It's that time again--the time when the residential building community gathers at the International Builders' Show to talk shop, network, and attend educational seminars. But who are we kidding? The reason most of you are attending the show is to look at new products.
The event will take place once again at the Las Vegas Convention Center and will offer a record-breaking 1.5 million square feet of exhibit space--equivalent to 40 football fields.
BUILDER is here to help. The following is a sampling of some of the goodies in store for you--from a three-rack dishwasher with 20 percent more usable space to a fireplace with its own air-management system. Of course, with more than 1,400 exhibitors, you still have work to do. But every bit helps, so take this issue of BUILDER with you, and wear comfortable shoes for the long walk.
Walk the plank: TenduraPlank porch flooring is now available in a battleship gray color that goes all the way through the product. The new plank requires no priming or painting and comes with predrilled holes for easier installation. A high-density polypropylene has been added to the product to give increased durability. Tendura. 800-836-3872. www.tendura.com.
Laser show: Using a laser-etching method, the company offers custom designs in marble, granite, travertine, glass, slate, and other materials. Laser-etched tiles can be installed indoors or outdoors using traditional tiling methods; the location chosen determines the type of sealant to use to retain the tiles' appearance and function. Aquarius Laser Etching and Design. 530-666-3989. www.aquarius-laser.com.
Rack 'em: Thanks to a third rack, this dishwasher offers 20 percent more usable space than a conventional model. The rack is positioned next to the bottom wash arm for the strongest wash and is especially suited for hard-to-fit items that normally need to be washed by hand. It has four wash settings, a hard food disposer, and a stainless steel tub. Jenn-Air. 800-536-6247. www.jennair.com.
Two faced: TwinFinish offers a standard brushed surface on one side and the look of vertical grain lumber on the other, eliminating repetitive patterns. Like standard composite decking, the 5/4 plank product is made from plastic resins and wood flour so it won't warp, rot, or splinter. It's available in cedar, gray, redwood, and natural. TimberTech. 800-307-7780. www.timbertech.com.
New jig: The 1590 jigsaw offers one-touch blade change, a precision control guide system designed to virtually eliminate blade wander, and a constant response circuitry that resists stalling when cutting hard materials. The 6-pound tool has a 6.4-amp motor that makes it the most powerful jigsaw on the market, the company says. Bosch Power Tools. 877-267-2499. www.boschtools.com.
Suck up: This portable, two-gallon wet/dry vacuum runs off the company's 12-, 14.4-, and 18-volt battery packs or can be plugged into a 120-volt outlet. It picks up drywall and concrete dust, fasteners, water, sawdust, wood chips, and other debris. The vacuum comes with a washable wet/dry filter. DeWalt. 800-433-9258. www.dewalt.com.
Fresh air: An air-management system on the gas FreshAir Fireplace eliminates the need for a glass front. Instead, a ventilator recovers more than 65 percent of the heat normally wasted through the exterior flue vent. The result is a balanced combustion system that improves air quality and energy savings, the manufacturer says. Heatilator Home Products. 877-427-8368. www.freshairfireplace.com.
Glassy eyed: Illuminessence tiles are made of translucent cast glass that is textured on the front and back to capture, refract, and bend light. The tiles can be used for wall, floor, and countertop applications and are available in nine colors. Crossville. 800-221-9093. www.crossville-ceramics.com.
Up front: These front-loading, 3.7- cubic-foot washers and dryers feature Whisper Quiet Plus sound packages. Offered in a Meteorite metallic finish, the machines can be stacked, placed side by side, or set on a pedestal. KitchenAid. 800-422-1230. www.kitchenaid.com.
Que sierra: Sierra Premium Smooth fiber-cement siding is available in 7- and 8 3/4-inch profiles. Factory primed and sealed on six sides, the panels can withstand 110-mph winds when blind-nailed, the manufacturer says. The 1/2-inch-thick, 10-foot-long panels break less during installation, require less cutting, and install more quickly than conventional panels, adds the maker. Nichiha. 866-424-4421. www.nichiha.com.
Dry off: The Neptune Drying Center has a traditional tumble dryer below that uses airflow for regular fabrics and a cabinet above that circulates warm air around clothes to minimize shrinkage and reduce wrinkles. It comes with various accessories. Maytag. 641-792-7000. www.maytag.com.
Pave the way: Some of the largest pavers available, these concrete Quarried Pavers are designed to look and feel like natural rock and can be customized in any color. Available in face sizes up to 24 square feet, the pavers feature mortarless joints with a self-aligning tab-and-groove system. The 4-inch-thick pavers come in various shapes. Redi-Rock International. 866-222-8400. www.redi-rock.com.
Space saver: An above-floor drain is now available on Acclaim, Ensemble, and Performa bath and shower alcove shells. The new option provides a space of 3 inches between the bottom of the bath and the floor, eliminating the need to cut into the subflooring for drain assembly. Baths and bath/showers with the option come in five colors. Sterling. 800-783-7546. www.sterlingplumbing.com.
Smooth move: New Builders Solution Interior System is formulated to hide minor defects and create a smooth, even surface. The system includes a latex surfacer and a latex topcoat, both of which are suited for application with an airless sprayer. The product comes in various colors in flat and eggshell finishes. Sherwin-Williams. 800-474-3794. www.sherwin-williams.com.
Tight fit: The Devonshire angled shower enclosure and door are designed to fit small corner spaces. Made of gel-coat fiberglass, the shower features a two-piece, 40-by-74-inch wall and a 40-by-40-inch receptor. The enclosure comes in 12 colors; the shower door is available in crystal clear or with a translucent textured surface. Kohler. 800-456-4537. www.kohler.com.
Great communicator: The Omnistat RF thermostat automatically displays the time and indoor and outdoor temperatures. The battery-free unit can be programmed like a traditional thermostat but can be remotely controlled by a home automation system, a cell phone, or the Internet. HAI. 800-229-7256. www.homeauto.com.
With the grain: Accents composite decking has a new texture that gives it the appearance of natural wood grain. Made from reclaimed hardwood sawdust and recycled polyethylene plastic, the product is available in three colors. Trex. 800-289-8739. www.trex.com.
Top drawers: This 24-inch-wide Monogram refrigerator consists of two drawers, for discreet refrigerated storage. The unit has electronic controls with a digital readout. It is available in stainless steel or with custom overlay wood panels. GE. 800-626-2000. www.geappliances.com.
Tough enough: Fiberock Aqua-Tough gypsum interior panels are designed to resist abuse and to protect against moisture and mold in wet areas. Made from 95 percent recycled materials, the panels have a uniform composition, are water- resistant throughout, and contain no paper facing. The panels come in 1/2- and 5/8-inch thicknesses in 36- and 48-inch widths. USG. 800-874-4968. www.usg.com.
Playing the angles: The 5151 Neo-Angle is a mortarless glass-block kit system designed for corner showers. Made from Lucite acrylic, the shower pan features an integrated nailing flange and a heavy, nonsag bottom. The product is scratch- and slip-resistant and comes in standard white or biscuit but can be ordered in 50 colors. The shower door is included. IBP Glass Block. 800-932-2263. www.ibpglassblock.com.
For more product information, visit ebuild, Hanley Wood's interactive product catalog.