There are some inherent disadvantages of vinyl plank flooring and most of them are not unique to any specific brand. And I have no beef with SmartCore.
But people face some problems with SmartCore vinyl flooring like staining and discoloration. They are talking about those issues in several forums. And anyone thinking about having them should be aware of that.
Along with those disadvantages, I will explain how to deal with them too.
Disadvantages of SmartCore Vinyl Flooring
To be fair to SmartCore, a lot of these are common vinyl plank flooring problems. However, here is a list of its common drawbacks:
- Scratches easily.
- Denting problem.
- No protection against moisture from the underlayment.
- Limited warranty issue.
- Environment concern.
Apart from the above list, there are some other issues like vinyl oxidation. Let’s talk about them in detail one by one.
- Scratching Problem
Vinyl plank flooring is supposed to be scratch-resistant, right? I mean that’s why many people get this in the first place.
Well, this is very concerning when it comes to SmartCore and from what I have gathered, SmartCore is unusually prone to scratches!
When it’s scratched, it looks dull.
While reviewing this flooring brand, many people have expressed their disappointment regarding this issue. It gets easily scratched from the chair legs and high-heel shoes.
You will feel it terribly if you have a dog or cat. If being scratch-resistant is your primary requirement, SmartCore is not probably for you.
You can keep it scratch-free only if you are careful enough. Do not let anybody including your guest walk on their shoes inside. Keep indoor sleepers instead.
It will prevent dirt from the outside to come in and the heels can’t scratch the floor either. Also, it requires sweeping, vacuuming, and mopping at least once a week.
- Denting Problem
Not just scratch-proof, you want your vinyl plank flooring to be dent-resistant too. But I have read enough reviews to understand that SmartCore vinyl flooring is not so dent-resistant.
Denting is more concerning for the SmartCore Pro. It’s simply not so tough. You need something more durable and sturdier than SmartCore if you don’t want your flooring to get dented easily.
- Discoloration & Stains
There will be spillage on the floor every now and then. But the problem is SmartCore floor is prone to stain and discoloration from such food or drink spillage.
It happens mainly because the material of such plank floor absorbs such spillage. When it happens, it becomes hard to remove such stains and restore the color.
The only way to avoid permanent discoloration or stains is by cleaning the floor immediately after the spillages before the floor can absorb the liquid.
- Peeling & Cracking
It won’t happen overnight but when the adhesive around the flooring corners wears out, you will notice peeling and cracking. I would not pin it down to the SmartCore because it happens to all the brands.
But that’s good to know what’s you are up to, right?
So, your vinyl flooring will look unattractive over time and you should be ready about this.
- Nothing So Special About The Core of SmartCore Flooring
SmartCore flooring has a WPC core. It’s good but there is nothing so special about it if you compare it with the industry practice.
For general people, it’s just too technical about various cores like EVP or LVT flooring, WPC, PVC, etc. There is no way to compare them all.
But just, keep in mind that, there is nothing so special about the WPC core that SmartCore uses.
- Limited Warranty Issue
Did you know their warranty applies only for indoor installation? Also, if you detect any manufacturer defects after the installation, they won’t cover it.
The warranty conditions are also not so great. For example, you won’t get any warranty if you go for any DIY installation. Although, they market it as the easiest flooring installation.
They offer a warranty only when you hire a professional contractor for the installation of their flooring. To me, it sounds absurd!
Because when it comes to installing vinyl plank floor, it’s the easiest one. Why should anyone pay a contractor if he is really good at doing it himself?
- When Gone, Completely The Whole Flooring Is Gone!
You can’t replace only the damaged or marked-up part of the flooring, you have to replace the whole flooring. You have to take the entire floor apart while replacing individual SmartCore planks.
So, when you think about it, you are not actually saving a lot not choosing the hardwood alternative.
- Not Environment Friendly
To be fair to them, not any vinyl plank flooring brand is completely environment-friendly. However, SmarCore is low VOCs certified and there are other brands that have better recyclability and higher VOCs rating.
According to many reviews, Proximity Mills is doing better protecting the environment than SmartCore.
I know not everyone is concerned about the environment but keep in mind that VOCs are directly detrimental for you and your family members.
If that scares you or you are really concerned about the environment, you can go for hemp flooring or wood flooring. Here is someone explaining the nightmare he is facing with SmartCore.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
From scratching to staining easily, vinyl plank flooring is subject to cracking, peeling, and discoloration. Sometimes, there is crumbling at the issue of the edge too.
No, it does not expand and contract.
Due to the sunlight and heat, the material of the plank floor contract and expand. That’s why you see the buckling problem.
You need a microfiber wet mop pad and a good cleaner to clean this flooring type. You will get a better result if you mop the floor in sections. Make sure to replace the dirty pad.
If you follow the floating floor technique to install it, the vinyl plank flooring can be removed and reinstalled easily.
SmartCore is a decent brand when it comes to vinyl plank flooring. For most people, it will get the job done.
But after learning about the common drawbacks with SmartCore vinyl flooring, I would look for other better options with a higher budget.