Tankless water heaters, solar-energy systems, and garage organization packages don't have much in common. But they do share the distinction of being some of the building products readers most wanted to know more about.
Over the next 22 editorial pages, you'll find the top 100 products that readers asked for information about during the past year by mailing us the reader service cards found at the back of each issue. The products, which come from the editorial pages of Building Products and its sister publications Builder and Remodeling, represent diverse wares that can save you installation time, boost your productivity, slash material costs, or make your clients say, "Wow!"

Each Top 100 product is listed with a photo, a descriptive caption, and the manufacturer's Web site and phone number. If you missed these products the first time they appeared, now's your chance to check them out. We hope you'll find a number of items that you can incorporate into your new and remodeled homes. Happy hunting!


Leica Geosystems 51 Leica Geosystems. The Rugby 200 has been enhanced with a 60 percent brighter beam. The construction laser now has a working range of up to 1,000 feet plus a plumb beam for 90-degree layout work and a plumb-down feature for setup over a point. It also features adjustable head speeds, scan mode, H.I. elevation alert, and an optional full-function remote control. 800-367-9453. www.leica-geosystems.com.

Ridge Tool Co. 52 Ridge Tool Co. The Compact SeeSnake Plus video inspection system is now a part of the SeeSnake collection of products. The stainless steel camera, which has 400 lines of resolution for better viewing, pushes farther into tighter spots to give the user better diagnostic capability. A high-resolution, 5-inch LCD monitor displays the cause of the problem. 800-769-7743. www.ridgid.com.

Hilti 53 Hilti. Promising to take measurements in less than half a second, the PD 30 Laser Range Meter measures distances from 2 inches up to 600 feet with unparalleled accuracy, the maker says. The meter measures in inches, eighths and sixteenths of an inch, feet, yards, meters, and millimeters. It also calculates in cubic yards for estimating concrete pours. Its dust- and water-resistant housing has rubber caps at each end to help prevent damage. 800-879-8000. www.us.hilti.com.

Rohl 54 Rohl. The RC1600 above-counter sink adds a uniquely charming touch to the bathroom. Made of vitreous china, the bowl is available in white or biscuit and offers a 16-inch diameter and a 6-7/8-inch bowl depth with an integrated overflow. Here it is shown with the coordinating A1405/44XM wall-mount tap faucet. 800-777-9762. www.rohlhome.com.

Sonance 55 Sonance. With everything needed to install a four-source, six-zone distributed audio system (except the speakers), the DAB1 system features a unit that can be used to control an independent zone and all six zones. It includes a built-in tuner and four source inputs, one of which is selectable between the internal AM/FM tuner or an external source. 800-582-7777. www.sonance.com.

KitchenAid 56 KitchenAid. Sleek and versatile dishwasher drawers come together in a single unit but can wash two loads simultaneously at separate settings. The unit has five cycles, a delayed-start capability, an air-dry option, and a capacity of five place settings per drawer. The drawers come in stainless steel, meteorite, white with black trim, and panel-ready finishes. 800-422-1230. www.kitchenaid.com.

Kwikset 57 Kwikset. Homeowners don't have to carry house keys or worry about getting locked out with the Powerbolt 1000 keyless entry system. The system features an electronic touchpad that has 50 million security code combinations and can be programmed with four- to eight-digit security codes. Powerbolt 1000 sounds an alarm after three consecutive incorrect code inputs. It includes a battery backup. 800-340-7608. www.kwikset.com.

Phoenix Door Mfg. 58 Phoenix Door Mfg. New-Tech composite wood doors come in more than 90 standard designs in a choice of three heights. Available for interior and exterior applications, the doors come with raised or flush moldings and raised or flat panels. New-Tech doors are available in 1-3/8-, 1-3/4-, and 2-1/4-inch thicknesses. 800-622-0688. www.phoenixdoor.com.

Simpson Door 59 Simpson Door. With stiles and rails of engineered wood and panels of magnetic material that acts like a chalkboard, the Chalkboard Panel door allows chalk notes to be written or paper notes posted with magnets. Several wood species are available. Engineered wood and laminated fiberboard/softwood configurations also are available. 800-952-4057. www.simpsondoor.com.

Heat & Glo 60 Heat & Glo. Enabling designers to use fire as a decorative element, the Cyclone gas fireplace features a whirling vertical flame inside a concentric glass cylinder that can be viewed from any direction. The Cyclone comes as a standalone cylinder that can be incorporated into pillars or wall mounted. The wall-mount model has a black nickel frame with a brushed nickel or brushed copper front. The direct-vent unit uses natural gas and vents to the outside. 888-427-3973. www.heatnglo.com.

Hoesch 61 Hoesch. A wide range of bathtubs from this German manufacturer now are available in the United States. Made from UltraAcryl, the maker's own acrylic formulation, the tubs were designed by Norman Foster, Adolf Babel, and Dieter Sieger. Geometric shapes and symmetrical and asymmetrical creations provide one-of-kind looks, asserts the firm. 866-405-2700. www.hoesch.de.

Woodharbor Doors 62 Woodharbor Doors. PrairieLake Express interior doors include passage, double pocket, and bifold styles in a variety of widths. Doors come in red oak, maple, cherry, MDF, and knotty alder and feature veneered composite stiles and rails. 641-423-0444. www.woodharbor.com.

Wirsbo 63 Wirsbo. Ensuring hot water in seconds, the D'MAND hot water delivery system uses a pump to quickly deliver hot water to the desired plumbing fixture. Its structured plumbing layout uses the company's Aquapex system of PEX tubing in a loop that starts at the hot water supply line and returns to the heater where it ties into the main line. The pump turns off automatically when the hot water arrives at the fixture. 800-321-4739. www.wirsbo.com.

Luraline Products 64 Luraline Products. Shown in a faceted silver finish, the Helos series wall fixture is part of an extended family of pendant, ceiling, and wall- and post-mount configurations. The products can be used with incandescent or energy-efficient compact fluorescent lamps. 800-940-6588. www.luraline.com.

Trex 65 Trex. The company now offers its composite decking, railing, and trim profiles in looks that mimic exotic tropical hardwoods. Brasilia comes in cayenne and burnished amber and features subtle shadings and natural color variations that reflect the look of rare woods. Manufactured with reclaimed wood and plastic, the decking is moisture- and insect-resistant and will not rot or splinter. 800-289-8739. www.trex.com.

Johnson Hardware 66 Johnson Hardware. Designed to prop up doors that are too large or heavy for standard hardware, the 2000 series Pocket Door Frame supports units weighing as much as 300 pounds, says the manufacturer. The product includes a heavy-duty extruded aluminum jump-proof I-beam track, heavy-duty four-wheel door hangers, self-adjusting floor anchors, steel-wrapped split studs, door stops, and installation hardware. 800-837-5664. www.johnsonhardware.com.

Osram Sylvania 67 Osram Sylvania. The AquaLED luminaire uses long-life LEDs (light-emitting diodes) that last up to 60,000 hours. The fixture, which is vibration-, shock-, and water-resistant, can be installed in both indoor and outdoor applications, says the maker. It comes in chrome or granite finishes and can be used as an alternative to standard recessed lighting fixtures. 800-544-4828. www.sylvania.com.

Sashco Sealants 68 Sashco Sealants. Engineered to accommodate natural house movement, Big Stretch water-based caulking stretches over 500 percent and can span gaps up to 2 inches wide. Available in nine colors, the caulking can be used to seal windows, doors, siding, vents, soffits, eaves, and baseboards and adheres to most building materials. 800-289-7290. www.sashcosealants.com.

Tarkett 69 Tarkett. The latest addition to the FiberFloor line, Easy Living, was designed especially for the remodeling market. Created with advanced fiberglass technology, the flooring has a 14-millimeter-thick wear layer and is offered in nine patterns and 16 colors. It is as comfortable as carpet, the maker says, with the advantage of being easy to maintain and change. 800-367-8275. www.tarkett.com.

DeWalt 70 DeWalt. The Sitelock wireless jobsite alarm system consists of a portable base unit and five wireless sensors that can be programmed to individually monitor key assets and areas. If someone tries to enter a secured area, disturb a piece of protected equipment, or remove a sensor, the alarm activates and a signal is sent via wireless technology to a monitoring service. 800-433-9258. www.dewalt.com.

Johns Manville 71 Johns Manville. The Spider spray-in insulation system dries more than six times faster than cellulose products, the firm says, allowing contractors to insulate a typical home in two to three hours. The formaldehyde-free product has an R-value of 15 in 2x4 wall cavities and an R-value of 23 in 2x6 wall cavities. 800-654-3103. www.jm.com.

Amtico 72 Amtico. The Frosted Jewel finish is smooth to the touch but textured below the surface to give a uniquely tactile 3-D effect, the firm says. The four-faceted design reflects light and shade in a way that changes with a room's light, the maker contends. The product is available in 12-inch-by-12-inch tiles in black pearl, white opal, light jade, pale sapphire, and aquamarine. 404-267-1900. www.amtico.com.

Schlüter Systems 73 Schlüter Systems. The Countertop System consists of an underlayment that goes between the wood countertop surface and the tile and Kerdi-Band, a waterproofing strip that's used to seal butt joints and countertop/backsplash connections. Rondec, a finishing and edge-protection profile for the outside corners, is used when installing a tiled-under sink. Two additional profiles are available. 800-472-4588. www.schluter.com.

Sunearth 74 Sunearth. The firm makes solar water heating collectors and systems for residential applications. Products include the SolaRay closed-loop system, the SunSiphon (in open-loop or jacketed closed-loop configurations) system, and numerous flat-plate collectors. All of the maker's products have 10-year warranties and are available through plumbing and solar wholesale distributors nationwide. 909-434-3100. www.sunearthinc.com.

Interact 75 Interact. Weighing less than 6-1/2 pounds each, 2-foot-by-2-foot gypsum ceiling tiles are easy to install, are fungus- and mold-resistant, and can be cut and drilled for applications where lights and vents are required, says the firm. The 1/2-inch-thick tiles come with sound-deadening properties in a wide spectrum of designs. 866-877-8453. www.interactceilings.com.

Cut the Clutter: Garage Organization

First it was the closet, now it’s the garage. Specialty organization fixtures and storage accessories are helping builders and remodelers convert extra garage space into much-sought-after workshops and storage areas for sports equipment, tools, and gardening supplies. And based on the reader response, pros recognize that these systems can boost profits.

"This is not simply providing storage and organization," says Mark Shuman, president of GarageTek. "We are creating functionality of the space."

During the past few years, manufacturers began offering modular organization systems designed to withstand fluctuating climates, caustic household chemicals, and the weight of tools and equipment. These PVC formulations resist the damaging effects of hot and cold temperature cycles, manufacturers claim.

Do-it-yourself products from mass-market manufacturers and independent closet dealers also are available. But these affordable solutions, according to Shuman, use wood or melamine-coated wall panels that are not suitable for an exterior environment like the garage.

Premium installed garage organization systems–typically starting at a couple hundred dollars and going up to and surpassing $10,000–are based around movable wall panels that hold a variety of brackets, shelves, buckets, hooks, and lockable cabinets that can be readjusted to accommodate the ever-changing storage requirements and tastes of homeowners.

Other growing categories, says Shuman, are ceiling track systems and perimeter and track light mounting.

"The systems are attractive because they are flexible," says Linda Mathis, vice president of Jacksonville, Fla.-based North Florida Builders. "You can rearrange them as your needs change, and you can get everything off the floor of the garage."

In addition to added features like durable work surfaces and flooring, companies including Whirlpool’s Gladiator GarageWorks, storeWALL, and GarageTek provide builders and remodelers turnkey services: evaluation, design consultation, and professional installation via networks of authorized dealer/installers.

Most homeowners invest in garage organization during a remodeling project and can roll the costs into a home equity loan. But, according to Chris Hubbuch, marketing director for Gladiator GarageWorks, selling a custom-installed garage system during a new home’s design and construction allows builders to provide a valuable amenity while capturing home improvement dollars that are usually lost to home centers. And the cost of a complete system can be wrapped into the mortgage.

–Julie Weber.

See numbers 1, 9, 12, 21, 23, 24, and 32.