Labor of Luxe: High-end items for the well-heeled market

The home improvement retailing and building materials industry fared much like the rest of the country during the recession years — with the exception of those at the very top of the chain, everyone felt the squeeze. In other words, high-end customers are still looking for high-end items, with everyone else placing a high premium on value and price. Backing up that claim is a recent Harris Poll EquiTrend survey, which found that luxury brands received a nice boost in brand equity over the past year and typically fared better than their middle-of-the-road counterparts. Sources in the industry told HCN editors a similar story. With appeal remaining strong for luxury goods, here's a quick snapshot of this relatively stable (and visually pleasing) segment.

Diamond Spas Ellipse Soaking Tub

For customers with an industrial chic design profile, this copper and stainless steel bath from Diamond Spas can be custom-sized with a flat or bowed-top ledge to fit any space requirement.

Mediterranea ICE Porcelain Tile Series

In partnership with Serenissima, an Italian-based manufacturing plant that recently announced a major factory renovation, Mediterranea has been cranking out these sleek, innovative porcelain tiles for the U.S. market and expects further growth in the years to come.

Fairway BP Standard Vinyl Railing

This vinyl railing, in special-order khaki with Square balusters, makes for a high-end option among those who place a premium on customization. Luxury customers are keen on highly individualized, distinctive products, and a custom order for this very large home means high dollar sales.

IndusParquet Wood Wall Tile

Who says walls can't get the luxury hardwood treatment? IndusParquet, a manufacturer of Brazilian hardwood flooring, offers a wood wall tile made from 100% recycled exotic hardwood end pieces.

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