Well, the odds are, if you worked with us, the cabinets came first! It's actually a question we address a lot. Homeowners may often wonder which of these items they need to start with, or may be confused about it. Let us explain a little bit more about why and how this works.

There are a couple reason's it is best to put flooring in after the cabinets are set. Firstly, cabinets and counter tops are heavy, the pressure that cabinets and counter tops put on the flooring will often not only ruin the flooring, but void the warranty of said flooring. Secondly, almost no home will have a totally level floor (especially in Alaska, hello permafrost). In order to make the cabinets and counter tops level, installers use shims underneath the cabinet...

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Many of our readers will know that Builders Bargains prides ourselves on carrying all plywood cabinets. You may find it surprising then, that our new stock of white cabinetry incorporates an MDF door. Before you write us off as frauds, hear us out, we promise there's a reason!

In case your skin hasn't notified you recently, Alaska has a very dry climate. Wood is very susceptible to changing with the elements. It shrinks in dry environments and swells in humidity. That being said, when you paint a wooden surface, anywhere that joints come together the paint is going to be vulnerable to acquiring cracks when the wood shrinks. In order to combat this issue manufacturers have started MDF which is a tightly compressed material that is very dense. It is not the same as particle board but a similar idea.
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If you have read anything from us with in the past couple years, you know we are big proprietors of quartz counter tops. We feel that they require much less upkeep than granite and are just as beautiful and resilient.

That being said, we have a lot of clients who come in asking for quartz bathroom vanity tops. The problem with quartz vanity tops is they are not usually very cost effective. We have yet to find a manufacturer that produces pre fabricated vanity tops like we are able to get in granite. In order to create a quartz vanity top we have to order and cut down a whole slab of quartz. 2cm material can be a little easier on the pocket book, but we still find that by the time we cut down and fabricate a piece of quartz it usually runs...

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Anyone who has purchased cabinets from us knows that our cabinets are RTA (ready to assemble) cabinets or, in other words, they come unassembled. However, some may not know WHY we get our cabinets this way. There are several different benefits of getting an RTA cabinet, especially when you live in Alaska.

Alaskans are all too aware of the expense of shipping goods to Alaska. We know that, in order to live in this beautiful place, we are going to end up spending more on almost everything we purchase. Many of the larger stores don’t take shipping into consideration when they order their cabinets in Alaska, hence they ship them assembled just like they would to the continental U.S. Why does this make a difference you ask? Well, take a...

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Anyone who uses their kitchen a lot knows that counter tops are a big deal. Not only does one need to consider the amount of space to prepare food, but the type of surface to prepare on, is equally important. Todays market boasts a large variety of different materials, and, although more expensive, stone surfaces have reigned in recent years as one of the most popular options. This is due in large part to the fact that they are a durable product that can withstand heat and cutting with ease. For the most part Granite counter tops took up a large part of the market and were revered as the “go to” counter top for newer homes and remodels. However, recently a new contender, called quartz, has come on the market.The first thing t...

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Why go through the trouble of changing out your windows?

Huge savings on energy bills, 30-50%. That amounts to $30-50 for every $100 on utility bills.

New windows give your home an updated appearance and increase your homes value.

How do you know when it is time to replace your kitchen countertops? Generally, it’s time to upgrade when your countertops no longer match your design vision, are too difficult to maintain, and/or are damaged beyond repair. Stone or solid-surface countertops sporting deep cracks, pitted areas, and scorched marks are prime for replacing, as are badly stained and broken ceramic-tiled counters. Laminate countertops suffering from outdated colors or patterns, deep knife cuts, water damage, or staining might also need replacing.

Give our team of design experts a call today to discuss your countertop needs.


Hardwood floors are exceptionally popular today due to their beauty, durability and cleanliness. However, the finish on hardwood floors can vary, and is actually quite important to consider when choosing your hardwood floor. Two of the leading types of finish for wood floors currently are oil finished and synthetic surface coatings (aluminum oxide, polyurethane, ect). Here we will outline the differences and benefits of these finishes.

The first thing to understand, is what these finishes are. Oil finishes are pretty self explanatory, an oil based finish. Synthetic finishes are essentially a sealing top coat. While, off hand, this may seem the preferable option, there is more to consider.

Synthetic finishes create a plastic like coating on top of the wood. This creates a very shiny floor and durable surface. However, the shine of this coating is easily, and quickly dulled by any surface scratches. Scratches will often be more obvious in this type of floor and appear white when first created. While most scratches will remain solely in the protectant layer it is necessary to recoat in order to maintain this type of floor. In order to recoat this type of floor you must do the entire floor at once, which require moving all furniture and items in the room. Finally, this floor requires specific cleaners, using the wrong type of cleaner on this type of finish can not only dull and cloud the appearance of the floor but prevent future recoats from adhering correctly.

In contrast, oil finished floors have a much more natural, matte look to them. While you might initially think oil would not protect as well as a synthetic finish, the truth is oil is able to penetrate further into the wood to protect and condition it. While it will not create a full barrier between the floor and shoes, ect. floors like this actually develop a patina, and tend to look better over time. Another huge advantage of oil finished floors is the ability to spot repair scratches and other imperfections that may occur, all it takes to repair simple damage is a cleaning and a little oil. You will still want to maintain your whole floor every few years or so, but this allows you to keep your floor looking show ready all the time! This finish is also simple to clean, with soap and water and a damp mop, no need to worry about build up.

One final thing to consider is the process of refinishing. Refinishing oil finished floors is substantially easier and less dusty. Synthetic finishes tend to create excessive dust, as the entire surface coating has to be removed to get to the wood. As oil finished floors do not have an extra layers they are quite simple to sand down and refinish, should the need arise. However, if you choose a product like our Castle Combe Grande or Originals, which are designed to look rustic and already contain imperfections, the odds of needing to refinish your floor are quite slim.

While both finishes have their advantages and disadvantages, in the end it truly depends on you, the consumer, and what is most important to you in a floor. If you prefer simple, easy to maintain with a natural look I would say oil finished is right for you. If a shiny finish with overall durability against scratches is most important to you I would suggest going with a synthetic finish. Either route you decide to go we would be happy to help you find the floor you’ve been dreaming about! Visit us at either our Palmer or Anchorage location to see the wide variety of wood floors we have available.

~You can see below how scratches affect the different materials~






In Alaska the weather is extreme. We have wet shoes most of the year. Using LVT you are able to choose exotic woods and stones without the constant upkeep. LVT is water resistant and will not warp when left wet for extended periods. Alaskan cabins are often remote and are not heated. LVT does not expand or contract so it is perfect for cabins or homes that are left for the winter.

• Protects against excessive wear

• Superior cleanability

• Superior stain resistance

• Durable resilient

• Resist chips and dents

• Stable – will not expand or contract

• Hide subfloor imperfections

• No glue profile for easy installation

• No acclimation necessary Hides Subfloor Imperfections

• Rigid pla...

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Replacing old elements, such as doors, windows, and siding in general yielded a better financial return than bigger remodeling projects, such as additions. But real estate agents and remodelers say updated kitchens and baths still bring a significant payoff, especially at resale time. The report found that kitchen projects yielded a higher return than bath projects, with a minor kitchen remodel adding 82.7 percent of the project’s cost back to the home’s value.

Are you getting ready to sell your home? Give us a call to schedule your free consultation!

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