A sneak peek at products you’re likely to hear about this year.

2012 Product Preview

A sneak peek at products you’re likely to hear about this year.

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    Outside Slider

    Ultra Series TerraSpan lift-and-slide doors measure 10 feet tall, but they still meet impact testing criteria Level D, wind zone 4 testing standards, and offer a design pressure rating of 45. Doors are made with extruded aluminum exteriors and a range of interior wood species. They can be ordered with a maximum of 10 panels in widths up to 6 feet. Kolbe & Kolbe Millwork. 715-842-5666.www.kolbe-kolbe.com.
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    Guard Duty

    AvantGuard entry doors may appear to be made of cherry wood, but they are a weather-resistant, man-made product. The manufacturer uses a digital printing process that applies an authentic wood look to pre-textured fiberglass slabs. Doors are finished with an automotive-style coating that offers five years of maintenance-free protection. Masonite. 800-895-2723.www.masonite.com.
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    Diamond Life

    Part of the Diamond Series, this 4-inch light is the newest addition to the manufacturer’s line of LED recessed downlights for new construction and retrofit projects. It has a deep-set, 2-inch lens and offers 530 lumen output. The Energy Star–rated product provides up to 50,000 hours of performance and can be installed in any manufacturer’s housing. Nora Lighting. 800-686-6672.www.noralighting.com.
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    Reflex Action

    The company’s Arbor kitchen faucet features the Reflex pull-down system, with a resistance-free hose that easily extends and retracts. Offered in a transitional design, the unit has a multi-function wand, a high-arc spout, and a 1255 Duralast cartridge that provides a smooth feel for the life of the faucet. It also comes with a pause button for performing tasks outside the sink. Moen. 800-289-6636.www.moen.com.

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    Evolutionary Chain

    Inspired by products that are commonly found in Europe, the Evolution Series 9000 tilt-and-turn aluminum window offers the dual-action functionality of a hopper and a casement. The tilt-in feature provides a 4-inch opening at the top for indirect ventilation, and the swing-in casement operation provides full-opening ventilation and easy access. Crystal Window & Door Systems. 718-961-7300.www.crystalwindows.com.
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    Water Saver

    Allia is a new fireclay dual-flush toilet line that complies with various stringent water-use standards across the country, including California. Offered with coordinating sinks, the two-piece toilet (shown) features a traditionally inspired look. It’s outfitted with an oak hardwood cover and seat and has an elongated bowl and a gravity-fed, siphonic-jet flush. ROHL. 800-777-9762.www.rohlhome.com.

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    Seal Tight

    The Seal Grip family now includes a primer/finish for multipurpose interior needs. A low-VOC product, the primer offers good stain-blocking properties, dries in about an hour, and sands easily. It’s also resistant to chips, peels, and blisters, and won’t crack over caulk. It cleans up with soap and water. PPG Architectural Coatings. 800-441-9695.www.ppgpittsburghpaints.com.

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    Value Proposition

    The Ultra-R direct-set window uses Heat Mirror film technology by Southwall Technologies to achieve a center of glass R-value of 20. The film is coated with nanoscale metal particles that reflect heat back to its source, improving insulation, blocking UV rays, and reducing noise. With a total unit R-value of R-9, it is 33 percent lighter than triple-pane products. Hurd Windows and Doors. 800-433-4873.www.hurd.com.

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    Sound Off

    Well-known adhesive brand Liquid Nails adds an acoustical sealant to its lineup of products. An elastic sealant designed to reduce sound transmission in various types of wall systems, the product is made with low-volatile organic compounds, has low odor, and can be cleaned up with water. It’s nonflammable and adheres to most surfaces. Akzo Nobel Paints. 800-634-0015.www.liquidnails.com.

January is a wonderful time of the year. It represents new beginnings, hope, and optimism. For builders, architects, and contractors, it also raises the hope that this year might bring to light some truly innovative products and materials that can be incorporated into their homes. We’ve done some digging and found a number of selections that hold some promise.

The economy is still floundering, so research and development efforts have been few and far between. But some companies are still moving forward. Kolbe & Kolbe Millwork is introducing its Ultra Series Terra-Span lift-and-slide doors, which measure 10 feet tall. The doors, offering a design pressure rating of 45, meet wind zone 4 testing standards. Akzo Nobel Paints, which produces the ubiquitous Liquid Nails brand, has added an acoustical sealant that reduces sound transmission in various types of wall systems. And Hurd Windows and Doors debuts its new Ultra-R direct-set window that uses Heat Mirror technology to achieve an impressive center of glass R-value of 20; the window’s total unit R-value is 9.

A few of the products listed will be at this year’s International Builders’ Show in February; we’ve included their booth numbers. Check them all out, though, to see if any of them will make your year a little brighter.