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Monthly Archives: April 2014

Treasure Hunting for Bathtubs

When I think of a treasure hunt, I am reminded of the ancient artifacts, items covered in gold, precious items that people hold onto and pass on from generation to generation. In order for an item to fit this description, it has to have staying power. It must be durable, important and part of our everyday life.

Check out Claw foot tubs are back

Years ago, when we first started in the bathtub business, and  before cast iron/porcelain tubs were being manufactured again, my brother and I were always looking for the old clawfoot tubs, which could be refinished and sold.  We would visit wrecking companies, and plumbing supply houses to see if they had any of the old tubs that we could buy and restore.  Sometimes we would see tubs sitting outside of homes, being used as flowerpots.  We would stop and ask if the owners wanted to sell them.
 
For a long period of time, the clawfoot tub had virtually disappeared.  No foundries in the U.S. were casting these tubs because everyone was going to fiberglass.  So, the old style, claw-footed tubs, as beautiful as they were, disappeared.  Those we could find were always in high demand.

I remember delivering several antique sinks to a customer out in the country who lived in a farmhouse.  We had refinished these antique sinks for him, and as we off-loaded them into his living room, I noticed a huge cast iron bathtub sitting right in the middle of the floor.  It was a dual ended tub with massive claw legs.  It was 75 inches long and 35 inches wide.  It was extremely rare …and I wanted it.

I asked the customer what he was planning to do with it.  He said he and his wife were going to bury it in the back yard to make a goldfish pond.  I quickly said, “I’ll pay you $300 for it.”  They were hesitant, so I sweetened the pot a little.  “Okay, how about $300 plus the three sinks I brought you, no charge.”  The couple looked at each other.  The wife said, “Dear, that will pay for all our tile work.”  The husband thought about it and said, “Okay we’ll do it.”   Music to my ears!

We eventually sold that tub for over $4,000. How? The tub was very rare.
Today, tubs that size and shape are being recast again.  We can provide customers with the same basic tub for under $2,000.  Customers like it for reasons beyond price.  Since it is newly cast (new porcelain), it does not need to be refinished.  The legs are now plated with chrome and brushed nickel, instead of the old cast iron legs that rusted.  New faucets and hardware are readily available for the new tubs in designs that were not even available a hundred years ago. In essence, you can now own a beautiful claw foot tub that will last another hundred years without having to spend months on the treasure hunt trail. You won’t have to spend many hours and a lot of money resorting it. You can just buy and have it professionally installed it with matching fixtures, ready to enjoy, admire and use.
There has never been a better time to purchase one of these beautiful porcelain/cast iron clawfoot bathtubs.  You have so many design choices and the price is extremely low.  It will definitely add to the value of your home, and the hours of personal enjoyment cannot be easily measured.

In this article, I told you some of our treasure hunt stories, where we searched for old claw foot tubs so we could restore and sell them. Today, anyone can own one of these beautifully functional tubs, no treasure hunt needed. In fact, there are more choices, sizes and color combinations now than ever before. On top of that, prices are very reasonable. It has never been a better time to own a beautiful claw foot tub.

See our double slipper tub.

If you found this article useful, please share it with your friends and co-workers. If you have a comment related to this article, leave it in the comment section of this blog.  If you’d like to receive a FREE Walk-In Tub Buyers’ Guide, click here.  Have a question? Feel free to contact me at the number or email listed at the end of this article and I will personally get back to you. It has been my pleasure sharing this information with you. Thanks again for visiting with us.Until next time. 


Alan and Kerry Knight are the owners of Tub King, Inc., and SeniorBathtub.com in Jacksonville, Florida. Together they have many years of experience in the antique and senior bathtub industries. Their companies not only provide superior products, they are also award winners, receiving the “Best of Jacksonville Chamber Award” three years running. If you would like to contact them, call (800) 409-3375 or (800) 843-4231; or email them at alan@tubking.com or kerry@tubking.com.
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What to Look for in a Walk-in Tub

Many today are shopping for a Walk In Tub.  If you’ve done any shopping at all it has become apparent that there is no uniform price.  As one lady put it, “the prices are all over the map.”  Low end pricing can start at $1995.00.  On the other end of the scale numbers can reach $12,000.00.



Obviously, the specific features on the tub will dictate how many are priced.  With that in mind, let’s first look at the main features and ask if they’re included in the price.
FAUCET AND PLUMBING.  Most of our customers ask up front.  Is the faucet and plumbing included?  Some companies do include it, others do not.  Is it an option or an included feature?  Don’t assume.   Check it out.

JETTED OR SOAKER.  The soaker models represent tubs that have no air or water jets.  They are simply designed to allow the user to soak.  All the safety features are typically  there.   But again make sure you check to be sure.  Common features on a soaker tub would include.   1.  Low threshold for stepping into the tub; 2.  Slip resistant floor and seat; 3.  ADA compliant height on the seat; 4.  Interior grab bar; 5.  Safety latch on the door; 6.  Overflow protection; 7.  Reinforcement under the floor and seat of the tub.

AIR JETTED TUB.  This tub should have all the features of a soaker, but would also include an air pump and all the ports to allow for an air jetted system.  This feature allows for air to be generated into the water to create thousands of therapeutic bubbles.  These can help with dozens of medical conditions.  Obviously, the air jets will create a price jump, over the soaker model.


AIR JETS, WATER JETS AND INLINE HEATER.  The deluxe version of walk in tubs will also add the water pump.  This circulates and pulses the water against the body like a massage system.  It is great for treating injuries as well as tired aching muscles, and arthritis.  The inline heater works in conjunction with the water pump to make sure the water stays warm while bathing in the tub.  This will also increase the base price of the tub.  Usually, a fully jetted tub will have about 12 air ports and 6 water ports, all located in strategic points around the body of the tub.

Another thing that will affect the price of a walk in tub is, “Who pays for shipping?”  Again, don’t assume that shipping is free.  If you’re paying for it, it could add another $500.00 to the price.


There are some features that I call “window dressing.”  There are companies that will add things that provide no real value or benefit to the tub, just to get the price up.  Here are a couple of examples:

1.  LIGHTS IN THE TUB.  Some companies have added as much as a thousand dollars to their price, just because they added a couple of lights in the bottom of the tub.  Now, this might be more practical if we were talking about a swimming pool, but it’s laughable, when suggesting that this is needed in a walk in tub.  Unless you are planning on bathing in the dark, there is plenty of light in the bathroom to illuminate your walk in tub.

2.  AROMATHERAPY.  Another  ridiculous add-on by some companies, is adding a fragrance to the tub.  Again, here is a mindless way to price you out of the market.  If you want a fragrance, why not just burn a candle in the bathroom.

3.  And what about the QUICK DRAIN.  Some companies have added an exterior pump to evacuate the water a little faster.  Most walk in tubs are designed so that the water drains faster than a normal tub.  Consider the fact that all the water in columned over the drain.  The pressure alone makes it drain faster.   And with displacement, since a person is sitting in the tub, the tub doesn’t hold much more than a normal five foot tub anyway.    But there is another consideration.  The existing drain in the bathroom can only accommodate so much water at any given time.  Some things just can’t be forced.

In reality, if the user will open the drain when finished with their bath, begin to rinse off with warm water, using the hand held shower, then begin to towel dry, by this time the tub is about empty anyway.


The whole point of this article is, don’t over pay for things you don’t need.  You don’t need to spend $12,000.00 for a walk in tub, or even $6000.00.  Find out from the seller, which features are offered.  Then choose the ones you absolutely need, and find the best price.  They are out there.

In this article I have provided a list of needed and unnecessary feature to consider when buying a walk-in tub. These features determine the purchase price and in some instances allows a vendor to over charge for items that are just not necessary. When finished, the buyer will have a good idea as what is needed to make a wise decision.

Check out this short Walk-in Tub Guide

If you found this article useful, please share it with your friends and co-workers. If you have a comment related to this article, leave it in the comment section of this blog.  If you’d like to receive a FREE Walk-In Tub Buyers’ Guide, click here.  Have a question? Feel free to contact me at the number or email listed at the end of this article and I will personally get back to you. It has been my pleasure sharing this information with you. Thanks again for visiting with us.
Until next time. 

Alan and Kerry Knight are the owners of Tub King, Inc., and SeniorBathtub.com in Jacksonville, Florida. Together they have many years of experience in the antique and senior bathtub industries. Their companies not only provide superior products, they are also award winners, receiving the “Best of Jacksonville Chamber Award” three years running. If you would like to contact them, call (800) 409-3375 or (800) 843-4231; or email them at alan@tubking.com or kerry@tubking.com.


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Can You Sleep in Deep Water?

I remember a joke from the past.  “My wife takes milk bathes.”  “Is it pasteurized?”  “No, just up to her chin.”

We have a number of customers who prefer to take a bath in the deepest tub possible.  Most of the older, antique cast iron/porcelain tubs had 18 inches of total depth, from the inside bottom of the tub, to the top rim or roll top.  However, they were limited by an overflow to about 11 inches of depth.   From the sloped side of the tub,  if you slide down into the water a bit, that’s still enough to cover most of the body.

Check out this short video of the Deep Soaker.

Today, the tubs are even deeper.  The newly manufactured  cast iron/porcelain tubs are typically 13 inches at the overflow.  However, there is one model that we carry that is 18 inches to the overflow and a total depth of 22 inches.  First of all, it is dual ended, which means there is a gradual slope on each end of the tub making it perfectly symmetrical.  The faucet holes are in the center of the of the rim of the tub and the drain is also center plumed.  Each of the majestic legs, called Emperor Legs, weigh about 20 pounds each and are available in chrome, brushed nickel, oil rubbed bronze finish, or a color choice.  The tub is an expressive 73 inches long and 30 inches wide.  From the floor to the top of the rolled rim, it stands 29 inches high.  This tub is called the EXTRA DEEP DUAL ENDED.

Sometimes we have customers that are a little larger than average, and they need a tub to fit their body size.  When someone saw our EXTRA DEEP DUAL ENDED tub at a Home and Patio Show, they immediately fell in love with it.  This was the size they had been looking for.

This tub allows you to really stretch out.  The water will cover the entire body, and the comfort level will always provide the temptation to fall asleep.  Sometimes we get calls that are nothing less than “unusual.”  One particular caller wanted a tub where she could completely stretch out in the bottom of the tub.  That’s right.  She actually wanted to lie flat in the bottom of the tub!  I said, “Won’t you drown?”  She didn’t think that was funny, but I thought it was a perfectly legitimate question.  The flat bottom of the EXTRA DEEP DUAL ENDED TUB is 54 inches.  That is extremely long for any tub.  But the woman was 66 inches tall.   I told her that by reclining on the inside slope of the tub, she could get the water as high as she wanted.  I never convinced her, but it was a conversation I’ll never forget. 
Extra Deep  soaker claw foot tub.

Not only is this tub a soothing solution to an aching body, it is also an object of real beauty.  The porcelain looks rich and the cast iron exterior looks like it could  last a thousand years.  The only down side is that the tub is heavy, 450 pounds, but it will still be around when  we’re gone.

If you are looking for the ideal porcelain and cast iron tub that is long, wide, and deep, the EXTRA DEEP DUAL ENDED is the one for you.

In this article I have provided a solution for people looking for an extra long and deep claw foot tub. The claw foot tub in this article is 54 inches long and 22 inches deep, big enough to allow most people to fully submersion and enjoy a soothing bath in this elegant tub.

If you found this article useful, please share it with your friends and co-workers. If you have a comment related to this article, leave it in the comment section of this blog.  If you’d like to receive a FREE Walk-In Tub Buyers’ Guide, click here.  Have a question? Feel free to contact me at the number or email listed at the end of this article and I will personally get back to you. It has been my pleasure sharing this information with you. Thanks again for visiting with us.

Until next time. 
Alan and Kerry Knight are the owners of Tub King, Inc., and SeniorBathtub.com  in Jacksonville, Florida. Together they have many years of experience in the antique and senior bathtub industries. Their companies not only provide superior products, they are also award winners, receiving the “Best of Jacksonville Chamber Award” three years running. If you would like to contact them, call (800) 409-3375 or (800) 843-4231; or email them at alan@tubking.com or kerry@tubking.com.

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The Coolest Bathtub Around

From the Unfinished Man
By Kerry Knight

Somewhere in the late ’50s and early ’60s, when jazz was still king and rock ‘n’ roll was in its formative years, the definition of the word “cool,” was changed from something that wasn’t warm to something that was all the rage. Jazz was cool. Bebop was cool. Diners were cool. James Dean was cool. Even cigarettes were cool. Something that everyone felt excited or moved by when they encountered that special object, sound or concept was cool. And that word has retained its meaning to this day.

Now, the word “cool” is being used a lot around our showroom.

We sell bathtubs … but not just any bathtubs. Sometimes we get a call from someone interested in an acrylic shower surround or a regular steel, five-foot bathtub. “Sorry, we don’t carry those,” we reply. “Check with Lowes or Home Depot.”  You see, our tubs are SPECIAL. You don’t find them just anywhere.  As a matter of fact, in the city of Jacksonville, Florida, with a population just topping a million, we’re the only company that specializes in these unique tubs.


Short video on what makes these tubs special!
What is this SPECIAL TUB?  It’s the cast iron and porcelain claw-foot tub.  And the model that’s in the greatest demand is the Slipper Tub, named because it resembles Cinderella’s Slipper. Even more popular is the Double Slipper.

Recently, while displaying our cast iron/porcelain claw-foot tubs at a couple of Home and Patio Shows (a major, bi-annual event in Jacksonville), we noticed that more and more people were drawn to the Double Slipper Tubs. When we questioned why clients preferred that model above the rest, they gave two answers. One was its size; at 72 inches long, it’s one of the largest tubs we carry. The second reason given was its beautifully symmetrical shape. You see, it has a dramatic slope on each end of the tub, which means two people can use it at the same time. In addition to being cool, another common adjective we hear about these Double Slippers is that they’re sexy. Some couples like the idea of bathing together. Nothing wrong with that.

Step into a Double Slipper  

The Double Slipper Tub comes with huge majestic legs with lion’s paws, each one weighing about 20 pounds. These legs can be chrome-plated, brushed nickel-plated or done in oil-rubbed bronze. Some even choose to have the legs painted in their favorite color with a specialized coating. There’s another option, which is having no legs at all. Instead, it comes with a pedestal base or “skirt,” as some call it.  For those who want something more traditional, this is perfect.

Pick a Color, Any Color!

You can also have the exterior painted in another color other than white.  Now you can really do some creative decorating. Many are decorating their entire bathrooms around this tub, as it becomes the centerpiece of the room — literally — since the tub’s faucet holes and drain are at the center point of the tub. (That’s why it’s called a “Bathroom” after all.)

When you add a gooseneck or wide spout faucet with the “English Telephone” attachment, along with matching drain, overflow, and water supply lines, perhaps in a finish that matches the claw-foot legs, you have a real beauty. Someone recently called it, “the coolest tub they had ever seen.”

Your Happy Days can Include a Double Slipper Claw Foot Tub

So yes, whether it’s Fonzy from “Happy Days” or your teenager talking about the latest craze in movies, cool is stillin and Double Slipper Claw Foot tubs are the coolest thing in bathroomsaround the world.

In this article, I’ve discussed several reasons why Slipper Tubs and Double Slipper Tubs are all the rage — from their unique design, numerous decorative options, including elegant claw feet, choices of color, accessories and more.
Check out this short video for a few tips.
If you found this article useful, please share it with your friends and co-workers. If you have a comment related to this article, leave it in the comment section of this blog.  If you’d like to receive a FREE Walk-In Tub Buyers’ Guide, click here. 

Have a question? Feel free to contact me at the number or email listed at the end of this article and I’ll personally get back to you. It has been my pleasure sharing this information with you. Thanks again for visiting with us.
Until next time.
Alan and Kerry Knight are the owners of Tub King, Inc., and SeniorBathtub.com in Jacksonville, Florida. Together they have many years of experience in the antique and senior bathtub industries. Their companies not only provide superior products, they are also award winners, receiving the “Best of Jacksonville Chamber Award” three years running. If you would like to contact them, call (888) 409-3375 or (800) 843-4231; or email them at alan@tubking.com or kerry@tubking.com.
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