What Is LVT Flooring?

Cortec LVT

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

But, have you ever heard of LVT Flooring?

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

What does LVT actually Mean?

blackstone oak lvt coretec

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

What is LVT Flooring Made Of?

LVT Mohawk

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

Why LVT Flooring Is So Popular

MohawkWalnutMocha LVT

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

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

What Styles Of LVT Flooring are Available?

LVT Featherweight

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

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

Ready to replace your flooring and thinking about LVT? 

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

Flooring Comparison: Luxury Vinyl Vs. Laminate Flooring

Today, I’d like to do a flooring comparison on Luxury Vinyl, also called LVT or LVT, and Laminate. The thing is, people hear about different types of flooring but never really of their benefits, their features, the extra elements that make them a viable flooring solution. Sure, we speak of tile’s durability and carpet’s coziness, but what about the cost-effective laminate? Or the physics-defying luxury vinyl tile (LVT)? We’ll talk about these two lasts, diving into some similarities but also what makes them different. Let’s get to it.


Luxury Vinyl Tile Flooring Comparison


flooring comparison

Click to shop Luxury Vinyl 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…


When doing a flooring comparison, you want to look at several things: Price, durability, style, and maintenance such as is it waterproof, etc. We’ll cover these below.


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. 


flooring comparison

Click here to shop Luxury Vinyl!


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, and also where one of the main differences come in during this flooring comparison. 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.


flooring comparison

Click to shop LVT


You could technically put it in your bathroom. That was typically a BIG no-no, and you had to use a wood look tile if your design called for a wood style. The downside there, is that installing tile is much more expensive than installing LVT.

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.


flooring comparison

Click to shop Luxury Vinyl Flooring


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*

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


flooring comparison

Click to shop LVT flooring!


Side note: If you’re worried about sound, LVT often has sound muffling cork backing. I’m telling you, LVT virtually has no cons, besides the fact that it’s just not real wood. To learn a little more about LVT, make sure to check out this blog! 


Laminate Flooring Comparison

flooring comparison

Click here to shop laminate flooring!


When some people do a flooring comparison, they sometimes given laminate a bad rap for being cheap or too ordinary. Some laminate is more cheaply made than others, but there is a laminate style for everyone. There are definitely some positive sides to laminate.  First off…the funds. 

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.

Obviously, these prices are a bit cheaper than Luxury Vinyl Tile, but there’s a reason for it. In this flooring comparison, you’ll see the different benefits of each. If you’re looking for a nice-looking floor at a cheaper price, this is your best bet. But if you’re going for full functionality, the aforementioned will do the trick. 


flooring comparison

Click here for laminate flooring!


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 food (libation) for 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. Whereas laminate’s opponent in this post completely repels water. Definitely a hard difference there. 


flooring comparison

Click here to shop laminate flooring!

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 comparison

Click here to shop Laminate Flooring!


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.

There you have it. The main flooring comparison between Luxury Vinyl and Laminate flooring. A quick recap: They’re both fairly inexpensive, durable and make for a beautiful floor. LVT has a bit more functionality, being completely waterproof BUT laminate is water-resistant. I hope this proves to be a decent reference the next time you’re in store and looking for flooring options. Until next time, everyone, stay safe!

Written By: Chris Chamberlain


PRO Flooring Options: Affordable Yet Stylish

As a contractor, you want to make your customers happy. You also want to get them the best deal on products if they have a budget they want to stay within. Offering them affordable yet stylish flooring options that they love can be a great way to please your customer and get a finished product that looks great. The following flooring options are a mix of choices that can be found in a bathroom, kitchen or main space. Lets check them out!
LVT Flooring On Sale

Our Top 5 Affordable Flooring Options

1. LVT or Luxury Vinyl Tile

LVT is by far my favorite, and possibly the hottest, of all the current flooring options. This product is beautiful, durable, easy to install, 100% waterproof and scratch resistant! This product can be used in bathrooms, kitchens, main living spaces, and anywhere in between! Pet owners love it, families with small children love it, DIYers love it as well! I actually haven’t met anyone who purchased this product who was unhappy with it. The price can get up there, depending on the brand, the size of the planks, the added features such as a cork backing which replaces underlayment, but the opening price point is $1.79/ sq. ft. which I think is an awesome deal for what you get. The technology has come so far and LVT looks just like real wood or even tile. Not only will you save your clients money on the product itself, but you’ll also save them money replacing possible damaged flooring in the future!
lvt flooring options

2. Ceramic Basketweave Tile

Basketweave tile is very popular in flooring options right now. It has a vintage yet modern look that homeowners can’t get enough of. It’s easy to install, and the ceramic version is very affordable! While you can also find a marble version for someone wanting a bit of a more upscale look, I think the ceramic is a beautiful choice that you can’t go wrong with.
basketweave tile flooring options

3. Wood Look Tile

Wood look tile is another one of this years affordable flooring options that I just can’t get enough of! It gives the amazing durability of tile, with the coveted look of wood. We have distressed and modern wood looks to compliment any home style. Wood look tile starts at just $1.99 sq/ft and will last for decades. Easy to install, and works in any room of the house.
wood-look-tile-flooring options

4. Mohawk ‘Made in the USA’ Laminate

Mohawk is a made in the USA product, which is a huge selling point to many homeowners, especially after all the Lumber Liquidators issues that came out last year. We are carrying Mohawk laminate flooring starting at $1.29/sq. ft. Mohawk is a very well known and respected brand that homeowners would be happy to have in their home, and would feel safe and comfortable using. Laminate has taken a hit after last year’s Lumber Liquidator’s debacle. Many people were fearful of purchasing laminate. But you can tell them to rest assured with Mohawk. It’s durable, beautiful and safe.

5. Unfinished Hardwood Flooring

Unfinished hardwood flooring is like a blank canvas! It can be stained or finished any way that you or the homeowner chooses. We have unfinished hardwood flooring starting at just $.99/sq ft! At that price, your customers will be thrilled. We have a variety of wood species and thicknesses of planks. Make sure to mention it next time you’re speaking to someone who is on a budget about solid hardwood floors. They’ll definitly thank you for it.
Good luck on your projects this month and let us know if there is anything we can help you with! Our job is to make your job easier.

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

Written By: Allie Bloyd

What 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.

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!

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.

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