Buzz: Product News Roundup, Uniqueness Underfoot Edition

Creative floor tile layouts, luxurious ceilings, Lego-style concrete blocks, and more product news from the past week.

Faro tiles from Beaumont.

Faro tiles from Beaumont.

12 creative floor tile designs.

• Tensile strength stronger than steel? Slow burning? Could bamboo be the next big building material?

• From domes to barrel vaults to wood beams, here are 5 uber-luxe ways to dress up a ceiling.

• A British firm wants to simplify the way we install concrete with blocks that emulate Lego. The real question is: Will they still hurt like mad when you step on them in the middle of the night?

• How it’s made: A day in the life of a paint factory.

• Ductless mini-split air conditioners are an efficient alternative to central AC. But they can be a bit of an eyesore. Here are 10 tips to better integrate these units into a design.

• Finally, hand tools and grout are in the pop culture spotlight, thanks to Weird Al Yankovic and his rap parody “Handy.”

How to use cloud computing to stay better connected on the jobsite.


Buzz: Product News Roundup, Hot Hues Edition

2013’s trendy colors, life-saving air conditioning, inspiring islands, arguing against spray foam, and other product news from the past week.

• We already know that Emerald is Pantone’s 2013 color of the year. Here are four other hip color combinations to consider. Read the rest of this entry »

New: Products of the Week, 3.4.12

Edgy bath fixtures, carved interior doors, and three other products that caught our eye this week.

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Buzz: Product News Roundup — Radiating Beauty Edition

Sophisticated radiators, finding the perfect circ saw, solar goes standard, mis-labeled light bulbs, and other building product news from the past week. 

• Forget hissing and spitting. Here are 6 wall-mount radiators that Read the rest of this entry »

Innovation: Nest Labs Unveils Thermostat That Learns

Nest Labs, founded by former Apple execs who helped develop the iPod and iPhone, announced today the launch of a thermostat that “learns,” making it simpler than ever to program schedules and, even better, save energy.

According to the company, the Nest Learning Thermostat uses sensors, algorithms, machine learning, and cloud computing and adjusts temperatures up and down for comfort when the home is occupied and energy savings when it’s not. As homeowners adjust the temperature, the thermostat programs itself, learning schedules within a week and automatically turning down heating or cooling when they are away. Read the rest of this entry »