Top 10 Trending Backsplash Ideas for Your Kitchen in 2023

As we move into 2023, it’s time to update and refresh your kitchen with the latest and greatest backsplash ideas. Whether you’re aiming for a unique look or a simple yet classic design, your kitchen backsplash can be the focal point that brings your entire space together. In this article, we’ll explore the top 10 trending backsplash ideas for your kitchen. These selections, while unconventional, are sure to be memorable and add a personal touch to your space.

  1. White Ledge Stone Backsplash
White Ledge Stone Tile for your Kitchen

White Ledge Stone Tile for your Kitchen

Ledger stone backsplashes have evolved over time, offering a variety of colors and textures. This natural, rough, yet high-class design works perfectly with rustic or craftsman-style kitchens. Ledger stone backsplashes are unique and not seen on a regular basis, making them a standout choice.

  1. Modern Arabesque Pattern Backsplash
Modern Arabesque Tile

Modern Arabesque Tile

The arabesque pattern has been revamped with a modern touch, creating an elegant and versatile design that works well with farmhouse or rustic themes. The unique shape captures attention, making it a great choice for those seeking a stylish, eye-catching backsplash.

  1. Industrial Brick-Look Tile Backsplash
Brick Backsplash in White

Brick Backsplash in White

Brick-look tile backsplashes are gaining popularity for their versatility and ease of installation. They suit a variety of styles, including industrial, rustic, farmhouse, and traditional. With various colors and textures available, brick-look tile offers a unique and customizable option for any kitchen.

  1. Large Format Tile Backsplash
Large Format Tile

Large Format Tile

Using large format tiles as a backsplash has become a popular trend, creating a seamless and modern look in the kitchen. These tiles are incredibly versatile and can coordinate with various color palettes and design styles.

  1. Textured Subway Tile with a Twist
Beveled Tile Backsplash

Beveled Tile Backsplash

Textured subway tile adds a new dimension to this classic backsplash design. The wavy texture provides a handmade look, creating a unique and personalized touch to any kitchen.


Book a kitchen Design appointment with your local Builders Surplus here!


  1. Zen-Inspired Pebble Stone Backsplash
Cut Pebble Stone Backsplash

Cut Pebble Stone Backsplash

Pebble stone backsplashes offer a surprising and peaceful addition to your kitchen. This zen-inspired design pairs well with neutral color schemes and creates a calming atmosphere in any space.

  1. Vibrant Colored Glass Mosaic
Vibrant Colored Backsplash

Vibrant Colored Backsplash

Glass mosaic tiles have made their way from the bathroom to the kitchen, offering a bold and colorful statement. These tiles work best with neutral colored cabinets and can add a pop of color to any kitchen design.

  1. Geometric Marble Backsplash
Geometric Backsplash

Geometric Backsplash

Carrara marble has long been a popular choice for kitchen backsplashes, but geometric shapes have taken this classic material to a new level. Hexagon and other geometric patterns are currently trending, offering a modern and luxurious touch to your kitchen.

  1. Mixed Metal Mosaic Backsplash
Mixed Metal Backsplash

Mixed Metal Backsplash

Combining metals with glass mosaics creates a glamorous and contemporary backsplash design. This trend appeals to both men and women and is perfect for modern and contemporary kitchen styles.

  1. Farmhouse-Style Beadboard Backsplash

Beadboard is a simple and classic option that works well in farmhouse-style kitchens. This timeless design adds warmth and charm to any space.

Bonus!!!!  Builders Surplus is all about delivering value. So you have stuck around to the end of our blog and for that a extra Backsplash concept that is gaining momentum and  turning heads.

11. Seamless Quartz Backsplash

Matching Quartz Backsplash

Matching Quartz Backsplash

A quartz backsplash that matches your countertop creates a cohesive and seamless design in your kitchen. This luxurious and modern trend is gaining popularity as it eliminates the need for grout lines and offers a sleek, uninterrupted surface. The durability and low-maintenance qualities of quartz make it an ideal choice for a stylish and practical kitchen backsplash. With a wide range of colors and patterns available, matching your quartz backsplash to your countertop is a great way to achieve a visually appealing and harmonious design in your kitchen.


We hope you’ve enjoyed our list of the top 10+1 😉  trending backsplash ideas for your kitchen in 2023! If you have questions or need help with design and installation, feel free to reach out to us.

Book a kitchen Design appointment with your local Builders Surplus here!


Options for homeowners who want modern windows

Options for homeowners who want modern windows

Are you a homeowner looking to create a modern aesthetic in your home? If so, you may be interested in Andersen Windows from Builders Surplus. Andersen Windows are known for their sleek designs and durable, energy-efficient construction, making them a popular choice for homeowners seeking a contemporary look.

What Makes a Window Modern?

Before we dive into the specifics of Andersen Windows, let’s first explore what makes a window modern. Generally, modern windows are less decorative and more focused on maximizing views and natural light. They often feature thin frames with simple styling, darker colors like black or dark bronze, and sleek hardware with right angles and low profiles. Additionally, modern windows tend to be large-scale, with options like floor-to-ceiling windows and mulled-together picture and awning windows.

Characteristic features include:

  • Thin frames with simple styling (you won’t see lots of texture or ornamentation).
  • Darker colors, like black or dark bronze, as well as natural wood, like white oak.
  • Either no grilles, or grilles in a ladder-like pattern — for example, grilles in a one-over-four specified equal light pattern.
  • Sleek hardware with right angles and low profiles.
  • Large-scale windows, think floor-to-ceiling windows, and large-scale window combinations — for example, mulled-together picture and awning windows.
  • Window types like casement, awning, gliding, and picture.

Andersen Windows for a Modern Look

400 Series

Andersen Windows offers several options for homeowners seeking a modern look. The 400 Series Contemporary option features an ultra-sleek frame and is available in dark colors like black or dark bronze. This option also offers contemporary window types, including picture, casement, and awning windows, along with contemporary folding hardware. The 400 Series is known for its durability and energy efficiency, making it a smart investment for homeowners.


100 Series

If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly option, the 100 Series may be the right choice for you. The 100 Series features flat and unobtrusive frames, which make it perfect for creating a clean, contemporary look. Frames come in black and dark bronze, and the hardware is simple and similarly unobtrusive. Despite its affordable price point, the 100 Series performs well in harsh climates, making it a practical choice for homeowners in areas with extreme weather conditions.

Comparing the 100 and 400 Series

When deciding between the 100 and 400 Series, there are a few key differences to consider. The 400 Series is generally more expensive, but it offers a wider variety of window types and colors. It also features a more modern look, with an ultra-sleek frame and contemporary hardware options. The 100 Series, on the other hand, is more budget-friendly and offers a simpler, cleaner look. It also performs well in harsh climates, which may be an important consideration for some homeowners.

If you’re interested in purchasing Andersen Windows for your home, consider reaching out to Builders Surplus. As an Andersen Window dealer, Builders Surplus can help you select the right windows for your needs and budget. They can also assist with installation and provide any additional services you may need.

In conclusion, Andersen Windows from Builders Surplus are a smart choice for homeowners looking to create a modern look in their homes. With options like the 400 Series and 100 Series, you’re sure to find the perfect windows for your needs and budget. Contact Builders Surplus today to get started!


Life Is Good When You’ve Got Tile That Looks Like Wood!

Wood Look Tile Kitchen Flooring
I know my father wants wood look tile, he just doesn’t know it yet. My dad constantly gripes about how he has a hardwood entrance to the house but that the rest of it is carpet. He says he’d much rather have hardwood throughout. He also gripes about the cost, and maintenance, and this, that and the other when it comes to the possibility of hardwood. So I’ve come to the conclusion that all he really just wants is the look of hardwood! Well, because I work at Builders Surplus I’ve let him in on the secret. He can have the look of hardwood throughout his home without all of the hassle!

Well, what exactly is this secret stuff?

The secret is Wood Look Tile! It’s made from porcelain or ceramic and can stand up to just about everything that natural hardwood can’t! Thanks to modern technology the detail that is put into the process of creating this style of tile is that it mirrors the look and feel of real hardwood so accurately that even experts are sometimes stumped.

How durable is this ‘wood look tile’?

Wood-look tile can stand up to just about anything that hardwood can and even some things that natural hardwood cannot. For instance, did you know you can put wood look tile in your bathroom and your basement (try that with natural hardwood. Blech.)! Tile doesn’t need to acclimate and it stands up to water much better than other types of flooring, so you’ll never have to worry about it warping or rotting. This stuff is also very easy to clean and maintain! Sure, a well maintained, a real hardwood floor can last you 100 years or more, but on that same note, a tile that is taken care of properly will last you the same timeframe if not longer!

Wood Look Tile: Shop Now
However, porcelain is porous so you will want to clean any spills up quickly or you will run the risk of staining the surface of the tile.
Wood Look Tile Bathroom Flooring

What does it cost?

This is the question that everyone wants the answer to and, actually, it runs fairly comparable to natural hardwood. Some hardwood is less expensive, just like some hardwoods are more expensive than it’s tile doppelgänger. The price of real hardwood will depend on it’s finish and especially on the rarity of the wood being used, with tile you’re main expense is going to be brand and size of the tile.

Will I like the look of tile just as much as real hardwood?

I’m willing to bet that you will! You’ll hear others snicker that wood look tile doesn’t feel like real wood and that the grout that is sometimes used to place the tile ruins the illusion. Daltile wrote a short piece to dispel these myths about wood look tile, check it out if you’re having any doubts.
The other part of this question that isn’t stated is ‘will I like the color(s) offered?’ Again, this answer is yes. Like I said earlier, technology has come so far when creating the look of wood on tile that not only do they use multiple images of wood grain to make sure the pattern isn’t repeated over and over again on a noticeable level, they can make the wood look like just about any color or wood type that you can imagine. There are tiles that reflect a lighter, smooth wood look similar to pine and there are other tiles that have a dark color with a rough texture like distressed barn wood.
Wood Look Tile: Shop Now
Shop around our own selection and you’ll be able to see exactly what I am talking about. We have many styles in stock, ready to take home, as well as other styles of wood look tile that we can custom order for your specific flooring renovation project!

At Builders Surplus, we’re a friendly renovation company that’s here to help you with all your home improvement needs. We’ve got two convenient locations in Louisville, Kentucky, and Florence, Kentucky, so we’re never too far away to lend a hand to our friends in Cincinnati, Ohio. Our specialties include interior design, kitchen design, bathroom remodel, and building materials – we’ve got everything you need to create the home of your dreams! Best of all, our interior design services and measurements are always completely free for our clients.

No matter what your budget is, we’ve got building materials that will work for you. From unfinished kitchen cabinets to top-of-the-line Wellborn cabinets, we’ve got something for everyone. And if you’re looking for installation services, we’ve got you covered there too. Our team is always happy to answer any questions you may have, and we’d love to set up a free design consultation with one of our talented interior designers. We’re passionate about sharing our knowledge with our clients and potential home renovators, which is why we regularly write about interior design, home decor, decorating ideas, and home improvement on our website. So make sure to check back often for our latest article! We’re here to help you create the home of your dreams, so let’s get started today. Happy Renovation!

Written By: Kat  Updated by Todd 2023

5 Renovation Mistakes You Cannot Afford To Make

Anyone who has watched HGTV has seen plenty of renovation mistakes. Any renovation is an undertaking–ask every contractor and every homeowner that has been part of a remodel.  From the accidents that can occur to the ever-growing budget, taking on a reno project requires time, dedication, sweat, and patience.  From our experts to you, we have come up with the list of five renovation mistakes you cannot afford to make!
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Low-Balling the Budget

Drywall Renovation Mistakes
Surprises are going to happen. Sometimes they are good: like finding original hardwood floors underneath the carpet in pristine condition. Sometimes they are horrifying: like finding asbestos in your home’s walls. While installing backsplash, you might damage the wall and have to replace some of the drywall. Peeking inside the drywall, you could find electrical issues. Then, the next thing you know, you’re dealing with more than just installing backsplash. We suggest setting aside 15% of the total project cost (potentially more for older homes) for unexpected expenses. This is your safety net in the event that unforeseen issues occur. This will give you peace of mind knowing that you won’t break the bank at the first sign of the unexpected.

Floor Drains: the Laundry Room Essential

Laundry Room Drain Mistake
This is one of the renovation mistakes that you may not consider. A laundry room drain is required by code in most areas, but some people still omit it. If there is ever a break in your washing machine hose, you’ll flood your house. A floor drain directs the water into your home’s main drain system. And please, do not try a DIY installation. This can turn into another one of our renovation mistakes.  You will absolutely need a professional plumber, but again, you’ll have peace of mind, as flood insurance is not covered by most basic homeowner’s insurance plans.

Granite, Granite, Granite

Kitchen Design Trends
Of course, it is popular, but granite isn’t the only option for the kitchen.  Renovators could choose a different material for the countertops that can save tons of money in the kitchen!  Our non-granite picks: butcher block, plate steel, or a nice laminate for those who don’t necessarily have the budget for premium marble or granite. Explore the options that will work best for your family to avoid regret down the road. Don’t break your budget trying to keep up with the Joneses.

Hidden Gems

Tile Floor Remodel
Just because you don’t see it, doesn’t mean it isn’t useful.  A bathroom membrane system (which goes under tile) prevents popping and cracking, and keeps water from getting into the substructure. Think about it: If you’re spending $15,000 on a bathroom, spend an extra $1,000 to ensure you’ll never have a mold problem. This is one of those renovation mistakes that could end up costing big bucks down the line.

Floored: Ultimate Renovation Mistakes

Beautiful Hallway
Most contractors typically buy 20% extra flooring since it is prone to cuts and breakage during installation. There’s no guarantee you’ll be able to find an exact match if you need to order more during a long remodeling project.  Most retailers often let you return unopened boxes for a refund, so you shouldn’t get stuck with too much material.  It’s also nice to have extra in case of damage down the road. If you suffer and water damage (especially in the kitchen) or a pet scratches deeply or has an accident that stains, you’ll be glad you did.
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For more tips on avoiding costly remodeling mistakes, download our FREE Home Reno 101 Checklist and sign-up for our newsletter, which has the latest tips and tricks, design trends, special offers, and expert knowledge on renovations!

Builders Surplus is a full-service renovation company with locations in Louisville, Kentucky, and Newport, Kentucky, which also serves Cincinnati, Ohio. We specialize in interior design, kitchen design, bathroom remodel, building materials, and home improvement. Interior Design and measurements come as a free service to our clients. We sell building materials ranging in every price point, from unfinished kitchen cabinets to top of the line Wellborn cabinets. In addition to interior design, we also offer installation services. If you have any questions or would like to set up a free design consultation with one of our interior designers, we would encourage you to do so. We love sharing our knowledge with clients & potential home renovators. We write about interior design, home decor, decorating ideas, and home improvement. We hope you’ll check back in for our next article! Happy Renovation!
Written By: KH

Our Top 10 Favorite Kitchen Cabinet Finishes

It can be somewhat confusing or overwhelming if you are shopping for new kitchen cabinets. From stained to painted, there are so many options to choose from. Here we would like to discuss out top ten favorite kitchen cabinet finishes with you. We'll start with some of our customer favorites and then work our way into individual fancies. Let's dig in.  

1. Painted Silk Cabinet Finishes

The next three, mind you, are all painted finishes. I was talking to one of our top designers and he told me that 75% of all his designed kitchens are accommodated by cabinets with painted finishes. Paint is just right now in the industry, across the board, and when in terms of color — neutrality is usually the go to. Painted Silk is an off-white color, perfect for most styles, designs, and blends beautifully in a kitchen space. On Waypoint’s website, they describe Painted Silk as follows: “This hushed silky finish, in hues reminiscent of vanilla ice-cream, serves as a versatile choice for any living space. With inspired hardware, furnishings and décor, this choice is anything but vanilla.” To me, it’s a finish that fits those who want to keep the neutral tone, but add a little bit extra. Vanilla-Ice cream, they said. Can’t help but to laugh at that.    

2. Painted Linen Cabinet Finishes

Our customers are absolutely loving the all-white finishes these days, and it’s like I previously mentioned, it’s paint or nothing for folks, as of late. It’s just a hot commodity for a variety of reasons. It’s clean and exudes an “updated” appearance, if you know what I mean. It’s crisp. The same can be said for the Painted Linen cabinet finish. It’s a sharp-white color that paints, no pun intended, a pretty classic picture. White is as neutral as it gets in terms of style. It’s no surprise that this finish would be a customer favorite. It’s definitely one of mine.     Waypoint speaks of its sophistication, saying, “A crisp, clean, ivory color that can create an open, fresh space, and when styled with monochromatic tones, can feel very sophisticated.” I couldn’t agree more. What do you think?  

3. Painted Stone Cabinet Finishes

As far as these painted finishes go, this one is most definitely my favorite. The Stone finish is a lovely, light gray that, while still can be seen as neutral, has a bit of boldness to it that looks stunning in a kitchen space. If you want something edgy, but not overly so for your kitchen cabinets, I’d say this is your best bet. It’s one of those colors that can modify  a mood as soon as you enter the room. I think it’s the uniqueness of it that brings this effect.   It’s one of those colors that can modify  a mood as soon as you enter the room. I think it’s the uniqueness of it that brings this effect.  

4. Painted Cashmere Cabinet Finishes

Ah, the Cashmere color is a very alluring one. Once again, I have to reiterate, that the painted finish just gives off a very clean look. This color, as Waypoint states perfectly, looks like the finest, crisply-ironed pair of khakis that you’ve ever seen. In person, it looks like a very light butterscotch.   Waypoint describes this finish with the following:  “This smooth finish is reminiscent of a most exquisite neutral khaki. This versatile and inviting tone is the perfect canvas for styles from traditional to modern.” So, as you can see, it’s still one of those colors that will blend with any style. It’s as glorious as its name.    

5. Painted Ember Glaze Cabinet Finishes

Classified as a taupe color, the painted ember glaze cabinet finish is one for the books. Do you see the running trend here? The neutrality of these painted finishes are so sought after because they allow room in design and detail, something that the more, outlandish colors cannot offer. Painted Ember Glaze falls in line with silk and linen in that respect.     Waypoint describes this finish, “A deep taupe glaze warms our Harbor door’s painted finish. The glaze collects in the bevels and contours of the door cut to create a unique hand-finished artistic feeling. It can be dressed up or down depending on one’s taste.”    

6. Antique White Cabinet Finish

The Antique White Cabinet Finish is one of our favorites here at Builders Surplus. It offers a high end look with an extremely affordable price. It’s a timeless style — hence the name — and looks absolutely breath-taking in a kitchen space.     Much like Waypoint’s Silk, Ginger Creek’s Antique White has the off-white color tone. One of our classic finishes that continues to be a monstrous hit in the kitchen remodeling industry.  

7. Divinity Java Glazed Cabinet Finishes

Wellborn Cabinetry has a beautiful glazed finish line featuring a number of gorgeous colors and finish techniques, like Heritage, Antique, Olde World, and Seaside. The Divinity Java Glazed, as you can see below, is a soft color that embellishes the darker tones around it. If you have a strong affinity toward dark browns in your kitchen, then I’d definitely check out this finish. It’s a brilliant one.  

8. ColorInspire Glacier Cabinet Finishes

Wellborn has a pretty cool collective of vibrant paint finishes, ColorInspire, that may seem unorthodox by text, but truly amazing once seen in person. In the picture below is a room scene of ColorInspire’s Glacier look. This is where my quirky side comes into the mix of this blog post. Blue is undoubtedly one of my favorite colors. Again, if someone mentioned blue cabinets before I saw them, it would be give me pause, but seeing this finish in action, I’ve not only inspected further, but fell in love with the finish. What do you think?    

9. Pebble w/ Carriage Technique Cabinet Finishes

Okay, so I know the name is a little bizarre, but bear with me, here. Hopping onto the Wellborn train again, we have a Pebble (painted finish) but with a bit of a twist.   Wellborn has several finishing techniques, meaning additional cabinet work that makes the appearance look aged or Era-specific. This one, the Carriage technique, features a rub through, small dents, and worm holes — like an 18th century carriage would, perhaps. Beautiful technique. Marvelous in a kitchen space.  

10. Glacier Fawn w/ Brush Technique Cabinet Finishes

Wellborn has another Finishing Technique that’s heavily adored — the brush finish. Looks and feels like someone just applied a coat of paint on the surface, texture and all. It’s a beautiful, authentic look.     The technique features “hand applied glaze in a subtle brush stroke overlaying the paint, providing a depth to the finish not seen with standard glazing.”   There ya have it, folks! Hope you’ve enjoyed reading this as much as I did putting it together. Don’t be afraid to tell us your favorite one in the comments!

Builders Surplus is a full service renovation company with locations in Louisville, Kentucky, and Newport, Kentucky, which also serves Cincinnati, Ohio. We are the leading provider of Bathroom Remodeling, Bathroom Cabinets, Vanity tops and backsplash tile in Louisville, Newport, and Cincinnati. We specialize in interior design, kitchen design, bathroom remodel, building materials, and home improvement. Interior Design and measurements come as a free service to our clients. We sell building materials ranging in every price point, from unfinished kitchen cabinets to top of the line Wellborn cabinets. In addition to interior design, we also offer installation services. If you have any questions or would like to set up a free design consultation with one of our interior designers, we would encourage you to do so. We love sharing our knowledge with clients & potential home renovators. We write about interior design, home decor, decorating ideas, and home improvement. We hope you’ll check back in for our next article! Happy Renovation! Written By: Chris Chamberlain

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Backsplash Ideas For Your Kitchen Style!

Today, we’ll be offering up some of the best backsplash ideas for your kitchen that are on the scene this season. Backsplash is the best accessory that you can add to your kitchen to make it unique or give it a real wow factor, so choosing the right tile for you is crucial. In the past, backsplash has been limited to certain shapes, materials, or sizes. Well, the past is in the past, because today, you can use virtually ANY tile choice you please and make it your own, if done the right way of course. Here are some of our favorite picks in no particular order that may be somewhat unconventional, but definitely memorable.

1. Ledger Stone Backsplash Ideas


ledger-stone-gold-rush0backsplash ideas

This ledger stone is called Gold Rush, and we offer this in stock, every day. There are 6 different color variations, but the result with all of them is the same: unique, rough around the edges, while still looking high class. It works perfectly with the rustic or craftsman style. Ledger stone backsplash ideas are some of my favorites, because they aren’t overdone & are not seen on a very regular basis, making them even more unique.

2. Arabesque Pattern Backsplash



The arabesque pattern backsplash is probably one of my very favorites in this list. It looks elegant, somewhat vintage, and also works with the farmhouse or rustic vibe when used appropriately. The unique shape catches your eye and keeps your interest. Definitely a more feminine choice, but I have known men that are fond of it as well! We offer the Arabesque Antique White in store as one of our in stock backsplash options, found here.

3. Brick Tile Backsplash Options

stainless-steel-kitchen-industrial-wood-brick-backsplash ideas

This red brick is actually a TILE, making it that much more appealing! Brick is hot right now, and brick backsplash ideas are gorgeous! It works for both males and females in the industrial style, rustic style, farmhouse style, or even the traditional style. The fact that it’s a tile makes it fairly easy to install, and while this is a custom order product from our store, it has a very short lead time. This Capella Red Brick Tile is definitely a winner in my opinion.

4. Large Tile “Flooring” Backsplash Ideas



This is a definitely a recent trend. People are no longer sticking to the basic, small, backsplash tile to complete their kitchen. Today, it is becoming quite common to take a typical floor tile and install it as your backsplash. This grey backsplash is extremely versatile in terms of color palettes that will match and styles that it will coordinate with. We offer a large selection of this type of tile in store, as well as in our custom order options. To see our in stock tile selection, click here.

5. Traditional Subway Tile With a Twist

wavy-subway-tile-kitchen-backsplash -ideas

Subway tile backsplash is one of the most classic and commonly used backsplash ideas. There are many colors to choose from in several different materials, but this is a new twist on an old favorite. The tiles are no longer flat, but have a wavy texture to them that gives it a “handmade” look. We love it and so far, our customers have too!

6. Textured Pebble Stone Backsplash



Click Photo To View Product

This is one of the most surprising of the backsplash ideas, in my opinion. This is typically not a tile that you see used for backsplash in kitchens. I have seen this in many bathrooms, on the floors of showers, etc, but it is so gorgeous in the photo above! It gives it a very zen feeling. That, paired with the neutrals of black quartz countertops and white shaker cabinets, make it a neutral, peaceful kitchen that most people would love to have!

7. Bright Colored Glass Mosaic



Click Photo To View Image

This is another one of the backsplash ideas that has been primarily used in bathrooms up until recently. The shimmery, bright, glass mosaic tile makes a big statement and gives the kitchen a colorful pop! These are typically best suited with neutral colored cabinets. This blue tile is another of our in stock options in our Cincinnati / Newport location, as well as our Louisville, Ky location.

8. Geometric Patterned Backsplash

carrara marble backsplash ideas

Carrara marble backsplash is a popular choice, and has been for years. It is the ultimate in luxury and style. However, the shapes that this gorgeous stone is being made into have definitely changed over the years. The geometric and hexagon shapes are extremely popular right now, in any material, but pair that with the classic elegance of marble, and you’ve definitely got a winner on your hards. Any kitchen would be so lucky to be graced by its presence.

9. Mixed Metals Mosaics

glass-metal-backsplash ideas


Click Photo To View Product

Mixing metals with glass mosaics is a great new trend that we love! It adds a bit of shine and glam without being overly girly. The backsplash above is a great choice for men and women alike. It is definitely a great choice for modern and contemporary styles. Get more ideas for other metal backsplash ideas here.

10. Bead Board Backsplash

beadboard backsplash ideas
Bead board is such a simple, classic piece that can go in virtually every room of your home. The rise of the farmhouse style has definitely increased the use of bead board. This is one of the most simple ideas that adds a very lovely touch to whatever space you add it to, which in this case would be your kitchen. This is custom order option available in our store that will make your favorite room stand out in the crowd while adding a cozy, home grown feel.

We hope yo have enjoyed our list of the top 10 backsplash ideas for your kitchen! If you have questions on any of the backsplash options that we offer, or would like help with design and installation, please reach out to us and we will be happy to help! Thanks for reading and don’t forget to like, share and pin away! Please sign up for our newsletter to receive great content on a bi-weekly basis.

Builders Surplus is a full service remodeling company with locations in Louisville, Kentucky, and Newport, Kentucky, which also serves Cincinnati, Ohio. We specialize in interior design, which comes as a free service to our clients. We sell building supplies ranging from unused surplus, to first quality in stock, to high end custom order and everything in between. We also provide measurement and full installation services. If you have any questions or would like to set up a free design consultation with one of our interior designerswe would encourage you to do so. Happy Remodeling!

Written By: Allie Bloyd

What Are The Most Efficient Kitchen Designs?

Here we cover the 5 most popular Kitchen design layouts.

Efficient Kitchen Designs

With lot’s of entertaining and cooking on the near horizon, this puts even the most efficient kitchen designs to the test! That means that everyone is going to be in their kitchens cooking up some wonderful meals.

Efficient kitchen designs, or lack of, can make or break a kitchen and one of the best feast days of the year. The best kitchen layouts will have enough space to prep, entertain, and generally do everything that you need to do without anything getting in the way, including yourself.

The easiest way to spot a kitchen that’s easy to work in is to use it. Ask yourself, am I able to get where I need to go quickly? Is anything in the way or placed awkwardly? Is there enough space for storage and prepping? An efficient kitchen should be able to accommodate however you use it, which means that each kitchen will be more or less efficient depending on who is using it.

Working Paths

There are really only two ways to travel in a kitchen. You can travel in a straight line, or in a triangle. These are mainly in reference to where your main appliances – refrigerator, oven, sink – are in relation to one another. These paths help to make your kitchen floor plan more efficient as you move about different steps during the cooking process.

The Line

This is a straight line that you travel in your kitchen, and it’s often found only in single wall or I-shaped kitchens. All of your appliances and working space are along a single wall and you work along with that line from the fridge to the open preparation counter space to the stove to the sink, going back and forth as you need to.

The Triangle

The triangle is found as the working path in just about every kitchen layout. It’s efficient in that it can allow your sink, stove, or refrigerator to be placed in a way where you’re covering less distance when moving around while still having a comfortable working area.Efficient Kitchen Designs: Triangle Work Path

Work Zones

The triangle is a great option – it works just about anywhere and it’s great in small or large spaces. But as kitchens have gotten larger and more spacious. Sometimes the triangle gets to be too big and it’s just as cumbersome to get from one spot to another because they’re just too far apart. An efficient plan that’s becoming more popular in larger kitchens is work zones where appliances and prep space are grouped based off of what they’ll be used for. An example work zone would be a ‘Cleanup Zone’ – this would be dirty dishes and the like; in this part of the workspace you’d have a sink, dishwasher, and a waste can. This kind of organization and mind-set will allow this idea to work with both of the working paths mentioned above. Awkward placement of appliances can mess up these paths and can leave you cramming for more time as the spaghetti is boiling over so instead of having a path to travel in which it’s easy to get from one appliance to another you’re working path looks more like a child’s drawing.

Efficient Kitchen Designs

Different kitchen layouts fit different spaces and personalities. Some people desperately want an island in a small space which can interfere with traffic, and some want a single wall kitchen – leaving empty space that has no value. Here are the 5 most efficient kitchen designs and why and how they work!

Single Wall Kitchen

Efficient Kitchen Designs: Single Wall

Also called an I-shaped kitchen this space fits along a single wall in smaller spaces. It uses a less efficient working path instead of the triangle, but it’s ideal for smaller spaces that want that open feel. Keeping work zones in mind will help to keep this floor plan more efficient. Stylistically you can treat this space as an accent wall that contrasts beautifully with the rest of the space!

Galley Kitchen

Efficient Kitchen Designs: Galley

This is also called a corridor kitchen, and unless all of your appliances are one side it uses the triangle work path.  Tt’s name comes from the small kitchen quarters in ships. This layout offers more counter space than the I-shaped kitchen and can also be well suited for small spaces. However, this is one of the few kitchen layouts where you won’t be able to use an island efficiently.

L-Shaped Kitchen

Efficient Kitchen Designs: L-Shape

These kitchens take a Single Wall layout and add more counter space along a connecting wall- this particular layout includes an Island. Likely, you’d move one of your major appliances along this other wall in order to work with that triangle path. They’re great for small-medium kitchen spaces. An Island can be incorporated nicely as long as it doesn’t obstruct the triangle!

U-Shaped Kitchen

Efficient Kitchen Designs: U-Shape

The other name for this design is a Horseshoe Layout. This layout ideally has one appliance on each of its 3 walls in order to maximize counter space and the working area around each appliance. This space can house an island if the area is large enough, however it can get in the way between adjacent prep areas.

Peninsula Kitchen

Efficient Kitchen Designs: Peninsula

A Peninsula Kitchen is what happens when taking an L- or U-shaped kitchen and take away one of the walls, kind of creating an attached island. Sinks, seating areas, or a combination of the two are popular in this design. This layout allows spaces to feel and appear larger and more open without compromising on counter space.

Island Kitchen

Efficient Kitchen Designs: Island

An Island in the kitchen can be used in just about any layout so long as it has space, however, they can be cumbersome in smaller areas. So having an island for the sake of having an island is never the best way to go. Fixed islands can be used for seating, an extra prep zone, you can add a sink, or a range – an Island allows for so many different possibilities. As an alternative in smaller spaces try a smaller movable island, which is less for appliance and seating space and more for extra prep space so you don’t have to keep running from work zone to work zone. Island layouts are best used in larger areas that can spare the extra space and they pair best in L-Shaped or Single Wall kitchens, but absolutely have no place in the Galley. There is a lot of information that can go into creating the perfect kitchen for you and your home, efficient kitchen designs can sometimes make that a difficult challenge when what you want competes with what you’ve got to work with. Keeping space, paths, and usage of the area in mind will often help compromise and find the perfect kitchen!

Efficient Kitchen Designs

Builders Surplus is a full-service remodeling company with locations in Louisville, Kentucky, and Newport, Kentucky, which also serves Cincinnati, Ohio. We specialize in interior design, which comes as a free service to our clients. We sell building supplies ranging from unused surplus to first quality in stock, to high-end custom order and everything in between. We also provide measurement and full installation services. If you have any questions or would like to set up a free design consultation with one of our interior designers, we would encourage you to do so. Happy Remodeling!

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Which Moulding Should I Use In My Kitchen Remodel?

Three Types of Kitchen Moulding

Each kitchen is unique in its own way. Appliances, cabinet type, flooring, paint, sinks, the list goes on and on, but one thing many forget about that can add additional style & elegance to your kitchen is molding.

Crown Moulding

The top crown moulding dentil detail on some creme-color painted solid wood kitchen cabinets. These wall mounted cabinets do not go all the way to the ceiling above them. The lighting is coming from the top right from a ceiling light.

Crown molding is not a must for every kitchen but is most popular on cabinets which are made to flare out on the top edge. Crown is generally used for capping ceilings, walls, and cabinetry.

Scribe Moulding

Scribe molding is used to cover gaps between cabinets, ceilings, and walls. It allows that area to have a clean, finished look. Scribe is a simple strip of wood, about 1/4” thick that can be painted or stained to match up to a specific color.

Toe Kick Moulding

Toe kick or toe space is the recessed area that is between the bottom of your cabinets and the floor. Toe kick on your kitchen cabinets and bathroom vanities allow you to be closer to the area needed without constantly kicking and ruining the base. Toe kick height is normally 3 1/2 – 4 inches.

Short and sweet but there you have the three most popular types of crown moulding used in most kitchens. Shop our selection of home remodeling products right here.

Builders Surplus is a full-service renovation company with locations in Louisville, Kentucky, and Newport, Kentucky, which also serves Cincinnati, Ohio. We specialize in interior design, kitchen design, bathroom remodel, building materials, and home improvement. Interior Design and measurements come as a free service to our clients. We sell building materials ranging in every price point, from unfinished kitchen cabinets to top of the line Wellborn cabinets. In addition to interior design, we also offer installation services. If you have any questions or would like to set up a free design consultation with one of our interior designers, we would encourage you to do so. We love sharing our knowledge with clients & potential home renovators. We write about interior design, home decor, decorating ideas, and home improvement. Hope you’ll check back in for our next article! Happy Renovation!

What Exactly Are Fibrex Windows?

What Is Fibrex Composite Window anyway?

Andersen Fibrex 100-series-single-hung-interior-beauty


Andersen Fibrex windows are a type of energy-efficient window made by the Andersen Corporation. They are constructed using a unique composite material called Fibrex, which is a combination of wood fibers and thermoplastic polymer.

Fibrex is a material that has the strength and durability of wood, but with the low-maintenance and energy-efficient properties of vinyl. 

What is the Fibrex advantage?

Andersen Fibrex 100-series-picture-exterior-beauty


  1. Energy efficiency: Fibrex windows have a high insulation value, which helps to reduce heating and cooling costs by keeping the interior temperature of your home more stable.

  2. Durability: Fibrex is resistant to rot, decay, and insect damage, which makes it a long-lasting material that requires minimal maintenance.

  3. Sustainability: Fibrex is made from recycled materials, which makes it an environmentally-friendly choice.

  4. Aesthetics: Fibrex windows have a clean, modern look that can enhance the appearance of your home.

Color Options You Normally Would Not Get

A special process Andersen does for a beautiful color window is combining the color of choice with the Fibrex materials during production. This results in windows that will not rot, decay, flake, blister or peel like normal paint will over time.

Two Types of Styles to Choose From

Andersen Fibrex 100 series

100 Series 

Overall, Andersen 100 Series Fibrex Windows offer a combination of energy efficiency, durability, sustainability, and aesthetics that make them a popular choice for homeowners looking for a low-maintenance and long-lasting window option.


Andersen Fibrex A-series-double-hung-interior-beauty


Here are some of the key features and benefits of Andersen A-Series windows:

Energy Efficiency: Andersen A-Series windows are designed with energy efficiency in mind, and they are ENERGY STAR certified. They are available with Low-E glass options that help to keep your home comfortable and energy-efficient.

Durability: Andersen A-Series windows are built to last, with durable materials that resist weathering, rot, and insect damage. They are also available with impact-resistant glass options for added protection in severe weather conditions.

Customization: Andersen A-Series windows are available in a wide range of styles and configurations, including casement, awning, double-hung, and more. They are also available with a variety of hardware and grille options to customize the look of your windows.

Sound Reduction: Andersen A-Series windows are designed to reduce outside noise, making your home a more peaceful and comfortable place to live.

Low Maintenance: Andersen A-Series windows are easy to clean and maintain, with durable materials that don’t require painting or staining.

Warranty: Andersen A-Series windows come with a limited warranty that covers the frame and glass for 20 years.


Builders Surplus is a renovation company that provides full-service renovation services in Louisville and Florence Kentucky, as well as Cincinnati, Ohio.  We are the leading provider of Andersen Windows in these areas.  Our areas of expertise include interior design, kitchen design, bathroom remodeling, building materials, and home improvement. We offer free interior design services and measurements to our clients. Our building materials range from budget-friendly options like unfinished kitchen cabinets to high-end Wellborn cabinets. We also provide installation services for our products. If you have any questions or would like to schedule a free design consultation with one of our interior designers, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We are passionate about sharing our knowledge with clients and aspiring home renovators. We regularly write articles on interior design, home décor, decorating ideas, and home improvement. Stay tuned for our next article and happy renovating!


What Is LVT Flooring?

Cortec LVT

Most homeowners have one thing in mind during a home remodel: New floors! I know I did during all of my remodeling projects! However, picking out the perfect floor for your home may be a little harder than you think. I mean, do you know all the options these days? Unfinished hardwood, engineered hardwood, solid hardwood, prefinished hardwood, porcelain tile, stone tile, ceramic tile, laminate, and WPC, just to name a few.

But, have you ever heard of LVT Flooring?

LVT or in proper terms, Luxury Vinyl Tile, is a type of flooring that has grown in popularity and style over the last 5 years. It’s very, very durable, which has made it a homeowner favorite!

What does LVT actually Mean?

blackstone oak lvt coretec

LVT is also known as LVP which stands for Luxury Vinyl Plank, or Luxury Vinyl Flooring. Both LVT and LVP can have a very real tile or wood plank looks to them without having to spend the type of money you would with real tile or real hardwood floors. And it’s not just saving on the material itself, there is a great saving to be had on the installation of the product as well.

What is LVT Flooring Made Of?

LVT Mohawk

You may ask what is LVT or LVP specifically? Well, simply put, each piece of flooring is made of various raw materials, mainly PVC Vinyl, compressed together. This is what gives it it’s intense durability. From there, a photographic vinyl film is added to make the plank or tile have the realistic look that you want in your flooring.

Why LVT Flooring Is So Popular

MohawkWalnutMocha LVT

LVT flooring and LVP flooring are becoming more and more popular in homes today. Basements, bathrooms, and kitchens have been the most popular areas to add LVT flooring, as both styles are typically 100% water-proof, depending on the kind you purchase. This means no more water damage, and it’s perfect for those with pets or children.

As mentioned above, LVT flooring is extremely durable and typically has a 20- year or longer residential warranty from the manufacturer, as they’ll last that long, and many times much longer! LVT flooring is often used in commercial manufacturing facilities because of its durability.

What Styles Of LVT Flooring are Available?

LVT Featherweight

Besides the obvious benefits of LVT flooring, a great feature is the wide range of looks, price points, and styles to choose from. You can find an entry-level LVT flooring for around $1.69/sf, such as our Mohawk LVT, all the way up to $6/sf Special order LVT from top brands like CoreTec Plus!

You can find light, dark, grey-washed, red-toned, and multi-colored planks. You can find skinny planks (or the look of thin planks) and wide planks, or long planks and short planks. Whatever the look is that you’re going for, there is an LVT flooring that will fit your needs.

Ready to replace your flooring and thinking about LVT? 

Visit us in-store to see our wide range of in-stock and special order LVT styles or Book a complimentary flooring consultation with our flooring specialists!

5 Brilliant Storage Ideas for Your Kitchen!

kitchen storage-builders surplus

Storage ideas are necessary for home chefs because they are always busy; they lack time to search for cooking items everywhere in the kitchen. Besides that, a kitchen is supposed to look clean and neat. If the kitchen is dirty food might get contaminated.


If you lack the best storage ideas, you will have a hard time in the kitchen. When you are able to easily and quickly access any item you need at the kitchen, you will save time. Check out the storage ideas described here to help you organize your kitchen well.

Storage ideas for the kitchen

1.      Ingredients

One of the best kitchen storage ideas is to have all your ingredients at a place where they are visible, for instance at the top of a shelf. You should also arrange them according to family. For instance, you can place spices together, soy and kinds of vinegar together, cooking oils together and so forth.

2.      See clearly

This second one among the best storage ideas recommends getting transparent with pantry staples. In restaurants, for instance, they do not use Tupperware. They use plastic deli containers that can be recycled. They do not cost much and they are easy to stack and you can use them more than five times until they start absorbing food smells. If that happens, then you will need to recycle them and start over. This is a great storage idea that minimizes clutter in the kitchen.

kitchen storage-builders surplus

3.      Labeling

This is also one of the main storage ideas. It is recommended to have bulk containers for important ingredients such as rice, grains, flour, and beans. Ensure you label everything just like in a professional kitchen where all items are labeled nicely and they are even dated.

4.      Have pasta

This storage idea recommends using mason jars. You can keep your spices in labeled mason jars. This is a great storage idea which helps in keeping the cupboard neat and easy to move when preparing meals.

You should also ensure that you always have pasta in your pantry since it is a great quick meal to take when in a hurry. One quick recipe is to prepare pasta with virgin olive oil and finish it using red chili flakes and fresh parmesan. We also recommend checking home expert reviews to see other recipes or storage ideas you can try.

kitchen storage-builders surplus

5.      Arrange spices according to flavor

This is also a great storage idea. Organizing the kitchen mostly begins with spices. If you have like thirty spices, consider organizing them in clusters which would be used at the same time. For example, sugary spices for baking can be in one place, those that have an Italian flavor should also be put together on another side and so forth.

Another great storage idea is having similar ingredients in one cabinet. For example, you can keep baked goods on one cabinet and canned goods on a different cabinet and grains and kinds of pasta can be put together on a different cabinet.


We think these are a few of the best kitchen storage ideas. Do you have more storage ideas that you would like to share with others? Write to us and if you have any question, feel free to ask us.

At Builders Surplus, we have a great selection of convenient cabinet storage options. Click here to see more!

Are you ready for a full kitchen remodel? Take advantage of our free (no hassle) kitchen or bath design consultations. Click here to schedule today!

Author’s bio: Tommy Rosenfield is an interior designer very much keen on his job. He is also a freelance writer who writes about home and landscape design, travel, technology, cooking, and children care. He likes spending time with his friends and shares his experience in different aspects of life with other people. Tommy has a wife,  two children, and a dog, so he appreciates all questions connected with family life.

Storm Doors: Why Would I Need One?

Storm Doors

In this post, let’s dive into what can be a very important, highly significant feature that should accompany your main, exterior doors. Storm doors are relatively inexpensive given their purpose and can actually enhance the look of your front door, like the last finishing touch to an already outstanding piece of work. We’ll talk about who needs them and why people might just want them. Then, we’ll take a glance at Andersen’s storm doors, some of their installation options, and where you can find them. Let’s get started, shall we?

Storm Doors

Storm Doors

The Purpose of Storm Doors

Maintenance: Think of a storm door as a sort of force field, if you will, an added component of protection from the most obvious act of nature – storms. However, the protection isn’t exactly limited to those raging moments of thunder, lightning, and rain. The summer sun can enact just as much damage, if not more. In essence, harsh weather over a period of time can deteriorate your main entry door, leaving a grimace instead of an approving nod in terms of curb appeal.

Protection/Security: The security doesn’t just stop there, though; it also protects what’s inside of your main door. It’s like a lock within a lock, making theft or any other threat that much more difficult to perform. A storm door also allows you to visibly see who’s on your front porch before even letting them in if you don’t have a peephole. It’s just one more barrier to prevent anything from happening, ensuring the safety of you, your loved ones, and your possessions.

Money-saver: We all strike at the opportunity of saving a bit of cash, right? Installing a storm door is your primetime ticket for doing just that. Front doors are one of the primary places for air leakage in homes. A storm door will hide the cracks and small airways, making it plenty more difficult to seep through, which means a lower utility bill. See, these doors provide an extra pocket of insulation, so you can have more money in yours.

SimplicityInstallation for these bad boys are quick and easy. It doesn’t matter which frame your house was built in (brick, vinyl, stucco, wood), there is a storm door option for everyone.

Storm Doors

Storm Doors

Who Wants a Storm Door?

That’s another great thing about storms doors – they’re for everyone. Now, I will say that there are some homeowners who actually need one instead of merely wanting one.

Given what I wrote about maintenance, you can see where I’m coming from in terms of geological location and an area’s weather patterns, OR it could be as simple as where the sun hangs out during the hottest time of day (3 P.M. to 5 P.M.). For example, if one lives in the Midwest where tornadoes are more prevalent than trees, a storm door is probably a necessity. Or one might live in Tucson, AZ, where a step outside means an instant puddle of sweat in the summer time. In places like these, the Sun means business, and it has zero mercy with anything let alone a front door.

So, if it just so happen that the Sun’s main hangout spot around 4 or so is directly in line with your front porch, well, happy roasting. But then there’s the other side of the equation, the homeowners who simply like the elegant look and idea of a storm door that blends, both in color and functionality, with their front door. There’s a trait, a characteristic that’s ideal to every homeowner. It’s just a matter of perspective.

Storm Doors

Storm Doors

Andersen Storm Doors and Options

Storm Doors by Andersen are simply the best in the business. With top quality craftsmanship and a plethora of styles, this company has been grabbing the attention from homeowners, contractors, and others in the home renovation business since Andersen’s inception in 1903. Yeah, that’s well over a century of purely satisfied customers, and the products they dish out are just as long-lasting.
Installation: Andersen’s latest storm door design features what is called a Rapid Install system. According to the company, “this process makes installation easy by eliminating the need to cut and reducing the number of tools and assembly time required.” So, there are three installation options: Rapid 1 Install, Rapid 2 Install, and Standard Installation. In that order, the amount of time taken, tools necessary to complete the job, and the amount of cuts increases. Each option ranging from about one hour to around three for the installation time.
Color/Styles: FullView Doors, Full-Lite Doors, 3/4 Lite Doors, and 1/2 Doors are the available styles Andersen offers, and the differences are merely how much glass is visibly appropriated in each door. FullView being exactly that, the largest amount of glass, letting the sun pour into your home. After you choose a style, you can pick a ventilation system – seasonal or anytime. You can then choose from eight color options, including Sandstone and Wineberry. Now, of course, there are other options and variations to choose from, but these are the more foundational components. You can add a retractable insect screen, which allows for anytime ventilation and hides in the top of the door frame when it’s not in use. An excellent feature for those who love the breezy airflow in a house on a nice, cool Spring day.

Storm Doors

Where Can I Get One?

As you can see, storm doors are an all-around excellent feature for any home. Their look, functionality, purpose, and variety of design make it an excellent commodity to really enhance curb appeal. And guess what? You can get Andersen Storm Doors here at Builders Surplus.  Make the move to increase your protection and security, with a look and design of an elegant storm door. We promise it’ll be a decision you won’t regret!

Builders Surplus is a full-service renovation company with locations in Louisville, Kentucky, and Newport, Kentucky, which also serves Cincinnati, Ohio. We are the leading provider of Ledge Stone, wall tile and backsplash tile in Louisville, Newport, and Cincinnati. We specialize in interior design, kitchen design, bathroom remodel, building materials, and home improvement. Interior Design and measurements come as a free service to our clients. We sell building materials ranging in every price point, from unfinished kitchen cabinets to top of the line Wellborn cabinets. In addition to interior design, we also offer installation services. If you have any questions or would like to set up a free design consultation with one of our interior designers, we would encourage you to do so. We love sharing our knowledge with clients & potential home renovators. We write about interior design, home decor, decorating ideas, and home improvement. Hope you’ll check back in for our next article! Happy Renovation!

How To Measure For Countertops

Hey, this is Todd Bauer with Builder Surplus. I’m going to take a quick moment to help you learn how to calculate square footage requirements for Granite and Quartz countertops.

I have a small kitchen layout here that I have drawn in and it kind of represents a typical L-shaped kitchen with an island.

I am going to walk you through quickly how to calculate out the number of square feet you’re going to need.

I’ve already done a little bit of pre-work here.  In this particular layout, we have an L-shaped kitchen with a sink on this wall. Here a stove, an island and there’s your refrigerator.

There is going to be basically four calculations that we need to do in order to calculate your square footage. Let’s just dive right into it!

First of all, the length from the corner in this particular corner to the end of your current countertop you need to measure that. In my example, I have 120”.  Countertops (by design) are roughly 25.5” deep so I’ve marked that here.

For the corner here, after we turned the corner and head down I want you to measure from the corner to where, in this case, the stove would begin, and I get a measurement in my diagram of 66”.

Stoves traditionally are 30” across. Yours should probably that way as well. In my example, this last piece is 48” wide.

My island currently is 36” deep by 60” long and that’s pretty standard for a small basic island.

Now the math. The first thing we’re going to do is calculate the number of square feet on the left leg of this L. If I take 120” and I multiply it by 25.5”, I’m going to calculate the number of square feet for this piece of the Land that’s perfect.

In my example over here, 120” x  25.5” = 3060 sq. inches. I am going to take you through the calculation to get square inches and then at the end we’re going to turn it into square feet.

For the second piece of the L,  if you remember at the beginning,  I noted that from the corner to the stove we have 66”. Now we’ve already taken 25.5” of that and we’ve accommodated for it on the left leg so we’re going to need to reduce the 66” by 25.5” and that’s going to get us to 40.5”. If we take our 40.5” which is the new distance from here to the stove and we multiply that by our 25.5”,  we’re going to get 1032.75 square inches.

Piece C on the other side of the stove is 48” x 25.5” and that gets us 1224 square inches and then lastly, the island 60” x 36”  multiply those two together to get us to 2160 square inches.

These numbers are large but they are going to get small really quick here.

Once you have your 4 pieces calculated  I’d like you to just add them up and in my example, the total is 7476.75 square inches. Divide that by the number of square inches in one square foot and that’s 144”.  You just take 12” x 12” to get 144” by dividing your total square inches by the square inches in one foot. You are going to get the number of square feet and in this example, we have 51.9 square feet.

That’s the number you need to bring with you when you come to Builder Surplus to get a calculation on how much it’s going to cost to replace your countertops.

The only other things I am going to have you note would be any cutouts. A cutout in this particular example is right here where I have a sink and that’s it for this particular one.

You may have a cooktop cut out but in my example, I have a stove so there is no cut. The only other thing that might be handy to bring with you would be if your island has an overhang where the granite or the quartz extend beyond the edge of the cabinets and how far is the overhang so that we can pretty much do the calculation here.

If your countertop island depth is 36” we’re calculating the overhang to be about 12” but just double-check and make sure and with that a little bit of information it’s that easy with the math that I’ve shown you today.

Maybe with a quick diagram and a calculator you’ll be able to come up with the number of square feet that you need for your countertops!

Schedule your FREE countertop consultation today with one of our experienced designers!

Happy Remodeling!



5 Things To Consider Before Starting Any Remodel!

Today we will cover our top 5 most important things we think you need to consider before starting any home improvement project. Regardless of the project you are tackling, following these guidelines can save you time & money!

1. Durability:

The first thing to consider is the durability of your products.  A lot of people do not take this into account in the beginning. Many homeowners are focused on price. They’re also focused on style but ultimately durability is the most important thing to guarantee a successful remodel.

No one wants to have a product that’s installed but goes bad in half the time that it should.

Take cabinets for example. Let’s say you’re comparing two different cabinet lines, one is particle board (or MDF box) which is lower quality material. One is a plywood (or all wood construction) cabinet. If cabinets are supposed to last at least 20 years, the all wood construction is going to last the longest.

The MDF or particle board is most likely going to be damaged much sooner than the other so technically you are going to be wasting more money by buying a lower quality product.

2. Maintenance & Lifestyle:

Lifestyle - Builders Surplus

The second thing to consider is maintenance and lifestyle. So many people don’t take this into consideration before starting a home improvement project. Lifestyle should be one of the most important things when determining which products or styles to choose.

For example, if you have children and pets, a solid hardwood floor (or natural hardwood) is probably not the best option. Pets can scratch the floors which means you’re either going to live with damaged floors or you’re going to pay to have them refinished.  Or worse, you may need to replace the floor if seriously damaged, which is all going to cost time, money or just you stress out!

Kids can spill things. Pets can have accidents and that’s also going to damage natural hardwood floors so you need to understand what type of maintenance you’re comfortable with. What type of lifestyle you have and does your lifestyle even allow you to keep up with the maintenance?

Granite countertops are something many people love but the maintenance is there! You have to seal them several times each year. So if you’re not willing to do that then Quartz is probably a better option for you. So understanding what your lifestyle is and what your maintenance requirements are is a great thing to consider high up in that list of priorities when you’re starting a remodel.

3. Personal Style:

The third consideration is going to relate to your personal style and this is going to be either “Do I want a timeless look or do I want a trendy look?”

I am all about staying on trend and love seeing what’s coming and what’s hot right now but there is a fine line between doing a remodel that you’re going to love for five years and one that you’re going to love for 30 years!

This is an investment and typically a large investment. If you’re doing a kitchen or a bathroom or even your floors, you want to make sure that you’re going to love it long-term!

Some of the things that are always in style are neutral colors, especially for cabinets. White, Grey, Taupe or even Black. These are typically always in the trends. Some may come to the forefront and some may shrink back a little bit but they’re always going to be in style.

Shaker-style cabinets and clean lines is another thing that never really goes out of style. Stone countertops are always a great option.

Trends will come and go but you know your personal tastes. You know what you’re going to LOVE versus what you just discovered you loved a year ago!

Really take that into consideration and if you want to add that trendy aspect, do it with your accent pieces or things such as light fixtures or hardware.

There are so many ways for you to add trendy elements to your kitchen or bathroom design without making the main large pieces the trendy focal point.

4. Installation:

The next consideration we’re going to talk about is installation cost and quality of your home improvement project. Installation cost is something that most people don’t think about but it’s going to be a HUGE part of your remodel.

Let’s take flooring for example. Let’s say you want a wood or a wood style floor but love also love wood-look tile.

The laminate (or LVT) is $2 sq.ft but you find a wood-look tile that’s also $2 sq.ft. You might think installation would be about the same. Right?  Not so fast!

The difference is in installation cost! The laminate (or LVT)  will cost about $2 sq.ft to install but the wood-look tile could cost around $5 sq.ft. to install. That’s more than double!

If you have a large space, that’s going to be a HUGE chunk of money!  If you have it in your budget and that’s the flooring you love, that’s great! Just remember to consider these things upfront so you don’t purchase a product and then realize the installation cost is going to be much larger or completely out of your planned budget.

Installation quality is also KEY.  Your install quality is going to directly correlate with how long your new products last and the way your kitchen, bathroom or floors look and function.

You don’t want squeaky boards, lippage in your tile where it’s sticking up or your cabinets to pull away from the frame or your countertops to crack because they’ve been installed poorly!

So be sure you find a qualified installer and that you’re not looking at the lowest price installer to determine who you’re going to go with based on that alone. Typically the lowest price is also the lowest quality!

5. Material Prices:

Material Prices- Builders Surplus

The last thing to consider is the cost of your material and lucky for you we are able to help you with all of these things! Everything product we offer our customers is of high quality, unused products.

We also offer installation for every product we sell and it’s high-quality. Our installers have already been vetted.They’ve been background checked and we can promise you that we stand behind the quality of their work!

We have interior designers that work for free with you to design your kitchen or bathroom. They essentially work as your project manager, whatever the project!

A certified designer can help you determine what is a timeless style and what is going to work best with your lifestyle. They will also educate you on the durability of specific products you may be considering for your remodeling project.

We encourage you to use their wealth of knowledge and the resources we provide to ensure you to have an incredible remodeling experience!

We are here to help you EVERY step of the way with your home improvement project. Visit our website to find the best remodeling products at the best price!

Schedule your FREE design consultation with our team today! No project too big or small! We are here to help guide you through the process!

Happy Remodeling!

Bathroom Vanity Materials – Pros and Cons

Choosing the perfect bathroom vanity is tough enough as it is, but when you factor in bathroom vanity materials, it becomes even tougher. Whether you’re fully renovating your bathroom layout or simply updating your decor, you will need to consider what is best for you, your home and your wallet – long term. No one renovates or updates to come back and do it again in a year or two. While choosing the first cheap, attractive vanity you see may seem like a no brainer, it would do you well do do a little research (or just read this article!).


In vanities or cabinets, you will most often find Solid Wood, Plywood, MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard), or Particle Board as the material listed. It can be confusing as to what you need to base your decisions on. Obviously price and durability are the most important. While ALL vanities work, they may not ALL work for YOU. Your daily hygiene habits and design choices can play a part in what will hold up best in your bathroom.   Let’s look at a Comparison.

Bathroom vanities- Builders Surplus

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Most Common Bathroom Vanity Materials

Bathroom Vanity Material – Particle board

  • Composite sheet material made by combining wood particles with glue and then heated and pressed into sheets
  • Classified by particle size and overall density
  • Some particle board is stronger than others


  • Price; cost less to produce and less to buy
  • Can be covered with wood veneer, melamine, or laminate


  • Sags over extended period of time and under the weight of solid surface countertops, such as granite or quartz.
  • VERY easily damaged by water, and most importantly, steam

You may not realize how much steam comes into contact with your vanity. Every time you shower, take a bath, or even have the hot water running for more than a few seconds, your vanity is subject to the steam. This will cause the material to break down, and you will need a replacement.

Particle board bathroom vanity materials

The photo below is of a water damaged particle board vanity

For this reason, we do not use particle board for our bathroom vanity materials at either of our retail locations. While profit margins might be higher, we value our clients and want their purchases to last as long as humanly possible.

Bathroom Vanity Material – MDF:

  • Engineered wood composite similar to particle board, but denser and stronger
  • Compressed using tiny bits of wood, for a long time and at high temperatures


  • Price
  • Smooth surface
  • No knots or splinters around edges
  • Takes paint extremely well; custom cabinet or vanity makers won’t want to paint real wood due to the cracking of the paint


  • High maintenance (not easily repairable if chipped or cracked)
  • Exposure to water causes swelling
  • Glue within makes it difficult to sink nails or screws
  • Cannot be stained


Plywood is made from veneers of wood glued into layers that form sheets. Like particle board, these bathroom vanity materials come in a variety of thicknesses and qualities.

MDF bathroom vanity materials

On the low-end, soft woods, quick dry glues, and voids can be often found between the layers. This plywood is usually coated with a plastic that has a wood grain pattern applied because the wood they use isn’t very attractive and may not finish well.

On the high end however, it is a very attractive wood and a truly solid choice (no pun intended) for your bathroom vanity. It VERY rarely will degrade.


While you want to be cautious of water damage with all types of woods, high end plywood has a pretty high success rate in terms of holding up for a long period of time.

Some people question a vanity that has plywood on the sides or back, and wonder if solid wood would be a better choice? In reality, it’s not. The plywood will be more stable over the long run than solid wood. That is because the plywood will not move due to moisture/humidity/temperature changes like solid wood does.

If covered in veneer, it will be as stable as the plywood and will not chip/peel except under unusual circumstances. In that case, it would effect real wood in the same way. Plywood is a great choice for bathroom vanity materials, which is why we carry them in our stores.

Solid wood bathroom vanity materials

Solid Wood:

While nothing really compares with solid wood in most projects, it actually is not ALWAYS the best choice for a bathroom vanity. Solid wood comes in two variations; solid wood (all natural real wood) and solid hardwood.


Solid hardwood is the most durable wood material and is made from woods like oak, cherry and maple. Solid wood has the tendency to shrink and expand as humidity changes. Expansion can cause cracks in the painted finish and also warping (in extreme cases).


Real wood is porous in nature so it will absorb water molecules in the air.  However, I won’t dare say that real wood is a bad material. It’s been used for centuries and is still the preferred option by many contractors and builders. The strength and durability of solid wood is why many choose to go with wood bath vanities, so it really depends on what you find most important. By keeping humidity in control, most homeowners won’t have any problems with this beautiful material. It works best with a natural or stained finish, as opposed to paint.

Happy Remodeling!

Want to learn more about bathroom remodeling?

Corbels: 8 Unique Ways To Use Them In Your Home

What are corbels you might be asking? For those of you who don’t know, corbels are structures projecting out from the wall or some other surface, supporting something above it. Pretty descriptive, huh! Some people have never used a corbel, but they can be great for adding something extra to the design of your home. If you’re looking for ways to use them, we’ve compiled a few for you below!

1. Corbels Under Countertops

This is one of the most common ways to use corbels is to put them under countertops to support an overhang. You can use wood or metal, whatever you feel matches the design of your kitchen best! You will generally see these used on islands or peninsulas.
Kitchen-Island-Corbels Louisville Cincinnati Newport

2. Corbels Under Shelves

You can use corbels under open shelves, in your kitchen or somewhere else in your home. These add a beautiful design accent and also give your shelves the support they need. Check out the beautiful shelves using corbels from Brittany at PrettyHandyGirl!


3. Corbels Under Fireplace Mantle

Using corbels under either end of your fireplace mantle is a great way to add a unique touch to what could be a standard looking mantle. You can use them to extend your mantle farther than the fireplace or on the base of the fireplace, the choice is up to you.

4. Corbels Under Front Porch

This is not something that people usually think of when they think of ways to use corbels, but it gives it a great architectural accent! Hopefully you don’t NEED them to support your porch, but they are beautiful.
Corbels-under-porch louisville cincinnati newport

5. Corbels Under a Balcony

Similar to using corbels under your front porch, using large corbels under your balcony can be a unique way to add curb appeal and more depth to the front of your home!

6. Corbels as Bookends

This is a really cool way to use new or vintage corbels. Kathleen from FadedCharm used hers as bookends, and I have to say it turned out beautifully!

7. Corbels as a Nightstand

Laura, from Laura Miller Interior Designs, used an extra large corbel as a nightstand base, and I think it is such an amazing idea! You can use smaller ones as well, and it shouldn’t affect the strength of the end table.

8. Corbels Under a Kitchen Harth

Using Corbels underneath the hearth area of your kitchen is a great design addition. Again, you should not rely on these for the structural support, but it is a beautiful way to accent a custom area of your kitchen!
What are your favorite ways to use corbels in your home? Let us know in the comments below!

Builders Surplus is a full-service renovation company with locations in Louisville, Kentucky, and Newport, Kentucky, which also serves Cincinnati, Ohio. We are one of the leading providers of kitchen cabinets, kitchen countertops, backsplash tile, and cabinet hardware in Louisville, Newport, and Cincinnati. We specialize in interior design, kitchen design, bathroom remodel, building materials, and home improvement. Interior Design and measurements come as a free service to our clients. We sell building materials ranging in every price point, from unfinished kitchen cabinets to top of the line Wellborn cabinets. In addition to interior design, we also offer installation services. If you have any questions or would like to set up a free design consultation with one of our interior designers, we would encourage you to do so. We love sharing our knowledge with clients & potential home renovators. We write about interior design, home decor, decorating ideas, and home improvement. We hope you’ll check back in for our next article! Happy Renovation!

Written By: Allie Bloyd

6 Small Home Improvements That Get It Sold!

So, you are ready to sell but not sure which home improvements will give you the best bang for your buck? With very little effort, you can transform an average house into an above-average property that is sure to get second looks from buyers. Follow these home improvement guidelines to make sure your property stands out above the rest!

1. Paint Inside and Out

Fresh paint is the most cost-effective and profitable improvement you can make, even if your home doesn’t need a new coat. Paint All interior walls a neutral color (looks brighter) and the ceilings white to make rooms look bigger. You may love the multicolored walls in your home but it will definitely turn away a potential buyer. The more “neutral” the better when selling. Let a potential buyer imagine themselves living there, which is what they are doing. Right? 🙂

2. New Lights

Replace your outdated fixtures! This inexpensive improvement can update old decor that might have discouraged buyers. If you haven’t shopped for fixtures lately, you might be pleasantly surprised @ how affordable modern fixtures are these days.

3. New Flooringlaying-vinyl-x

Install new carpet, linoleum or tile and refurbish hardwood floors if needed. Choose a neutral color for new carpeting. New flooring will increase the market value of your home, while shabby floors can kill a sale.

4. Planted Landscape

Attractive front and back yards boost the value of any property. Mow the lawn, trim the shrubs, and plant new bedding flowers. Clean up perennial beds, plant some trees if the yard is barren, especially in the front parkway. Sweep the patio or deck and decorate with potted plants and flowers. Curb appeal is the first thing potential buyers will see, so highlight the good and camouflage the not so good.

5. Completed Repairs

Remodel your home before sellingBefore listing your home for sale, make all minor repair and catch up on maintenance. If you’ve deferred maintenance, get a professional home inspection and make any needed repairs before listing the home. If you don’t, the buyer will probably discount the offer price for more than the actual cost of repairs or replacement.

6. A Clean Garage

If you use your garage for storage, clean it out and rent a storage space. Paint the interior white. If your garage is unfinished, install wallboard or build storage shelves on the back wall. A clean garage will help solidify a buyer’s impression of home improvements and in move-in condition.

There you have it! These 6 SIMPLE improvements will greatly increase your chances of selling your home, and sell it quickly, for the right price. However, if you need more renovation to update your home, visit our Louisville, Ky or Newport, Ky locations for the best prices on kitchen and bath products, flooring, plumbing, hardware, tile and more! Happy Remodeling!
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Improving your home before you sell

The list above was provided by a recommended agent in Northern Kentucky, Amy Chrisman-Williams. Give her a call for your NKY Real Estate Questions!

How The Right Bathroom Layout Can Save You Money!

Today I’d like to discuss an aspect of planning that gets overlooked in a bathroom remodel: Bathroom Layout Options. When it comes to the design, you need to know your layout, first and foremost. The size, fixed plumbing, vanity size you’ll need, and so on. Allow me to dive in a few bathroom layout options! We’ll cover small, medium, and master bath options to make you aware of everything you should consider before breaking ground. Let’s get to it them.



Planning a Bathroom Layout

Before we start looking at some of the more popular bathroom layout options, let’s go over what we need to consider first, shall we? Again, the most important step in any remodeling process is planning. Get all of your ducks in a row, so to speak, meaning, hone your vision and then act on it. Have a good basis of what you want to achieve before setting up your design appointment, measurements, what you like, dislike, etc. That way, when it’s time, everything is decided and ready for action.


Beadboard old bathroom remodel


Size: Define what you’re working with first and accommodate. Are you remodeling the main bathroom in the living area, small/family bathroom upstairs, or the master bath, full of space and opportunity? Your layout, you’ll find, is contingent on the amount of space you have.

Privacy: In understanding that this isn’t the customary approach, it’s one I am quite fond of, having designed and installed some myself. If you have space, make some sort of barrier between the entrance and the toilet, for privacy’s sake. Apparently, there are studies show that hiding the toilet from sight “can make a big difference mentally.”

Note A privacy panel of tempered glass atop a half wall, for example.


Vanity: This also depends on space, but you need to know what size vanity you’d like. Are there going to be two people sharing this bathroom, would you like his or her sinks, or maybe you just need a single vanity? Save some space and possibly put a separate “getting ready” station next to it, another grooming station, if you will. All things to consider.

Shower/Bath: Walk-in showers are all the rage in the industry. They maximize space, emphasize luxury, and are incredibly appealing for resale. If you have space, the perfect layout, to me, would be a beautiful, walk-in, tiled shower accompanied by a freestanding tub, either set in the middle or niched in a space. For less spacious bathrooms, many homeowners are just going for the walk-in. As long as you have a tub somewhere in the house, you’re good for resale.


Plumbing: When you start moving plumbing around, your labor costs skyrocket. If you can manage it, try to layout your design with the existing plumbing. It could literally save you thousands.

Popular Bathroom Layout Options

So there’s this term called “wet walls,” which means any wall that has plumbing on it, pretty much. The wall your shower, tub, sinks are located on. You should know that fewer wet walls mean lower cost because plumbing is not cheap, folks. If you’re looking for a low-budget bathroom, go with one wet wall. The only drawback is that you’re limited on your design in that way. A layout with plumbing in two walls is a bit more work, but it allows for a few options. A three wet wall design offers the most flexibility, but of course, can get costly.
I’ve detailed three of the most prominent bathroom layouts in bathroom design right now below! Use this as inspiration to gain a better understanding of what you’d like to do with your remodel!


Three-Quarters Style: Featuring one wet wall, all of the bathroom’s plumbing adheres to one wall, like a circuit of sorts. This saves labor and supply expenses, but you’re limited on design. Even so, with a bath and a sink, this is a pretty popular design for smaller areas.

Full Bath: As I stressed before, this is the most ideal. Having a shower in your bathroom with the option of a bath just covers most people’s wants and wishes. There’s usually room in this design for a double vanity, or as I mentioned before, an extra “grooming” station of the sort.



Storage Space: Two sinks extend out for an appealing entry, across from a linen closet. This design is centered storage for toiletries and cosmetics. Perfect for Master Baths, and as you can see, the Master closet in the above picture extends into the bathroom, shielding the toilet and providing just a little more privacy. Also features a walk-in shower!

If you’re ready for a full bathroom remodel, don’t start without speaking to one of our professional bathroom designers first! It’s FREE! Click here to get started!



A Beginner’s Guide to Basement Renovation!

Why Perform a Basement Renovation?  

written by Chris Vale, REALSEAL, LLC.

The two main benefits of finishing a basement are to add usable space and to add value to your home. You can choose to include an additional bedroom or add an extra bedroom for guests or family members; turn the basement into a playroom or entertaining space; make room for a fitness area or home office; transform the space into an in-law suite or rental income property; install a laundry room or additional storage; or opt for an alternative to a home addition. With all of these possibilities, it’s no surprise that a finished basement holds a lot of value for both current owners and potential buyers. According to Remodeling Magazine’s 2017 “Cost vs. Value” report, the average basement remodel offers a 70% ROI. That means you can benefit from a lot of added value without spending top-dollar on materials or dealing with a major life disruption, which isn’t always the case with other remodeling projects.

70% ROI

What Elements Should You Include In a Basement Renovation?

Now that you’ve decided to go ahead and remodel your basement, you might be wondering where to start. First, you’ll need to decide how you want to use the space itself. Will it be a multi-functional space that includes a kitchen, a full bathroom, and a private bedroom space? Or do you want an open concept entertainment area for the whole family? If you need a quiet office space for full-time work, your needs will be different from families who want to turn their finished basement into a kid-friendly play area.

Once you determine how the space needs to function, you can then assess what elements you want to include -- and what you absolutely have to have. These may include components that are totally brand new, as well as fixtures that may already exist but are in dire need of an upgrade. Here are some elements your finished basement will most likely need:

  • Lighting: We’re not talking just floor or table lamps here. Built-in lighting is a must in an underground space. Even if you incorporate natural light (more on that shortly), you should consider adding light fixtures. Track lighting can be effective, but recessed lighting is considered to be ideal for basements with lower ceilings. To avoid creating corner shadows (and thus, the illusion of an even lower ceiling), place recessed lights approximately three feet away from the walls.
  • Windows: A windowless basement can feel dark and drab, even with light fixtures. An egress window is a must for most finished basements. Not only will it allow more light to come in, but it’s also required by most city building codes as an emergency exit route. Hopper windows, awning windows, picture windows, and sliding windows are all commonly used in basement renovations. If you can, choose double-pane windows, as they’ll add greater energy efficiency to your home.
Egress Windows
  • Flooring: Your unfinished basement most likely has a concrete floor. Though you can easily paint concrete, this option feels rather cold and doesn’t provide the highest level of safety. Carpeting can be an affordable and comfortable option. It can also be replaced for a relatively low price, should you experience any flooding. In general, stay away from installing hardwood floors in the basement. Even though it’s a renovation that offers a great ROI, the cost of hardwood floors simply isn’t worth it in this type of space.

Wall Insulation
  • Insulation: Installing proper insulation will allow you to control the temperature, minimize water damage, and reduce your energy consumption. In fact, good insulation can decrease the cost of heating and cooling your home by over 40%. You can add insulation to interior and/or exterior outside walls, as well as the ceiling. Spray foam is generally considered to be the most effective, but it’s also the most expensive. If you plan on spending a lot of time in this space, consider spending a bit more on this part of your remodel.
  • 40% Good Insulation
    • Plumbing: If you plan to include a bathroom, working kitchen, or laundry room in your renovation, you’re going to have to add plumbing. Adding plumbing below-ground can be a bit more complex, depending on how your home’s sewage pipes run. You may require an up-flushing system or a sewage-ejector system if your existing pipe system runs above your basement -- and this may mean extra time and money is required for the job. Even if you consider yourself to be quite handy, you should probably enlist the help of a professional if you want to add plumbing into your finished basement.
    • Waterproofing: Don’t forget that over 98% of homes with basements will experience some type of water damage at some point -- so you literally cannot afford to skip this step. Basement waterproofing costs can range anywhere from $500 to $15,000 depending on the complexity of the system, the size of the space, the potential source of water damage, and the contractor you pick. But this is definitely not optional.
    Water Damage
    • HVAC and Utilities: Your home already has HVAC components and water heaters. But if you live in an older home or these units are nearing the end of their lifespan, a basement remodel provides a perfect opportunity to have them checked out and potentially replaced, if necessary. You could also extend the system by adding ductwork . If your current basement setup has these components out in the open, you may have also considered the idea of closing them off in a separate room. While that can add aesthetic appeal to the space, you’ll need to consult with a professional to make sure this can be done safely and allow for easy maintenance when needed. 
    • Storage: Whether you’re going to be using your newly remodeled basement as extra living quarters, a place to entertain, or a spot for rest and relaxation, this area of your home can also provide additional storage space your family so badly needs. Instead of stacking up storage bins and cardboard boxes, you can curb the overflow by adding built-in storage shelving or under-stair storage in different places throughout the basement. You can easily incorporate clever storage options into a craft room, a playroom, a mud room, or your home theater. Don’t be afraid to get creative in order to make good use of your available space.
    • Furniture and Decor: This might be the part you’re most excited about -- and it’s no wonder why! Choosing your decor and furniture allows you to put your own personal stamp on the space and truly add function for your family. Unless you’re installing a home theater or wet bar, you’ll probably want to steer away from top-of-the-line furniture and decor. You can still make your basement look amazing without spending a fortune. Focus the bulk of your budget on multi-use furniture, a comfortable sofa, electronics, and personal touches.

    Drafting a Budget and Applying For Permits:

    Since you now have a better idea of what you’ll need to include in your basement renovation, you can start to draft a budget, hire a contractor (if applicable), and begin the process of applying for permits.

    Budgeting Tips for Basement Renovations

    The amount you spend on your basement remodel should reflect how long you plan to remain in your home. Home Adviser estimates that most homeowners spend anywhere from $10,500 to $27,000 when they plan to remodel their basements, while other estimates place the average cost of turning a basement into a livable space ranges from $6,500 to $18,500. Improving or replacing existing features can set you back $10,000 to $30,000. To keep costs down, consider the following:

    • Be clear about the scope of the project from the very start and don’t deviate from it
    • Don’t spend more than 15% to 20% of your home’s value on a basement improvement project unless you’ll be living in your home for more than five years
    • Remember that open spaces cost less than individual rooms do; unless you need a private space or require noise control to work in a separate room, opt for open concept
    • Don’t be tempted to splurge custom-made pieces; the use of credit cards to fund home renovation projects increased to 23% in 2016 -- there’s no point going into debt over a basement reno!
    • Keep in mind that the biggest renovation expenses are typically floor and wall coverings, followed by plumbing and electricity. Other costs may include interior carpentry (stairs, railings, trim), drywall and insulation, cabinets and countertops, paint, and cleanup
    • Avoid using organic products in basement renovations; not only are they more expensive, but they’re also prone to mold growth -- which could mean extra replacement costs in the long run
    • Steer clear of the most expensive materials; you don’t need marble countertops or stainless steel appliances to make a basement look amazing!

    Should You DIY Your Basement Renovation?

    At first, it might seem like DIYing your renovation, rather than hiring a contractor, could save you a bundle. In some cases, this could be true -- at least in part. While you should always hire contractors to install plumbing, electricity, waterproofing, and other elements with a safety factor, you might be able to save on labor costs by taking on certain parts of the renovation yourself. The size of your basement and the scope of the project are probably the two most important factors to consider here. DIYing a smaller basement could cost you $5,000, whereas hiring a professional team could cost $15,000. But you’ll also run the risk of improper installation, which can translate to added costs and frustration.

    Of course, you should conduct thorough research and ask for estimates from several different contractors before making a final decision. You can also find out from previous clients as to whether the projects were completed within the original budget and time period. Be sure to check with your state’s consumer protection agency and/or local building department to make certain that your contractors of choice have the proper insurance, licensing, and bonding to proceed with your project.

    All About Building Permits

    Permits Required

    Obtaining the proper permits is usually a necessary step for basement renovations. Essentially, every added structural, architectural, electrical, or plumbing component will require inspection and permitting approval. That means that if you plan to add lighting, HVAC, running water, a gas heater, drainage, electrical outlets, and framing, you need a permit to do it. Typically, you’ll need to secure building permits first, followed by electrical, mechanical, and plumbing permits. The cost of permits can vary from $100 up to $3,000, depending on the situation. It’s usually best to defer to a licensed contractor to ensure proper permits can be issued and that code compliance is in place. They’ll be able to tell you whether your basement ceiling needs to be at least seven feet high (and what you’ll need to do to obtain this height), whether your egress window provides enough square footage, and whether your design complies with other regulations.

    Ceiling Height Requirements

    Wondering whether you can just skip the permits? Don’t push your luck. If you don’t obtain the proper permits, you may face hefty fines or even be forced to remove work performed, whether it’s already completed or not. And if an adverse event occurs in your basement and you don’t have a permit to show work was done correctly, your insurance company could deny any claim you file.

    How to Prepare Your Basement For a Renovation:

    So you’ve decided on what to include in your design, made your budget, hired your contractors, and learned about applying for permits. What do you need to take care of before you can actually start renovating?

    • Get your foundation inspected
      You need to obtain a foundation inspection to identify structural damage, rust, waterproofing issues, cracks, sagging beams, and any other problems before you ever start the actual remodeling process. Fixing these problems can cost quite a bit of money and time -- but they’re extremely important in order to maintain the integrity of your home. It’s far better to take care of them first instead of taking your chances. Otherwise, your renovation could take much longer and cost a whole lot more.

    • Address drainage needs
      Water damage is a chief concern for homeowners, particularly in basement settings. If you perform a renovation without addressing drainage and potential water damage, you’ll likely regret it later on. Take the time now to grade your lawn, install any necessary drains, consider adding a water vapor or other waterproofing methods, and other steps your waterproofing company feels will allow you to protect your home.

    • Dry out the basement
      According to the American Society of Home Inspectors, approximately 60% of basements are considered wet. That excess moisture can cause rot and even mold if you don’t take care of it prior to remodeling. The source of moisture issues will likely be discovered in your foundation inspection, but there could be other issues at play. You might need to clear out or realign your gutters, install a sump pump, and more. These solutions can cost anywhere from a couple of hundred dollars to a few thousand bucks, so you may actually want to conduct an assessment before you even draft your reno budget.

    • Do a full clean out
      You can’t expect your contractors to be able to work around the existing mess in your basement. You’ll need to conduct a clean out of everything that’s currently being stored there and find a temporary home for it in another space (like a spare room, a storage pod, or an off-site storage facility). This is also really the best way to get inspiration for your space and see how much room you actually have to work with -- so you might want to consider cleaning it all out far in advance. It’s not a bad idea to host a garage sale or bring over some donations to a local charity in the process.

    • Determine how you’ll dispose of waste
      You might not have thought about this, but if you’re DIYing any part of your project or want to make sure your contractors keep costs under control, it’s something to include in your plans. Remodeling projects generate quite a bit of waste, and a lot of it will be too big to put out on the curb. If you need to rent a dumpster and take care of pick-up, you’ll want to arrange this ahead of time and factor this in to your overall costs.

    Now that you have a better idea of all the moving pieces that go into a basement renovation, you’ll be in a great spot to get started. Don’t forget to protect all your hard work by investing in waterproofing protection for this space. That way, your family can enjoy your finished basement in whatever way you choose, without worry.

    REALSEAL specializes in Basement Waterproofing, foundation crack repair, sump pump replacement, drain tile installation, window well replacement


    Our 8 Favorite Blue Cabinet Colors!

    Is Blue The New Grey?

    Longtime favorites for bedrooms & living spaces blue hues are really becoming the starring roles in kitchens! From baby blue to navy blue kitchen cabinets— stained, painted, glazed, lacquered, and antiqued finishes—re-energize your kitchen style from cozy cottage to sleekly modern. And with the right hardware, you’ve got yourself a kitchen that will make you happy for years to come!

    Blue is a versatile color that comes in a huge variety of cabinet coloring options. But, when choosing a blue kitchen cabinet finish, it’s important to consider what types of surfaces and accent hues will best complement your choice and design preferences.

    Here are a few ideas (and links to great articles) showcasing our favorite blue kitchen cabinets. We have compiled just a sampling in varying shades of blue however, there are SO many choices so do your research and find your favorite!

    Benjamin Moore Mozart Blue

    Benjamin Moore Mozart Blue Photo: Home Bunch


    Behr Blueprint Photo: Behr

    Hale Navy by Benjamin Moore

    Benjamin Moore Hale Navy Photo: HGTV


    Powder blue, robins-egg, or grayish blue hues. Photo: Nimvo

    Wellborn Colorinspire Photo: Amy Nusinger

    Wellborn Colorinspire Cabinets Photo: Wellborn Amy Nusinger

    Wellborn Colorinspire

    Wellborn Colorinspire Blue Cabinets Photo: Wellborn

    Benjamin Moore Wolf Grey

    Benjamin Moore Wolf Grey Photo: Emily Henderson

    Baby Blue Cabinets The Spruce

    Baby Blue Cabinet ideas by The Spruce!

    It looks like blues are going to be around for a while so if blue is your thing you can be fairly assured that its not going out of style anytime soon!

    And don’t forget your hardware. Finding the perfect hardware is like putting the “icing on a cake”! Whatever you do, Take your time choosing the right color & hardware that best fits your personal style.

    Our designers are here to help with any questions you might have & consultations are always FREE so why not schedule yours today?

    Every great kitchen or bath remodel starts with a solid PLAN! Its easy to get started! Just click below to claim your free Design Consultation and let us help you put together the perfect plan for YOU!