Spike It - The Fatmax Xtreme Quickspike allows users to anchor a chalk line to almost any building material. The unit has a stainless steel hook and mounting clip that attach to the manufacturer's chalk reels and allow users to strike a line at any point on a surface. It is made from polycarbonate and aluminum and has a hardened steel pin that adjusts to three positions. Cost: $9.99. The Stanley Works. www.stanleyworks.com.
Win Column - The shower column brackets echo the spirit of “exposed” thermostatic showers found in luxury European hotels—but at a fraction of the cost, the company says. A flexible product, it is compatible with any of the company's 12 showerheads and any of its handles, so builders can create any look desired. It is available in over 30 finishes. Cost: $295 to $472, depending on the finish. California Faucets. 800-822-8855. www.calfaucets.com.
Light Green - One of the hottest siding materials has been given an update. The manufacturer has developed a new fiber-cement formula for its WeatherBoards and ColorMax products that is made with 30 percent recycled fly ash. The new formula replaces sand with fly ash and fillers, resulting in boards that are lighter in weight, easier to transport and install, and require less energy to produce. Cost: 65 cents to $1 per square foot uninstalled and unpainted for lap. CertainTeed. 800-233-8990. www.certainteed.com.
Grass Tiles - Bamboo is being used for a host of building products these days, so it was only a matter of time until it moved on to tile. The Sobu Collection of bamboo mosaics can be used anywhere regular tile can be used. It is available in multiple patterns, including straight, basket weave, herringbone, and random configurations and comes in three colors. Cost: $23 to $25 per tile. Walker Zanger. 818-252-4000. www.walkerzanger.com.
Snake Eye - Sometimes you need a little help to see. The See-Snake micro inspection camera offers it. The hand-held device has a flexible and adjustable hose with an eye that allows users to see into tight spots and other areas where eyes cannot reach.The lens sends what it sees to a 2 ½-inch LCD screen. Cost: $239. Ridgid. 800-474-3443. www.ridgid.com.
Water Saver - Just when you were getting used to 1.6-gallons-per-flush toilets, one manufacturer has raised the bar with a 1.28-gallon unit. Using what the company calls EcoSmart technology, Cimarron saves up to 3,200 gallons of water per year and is certified as a high-efficiency toilet; so, depending on where they live, home buyers may be eligible for a rebate of up to $175 from their utility. Cost: $338 and up. Kohler. 920-457-4441. www.kohler.com.
Learn more about markets featured in this article: Los Angeles, CA.