Floorings come in a variety of styles today. Some floors use hardwood while others prefer laminate flooring. One of the most popular types of flooring in home and commercial spaces, however, is vinyl planks.

It is difficult for many homeowners, however, to know where to buy their vinyl flooring. There are several options to choose from, and among them are COREtec and SmartCore. 

All About SmartCore and COREtec


COREtec is an industry leader known for its highly competitive and efficient line of vinyl planks. These planks are manufactured and developed by US Floors and are sold in a variety of flooring stores online. Their premium lines of vinyl planks are among the most expensive in the industry as well, namely COREtec Original, COREtec Advanced+, COREtec Stone, COREtec Wood, and COREtec Pro

COREtec is quick and easy to install as well. All of its vinyl planks are waterproof, as well as kid and pet friendly too.


Manufactured by the same company that developed COREtec, SmartCore is a flooring solution sold exclusively at Lowe’s. It is a budget-friendly yet above average quality brand of vinyl planks that are graded “better” than its peers. It features COREtec technology and offers a line of vinyl planks in different styles and functionality namely SmartCore (Basic), SmartCore Pro, SmartCore Ultra, and SmartCore Naturals.

SmartCore’s vinyl floor coverings are quick and easy to install, only requiring glueing the planks or interlocking the built in grooves. The planks are durable as well and should last up to 8 to 12 years. 

A side-by-side comparison of Smartcore and Coretec

Now that you have an idea for what SmartCore and COREtec are, let’s move forward and assess which of their features are better.

Durability Comparison

All rooms—whether the bedroom, kitchen, or the living room—needs durable flooring. COREtec and SmartCore both feature properties that make their vinyl planks sturdy and long-lasting. 

  • Floor components. All vinyl planks available today are multilayered. The components of those layers and how they are arranged determine how durable the vinyl flooring is.

    COREtec and SmartCore vinyl planks are both comprised of multiple layers.

    SmartCore, for instance, is composed of four different layers of synthetic material. It features a high-performing wear layer (first layer) that can be 12 mL or 20 mL thick, depending on the series. It comes with a stone plastic composite core (SPC) which is waterproof and is covered with acrylic coating. The underlayment can be either a soundproof pad or an ultra soft underlayer.

    COREtec’s underlayment is made of cork which naturally resists mold and mildew growth.
  • Mold and mildew resistant. Material-wise, both SmartCore and COREtec are not prone to mold and mildew growth. Both brands guarantee that their vinyl planks are waterproof, which often reduces mold growth.

    SmartCore, for instance, has its core structure (wood- or polymer-made) that is coated in vinyl. The same goes with COREtec. The only difference is that COREtec has an underlayment that is made of cork, which naturally resists mold and mildew buildup.  

Comfort and Style

  • Easy to clean. With or without kids, a floor that is easy to clean saves you a lot of time. And when it comes to maintenance, both brands perform well.

    That said, COREtec and SmartCore come with a highly efficient wear layer—the first of the four layers—which protects the vinyl underneath. Both brands resist stains as well.
  • Pet- and kid- friendly. SmartCore and COREtec’s vinyl planks are kid- and pet- friendly as well. Both of their boards have extra thick wear layers that are scratch resistant, preventing pets from leaving marks and scratches whenever they play.

    Both underlayments can also keep the floor, as well as the whole room, warm, dry, and cozy.
  • Low VOC. COREtec and SmartCore’s vinyl planks are certified to have low VOC levels. Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) come from construction materials and are known to cause indoor air pollution. The low VOC levels in both brands have allowed them to receive a GreenGuard seal of approval.

Installation Comparison

Vinyl planks in general are easy to install and often require no professional help. Smartcore and COREtec, however, made the process a lot easier and faster. 

This is because COREtec involves glueless installation and its boards come with pre-attached padding and even micro-beveled edges. SmartCore has the same features, too. The only difference is that SmartCore comes with a dual-lock design. 

Cost Comparison

It is clear that SmartCore and COREtec have similar features. However, when it comes to prices, SmartCore is slightly less expensive than COREtec.

COREtec costs about $8 per square foot, with the lowest price about $5 per square foot. SmartCore costs about $3 to $4 per square foot, which is roughly half the price of COREtec’s vinyl planks. 

Eco-friendliness Comparison

The eco-conscious homeowner will be happy to hear that both vinyl planks are environmentally friendly and ethically produced. The core structure of COREtec is made of recycled wood and bamboo dust. Both brands are GreenGuard certified as well. 

The Verdict

Based on the information above, both subfloors perform well. Both have the same features, convenience, and even safety measures. The only difference I noticed is that when it comes to mold, CORetec has the upper hand as their planks have an underlayment that is made of cork, which naturally resists mold and mildew buildup.  

Editorial Contributors
Matt Greenfield

Matt Greenfield

Matt Greenfield is an experienced writer specializing in home improvement topics. He has a passion for educating and empowering homeowners to make informed decisions about their properties. Matt's writing focuses on a range of topics, including windows, flooring, HVAC, and construction materials. With a background in construction and home renovation, Matt is well-versed in the latest trends and techniques in the industry. His articles offer practical advice and expert insights that help readers tackle their home improvement projects with confidence. Whether you're a DIY enthusiast or a seasoned professional, Matt's writing is sure to provide valuable guidance and inspiration.

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