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


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!

Why Durability is More Important Than Price in a Remodel

Today, I’d like to discuss a pretty important topic in the remodeling experience: Durability vs. Price. Now, as we all know, home renovation & remodeling can be quite expensive, which makes it easy to fall under the “cheap way is best way” mentality, but lets evaluate several ways in which durability actually makes your project cheaper, not more expensive.

Durability: More Bang for Your Buck

Flooring Example

Whether you’re in the process of selling your home or your home is rather outdated and it’s time for a change, the outcome is all the same: Renovation will improve value. For the most part, at least. 

For example, ripping up the linoleum in your kitchen or bathroom and replacing it with ceramic tile isn’t going to drive you to raise the price of your home in a significant way. But what it will do is appeal to the home buyer.


I think it goes without saying that when it comes to saying yes or no, to pulling the trigger during your home search, it’s the amenities that can make all the difference.

On the flip side, if you’ve just installed tile flooring in your laundry room, you’ve made a strong, choice. Linoleum has the tendency to stain easily, rip & tear at the edges, and quite honestly, is seen as a “too cheap” option. In essence, that kind of flooring doesn’t last long.


durable durability

Additionally, if you keep replacing it every two to three years, you’re losing quite a bit of money on the long run. Replacing it with something as strong, durable, and long-lasting as ceramic tile may, yes, be a bit more expensive, but you’ll never have to rip up those floors again. Durability wins.

Kitchen Cabinet example

Another example would be your kitchen cabinets. Let us assume that the kitchen cabinets you open and close day-after-day are the same, ole relatively bland cabinets that you first set eyes on when you walked in. Now, I’m not knocking your cabinets by any means, but perhaps they’re looking a bit rugged (and not in the good way) these days.


Perhaps, the corners are withered from constant usage, the doors slam so hard, waking up the whole house because the hinges & drawer slides are giving way, there are countless spaghetti sauce, grape jelly, and bacon grease stains scattered across the surface.

They’ve had their run, right? It’s time for a change. So you come to Builders Surplus, sit down with one of our professionals and look at your options. Sure, you can go the less-expensive route, grab some in-stock Honey Ash cabinets, and call it a day.

But you’ll be right back in the same spot in five years because the durability just isn’t there in that selection. Again, not knocking  Honey Ash cabinets, but let’s call a spade, a spade, yeah?

In the Long Run

The reason they’re our least expensive option is because their craftsmanship, their features, their overall longevity is far inferior to, let’s say, Waypoint or Wellborn cabinets.

Now, alternatively, let’s say you sit down and check out the aforementioned and purchase a beautiful set of kitchen cabinets from Wellborn.

Is the price going to be higher? Yes.

But is the durability there? 100%

Are you going to thank yourself ten years down the road when they look and function as good as they did when they were installed. Absolutely.

That’s the key right there, my friends. It’s understanding that you’ll pay more initially for extreme durability, but in the long run, now only does it pay for itself, you’ve invested in something that could potentially last a lifetime.

The price of that linoleum or those Honey Ash cabinets that you paid for five years ago is not going to be the same when you inevitably have to replace them in a few years. It will be higher, and you will hate it.

Durability wins because it prevails, where price does not — it conquers time.

Schedule Your FREE Kitchen & Bath Design Appointment!

I hope I’ve managed to open your minds up a bit when it comes why durability is more important than price during your remodel. But don’t just take it from, please. I encourage you to do as much research as you can before, during, and after your remodel.

Click here to check out any of our blogs and you’ll be able to research just about anything you can imagine!

And remember, at Builders Surplus we offer FREE KITCHEN & BATH DESIGN CONSULTATIONS, meaning we are more than willing to help you along the way. It can be a crazy process, so it’s always nice to have some professional support to fall back on!

Why The Lowest Price is the Worst Price In A Home Remodel

I’m here to tell you why the lowest price is usually the worst price in a home remodel. Today we’ll specifically be covering the installation side of a home remodel project. Anyone who has gone through a remodel already may have already come to this conclusion, as have I, through some painful personal experiences in my life. Contact-Designer-Shop-Ad

The Quality Triangle of a Home Remodel

They say that you can have 2 of any 3 things in a home remodel. Cheap, Fast, or Good. But only 2. Never all 3. If you want a job done fast and at a high level of workmanship, it’s not going to be the cheapest. If you’re on a budget but need quality, it defiantly won’t be a fast process. If you need it cheap and fast, it defiantly won’t be high quality. Decisions, decisions. Quality Triangle Home Remodel   Now, you have to decide what two you want or can have. Unless you want to spend the better part of a year dealing with a contractor, I would assume that you want the job done decently fast. I can assume that we all want a good quality home remodel. While our remodel doesn’t have to be astronomical in terms of cost, that means that your remodel won’t be the cheapest out there. Knowing the triangle up front helps a lot of home owners avoid the mistake of taking the lowest bid, without regard to the consequences.

When you take the lowest bid on a home remodel

I will admit, I have fallen victim to this. I was working on a large remodeling project. I got quotes from at least 5 people. I found someone to install my windows, work on my interior framing and my roof, who was offering to do it at a much lower price than everyone else. He claimed this was because he wanted to build a relationship. That we could work together on future projects. That we would refer him to friends and family. It sounded legit. I was thrilled to get my project going and was I really going to be UNDER budget? home remodel contractor As work began, it seemed ok. And then things started happening. The project wouldn’t be complete 100%, but payment was being requested to get the rest of our materials. Issues were spotted and were promised to be fixed. He would be there tomorrow. Tomorrow came, but he did not. Phone calls were made, but never answered. I kept being strung along, telling me that the rest of the work was going to be done, and going to be done right away. But this was not the case. I ended up cutting my losses and moving on with other options. While this may not be the scenario that you encounter with every cheap contractor that you meet, it was definitely mine, as well as that of many others that we’ve spoken to in our business.

The Real Cost of The Lowest Price

Low cost trades have to take on more jobs to make the same money that a higher cost installer would. This means typically that they are overbooked and everyone ends up on the receiving end of poor communication and customer service. What can happen when you work with low cost trades is that they are very short term oriented. If you have paid $1,000 for your project, and they are supposed to be there tomorrow. Then, they find another job that will pay $1,500 and they also want it done tomorrow? Guess who gets the shaft? Contact-Designer-Shop-Ad When you are doing an extensive home remodel project, you have to coordinate multiple trades. You could be dealing with window installers, framers, dry wallers, plumbers, electricians, cabinet installers, flooring installers, tile installers, and the list goes on. In most cases, one job can’t be started until another is finished, and sometimes inspected. If you have scheduled your trades in advance, and someone cancels on you, you then have to reschedule your other trades. Depending on their other commitments, you may not be able to get back in their schedule for weeks. What are weeks in construction worth to you?
It is estimated that rework, lost time, and rescheduling conflicts can cost up to 50% of your entire renovation project.

Lower cost trades have a much higher probability for rework, unkept commitments, and cutting corners. Again, we are not saying this of all contractors that charge a lower than average price, but if you do encounter this, we would highly recommend getting referrals from the past year and calling them to get their experience.

home remodel contractor horror stories

Why Using Builders Surplus Home Remodel Installation Services Eliminates The Pain

Builders Surplus is a solution for this problem for many reasons. First of all, managing a home remodel is a very time intensive process. There are many steps that need to be taken is a specific sequence, and a coordination of trades that most home owners just aren’t prepared for. We take that on for you. We make sure that your installers are vetted, reliable, affordable, and perform quality renovation work. While you may just be one customer when trying to negotiate rates, or deal with issues with a contractor, we are 50+ customers, repeat business every month, with substantially more buying power behind us. While our installers are already reliable, when we have issues to resolve, it is a much easier process for all parties. Don’t spend too much for a low price. Don’t put a damper on your beautiful new home remodel. Talk to Builders Surplus today about starting your renovation project with free design servieces and trusted installation services. Contact us today!    

Want to learn more about kitchen & bath remodeling?

Bachelor Pad Essentials

When most people think about bachelor pads, we envision 20-somethings living in a crowded, unkempt apartment with hand-me-down furniture and pizza boxes serving as a coffee table.  It is the kind of place mothers dread thinking about and girlfriends pray they don’t have to set foot in.  But there’s nothing a little tough love and brainstorming can’t fix!  So, fellas, I have a list of bachelor pad essentials that will help you have an amazing cool-guy home that isn’t full of feminine design.  Let’s get started.

Table for the Team

Bachelor Pad Dining Room Table
From poker players to tabletop gamers, every bachelor needs a table where he and his buddies can gather around for some fun.  There are so many designs you can go with that aren’t over the top.  Simple is best, yes?  Go for more length than width, with thin planks and legs.  It won’t seem bulky and you can fit a few more chairs around it.  For those of you in a relationship, you can’t go wrong with a dinner that isn’t being served on a coffee table in front of the TV.

Workspace / Fun Place

Bachelor Pad Industrial Desk
Whether you are plugging away on a project, checking social media, or invested in a MMO campaign, you’ll need a place that is multi-functional.  I like the rough, industrial aspect of this workspace design.  It is dark, a little dramatic, and it looks like it was pulled out of a long, lost wartime factory.  You’ll need plenty of drawers to store important documents and it can also serve as an area to display awards and (a few) of your prized possessions.

Centered Entertainment

Bachelor Pad Essential TV Mount
You aren’t in college anymore, so there is no need to display giant speakers and have your TV on a stand your old roommate’s friend’s friend handed down to you.  Make the television a focal point in the room with a mounted stand.  Shelves on either side of it make for more storage space.  You could also invest in a wireless surround system that doesn’t require cords to be strewn all over the floor.

Treat Yo’ Windows

Curtains in Bachelor Pad
Curtains aren’t only for women and serve for purposes other than decoration.  They are important for insulation, reducing noise, and preventing flooring and furniture fading in a bachelor pad.  Depending on your style, you could choose masculine or neutral colors (cobalt, grey, hunter green.)  There is also the trend of geometric, minimalist patterns (pinstripes, honeycombs, plaid.)  Dress up your windows; we promise you won’t regret it when you want to sleep in late.

Eye for Art

Bachelor Pad Unique Art Ideas
For those of you who can’t stand a bare wall, we’ve got creative ideas to display your favorite things.  An architect or designer or could have engineer prints made of his favorite projects; a sports fanatic could have vintage memorabilia displayed in shadow boxes.  You don’t have to purchase new art–use the things you have!  This creative design of tools hanging from the wall is both aesthetically pleasing and you already have everything you need to get handy around the home.  Other ideas include: framing comic books, collaging old nautical maps, and using floating shelves to show of your growing vinyl collection.

For more ideas on how to style your bachelor pad, check out the Pinterest board we have put together.  If you have an amazing design idea in your own home, feel free to tag us on Instagram @builderssurplus and we’ll be sure to re-gram it!

Copper Sinks: The Essential Starter Guide

Copper Sinks: The Essential Starter Guide: FeaturedA
Copper Sinks – when you say copper sinks you might think of an old brown and green bowl sitting on a vanity in the old west before there was plumbing; however, copper sinks today are much different than they were way back when, they are a beautiful statement piece to any kitchen design or bathroom remodel. They’re link shiny red-brown chameleons – constantly changing and always stunning to look at and watch change over time. There are many reasons why you might want to add a copper sink to your kitchen design or bathroom remodel; it could be their unique and diverse style or their ability to be antimicrobial. Whatever the reason for your consideration of a copper sink, there is no denying that it will be the talking point of your guests around the dining room table.

Properties of Copper Sinks

Copper sinks are as unique as they come, in both style and function. When seeking copper sinks you should look for sinks that are 99% pure copper, preferably with that remaining 1% being zinc, which will add to it’s strength. Do be warned that when ordering copper sinks from China, India, or the Middle East as lead can be used as a filler because it has similar workability to copper and is inexpensive. Lead is also harmful to humans – so be cautious when ordering outside of the United States.
Copper is an extremely soft metal which means that it can be shaped and hammered into different designs to turn an average bowl into a stunning masterpiece!

Copper Sinks: Mount & Style

Like any other sink, copper sinks also come in a variety of styles and mounts. They can be unadorned or extremely elaborate – it all just depends on what you’re looking for and what you’re willing to spend. Sink mounts refer to how the sink is installed and will look on the countertop, while style generally refers to the finish of the product.

Decorative, Farmhouse

Decorative sinks tend to be more ornate and have intricate designs either hammered or stamped into the metal. They are extremely elegant and with the reactive and changing nature of copper sinks they will always look a little different the next copper sink! Farmhouse, is the kind of mount, and is not unique to copper sinks. Farmhouse mounted sink are also called an apron mount where the front of the sink is exposed or overhangs from the the cabinets below it. Farmhouse is a great look and feel to go for with more country, or traditional style kitchens. Now, just because these two are listed together doesn’t mean that’s how all copper sinks are. You can most certainly get a decorative sink with a different mount or just a plain farmhouse mount with no decoration.
Copper Sinks: The Essential Starter Guide: Decorative Farmhouse

Hammered, Drop In

Hammered sinks are less ornate than more decorative style sinks, however they’re more unique than plain or brushed finish copper sinks. Hammered sinks give a faceted look to a shiny sink that has little patina to it, like you’re washing dishes in an amber bowl. When your sink has a more patina’d look to it, it makes the bowl appear more rustic and handmade – craftsmanship like. Drop In sinks are more common because their weight is what largely keeps them in place on the counter top, and thus are really easy to install.
Copper Sinks: The Essential Starter Guide: Hammered Drop In

Brushed, Under Mount

A copper sink – with little else to it will be eye catching, so if you’re wanting something more simple than what else can be seen on here then looking towards a brushed finish is a simple and understated, yet still elegant solution. Under mount sinks are beautiful because the countertop sits directly above them, giving the space a more modern and seamless look.

Hammered Under Mount

Hammered Finish Under Mount Sinks

Finished, Vessel

There are different kinds of finishes, the kind that I am referencing here are copper sinks that have something other than a wax or sealant to finish them, such as glass or acrylic. The bonus to this is that the copper will stay in all it’s original, shiny, beautiful, glory – if you can’t stand slight inconsistencies or change in your sink finish then this is the way to go! A vessel mount sink appears to be a simple bowl sitting atop your vanity or countertop. These are decorative of themselves and make great statement pieces without needing any kind of finish! Vessel sinks come in many different shapes and styles. If you want a unique looking sink that goes beyond just copper, vessel sinks are as unique and as out there as you can get!
Copper Sinks: The Essential Starter Guide: Unique Vessel

Pros & Cons of Copper Sinks

Everything in this world has its ups and downs. When it comes to sinks it just depends on what you want, and how much you can spend. If antimicrobial properties are important to you then you’re only bet is copper.


  • They’re beautiful: It’s that simple. Copper sinks are some of the most beautiful and unique! The fact that they’re made from one sheet with no seams also makes them like works of art. They can be hammered and shaped to almost any dimension. Copper sinks do form a patina as they’re exposed to water and air, so if you love the original color you can have it coated to preserve it’s beauty. If you like their reactivity, the ever changing color and patina of copper sinks are just a bonus to their beauty. This goes beyond copper sinks being beautiful, they literally have countless combinations of finish and style. Some look like regular sinks and others look like works of art!
  • They’re antimicrobial: This unique property of copper sinks makes them favorable for kitchens, while bacteria can live on many sinks surfaces for weeks at a time, bacteria on copper sinks can only last a matter of hours. However, the EPA states that you shouldn’t coat (paint, lacquer, varnish, wax, etc.) your copper sinks if you wish to keep the antimicrobial nature if the metal.
  • Copper is 100% recyclable: Copper retains 95% of it’s original value when being sold after recycling. In fact, it’s likely that the copper sink that you’re getting is already made from previously recycled copper.
  • They’re durable: Depending on the gauge (thickness) of copper that your sink comes in will definitely affect its durability, the thicker the copper the less likely to dent it will be. Copper sinks are resistant to corrosion and rust, making it an ideal choice for a sink material.


  • They’re highly reactive: If you want your copper sinks to maintain their color you’ll need to coat them – which will rid of you of the antimicrobial properties of the metal as well. Acidic foods and drinks, abrasive cleaners, and extremely hot or cold cookware can change the color of your sink, darkening it and leaving odd colored spots. Granted, as the patina darkens everything will become more uniform as time progresses. However, unless they’re sealed periodically it is extremely hard to maintain a copper sinks original shine.
  • They’re expensive: More than just being an expensive choice for a sink, they’re also expensive to repair. Copper is a very soft and malleable metal, so it can be easily dented and warped, meaning that you’ll likely need to repair it more often than other sink materials. Keep in mind that thinner gauge copper sinks will dent more easily than thicker gauge copper sinks.
  • They need more maintenance: To keep it’s shine and finish in tact for as long as possible you should dry the sink with a soft towel after every use and you should be careful with what products you use to clean it as some more acidic cleaners can discolor your sink. Warm water and gentle soap is usually all it takes.

Copper Sinks: The Essential Starter Guide: Reactive
When all is said and done choosing the right sink for you is up to you, however, we hope, that in considering copper sinks for your next kitchen design or bathroom remodel that we’ve provided you with the necessary information to decide if a copper sink is right for your home and family! They’re stunning and unique pieces with equally unique properties that make them ideal in any kitchen! Now that you know something about copper sinks, if you think that you’re ready to shop around you can view our copper sink selection on our website!
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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