The 10 Coolest Things We Saw at the 2022 International Builders’ Show
From indoor air quality to outdoor privacy, brands exhibiting their latest and greatest at this year’s International Builders’ Show have listened to what today’s homeowners need and want in their living spaces.
Back in action after a 1-year hiatus, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) welcomed enthusiastic exhibitors and attendees to Orlando, Florida, this week for the International Builders’ Show. We were there, of course, to scout out the best innovations and most interesting products for homeowners. Here are our top 10 highlights.
1. Brondell Bidets
Once reserved for luxury homes with space for an additional fixture, bidets are now becoming more mainstream thanks to innovative products like Brondell bidet seats. Compatible with both round and elongated toilets and easy for any DIYer to install, seats like the Swash 1400 available at Amazon, a favorite in our researched guide to the best bidets, feature all the bells and whistles of a high-end bidet: dual stainless steel spray nozzles, a rapid heating system, a deodorizer, warm-air dryer, a remote control, and even programmable settings for different users. Brondell also makes bidet seats with sidearm controls, non-electric options, and portable models for travel.
2. Trex Privacy Screens
Answering the call for more backyard privacy and supplemental shade, Trex has introduced a new series of decorative aluminum wall panels. Available in fixed or moveable options, Trex Privacy screens feature a low-maintenance, powder-coated finish and come in a variety of aesthetically pleasing patterns and colors. Trex Privacy’s fixed panels are offered in two sizes, 42 inches by 42 inches, and 72 inches by 42 inches, and moveable screens can be configured by joining up to five 72- inch by 42-inch panels. With this new series, the composite lumber company is helping homeowners create outdoor living spaces unique to their property.
3. Lennox Heat Pump with Air Purification
Featuring a SEER efficiency rating of up to 24, the latest Dave Lennox Signature Collection heat pumps provide precise heating and cooling while using less energy—a benefit to both homeowners’ wallets and the environment. The heat pump system can also be combined with a hospital-grade, whole-house air purifier: The PureAir S utilizes photocatalytic oxidation and carbon filters to remove three main types of indoor air pollutants, including more than 99 percent of the airborne virus that causes COVID-19, all without restricting airflow through the system.
4. Murphy Doors
A Murphy door can turn any interior space into a hidden room, and you don’t have to know the secret knock or say “abracadabra.” A single, flush-mount door featuring a bookshelf rated to hold up to 300 pounds, for example, can be mounted in place of an existing closet door in a home office. The finished installation looks like a built-in bookcase, yet hides the extra storage space behind it. While the pre-assembled, pre-hung unit starts at about $1,000, DIYers can save a bundle by purchasing a ready-to-assemble version or even the hardware alone ($149) and building a door from scratch. Other door options include French and bi-fold, units with drawers, full-length mirrors, laundry hampers, shoe racks, and even a gun cabinet. Murphy beds and ladders were also on display in the brand’s booth at the International Builders’ Show.
5. Pfister Push&Seal Drain Assembly
Simplifying the process of installing a drain assembly, Pfister’s new Push&Seal includes only three parts, which take a lot less time to install compared to conventional drains. It’s also easy to operate—push the stopper down to seal the drain, and push it again to release it—eliminating the need for a lever on the faucet. Push&Seal is available with many Pfister faucets, and can also replace any existing sink drain stopper.
6. LP SmartSide
SmartSide exterior siding and trim from LP Building Products was on display at the 2022 International Builders’ Show. The brand entertained attendees with its head-to-head comparison against traditional fiber cement siding by hurling 70-mph baseballs at its product. Made with engineered wood strand technology, SmartSide outlasted fiber cement in the demonstration, and promises to withstand real environmental elements such as hail, wind, moisture, mold, and termites when installed on home exteriors. It’s available in several different styles and in 16 prefinished colors.
7. Clopay Modern Garage Doors with Matte Finish
Known for their Modern Steel garage doors, Clopay introduced Lustra, a new matte finish, at the International Builders’ Show. The low-gloss finish is available in black, charcoal, and silver colors, and is essentially texture-free. Lustra is available on Clopay’s polyurethane foam-insulated residential steel doors; paired with the the company’s sleek window options, homeowners can easily create an eye-catching modern facade that’s both energy efficient and highly durable.
8. Carrier Room Air Purifier with Air Quality Monitor
Just one component of Carrier’s Healthy Homes Program is the Smart Air Purifier, which features three levels of filtration that removes 99.97 percent of airborne particles from rooms up to 430 square feet. The unit also includes a built-in air-quality monitor that constantly samples incoming air, then measures and displays pollutant levels. Homeowners can manually adjust the air purifier settings using the Carrier Home app, Alexa, Google Assistant, or automatically based on the air quality level detected by the monitor.
9. Kidde Smart Alarms
Bringing innovative, modern technology to its traditional hardwired fixtures, Kidde’s new Smart Smoke + Carbon Monoxide Alarm features Wi-Fi connectivity and a corresponding app that allows homeowners to check the status of their alarms, and receive automatic alerts when smoke and/or carbon monoxide is detected in the home. What’s more, Kidde’s is the first system that can transform all interconnected existing hardwired Kidde alarms into smart versions, so there’s no need to replace all of the fixtures in a home’s safety alarm system.
10. Broan-NuTone Surface-Cleaning Exhaust Fan
Employing antibacterial light technology, Broan-NuTone’s latest bathroom exhaust fan not only clears the air of excess moisture to prevent mold growth, it also actively removes airborne pollutants in the room. Fewer pollutants means fewer germs on shower curtains, toilet seats, door handles, faucets, and essentially anything the light touches. For convenience and 24/7 defense, the antimicrobial light kicks on automatically when the soft white task lighting mode is switched off. The best part is the violet light doesn’t emit UV rays, so it’s safe for use around people and pets.