International Builders’ Show 2007
By: Danny Lipford
In this episode, Danny serves as tour guide for the 2007 International Builders’ Show in Orlando, Florida where new products, trends and ideas to improve your home were on display. Although the show was not open to the public, Danny was able to provide a sneak peek of some of the newest innovations. Here are just a few.
FlatWire Low-Voltage Wiring
The new UL-certified low-voltage wiring system can be used to add lighting, flat screen TVs, home theatres, etc. to any space without the cost of rewiring or the unsightly mess of dangling cords. The wire, made of paper-thin copper conductors insulated on each side by polymer film, disappears with paint or wallpaper for a virtually invisible installation that is not only attractive but low-cost too.
Extremely easy to install, FlatWire attaches to the surface of walls and ceilings using a spray adhesive (The wires range from 4/1000 of an inch to 13/1000 of an inch, which makes it as thick as a business card). Professional installation includes standard wall or joint compounds and techniques to blend the minor thickness differential into the wall. The system includes FlatWire connectors and adapters to work with existing wiring for easy installation of any type of wiring application.
PRICE: $1.50 – $4.00/ft., Sconce Lighting Kit $199 & Up;
Takagi Tankless Water Heater
Save energy, space and money with T-K3 water heater by Takagi — the smallest, most versatile and powerful residential tankless water heater currently on the market. It can provide an unlimited supply of hot water continuously because there is no storage tank to heat and reheat. It has a maximum flow rate of 7 gallons per minute, and up to four units can be connected together without the need of an additional control box.
The compact water heater also saves homeowners valuable space. At 13.8 inches wide and weighing only 40 pounds, it can actually be recessed between two wall studs! The unit also qualifies for up to a $300 tax credit.
Congoleum has developed a versatile “engineered ceramic” featuring the look of a high-end ceramic tile floor, yet delivering benefits not available in conventional ceramic tiles. DuraCeramic is warmer and softer to the touch than ceramic, quiet and comfortable underfoot and extremely easy to maintain. The tile combines extra-thick limestone and space-age materials in a patented composite that resists cracking, breaking and chipping.
The tile can be installed either with traditional grout or without grout for a modern, tailored look. Because it’s an engineered composite material, traditional mortar setting materials and special wet saws required for ceramic and porcelain tile are not necessary. You can set and grout the floor all in one day. Product is available in 8″ and 16″ square tiles. PRICE: $4.99+/per square ft.;
QuietRock Soundproof Drywall
Quiet Solution, the nation’s leading manufacturer of soundproofing products, makes high-performance noise reduction more affordable with QuietRock 510. Panels install easily with score-and-snap sizing (no saw required), hang just like standard drywall and provide sound transmission class (STC) ratings from 47 to 52. The panels are ½-inch thick and come in panel sizes of 4 feet wide by 8,9,10, or 12 feet long.
PRICE: $49.95 per 4X8 sheet;
The 2007 International Builder’s Show was a real challenge. It wasn’t the fact that there were hundreds of exhibitors, or deciding what products to showcase or even fighting the bumper-to-bumper traffic in Orlando. The real challenge was convincing my legs to keep moving! One of my colleagues had a pedometer with him and it showed he had walked over five miles in one day. Now, the sad part is that he didn’t cover anywhere near the ground that our production team did! I think we easily trudged 8 miles or more each day, and that included toting all our gear!
And, if Production walked eight miles, Danny probably walked one or two more. Nevertheless, it was worth every blister. This was, by far, one of the best trade shows ever. You get to see some great new building products. Regretfully, we can only scratch the surface, but we have every intention of utilizing more of these new materials in future shows where we can spend more time explaining their benefits.
There was also a huge emphasis on green products, which I was happy to see. From water-saving toilets to energy-saving house wrap. One that really caught my eye was a house wrap by TVM Building Products that included a layer of 99.9% pure aluminum laminated to a 6 mil layer of polyethylene and pin perforated. The result is a wrap that not only seals the external sheathing, but it blocks 96% of radiant heat, which means a tremendous energy savings. Best of all, it’s no more expensive than some of the other traditional house wraps on the market.
The Congoleum Corporation really came up with a new product with a high “wow” factor. It’s an engineered ceramic that is truly amazing. It’s a composite material using a crushed limestone, nylon and aluminum oxide particles, and they call it DuraCeramic. What’s really cool about this stuff is that you can set it and grout it all in the same day. On a cold morning when you get out of bed, unlike traditional ceramic, your feet touch down on a much warmer surface.
You can drop a heavy steel ball on this stuff and it doesn’t even phase it. In fact, I got tickled over the fact that the piece they were dropping the steel ball on had to be mounted on a ½” piece of backer board because when they were dropping it on the plain tiles, it was starting to chip the concrete slab underneath, but didn’t affect the DuraCeramic tiles in the least! This is some good stuff.
As I mentioned earlier, we couldn’t even begin to showcase all the great new building products out there. I think we wound up with a little over 40 items in this show. The crew had a long, three full days on the floor, but we left with our heads swimming with great ideas for future shows and I hope you’ll enjoy the few items we can show you in this episode.
Other Tips from This Episode
Simple Solutions with Joe Truini:
Actual Size of Lumber
umber are given as their The dimensions of boards are given using their rough sawn dimensions, even though lumber is usually sold as planed boards, which have smaller actual dimensions. The planed lumber available at building supply stores is actually 1/4″ to 1/2″ smaller in thickness and 1/2″ to 3/4″ less in width than the stock dimensions given. So a 2×4 actually measures 1½” thick by 3½” wide. (Watch This Video)
Best New Products with Danny Lipford:
Traditional carpeting tends to absorb and trap odors from pets, smoke, or cooking. Puresque carpeting has a salt-based backing that actually captures and absorbs odors to eliminate them from your home. The carpet is available in both nylon and polyester materials that are environmentally friendly and safe. Puresque carpet is available at The Home Depot.
Around the Yard with Tricia Craven Worley:
Retaining walls are a great way to prevent erosion in your yard by reducing the slope and holding back soil. They also can provide planting beds around your yard. There are several types of retaining walls, including dry stacked, battered, and concrete block walls. While constructing dry stacked retaining walls are best left to professionals, others—such as battered, stackable block retaining walls, available at home centers—make a great do-it-yourself project. (Watch This Video)