and more comfortable underfoot.
- Lifeproof vinyl flooring is relatively inexpensive.
- Lifeproof vinyl flooring comes with a very comprehensive residential warranty.
- It is low-VOC certified.
- It requires very simple maintenance.
- LifeProof flooring is compatible with radiant heat.
- A LifeProof vinyl floor is thin, lightweight, and doesn’t require an underlayment.
- The resale value is not ideal.
- LifeProof’s commercial warranty isn’t very robust.
- LifeProof flooring reviews are filled with DIY damage.
- Cannot use LifeProof flooring outside.
NuCore vs. Lifeproof Vinyl Flooring – Major Diffrences
|Factor||NuCore Vinyl Flooring||Lifeproof Vinyl Flooring|
|Material Type||Stone Plastic Core (SPC)||ISOCORE|
|Thickness||6.5mm & 8mm||6mm, 7mm, 8mm, & 8.5mm|
|Wear Layer||20mils||6mils, 10mils, 12mils, & 22mils|
|Residential Warranty||Limited Lifetime||Limited Lifetime|
|Commercial Warranty||15 Years||10 Years|
|Cost||$2.99 – $4.29||$2.79 – $3.59|
The core construction of the material plays a key role in determining a flooring’s durability and quality.
The NuCore website says that the flooring has a “rigid core” without mentioning anything else. So, it’s likely that NuCore’s core consists of just vinyl. Interestingly, Floor & Decor’s website says that NuCore Performance has an SPC core (even though they don’t call it that). So, we assume that NuCore has an SPC core.
In comparison, the Lifeproof has an ISOCORE, a closed-cell waterproof foam core. A noise-reducing pad is attached to the underlayment made of HDPE plastic with this core.
Both flooring materials are very similar in terms of rigidity and waterproofness. However, the only significant difference between the two materials is that Lifeproof is considerably lighter than NuCore.
Also See: How to Choose the Best Rigid Core Floor?
When it comes to the durability of vinyl flooring, it largely depends on the usage of the place. If you plan to install flooring in high-traffic areas, both flooring can withstand the pressure.
But suppose you are planning to install in a place where you will place heavy objects like big furniture or refrigerator. In that case, I will suggest going for the Lifeproof as it has a closed-cell PVC foam core it can withstand pressure for a long time.
Also, surprisingly, the Lifeproof resists scratching the best compared to NuCore, making Lifeproof an ideal flooring to install in halls.
Probably one of the most influential factors for flooring installation is directions. Luckily, both products come with instructions on the back of the boxes. However, NuCore has more detailed instructions than Lifeproof, which has large pictures and few words.
Typical installation tools include a razor knife, a rubber mallet, a jigsaw, or a table saw for cutting around walls, last rows, and door casings. It’ll make your life easier and speed things up a bit.
However, you can accomplish the task with pliers and a razor knife if you don’t have one of those saws.
NuCore and Lifeproof have a drop-in lock installation system, the easiest installation system you could hope for. NuCore planks won’t have any gaps or spaces when installed together. Since NuCore planks have a larger tongue, they are easier to install.
But, when two Lifeproof planks are installed together, you may find slight gaps between the boards. While installing the long planks, it would be helpful to tap them every so often with the rubber mallet.
Moreover, when it comes to installation around door jambs and door casings. The Lifeproof is much easier to install around door casings and jambs than NuCore because it has a smaller tongue with fewer lips on it.
Wear layers are like the bodyguards of your flooring. Having more wear layers between your topcoat and the decorative layer will extend the floor’s life. A rating of around twenty to twenty-eight mils is recommended for commercial and high traffic areas.
Speaking of the NuCore, it has a pretty thick wear layer of 20 mils. When compared to your average flooring, its width is quite large. Consequently, it protects against scratches and abrasions. In addition, it helps to maintain durability.
As for Lifeproof vinyl flooring, it comes in various wear layers. The most popular sizes are 6 mm and 12 mm. Additionally, it has 22 mm, but that’s not found on all designs.
Ease of Cleaning
Durability and ease of cleaning are the top criteria for finalizing flooring for kitchen flooring.
It is very easy to clean NuCore vinyl floors, but there is always a sticky residue left after cleaning. At the same time, Lifeproof has no such problem because it is coated with a smooth outer layer that prevents sticky effects.
Not to worry, you can remove the sticky effect from NuCore flooring by wiping the floor with detergent or soap.
LifeProof vinyl flooring is also resistant to microbial growth due to its antimicrobial properties. As a result, allergy sufferers can install this flooring without suffering from friction. The flooring is also easy to maintain and clean.
Budget is a very significant factor when choosing vinyl flooring. Consumers are always looking for the best value within their budget.
In that case, NuCore is cheap, costing a bit more than $2.7 per sq. ft, which is less than the traditional LifeProof model. Despite this, you won’t find any compromises to its atomic structure. And if your apartment is 500 sq. ft, you can save up to $500 by switching to NuCore.
However, the LifeProof is what you should choose for the apartment of your dreams.
For residential flooring, both companies offer a limited lifetime warranty. However, for commercial flooring, Nucore has a warranty of 15 years, and Lifeproof has a warranty of 10 years.
NuCore states that if a product is damaged, stained, or discolored, NuCore will, at its sole discretion, replace the affected area of the floor. This warranty does not cover labor or other incidental costs resulting from a covered defect unless professionally installed.
According to the Lifeproof Limited Warranty, if a defect is found within the warranty period and reported to IVC, IVC will provide new flooring material with similar color, pattern, and quality to replace the defective area.
To evaluate any claim, IVC reserves the right to inspect the flooring and obtain any other information necessary for the assessment of the claim.
To claim NuCore’s warranty service, you must contact your NuCore retailer within 30 days of discovering the defect. Purchase proof is required. Your retailer will then assist in resolving your claim.
For Lifeproof warranty service, you must go to the Home Depot store that sold you the floor covering material. Home Depot will review and, if necessary, file a claim with IVC. They will also answer your questions.
Conclusion: Which One Should You Choose?
The answer to this question is not as simple as it may seem at first. The best option for your home depends on many factors, including the size of your house or apartment, the number of people living in it, and what you plan to do with your home flooring in the future.
NuCore vinyl flooring is a great option if you are looking for an affordable option and don’t need much space. However, if you want something more permanent, something that will last for many years, and want to invest in something that will improve the look of your home, then you should consider the Lifeproof.
NuCore has a hard time competing with LifeProof flooring when it comes to features. The decision is ultimately yours. However, we recommend LifeProof vinyl flooring because it is more durable and superior to NuCore.
Read More on Vinyl Floors
- Do I Need Expansion Gaps for Vinyl Flooring? (Explained)
- SmartCore Pro Vs. Ultra Vinyl Flooring: What’s the Best for My Home?
- How to Fix Gaps in Vinyl Plank Flooring? (5 Easy Steps)
- How to Clean Shaw Vinyl Plank Flooring? (Beginners Guide)
- 5 Best Ways to Protect Vinyl Flooring From Heavy Furniture (Must-Try!)
Nucore should be avoided. Floor & Decor will not warranty the product. My claims were denied. 1800sqft fell apart in less than 6 months