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Product Picks

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    Resin Panels

    If you’re not using resin panels in your homes, you’re missing an opportunity. A nice substitute for glass, the products are constructed with interlayers of textiles, metal, foliage, and other materials, so they offer a host of design options. Some, such as 3form’s 100 Percent, are made from post-consumer recycled material.
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    Lever Handles

    If you want a door handle that’s easy for the young as well as the old to use, grab a lever. A traditional knob is harder to oper-ate, requiring more finger strength and rotational dexterity. But the lever can be opened with an elbow. Baldwin Hardware offers lever handles in contemporary and traditional styles. Baldwin Hardware. www.baldwinhardware.com.
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    Good Bath Idea

    According to the Home Ventilating Institute, a bath fan should run for at least 20 minutes after a shower to remove the humidity and moisture, but owners rarely do this. That’s why moisture-sensing fans are such a good idea. They detect a rapid rise in humidity, activate, and then automatically shut off after a preset time. Broan-NuTone.www.nutone.com.
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    Blow-In Cellulose

    Fiberglass batt insulation and blow-in cellulose have an R-value that’s relatively similar—about 3.50 to 3.70. The difference is small, but the blow-in process can give you better coverage in a wall cavity. Cellulose, such as GreenFiber, is made from recycled paper and is treated for fire resistance. It can be used for walls or attics. GreenFiber.www.greenfiber.com.
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    Dark Cabinets

    Darker-colored wood cabinets project a dignified look, but they get a bad rap for making kitchens feel small. Brown stains and dark species simply need natural light, bright tiles, and stainless steel to show off their design possibilities. This walnut Safariance door features a cocoa stain. Plain & Fancy Cabinets.www.plainfancycabinetry.com.
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    Pocket-Screw Jig

    Anyone who has used pocket-screw joints for cabinetry knows that they’re better than dowels and easier than mortise-and-tenons because they don’t require complex measure-ments. Consisting of a three-hole drill guide, toggle clamp, drill bit, and square driver, the Kreg Jig system makes pocket joints as easy as pie. Kreg Tool Co.www.kregtool.com.
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    PEX Pipe

    Cross-linked polyethylene (a.k.a. PEX) is a water-supply piping that doesn’t corrode or develop pinhole leaks, is scale-resistant, and, because it uses a home-run installation, has fewer fittings, connections, and elbows than rigid plastic and copper. Now this PEX manufacturer offers pre-insulated PEX tubing with a layer of ½-inch foam surrounding the tubing. Uponor.www.uponor.ca.
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    Wall-Hung Toilet

    The trouble with standard toilets is that they’re often too low for people with limited mobility and strength, which is why an ADA-compliant, wall-mounted unit is a better idea. It allows users to easily sit or stand. This dual-flush unit from Caroma uses 1.28 or 0.8 gallons per flush, and it can be adjusted up to 17 inches. Caroma USA.www.caromausa.com.
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    Floor-Warming Mats

    A heated floor is a great pleasure, and an energy-efficient one is even better. Rather than using forced air to heat your homes, radiant heating warms surfaces instead. Nuheat offers a variety of custom mats for odd-shaped spaces, but the company’s standard heating mats come in squares and rectangles and are ideal for most rooms. Nuheat.www.nuheat.com.
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    Wood Tiles

    If you really want your interiors to stand out, try using materials other than drywall and paint. Spaces can benefit from a variety of cladding, such as ceramic and glass tile, MDF, and wood, among many others. This Mesquite wood tile from Ann Sacks gives a room a warm contemporary vibe and comes with a tactile pillowed surface. Ann Sacks.www.annsacks.com.

Resiin panels, 3form.www.3-form.com

Lever Handles, Baldwin Hardware.www.baldwinhardware.com

Moisture-sensing fans, Broan-NuTone.www.nutone.com

Cellulose GreenFiber, GreenFiber.www.greenfiber.com 

Dark Cabinets, Plain & Fancy Cabinets.www.plainfancycabinetry.com.

The Kreg Jig system, Kreg Tool Co.www.kregtool.com

PEX Pipe pre-insulated PEX tubing, Uponor.www.uponor.ca

Dual-flush toilet, Caroma USA.www.caromausa.com   

Floor-Warming Mats, Nuheat.www.nuheat.com

Mesquite wood tile, Ann Sacks.www.annsacks.com