2010 Builders' Show Products, Day 1

Sprinkler systems, doors, paint, cordless nailers, and other finds for the show floor.

Uponor. Unlike competitive stand-alone sprinkler systems, the Aquasafe Looped Residential Fire Safety System integrates into a home’s cold water plumbing. This means that water circulates each time cold water is used and does not remain stagnant. “As long as you have water supplied to your plumbing fixtures, you know you have water supplied to your sprinklers,” explains Jayson Drake, senior product manager of fire safety and Uponor. Recently redesigned, the product uses fewer feet of polyethylene tubing and fewer connections than before, making it easier to design and install. www.uponor-usa.com. –Victoria Markovitz

Aquatic. Designed to appeal to a broader range of users with hydrotherapy and accessible bathing needs, the Ava Bath includes a range of unique features. Rather than a swing-open door typical of most accessible bathtubs, Ava’s automated door runs the full length of the tub, and raises and lowers completely for unprecedented ease of access. The roomy design functions like a traditional soaking tub, allowing for more complete immersion than a traditional bath with a bench, and a patent-pending quick-drain feature empties the 70-gallon tub in 30 seconds or less. Four Ava bath models include soaker, whirlpool, air bath and air/whirlpool designs in a 60-inch-wide tub, suitable for remodeling. www.aquaticbath.com. –Lauren Hunter

Paslode. Rather than focus their efforts on developing an expensive new cordless nailer, Paslode decided to focus on the nail instead. The result of that effort is the PowerBoost black tip coating on its 3- and 3 1/4-inch nails. The coating allows the company’s CF325 fuel-powered cordless framing nailer to drive the nail flush into the hardest engineered lumber, such as LVL. Once driven home, the coating on the nail melts and provides 20 percent better pull out resistance and holding power, the company claims. www.paslode.com. –Nigel F. Maynard

Eldorado Stone. Designed to make it easy to create and install outdoor stone features, Eldorado Outdoor comprises glass-fiber reinforced concrete building blocks that assemble on site in a variety of configurations for outdoor kitchens, fireplaces, seating walls, and more; the cabinet units are scratch-coated for no-prep installation of the company’s stone or brick profiles. The lightweight units do not require additional concrete footings and can be installed directly over existing solid flooring surfaces. Cut-outs for grills, sinks, and other elements can be done on site. According to the firm, the product reduces installation time for an L-shaped island from 64 hours to eight hours. www.eldoradostone.com. –Katy Tomasulo

Sherwin-Williams. The company has enhanced its Harmony product with a formula that helps reduce odors in the air, similar to baking soda, even after a surface is painted, the maker says. The zero-VOC product now also sports better hide and more durability, the firm adds, and antimicrobial properties help it resist mildew. The latex paint is Greenguard Indoor Air Quality Certified and Greenguard Certified for Children and Schools. www.sherwinwilliams.com. –V.M.

Generac. The company’s new CorePower system offers the convenience of an automatic standby generator and transfer switch at an affordable, $1,699 price point. The 7-kW model can power a range of household needs during an outage, which it responds to automatically. The unit features an all-weather composite enclosure; three of its four sides slide off for easy servicing. It runs on natural gas or propane. www.generac.com. –K.T.

Leviton Mfg. Designed for use with a wide variety of dimmable CFL light bulbs, the Decora CFL Slide Dimmer optimizes the performance of dimmable CFL bulbs. Unlike standard dimmers that are not always compatible with dimmable CFLs, the CFL Slide Dimmer detects whether the bulb is an incandescent or a dimmable CFL, determines high- and low-end dimming capabilities, and adjusts the dimming range accordingly. The CFL Slide simmer helps eliminate problems dimming CFLs with standard dimmers, such as flickering or a small range of dimming. www.leviton.com. –L.H.

Marvin. A Push Out French Casement windows is the newest addition to the company’s Ultimate Casement line. The window has traditional push-out hardware that opens with a quarter turn of a handle and features the company’s clever wash mode that allows exterior glass to be washed from the inside. There is no middle support. Instead, the two sashes join at the stiles within a single frame, like a French door. As a result there are no obstructed views. The aluminum-clad window has a Kynar 500 finish and can be made in a 72-inch-by-72-inch size. www.marvin.com. N.M.

Centor Architectural. The S1E retractable screening system combines the company’s insect screen with a privacy blind. For summer days, the blind can be pulled out to block solar heat gain; in winter, it can help retain the home’s heat at night. The shade, made of tightly woven PVC fiberglass mesh, is available in privacy or shade fabrics for varying levels of translucence. The screen and blind slide horizontally along separate tracks; a shock-absorption system prevents the screens from being damaged if a person or pet walk into them. www.centorarchitectural.com. –K.T.

LifeTime Lumber. Made with fly ash recovered from power plants mixed with polyurethane, LifeTime Lumber decking is fire- and mold-resistant, impervious to termites and dry rot, and will not split or fade, according to the firm. The decking cuts and fastens like wood, and features a redwood-based wood-grain. The 2x6 deck boards have a joist span rating of 24 inches. Six colors are offered. www.lifetimelumber.com. –K.T.

Senco. This nailer looks like slightly like a weapon from a J.J. Abrams sci-fi flick, but we guarantee you it is not. The company has combined the flexibility of a cordless nailer with the power of a pneumatic to produce the Fusion15- and 18-gauge finish nailer line. It eliminates the drawbacks associated with traditional gas- and battery-powered nailers, including fuel cell replacement costs, tool weight, and “ramp-up” times. Fusion uses an 18-volt lithium-ion phosphate battery that can reach an 80 percent charge in 15 minutes and Reflex Shot technology for added power and to provide up to 500 drives between charges. www.senco.com. –N.M.

GE. Currently in testing, the company’s smart-grid-enabled appliances will communicate between the utility and the homeowner to ensure appliances are operating at the optimum time of day, lessening the load on the power grid and saving the homeowner money. For example, the refrigerator will hold the high-energy defrost cycle until off-peak hours; the water heater will operate in its most efficient mode during high-demand periods; and appliances will shift to power-saving modes until rates are lower. Accompanying this launch will be the introduction of a Home Energy Manager (shown), which will monitor energy use throughout the home. The 7-inch touchscreen display provides a graphical interface to view real-time and long-term energy consumption, as well as water consumption, solar energy generation (if applicable), weather forecasts, and more. www.ge.com. –K.T.

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