Ron Hazelton from the 2012 International Builders' Show

When they say the builders’ show has miles of aisles they’re not kidding.  Even if you spend all three days hiking the show floor, it’s still hard to see everything that’s new and interesting.  Here are four products, though, that did catch my eye because they really do save time and deliver great results.  


The Bilco Company    The news here is the impressive, factory-applied powder coat finish on their classic basement door.  The company claims it virtually eliminates on-site painting, cuts way down on maintenance and resists nicks and scratches.  After the show I took a sample to the shop and pummeled it with everything we could think of – dirt, paint, garden tools, rakes, shovels, wood logs, big rocks, and even a bowling ball. Afterward, we examined the door and found that it had only one small knick that was easily touched up.


Mark E. Industries   Shower floors need to have the right slope in order to drain properly and avoid pooling water that can cause mold, mildew and leakage. The company’s Quick Pitch system is designed to guarantee the proper slant – even for inexperienced do-it-yourselfers.  The company calls it a Goof-Proof system.  It uses interlocking tapered float sticks that can be easily cut to length for any sized shower up to twelve feet square.


Schluter Systems   This innovative shower system features lightweight substrate panels called KERDI-BOARD that can be applied directly to stud framing. The seams are sealed with thinset mortar and strips of waterproof membrane known as KERDI-BAND.  Existing drywall is made waterproof by first applying thinset mortar and then a bonded polyethylene   membrane.  The system also features a sloped shower tray and a pre-formed curb both made of lightweight, expanded polystyrene.


GRK Fasteners   When is a screw not an ordinary fastener?  When it comes from a company called GRK.  These screws feature several patents that make them truly unique. The self-drilling Zip-Tip is designed for fast starts while the W-Cut thread design acts like a mini saw blade, actually cutting through any fibrous material and dramatically reducing the amount of torque required. The screw virtually pulls itself into the material with practically no pressure on the drill. The threads are designed to cut through fibers rather than pressing them aside, which significantly reduces splitting. 

Watch the demo of these products