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

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

Well, what exactly is this secret stuff?

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

How durable is this ‘wood look tile’?

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

What does it cost?

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

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

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


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

What is LVT Flooring (Luxury Vinyl Tile) & Why Should I Care?

Luxury Vinyl Tile, commonly called LVT flooring, is one of the newer flooring products on the scene. Now, don’t let the word VINYL fool you. Most of the time, when people hear about vinyl flooring, they think of cheap linoleum sheets or unattractive vinyl tiles that were used in decades past. They weren’t the most durable and they defiantly weren’t the nicest to look at. LVT flooring is NOT this type of vinyl. Technological advances in flooring manufacturing have come such a long way in the last few years. The new class of vinyl, or LVT flooring, is some of the nicest looking flooring around. It is easy to install, durable, and most products are 100% waterproof. This makes it a favorite for commercial applications, residential installations and for contractors and handymen themselves. What hasn’t yet caught on quite as much is the consumers knowledge of this amazing product.
 
LVT Flooring On Sale
 

LVT Flooring Durability

LVT flooring is constructed using polyvinyl chloride, or PVC. This non-toxic property gives the material a firm yet elastic makeup. The material is said to be resilient because of its ability to compress and expand with contact instead of cracking. Obviously, this is something that you’d want in a flooring choice.
Luxury vinyl flooring is also protected by durable “wear layer” of urethane for maximum protection and orthopedic comfort. The thicker the wear layer is, the more durable the flooring to high foot traffic.
There are four layers fused together to create what we know as LVT flooring:

  1. The resilient vinyl backing (or cork backing)
  2. The vinyl color layer
  3. The photographic film layer which gives it’s appearance
  4. The urethane or aluminum oxide top layer. The protective top layer, which can also be referred to as the wear layer or mil layer is a very important component in the durability of LVT. Quality LVT products will have as high as a 40 mil layer. Commercial applications can successfully utilize 20 mil or above. Lower mil layers are available, but should be specified only for light traffic applications.

No matter which LVT product you choose, odds are, it’s very durable. They were created with durability in mind and you won’t need to shy away from it if you have pets, kids, furniture with sharp edges, or wear stiletto heels on a regular basis.
CoreTec LVT Flooring at Builders Surplus in Louisville, KY

LVT Flooring: A Vision Of Perfection

LVT Flooring can mimic so many other flooring options, such as tile or real hardwood. Most people cannot tell the difference. CoreTEC, one of our favorite LVT providers, has just come out with their HD line, which is actually etched and embossed, giving it and even more realistic look that the already realistic LVT on the market today. Because Luxury Vinyl flooring can be made to look like hardwoods, stone, ceramic tile, metal flooring, bamboo, marble, and more, the odds are there is a vinyl tile, plank, or sheet out there to match just about any flooring material you desire. Many high end designers are opting to have LVT in their offices and buildings. They could choose any flooring choice, they know all the pros and cons, yet they still choose LVT. That should tell you something.
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Drowning in Durability

One of the most sought after qualities, as well as the biggest improvement over your traditional vinyl flooring, is the face that LVT flooring is completely water and moisture resistant. You can literally let the planks or tiles sit in a bucket of water and it won’t warp, discolor, and the edges won’t lose their integrity. This is THE perfect flooring for basements, water prone areas like bathrooms, laundry rooms or mudrooms.
Homes in areas with risk of floods would be highly encouraged to look into this. Pet owners are also loving this fact, as no more ruined flooring because of an accident!
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A Quiet Confidence

Another great quality about SOME types of LVT flooring is the sound dampening cork back. You can find this in the CoreTEC plus line. This cork backing acts as a built in underlayment. This means that while it is a slight bump up from the cost of a CoreTEC One, you don’t have to buy an underlayment or take the time to put it down, so you’ve saved time and money already. In 2 story homes this sound dampening quality is crucial.
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Lay it Down Easy

In addition to all the other wonderful qualities of LVT flooring, this is probably the easiest flooring to install. Making it a great DIY project for those of you who like to get their hands dirty! The simple click and lock installation can be done in a breeze with no prior experience. We would always recommend watching a good youtube video first, though! It’s also able to be installed above or below grade. Yeah, we pretty much think it’s the perfect floor, too.

Features & Benefits Galore!

The features and benefits of LVT flooring are endless. Here is a list that the World Floor Covering Association put together to show all the features and benefits of LVT flooring:

LVT Features

  • Incredibly realistic photo replication of natural materials (photogravure process) –
  • Brands that offer 100% vinyl material
  • Inherent safety features
  • Ease of maintenance
  • Excellent selection of sizes, shapes
  • Naturally water resistant
  • Scratch, stain, dent and scuff resistant
  • Cost effective
  • Exceptional durability
  • Exceptional durability
  • More resilient than other hard surface floors
  • Amazing aesthetics

LVT Benefits

  • The look and feel of nature’s best materials at a lower cost are a reality of Luxury Vinyl Tile flooring manufacturing
  • Vinyl flooring satisfies Green building standards and earns LEED points in commercial applications.
  • Meets requirements of commercial flammability codes, slip resistant requirements…and a menu of other safety codes
  • Simple damp mopping is the recommended cleaning procedure for LVT floors
  • The size options vary by manufacturer, but many styles are available in 12 x 12”, 18 x 18”, 12 x 24” sizes, and planks in standard (3 x 36” 4.5 x 36) and extra-large widths (7 or 9’ widths).
  • LVT floors are inherently water resistant (and fairly impervious to wet spills from above).  It’s important to install over flat, dry, approved substrates so that no water seepage occurs beneath the floor.
  • Specialized wear layers (most common are 20 mil; some offer up to a 40 mil layer).  Then the floors are coated with urethane to enhance durability
  • Economics factor favorably into the specification of Luxury Vinyl Tile Flooring for both commercial and residential applications, giving the look and feel of rich, natural materials at a lower cost
  • Since most luxury vinyl tile flooring is also constructed to withstand commercial wear and tear, it’s ideal for residential high-traffic areas as well as other areas of the home.  Warranties vary by manufacturer, but it’s not unusual to see 20-25 year warranties on brand name luxury vinyl tile flooring.
  • Because there are multi-layers of vinyl in luxury vinyl tile flooring as well as a resilient backing as the foundation, LVT tiles and planks have more resilience underfoot.  It’s easier to stand on for long periods of time AND as an added benefit, it tends to be warmer underfoot than ceramic.
  • There has been a stunning transformation in the design aesthetics of Luxury vinyl tile flooring in the last five years.  If you are linking it to “industrial” looking floors, this is where you need to throw away your misconceptions and do some research.  This may be the one biggest factor that has caused interior designers to stand up and take note of the new brand of LVT.  The realism of the total look, INCLUDING distressed wood finishes, stone and slate tactile surface textures, and even woven textiles imbedded in the wear layers, are grabbing attention.

We hope this has been enlightening! If you have any questions that weren’t covered about LVT flooring, feel free to let us know in the comments, or contact us! We also have a wide selection of LVT in stock daily or available for custom order. Come see us for all of your LVT needs!


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

Wilsonart: Laminate Countertops With a High End Look

Laminate Countertops
Some homeowners don’t consider laminate countertops much of an upgrade when redoing their kitchen. At most, they probably think that it’s better than no countertops. But laminate isn’t all bad! In fact, you’re doing yourself a disservice on an affordable, and stylish option by not considering it!
Like all laminate countertops, Wilsonart makes theirs out of a combination of layers of decorative and craft papers that are fused with acrylic, wood fibers and other hardeners in a high pressure press machine. Unlike other brands of laminate countertops, Wilsonart’s holds all sorts of seals for sustainability compliance from several different organizations concerned with the health of us humans and the sustainability of our planet. They’re indoor air certified and a member of the U.S. Green Building Council, just to name a couple.
SHopnow
Other than the fact that Wilsonart is clearly raising the bar on how laminate countertop quality and manufacturing processes are done, here are some other reasons that you should consider a laminate countertop during your next kitchen or bath renovation.

Quick & Lazy Cleanup

I would choose a laminate countertop for this reason alone. I hate cleaning – I mean, who honestly likes to clean? As long as you don’t use any abrasive cleaners on the surface then all you need is a damp rag and a little bit of soap. Wipe up any spots or spills and you’re done!

Minimal Maintenance

With granite, marble or butcher block countertops there can be quite a bit of maintenance. Butcher block needs to be re-oiled, and granite and marble need to be re-sealed. Laminate just needs a trivet to protect it from hot pans and a cutting board to prevent scratching. And unlike other solid surface countertops that chip, you’ve got to replace the whole thing; with laminate countertops if a piece chips off you can typically replace a much smaller area to fix it!
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More Options

Sure, granite and other solid surface countertops have a large color selection to choose from but the printing processes of old have come a long way! Today, laminate countertops can mimic stone, wood, or any other natural material. Not to mention that you can also choose from an array of funky colors and patterns, and that brown line that appears at the edge? Forget about it. Laminate countertops can look as solid as ever, even with specialty edges! Wilsonart, in particular takes everything a step further. With them you can custom design your own laminate countertops! Because it can be cut into just about any shape there’s no limit to what you can have created just for you and your kitchen!
marble-options

Price on Point

Laminate countertops are probably the least expensive option – you know, aside from having no countertops. The price for laminate can start at about $25 per square foot (including installation). Compare a $1,500 dollar price for laminate countertops to the $5000 dollar price of a marble countertop! That’s money I can spend elsewhere, on me, or the rest of my home.

Down side to Laminate Countertops?

There isn’t much. Laminate doesn’t do as well as raising your ROI (return on investment) in your home, so if you’re selling it might not be for you. As well it can dull and discolor from direct heat (remember when I said to use a trivet?), or abrasive and harsh chemical cleaners. It also scratches easily (I also said something about using a cutting board). No product is perfect but following some simple precautions should keep your laminate countertops looking beautiful for years to come!
SHopnow
Laminate gets a bad wrap for being on the cheap end of the spectrum, whether it be flooring or especially countertops. The thing is, that’s just not the case anymore! Laminate countertops have come a long way in the past several years! They might not be the most popular but with a low price point and thousands of options to choose from that are becoming more and more realistic every day, there is no reason why you shouldn’t at least give it a nod and a wink!
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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 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: Kat Flaherty

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