This year's Most Innovative Products contest at World of Masonry/World of Concrete includes some of the most creative, useful, and practical materials and equipment to burst upon the scene since the 2007 show. These products run the gamut from big to small, high-tech to low-tech, and high-priced to low-priced. But they all have two important factors in common.

First, the products represent new ways to meet construction challenges. And second, the companies who have entered are hoping that you will vote to help decide which ones are this year's most innovative.

To help navigate the 144 entries in the 2008 contest, the products are categorized by primary application. The products in the two masonry categories – Materials and Tools & Equipment – are described in this article.

Masonry Materials

Mat deflects mortar, dries cavity

Mortairvent is a mortar deflection and ventilation mat used behind manufactured stone, natural stone, stucco, EIFS, and brick. The gray filter fabric acts as the mortar deflection, while the blue polypropylene matrix creates a dry cavity allowing for proper drainage and ventilation. The mat greatly reduces the chance of rot and mold within a wall system. WOM/WOC Booth 3444

Rebar positioner seated in CMU core

CoreLock is a hassle-free rebar positioner that makes the mason's job easier and ensures a secure installation. It is seated 1¼-in. into the CMU core, rather than on top of the block. Diagonal placement ensures the rebar is always centered and prevents movement. The one-piece design has no welds and does not interfere with the installation of wire joint reinforcement. It is used for 8-in. and 12-in. block. WOM/WOC Booth C3512

Lath system serves several applications

SpiderLath is an innovative fiberglass lath system used in a wide variety of masonry, stone, and stucco applications. Used in place of metal or other conventional laths, the product is rustproof, lightweight, and easy to cut. This patent-pending lath provides a time saving advantage during installation, and the standoff strips allow it to be encapsulated by the cement, creating a stronger substrate. WOM/WOC Booth S14606

Machine mixes, dispenses, and places

The Mix-N-Place can mix and dispense mortar and/or grout with the same machine and augers the product out the bottom for perfect placement. It takes only two people to grout – one drives the forklift and the other controls the pour directly into the block. Using the product reduces labor costs, and as a mixer, the ¾-yd capacity fills numerous tubs in one trip. WOM/WOC Booth C3568