Plank flooring was common in early American homes. Northshore and Harborlight ($4.75 to $6.75 per square foot) offer that look with today's technology. These 5-inch-wide, square-edge planks are three-eighths-inch-thick laminated products, which allows for installations both above and below grade.
Northshore engineered oak flooring is available in five shades; Harborlight maple flooring comes in three shades. Both have a factory-applied finish and are backed by a lifetime structural warranty and a five-year warranty on the finish.
They are additions to the Benchmark Collection of Bruce Hardwood Floors.
Bruce Hardwood Floors, (800) 722-4647; http://www.brucehardwoodfloors.com
The big news about the Whirlpool Resource Saver isn't that it cuts energy use by up to 56% and water consumption by 47%--there are many energy-efficient clothes washers on the market.
The big news is the price: $599.
That's hundreds of dollars cheaper than most other energy-efficient models.
There are other differences as well. This is a top-loading machine, bucking the trend toward front-loading models. Its sensors keep a close watch on the temperature of incoming water, so hot-water waste is minimal.
A unique six-spray rinsing system contributes to the stingy water use. This Energy Star-rated product meets the strict standards set by the U.S. Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Agency.
Whirlpool, (800) 253-1301; http://www.whirlpool.com
SWEEPING AT AN ANGLE
The Woodworx deck brush ($20) from Wolman won't make you any more eager to clean and refurbish your deck this spring. But it will make the job easier.
The angled head, fitted with stiff nylon bristles that can stand up to chemical cleaners, allows you to scrub deck boards and then go right up posts and spindles without changing the position of your hands.
You can even clean under built-in benches without twisting yourself into a pretzel.
The 5-feet-long handle can be replaced with a handle that allows water from a hose to flow through the bristles.
Wolman, (800) 556-7737; http://www.wolman.com