NuCore vs. Lifeproof Vinyl Flooring – Which One Should I Choose?

As we all know NuCore and Lifeproof Vinyl Flooring are the best options for low-cost flooring.

Yet, for most homeowners choosing durable and stylish flooring for your home has always been a source of annoyance.

There are many advantages and disadvantages to these floors, which I have outlined in this 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 with the potential to resist scratches.

Making it an ideal flooring for homeowners having a furry pet.

Yet, NuCore Flooring is $1 cheaper per square foot than LifeProof.

These are small bits of this whole comparison. Read the complete guide to learn more about both flooring types.

How NuCore is a Better Option than Lifeproof Vinyl Flooring?

Installing NuCore is as easy as a smooth conversation on a front porch.

The click-and-lock system turns you into a flooring maestro without needing a carpentry PhD.

No need to hire help – just rely on your own two hands and a can-do attitude.

Think of NuCore as the sheriff of waterproof floors, standing guard against spills, accidents, or even a little indoor flood – nothing’s ruining this floor’s day.

Walking on NuCore is akin to a stroll on a prairie with boots that feel like walking on clouds.

It’s gentle on the feet, no need for fancy socks – your feet will find their cozy spot in no time.

Beyond its good looks, NuCore is a tough cookie.

It can handle the hustle of daily foot traffic, furniture shuffling, and whatever chaos life tosses its way.

If durability is at the top of your checklist, NuCore rises to the occasion.

On top of that, NuCore laughs in the face of Stain. It’s a stain-resistant shade, ensuring your floors stay as spotless as the day they were laid.

Moreover, everything is not good for NuCore. One thing everyone complains about is that it has a bad collection of colors.

If you’re looking for a floor that’s as wild as a rodeo, you might need to check other pastures.

And we all know, that quality comes at a cost, and NuCore is no exception.

It’s not the cheapest option on the market. If your wallet’s feeling a bit light, you might need to tighten your belt.


  • Installation is relatively easy with NuCore flooring.
  • NuCore flooring comes with an integrated cork underlayment.
  • NuCore is easy to clean and has waterproof technology.


  • NuCore has some good old colors, but it ain’t exactly a rainbow.
  • Quality comes at a cost, and NuCore is no exception.

How Lifeproof is a Better Option than NuCore 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.

Lifeproof is like that old cowboy hat you’ve had forever – it can take a beating and still look good.

It’s scratch-resistant, making it perfect for homes with rowdy critters or little ones playing cowboy and Indians.

Lifeproof ain’t just practical; it’s got style for days.

If you want your floors to look as sharp as a dressed-up buckaroo at the rodeo, Lifeproof’s designs will have your heart doing a little two-step.

Lifeproof won’t clean out your pockets. It’s a sensible choice for folks counting pennies without sacrificing quality.

Moreover, Lifeproof can handle a splash, but it ain’t a total waterproof sheriff.

A spill lingering too long might leave a mark. Not the best choice for a water war zone.

But it features a pre-attached underlayment to prevent mold and mildew from growing on the bottom and top, which causes odors and stains.

If you’re not a carpentry wiz, don’t try to install Lifeproof on your own.

Instead, call a professional to do the job, or else you might destroy the flooring planks as it needs to be handled with care.


  • 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.
  • A LifeProof vinyl floor is thin, lightweight, and doesn’t need 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 Differences

Comparison Table

FactorNuCore Vinyl Flooring Lifeproof Vinyl Flooring
Material TypeStone Plastic Core (SPC)ISOCORE
Thickness6.5mm & 8mm6mm, 7mm, 8mm, & 8.5mm
Wear Layer20mils6mils, 10mils, 12mils, & 22mils
DIY InstallationEasyHard
Residential WarrantyLimited LifetimeLimited Lifetime
Commercial Warranty15 Years10 Years
Cost$3.99 – $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 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.

But, the only significant difference between the two materials is that Lifeproof is 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 Nucore and Lifeproof flooring can withstand pressure.

But if you are planning to install it in a place where you will place heavy objects like big furniture or a refrigerator.

In that case, I will suggest going for the Nucore as it has a closed-cell PVC foam core that can withstand pressure for a long time.

It also provides superior insulation and noise reduction, making it an ideal choice for a home or office space.

Additionally, it is easy to install and maintain, making it a great choice for busy households.


Probably one of the most influential factors for flooring installation is directions.

Luckily, both products come with instructions on the back of the boxes.

But, NuCore has more detailed instructions than Lifeproof, which has large pictures and few words.

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 Layer

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 miles 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.

So, it protects against scratches and abrasions. Too, 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.

Yet, the LifeProof is what you should choose for the apartment of your dreams.


Lifeproof and NuCore offer limited lifetime warranties for residential flooring.

The game changes a bit for commercial flooring – NuCore offers a 15-year warranty, while Lifeproof offers a 10-year warranty.

Now, NuCore says it out straight. If your flooring takes a hit and gets damaged, or stained, or decides to change colors without permission, NuCore’s got your back.

However, this warranty does not cover labor or other extra costs unless you had a professional install the flooring.

The Lifeproof limited warranty says that if you find a flaw during the warranty period notify IVC (the company behind Lifeproof).

They will provide you with new flooring material that matches the color, pattern, and quality of the problematic area.

But hold your horses – IVC, being the wise decision-maker, reserves the right to inspect your flooring and gather any info needed to judge your claim.

Conclusion: Which One Should You Choose?

There you have it, partner. If you’re looking for a waterproof fortress with a soft touch, NuCore is your trailblazer.

But if you want style on a budget and can handle a little scratch resistance, Lifeproof might be your trusty steed.

Saddle up and make your choice – may your floors be as sturdy as a cowboy’s resolve!

While Lifeproof may have its merits.

NuCore takes the lead in being a waterproof, DIY-friendly, comfort-packed, durable, and stain-resistant flooring champion.

So, if you’re after a floor that can weather any storm and still look dashing, NuCore might just be your flooring hero.

Saddle up for a flooring experience that’s as tough as a bull rider and as comfortable as a porch swing at sunset.

Read More on Vinyl Floors


One comment

  1. Nucore should be avoided. Floor & Decor will not warranty the product. My claims were denied. 1800sqft fell apart in less than 6 months

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