Careys – hardware show 1
On The House By James & Morris CareyThe latest and greatest from the National Hardware ShowWe recently attended the 59th Annual National Hardware Show in Las Vegas, Nev. We were in search of the latest and greatest in new home products. Some are so new they won’t be shipping to stores until later this summer. Attic DekNeed additional storage space for luggage, holiday decorations and the like? Don’t rule out the attic.Laying sheets of plywood in the attic during new home construction is a simple and inexpensive task. However, if you’re already in your home, fitting a 4-foot by 8-foot sheet of plywood through the attic access might be a problem. Planking can be easier to get through the opening, but can be a heavier load on the ceiling than is plywood. We aren’t against using plywood or planking as attic flooring. There are, however, some disadvantages to constructing a wood floor in the attic:• Most attics are filled with wiring and piping. Attaching plywood or wood planking to the ceiling joist can conceal these items and make later wiring or plumbing modifications difficult.• Plywood is heavy and cumbersome. That weight could cause ceiling sag.That’s why we were impressed when we discovered a new attic flooring product called Attic Dek. The product is a floor system consisting of nothing more than 16-inch-square plastic panels that look like drainage grates. Each panel – or high-impact plastic tile, if you prefer – looks like a tic-tac-toe board because it is filled with a symmetrical pattern of square holes. The holes make each panel lighter, less expensive to manufacture and buy. And, they provide a way to view wiring or piping that would otherwise be hidden by a solid flooring system. Each panel is attached to the top of the ceiling joist with five screws and is configured to interlock with other adjoining panels. Removing a panel later is as simple as removing the five screws used to mount it.The Attic Dek has been designed to work with ceiling joists that are 16 inches on center, which is disappointing for those with attic joist that are 24 inches apart. Fortunately, the inventor and owner of the company intends to release a 2-foot panel later on this year. For more information on Attic Dek, contact the manufacturer by calling (800) 676-6904 or reach them on the Web at http://www.atticdek.com. ScrapeRite double-edged plastic razor bladesSomeone has developed a double-edged razor blade that is safe! The reason is simple – it’s made of plastic. Sort of like the evolution from glass baby bottles to plastic ones.A company called ScrapeRite has come up with a double-edged plastic razor blade that comes with its own blade holder or handle to make gripping the blade simple and easy. Not every scraping job requires a steel edge, so when that’s the case, it makes sense to use an alternative device that is safer. For more information on the new double-edged plastic razor blade, contact the manufacturer by calling (386) 547-9172 or try http://www.scraperite.com Easy Crown MoldingInstalling wood crown molding is one of the more difficult and expensive trim projects. If you are on a limited budget, or live in an apartment where the landlord won’t help financially, crown molding may be out of the question. Unless, that is, you decide to use a new product called Easy Crown Molding. The inventor told us that he wanted to create a crown molding that was extremely inexpensive and that didn’t require special tools for installation. So, he developed a hollow crown molding made of lightweight, paper-thin plastic.Installation is easier than any prefabbed trim we have seen. It’s peel and stick simple. All you do is peel back the peel-and-stick cover and press each piece in place. There aren’t any fancy miter cuts to make. Each piece comes with one end that is coped (precut to fit against the opposing piece in an inside corner connection). The other end is square. You install around the room from left to right. Each piece is less than 4 feet long, and overlap connections are made with double-sided tape. Outside corners are ready-made and peel and stick in place.Molding patterns are limited, but a company representative tells us that additional styles will be available soon. At this point, we would not recommend the product for “high-end” installations, as it is plastic. For more information on Easy Crown Molding, contact the manufacturer by calling (973) 762-7700, or visit their Web site at http://www.easycrownmolding.com. LED flashlightsWe couldn’t believe our eyes when we got a look at the latest in lighting technology – LED lighting. We can look into most flashlights without having to squint or otherwise protect our eyes. However, when we were asked to take a peek at the lighted end of a brand new LED flashlight – in broad daylight, no less – we were surprised. It actually hurt. The flashlight was tiny (about 5 inches long) but the beam it projected was brilliant – incredibly bright. The 1-watt LED bulb is designed to last for 200 hours. If you like compact fluorescent, you need to look into LED lighting. The lighting lasts longer and uses less power than any other kind of lighting we know of. And, LED bulbs are now available for standard-base household lighting fixtures as well. For more information on all kinds of new LED lighting, contact the manufacturer by calling (866) 607-3527 or check out their Web site at http://www.quality-items.com.For more home-improvement tips and information, visit our Web site at http://www.onthehouse.com.Readers can mail questions to: On the House, APNewsFeatures, 50 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10020, or e-mail Careybro@onthehouse.com. To receive a copy of On the House booklets on plumbing, painting, heating/cooling or decks/patios, send a check or money order payable to The Associated Press for $6.95 per booklet and mail to: On the House, PO Box 1562, New York, NY 10016-1562, or through these online sites: http://www.onthehouse.com or apbookstore.com.
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