Every year, the editors at Pro Builder magazine share the top 100 products most inquired about by readers in a special issue they fittingly call Top 100 Products. In its 2022 selection, the magazine presented products from across the category spectrum, from appliances to HVAC, building envelope to software, and so on. While you can read the entirety of Pro Builder's 2022 Top 100 Products here, we've curated a special selection of what we believe are some of this year's most exciting winners (and why we like them).
Home Office Storage / Wellborn Cabinet
From utility cabinets and base cabinets with desk file drawers to wall bookcases and file drawer bases, Wellborn Cabinet offers cabinetry to create a well-organized home office space. Numerous options for door styles and finishes help coordinate with cabinetry in the rest of the home and create looks ranging from traditional to transitional to contemporary.
Why we like it: Providing additional storage and a murphy-style workspace in the same compact solution addresses not only the ever-preeent problem of space constraints but also acknowledges the growing (and seemingly here-to-stay) trend towards required home office space.
Green-Certified Surfacing / IceStone
IceStone surfaces are made using only recycled glass, Portland cement, and nontoxic pigments for a toxin-free material free of petrochemicals and resins, the manufacturer says. Eligible for LEED credit, IceStone is Cradle to Cradle Certified and offers a versatile palette of colors.
Why we like it: IceStone's green-certified surfaces represent the continued ability of building product manufacturers to find innovative ways to make products more sustainable without sacrifiing aesthetics.
Water Extractor / Watergen
Watergen’s patented technology creates high-quality drinking water from humidity in the surrounding air. The Watergen home appliance is the first water extraction solution of its kind, the company says, requiring no plumbing and producing no plastic waste. Available in a variety of sizes for residential, commercial, and mobile use. (Shown: Watergen's latest model, Genny, comes with solar panels.)
Why we like it: It’s easy to admire a product that takes advantage of solar, requires no plumbing, and produces drinking water from humidity in the air.
Indoor Air System / AprilAire
Aprilaire’s Healthy Air System suite of products for indoor air quality includes a MERV 16 air cleaner (shown), the E-100 series whole-house dehumidifier, and a whole-house humidifier working together to provide healthy indoor air solutions for consumers.
Why we like it: Indoor air quality is only going to become a bigger concern for homeowners. This is a good, comprehensive solution.
Vent Protection / InOvate
The Dryerbox system by InOvate helps maximize space in the laundry by recessing transition-hose connections into the wall, allowing the dryer to be pushed farther back, which opens up more space while protecting the ducting.
Why we like it: A simple solution to a pesky problem.
Flexible Gas Pipe / Omega Flex
CounterStrike CSST flexible pipe product from Omega Flex features a proprietary black jacket material to protect the stainless steel pressure liner and other fuel gas systems with energy-dissipating properties in case the pipe becomes energized due to lightning. The product is easier to install than traditional piping, the manufacturer says, and doesn’t require additional bonding.
Why we like it: We like anything that makes installation easier without sacrificing function.
Hickory Flooring / Carlisle Wide Plank Floors
Carlisle Wide Plank Floors’ Earthen Collection of hand-crafted hickory includes six nature-inspired colors in a low-sheen finish. The hickory timbers are sourced from northern climates and focus on Shagbark and Bitternut species for a dense grain and rich tones. Offered in a choice of engineered or solid construction, planks are 3/4-inch thick by 8 inches wide, come in 2- to 12-foot lengths, and are end matched. Six colors are available (Humus, shown).
Why we like it: It's gorgeous. Enough said.
Exterior Paint / Valspar
Along with its proprietary water-beading technology that repels water, Valspar Defense exterior paint and primer creates a mold-, mildew- and algae-resistant finish, the company says. The paint is rain-ready in 1 hour and resists fading, cracking, and peeling. It can be applied in temperatures as low as 35° F and as high as 90° F.
Why we like it: Weatherization is a popular topic in building science circles, as the technologies coming out are so innovative and impressive. Valspar's Defense is in that conversation. Not only is it easy to apply (i.e., only one coat required) within an hour it's ready to repel water and resist moisture damage as well as provide a mold-, mildew- and algae-resistant finish.
Sill Pan Flashing / Jamsill Guard
Jamsill Guard’s sill pan flashing product tackles a commonly leak-prone area: the corner. The flashing’s one-piece molded corner blocks these leaks before water can seep down into the framing and subfloor, while a sloped weep area directs water outside. The company says its product will not corrode or deteriorate over time.
Why we like it: Another simple solution to a pesky (and this one a potentially costly) problem.
Structural Panels / LP
The LP Structural Solutions portfolio of roof, wall, and floor panels includes WeatherLogic WRB wall and roof sheathing, Legacy OSB subfloor panels, FlameBlock for fire-rated wall assemblies, and the TechShield radiant barrier roof panel, all designed to “defend” against the elements so builders can build better and create more energy-efficient, weathertight homes, the company says.
Why we like it: LP has embraced building science to pinpoint and solve very specific and potentially dangerous and costly problems.
Inflatable Shim / Calculated Industries
Using Calculated Industries' AirShim inflatable pry bar and leveling tool, a contractor can position and hold in place items that weigh up to 300 pounds. The one-handed operation involves a squeeze pump and a precise bleeder valve that ensures perfect alignment, the company says. The shim spans gaps from 3/32 inch to 2 1/2 inches, and its cover will not mark surfaces.
Why we like it: With only one hand a professional can now position and hold in place items that weigh hundreds of pounds. This is worker smarter.
Design Software / Chief Architect
Advanced CAD and layout tools in Chief Architect home design software provide a workflow for generating detailed construction drawings and estimating construction costs using the built-in materials list. Features include 2D design, elevations, cross-sections, 3D design, 3D visualization, and construction drawing tools.
Why we like it: Chief Architect has been a staple design software for architects for years, and somehow it keeps improving.