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

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

Well, what exactly is this secret stuff?

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

How durable is this ‘wood look tile’?

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

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

What does it cost?

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

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

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

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

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

Written By: Kat  Updated by Todd 2023

Solid Hardwood VS. Engineered Hardwood

Working in a remodeling and building materials company, I've learned that most people don’t understand the differences of solid hardwood vs. engineered hardwoodIf you're not looking for real hardwood, check out this article on waterproof flooring that gives you a complete list of differences between the solid hardwood and an engineered hardwood.

And why would they? No one is really educating them about these differences before they go looking for a new floor, they somehow just expect you to know and make the right decision.

But I’m here to make sure you’re decision is an INFORMED one. Flooring is a big expense, and you want to choose something that you’ll love for the next few decades. Lets’s get ready to compare all of the top questions I hear about solid hardwood vs. engineered hardwood!

Solid Hardwood VS. Engineered Hardwood on Composition.

Solid Hardwood:

Solid hardwood flooring is constructed with 100% hardwood and each plank is a single solid piece. Solid hardwood is traditionally 3/4″ thick, except for parquet-style floors which are thinner.

Engineered Hardwood:

Unlike solid wood floors that are milled from one solid (surprise!) piece of lumber, engineered hardwood floors are composed of multiple plies of wood with a solid wood veneer. Underneath the veneer, cross layers of plywood are pressed together to a strong and moisture-resistant core. These board typically vary between 3/4” to1/2”, with 3/4″ starting to emerge more frequently.

You’re still getting real hardwood floors; they’re just made differently. The layers typically include a top veneer of hardwood backed by less expensive layers of plywood—although some manufacturers use substrates made from recycled wood fibers mixed with stone dust for improved durability and stability.

Solid Hardwood VS. Engineered Hardwood on Installation

Solid Hardwood:

Solid hardwood used a nail down or staple down installation technique. It can’t typically be installed directly over concrete or radiant heating systems. It’s typically best to install solid hardwood on the first and second floors of your home as opposed to in the basement.  Solid hardwood is never installed on a floating basis.

Engineered Hardwood:

Engineered hardwood flooring has multiple installation options: staple, glue or floating, such as click and lock, on some products. It can be used in basements on concrete, or on radiant heating systems.

Solid Hardwood VS. Engineered Hardwood on Style

Solid Hardwood:

Solid hardware comes in unfinished and pre-finished options, and also has a ton of wood species types to choose from! Long and wide planks are also an option.

Engineered Hardwood:

There are fewer wood species choices than with solid hardwood. Some of the most popular are Red oak, hickory, and Brazilian Cherry. Its very uncommon to find unfinished engineered hardwood, as most is pre-finished.

Solid Hardwood VS. Engineered Hardwood on Maintenance & Durability

Solid Hardwood:

Solid hardwood is known for its endurance. Because it is solid through and through, it can be sanded and refinished multiple times during a lifetime. And solid construction holds up well over time. Solid hardwood durability mostly comes down to the wood species and wear-resistance of its protective finish. Harder woods such as Hickory and Oak are more dent resistant, and those with more resilient finishes will perform best against scratches. Well-maintained solid hardwood will last for decades.  Moisture is the enemy of this organic product.

Engineered Hardwood:

The durability of solid hardwood vs engineered hardwood is close, but not identical. If your durability concerns are around moisture, humidity or temperature, engineered is the way to go. Its layered construction provides stability against environmental changes. Because the surface is thin, it can become chipped or de-laminated if stressed beyond normal conditions.  Yet its ability to hold up to limited moisture helps bring up its durability rating.

Solid Hardwood VS. Engineered Hardwood on Price & Resell Value

Solid Hardwood:

Solid is the gold standard in flooring, and it’s usually the most price-premium board for board. There are, of course, many variables: solid hardwood collections can vary in price depending on the warranty, protective finish and how many finishing processes have been used to achieve a particular look.

As long as the floor is in good shape, it is on equal terms regarding resell value as engineered wood flooring.

Engineered Hardwood:

As a whole, engineered hardwood tends to be less expensive than solid hardwood, with the exception of premium collections that have a thicker hardwood top layer, uniquely artistic designs and enhanced durability. High-performance engineered products are also more on par with solid pricing.

Engineered hardwood has a GREAT resell value. Because engineered wood floors are real wood, they can be advertised as such in real estate, making them more attractive to buyers.


Overall, in the battle of solid hardwood vs. engineered hardwood, they are pretty neck and neck. It comes down to location of installation, and personal preference for the most part. Whether you’re going with solid hardwood or engineered, you’re going to be thrilled with the outcome!

Builders Surplus is a full service renovation company with locations in Louisville, Kentucky, and Newport, Kentucky, which also serves Cincinnati, Ohio. We carry a large selection of solid hardwood and unfinished hardwood flooring, as well as laminate, Luxury Vinyl Tile waterproof flooring, and carpet. 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!


How to Take Care of Your Flooring


If you want your floors to last long, you must take care of them properly. There are three things crucial for keeping your floors in top condition and they are cleaning, maintaining and prevention. The key to healthy floors is routine cleaning, and you should follow some cleaning protocols to prevent damage and maintain your floor’s appearance. Damage can also be minimized with regular maintenance and prevention. Therefore, let’s talk about these three stages in detail.

Regular cleaning is half the work


The best thing you can do to protect your floors from damage and scratches is dust them every day with a microfiber mop or swiffer. Microfiber cloths are great because they trap dirt, pet hair, particles and other allergens with static electricity. They are not only more effective, but also much safer than a broom, because some brooms have hard bristles that can scratch your floors.
Every week you should vacuum your floors with a soft-bristled floor-brush attachment. Before you begin, dust your floors with a microfiber cloth, and then carefully vacuum them. Be cautious and don’t let the vacuum’s wheels damage the surface.
Also, you can clean your floors every month with a floor cleaner. Use a damp mop with a flat microfiber head. Instead of using water to dampen the mop, use a light coat of cleaner made specifically for your type of floors and be frugal. If you have a hardwood floor, never use a wet mop or a steam mop, because they both can dull the finish and cause damage to your flooring.



If your floors have a surface finish, and most hardwood floors do, you can polish them once in every two or three months. Finishes protect and seal the wood and give your floor that glossy shine. Eventually, the finish on your floors will get worn out, there will be visible scratches, and their surface will start to look dull. Regular polishing will take care of that problem. Polishing is best done with a buffing pad that will even out small scratches and restore your floors’ shine.
If regular cleaning and maintenance no longer help, it’s time to re-coat the surface. This usually needs to be done every five to ten years, depending on the foot traffic and cleaning habits. After re-coating, your floors will look brand new.

Professional touch


Some floors, if properly maintained and cleaned, can last well over a hundred years. But, when your floors need a little rejuvenation, it’s best you hire an expert. They will apply a new coat of finish or sand your floors. It’s smart to sand all areas where you can see loss of color or deeper scratches. You can try to do some of these fixes yourself, but there’s nothing like a professional touch, so don’t hesitate to invest in this.

Prevention is the best cure


As always, prevention is the easiest and best cure. If possible, try to avoid walking on your floors in shoes, especially high heels. Those can easily damage the surface coat. Also, think about sticking felt pads to all furniture legs, because those too can dent and scratch your floors. Different colorful round rugs are another great solution. This way, you won’t bring so much dirt inside. It’s a little-known fact, but your floors are also sensitive to extreme temperature and humidity. The ideal temperature for hardwood floors is 15 to 25 degrees Celsius and the optimal humidity is somewhere between 30 and 50 percent. If temperature and humidity are not within these parameters, your floors can start buckling and gapping. Of course, you don’t have to keep your eyes on the thermometer and follow the humidity all the time. They have to change radically and stay that way for a longer period of time to really start affecting the floor.
As you can see, maintaining your floors doesn’t have to be difficult. If you clean them regularly and apply some basic preventive measures, your floors will be in tip-top shape for many years to come.

A Flooring Type Comparison

Hello, everyone! Today, I’d like to do a bit a flooring type comparison, and go over the several different options that you, as a homeowner or contractor, have to fulfill your flooring needs. We’ll look at Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT), Hardwood, Laminate, and different types of Tile flooring.

For all intensive purposes, I’ll use the prices that we currently have in store, knowing they’re the lowest, most cost-effective around. Get everything, without spending everything, indeed!


LVT Flooring

Luxury Vinyl Tile is a beautifully engineered piece of flooring that combines both aesthetics with high functionality. And this is huge reason why LVT has become such a huge hit within households everywhere.

Do you remember when you used to be limited to where you could put certain parts of flooring i.e. bathrooms, any place where water is present? Well, this flooring type switched the game in that respect. But more on that later…


flooring type

Click here! – Shop LVT


Price: This flooring type generally ranges from an all-time low of $1.79 to just short of $6. Our CoreTEC LVT is absolutely amazing, definitely a “more bang for your buck” kind of product. Check the link, peeps, you’ll see what I’m talking about.

Waterproofness: If you did a double take at that word, I don’t blame you. I voiced this word out loud, and my boss was like, “Uhhh…yeah, not a word,” but after a simple Google search, I learned that it IS, in fact, a word. Just a little tidbit. Moving on.

This is where the high-functionality comes from in LVT. This flooring type is 100% WATERPROOF. Not water-resistant, merely repelling droplets..I mean zero-damage. None whatsoever.

I’ve explained it before, and I’ll do so again. You could pour a jug of water on LVT, leave for a vacation, come back, and the piece would be good as new. It’s that good people.

You could technically put it in your bathroom. Some would frown at it, this being an extremely unconventional approach to a bathroom design, but heck, I say go for it. Literally, go against the grain.

Durability: Another functionality characteristic, LVT doesn’t just Kung Fu the crap out of water, but also scratches. And dents. Plus, it’s strong.

So, the next time you decide to juggle a few cans of green beans, and then time kinda stands still as you watch one go amiss, propelling towards your new floors, remember this blog, remember this passage, don’t forget this sentence — it’s okay.

It’s going to take a little more than green beans and water to damage this flooring type. A hammer, sure. But I’m sure you’ll find other ways to blow off steam than taking a hand tool to your new floors. But that’s none of my business. *Sips tea*


Click here! – Shop LVT


Additional: I’d also just like to point out, or reiterate rather, that because LVT is water’s nemesis, this flooring is perfect for dang-near any space. Bathrooms? Check. Kitchens? For sure. Basements? Have at it. Laundry room? An excellent pick. It’s an excellent flooring type for any room in your household.

Side note: If you’re worried about sound, LVT usually has sound muffling cork backing. I’m telling you, LVT virtually has no cons.

Hardwood Flooring

Ah, the veteran of the group. There’s something naturally rich about using solid wood for your floors. It’s genuine, it’s authentic, and I personally think it gives off the impression of good taste, but that’s me. Now, where there are some extreme advantages to using this flooring type, there are also some disadvantages that may or may not sway your opinion.

Especially given the glorious gallantry of its enhanced, “definitely-had-work-done” cousin that we just talked about. Dramatics. In any case, it’s still a fantastic choice for your floors. Selectively speaking.


flooring type

Click here! – Shop Hardwood


Price: Unfinished hardwood starts out at $1.39, while finished products typically range from $1.39 to $4.99. Again, the dynamics of each definitely contribute to price, but as a homeowner, as a consumer, you understand that with just about anything, you get what you pay for. We carry Solid Hardwood, Engineered Hardwood, and Cork Flooring, an up-and-coming flooring type that’s truly wondrous to behold.

Waterproofness: 100%…NOT WATERPROOF. ‘Nuff said there.

Durability: Here’s the category where some of the drawbacks nastily congregate. Hardwood tends to be very easily scratched. If you’ve ever moved in or out of a place that sports hardwood floors then you no doubt know exactly what I’m talking about. It can also be dented and quite easily I might add. Better practice your juggling skills outside, people.

BUT…because of this solidness, this flooring type can be refinished, therefore making it an extremely lasting product. All it takes is a nice dose of care and less chaos.


flooring type

Click here! – Shop Hardwood


Additional: This is a favorite for many folks. In fact, I’d be willing to bet that most home buyers often look for this sort of feature. But, you’ve been warned. Because of its surface, this flooring type isn’t extremely pet friendly, should not be anywhere near water prone areas, and it’s immensely difficult to install yourself. Tongue-and-groove can make a day go south really, really quick.


Laminate Flooring

This flooring type sometimes takes a bad rap for being cheap or too ordinary. But I’ve always adhered to the school of thought that there’s literally beauty in everything, so no matter. There are definitely some positive sides to laminate, some unbeknownst to others. First off…the funds.


flooring type

Click here! – Shop Laminate


Price:  In our stores,  Laminate generally stays around $0.99 to $2.89/ sf. Now, in comparison to the other flooring types, you can see how people could regard this as cheaply made or why you here negative comments about the price. But to me, it’s the opposite.

It’s kind of like when someone is called a lightweight when they’re out socially drinking with their friends, and the person in question fails to see negatory punchline. After all, if three beers gets the job done, who is saving more money in the long run — the lightweight or the pompous friends? Just a little drink for deep-thought.

Waterproofness: As far as complete, 100% water-eradicating measures, no. But, this flooring type is definitely moisture-resistant. Would I trust it in my bathroom, around the shower? No. Absolutely not.

Durability: The haters can say what they want about laminate, but as far as it’s strength, it’s pretty resilient. It is primarily scratch & dent resistant AND extremely long-lasting. There’s a reason, among others, why you may walk into a particularly older home, look down, and see laminate, virtually unharmed.


flooring type

Click here! – Shop Laminate


Additional: It goes without saying that this is an extremely affordable option compared to the other options. Unlike regular hardwood floors, laminate is pretty pet-friendly and installation is quite simple, as well.


Stone Tile Flooring

Stone tile is definitely a fan-favorite, particularly marble. There’s just something about the gentle swirls and patterns that make a room look grand, alluring, elaborately illuminating. I’ve witnessed customers quite literally lose their breath when they walk into an entryway that contains stone tile because the look seriously hits you.

It’s a looker, that’s for sure.



Price: At Builders Surplus, stone tile usually ranges from $1.99 – $2.99. A very fair price when you consider exactly what you’re getting.

Waterproofness: Again, folks, we have a winner. Although, any element of tile is going to be 100% waterproof. It’s still a helluva trait, wouldn’t you agree.

Durability: I’m all for word usage, but it’s tile, y’all. Why waste words? It’s EXTRA durable. And can simply last a lifetime. If you’re like me and absolutely adore the stone look then it’s for you. When it comes to tile, it’s a matter of preference, a choice between color or design, not durability. The next two choices are the same. Phenomenal strength with the capability of lasting a decade.



Additional: This flooring type excels in natural or high-end looks because of it’s appearance. Rarely used in kitchens, but definitely ideal in bathrooms. If you think you’d ever replace your flooring after choosing this, think again. It’s disastrous and definitely more work than it’s worth.



Porcelain Tile Flooring

High. Quality. Honestly, that’s as much as anyone can say about porcelain. I mean, it’s porcelain.



Price: Some may be surprised when they hear that our Porcelain tile starts out a extra-low price of $0.99. Yup. Less than a dollar for some of the finest material ever made. All the way up to $2.99. Not bad for a flooring type that’s solely responsible for the Tower of Nanjing. Never heard of it? Google it. Magnificent architecture.

Waterproofness: YEP.

Durability: Short of a jack hammer, you’re not getting through porcelain. Juggle away.



Additional: Very, very low maintenance. Cleaning will be quick and easy. Perfect for every room in the household, and if you feel unsure about putting this down in a particular room, I’ll give you some consolation. I’ve seen porcelain tile in laundry rooms. Name me a room more mundane than a laundry room. I’ll wait. Have fun with this flooring type.


Ceramic Tile Flooring

Probably your most common type of tile flooring, but that shouldn’t account for nothing. If anything, you should see this is as a tried-and-true flooring type that has greatly revolutionized the above-ground foundation a.k.a. where you put your feet. Beautiful bit of material that continues to stun and amaze homeowners not just across the nation, but worldwide.



Price: Hold your hats, gentlemen and lady folk. Our ceramic tile starts out at ONLY $0.79/sf. Are you as baffled as I am? That’s a crazy low price. I mean, come on now. Blanket your entire basement for nearly a quarter below a dollar per square foot. Whew. Love it, though. That price, and ranging to $1.49. Not bad. Not bad at all.

Waterproofness: Still shaking your head at that word? I know, right? Ludicrous. But yeah, again, water is no match for this tile.

Durability: Scratch-proof, so you can keep your cat.



Additional: As previously mentioned, ceramic isn’t considerably less-expensive than porcelain. Huge plus, for sure. It’s also easy to install, easy to maintain, and perfect for bathrooms.


Carpet Flooring

I’ll be honest with you, I’ve always had mixed feelings where carpet is concerned. I enjoy and appreciate the comfort, depending on setting. For example, in a basement filled with comfy couches, a big screen, maybe a pullout recliner, for some reason carpet sounds much more fitting to me. Soft, feels good on the feet. BUT, there are some monstrous drawbacks to this flooring type.



Price: Typically ranges from $2.19 – just below $5 a square foot, but at Builders Surplus, that also includes install, so there’s another plus.

Waterproofness: Yeah…

Durability: It kind of goes without saying that as far as stains go, this flooring type is a magnet. It’s inevitable, really. Keeping carpet clean is like trying to keep your shoes dry during torrential rainfall. Dang near impossible.



Additional: I’ll state the obvious. Carpet is not to be trusted near any water-sourced areas.


Well, folks, I hope this flooring type comparison has given you a bit of insight, and if you are in the decision-making process, it proves to be a worthy resource. Just remember that popular opinion doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the “right” way to go. Your home, as we so often like to stress at Builders Surplus, is your most important asset. Keyword: YOUR. Turning a house into a home involves a multitude of things, most of them deriving around family and the love shared between its members.

The beauty of the process is living through the moments that cultivate that love within a household. Contagious laughter, heartfelt conversations, congratulatory celebrations, and cherished achievements are ever-lasting memories that contribute to this harmonious transition. Materials play its part in making a house, but it is that glorious, heart-consuming love shared by the people within it that makes it a home. Stay safe, everyone!



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

Let us help you choose your Flooring style and schedule installation!

What Direction Should You Run Your Hardwood Floor?

hardwood floor
There’s a secret to a hardwood floor that some people aren’t quite aware of. Luckily for you, dear reader, I’m willing to spill the beans during this post and reveal it to you. It’s one thing to pick out your flooring, making sure the color and design meshes well with the rest of your home, but it’s another to make sure it’s aesthetically pleasing upon install. One of the secrets I’m talking about is its appearance. The longer the board, the more grandiose it looks. The shorter the board, the cheaper it usually is. Taking this into account, you can determine how best to run your floor. First universal rule: The planks should always run perpendicular to the floor joists. This allows for the board to be spanned in the correct manner, ensuring stability.
[bscolumns class=”one_half”]FromDoor[/bscolumns]
[bscolumns class=”one_half_last_clear”]FromDoor2[/bscolumns]
[bscolumns class=”clear”][/bscolumns]


Run Your Hardwood Floor From Your Door

No matter which flooring you choose, the ultimate goal is to achieve that elegant, professional look. Starting from the door, running the floor perpendicularly from it, will give your hardwood floor a seamless appearance. Imagine you’re looking down a hallway, toward your entryway, and you can visualize how if a floor is set in one motion – it will do wonders. Now, of course, there are some exceptions to this rule. If  you’re laying a special pattern or in-lay, this would of course switch things up a bit. Essentially, it all depends on the layout of your home. In small areas, for example, different layouts look as I discussed before – choppy and out of place.


Running Your Hardwood Floor Diagonally

As far as stability goes, running your floor diagonally is just as sufficient as running it perpendicularly. It’s really all about the look with this approach, and it’s best achieved in large rooms like a living or dining room. The appearance is so appealing, stunning really. The degree of the angle really depends on the look you want to achieve, but 45 degrees is the most common by far. Although, there’s variations, especially when dealing with a skewed wall or a small space. Note: This method usually takes more time (a bit more expensive) because you end up wasting quite a bit of wood from all the desired cuts. But, in my opinion, it is well worth it.

hardwood floor

How Not To Run Your Hardwood Floor

Whatever you do, try to refrain from breaking up the patterns in a floor. Try not to use different patterns in different rooms because where it may seem like a great thing to do at first, using other designs for each room, the finished product will end up looking broken. It’ll be distorted in a way that makes each floor look messy and unorganized.
The proper way to run your hardwood floor pretty much depends on your choice of flooring. What is fundamentally clear, however, is that with whatever choice you pick, there is a sure way to make your flooring both visually attractive and concrete in stability. Just take note of the angles you’d like to use, the size of the room you’re working with, and be mindful of your transitions. Always be cautious of which way your joists lay for stability.

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

Engineered Hardwood Flooring: What You Should Know

What are Engineered Hardwood Floors?

Unlike solid wood floors that are milled from one solid (surprise!) piece of lumber, engineered hardwood floors are composed of multiple plies of wood with a solid wood veneer. Underneath the veneer, cross layers of plywood are pressed together to a strong and moisture-resistant core. These board typically vary between 3/4” to1/2”, with 3/4″ starting to emerge more frequently.


Engineered floors were originally developed to be installed on top of concrete floors, particularly in the basement of homes. However, in the last 20 years, the popularity of engineered hardwood floors has exploded and their use has expanded to almost every part of the home.

Benefits of Engineered Hardwood Floors

Solid hardwood floors don’t mix well with environments prone to moisture like basements, but engineered hardwood floors can go on any floor of your home. The construction of engineered hardwood floors makes them less likely to buckle, gap, or react to fluctuating humidity and temperatures.

Pre-finished engineered wood boards are also a great choice for families with pets or children. These boards are tough and are built with enhanced stability in mind which makes them slightly more resistant to wear, buckling, and rippling. Engineered wood floors can stand up to the most punishment kids can dish out, a dog’s sharpest nails, or just everyday spills and wear.

Engineered hardwood is also easier to install than traditional solid hardwood floors. You won’t need to leave any gaps for expansion due to humidity and engineered wood floors can be either nailed down or glued down. They can also be installed as “floating” floors.

Engineered Hardwood Styles

Engineered wood floors can compliment any setting from rustic country cabins to contemporary condos.


If you want to give your home a touch of traditional elegance, wide-plank pine engineered hardwood floors can give that “hand-scraped” look to complete your farmhouse remodel. Red oak floors are typically used in traditional homes, but with a dark stain and a matte top coat, they can look just as stunning in a contemporary setting.

Builders Surplus is a full service renovation company with locations in Louisville, Kentucky, and Newport, Kentucky, which also serves Cincinnati, Ohio. We are the leading provider of Bathroom Vanities and Double Vanities 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: Christopher Lush

Wood vs Laminate Flooring & Other Styles

Many people ask us to compare Wood vs Laminate flooring. What are the differences and benefits of laminate, hardwood, or vinyl flooring. What areas of your home, climate, or style works best with each? Well, we’re here to help eliminate the confusion!

wood vs laminate flooringLaminate

In the wood vs laminate flooring race, laminate pulls ahead in many areas. The main benefits of laminate over other types of home flooring, and the reason it is so popular, is affordability, ease of installation and low maintenance. Laminate is less expensive because it’s largely synthetic flooring that’s easily mass produced using low cost materials. It’s easy to install because most laminate uses click and lock assembly which means no nails or glue and you can float it over most existing sub floors. And finally it’s easy to clean and care for because of the thick and clear wear layer that covers the surface of the flooring.

Can you lay laminate all through your home? Well, laminate is a great mid-priced flooring option but there are times when a more expensive hardwood floor or a cheaper vinyl floor could be a better match for your home. Wood vs laminate flooring can be summed up pretty simply in two words… price and style! We think laminate floors look great, there are some exceptional products available, but laminate just doesn’t look the same as solid or engineered hardwood. It’s a fact. In a dining room or master bedroom where style is your main concern you might want to consider spending a little more on a quality hardwood floor. Laminate wood flooring is perfect in a functional setting where practicality is your priority. In a child’s playroom, in the family den or parts of the house where you have dogs running around laminate flooring just makes sense.

It’s attractive, quickly cleaned and hard wearing too. in these situations solid wood flooring seems rather impractical and expensive. Also remember that solid hardwood can stain and can be vulnerable to strong sunlight. If stains and extreme weather conditions are a part of your day to day life then laminate flooring is the smart choice. When it comes to the pros and cons of laminate flooring there are plenty of reasons to choose laminate over hardwood, but its fair to say they are of a practical rather than aesthetic nature. Laminate flooring does a great job of imitating more expensive surfaces like wood, tile and stone and it also has a good long life span, so why would you ever consider vinyl flooring over laminate? For starters, laminate does not mix well with water. They contain a core layer of dense fiberboard and despite the plastic top wear layer and further protective melamine resin layer, laminate flooring will react to standing water and strong humidity in the same way as wood flooring.

So, laminate in the kitchen is okay as long as you keep spills to a minimum and clean up immediately, but you should think twice about laminate in a laundry room, basement or bathroom that regularly experiences standing water. In these instances vinyl flooring would be a much smarter choice.

Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT)

Invented in the 1930’s, vinyl flooring first made an impact on the architectural world in the years following World War Two. By the 1950’swood vs laminate flooring it was a major competitor against other resilient options, and had all but usurped linoleum’s position as a low cost water resistant flooring option.

The colors and pattern options that are available with vinyl flooring are nearly endless. Solid and composite vinyl can be combined to create a number of unique, random patterns. Printed vinyl is even more versatile, allowing you to recreate the look of natural stone, hardwood, or any other material you can think of.

You can even mix and match material facades to make it look like you’ve combined different elements in your floor. Vinyl flooring is relatively easy to care for. You have to make sure that grit and dirt are kept swept free to maintain the surface of the floor. Then you can use a damp mop and an approved vinyl floor cleaner to remove stains. 

A well installed vinyl floor is almost impervious to water penetration, making this the perfect material for use in a bathroom, kitchen, laundry room, or other high moisture space in the home. Vinyl does not get cold in the winter, and is generally soft beneath your feet. Some vinyl sheets and tiles have a padded layer that can make walking on these floors even more pleasurable. At the low range vinyl can cost as little as fifty cents per square foot. However higher end premium vinyl materials can cost as much as ten dollars a square foot.

The difference in price is determined by the quality of the tile, and the design options found in the surface. Vinyl is generally considered to be a highly durable material that, if properly installed and maintained, can last upwards of ten to twenty years. However the quality of the material that you purchase, and the way it was manufactured, will determine how well your floor lasts over time. Vinyl tiles and vinyl plank flooring is relatively easy to install. However you have to ensure that you have a completely dry, level subfloor to work with. It is possible to do this project yourself, but you may want to have a professional prepare the subfloor for you. While vinyl flooring is low maintenance and highly durable, there are also a number of drawbacks that are associated with this material. Of these, its ecological impact on the personal and world environment may be some of the most disconcerting.

Hardwood Floors

wood vs laminate flooring There are many advantages of real or engineered hardwood. Hardwood flooring gives a rich look to your home interior. While it is slightly more expensive than laminate or vinyl, it actually improves over a period of time due to aging. Hardwood flooring is known to last for a lifetime and has a very long shelf life. Given their organic origin and non-electromagnetic nature, they tend to attract less dust. Hence they do not attract allergens, or molds that cause allergies which tend to travel with dust. It is recommended to use by doctors all over the world. 

They are extremely hard and are less prone to damage by objects as well. It is seen as a warm addition to your decor and is also comfortable for small babies to play on, as well as practical for pet owners. Hair and dust are easily removed from the surface. While their are many benefits, there are also some disadvantages. The hardwood floors require regular polishing every 3-4 years to maintain its finish especially if it is high traffic area. The cost of polishing, l abor, and polyurethane coating are an extra expense to think about. They also require regular maintenance to prevent termite attack if your house is located in an area which is prone to termites. 

Hardwood flooring will be damaged in the event of any water seepage so having them in a basement with occasional water leaks, or a laundry or bathroom, might not be the best idea. You can regularly mop with a wet cloth, but make sure that there is no dripping water. One other set back is that it is much more susceptible to scratching from heavy traffic, high heels or pet nails. As you can see, there are advantages and disadvantages to every type of flooring, but choosing the right one for your home and budget is the most important thing, and hopefully this article makes that a little bit easier.