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Home Matters

Top home products for 2013

Pete, who often likes to wander Home Depot looking for new products, created a list of the top items to have in your home for 2013.

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1. Soybean Solid-Surface Countertops are soy, oil-based urethane made with powdered glass, giving you a scratch-resistant surface that's 25 percent lighter than other solid-surface countertops at one-third the price ($15 per square foot). More information available at ecotecss.com.

2. Aspect Honeycomb Tile is a peel-and-stick aluminum tile that is installed over pre-existing backsplash tile. It requires no grout, and you can trim it with a jigsaw. More information available at aspectideas.com.

3. Granite Transformations has an app called iGranite, where you can upload a photo of your kitchen and choose a style and color. It will overlay your virtual choice on your actual countertop, giving you an idea of what your kitchen will look like with the selected product. The app is free and iOS only. More information available at granitetransformations.com.

4. PF Waterworks pop-up clog free drain is a replacement for your drain. Rather than the typical rod-style drain plug, this is a magnet that covers the hole, eliminating clogs. Available at Home Depot for $10.

5. One Touch Showerhead by Levaqua allows you to pause the flow of water if you're not using it. Pete says it runs around $70. More information available at levaqua.com.

6. Bugs Classic Collection Tiles are hand-painted and fire-glazed tiles, which make a neat addition to a kid's bathroom. At $25 per tile, they're on the pricier side, but would make a good accent. More information available at winchestertiles.com.

7. Universal tub and shower set by Pfister, available at Home Depot or Lowes, fits the most common mixer valves from Delta, Moen or Pfister, and you don't have to demolish the wall to replace it. This usually runs around $80.

8. Magic Floor Plan app by Sensopia allows you to take a series of photos and upload them to the app, which then generates a floor plan, based on the data you provided. iOS only. More information available at sensopia.com.

9. Long Nose pliers by Craftsman feature an LED between the jaws of the pliers, allowing you to see what you're plying. Pete says it runs around $20. More information available at craftsman.com.

10. The Mixing Mate by Rockler For $15, it's a lid that seals over the top of your paint can and features a hand-crank auger that mixes your paint. More information available at rockler.com.

11. Gryo 4-volt Rechargable Screwdriver by Black & Decker is an automatic screwdriver that turns based on the the direction of your wrist. $40, available at blackanddecker.com.

12. USB Receptacle Plug by Cooper Industries allows you to plug in your iDevices and techy toys directly into the wall. $40, available at cooperindustries.com.

13. The IoPhic Smoke and Fire Alarm by Universal Security Instruments features a microprocessor that identifies the signature of a real fire. This means that the alarm will not go off if something burns in the kitchen, but will go off if there's an actual fire. More information available at universalsecurity.com.

14. Learning Thermostat by Nest is a Wifi-enabled thermostat that learns your temperature-setting patterns. It also senses whether you're at home; if you're not at home, it overrides the patterns. $250, available at nest.com.

15. Lightbulb finder app is an app available for both Android and iOS that finds appropriate lightbulbs for your fixtures. More information available at lightbulbfinder.net.

16. Cut-and-Grab Lopper by Fiskars are serrated pruners that allow you to direct the branch to the ground after you snip it. $40, available at fiskars.com/

17. Gunk by Briggs and Stratton is a formula you pour into your lawnmower or other gas-powered small engine that keeps the gas from turning to varnish, even after three years. $13 for 16oz., available at briggsandstratton.com.

18. Fence Builder 1.0 allows you to put in your yard's dimensions, and the app will calculate how much the spacing as well as a shopping list. It also allows you to select different fencing styles and materials. $3, iOS only. Pete and Rob recommend also speaking to a contractor in conjunction with this app. More information available at itunes.com.

19. Vast Paver by Azek is made from recycled tires and plastic, and is resistant to most environmental aspects. It snaps into place on a grid, and looks just like real brick. More information available at vast.com.

20. Ecobust demolishes concrete without the use of a sledgehammer or jackhammer. Drill holes in the concrete and then pour the compound into the holes. It busts up concrete using pressure and saves your back. $50 for an 11-pound bucket. More information available at ecobust.ca.

21. iScrapp gives you all of the nearby recycling locations and pricing for whatever you'd like to get rid of. Free for Android and iOS. More information available at iscrappapp.com.

22. Bellawood warranty extension now is 100 years, rather than 50, and is transferable between homeowners. More information available at bellawood.com.

23. Accord Seated Shower by Sterling Plumbing features a movable bench, offering protection from shower slips and falls. Retrofits run $800-1,000 and should be installed by a contractor. More information available at sterlingplumbing.com.

Home Matters can be heard on KIRO Radio Saturdays at 8 a.m. and Sundays at 6 a.m. Available anytime ON DEMAND at KIRORadio.com.

Cait Walsh, MyNorthwest Writer
Caitlyn Walsh is a regular lifestyles contributor for MyNorthwest. She enjoys reading and hiking, as well as perusing all the cat videos the Internet has to offer.
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