Best Of 2006

Best Hardware Store
Lowe's

Staff Pick

Lowe’s barely lost in this category last year (a vote behind the eventual winner), so it’s only fitting that it takes the top honor this time around. The tagline is: “Improving Home Improvement,” and they sure are. Forget the bare-bones “warehouse” feel, with stacks of boxes and pallets in the aisles. Lowe’s knows that members of the fairer sex increasingly are purchasing home improvement items, so they’re making their stores less about Tool Time Tim and more about Designing Women, grouping items like bath tiles, countertops and faucets in one area, so you can “do” a whole room at once. They even have appliances, which means you can pretty much plan your entire renovation in one day. (We did.) All the tools are there for you.

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