One of the most affordable flooring brands is SmartCore, a Lowes private-label brand.
The SmartCore flooring comprises two layers: the top layer is a high-quality wear layer, while the bottom layer is an adhesive. The wear layer can be made from different materials and textures.
As a result of that, the SmartCore brand has four different models to choose from: the SmartCore, the SmartCore Ultra, the SmartCore Pro, and last but not least, the SmartCore Natural.
Since there are so many options available, most people are unclear about which option is best for their beautiful home.
In this short guide, I’ve discussed the significant differences between SmartCore Pro and SmartCore Ultra and which to consider buying. I hope it helps you make an informed decision.
Table of Contents
What is SmartCore Pro Flooring, Exactly?
The SmartCore Pro is a type of flooring offered by the SmartCore brand. It provides the perfect balance of style and durability in demanding environments. The high-performance wear layer and SPC core provide maximum wear and tear.
With SmartCore’s COREtec technology, style doesn’t have to give way to strength. It is 100% waterproof, and if you install it in the right way, it’s easy to clean and stays strong in even the hottest sunrooms or coldest cabins.
- The SmartCore Pro has excellent visual appeal with excellent quality.
- Install the SmartCore Pro in any part of the home, even the basement.
- This product is available in 15+ different styles with a variety of colors.
- SmarCore Pro provides style and strength simultaneously.
- Even though it is waterproof, you must clean SmartCore Pro if it gets wet. Otherwise, it may damage the floor.
- Installing the SmartCore Pro vinyl planks can be challenging for some.
What is SmartCore Ultra Flooring, Exactly?
A SmartCore Ultra flooring is a type of flooring offered by the brand SmartCore. The exclusive Ultra Soft Underlayment makes the SmartCore Ultra the intelligent choice for high-definition style, design, comfort, and noise reduction.
Enhanced bevels, hyper-realistic visuals, and beautiful color variations create the authentic appearance and feel of the real thing without the hassle.
With COREtec technology SmartCore Ultra is 100% waterproof, easy to install, and effortless to clean, handling the daily rigors of your household chores with style and strength.
- The SmartCore Ultra is low-maintenance and includes an acoustic pad with enhanced performance.
- It features a WPC (Wood-Plastic Composite) core, which gives the floor some bounce and the feel of hardwood floors.
- SmartCore Ultra comes in more than 20 styles.
- The tiles and planks of SmartCore Ultra are 7.5 mm thick.
- Many users are concerned about warranty issues.
- A single wear layer thickness is available for SmartCore Ultra.
- Scratch resistance does not seem to be as good as claimed.
SmartCore Pro vs. Ultra: What’s the Difference?
|Factor||SmartCore Pro||SmartCore Ultra|
|Type||SPC (Stone Polymer Core)||WPC (Wood, Polymer Core)|
|Thickness||6 mm||7.5 mm|
|Wear Layer||Yes (20 mil)||Yes (12 mil)|
|DIY click installation||Yes||Yes|
|Residential warranty||Yes (Lifetime)||Yes (Lifetime)|
|Commercial warranty||10 Years||5 Years|
|Sq.ft per carton||Plank – 16.54 sq. ft.|
Tile – 15.83 sq. ft.
|Plank – 15.76 sq. ft.|
Tile – 15.71 sq. ft.
|Pieces per carton||Plank – 7 pieces|
Tile – 8 pieces
|Plank – 8 pieces|
Tile – 8 pieces
|Size||Plank – 7.08” W x 48.03” W|
Tile – 12.00” W x 23.74” L
|Plank – 5.91” W x 48.03” W|
Tile – 11.97” W x 23.62” L
|Cost||$2.99 – $4.49||$3.39 – $.4.29|
The SmartCore Pro and Ultra differ primarily based on what material is used for the core of the product and some design details. Other than that, they are generally similar.
SmartCore Pro is equipped with an SPC core (Stone-Plastic Composite). It uses limestone powder as part of the SPC core, making the product more durable and resistant to corrosion.
And on the other hand, SmartCore Ultra features a WPC Core (Wood-Plastic Composite) that includes ultra-fine sawdust. It provides the floor with more bounce and makes it feel like an authentic hardwood species.
In general, SPC is more rigid than WPC, but that also means that it doesn’t absorb shocks as well as WPC.
While both floorings absorb sounds pretty well, the SmartCore Pro does not absorb sound as well as the Ultra because of the SPC core’s rigidity. Its rigidity also makes it less flexible, making it susceptible to transmission of sounds if used in a noisy environment.
However, the SmartCore Ultra has a WPC core. It is very flexible, preventing the sound from being easily transferred from one floor to another.
When it comes to how long will SmartCore vinyl flooring last, this largely depends on the usage of the place. Suppose you use flooring in places like a kitchen or bathroom, which has a high risk of getting wet and dirty. In that case, you should be looking for a more durable type of vinyl flooring that can withstand these conditions.
And suppose you install your SmartCore vinyl flooring in more high-traffic areas like family rooms and hallways. In that case, you can expect them to last longer without any issues as they are designed specifically for areas that have a moderate foot.
Both the Pro and Ultra have very good durability, as the thickness of the products is very good. The Pro has 6mm thickness while the Ultra has 7.5mm, having the advantage of 1.5mm. Plus, the wear layer of Pro is 20 mils thick, while the wear layer of Ultra is 12 mils thick.
Before buying vinyl planks, the most significant factor to consider is the installation location. Different products have different warranty periods depending on how they are used.
SmartCore Pro is the better choice for commercial use over Ultra since its rigidity allows it to be handled roughly. Additionally, it comes with a 10-year commercial warranty, whereas the Ultra does not.
However, if you intend to use flooring for a residential building, in that case, the SmartCore Ultra is the better option due to the lifetime warranty that the Pro has as well.
The Ultra’s soft texture makes it the perfect companion for residential use. It enables you to walk barefoot without discomfort. Additionally, it has a wear layer of 12 mils and a thickness of 7.5 mm.
Moreover, it also comes with an attached pad that makes the home soundproof. All of these features make SmartCore Ultra ideal for residential use.
SmartCore Ultra and Pro come with lifetime residential warranties, with 10 years on SmartCore Pro and 5 years on SmartCore Ultra.
SmartCore Pro vs. Ultra: What’s the Similarities?
Low in Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC)
SmartCore flooring contains fewer volatile organic compounds. It releases fewer harmful chemicals into the air produced by plastics and adhesives. VOC reduction is a priority in the flooring industry. SmartCore as a brand makes no exception and is Greenguard Certified as a low-VOC option.
Another benefit of choosing the floor with low or no VOCs is that your floors won’t turn a yellowish color over time.
Having a gorgeous floor shouldn’t be a hassle. When you install SmartCore flooring, you can spend less time cleaning and more time doing the things you enjoy most.
Get carefree cleanup and superior protection against spills, accidents, and everything else you would rather not deal with. Additionally, both flooring options come with a lifetime residential warranty, protecting in case of product damage.
Furthermore, do not worry if you plan to install it in a commercial environment. The Pro comes with a commercial warranty of 10 years, while the Ultra comes with only a 5-year warranty.
SmartCore Pro and Ultra are designed for direct installation over existing hardwood floors. No adhesive, subfloor preparation, stress, or installation experience is required.
The tongue and groove interlock the planks since they have an interlocking construction system. You can also use it to create a floating floor. Later if you wish, you can glue the planks after interlocking.
You can install SmartCore pros and Ultra vinyl planks on any surface. The planks will fit perfectly, whether made of wood, concrete, or something else.
Although this is not always necessary, a concrete floor needs to be leveled before installing SmartCore flooring. It will prevent seams, buckles, and gaps from forming.
Due to the COREtec technologies in Pro and Ultra, SmartCore flooring offers 100% waterproof protection. Their rigid SPC in Pro and WPC in Ultra, cores prevent moisture from permeating them.
It means there will be no swelling, cracking, or peeling after exposure to water. Hence, it is suitable for any area, including kitchens, bathrooms, mudrooms, and basements.
Even though both the floors are waterproof, you must clean them if it gets wet. Otherwise, it may damage the floors.
Both floors have an attached acoustical pad that reduces noise in the house and makes the room more comfortable. It also helps in resolving the echo problems. Moreover, both come with pre-installed pads. With this pre-installed pad, the installation costs are reduced, and durability can be increased.
Why SmartCore Ultra Is Usually Better?
SmartCore Ultra is usually better when you intend to use it for residential propose. Because it has a wear layer of 12 mils and a thickness of 7.5 mm, plus it has a lifetime residential warranty. The Ultra’s soft texture allows you to walk barefoot without discomfort.
Moreover, comes with an attached pad that makes the home soundproof. All these features make the SmartCore Ultra the best companion for residential buildings.
When SmartCore Pro Is Better?
Unlike Ultra, SmartCore Pro can be handled roughly, making it more suitable for commercial use. Moreover, it comes with a 10-year commercial warranty, while the Ultra does not.
The Pro has a 20 mil wear layer and a thickness of 6 mm, and the SPC core provides maximum wear and tear resistance. It has the perfect balance between style and durability in demanding environments, making it the best companion for commercial buildings.
Both SmartCore Ultra and Pro have their own unique selling points. Depending on your needs, you can choose among them; their materials also help determine their rigidity.
The SmartCore trademark appears on both since they are from the same company. Thus, it allows you to choose depending on your use and intention. Based on your personal preferences, you need to decide what type of flooring is best for you.
Read More on Vinyl Floors
- NuCore vs. Lifeproof Vinyl Flooring – Which Is Better?
- How to Clean Shaw Vinyl Plank Flooring? (Beginners Guide)
- How to Clean Pet Urine from Vinyl Plank Flooring? (Best Way!)
- How to Remove Sticky Residue from Vinyl Flooring? (Full Guide)
- A Guide to Remove Rubber Marks from Vinyl Flooring