“American Top 40,” a weekly radio show that keeps track of the 40 most popular songs in the U.S., has been a favorite program for many over the last 40 years. People like it because it tells them who is hot and who is not.

For the same reason, our editors like to know which products from our pages made you stop, look, and seek out additional information. And we think you’d like to know as well, so we’re happy to offer you our annual top 50 products list. Based on reader service requests, the list gives us a glimpse into the psyche of the home building industry over the past year.

What did this year’s list reveal? For one, home builders are very much interested in energy-saving products. You’re intrigued by insulated siding (which counted for four of the top 10 products), tankless water heaters, energy-efficient HVAC systems, and high-performance windows.

But other products also caught your eye; the list below includes the most popular of them among Builder readers in 2011.

Top 10

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Readers’ Choice Top 10

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    Timber Products Co.

    These softwood plywood panels feature pre-applied foil wrap that acts as a barrier to block 97 percent of radiant heat. They help keep attic temperatures up to 30 degrees cooler and help lower monthly utility bills. The panels come in three thicknesses. Timber Products Co. 800-547-9520. www.timberproducts.com.
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    Boral Stone Products

    Versetta Stone is a non-structural veneer that offers the look of traditional masonry but does not require mortar. The company uses fiber-reinforced concrete that is one-third the weight of stone and a molding process that reproduces the look and feel of stone. Boral Stone Products. 678-639-7004. www.versettastone.com.
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    Johnson Hardware

    The Series 2610FB wall-mount hardware is the perfect solution when space is an issue and a pocket door is out of the question. Pieces mount on the wall and allow doors to slide out of the way. The product comes in bronze and aluminum finishes. Johnson Hardware. 800-837-5664. www.johnsonhardware.com.
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    Rollex Corp.

    The maker of Thermal-Pro says this is the first fabricated insulated steel siding product. Combining durability and energy efficiency, it’s made from 29-gauge galvanized steel with a PVC finish and expanded polystyrene. Its R-values range from 2.20 to 2.63. Rollex Corp. 800-251-3300. www.rollex.com.
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    Uponor Corp.

    Designed for hydronic heating, Radiant Ready 30E is a radiant mechanical room that comes in an easy-to-install panel. The installer simply hangs the panel and connects the tubing, thermostat, and electrical power. It’s designed to cover up to 2,000 square feet of radiant floor heating. Uponor Corp. 800-321-4739. www.uponorpro.com/radiantready.
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    Porter-Cable

    Designed for HVAC professionals and energy specialists, the company’s infrared thermometer incorporates a feature that quickly identifies a temperature change and is able to detect leaks around windows and doors. It has a temperature range of -22 to 590 degrees. Porter-Cable. 888-848-5175. www.portercable.com.
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    CertainTeed

    The manufacturer has added insulated board-and-batten siding to its CedarBoards product line. With a rustic cedar look, the panel has an alternating wide 10-inch board, a 2-inch batten, and ½ inch of expanded polystyrene insulation. It comes in 10-foot lengths and 12 colors. CertainTeed. 800-233-8990. www.certainteed.com.
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    Crane

    This insulation-backed board-and-batten line is a close approximation of the real thing, its maker says. It will add character to a home and increase its energy efficiency and whole-wall R-value. The product resists winds up to 150 miles per hour. Exterior Portfolio by Crane. 800-366-8472. www.exteriorportfolio.com.
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    Alside

    Prodigy insulated vinyl siding features high-density EPS foam insulation measuring 1.5 inches thick for improved thermal performance. As a result, the product offers R-values up to 3.5, as well as increased sound deadening properties. It comes in three profiles and 21 colors. Alside. 800-922-6009. www.alside.com.
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    Genova Products

    The Genovations Glass Railing adds safety to a deck without blocking the view. Aluminum channels support the top and bottom rails with die-cast metal brackets, and PVC covers hide the hardware. Finished in a low-gloss, satin sheen, the railing measures 6 feet and 8 feet. Genova Products. 888-309-1808. www.genovaproducts.com.

1 Timber Products Co. radiant barrier plywood panels

2 Boral Stone Products faux stone veneer

2 Johnson Hardware door hardware

4 Rollex Corp. insulated steel siding

5 Uponor Corp. hydronic heating panel

6 Porter-Cable thermometer

7 CertainTeed insulated vinyl

7 Exterior Portfolio by Crane insulated vinyl

9 Alside insulated vinyl

10 Genova Products glass railing








Readers' Choice 11-20

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Readers’ Choice 11-20

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    The manufacturer has expanded its tankless hot water heaters with new gas and propane models that use highly efficient condensing technology. Offering continuous flow rates of up to 8 gallons per minute, the indoor/outdoor units operate with a .91 Energy Factor and offer 180,000 BTUs. Cost: $2,130 (indoor) and $2,080 (outdoor). A. O. Smith Water Products. 866-362-9898. www.hotwater.com.
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    The Tranquility 22 Digital Series geothermal system has a small footprint that makes it ideal for tight spaces. Available in vertical or horizontal configurations, the system features a two-stage compressor, a variable-speed fan, and digital controls. It’s available in several capacities, all of which are eligible for 30 percent federal tax credits. ClimateMaster. 877-436-6263. www.climatemaster.com.
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    For ease of use, you can now custom order wood-Ultrex windows in 1/64-inch increments. The wood-Ultrex line, which comes in a variety of styles, is designed to be eight times stronger than vinyl and three times stronger than wood-vinyl composites. It also will not scratch, warp, or corrode. Integrity by Marvin Windows and Doors. 888-419-0076. www.integritywindows.com.
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    Backed with polystyrene foam insulation, Structure insulated vinyl siding is an impact-resistant product that improves the energy efficiency of a house as well as the flatness of the exterior wall. The manufacturer offers the panels in 12 feet, 6 inches and in longer lengths measuring 16 feet, 8 inches. It comes in 16 colors and three profiles. Exteriors by Ply Gem. 800-962-6973. www.mastic.com. Circle no. 13.

    Backed with polystyrene foam insulation, Structure insulated vinyl siding is an impact-resistant product that improves the energy efficiency of a house as well as the flatness of the exterior wall. The manufacturer offers the panels in 12 feet, 6 inches and in longer lengths measuring 16 feet, 8 inches. It comes in 16 colors and three profiles. Mastic Home Exteriors by Ply Gem. 800-962-6973. www.mastic.com.
  • SDWS and SDWH 6 inch structural screws product

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    Simpson Strong-Tie Company Inc.

    The hex-head Strong Drive SDWH screws require less torque to install than comparable fasteners, making them easier to drive in general-purpose fastening. Measuring 3 to 10 inches long, the screws feature a corrosion-resistant coating that’s suitable for interior and exterior treated-wood applications. Simpson Strong-Tie. 800-999-5099. www.strongtie.com.
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    Zinfandel Tigerwood is an engineered-wood flooring that features light scraping on each plank and French bleed edges to accentuate the wood floor’s grain variation. Boards measure 5 inches wide, ½ inch thick and come in varying lengths from 12 inches to 71 inches. The product is made with multiple layers so it can be installed in basements. BR-111. 800-525-2711. www.br111.com.
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    101, 04.8.9, 0:20 PM, 8C, 6000x8000 (0), 100%, chrome 6 stops, 1/30 s, R69.8, G60.8, B101.0

    “Smart toilets” are now within reach—relatively speaking, and a new entry in that category is the INAX ATS. Aimed at transforming a bath into a spa-like space, the ATS features a heater function, dual nozzles for personal cleansing, and a warm air-drying system. It also incorporates antibacterial technology to stop the spread of germs. Cost: $850 to $1,150. INAX USA. 424-237-1031. www.inax-usa.com.
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    These contractor-grade tool bags offer a better way for tradesmen to transport, store, and organize hand tools and power tool accessories. Built big and roomy, the four bags feature interior and exterior pockets, open storage areas, and elastic loops. Some also offer a tape measure clip, key clip, tape holder loop, and small-parts bins. Cost: $29.99 to $65.99. Lenox. 800-628-8810. www.lenoxtools.com.
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    You can buy four separate cooking appliances or you can buy one—the Pro Grand Steam Range. The 48-inch unit is the world‘s first kitchen appliance to offer seven cooking options: steam, convection baking, burner cooking, simmering, grilling, griddle, and warming drawer. Features include a 22,000-BTU burner and SoftClose hinges. Cost: $13,995. Thermador. 800-735-4328. www.thermador.com.
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    The Europa range hood comes with a cutting-edge DCBL Suppression System that results in a cleaner and greener product. Equipped with a brushless DC motor, it uses 77 percent less energy and produces 77 percent less noise. Zephyr. 888-880-8368. www.zephyronline.com.

11 A. O. Smith Water Products tankless water heater

11 ClimateMaster heat pump

11 Marvin Windows and Doors window

11 Exteriors by Ply Gem insulated siding

15 Simpson Strong-Tie screws

16 BR-111 wood flooring

17 INAX USA toilet

18 Lenox tool bags

18 Thermador steam range

18 Zephyr range hood



Reader's Choice 21-30 

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Readers’ Choice 21-30

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    The Power-Flo Pro airless sprayer allows small contractors and builders to increase their productivity at a relatively low cost. Ideal for jobs that paint brushes cannot reach, it draws paint directly from a 5- or 1-gallon container and will spray 5 gallons in 20 minutes. It handles thick or thin materials such as semi-transparent stain. Cost: $250. HomeRight. 800-264-5442. www.homeright.com.
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    Trü Faucets addresses the trend toward copper in the kitchen with this two-handle pot filler. Featuring solid brass construction and ceramic cartridges, it measures 10.22 inches tall and has a 22.76-inch spout that swivels 180 degrees. Premier Copper Products. 877-251-4486. www.premiercopperproducts.com.
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    InSpire Slate composite roofing uses pigment technology to produce cool colors that can potentially lower a roof’s surface temperature by reflecting sun-light. As a result, it reduces the heat transferred into a home and cuts peak cooling demand by up to 15 percent. The roofing comes in nine colors and can contribute to one or more LEED credits. InSpire Roofing/The Tapco Group.800-971-4148. www.inspireroofing.com.
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    The manufacturer’s standing-seam metal roofing is both durable and energy efficient. Most of the products are made with Kynar 500 reflective pig-ment, which helps the roof sur-face reflect up to 70 percent of the sun’s energy and saves up to 20 percent on cooling costs. A variety of styles and more than two dozen Cool Roof color choices are available. Custom-Bilt Metals. 800-826-7813. www.custombiltmetals.com.
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    The custom wood double-hung windows now come with a variety of enhancements that improve their look and performance. Features include a concealed jamb liner that is covered with the matching interior wood choice, a tilt latch that allows for easy window cleaning, and a larger bottom rail. It comes in various styles and sizes. JELD-WEN. 800-877-9482. www.jeld-wen.com.
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    Decorative Collection is a new line of six door hardware designs that make it simple and easy to add a designer look for an off-the-shelf budget. Available in traditional, contemporary, and ornate designs, door locks are made with solid zinc die-cast construction and are easy to install with self-guiding screws. Cost: $50 to $60 (keyed levers). Schlage Lock Co. 888-805-9837. www.schlage.com.
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    Anystream Assana features a spa design aesthetic coupled with a traditional rain shower-head sensibility. The unit operates at 2 gallons per minute and features Anystream 360º spray technology, an attribute that allows the bather to make small incremental adjustments and transition through an infinite number of sprays. Cost: $62. Speakman Co. 800-537-2107. www.speakmancompany.com.
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    The Eco-Friendly A19 halogen bulbs are compliant with the Energy Independence and Security Act, which means they are up to 30 percent more efficient than current standards. Bulbs are fully dimmable and can last up to 1,000 hours. They are available in four wattages equivalent to 40-, 60-, 75-, and 100-watt incandescents. Cost: $8 to $10 (2-pack). Bulbrite. 800-528-5555. www.bulbrite.com.
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    EcoBlend synthetic slate is rated by the Cool Roof Rating Council to reflect sunlight and heat away from the home. Meeting or exceeding Energy Star–program requirements for 25 percent solar reflectivity, the low-maintenance, durable product is available in a variety of colors and measures in a range of 0.26 to 0.34 for solar reflectance. DaVinci Roofscapes. 800-328-4624. www.davinciroofscapes.com.
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    The 12-volt LED Monorail kit is an easy way to add green lighting to your homes. Featuring a no-load 60-watt electronic transformer, the product has a low profile. The kit includes 8 feet of monorail plus the company’s LED power supply. It supports up to nine LED lights, each with a 6-watt maximum and comes in bronze or satin nickel. Cost: $1,550 for a rail and six lights. Besa Lighting. 614-475-7046. www.besalighting.com.
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    The Safe ’N Sound door line offers a sustainable way to outfit your interiors. Manufactured with low-emission adhesives and sealants, the doors are DorCor low-density fiberboard, which is made from renewable wheat straw and contains no urea-formaldehyde. The solid-core doors are available in smooth and textured styles. Cost: Under $100 for slab only. Masonite. 800-663-3667. www.masonite.com.

21 HomeRight paint sprayer

22 Trü Faucets/Premier Copper Products faucet

23 InSpire Roofing/The Tapco Group roofing

24 Custom-Bilt Metals roofing

25 JELD-WEN custom window

25 Schlage door hardware

25 Speakman showerhead

28 Bulbrite bulb

28 DaVinci Roofscapes roofing

30 Besa Lighting lighting kit

30 Masonite interior door



Readers' Choice 31-40 

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Readers’ Choice 31-40

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    Landmark Solaris Platinum is a steep-slope, solar reflective asphalt roofing shingle that is made with colored granules to reflect the sun’s rays, reducing a roof’s temperature by as much as 20 percent. With a solar reflect-ance value of over 40 percent, the product is more durable than traditional shingles because the technology reduces expansion and contraction. CertainTeed.800-233-8990. www.certainteed.com.
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    Part of the company’s line of sustainably manufactured masonry, these permeable pavers are designed to manage stormwater by allowing rain to soak through. They incorporate 40 percent post-industrial recycled material as a binder and forgo the energy-intensive kiln firing required for clay pavers. Cost: $2.25 per square foot. CalStar Products. 877-700-9501. www.calstarproducts.com.
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    LiveRoof is a flexible and easy-to-install green roof system that allows builders to complete an installation in one day. Unlike most green roofs, plants are pre-grown to maturity in modules filled with a lightweight medium, and installers set them on the roof. But it offers all of the benefits of a typical sod roof, such as added insulation and stormwater management. Live-Roof/Hortech. 800-875-1392. www.liveroof.com.
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    With a variety of burner configurations, the Largo 400 Series gas cooktops adapt to kitchens with different space configurations. Products are made with a stainless steel deck, black cast-iron grates, and burners that go as high as 18,000 BTU. They range in size from 24 inches to 42 inches, and come with electric ignition. Cost: $1,759 and up. Fulgor Milano. 800-962-2032. www.fulgor-milano.com.
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    A departure from standard shower drains, the designer series features six hand-detailed patterns that will complement contemporary, transitional, or traditional architecture. The product measures 5 inches by 5 inches for quicker drainage, and its cover is held in place with magnets for a clean surface. It comes in 38 finishes. Cost: $195 and up. Watermark Designs. 718-257-2800. www.watermark-designs.com.
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    Mythic Pro high-performance, zero-VOC paint is designed for professional painters. Available in almost any color, the product offers good coverage, excellent durability, and virtually no odor. The line was developed for rapid commercial application and can be applied with airless spray. It’s available in 1- and 5-gallon pails and various sheens. Cost: $30 and up per gallon. Mythic Paint. 888-714-9422. www.mythicpaint.com.
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    The manufacturer’s Winslow pendant offers an updated take on a vintage design. Made to exacting standards, the fixture features a white glass diffuser and satin nickel accents. It’s available in three sizes, but this version measures 17 inches in diameter and has an overall length of 70 inches. A variety of finishes are available. Cost: $750. Hudson Valley Lighting. 845-561-0300. www.hudsonvalleylighting.com.
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    Simple yet elegant, the Europa bath furniture collection exudes Continental style. Pieces are constructed of solid poplar and cherry veneer and feature a drawer unit with concealed storage and open slatted lower shelf. Two stainless steel rails create a space for hanging towels. It comes in four sizes: 24-, 30-, 36-, and 48-inch widths. Cost: $725 to $1,145. Xylem Group. 866-395-8112. www.xylem.biz.
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    Purported to be the first-ever outdoor dishwasher, this unit uses about 3.8 gallons per wash and features focused spray zones to ensure that the entire load gets clean. Designed with a stainless steel interior and exterior, the unit has six wash programs, six wash temperature settings, and a triple filtration system. Cost: $4,990.Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet. 800-868-1699. www.kalamazoogourmet.com.
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    Featuring two counter-rotating blades, the TwinBlade will cut almost anything you can throw at it, including brass, galvanized iron, wood, and PVC. It will cut forward and backward and make plunge cuts with reduced kickback. It comes with a 10-amp motor, a die-cast upper and lower guard, and a dial that feeds wax to blades when cutting certain materials. Cost: $149. Ridgid. 800-474-3443. www.ridgid.com.
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    Railtones is a wireless speaker system that incorporates lighting and sound in one unit. Powered by the company’s 12- or 24-volt FreeJack or MonoRail system, it uses a USB transmitter that plugs into a computer to transmit sound. The kit includes two speakers, wireless transmitter, infrared remote control, power adapter, and audio cables. Cost: $599. Tech Lighting. 847-410-4400. www.techlighting.com.

32 CertainTeed solar roofing

33 CalStar Products pavers

33 LiveRoof/Hortech green roof

35 Fulgor Milano cooktop

35 Watermark Designs shower drain

37 Mythic Paint paint

38 Hudson Valley Lighting lighting

38 Xylem Group bath furniture





Readers' Choice 41-50 

Readers’ Choice 41-50

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    The 350 Series is the company’s new line of energy-efficient vinyl windows. It’s made with up to 18 insulating chambers—three times more than typical vinyl—and features smooth welded corners, beveled-edge frames, and metal-reinforced vinyl members. A variety of glazing options are available, including low-E triple-pane glass with argon. Cost: $279 and up. Pella Corp. 888-847-3552. www.pella.com.
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    Reserve is a new hardware collection that’s available at lumberyards and online retailers, making it more accessible to builders and designers. Features include an adjustable back-set latch and SmartKey re-key technology. Seven levers, four knobs, and eight finishes are available. Cost: from $230 (handlesets). Baldwin Hardware. 800-566-1986. www.baldwinhardware.com.
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    Clean Start is a zero-VOC water-based primer and sealer that is part of the popular KILZ brand of products. It blocks stains and tannin bleed, provides good adhesion, and dries with a mildew-resistant finish. As a result, it improves and strengthens top-coat paint appearance. The zero-VOC product cleans up with soap and water. Masterchem Industries. 800-325-3552. www.kilz.com.
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    Natura is a zero-VOC interior paint that’s available in almost 3,300 hues and a wide range of sheens. Unlike most low-VOC paints, the product is unaffected by the addition of colorant because it’s based on a waterborne colorant system. It offers good hiding qualities, dries fast, and is virtually odorless. Benjamin Moore & Co. 800-622-0550. www.benjaminmoore.com.
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    Green Coat is free of air-polluting solvents but has the same performance and service life as conventional interior architectural coatings. The product cleans up with water and provides a tough, durable finish that covers well with good touch-up properties. It’s available in a wide range of custom-mixed colors. Kelly-Moore Paint Co. 888-MRP-AINT. www.kellymoore.com.
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    Home buyers who want a coordinated look will appreciate the manufacturer’s three lines of bath accessories, including the ultra-minimal Viq Collection. Pieces are made from stainless steel and feature exposed mounting screws, which is ideal for a loft or industrial-style space. The line includes an 18-inch towel bar, paper holder, towel ring, and more. Cost: $25 to $230. Moen. 800-289-6636. www.moen.com.
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    Salvaged flooring is all the rage, but now you can also buy windows and doors constructed from the reclaimed material. Made from Douglas fir that was originally used in fencing, barns, houses, and factories, the products feature consistent grain pattern and natural golden tones that may deepen over time. JELD-WEN. 800-877-9482. www.jeld-wen.com.
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    Among the most unusual sinks you’ll find, the Cobblestone Green Onyx vessel sink is made up of translucent layers of green onyx and natural cobblestone. Each handmade sink is crafted from cobblestone that is hollowed out to form a bowl, then onyx chips are adhered to the bowl’s interior with a food-safe epoxy. The bowl measures 16 inches by 16 inches. Cost: $665. Lenova. 877-733-1098. www.lenovasinks.com.

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