Construction Materials

Construction materials have evolved in great ways over the years. Instead of using asbestos when building, people now use recycled materials. Construction materials are important to our safety because they're what hold the industrial world together.

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Could we be headed for a concrete jungle with less CO2 emissions?

By Christopher Hassiotis

As steel framing becomes more common in modern homes, DIY homeowners are facing new decorating challenges. We'll dish on everything from drilling through metal to drywall anchors in this article.

By Gerlinda Grimes

What does concrete have in common with cake? If you want to build a structure with concrete, you need a good mold -- and that tool is known as formwork.

By Jeff Harder


How do you slow down a fire? These five building materials are particularly resistant to fire and intense heat, reducing the possibility of fatalities.

By Jane McGrath

Although they've traditionally dominated the commercial building sector, metal studs -- or frames -- are making waves in residential building. What's the difference between them and their wooden counterparts?

By Shanna Freeman

The production of traditional cement accounts for 5 percent of human-generated carbon dioxide emissions. Could carbon negative cement change all that at a reasonable price?

By Chris Warren

Sure, industrial and residential construction share some common traits. But in the grand scheme of things, the two fields are about as different as, well, night and day.

By John Perritano


It's study, durable and can be poured into any shape under the sun. Concrete has long been used as a basic home building material, but unlike others, it doesn't catch fire. See how you can use concrete in your bathroom, kitchen and backyard.

By Chris Opfer

Fly ash concrete is considered a green building product. But some think it could have potential hazards. We'll tell you both sides of the story.

By Mark Boyer

Even Michelangelo had to deal with efflorescence -- white deposits that appear on masonry -- while painting the Sistine Chapel. What causes this unsightly problem, and how can you address it if it shows up on the surfaces of your home?

By John Kelly

You don't have to be a home design expert to know that granite countertops are all the rage for kitchens and baths -- and have been for quite some time now. But has their popularity finally peaked?

By Melanie Radzicki McManus


Even if you're not in the habit of noticing the flooring under your feet, chances are good that you've trod on terrazzo before. Meet mosaic's sturdy cousin.

By Shanna Freeman

Inventive manufacturers have transformed the once dark and dim building material called concrete into light transmitting blocks that remain sturdy and compact. Here's how it works.

By Chris Opfer

Adobe construction is one of the oldest building techniques known to man, but why is it now one of the hottest modern housing trends?

By Linda C. Brinson

Papercrete is a lightweight alternative to regular concrete that incorporates would-be trash paper into its mix. But what are the benefits and limitations of such a concoction, and is it green?

By Jacob Clifton


Strong, well-enforced building codes can save lives and reduce property damage in the event of a natural disaster. But who sets these standards? And how are they enforced?

By Chris Warren

Worried about getting burned on your upcoming home construction project? Here are some golden ways to save money.

By Becky Striepe

When you see a fire burning buildings on TV, do you ever wonder why some remain standing and others fold? Concrete has a lot to do with it.

By Colleen Cancio

If you're tempted to choose a countertop for its form, stop to consider its function, too -- or it may not look nice for long. What surfaces do best?

By Laurie L. Dove


Looking for a DIY project? Prebuilt cabinets aren't quite endlessly useful, but there's no need to confine these storage solutions to kitchens alone.

By Laurie L. Dove

Pretty much anyone can learn to paint drywall. However, to get the best results, you should follow a specific process -- which includes a certain amount of prep work. What steps should you take before starting your paint job?

By Melanie Radzicki McManus

It's easy to rail against the new big thing, but prefab homes aren't that new or (in the U.S.) widely popular. So how have they affected the industry?

By Allison Wachtel

Concrete may seem dull and gray. But the superplasticizers in fluid concrete are actually pretty intriguing. How do these little buggers make wet concrete flow like a river?

By Clint Pumphrey


Linoleum has something of a reputation for being old-fashioned and drab. But brands such as Marmoleum are proving that the material can be eco-friendly and fun, too.

By Cynthia Pasquale

The smell of paint usually gives away the fact that you're probably breathing in something that's bad for your health. But you might not know just how right your nasal signals are. How dangerous are the VOCs in paint?

By Sarah Alban