Top 10 innovative products for do-it-yourselfers to kick off 2011

(ARA) – Do-it-yourselfers range from experts to novices, ambitious renovators to weekend handypersons, but one thing they all share is the drive to find products and tools that can make their home improvement projects easy, successful and fast.

“Do-it-yourselfers appreciate home improvement products that are new and innovative,” says Patti Price, senior vice president of merchandising for Lowe’s. “They’re looking for products and tools that make projects easier, improve the functionality and efficiency of their homes, solve an old problem in a new way, and are unique and original.”

Lowe’s polled a panel of DIYers recently to find out what products they considered to be the most innovative – and useful – for the start of 2011. The top products will be updated quarterly, but for the beginning of the year, here are their top 10 picks:

1. Recessed light conversion kit
If you’re looking for a quick, do-it-yourself lighting upgrade, with professional results, replace a recessed light with a pendant. This conversion kit makes the process quick and easy, and the end results provide, updated style to fit any d?cor. Panelists highly rated the product’s innovative features, improved functionality and easy installation.

2. Side-by-side refrigerator
With an array of high-tech features and an ENERGY STAR, the Whirlpool side-by-side refrigerator won high marks for its innovativeness and improved functionality. It helps contain spills easier and it also has more storage space.

3. Re-keyable lock sets
Schlage SecureKey Locksets allow homeowners to rekey the deadbolt lock using a special key. The lock cannot be rekeyed using generic tools so it provides a new solution to an old problem and improves functionality over other similar products.

4. Two-burner patio grill
Although the Lowe’s poll was conducted in winter, panelists were already thinking about warm weather and grilling season when they chose the Char-Broil Quantum 2-Burner Patio Grill. The grill uses the Quantum Infrared cooking system to lock in natural juices for moist, flavorful grilling and offers temperatures that range from intense searing to low barbecuing. What makes it even more unique though, is its convenient side shelves that fold for easy storage, perfectly sized for small patios.

5. Lock and fold hardwood flooring
Installing traditional hardwood flooring can be labor-intensive, so it’s no surprise the Bruce Lock & Fold Hardwood Flooring was impressive because of its ease of use and how it utilizes new innovation to solve an old problem. The flooring, which comes in a variety of finishes, installs without glue, nail or staples by simply locking into place.

6. Self-adhesive tile mat
Ease of use is a hallmark of the products panelists chose, and the Bondera Tile MatSet certainly meets that criterion. It is a double-sided, peel-and-stick adhesive perfect for counter and wall tile. Just peel and stick, then add tile and grout, with no more waiting for mortar or adhesive to dry.

7. Double oven range
When it comes to electric ranges, panelists the Whirlpool Double Oven Range is twice as nice. Users enjoyed the flexibility of having two ovens, allowing them to cook two different dishes – like a pizza and a casserole – at the same time in one range.

8. Dual fuel gas grill
Among serious grilling enthusiasts debate has long ranged over gas versus charcoal. Lowe’s customers liked having the best of both worlds with the Char-Griller Duo Gas & Charcoal Grill. The grill puts a charcoal-fueled unit side-by-side with a gas grill. Users highly rated the grill’s innovation with both gas and charcoal being available in the same grill and ease of assembly and use.

9. Stylish ceiling fan
Ceiling fans have long been a point of contention for homeowners who love their practicality and designers who loathe the utilitarian look of some styles, especially those with attached light fixtures. Panelists give the allen + roth 23-inch Leaf Light Aged Bronze Ceiling Fan high marks for combining innovation and functionality. The product conceals the fan blades within a stylish light fixture adorned with bronze leaf accents.

10. Pull-down touch faucet
Anyone who’s ever struggled to turn on a faucet with messy hands can appreciate the utility of touch technology. The Pilar Pulldown with Touch 2O Technology earned the approval, because of thestylish and gracefully curved faucet features a pull-down spout and can be touch activated with a gentle nudge anywhere on the spout or handle.

You can find out more about the products and their features at Keep an eye out for more top rated products throughout this year.