Q: What's the hottest fixture for multi-family buildings in 2005?
A: There's something special about a fireplace, and the new ventless fireplaces are what everybody wants these days.
We're seeing them integrated in the standard design or as an easy upgrade option. These gas units create a great effect and don't have to be designed on an exterior wall—you can put them anywhere as long as you can get a gas line in. (Just spec them in an area that's easy to reach for maintenance.)
We've designed them on walls separating the living room and bedroom so it serves as an amenity and detail for two rooms. Plus, they're great when the electricity goes out because they are warm enough to heat a small unit.
Terry Espy, president of the Momentum Group in Cary, N.C., answered this month's product question.
Previous Q&As have addressed affordable upgrades, beating a mold problem, and soundproofing, among other topics. If you'd like to suggest a question for future Product Studio Q&As or answer an upcoming month's question, please contact Rachel Azoff at razoff@ hanleywood.com or call 202-736-3494.
FRESH FLOORING: Hardwoods bring warmth and style to any room, and engineered hardwoods are easy to install and more affordable than traditional hardwoods, especially for upgrades. Armstrong's Valenza Collection features light, medium, and dark hardwood flooring, engineered for high-traffic areas. The 10-ply, cross-grain construction provides exceptional dimensional stability and offers flexible installation on, above, or below grade levels over most subfloors, including concrete. The engineered hardwood planks are available in random lengths and seven colors with a low-gloss Permion finish that combines durability with reduced maintenance and refinishing costs, the company says. For more information, call Armstrong at 877-ARMSTRONG or visit www.armstrong.com.