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Building materials are a globally sourced mix

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By Sue Doerfler
Saturday, Oct. 6, 2012, 9:00 p.m.
 

All of us have our own ancestry. So do our homes.

The building products and features in today's homes come from all over the world.

Exactly where depends on the manufacturer and the features you or your builder chose when the home was constructed or remodeled.

Although the lumber used in framing comes mostly from the United States, it could have traveled from as far away as Chile or Brazil. Granite used in a kitchen counter could have been quarried in Turkey, China, Brazil or another country.

The toilet in the master bathroom could be a unity of nations: The electronic parts could come from China while the bowl could have been made in Vietnam or the United States. The toilet seat? It may be from Mexico.

Here's a sampling of building product origins:

Construction

Framing lumber: About 75 percent of it is produced in the United States. Also, Canada, Chile and Brazil.

Plywood (used in roof decking, floors, walls and other locations): This comes from the United States, China, Malaysia and Indonesia.

OSB (oriented strand board — used in roofing, subfloors and walls, among other locations): Most is from the United States.

Copper for pipes and wiring: Originates in the United States, Canada and Chile.

Gypsum (sheet boards for walls): About 85 percent is produced in the U.S., 15 percent in Canada and Mexico.

Cement: Most is regional (United States).

Paint: Most is produced in the United States.

Flooring

Porcelain and ceramic tile (often used in kitchens, entryways, bathrooms): These materials come from Argentina, Italy, Turkey, China, the United States and Mexico, among other countries.

Stone (often used in kitchens, entryways, bathrooms, great rooms): Much comes from Italy, Mexico or Indonesia.

Medallions for entryways: These can come from Mexico and China.

Carpet: Most is from the United States.

Wood (in kitchens, great rooms): Primarily from Canada and the United States.

Laminate wood flooring: Europe, China, North America.

Kitchens

Backsplash of tumbled stone or glass: Sourced from Italy, China, elsewhere.

Porcelain-covered cast-iron sinks: Many are made in the United States.

Stainless sinks: Many from the United States.

Countertops: Granite can be from almost anywhere.

Bathrooms

Sinks: Most are from the United States.

Glass block in showers: Mexico.

Stone vessel sinks: Italy, Mexico and Turkey produce these.

Toilets: Parts can be from a variety of countries — the electronic parts from China, vitreous china from the United States or Vietnam, seat from Mexico.

Sources: National Association of Home Builders in Washington; Kohler; World of Tile and Arrowhead Carpet Tile Interiors, both of Glendale, Ariz.; Gli dden Pain t.

Sue Doerfler is a staff writer for the Arizona Republic.

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