Handyman: Some products perfect for April Fool’s day

Glenn Haege
Special to The Detroit News

It’s April Fool’s Day, and it’s time to play a practical joke on you regarding some unique products for the home. Or is it a joke?

With the advancements in home improvement product development, there are things available today that may even defy logic. But they are often more practical than you may think.

Let’s start with flooring. You can get flooring from Torly’s,, that is made from 100 percent recycled leather. Then there is bamboo flooring that has a similar look and durability to hardwood floors – but bamboo is an eco-friendly, highly renewable material.

When you think of kitchen countertops, you generally envision a hard surface such as granite. But what if that kitchen countertop was made from paper? That option is available, because PaperStone solid surface countertops,, are manufactured from a sustainable composite material made from 100 percent post-consumer recycled paper and natural pigments. Yet even though it is made from paper, it is very durable and even stain resistant. Durable paper? That alone makes it perfect for an April Fool’s joke.

The robotic vacuum may have qualified for an April Fool’s prank a few years ago, but it has become mainstream thanks to companies like iRobot,, and its popular Roomba line of vacuums. But a robotic lawn mower? Surely that sounds like a prank in the making.

But the LawnBott from Kyodo America,, is for real.

An autonomous robot, the LawnBott operates automatically using its computer and a perimeter wire to determine when and where to cut. It can move freely within an enclosed area, detecting the faint sinusoidal signal from its transmitter to tell it where and where not to mow. It even returns to its docking station to recharge its lithium ion battery after it is done mowing. The LawnBott is available in four different models to fit your yard.

And if you are tired of climbing the ladder to clean your gutters, iRobot’s Looj gutter cleaner will travel inside your gutters and use its auger to break apart clogs of leaves and debris and toss it to the ground.

Another company that specializes in home robotics is Ecovacs, It has some robotic products that could qualify for an episode of Ripley’s Believe or Not, like the Winbot, which attaches to any window or mirror and cleans your glass using a unique three-stage system.

The Grillbot,, is designed to clean your outdoor grill’s grates and features three electric motors and smart computer technology that regulates the speed and direction of the unit.

If I told you I used my old blue jeans to insulate my attic, you would of course think I was pulling your leg. Yet today denim insulation is not fiction but a reality that you can find at Menards. Denim insulation is manufactured from post-consumer recycled denim and cotton fibers. UltraTouch from Bonded Logic,, is one of the more popular manufacturers of denim insulation.

The good thing about all these products is that they are practical and useful, rather than just a prop for a good April Fool’s prank. So while you can amaze your friends when you tell them about your bamboo floor or denim insulation, you are also getting the advantage of a serious home improvement product. Now that is something you can have fun with and brag about.

If you would like to suggest a question for this column, e-mail If you want to talk to Glenn Haege, call his “Handyman Show” on WJR-AM (760) at (866) ASK GLENN, (866) 275-4536, from between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday. “The Handyman Show” can be heard on more than 130 radio stations.