Your Guide to Waterproof Flooring!

Most people love the idea of hardwood floors. They are one of the few parts of a home that can transcend any style and trend and are able to last for decades.

However, there are situations in which hardwood isn’t the best choice during a remodel or new build. A modestly budgeted renovation can mean that real hardwood flooring may have to be one of the products you nix from the list in order to stay within your price point.

You could also be a parent to toddlers, pets, or both, and that means a lot of wear-and-tear on not only floors but every surface of your house.

With the promise to supply quality products for every budget and lifestyle, Builders Surplus has a variety of waterproof flooring products, such as luxury vinyl flooring options that give you the look and feel of hardwood floors.

There are so many options to choose from and that can get overwhelming, so let’s break it down so you get to know all about laminate products.

Your Two Options: Luxury Vinyl (LVT or LVP) or Waterproof Laminate

Laminate:

History of the laminate flooring starts in Sweden in early 1920 and despite popular misconception, there are actually very few similarities between hardwood and Laminate.

Whereas the durability of wood floors will vary with the different types of wood, laminate floors are not made from any particular species.

Laminates are constructed using three principal layers: the decorative layer, the core, and the backing layer. These layers are compressed together using a high-pressure process.

The higher the pressure used, the more durable the laminate will be–and it will have a higher AC rating. AC, or also known as Abrasion Rating System, was created to give us a way of determining durability and recommended usage level of different laminate floors. The common term used to denote the durability level of luxury vinyl plank and tile flooring is the Abrasion Criteria or “AC” rating.

Luxury Vinyl Flooring:

In 1926 vinyl as a useful substance was invented by accident. In Akron, Ohio, Waldo Lonsbury Semon, a researcher, was trying to develop an adhesive to bond rubber to metal for The BF Goodrich Company.

Vinyl manufacturing was reintroduced after World War 11 ended, boasting some of its newly discovered properties, versatility and flame resistance. Vinyl flooring was shown to handle heavy foot traffic and to be relatively inexpensive, so it quickly took off in commercial spaces, then in residential homes’ high traffic area, and finally as a home flooring in general. It became a solid competitor!

The first Vinyl Planks were introduced in the ’70s and they grew in popularity. Today these planks have a deal sealer. Vinyl plank is now available as a 100% waterproof floor. Top to bottom, inside and out, now they are 100% waterproof and benefit from the same technologies that have made laminate flooring become so increasingly realistic looking.

The design options of LVT flooring make it a desirable material, but this flooring also has many properties that homeowners look for in their flooring. Extremely resistant to dents, moisture damage, heat and more, Luxury Vinyl Tile flooring is perfect for those who want durable floors. Additionally, there are many types of LVT that offer built-in soundproofing and don’t contain harmful chemicals that will affect the air quality in your home.

Laminate Waterproof Flooring

Most laminate flooring is NOT waterproof, some are just water resistant. However, there are some waterproof laminates. The ONLY waterproof element is the surface, so if water gets into the cracks or underneath, it will be ruined. It’s better than standard laminate, but still not as durable as Luxury Vinyl.

What is the difference in Laminate and Luxury Vinyl Flooring? For starters, They’remade from different materials. Laminate flooring is made of layers. The primary layer (the core) is made of high-density fiberboard that gives laminate flooring its rigidity and strength. LVT is made in layers as well; its primary component is PVC vinyl, which makes LVT dimensionally stable and flexible.

Laminate flooring can offer the appearance of real hardwood floors or slate but for about two-thirds the cost. Laminate flooring is an excellent choice–healthy for your family and environmentally friendly. It’s pretty durable and sometimes scratch resistant, it will not fade even after years of exposure to direct sunlight.

Surprisingly, some laminate waterproof flooring can be both chemical and burn resistant. Even the toughest stain you can safely remove with acetone, with no damage to the floor. And burning embers falling from an open fireplace will not leave any mark or discoloration.

The biggest downside to buying a waterproof laminate is the fact that only the surface is waterproof. Most major water accidents are in the cracks and under the boards.

Luxury Vinyl Plank – COREtec One and Plus

Luxury Vinyl Plank, also called Luxury Vinyl Tile, LVT or LVT, is becoming the flooring material of choice. Not only is it waterproof on the surface, but the ENTIRE plank is also 100% waterproof.

Achieving a beautiful wood look that requires little to no maintenance has never been easier than with COREtec One luxury vinyl plank flooring.

These planks are completely waterproof, highly durable, and resistant to dents, making them ideal for any room of the home.

A no-mess, glue-less installation, these luxury vinyl planks can be installed with minimal floor prep over existing hard surfaces and will help to hide subfloor imperfections.

With a 25 year residential warranty, you are sure to love your new flooring for many years to come.

COREtec Plus represents the next revolution in luxury vinyl flooring. This waterproof flooring is a great alternative to glue-down, solid locking, or laminate flooring. The patented construction of COREtec Plus features an innovative core structure, which is an extruded core made from recycled wood and bamboo dust, limestone, and virgin PVC.

Since COREtec Plus is 100% waterproof, the floors can be installed in wet areas and will never swell when exposed to water. Inert and dimensionally stable; it will not expand or contract under normal conditions.

And the best part? Each COREtec Plus plank has an attached cork underlayment for a quieter, warmer vinyl floor that is naturally resistant to odor-causing mold and mildew.

Featherweight Luxury Vinyl Tile

When you install Featherweight luxury vinyl flooring, you get luxury planks that are reusable, anti-slip underfoot, waterproof, and anti-static.

The union lock system clicks planks together and gives your floor a seam-free look. Click vinyl flooring makes for a fantastic DIY project and offers beauty that you will appreciate.

With several colors and designs to choose from, you will be happy with your new floor once the installation process is complete. Click vinyl floors will offer an affordable, warm touch to any area of your home.

Entryways and laundry areas are ideal for this Featherweight vinyl flooring. If you have kids who do not like to remove shoes or boots, this is a fantastic flooring choice for you!

Mohawk Luxury Vinyl Flooring

Mohawk Luxury Vinyl is a superb choice. With the extra comfort of knowing that luxury vinyl is waterproof, it gives you the extra confidence to install it in places where moisture can be an issue like a kitchen, bathroom, mudroom or utility room.

Luxury Vinyl is a very durable floor comes with a commercial grade wear layer. It is made out of 100% virgin luxury vinyl and reinforced with fiberglass for extra durability. Mohawk Luxury Vinyl is beautiful and affordable, and installation is a snap. Glue is not needed and you can walk on your floors right after installation. It’s ideal for residential and commercial spaces.

If you’re ready for your new luxury vinyl flooring, Builders Surplus has the top brands for the best prices. Click here to shop all of our Luxury Vinyl and come in store to pick some up today!

Want to learn more about Flooring from an experienced Pro?

Schedule your Free Tile or Flooring Consultation Today!

Can You Keep Your Kitchen Remodeling Cost In Budget? ( and still get the kitchen you love)

Where Do You Start?

Lets face it, starting a kitchen or bath remodel can seem like an overwhelming mountain to climb. You know it will mean "down-time" for your normal daily family routine but if you are like most homeowners, the real fear begins with thoughts of the "unknown" kitchen remodeling cost. You've been told you should always get estimates but where do you start?

A kitchen or bath remodel is a BIG undertaking so you need to make absolutely sure you have a solid (and firm) remodeling plan in place BEFORE you start! Changes cost money! Deciding to move or add an outlet "here or there" is actually a pretty big deal for your contractor & perhaps your kitchen design layout & cost. If you have a remodeling plan then you minimize any surprises.

We will always recommend you sit down with a trained designer first to begin the process. Designers are not just interior designers... they are well trained professionals who will help you with the bigger picture; design, plumbing, electrical, etc. and above all cost!

They want to learn about you & your personal design taste. Dont try to hide your budget from your designer. They are your advocates, not your enemy! The ultimate goal is to get the BEST kitchen at the best possible price.


Kitchen Packages For Every Taste & Budget!

In an effort to help make the kitchen process easier for homeowners, we created our new "10 Kitchens Under 10K"  packages. Each kitchen is based on the standard 8' x 12' kitchen size and includes your cabinets, countertops, crown moulding & toe kick. Each package can even be customized to find your perfect design. Prices shown are with laminate, granite or quartz countertops depending on the package but you can choose to customize each package within similar cabinet lines & countertop options.

Here are a few of our 10 Under 10K kitchen packages but we encourage you to visit our 10 Under 10K kitchen packages page to see them all here!

Unfinished Alder Cabinets With Laminate

Alder Shaker (In Stock) with Laminate Countertops

Ginger Creek White Shaker Cabinets with Laminate Countertops

Ginger Creek Value White Shaker With Laminate

 Ginger Creek Grey Shaker Cabinets with Laminate Countertops

Ginger Creek Shaker Grey with Laminate Countertops

Ginger Creek Dove Grey Shaker Cabinets with Granite Countertops

Ginger Creek Dove Grey Shaker with Laminate Countertops

Waypoint Maple Truffle Cabinets with Quartz Countertops

Waypoint Maple Truffle with Quartz Countertops

Waypoint 660D Cherry Slate Cabinets with Granite Countertops

Waypoint Cherry Slate with Granite Countertops

We hope our new kitchen packages (with prices) can help you make the big step to a beautiful kitchen remodel this year!

Schedule your FREE kitchen design consultation today & let us help you create your very own kitchen remodeling plan!

Happy Remodeling!

Builders Surplus


Why A Freestanding Tub Could Change Your Life!

Ah, the freestanding tub. I can’t tell you how many people in my life have said, “I want one of those so bad,” but fail to tell me why. Well, today I’m going to talk about why these baths are so appealing and continue to be such a hot commodity. If you have one, fill it up, grab the iPad, and read along as you slowly nod your head in agreement. If you don’t have one, I can guarantee that by the end of this post, you’ll at least consider it if you haven’t already. 

A Freestanding Tub WILL Relax You

There’s a reason why in every movie or show that has a scene with one of these bad boys, the actor/actress is super relaxed. Case in point, taking a bath in one of these tubs is simply soothing. Unlike the Jacuzzi tubs fitted with jets and streams, a freestanding tub is set in silence, allowing you to soak in the solace that will inevitably de-stress you. Pour a glass of wine, light a candle or two, fill up one of these wonders with warm water, climb in, and you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.

Freestanding Tub Louisville Cincinnati

 

Freestanding tubs are found in legitimate, luxurious spa rooms for a reason. Even the look of them is relaxed. They are “free,” and therefore exhibit the notion that while you’re soaking in suds, you should feel the same way. Not fixed to the wall, nothing to fasten you in, just you, water, and the vessel that seems to float. Simply put, it is your own oasis, and you’ll end up spending hours in one after a particularly long day.

 

Freestanding Tub Louisville Cincinnati

A Freestanding Tub Enlarges A Room

So, whether it’s set on legs or chills on the bathroom floor, a freestanding tub makes a room bigger because it’s seen as a singular item. Unlike a fixed bath that accompanies a couple of walls, this one sets by itself. Look at the pictures in this blog or do some of your own research, and you’ll see that each kind of room works around the freestanding tub instead of the other way around.


Freestanding Tub Louisville Cincinnati

 

If the tub is set on pegs, the entire area around and underneath shows, which provides that depth that everyone looks for in a bathroom – and – allows you to show off your bathroom floor. Sidenote: These tubs look best on top of bathroom tile. I’d be remiss if I didn’t at least mention that bit. It’s a luxurious item that’s attractiveness only intensifies by more elaborate designs.

 

Freestanding Tub Louisville Cincinnati

A Freestanding Tub Fits Any Style

Honestly, it’s a win-win-win all the way around. Yes, there are different types of freestanding tubs that will no doubt work better than others, but for the most part, you cannot go wrong with a crisp-white, beautifully-shaped tub that acts as a focal point to your bathroom. So, for example, let’s say you’re breaking ground on a bathroom remodel, and where you used to have the typical fiberglass tub and shower head, you want a standup shower and freestanding tub.

Freestanding Tub Louisville Cincinnati

Well, if I were you, I wouldn’t worry too much about contouring your entire bathroom design around the tub because it’s going to do that no matter what. The magic is within the perception of the person. We’re all so used to seeing the normal, most-common bathroom setting — fixed tub/shower setup, toilet, maybe a theme or something, but then you add something iconic like a freestanding tub and the eye is naturally drawn to the peculiarity. It’s more human nature than it is physics, and who doesn’t want that kind of reaction in any room of their house?

Freestanding Tub Louisville Cincinnati

A Freestanding Tub is Easy-to-Install

I mean, this is pretty self-explanatory, right? It’s a bit heavy, sure, but for the most part, all that’s required on install is to choose your placement (which we’ll get to later) and hooking up your plumbing. Instead of bringing up a contractor for a built-in shower/bath combo, a freestanding tub only really requires a plumber to run the water lines and drain pipes to it. Simple as pie.
Freestanding Tub Louisville Cincinnati

Placement: A fixed shower is exactly that, fixed. There’s literally no room for variation, really. But with one of these tubs, the options are nearly endless. Notice the pictures don a creative element to the placement of the tub. It almost acts like a statue the way it presents itself. If there’s any word that truly grasps the essence of the freestanding tub, it’s stunning.

Freestanding Tub Louisville Cincinnati

Alright, everyone. Are you in love with these tubs yet? I know I am. Well, we happen to have a few of these in stock at our Louisville and Cincinnati stores. Check out our selection of Freestanding & Clawfoot Tubs right here or stop in-store and see them for yourself!


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, tile, flooring, windows and doors in Louisville, Newport, and Cincinnati. We specialize in interior design, kitchen design, bathroom remodel, building materials, and home improvement. Interior Design comes 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. 
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, home improvement pros & 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

How to Know When It’s Time for Window Replacement

Hello, everyone! I hope you’re enjoying your summer — driving around with the windows down, or maybe hanging around the house with the windows up. Wondrous things, windows. They allow the pleasantries of the outdoors, inside. Natural-light and warm sun rays are just a couple of the benefits windows provide, not to mention views. So, in essence, these assets are pretty significant to the homeowner experience. But how do you know when it’s time for a window replacement? Today, we’ll answer that question.

Window Replacement: Damages

It kind of goes without saying that if your windows are damaged, they need to be replaced. But what are some of the signs that tell you if your windows are damaged?
Warping
This is solely caused when wood absorbs water and expands, causing the windows to bend. The result is a obvious warped look that is anything but pleasing to the eye. Also, this gives your window more reason to crack and eventually break completely. Imagine a monstrous rainstorm heading your way just as your hear an ear-splitting crack coming from your bedroom window. Bad news, for sure. No one wants those problems.
Deterioration
Over long periods of times and excessive leaks from bad caulk jobs, the wood around your windows will begin to crack and crumble. The most important thing to note when it comes to windows is that water is your enemy. Any cracks that allow water to infiltrate your house need to be resolved immediately. And yes, you can try to repair, but when it hits this extent, the most effective solution is to replace.

window replacement

Air Leaks
Run your hands along the sides of the windows. If you feel even the slightest wisp of air seeping through, it’s time for a window replacement. Windows draw in sunlight and let in fresh air, but their main function is to prevent the otherwise harmful weather from entering your house. Air seeping through obviously defeats this purpose, and what’s more, you’re losing money. Cash is literally flying out of the window because this seepage is combatting your efforts in regulating your AC. If you see a gradual spike in your energy bill, this is the reason why.
Painted or Nailed Shut
This is more commonly found in older houses. The windows are painted over or nailed shut, making it darn near impossible to open. I don’t have to go into extraneous detail for you to know why this is a problem, but this means that the windows haven’t been used in so long or they’re so old-fashioned that they’re probably useless.

window replacement

Difficult to Open and Close
How your windows open and close should be as fluid as a cool, Summer breeze. If you have to yank, push, or pull with force then it’s safe to say it’s time for a window replacement. No one wants to dread opening a window during a nice day because your window sounds like a two-year-old teething every time it’s opened.

Window Replacement: You Want to Reduce Energy Costs

I mentioned this a bit earlier. Fact of the matter is, some windows are more energy-efficient than others. The windows we carry, Silverline by Andersen, all have the best Energy-Star ratings one can hope for.

window replacement

This simply means that these windows, specifically the materials they’re made from, keep the heat and cool inside of the home. For example, wood offers the best insulated value, but the general upkeep and wear-and-tear can be tiresome, whereas vinyl is a practical choice, and is still energy-efficient through tight seal construction and insulated glass.

window replacement

It’s no rumor that energy costs have skyrocketed in recent years, hence, the push for such products to be more efficient to stop the crisis. In essence, getting a window replacement now will ultimately result in lower energy costs, meaning more money in your wallet. So, if this is something you’re interested in, I’d HIGHLY recommend a window replacement.

Window Replacement: If You Want to Increase Home Value

window replacement

You can’t really appreciate the look of a new window until you’ve replaced your old ones. It can completely change the look of your home, both inside and out. According to Modernize, a home renovation website, “overall, replacement windows are worth the money you’ll spend on them—you’ll recoup about 70 to 80 percent of your costs on your home’s market value. So if you spend $400 on a new window, you can expect that to increase your home’s value by $280 to $320.

window replacement

Now, of course, this has a number of variables attached to it — location, the kind and type of window, single – or – double-hung — but as you can see, your windows are a tremendous asset to the overall value of your home.

window replacement

So, if your windows show any of these signs or you’d like to cut your energy bill down, or refinance your home — it’s time to take a good hard look at your windows. For a little more information about windows and energy-efficiency, I encourage you to download out our FREE “Windows Buying Guide” E-book! Full of hearty information that will provide you with a little more clarity on how you can cut costs and save money.

Creating the Perfect Reading Nook

My fellow, avid readers! Take a break from your favorite form of escapism, diving into different worlds and beyond, and lend me your eyes for a small duration of time. As we can all surely attest for, there’s nothing like a comfortable space to settle into and flip through the pages of a mind-gripping adventure. Surrounded by snacks and beverages, it is your time of relaxation you most look forward to. Whether it’s a rainy day, hearing the soft pit-pat of droplets at the window or after a hard day’s work, eyes eager to consume the pages, the setting is important. So today, I’d like to discuss how to create an excellent ambiance, the perfect reading nook to sprawl out while you dive in.

Perfect Reading Nook: Comfort

Create an environment worthy of killing an entire novel in one session. That’s the key component to having the perfect reading nook. Make it so you don’t have to leave it all, make it so you don’t want to leave ever. Yup. We’re talking premium escapism, folks, featuring only the best qualities. If you’re like me, you want maximum comfort. Pillows, comforters, mattresses, the works.

Home Tweaks

Surround yourself with soft, seriously. I like to sprawl out when I read, every limb relaxed, my only worry in the world is what’s going to happen to so-and-so when he finds out this guy did this. If you’re in a chair, let it be one you can sink in. If you’re one of the lucky ones (I envy you) and have one of those built-in nooks set in by a window, you’re set. Lighting included, which we’ll get to here in a bit.
Also, if you’re like me, you want to be surrounded by books when you read. This is why Barnes & Noble or the nearest library is my second place. The still, quiet atmosphere, silence only broken by the turning of pages, the rich, distinct aroma of scalding-hot coffee, and the furrowed eyebrows of a fixed expression — the world of focus & retention. Create a space that encourages a deeper sense of thinking.

Turn off your phone or throw it out the window. Leave all electronics the next floor down. Put technology on the back burner and let literature take hold. Let this be your space. Calm, soothing, relaxing. Furthermore, since you’re not going to want to leave, best bring the food with you. I’m serious, listen, if I know I’m about to read for a good long while, I’m bringing the pantry and the pitcher. Absolutely surrounded by snacks.

Perfect Reading Nook: Lighting

Natural light is the best light for reading, to me at least, but there’s only a few seasons where reading outside is plausible. So, as I mentioned above, if you have one of those areas you can nestle in by the window, build your perfect reading nook there. Think about it. You have the light to guide your eyes, and a a view to contemplate each chapter. These spaces were literally made for projects like these. But what if you don’t have such a space, you ask?

Then make sure your reading nook is underneath a well-lit area. Not too dim, but not too bright, either. Remember, you’re trying to create an ambiance here. This is  an environment dedicated for you to seek solace and demolish the last 34 pages you’ve been neglecting cause your favorite character has been foreshadowed to die since Chapter 4. Best get to it. Hey, he or she might live. If you’re reading Game of Thrones, probably not. SPOILER.

If it’s late at night, turn on a lamp and light a few candles. Literally, do whatever is necessary to plunge on. If it’s mid-day, a bit overcast outside, and there’s windows in your reading area, pull those blinds happen.
When I was younger, I used to have one of those book lights, so I could read late at night, way past my bedtime. I’d make a little fort, gather up my findings from the Scholastic Book Fair and read until I fell asleep, forefinger acting as a bookmark. Dive into these childlike instances and make this reading nook your own. It’s your space.

Perfect Reading Nook: Colors

Honestly, with this, it’s all up to you, but I do have a few suggestions. Since I’ve been so outspoken about creating a soothing environment, it would be logical for me to say to stick with neutral colors. The off-whites, gentle-grays, soft-blues, cool yellows, ya know, those subtle colors.


But like I said, you should make this your own. You want to grab a romance novel and head into a red room, by all means, be my guest. Use dark and ominous tones if you’ve thumbed through H.P. Lovecraft a time or two. Decorate each wall with the colors of the Hogwarts houses if you’re a Potterhead like I am.
But if you’d like to stay on the safer side, go neutral. It’s a tried-and-true kind of thing.

Alright, everyone. There’s my take on how to make the perfect reading nook. I hope I’ve generated enough interest for you to take some of these ideas into consideration. Good luck in all of your page-inscribed adventures, and I’ll see you on the other side!


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 remodeling, bathroom remodeling, flooring and tile installations, windows and doors in Louisville, Newport, and Cincinnati. We specialize in interior design, kitchen design, quartz countertops, granite countertops, marble countertops, bathroom vanity tops, 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

Unique Places to Use Tile in Your Home

Hello, everyone! I hope all is well, and you’re enjoying the holidays. Christmas is almost here, and like always, the season of giving never fails to provide a bit of inspiration. Today, I’d like to discuss some ways to uniquely use tile throughout your home. Ya see, it doesn’t just have to go on your floors; you can use it elsewhere, as well.

Tile on a Tabletop

Perhaps you have and old, withering table that’s been begging for a chance at new life. This is the perfect way to achieve that new, refreshing look. You’re also able to get kind of creative with it. Choose a mixture of mosaic tile pieces and display a brilliant pattern, or mix-match a few large format tiles that blend together to get an alluring, two-tone look.

tile

Daltile

A few pointers, though. This method works best if you have a square table, simply because of cuts & corners. Don’t let that deter you, though, if you have a circular table lying around. It may take a bit more time, but the finished product will be well worth it.
Also, if you’re thinking of setting tile atop a patio table, be mindful of rainfall and/or water spills. During installation, you can prevent eventual stagnant water by applying just a bit more adhesive on the back of the very middle piece. Not too large of a slope, obviously, but just enough for water runoff.

Tile on a Fireplace

This is an absolutely beautiful look. One of the first things my father did when he bought their house was rip out the standard, mediocre wood trim that flanked the fireplace, and installed a gorgeous collaboration of white and black marble tiles. After crafting an intricate mantlepiece, their fireplace now emulates the Victorian Era, bringing warmth to the room, fire blazing or not.
tile

Also, and we’ve discussed this plenty of times before, the look of Ledge Stone on a fireplace would give anyone pause. Its stone face provides the appearance of stability, a raw elegance that seems fixed in time. In my opinion, fireplaces tend to capture the eye, as if it calls to be decorated. Using a unique material such as tile, in any style, will not only exemplify this fact, but leave no gaze dissatisfied.

Tile on Columns

If you’re a fan of Roman architecture, then you probably already have this transfixed in your mind’s eye. Columns throughout the home pop-up in the most random of places, usually to mask structural beam supports, like in a basement.
In my parent’s house, my father merely framed around the steel beam in the middle of the basement floor and created a Y-split at the top to add some curvature. He drywalled, primed and painted, but there’s another approach — tile.

Instead of adhering to the mundane (Sorry, pops), you can fasten concrete board to the stud frame and install the tile of your choosing. Think I’m crazy? The effect is brilliant. It always baffles me that a simple switch in building material can completely alter a look, this time for the better.
Like the aforementioned, this combination of an already eye-grabbing feature (the column) and the standard attention tile brings, speaks of strength. A pure, gorgeous, and elaborate ensemble.

Tile on the Ceiling

I know what’re thinking, and that was my first thought, too. The what-if factor comes into play when discussing ceramic or porcelain tiled ceilings. How disastrous it would be if one them fell, right? It’s a thought that throws gravity under the bus, but this is why a right & proper install is of the the utmost importance. I lead with the negative to hit you with the positive, though.

tile

When it comes to this unique method, I need you to think Italian Renaissance, okay? During the days of Donatello, method de Medici, came the spirit of such revolutionizing art that historians gave the era a name. If it can be done in the 16th century, then it sure as heck can be executed in the 21st.
It’s nearly 2018, my friends, we have pocket computers that scan our faces these days. If we can’t manage a few tiles on the ceiling, are we really progressing?
Okay, not my best argument, but you can understand where I’m coming from. The point is, it’s doable, plus it’s not art for the sake of art. When done correctly, you have something unique above your head. No popcorn or textured ceilings. No foam squares befitting of corporate offices. Tile.

So, to wrap it all up, tabletops, fireplaces, columns, and ceilings. Four unique areas to use tile. When it comes to home remodeling & renovation, the options are endless, and we understand that. But there’s also the other side of the spectrum. How to create a style that no one else has, something truly original. I encourage, no, I dare you to be different. Rough the edges. Go against the grain. Make something really special, something you’re proud of. This is just the start.
Think on it. If you decide on something and plan on doing a kitchen or bath remodel anytime soon, let us know. Click here to setup an appointment, and we’ll throw some ideas around with you. Happy Remodeling, everyone!


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 remodeling, bathroom remodeling, flooring and tile installations, windows and doors in Louisville, Newport, and Cincinnati. We specialize in interior design, kitchen design, quartz countertops, granite countertops, marble countertops, bathroom vanity tops, 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

How to Properly Execute Flooring Transitions

 

Hello, everyone! I think it’s safe to assume that you’re enjoying the Fall festivities. We just finished up with the horrors of Halloween, and now, we have my favorite holiday around the corner — Thanksgiving. I don’t know about you all, but I throughly look forward to engorging myself with about two or three plates of delicious turkey, triple-layered macaroni & cheese, fresh, homegrown green beans, and about 12 other different side dishes. Probably going to have to wear sweatpants this year, just saying. Anyway, let’s get to the topic at hand. Today, I’d like to discuss how to properly, and effectively, execute flooring transitions from room to room. Transitions such as, through a doorway, to a different style (not type) of flooring, and then finally to another type altogether. Before we start, there’s one thing I need to emphasize. Two words: Transition strips. These are vital to flooring transitions, so keep them in mind. We’ll go into detail about those later. For now, let’s begin with our first transition.  

Flooring Transitions Through a Doorway

If you’re a DIYer, and you’ve never performed this task before, I’m sure you’ve asked yourself how you’re supposed to work around the door frame/casing. For all intensive purposes, I’d like you to see this little bump in the road as an obstacle, just like cutting around a cabinet. Laying the board underneath the jambs will hide the gaps between the edges of the door and door frame.  

flooring transitions

  To do this, you’ll first have to cut the bottoms of the jambs with a jigsaw (or handsaw), just enough to slide a piece of flooring under. Then notch around the edging. Simple as that. Note: You may have to pull the casing out a bit, so you can click the flooring together underneath. Not too much of a hassle, though. Also, this is merely if you’re transitioning from one room to another using the exact same flooring. Let’s see how to execute a flooring transition using the same type — like laminate — but different style.  

Flooring Transitions to a Different Laminate Floor

flooring transitions

 

  To be honest, there isn’t much different in these kinds of flooring transitions than the one above, providing that each is the same thickness and has the same locking technique. There’s simply one added element. So, you’ll want to make sure that your transition from one floor to another is set right in the middle between the door. All you’ll do is simply change the boards in the middle of the doorway and continue your installation with the other flooring in the other room. But, if you just leave the gap in the middle of the door, from one piece to the different one, it’ll look weird, right?

 

flooring transitions

 

 This is where the transition strip, or T-strip, comes into play, Essentially, this is just a long piece of inverted trim that sets in the middle of the doorway and acts as the gentle punctuation of style from room to room. A nice, calm pause if you will. It looks best to install this piece right in the center of the doorway or aligned with the front edge.  

Flooring Transitions to Other Types of Flooring

Flooring to carpet, flooring to tile, these are the flooring transitions that have a few variables attached to them. To properly execute this transition, one must first look at the thickness of each type. Then you’ll get what’s called a reducer T-strip. This strip prevents toes from catching on the height different between the two flooring types. Can’t have anyone falling into a room now, can we?

flooring transitions

 

Like the aforementioned, the vex between the reducer T will look best in the middle of the archway. But, be mindful of which side of the door you put it on. You should make sure that it’s on the side of the door that has the thinner flooring, so it can slope away from the door.  

 

 

Flooring Transitions – Patterns

The above pretty much details how you should properly install one of these transitions, but I’d be remiss if we didn’t discuss the looks of the transition, as well. So, if you have a straight-lined floor, meaning you’ve measured the distance from one wall to the other in a room, outlined it to offset each piece (staggering), and you’d like to transition to a different pattern, be mindful of the pattern. flooring transitions

If you’re using the exact same flooring in each room, it’s best to not break up the pattern. The design ends up looking like a broken bit of chaos. No, instead use continuity. This will ensure a nice flow from room to room. Now, if you’re transitioning from flooring to tile or a different color or design of flooring, then you can get a bit creative with design! Just a little food for though, everyone.     Alright, everyone. I hope this gave you a little bit of insight on how to effectively install flooring transitions! Just remember, the T-strip is key component to this process if you want a functional, eye-appealing transition from one room to another! Also, if you’re looking to install flooring in your house, we have dozens of premium choices, from Luxury Vinyl Tile to good, old-fashioned hardwood! Plus, we offer an excellent installation services, so don’t be afraid to pick up the phone – OR – just come on in! We’d love to help and answer any questions you may have! Hope to see ya soon. Until then, be safe and stay blessed!  


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 o r 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!

Written by: Chris Chamberlain  

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PRO: The Estimate – What You Need to Consider

Professionals in the industry, I hope business is good and all is well. Looking at the title, I’m sure you already have preconceived notions about this topic. One thing I’ve definitely learned while working for my father at his home remodeling business is that each company tends to do things a little differently. Especially when it comes to the planning process.
Today, I’d like to take the knowledge I’ve gained over the years and discuss the estimate and the aspects you definitely need to consider when you finally sit down and price it all out before you present it to your client.

The Estimate – Meet for Measurements

Now, it may not seem like an important aspect, but appearances can go a long way. When first meeting a customer, it’s probably in your best interest to wear something nice. I’m not talking about a suit and tie or anything, but definitely respectable apparel.
After all, you’re being invited into someone’s home and potentially doing work on their house, so building a foundation of trust early on is encouraged.

estimate

Once you’ve exchanged the proper pleasantries upon initially meeting, it’s time to get down to business. Now, knowing you’re a pro, I’m not going to sit here and type out WHY it’s significant, just stress that it is highly-important to take precise measurements. Get it down to a thirty-second of an inch. You know as well as I do that the closer you are, the easier it is to map out.
My father sketches out a rough draft of the area he’s working and jots down the measurements along the entire perimeter, never failing to forget one edge, corner, side, or height. As you know, this is essential for judging the amount of materials you’re going to need. In essence, be precise. It will help you out in the long run.

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It’s also convenient to try to get a basis of budget while you’re at it. More often than not, however, you’re going to hear, “Well, we’re trying to keep the costs low,” or “We’re on a tight budget, so if we can be under (insert amount),” which understandably no professional contractor wants to hear. But, clients tend to stress this rhetoric in the hopes that materials will miraculously drop with one of these phrases or you’ll suddenly be more inclined to lower your hourly rate by being sympathetic towards a specific amount. Now, what you do is up to you, but quality work comes at a cost.

The Estimate – Planning

Alright, folks, so after you get your measurements, it’s time to sit down and really detail this out, right? Now, there are some things you definitely should be cognizant of.
Materials
I mentioned in the intro that I’ve learned some companies do this differently, and it’s true. I’ve come across owners that tend to “wing it,” not wanting to overcomplicate the beginnings of a project and plan things as they go. Don’t do this.
I’ve also heard about owners basing their material costs from previous jobs, thinking that the costs will be same. Unless you’re in the business of losing money, delete this method from your mind altogether.

estimate

When it comes to materials, you should first have a clear understanding of what your customer wants and needs in the project. Obviously, after initially discussing these things and taking measurements, you’ll have some sort of idea. From there, it’s all about breaking the entire project down in sections and making sure you’ve accounted for every element with each step.
For example, we’ve done quite a few unfinished basements, and the very first thing that needs to be done is FRAMING. So, accompanied by the measurements, he’ll count how many 2×4’s he’ll need, treated & untreated, for interior walls, headers, built-in cubbies, bookshelves, benches, etc. It’s an extensive process, but if you mess up on materials, you can be out hundreds of dollars. I’ve seen it.
Once you’ve detailed how much you need of everything, it’s time to go to your local home improvement store and get the material costs. And this is where you can lose money if you’re not careful. Like most products in a capitalist society, there’s means of inflation. Building materials are no different.

estimate
It’s best to get the most recent prices, so if your job isn’t for another one to two months, let your customers know that there may be an influx in price. Full disclosure is completely necessary. Remember, building trust is key.
Now, you’ve got all your prices for all of your materials, and it’s time to go back to the lab. Grab your calculator, some snacks, and a clear head because it can be a tedious session, crunching all of these numbers together and making sure it’s all as accurate as possible. The result should be one fixed number labeled “MATERIALS.” Bam.

Labor/Time Management
You’ve got your fixed rate, how much you charge by the hour, and it’s important that you don’t sell yourself short, ya know? The home remodeling business can be a hard and grueling one. Fun, yes, but 100% physically-intensive. Accommodate for this fact. Now, my father is crazy analytical and tends to map his time down to the quarter-hour. Not joking.
So, much like his material break down, he’ll list how much time it’s going to take to perform each task. When I say everything is accounted for in his estimate, I mean it. Going off the unfinished basement example, running wire is no small feat. Drilling holes for the wire to run through for an entire basement that boasts 24 electrical outlets is no small task.

estimate

With that said, my father we’ll assess how much time it typically takes to drill for a complete wall, so on and so forth. That may seem like too much of a breakdown, but this is your time we’re talking here, and you know the old adage: Time is money.
Once you’ve assessed how much time it’s going to take in total to get the job done, you’re presented with two things: A deadline and labor costs. Be EXTRA mindful of the first, people. Understand that you’re going to be working inside (or outside) someone’s house for a duration of time.

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Where I’m sure your clients are more than happy that you’re taking care of them, getting their projects done, there is always, always relief when the last screw is sunk in. Because of this, you should account for mishaps, mistakes, inadequate lumber, last minute trips to the department store, you name it.
As much as we’d all love for everything to run super smooth, it’s more than likely not going to happen this way. As is life, right? Accounting for these inconsistencies will help you, in the mind of the customer and your stress levels. Trust me on that one. That way if you think you’re going to need a couple of days to get everything flushed and finished, you’ve got yourself covered.

The Estimate  – Presenting your Quote

Alright, so you’ve got your final number, the sum of your material and labor costs. This is why I said it’s a good rule of thumb to gather some info on your client’s budget. If you’re able to read a room pretty well, you’ve got an advantage.. When you talked price, what was their tone? What did they say specifically? Were they eager to get things going, were they less worried about costs and more about process?
In knowing these things, you can gather whether or not your clients are going to be shocked or pleased at the price. Either way, your approach is CRUCIAL. Be mindful of how you present the estimate for this project. I’m not going to tell you what or how to do this, but it’s common knowledge that when you’re dealing with people, compassion is critical, tone is everything, and consideration is consequential.

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Sit down with them, and I personally just think it’s best to explain exactly how you got your estimate instead of hitting them with it head-on. This allows your clients to truly see the effort that goes into an estimate, as well as the breakdown of how you got to the price you did. That way when you do deliver it, high-price or otherwise, your clients comprehend exactly why.
Once you’ve told them your price, you’ll know what to do. They may want a copy of your calculations or material lists to see if they knock some things off or make some adjustments. And honestly, this is fine. There’s been many a time where my father has went back to the lab to adjust some things to an estimate to get closer to a client’s budget. It’s all a part of this process.

estimate

Be as accommodating as you can within reason. If you can knock off some additions — build in bookcases, recessed lighting, drop-ceilings, a change in floor type — then express these possibilities. Free-flowing communication is tremendously helpful when establishing a relationship with a client. Be personal and use empathy to work in their wants and needs.

I know, I know, it seems like a long list of things to be mindful of, but I actually enjoy this part of the process, especially if the client is eager and ready to get started. Definitely much more exciting. But there ya have it, pros. I hope this proves to be of satisfaction, and up-to-par with how you handle the pre-planning process. Take it easy out there, and stay safe!


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. We hope you’ll check back in for our next article! Happy Renovation!

Written By: Chris Chamberlain

 

How to Know When It's Time for Window Replacement

Hello, everyone! I hope you’re enjoying your summer — driving around with the windows down, or maybe hanging around the house with the windows up. Wondrous things, windows. They allow the pleasantries of the outdoors, inside. Natural-light and warm sun rays are just a couple of the benefits windows provide, not to mention views. So, in essence, these assets are pretty significant to the homeowner experience. But how do you know when it’s time for a window replacement? Today, we’ll answer that question.
 

Window Replacement: Damages

It kind of goes without saying that if your windows are damaged, they need to be replaced. But what are some of the signs that tell you if your windows are damaged?
Warping
This is solely caused when wood absorbs water and expands, causing the windows to bend. The result is a obvious warped look that is anything but pleasing to the eye. Also, this gives your window more reason to crack and eventually break completely. Imagine a monstrous rainstorm heading your way just as your hear an ear-splitting crack coming from your bedroom window. Bad news, for sure. No one wants those problems.
Deterioration
Over long periods of times and excessive leaks from bad caulk jobs, the wood around your windows will begin to crack and crumble. The most important thing to note when it comes to windows is that water is your enemy. Any cracks that allow water to infiltrate your house need to be resolved immediately. And yes, you can try to repair, but when it hits this extent, the most effective solution is to replace.
 
window replacement
 
Air Leaks
Run your hands along the sides of the windows. If you feel even the slightest wisp of air seeping through, it’s time for a window replacement. Windows draw in sunlight and let in fresh air, but their main function is to prevent the otherwise harmful weather from entering your house. Air seeping through obviously defeats this purpose, and what’s more, you’re losing money. Cash is literally flying out of the window because this seepage is combatting your efforts in regulating your AC. If you see a gradual spike in your energy bill, this is the reason why.
Painted or Nailed Shut
This is more commonly found in older houses. The windows are painted over or nailed shut, making it darn near impossible to open. I don’t have to go into extraneous detail for you to know why this is a problem, but this means that the windows haven’t been used in so long or they’re so old-fashioned that they’re probably useless.
 
 
window replacement
 
 
Difficult to Open and Close
How your windows open and close should be as fluid as a cool, Summer breeze. If you have to yank, push, or pull with force then it’s safe to say it’s time for a window replacement. No one wants to dread opening a window during a nice day because your window sounds like a two-year-old teething every time it’s opened.
 
 

Window Replacement: You Want to Reduce Energy Costs

I mentioned this a bit earlier. Fact of the matter is, some windows are more energy-efficient than others. The windows we carry, Silverline by Andersen, all have the best Energy-Star ratings one can hope for.
 
 
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This simply means that these windows, specifically the materials they’re made from, keep the heat and cool inside of the home. For example, wood offers the best insulated value, but the general upkeep and wear-and-tear can be tiresome, whereas vinyl is a practical choice, and is still energy-efficient through tight seal construction and insulated glass.
 
 
 
window replacement
 
 
It’s no rumor that energy costs have skyrocketed in recent years, hence, the push for such products to be more efficient to stop the crisis. In essence, getting a window replacement now will ultimately result in lower energy costs, meaning more money in your wallet. So, if this is something you’re interested in, I’d HIGHLY recommend a window replacement.
 

Window Replacement: If You Want to Increase Home Value

 
window replacement
 
You can’t really appreciate the look of a new window until you’ve replaced your old ones. It can completely change the look of your home, both inside and out. According to Modernize, a home renovation website, “overall, replacement windows are worth the money you’ll spend on them—you’ll recoup about 70 to 80 percent of your costs on your home’s market value. So if you spend $400 on a new window, you can expect that to increase your home’s value by $280 to $320.
 
window replacement
 
 
Now, of course, this has a number of variables attached to it — location, the kind and type of window, single – or – double-hung — but as you can see, your windows are a tremendous asset to the overall value of your home.
 
 
window replacement
 
 
So, if your windows show any of these signs or you’d like to cut your energy bill down, or refinance your home — it’s time to take a good hard look at your windows. For a little more information about windows and energy-efficiency, I encourage you to download out our FREE “Windows Buying Guide” E-book! Full of hearty information that will provide you with a little more clarity on how you can cut costs and save money.
 
 
 
 

PRO: Management Tips For Running an Effective Team

What’s up, pros? Once again, I hope business is well, and life is treating you good. We’re nearly at the forefront of Summer, which means long days, and even longer nights – perfect for getting things done.

Today, I’d like to like to give you some tips for running an effective team. Now, as I’m sure you know, finding good help is pretty much a rarity nowadays. Recent generations, mine specifically, are clueless to what a hard-days-work truly means.

But, for this post’s sake, we’re going to assume that you’ve acquired a heartfelt, diligent bunch that’s ready to get to the nitty gritty and make some money while ensuring a quality product. So, with that in mind, what are some things you can to run an effective team?

Management Tips: Lead by Example

This is fundamental with any leadership position. You simply cannot enforce rules without abiding by them, as well. Yes, you’re the head honcho, but if you want to be seen and respected as such, you need to make sure that you’re following the guidelines that you’ve drawn out.

If you tell your crew to be at job site by 8:30, you should be there at 8. If you tell them there are certain deadlines to meet for certain tasks, you should bust your butt to make sure those get done. A leader is defined by the energy and effort put in, not necessarily how well demands can be dictated. Just a little food for thought.

management tips

Management Tips: Create Incentives

With any type of work, in any industry, it’s nice to receive affirmation for your efforts. To be recognized for your dedication and work ethic is something people appreciate. Period. Providing incentives for achieving specific goals is one of those ways to show your team that you value them. If you can, provide bonuses. If a job is met well before deadline then that means you and your team have exceeded expectations, so if you’re willing, dish out a monetary pat on the back.

But showing your appreciation doesn’t have to be by way of additional monies. A simple “Good job” or “Nice work today, guys,” will do just the same. In essence, get creative with your incentives, and I promise that the outcome will be greatly beneficial, on all fronts.

management tips

Management Tips: Allow Your Employees To Thrive

It goes without saying that you should get to know the people that work for you, better yet, with you. In doing so, you gain insight to each individual’s strengths and weaknesses, and the tasks you give to each specific member of your team should reflect your knowledge base. For example, if Tim has vocally said that he cannot stand painting ceilings, then it’s probably best not to give him this task. It’s a fact that people do better when they have a passion, a liking to what they’re doing. 

Take me, for example. I cannot stand math. Words are my staple. If I was given 15 math problems to work out right now, you’d be lucky to get me to even look at them. I’m liable to crumple the piece of paper and practice my beer pong shot. Point blank. Swish.

So, let your employees thrive by assigning them tasks that they enjoy. It’s just a more effective, more efficient way of getting things done. Once again, you’ll appreciate the outcome.

management tips

Management Tips: Why So Serious?

Work is usually just that, work. You rise from your bed, brush your teeth, take a shower, and head to your place of occupation day-in and day-out, and at times, this can seem a bit monotonous. But, it doesn’t have to be that way.

Give the morale and general atmosphere a bit of focus. Pay attention to your employees, their banter, what they’re saying, their concerns, and what they aspire to do. Truly get to know them, have conversations with them and try to get to a place where you know them on a more personal level. Yes, business is business, but it doesn’t have to be serene 700% percent of the time. It’s okay to cut up, make jokes, rag on each other, and enjoy each other’s company. Think of how much time you all spend together.

management tips

Do you really want it to be a constant state of “business-as-usual,” or would you rather have some fun while getting stuff done at the same time? I thought so.

Don’t be afraid to have a good time with your team. It will instill positivity like you wouldn’t believe, when your employees also become your friends. It’s a matter of respect, loyalty, and communication that will inevitably result into a true, effective nature of the business you run.

management tips

Alright, y’all. That’s all I have for the moment, but I think it would be good for this particular post to be a two-parter. There’s simply so much to cover. Anyway, I hope this enlightened you at least a little bit and that you establish a true connection with your team. Be safe this summer, y’all, and stay blessed!

What to Expect When You’re Expecting a Kitchen Remodel

If you’re reading this, you’re most likely considering a kitchen remodel, or you’re about to begin one. Either way, being prepared is always the best way to go. Some people have an idea of what they expect to encounter in a kitchen remodel, but it’s not always accurate. So, we’re going to go over exactly what you can expect when working with a designer and getting a kitchen installation.

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Using a Designer for a Kitchen Remodel

You may think it’s expensive to use a professional kitchen designer for your kitchen remodel. That’s not the case, at least when you work with Builders Surplus! Our design services are FREE! So, unless you’re an expert, there is no reason not to use these amazing services. They will help you find the product lines that fit your wants and needs, help you stay within budget, and alert you to any issues that may arise with any desired layout changes and help you find solutions. Here’s how the process works.

1. Initial Consultation

This meeting occurs in Builders Surplus location. In this meeting, budget is determined, as well as cabinet door style and what kind of design aesthetic you’re looking for, if you have not already decided. Product lines will be discussed and you will learn the differences in them. What is most durable, eco-friendly, budget friendly, etc.

2. Measurements

If you have your own measurements, we can get started on your design, but measurements will need to be done by us for us to guarantee the fit. If you are using your own installers, they will need to guarantee the fit for you. Measurements are VERY important in making sure your design comes out perfectly.

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3. Design is Generated

Depending on kitchen size, complexity and number of people ahead of you waiting for designs, your time frame for receiving this can vary between 1-3 weeks. Initial layout is generated based on the info given in step 1 and 2. This is done in a computer system that allows you to see a 3D image of your desired kitchen with the products you choose for your kitchen remodel. HOW COOL!

4. Reviews and Changes

You could have 1 to 2 additional rounds of changes and revisions. The more up front information you can give your designer about your preferences and budget, the more accurate your initial design will be, meaning there are fewer changes to make, and you can start your kitchen remodel sooner.

5. Products are Ordered & Delivered

Take home your in stock products or arrange for quick pickup. The rest will be delivered to your home or to our store (Depending on your cabinet line) in around 4 weeks. About 1 week before your delivery, your designer will be in touch with you to make sure your installation or pick up/delivery are on schedule. During delivery, it is possible that damage can occur to your products. Please be aware of this. This could delay your kitchen remodel a bit as the manufacturer will need to send replacements. Manufacturer backorders do happen occasionally as well.

    • TIP: While you are waiting for your cabinets to arrive, start preparing your temporary kitchen or easy to prepare meals (if you are also ordering custom countertops).
    • TIP: Please have cabinet hardware in your possession before your cabinet installation date, otherwise we will not be able to install.

 

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Kitchen Remodel Installation

Many people aren’t really sure exactly what takes place during an installation. The most important thing I can tell  you is that this is a PROCESS, not an EVENT. Keeping that in mind will put your expectations in the right place and allow for a more enjoyable remodeling experience.

6. Installation is Scheduled

It is not necessary that you be home during the entire installation process, but you will be required to be there to let the team in and at the end of the process for the final walk through so that you can verify the job is completed to your standards and sign the final paperwork. Please note that because unforeseen issues can arise, it could change the install date, so keep this in mind when deciding to use vacation days or take off work for the entire process.

7. Cabinet Installation

Installations are typically completed within 2 days, depending on size of kitchen. Please note that we do not connect or disconnect plumbing for appliances. Our installers are not certified plumbers, so take care of this beforehand.

  • NOTE: Door and drawer fronts will typically be crooked and not lined up during installation. They will fix this at the end of the process.
  • NOTE: There will be dust, debris, and trash. Your installer will do their best to limit this, but is a part of the process. A good installer will clean up at the end of each day.

 

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8.Countertop Template

When your cabinet installation is completed, your countertops can be templated. The installer will let your designer know what date the cabinet installation is being done so that templating can be set up. It could take up to 2 weeks to get your template done depending on which countertops you’re getting. Your sinks and faucets will need to be in your possession and all cabinets must be attached to the walls in order for this step to take place.

  • NOTE: Because templating cannot be done until every cabinet is installed in it’s final position, if any of your cabinets were damaged in transit, this can delay this step.

 

9. Countertop Installation

Time frames can vary depending on the countertop you’ve chosen for your kitchen remodel. In Stock granite can be installed within 1 week. In Stock laminate is installed by kitchen installer during cabinet installation. Custom countertops are installed anywhere from 10 days to 4 weeks. This depends on the season and the schedule of the installers. Be prepared to live without countertops for a month. See our blog on setting up a temporary kitchen. Preparing in advance can make this time much easier and eliminate stress for your family. Sinks and faucets will still need to be connected by a plumber after this step.

10. Backsplash Installation

This typically takes another 2 days.
After Backsplash is installed, you should be complete, unless your installers would be installing your cabinet hardware. If you are getting flooring installation done, that would be your first step before any of this occurs.
That’s about it folks! I hope we’ve covered this process to your liking and that it makes your kitchen remodel go smoother knowing what to expect!

top backsplash ideas for your home kitchen remodel


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. We hope you’ll check back in for our next article! Happy Renovation!

Written By: Allie Bloyd

What to Expect When You’re Expecting a Kitchen Remodel

If you’re reading this, you’re most likely considering a kitchen remodel, or you’re about to begin one. Either way, being prepared is always the best way to go. Some people have an idea of what they expect to encounter in a kitchen remodel, but it’s not always accurate. So, we’re going to go over exactly what you can expect when working with a designer and getting a kitchen installation.

Contact-Designer-Shop-Ad

Using a Designer for a Kitchen Remodel

You may think it’s expensive to use a professional kitchen designer for your kitchen remodel. That’s not the case, at least when you work with Builders Surplus! Our design services are FREE! So, unless you’re an expert, there is no reason not to use these amazing services. They will help you find the product lines that fit your wants and needs, help you stay within budget, and alert you to any issues that may arise with any desired layout changes and help you find solutions. Here’s how the process works.

1. Initial Consultation

This meeting occurs in Builders Surplus location. In this meeting, budget is determined, as well as cabinet door style and what kind of design aesthetic you’re looking for, if you have not already decided. Product lines will be discussed and you will learn the differences in them. What is most durable, eco-friendly, budget friendly, etc.

2. Measurements

If you have your own measurements, we can get started on your design, but measurements will need to be done by us for us to guarantee the fit. If you are using your own installers, they will need to guarantee the fit for you. Measurements are VERY important in making sure your design comes out perfectly.

3. Design is Generated

Depending on kitchen size, complexity and number of people ahead of you waiting for designs, your time frame for receiving this can vary between 1-3 weeks. Initial layout is generated based on the info given in step 1 and 2. This is done in a computer system that allows you to see a 3D image of your desired kitchen with the products you choose for your kitchen remodel. HOW COOL!

4. Reviews and Changes

You could have 1 to 2 additional rounds of changes and revisions. The more up front information you can give your designer about your preferences and budget, the more accurate your initial design will be, meaning there are fewer changes to make, and you can start your kitchen remodel sooner.

5. Products are Ordered & Delivered

Take home your in stock products or arrange for quick pickup. The rest will be delivered to your home or to our store (Depending on your cabinet line) in around 4 weeks. About 1 week before your delivery, your designer will be in touch with you to make sure your installation or pick up/delivery are on schedule. During delivery, it is possible that damage can occur to your products. Please be aware of this. This could delay your kitchen remodel a bit as the manufacturer will need to send replacements. Manufacturer backorders do happen occasionally as well.

    • TIP: While you are waiting for your cabinets to arrive, start preparing your temporary kitchen or easy to prepare meals (if you are also ordering custom countertops).
    • TIP: Please have cabinet hardware in your possession before your cabinet installation date, otherwise we will not be able to install.

 

Kitchen Cabinets-Shop-Ad

 

Kitchen Remodel Installation

Many people aren’t really sure exactly what takes place during an installation. The most important thing I can tell  you is that this is a PROCESS, not an EVENT. Keeping that in mind will put your expectations in the right place and allow for a more enjoyable remodeling experience.

6. Installation is Scheduled

It is not necessary that you be home during the entire installation process, but you will be required to be there to let the team in and at the end of the process for the final walk through so that you can verify the job is completed to your standards and sign the final paperwork. Please note that because unforeseen issues can arise, it could change the install date, so keep this in mind when deciding to use vacation days or take off work for the entire process.

7. Cabinet Installation

Installations are typically completed within 2 days, depending on size of kitchen. Please note that we do not connect or disconnect plumbing for appliances. Our installers are not certified plumbers, so take care of this beforehand.

  • NOTE: Door and drawer fronts will typically be crooked and not lined up during installation. They will fix this at the end of the process.
  • NOTE: There will be dust, debris, and trash. Your installer will do their best to limit this, but is a part of the process. A good installer will clean up at the end of each day.

8.Countertop Template

When your cabinet installation is completed, your countertops can be templated. The installer will let your designer know what date the cabinet installation is being done so that templating can be set up. It could take up to 2 weeks to get your template done depending on which countertops you’re getting. Your sinks and faucets will need to be in your possession and all cabinets must be attached to the walls in order for this step to take place.

  • NOTE: Because templating cannot be done until every cabinet is installed in it’s final position, if any of your cabinets were damaged in transit, this can delay this step.

 

9. Countertop Installation

Time frames can vary depending on the countertop you’ve chosen for your kitchen remodel. In Stock granite can be installed within 1 week. In Stock laminate is installed by kitchen installer during cabinet installation. Custom countertops are installed anywhere from 10 days to 4 weeks. This depends on the season and the schedule of the installers. Be prepared to live without countertops for a month. See our blog on setting up a temporary kitchen. Preparing in advance can make this time much easier and eliminate stress for your family. Sinks and faucets will still need to be connected by a plumber after this step.

10. Backsplash Installation

This typically takes another 2 days.
After Backsplash is installed, you should be complete, unless your installers would be installing your cabinet hardware. If you are getting flooring installation done, that would be your first step before any of this occurs.
That’s about it folks! I hope we’ve covered this process to your liking and that it makes your kitchen remodel go smoother knowing what to expect!

top backsplash ideas for your home kitchen remodel


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. We hope you’ll check back in for our next article! Happy Renovation!

Written By: Allie Bloyd

Fun DIY: 8 Ways to Use Your Old Doors

Hi, Everyone! When replacing your interior or exterior doors, you can often wonder what to do with the old doors you’re leaving behind. Well, lucky for you, we have some great ideas that will help you make up your mind! Don’t be limited to these ideas, though. The options are endless!

Projects Using Old Doors

 

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1. Turning your doors into a leaning shelf

This first idea is a fantastic one! I should know, I’ve made one myself! To do this project, you not only need to have some old doors, but also some knowledge of power tools as it takes slightly more skill than the other projects. You want to make sure that you wear all safety gear and have someone knowledgeable help you if you’re not sure you can do this one all on your own. See how to do this project in our How To Video!

How to build a rustic door shelf by builders surplus

Click to see how to create this shelf!

2. Using old doors as an entryway tree

This is a great idea that doesn’t take too much work! You can take a single door, or two that you connect, and add a box or bench in front. You’ll add some crown moulding to the top, and some hooks for your bags and jackets! You can make it as simple or as elaborate as you want! See some ideas of entryway tree’s here!

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3. Turning your old doors into a photo collage

This is such a sweet idea if you are replacing a full-lite door. Make a statement and put all your beautiful memories on display by turning your door into a photo collage! This how to from PhotogMommie, Mary Jane, will show you how to do it yourself!

Photo Collage from Old Doors

Photo Credit: Photog Mommie, Mary Jane

4. Turning old doors into a desk or table

This is an awesome way to repurpose your old doors! Turn it into a table or desk! If you are wanting a solid surface to write on, I recommend that you get some class to sit on top, otherwise it works great as is! Click here to see how to do it yourself, step by step!

Door Desk from Old Doors

5. Using old doors as a drink station

This is such a great way to use your old doors! The author at Finding Home Farms (www.findinghomefarms.com) made this incredible drink station! Use it outdoors or indoors, make it more modern or rustic as this one is, shown below. You only need a few simple pieces to make it perfect!

Photo Credit: Finding Home Farms – Drink Station

6. Old doors for a Rustic Wedding Entrance

This is such a beautiful ideas for a rustic outdoor, or even indoor, wedding. Every bride needs a perfect entrance. That walk symbolizes her exit from her old life and her entrance into a new one. The doors at the beginning of the aisle is a great way to make the symbolism real. Nothing says rustic or boho like some old doors!

Click here to see more!

 

7. Old doors as a Garden Entrance

I absolutely love this idea! It is so “Secret Garden”. Make the entrance to your garden whimsical and magical by adding a old door covered in vines. Beautiful, right?!

Click here to see more!

8. Turn your doors into a Crafty Chalkboard

What a fun idea! Whether you use this on an outdoor shed like the photo shown, or in a playroom for your kids, using chalkboard paint over the flat surface on your door makes it a perfect chalkboard. Write to-do lists, fun, inspirational messages, or reminders. Whatever you choose, the idea is a great one!

Click here to see more!

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Signamark-Doors-Builders Surplus Louisville Cincinnati Newport Kentuckysliding-barn-door-style-featuredFeatured-Image-Door-Desk-DIY-Desk-Builders-Surplushow-to build a rustic door shelf by Builders SurplusI hope you’ve gotten some great ideas! Which one will you try after you replace your doors? 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 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. We hope you’ll check back in for our next article! Happy Renovation!

Written By: Allie Bloyd

Bathroom Remodel for Seniors: What to Consider

Today we’ll cover how to complete a bathroom remodel for seniors, or what to consider before starting on this project. Having your elderly or disabled loved ones in the home is very important to many people. To do this requires a bit of planning to make sure that the spaces in the home will accommodate their needs. Here are several things you should consider when planning a bathroom remodel for seniors.

10 Things To Remember in a Bathroom Remodel for Seniors:

Find a Faucet with Levers

Twisting and turning knobs can be difficult for seniors due to arthritis or other conditions that weakens the hands. Plan ahead even if this is not the case at the current time to save money later on. You can find many attractive faucets with levers instead of knobs. You could probably DIY this if you’re handy or you could consult with a plumber if you’re unsure about it.
aging-loved-ones bathroom remodel for seniors

Install Textured tile

Because tile can be very slippery, consider installing a textured, or less slick tile on the bathroom floor. This would mean staying away from polished porcelain and other polished tiles. We have a brick tile option that is comfortable on the feet, but provides a good grip as well. When thinking about a bathroom remodel for seniors, preventing falls is of the utmost importance.

Add Bath Mats and Rugs Wherever Necessary

Going back to the same point of preventing falls, take the additional precaution and add rugs and mats wherever possible. This means in the bath or shower for grip, in front of the toilet where someone would be pulling themselves up, or in front of a vanity where you can be standing for an extended period. Not only is it safer, it is easier on the feet. A rug by the bath tub can also be easier for a caregiver who may stay on their needs while assisting their loved one in bathing.

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 Grab Rails are your Friend

Many people hate grab rails, due to their industrial feel. However, they are quite necessary for the elderly. You can disguise some as towel holders or on the side of your vanity, or by the toilet paper holder. It’s important to have them by the toilet to allow someone to safely lower down and pull themselves up. Having one in the shower or bath is also critical to safely entering or holding themselves up if they are feeling shaky. You can also find grab rails in so many colors these days that you can easily make them blend in with the overall design of the bathroom. We recommend texture on the rails as well. These rails will typically support 250-300 pounds. These rails can also be a benefit for caregivers as well.

Grab Rails Bathroom For Elderly

Get a sprayer attachment for your shower-head.

Shower heads that detach and spray can make bathing much easier for a variety of reasons. First, you or your loved one can sit down while bathing. Standing for long periods can become difficult for seniors and this would be a great benefit as it means more independence. It also makes it easier if you need to assist in bathing.

Make sure the toilet is high enough

A few inches in toilet hight can be a big deal for seniors that have a hard time lowering down. You can get a taller seat, or a taller toilet in general. This is usually great for everyone in the family!

Toilet-handle comfort height toilet

Walk-in bathtub and Curbless Showers

These are crucial for those in wheelchairs and those who can’t easily lift their legs. When you have a walk in shower with no curb, it can be a much easier process for the senior and the caregiver. Walk in bath tubs are so easy to get into, and much safer, as you don’t have to step higher than you are comfortable doing. They have many options for walk in bath tubs these days, and qualified contractors can install your shower with ease.

Create Soft Lighting

Sensitivity to light is something many people experience as they age. Make the bathroom a place where your loved one not only feels comfortable, but a place they can easily see. It’s important that if they need to grab a bar or sit down, the don’t have a glare in their way. Well placed sconces can often achieve this goal. You could also consider adding high windows for natural light if you’re doing a serious remodel. Natural light is always easier on the eyes.

Make Sure You Have Space

Space is crucial for easy mobility. Whether you or your loved one have a wheelchair now, you could in the future so it’s always best to plan ahead. Wide doorways and an open space in the bathroom that would allow for easy turning and getting to the areas you need will be a huge benefit to you.

Spacious-Bathroom remodel for elderly

Make Sure Everything is in Reach

If you’re installing a spraying shower head, you could choose a longer hose with a lower anchor. Buy a shower caddy for the toiletries so you can easily move them around as needed. A folding bathroom seat stored within reach can be helpful if you or a loved one is having difficulty standing up while bathing.
We hope these tips have helped you when planning a bathroom remodel for seniors!

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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. We hope you’ll check back in for our next article! Happy Renovation!

Written By: Allie Bloyd

Should You Upgrade to Hardwood Floors Before Selling?

Home sellers can get more money for the sale of their home if they can make their home’s interior and exterior as attractive as possible, such as upgrading to hardwood floors. To boost their property’s value, many homeowners will choose to make small renovations or upgrades before selling their home. In many homes, flooring upgrades are one way that home sellers can make their property more appealing to buyers.

Advantages of Remodeling Before Selling

There are many good reasons to remodel your home before selling it!

  • Hardwood floors are attractive and therefore make staging easier.
  • New flooring can boost offers from home buyers.
  •  Hardwood floors are a hot item that can help sell your home more quickly.

ROI of Hardwood Floors

  • Hardwood floors can be expensive to install. For a typical home, installing new hardwood floors can cost around $4,400. However, the majority of home buyers are willing to pay more for homes with hardwood floors, which can make the expense worthwhile. The best ways to maximize the ROI for your hardwood flooring includes:
  • Have the hardwood floors installed by a knowledgeable, experienced licensed contractor.
  • Take good care of the hardwood floors after they’re installed. Use rugs and furniture pads to protect the floor from scratches.
  • Install hardwood floors that look right with the rest of the interior decor.

hardwood floors 

Which Homes Need A Flooring Upgrade

You’ll know if your home needs a flooring upgrade if:

  • Your flooring is very dated. Carpet of a dated color or made from a dated style can be a turn off to home buyers.
  • Your home’s current flooring is damaged in some way. Some home buyers are reluctant to buy a home that has obvious cosmetic defects. Others will buy a home with cosmetic defects, but will use the defects as a negotiating tool, which can result in a reduced profit at the time of sale.
  • Your home has carpet and you have pets. Carpet can absorb pet hair and pet odors, which can make a home less desirable for anyone with allergies. Hardwood floor is far more hypoallergenic.

Other homes in your area have wood floors. It’s no secret that hardwood floors top the wish lists of buyers. When competing for buyers, it is important to at least match the desirable features of other comparable homes for sale.

hardwood floors

Getting Started With Your Remodel

  • Once you’ve decided to upgrade your home’s flooring, you’ll have decisions to make. Making smart choices at the time of the remodel can help you maximize your return on investment when it’s time to sell.
  • Pick the right wood stain for your home. You’ll need to choose between a dark, medium or light colored stain in your home. Often dark stains work best in homes with a lot of natural light and light colored furniture. Light colored stains work well in homes with medium or dark colored walls, or in parts of the home with little natural light.
  • Hire a licensed contractor to get the job done right. Hiring a qualified contractor to install your home’s hardwood floors will help ensure a good quality installation that will maximize your investment.
  • Meet with many contractors to get the best bid. Meet with a variety of contractors to get bids from several different companies before picking the right contractor for your needs. Shopping around will help you minimize your expenses during the flooring installation, which will help you maximize your profits at the time of sale.
  •  Get started many months before you plan to sell your home. This will help ensure that you have enough time to get the flooring finished before it’s time to put your home on the market.

hardwood floors

Consult With A Real Estate Agent

An experienced real estate agent will help you decide whether or not new flooring is right for your home. To find out whether or not hardwood floors are right for your needs before it’s time to sell your property, consult with your real estate agent to find out whether or not your home could compete better or bring in more profits with this change.

hardwood floors

By: Preston Guyton
Preston Guyton is the managing partner of CRG Companies, Inc., a custom home design, construction and real estate firm with three locations along the Grand Strand. They offer eco-friendly homebuilding solutions, design services and agents to help with the home buying and selling process.

Countertop Materials Compared

Hello, everyone! So, today I’d like to talk a little bit about countertop materials. There’s the always-cool Quartz, the greatness that is Granite, the lovely-though-inexpensive Laminate, and the beautiful Butcher Block. Each are lovely, but they definitely have different characteristics about them that set them apart. In this blog post, we’ll sort through those subtle differences and compare them!

Countertop Materials: Quartz

Ah, Quartz. This man-made engineered stone is formed by a combination of ground quartz, which is a natural hard mineral, and polymers and pigments. This mixture performs a very tough, very hard surface, and the visuals are beautiful:
Durability: EXTRA. DURABLE. Some of us are pretty tough in the kitchen, like yours truly, and accidents tend to happen more of than not. Quartz is very forgiving in that short of beating a blender to it a couple hundred times, you’ll be free of cracks, scratches or dents. It’s also extremely heat resistant.  This is the most durable of all countertop materials. It’s also antibacterial which is a huge bonus.

countertop materials

                                 Tritium                                                                Click for more details!

Looks: Quartz sports a very glossy sheen to its surface in most cases, which you’ll find extremely attractive. It can also be found in a matte finish. It’s rich, luxurious, and compliments any setting that it’s in.

countertop materials

                                   Toffee                                                                 Click for more details!

Colors: Because it’s manmade, there is every color under the sun available. Nearly every color that this countertop has to offer will amaze you. We carry some awesome colors like Cool Naranja (Bright Orange) or natural colors like Pacific, featured below.

countertop materials

                                   Pacific                                                                 Click for more details!

Price: At Builders Surplus, we carry the finest brands of countertops, including Silestone, Cambria and VICOSTONE. Right now, you can get this gorgeous countertop material for as low as $50-$120 per square foot, depending on the brand and color you choose.

countertop materials

                                 Kalahari                                                                Click for more details!

 

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Countertop Materials: Granite

Granite may possibly be my favorite countertop material, and one of the reasons is that you can use this surface like it IS an actual rock. It’s very durable and very beautiful. However, it does require a little extra maintenance as far as sealing goes. It’s a porous stone, so it can be stained if it’s not sealed properly.
Durability: Seriously, rock solid. It’s Superman strong. However, it’s not quite as durable as quartz. It’s pretty heat and scratch resistant, so that’s a huge plus.

countertop materials

countertop materials

Verde Butterfly                                                        Click for more details!

Looks: Granite shows the grains in the stone. They appear as specks or veins that blend in with the consistency of the entire slab, and because of this, there can be a variety of colors displayed in one countertop. I personally love this trait.

countertop materials

                                Juparana                                                         Click for more details!

Colors: Like I just mentioned, each slab is a little different with the grain and consistency. Granite is formed by igneous rock, so it also gives you that feel, that texture that’s really sought after in kitchen designs. In store, we carry the likes of Verde Butterfly or Black Crystal. However, we carry many more custom granite colors so that you can find exactly what you’re looking for!

countertop materials

                         Diamond Flower                                                   Click for more details!

Price: We have a plethora of beautiful pieces, all at a very nice price. For example, at Builders Surplus, you can get this countertop material FULLY INSTALLED starting at just $39.99 per square foot! Prices will vary depending on the color you choose.

countertop materials

Black Crystal                                                          Click for more details!

 

Countertop Materials: Laminate

Now, there are some that won’t bother with laminate because they deem it “too cheap,” but I can assure you that the material we carry is everything but. The attractiveness of Laminate is definitly there, but at an affordable price. But, what’s wrong for a paying little and receiving a lot, right? It’s like we said, “it is the perfect balance between budget and style.”
Durability: It goes without saying that Laminate isn’t nearly as durable as Quartz or Granite, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to crack if you set a soda can on top of it. They’re made from layers and layers of particleboard to create a complete, solid surface. It’s not very heat resistant, though, so beware.

countertop materials

                          Lapidus-Brown                                                       Click for more details!

Looks: The cool thing about Laminate is that they can be made to imitate other, more elaborate countertop materials, specifically granite, wood or even stainless steel. Pretty neat if you ask me. They won’t have the glossy finish that most of the natural stone will have, but it will still have a nice gleam to it.

countertop materials

                                Jamocha                                                             Click for more details!

Colors: Once again, we have a variety of colors. We carry several options in stock and then we also have a plethora of colors available for custom order. You can definitly get any look you’re searching for in one way or another.  I’ll say this, though, this countertop material definitely tends to have a more of a solid color base than other materials, simply because of its genetic makeup.

countertop materials

                             Constantine                                                          Click for more details!

Price: Definitely an affordable piece of countertop. Perfect for fitting in to any type of budget, the price point tends to be a defining feature. Especially when it comes to full remodels. This countertop material typically ranges from $10-$20 per square foot.

Countertop Materials: Butcher Block

Of the list, this is my second favorite. This countertop material is available as a custom order option, and boy let me tell ya, it’s awesome. Ever watch those cooking shows where a chef is just slicing-and-dicing on what looks like the biggest cutting board you’ve ever seen in your life? Welcome to the Butcher Block, a cook’s pride and joy.

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Durability: Now, it is wood, so keep that in mind. Unless you like the look of a used cutting board, and some do, you should still consider using a cutting board to prepare your meals. But still, it’s tough and the longevity is pretty impressive, but you have to take care of it.
Looks: It’s wood, you know what I mean? It’s that classic, timeless appearance that literally fits with any style. But it definitely compliments the traditional, rustic, and country-village looks, giving off that warm, soothing feeling.

countertop materials

Colors: Wood is porous, so if you order this countertop material in an unfinished style, you can always stain it to the color of your liking before applying a sealer. However, most butcher block countertops will already come with a stain and sealer on them. They may required to be resealed over the years. Note: You’re going to want apply a sealer on this. You don’t want Tuesday’s spaghetti sauce to be a defining feature.
Price: Like I mentioned before, this is available as a custom order product, but typically these countertops tend to range from $50-100 per square foot. It’s definitely worth the price in my opinion.
Well, there you have it! A comparison of the top countertop materials and their pros and cons. However, if you have any other questions related to countertop materials, don’t hesitate to let us know. As a leading countertop material provider in Louisville and Cincinnati, we’re always here to help!

A Guide to Choosing the Perfect Baseboard

There are many instances during a remodel that could potentially stump someone. One of those are undoubtedly how to choose the perfect baseboard that should go within a room. There’s only about two things you kind of need to watch out for, but for the most part, there aren’t any strict guidelines or things of that nature.
Today, I’m going to detail a couple elements about a baseboard, the materials used to make them, and then show a a few different, popular styles that have been used throughout the years. First off, let’s talk about the materials that you can purchase a baseboard.
 

Baseboard Materials

There are four primary materials that can makeup a baseboard: MDF, Primed Pine, Pine, and Oak.
Primed Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF): So, this stuff is pre-primed for that even consistency you’re looking for. Otherwise, if you’re painting, you’re going to have to put a couple of coats on it.
Primed Pine: Naturally wood-based; also pre-primed
Pine: Excellent thing about pine is its versatility – paint it, stain it, or just clear coat it.
Oak: Probably the most tried-and-true traditional hardwood moulding. Oak is well-known for its natural grain look, but it can also be stained, varnished, or clear coated.
 
 
baseboard Louisville Cincinnati
 
 
So, there are 5 types of baseboard styles that you should be aware of – Traditional, Country, Victorian, Arts & Crafts (Craftsman) & Modern.

Traditional Style Baseboard

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with tradition. It’s like oak, tried-and-true, and nearly always prevails. This style provides you with a seemingly common look that you honestly can’t go wrong with. It’s function has been perfected, the use of shorter boards gives depth to the ceiling, and you’re with a lovely look.
 
 
baseboard Louisville Cincinnati
 

Country Style Baseboard

This style tends to be a bit taller and is often accompanied by quarter-round to really emphasize the depth of this finishing piece.
 
 
baseboard Louisville Cincinnati
 

Victorian Style Baseboard

Ah, very majestic, indeed. This is probably my favorite style simply because of the intricate detail, much like the Craftsman. It’s pretty gaudy, but then again look what style we’re talking about. I just appreciate its high frame, and the fact that you can’t help but to appreciate the sophistication.
 
 
baseboard Louisville Cincinnati
 

Arts & Crafts Style Baseboard

Also known as the ‘Craftsman’ style, this one boasts curvature and, well, craftsmanship in its design. It’s ability to express lines and draw the eye is this style’s genetic makeup. It’s not subtle. It does not want to hide.
This is the popular kid at the high school with his shades on and one foot backed against a locker, eyeing the girls that walk down the hall. Smooth, yet edgy.
 
 
baseboard Louisville Cincinnati
 

Modern Style Baseboard

Sleek. Elegant. Smooth. I’ll be honest, this style is NICE. But, it’s largely due to the work put into it that makes it so. Typically, if you take something that’s usually of neutral color — like white — and sand it smooth, paint it a darker color, and apply some clear coat, it’s going to look modernized. And that’s exactly how you achieve this style.
 
 
 
baseboard Louisville Cincinnati
 

A General Rule of Thumb for Baseboards

Generally speaking, the higher the ceiling, the taller the baseboard. If you don’t use this rule, you’ll end up minimizing your room, and that’s the last thing you want to do. An exception to this “rule” is if you’re trying to pull of a more contemporary style.
In this instance, it is best to go for a shorter baseboard, simply because of its sleek look.


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, tile, flooring, windows and doors in Louisville, Newport, and Cincinnati. We specialize in interior design, kitchen design, bathroom remodel, building materials, and home improvement. Interior Design comes 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. 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, home improvement pros & 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

Jeffrey Alexander Cabinet Hardware: Feel The Luxury

Hello, everyone! Cabinets are, no doubt, one of the most defining features in a kitchen or bathroom remodel, right? Today, I’d like to talk about something that greatly accentuates the look of your cabinets — the hardware — and specifically, Jeffrey Alexander hardware.

The Most Luxurious Cabinet Hardware

Alright, so maybe I’m a bit biased, sure, but cabinet hardware by Jeffrey Alexander has some of the most beautiful styles and collections that I’ve ever seen. And I mean that quite literally. Ever since I was eight, I’ve been working with my father in his home remodeling business, and I’ve come across some pretty neat stuff as far as accessories are concerned, but these collections are downright jaw-dropping, awe-inspiring..you name it. They’re simply wonderful.

cabinet hardware

They’re also incredibly unique in their design, too. You won’t find many, if any, cookie cutter elements to these pieces. If you’re wanting to make your kitchen or bathroom standout, enriched in design and elemental enticing aesthetics, then stop what you’re doing. And head here.

Quite Affordable Cabinet Hardware

You all know the old adage: You get what you pay for. If there’s anything I’ve learned to be 100% absolutely true within the past century of my existence, it is that. If you want to go out and buy an $.89 cabinet knob, then so be it. But you can’t complain when it falls off or scratches or the day after you put it up someone says, “yeah, um, those look God-awful.”

cabinet hardware

cabinet hardware

Fact is, if you’re trying to achieve a sophisticated, luxurious look, you’re going to pay sophisticated, luxurious money. Porsche 911’s aren’t $20,000 for a reason. They sport the sleekest designs and have the performance packages down to a literal science. But it comes at a cost. I say all of that to say this, Jeffrey Alexander kinda defies that line of thinking. No, they’re not under a dollar, but they’re pretty affordable, and booyyyyy, do you get what you pay for.

Cabinet Hardware For Days

Definitely one of my favorite things about JA. They have so much, maybe even too much, to choose from. I’m more inclined to go with the former on that one simply because I know that options are always a nice thing to have in the remodeling industry. But seriously, they have near countless collections. Plus, they’re manufactured by certain styles — rustic, contemporary, traditional, and ultra-modern.

So, no matter what the certain style you currently have in your bathroom or what you’re wanting to create, they have one just for you. It’s perfect.

They’re Growing

To top it all off, this line of cabinet hardware isn’t going anywhere. Hardware Resources, the company that manufactures these beauties, is THE fastest growing manufacturer of cabinet hardware in the United States. Sidenote: That’s another plus. They’re made right here in the good ole U.S. of A., which is always an important characteristic in my opinion.

cabinet hardware

But anyway, yeah, so the main line just continues to grow and grow, darn near exponentially, which means not only will the current styles be in store for a very long time, but there’s room for more unique, trendy designs to come forth. It’s just nice to know that you can fall and love, knowing they’re jot going anywhere.

So, there it is, folks. Four reasons why Jeffrey Alexander Cabinet Hardware is the best in the business. Also, if you are in the process of doing a kitchen remodel, let us know and we’ll set you up with a free kitchen design consultation with one of our experts! Hope to see y’all in the store sometime soon, but until then, be safe and stay blessed!


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. We hope you’ll check back in for our next article! Happy Renovation!
Written By: Chris Chamberlain

Pro: Social Media Tips for Remodeling Businesses

The world of marketing has shifted over the last decade, as I know all of you are aware. What you were doing 10-15 years ago is likely not as effective as it once was.
Digital is taking over the world, with social media the reigning king. While some may think that social media is just for teenagers, others may be well aware that it is an important facet of their marketing plan.
Whatever side of the fence you are on, you need to understand that in today’s marketplace, those who do not embrace this change will soon be left behind.
However, it can be scary and somewhat intimidating when trying to attack this new medium that you may have little experience with. I’m going to give you some social media tips that will help get you moving in the right direction!

Social Media Tips: #1

You can’t do it all.

As far as social media tips go, this is a big one. Choose a few platforms to do really well instead of being mediocre at all of them. One of the main reasons that social media can seem so intimidating is the fact that there are dozens of social media platforms, each with a different niche.
You can never be great at all of them. You need to think hard on this before you jump on the social media marketing bandwagon, because this can be the choice that brings success or failure to your efforts.
Some of the main platforms include: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Youtube, Vine, Tumblr (or any other blogging platform), Periscope, Google+, Houzz, Buffer, Delicious, Digg, Pinterest, Reddit, StumbledUpon, and many many more. In deciding the platforms that you’ll start with, ask yourself these 3 things:

social media tips
social media tips

  1. How much time or resources can I dedicate to this? If you are ready to fully commit, you can choose more platforms to tackle than if you can only dip your toes in the water. It is better to dominate one platform than to not make an impression on many.
  2. Who is your demographic and which social media platforms are they spending more time on? This is another question of key importance. If your demographic is between the ages of 45-55, you won’t have much success with Snapchat, or likely Vine. These platforms skew a much younger generation. Facebook has an older demographic, while Twitter is popular with a middle aged crowd. Do your research before getting started! You’ll be wasting time and resources if you don’t.
  3. Ask yourself what your key demographic would be looking for on these platforms. This greatly depends on your business. If you are in the Kitchen & Bath category, you know that there is a lot of information that goes into making the decision to remodel. If your audience would be craving information & clarity, you need to know. If they’re looking for design inspiration, you need to know, if they’re looking to know more about your specific business, you really need to know! Don’t give them what you THINK they want, give them what they want.

 

Social Media Tips: #2

Make a plan.

After you’ve done your initial research on the platform(s) that you should be focusing on, you need to make a plan. If you’ve decided that your audience wants information about product materials & design inspiration, you may have chosen to start a blog (on your website or Tumblr), to share this information on Facebook (The platform your demographic is using) and to share design inspiration on Pinterest (where your demographic goes to get ideas on style and trends).
Here are some social media tips on how to make your plan.

  • When to post. You now need to do research on the best times of day for the different platforms that you’ve chosen. This can have a big impact on your engagement, which is the point of your posts in the first place. Every industry is different, and those that like or follow your page will have their own habits of checking social media. There are many tools online that can help you with this. Sprout Social is a dashboard that will give you key information on your demographic’s habits. You can use IconoSquare for Instagram stats or TweetDeck for Twitter. If you spend some time digging, you can find anything you’re looking for.

social media tips

  • How often will you post? You want to make sure that you post consistently, but not TOO frequently. Those who will follow your social media accounts want to see action, or they will lose interest. There are different “rules” for each platform that you can find if you do your research.
  • Research competitors & businesses in similar industries. This will give you ideas on the type of content that may work for your audience. If you see certain types of posts with lots of engagement, take it as a sign that this audience is interested in what they’re being given. Adjust these concepts to make them your own. This is a “Hypothesize, Test, Repeat” kind of thing. You may not hit a homerun on your first try, but analyze what is working vs. what is not, and adjust accordingly. Doing your research up front on posts that are working for others will save you a lot of time in the end. Take a look at the hashtags that are being used by your audience and tie them into your posts! Make sure you link all posts back to your website, when at all possible. The point is not just to engage on social media, but to pull them into the buying funnel.

social media tips

  • Put it in writing (or typing). Now that you know where you’re posting, when you’re posting and what you’re posting, you need to set it in stone. Nothing great is ever accomplished without a plan. There are many templates online of content calendars for social media that you can edit in Excel or Google Sheets. They will have columns for all the key information that you’ll need to effectively plan you posts. You can opt for a social media dashboard like HootSuite, which will allow you to plan & schedule all of your posts (for most platforms) in advance. This will definitely save time. I recommend you take 1-2 hours each week getting all of your posts scheduled for peak posting time.

social media tips

Social Media Tips: #3:

Engage to get engagement.

This is probably one of the best social media tips. I’m sure that you’ve heard the saying “To have friends, you need to be a friend.” This concepts hold true in the world of social media. It is rare to get without giving in some way. Social media can be seen as a “Cocktail Party”.
When you think of it this way, it helps you understand the concept more clearly. When you’re at a cocktail party, you don’t simply go up to everyone you see and tell them why they need to buy from your company. That would be very inappropriate and in-your-face. The key is to network. You meet someone, have a great conversation with them, and let them know what you do. You become interested in what they do and how you can help them. When that person is in the market for your services, they may reach out to you, as they remember the positive interaction that you shared.

social media tips

They may even tell their friends about you! Keep this in mind as you embark on your social media journey. You need to genuinely be interested in the business or lives of others to get people interested in you. Seek out companies like yours or individuals in your demographic to follow or connect. Engage with their content and share your thoughts! This is the “introduction” at the cocktail party. Remember that this is a long term plan to increase awareness and sales in your business, and you will need to work at it in order for it to work for you.
Once your posts are scheduled for the week or the month, log on various times during the week to engage, or answer questions or comments directed at you. This is key in becoming successful in social media. I hope these social media tips helped! 

In our next article, we’ll dive a little bit deeper into social media marketing success. There is a lot to learn, but if you take it one step at a time, you will find that it not only gives you a great return on investment, but it will give you much deeper insight into what your customers are looking for. Until next time, pleasant posting!


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. We hope you’ll check back in for our next article! Happy Renovation

Written By: Allie Bloyd

Types of Molding and Why You Need Them

You know you’re just about done with a remodel when it’s time to start installing trim/molding. As we like to call it, you have begun the “finishing stages,” which unfortunately are the most tedious, attention-to-detail tasks that usually end up being very time consuming. But, this is for good reason — think of it as a blending process. Today, I’d like to discuss several types of molding and when and where to use them!
 

Scribe Molding

Scribe is essentially a thin strip of wood that runs along the edges of your cabinet to cover gaps, blemishes, and other inconsistencies where the cabinet meshes against the wall or the ceiling. It’s usually straight on one end and can be curved fit the contour of the cabinet. It’s used as a finishing touch and quite often makes the job look complete when installed correctly. Having gaps or scuff marks here and there may not seem like a biggie to larger remodels, but if they can be prevented or in this case, solved, the product will look near perfect.

 

Crown Molding

A very popular finishing touch that’s installed at the top edge of cabinets (hence, the name), but unlike scribe, crown moulding has an abundance of decorative options that can cater to any style or design. You could go with something simple, a piece with a few beveled edges, or something a little more gaudy, with elaborate, inlaid designs. Obviously, the the more intricate the design, the more expensive the crown is going to be. As far its importance, it’s mainly to bring a more sophisticated look to your design. And trust me, it works.
 
molding
 
 
 

 
 

 
 
 
 

Baseboard Molding

Probably the most important piece on this list, base molding is used to hide the gaps between flooring/tile and the walls encasing it. That is its main function, but as you can see, it definitely adds a certain decor and can be seen as a beautiful transition from floor to the wall. It hides the cracks, gaps, and drywall fringes and give a modern touch to the whole look.
 
 

 
 
 

Quarter Round Molding

It’s only fitting that this type is mentioned next after baseboards because they compliment each other. Yes, baseboards are seen as the transition, but installing quarter-round — which is almost like scribe, but thicker — is installed at the very bottom of the your baseboards, so it hides that gap AND the possible nail holes. Functional and decorative, quarter round is a must do if you’re looking for that perfect look.
 
 
molding
 

Chair Rail Molding

This piece of molding acts purely as a decorative and is usually accompanied by wainscoting — wooden paneling that lines the lower part of the walls of a room — but that’s not always the case. It’s also used to break up paint colors, if one is going for the two-toned look.
 
 
 

 

Casing

I’ll be honest with you, if your doors or windows don’t have casing on them, it’s going to look weird. Out of place. You might as well take the door off the hinges and use it as a beer pong table. It’d look better. Seriously, though, all jokes aside, casing is a pretty mandatory piece of trim. It doesn’t just enhance the look, it makes it. So, I have to say, if there’s any piece on here that you actually NEED, it’s this one.
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
molding
 
 
There ya go, folks. There’s a few very necessary types of molding that are essential to making your remodel legitimately look complete. I do hope I’ve given you a bit of insight into these finishing touches! And remember if you need a little bit of assistance with planning or want to schedule a free kitchen design consultation, click here! Hope to see you all in the store soon, but until then, be safe and stay blessed!
 


 
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. We hope you’ll check back in for our next article! Happy Renovation!
Written By: Chris Chamberlain
 
 
 

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