09 Feb 1-19-17 Unique Products from the 2017 International Builders Show
Last week in Orlando Florida, the National Association of Home Builders held their annual International Builders Show. This is a huge trade show. It’s so large that there are only two places in the US that have enough floor space in a building to house this event – Orlando and Las Vegas.
I thought I’d discuss three of the many unique products that were showcased there.
The first is a smoke alarm. It’s called the Halo. Google it and look at it. This smoke alarm doesn’t look like a typical smoke alarm, it actually looks kind of cool, so it’s appealing to the eye. Smart sensors in it can tell the difference between a false alarm (like burnt popcorn) and a real fire. It’s also a Carbon Monoxide detector. With Halo Plus, there’s an embedded radio to keep you informed in the event of a weather threat like a tornado or hurricane. The Halo uses a ring of light and voice to alert you. It can be connected to your smart phone so you can manage it (or turn off the alarm if needed). The idea of the Halo was born here in North Carolina and they manufacture it in the United States, just the way I like it.
A second product is a flooring material from Armstrong. Armstrong makes what is called luxury vinyl tile. The installation process is similar to ceramic tile and there’s grout between the pieces. Luxury vinyl tile has been around for quite a few years. We use it a lot in bathrooms to give the look of ceramic tile, but it doesn’t have that cold feeling of ceramic tile. There are some studies that show the feel of ceramic tile is about 55 degrees, while the feel of luxury vinyl tile is about 74 degrees. So that’s why many people select it. They showed some new design patterns available in luxury vinyl tile, primarily their Engineered Stone and weather wood looks. I’ve seen other products and their stone or wood looks like a picture and is grainy. Alterna’s stone and wood looks very realistic. I would encourage you to look at this product.
This last product is one of the neatest ideas I’ve seen in a long time. And it’s so simple. It’s one of those things that makes you say “Why didn’t I think of that?”. It’s called win bag. A window installer invented this. It’s a small, durable bag, about the size of a Ziploc bag, with a hand pump attached to it. You put these little bags around windows and doors to level them up by pumping air into the bag. You can use these to level appliances, help install a door on hinges and all kinds of little things around your house. So instead of asking for help to hold up the washing machine while you level out the legs, you can just put the Winbag under the washing machine and pump up the bag to get the washing machine off the floor and adjust the legs. I can see this being used everywhere. Again, what a great idea and such a simple idea.