Highlights from the 2011 Remodeling Show/DeckExpo

The Extreme How-To staff spent a few days in Chicago, Illinois, in October to attend the 2011 Remodeling Show/Deck Expo. The Remodeling Show brings together the entire remodeling industry face-to-face annually.Launched in 1991 by National Association of Home Builders, the event has expanded to represent all facets of the remodeling community — kitchen and bath; home improvement; aging-in-place; sustainable remodeling and more.

The event is held in conjunction with the DeckExpo, the only trade event focusing exclusively on the deck, dock, porch and railing industry. Here are some highlights from the show:


New Applications for Kerdi-Board

Many substrates are unsuitable for tile installation, especially in areas with high moisture. This can require a great deal of preparation and waterproofing measures. In response, Kerdi-Board from Schluter Systems makes it easy to create flat, level, plumb and square substrates for tile installation over existing structures as diverse as masonry, wood and metal studs. In addition to being lightweight and easy to cut with a utility knife, Kerdi-Board is inherently waterproof and vapor-retardant and has a workability similar to rigid foam-board insulation. When used in conjunction with the Schluter-Shower System, it provides an integrated tile backing and moisture management system for showers and bathtub surrounds. Suitable panel thicknesses of Kerdi-Board can be used to quickly create stable and self-supporting partition walls and tub platforms that are immediately ready for tiling. The grooved version of the Kerdi-Board panel is designed for creating rounded and curved walls and corners. The EHT staff shot this photograph at the Schluter Systems exhibition booth, which demonstrates a variety of applications for the product. Visit www.schluter.com.

TrueCoat ElectricHandheld Airless Sprayers

The TrueCoat family of airless paint sprayers from Graco is the industry’s first professional, cordless airless sprayers with ProSpray Technology. ProSpray Technology delivers a professional piston-pump design into the palm ofyour hand to provide the power and freedom of movement to spray wherever you want. Graco cordless sprayers can spray a wide variety of materials with no thinning required. The TrueCoat Pro airless sprayer is ideal for interior and exterior applications spraying most materials at a high production rate. The TrueCoat Pro Fine Finish airless sprayer has the ability to control the pressure/flow rate and sprays all solvent- and water-based materials for fine finish applications. The sprayers are available in both corded and cordless models with 18-volt lithium-ion batteries. Visit www.graco.com.

Fypon Stone &Timber Trim

Fypon now offers the Stone & Timber collection of decorative products created to accent homes featuring stone, stucco and timber as major design themes. The durable pieces feature either a realistic stone or woodgrain texture on all exposed surfaces. The Stone & Timber product offering includes window and door trim, decorative millwork, louvers, post wraps,trellis systems, stone surround systems, stone columns and stone balustrade systems. Each durable piece features rich, authentic textures and details to resemble traditional cast concrete or timber accents. Like all Fypon urethane pieces, they resist moisture, insect infestations, warping, cracking and splitting. All Fypon products are lightweight and easy to install, making them a cost-effective alternative to real wood or cast concrete products. Visit www.fypon.com.

Extreme How-To and Friends

In addition to attending the Remodeling Show/Deck Expo, the Extreme How-To team also had an exhibition booth to help spread the word of our magazine. Our friends at Better Life Technology, LLC, manufacturers of a wide variety of garage floor coverings, provided our booth a roll-out floor customized with the EHT logo (www.bltllc.com). While at the show, we provided free subscriptions to attendees, who were also entered in a sweepstakes for valuable tool giveaways provided by TG Tools (www.mytgtools.com) and Maxtech Consumer Products Ltd. (www.maxtechconsumers.com).

STEP Warmfloor

STEP Warmfloor is a unique radiant heat floor system in which the heating elements cover 60 to 70 percent of the floor area while saving money through low power consumption. This large coverage area distributes the heat more evenly than most wire- or water-based floor heating systems. Ideal for new construction or remodeling because of the thinness of the semi-conductive polymer heating mats. The heating element is also self-regulating, which means that when the ambient room temperature increases,the consumption of electricity decreases. The system will not overheat, so it can be placed under most floor coverings, including hardwoods. STEP Warmfloor operates on low-voltage current, AC or DC, normally connected to a 24-voltsupply but it can also be run by solar panels or wind mills.

Goof Proof ShowerFloors

For a “goof proof” water-tight shower pan, Mark E Industries offers a variety of products that provide mortar forms for tiled shower floors,which create the perfect pitch for proper drainage. The products include the Pre-Pitch, Kirb-Perfect, Quick-Pitch and Handi-Kirb, all of which work with all liners currently on the market–including sheet membranes, roll-on liners,vinyl, Chloraloy, copper and even hot mop. With these tools installers can construct any shower installation regardless of drain location, size, shape or style (i.e. square, round or linear drains). Visit www.markeindustries.com.

E-Z Gutter Control

The new E-Z Gutter Control gutter shield rests on the back of the hidden hangers, and the dropped-down front edge fastens to the front of the gutter with stainless-steel screws. The design allows for maximum performance by tipping slightly forward and does not disturb the shingles. E-Z Gutter manufactures 14different models of gutter guard protection, with multiple levels of mesh screens, multiple types of solid covers, and multiple types of metals –from powder-coated steel and aluminum to mill-finish and painted aluminum. Visit www.e-zgutter.com.

3iEUnderfloor Heating Thermostat

Available exclusively from Warmup, the 3iE is the world’s first fully interactive, touch-technology, energy monitor thermostat. Featuring advanced energy monitoring, the Warmup 3iE allows homeowners to view actual graphs of their recorded energy consumption against costs. The 3iE is also the first programmable thermostat to come with Active Energy Management, which can save up to 10 percent on energy bills by actively prompting users to test lower energy consumption levels. Currently available in Piano Black and Classic Cream, the 3iE underfloor heating thermostat strikes an ideal balance between functionality and aesthetics. Visit www.warmup.com.


Custom Service Hardware Inc. offers the first production hidden door, so homeowners are no longer forced to pay custom prices and suffer through long delays for a hidden door. The InvisiDoorcan be used to conceal a seldom used room, create a hidden safe room, or turn a door into a functional storage and display area. InvisiDoor is sized to fit standard openings for a 36-in. door. Installation is simple with the unique pivot hinge, and it can be hinged left or right as an inswing or outswing (template included). Made from premium plywood and domestic hardwoods, the flexible design comes with one fixed shelf and three adjustable shelves. The door comes unfinished and ready to stain, or you can purchase only the hardware and construct your own hidden door. Visit www.cshardware.com.

Quick Drain USA Tub-to-Shower Kit

QuickDrain USA has created a system tailored for both contractors and homeowners that in basic terms, replaces a 60-by-32-in. tub with a shower. The kit includes all components, including quartz surface walls, drain, shower head, valve, waterproofing and more. The system includes all parts necessary for the installation so contractors can price the project at no more than $4,500 (including labor), which is considerably lower than a typical tub-to-shower conversion. The conversion kit is fully compliant with plumbing codes listed both by the ICC and IAPMO. In most cases,the entire system (before tiling) can be installed by a professional contractor in less than one hour. Visit www.quickdrainusa.com.

AZEK VAST Composite Pavers

VAST Composite Pavers, now partnered with AZEK Building Products, are made from up to a 95-percent composite blend of post-consumer recycled automobile tires and plastic containers. VAST pavers are available in permeable and non-permeable versions. The Composite Landscape Paver is a superior alternative to concrete pavers. The Composite Permeable Paver is perfect for storm-water management. Composite pavers are one-third the weight of concrete and use a patented grid system for installation that dramatically reduces installation time and takes the difficulty out of manually setting and aligning heavy traditional pavers. They make a great building material for driveways, patios, sidewalks, pool areas and parking lots. Visit www.vastpavers.com.


Turning carpet waste into building products for the home, Nyloboard is a manufacturer of composite decking boards, exterior trim, soffit, fascia, sheets and sheathing. The building products contain no wood, PVC or urea formaldehyde. Instead, the exclusive, patented manufacturing technology uses 100-percent recycled,post-consumer carpet fibers and VOC-free bonding resin. According to the manufacturer, Nyloboard’s superior performance was proven in one of nature’s harshest environments–salt water. Nyloboard composite products have been used by the marine industry for more than six years for a variety of applications. Nyloboardgreen building products are not only sustainable, but also impervious to moisture, mildew, mold, rot and termites. Visit www.nyloboard.com.

DeckLok Bracket Systems

Screw Products, Inc. recently acquired the assets of DeckLok Bracket Systems. DeckLok is a patented, advanced lateral anchor system that significantly strengthens the critical connections between deck components to greatly reduce the risk of collapse. The DeckLok system augments the critical nailed connections with brackets that are bolted to hold the deck’s sub-frame together. Decks fail when the nailed connections pull loose. When DeckLok Anchors are used, decks hold together to the limit of the timber strength, not just until the nails pull out. When DeckLok Anchors are used with proper construction methods, the deck can meet or exceed IRC requirements for resisting lateral force and guard rail post loads. Visit www.screw-products.com.

(before collapse)

Simpson Strong-Tie Demolishes a Deck

Asa dramatic way of demonstrating the potentially deadly disaster of a collapsed deck, Simpson Strong-Tie destroyed one live in front of a crowd of eager onlookers. Two decks were displayed at the Simpson exhibition booth. One was a code-compliant deck constructed with Simpson metal hardware at every critical connection. The other was a poorly built deck missing critical braces and important fasteners. With a little encouragement from the Simpson staff, the out-of-code deck went tumbling down with a floor-shaking crash, prop furniture and all, poignantly illustrating the danger to occupants when the structure below is not properly constructed. Visit www.strongtie.com  (after collapse)

Hot Product

Trex® Seal™ Sub-Ledger Tape
Trex® Seal™ Sub-Ledger Tape

Waterproofing the ledger board is a critical step in preventing moisture damage and ensuring the structural integrity of a deck over time. To fully protect this essential component, the makers of Trex® Seal™ Ledger Tape have introduced a new butyl tape engineered specifically for use beneath the ledger board. Measuring 22 inches wide, Trex® Seal™ […]