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Monthly Archives: December 2014

Invest in Yourself for the New Year



By Alan Knight
Photo Caption: accede.com.au
Like many people at this time of year, I’ve been making my list and checking it twice.  No; I’m not talking about the holiday gifts I shared with family, friends and colleagues.  I’m talking about the gift of change. 

It’s a new year, so I’m writing down my list of goals and improvements I want to make for myself in 2015.  You know …  get more exercise, make some dietary changes, stop a bad habit, etc.  I like to think of these positive changes as an investment in myself.  And then there’s the second list of all the “Honey Do’s” my wife is making for me as well.  Can’t forget those, can I? 
Photo Credit: tubking.com
If you’re looking to invest in yourself in 2015, one thing you might consider is to attend Tub King’s Bath and Kitchen Refinishing Training Class.  After gaining hands-on experience over the course of a weekend, you’ll have the skills and know-how to improve your income significantly as a certified refinisher.  Bath and kitchen refinishing is one of the hottest trends in the home improvement industry today.  Once you’ve attended our interactive class, you’ll have the in-demand skills to set up your own part- or even full-time business. Consider the following:   
  • This service/skill set is in high demand (thousands of people want/need your specialized services)
  • It has a high profit margin (50-75% higher than house painting, for example)
  • It provides great income potential (some professionals are earning $200/hour or more)
  • You save customers money (refinishing vs. remodeling can garner a 70% savings)
  • You’re in control of your time and schedule
  • You’re able to work in a variety of different markets (residential, commercial, and antique)
Since Tub King has been offering this weekend course over the past 13 years, our refinishing class has been attended by thousands people from all over the North and South America and even from Europe.  The classes are taught at our national headquarters in Jacksonville, Florida. 
Photo Credit: sunandseabeachweddings.com

Let’s see, it’s near the end of December and I just looked at our outside temperature … it’s a balmy 78°F.  The class generally runs from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday.  If necessary, we’ll go into Sunday, depending upon how many students we have.  So you’ll still have some time for Florida-flavored R ‘n’R, if that’s your proclivity. 

FYI: Our HQ isn’t too far from the Atlantic Ocean and there’s also a major river, The St. Johns, coursing through the middle of the city. There’s also the Intracoastal Waterway.

Here are some excerpts from a letter we received from a recent attendee who had driven down from Atlanta, Georgia, to attend the class:  
“… Mike’s teaching techniques exceeded my expectations.  The hands-on teaching was on point … I really learned and appreciated the knowledge I received. It was definitely worth the $500 investment (plus travel expenses). I got the same feedback from the rest of the class. Great for networking and sharing experiences. Those in the trade that haven’t taken your course are missing out.” 
Photo Credit: tubking.com
Like many professions, the only way to learn these skills is by hand-on experience. And that’s exactly what you’ll experience throughout the course.  Imagine going to a doctor and learning you need to have an operation. “Doctor,” you ask during your pre-op consultation, “how many of these procedures have you done over the years?” To which the well-meaning physician replies, “None, but I’ve studied the manual.”  Don’t settle for just watching someone else do this.  We insist you get your hands on it, you put your back into it, and you give it your all.  After all, you’re investing in your own future.   
The class is very thorough; no one else offers such a rich and varied curriculum designed to teach you the skills you’ll need.  You’ll personally refinish several antique clawfoot bathtubs, sinks, countertops and tiles.  Here’s an example of what you’ll learn:
  • Overview of the Refinishing Industry
  • Choosing the right equipment
  • Understanding the most reliable coating products
  • Refinishing Porcelain (tubs and sinks)
  • Striking Gold in Antique Clawfoot Bathtubs
  • Refinishing Fiberglass
  • Spot repairs
  • Cleaners that work 
  • Refinishing Kitchen Countertops
  • Refinishing Appliances
  • Refinishing Ceramic Tile
  • Refinishing Cabinets
  • Proper Prep makes the difference
  • Offering multi-speck patterns
  • Refinishing concrete
  • Bedliners for trucks (this is a separate business all in itself)
  • Bathtub conversion for senior citizens (earn up to $700 more)
  • How to set up your business properly
  • How to market & advertise for the best results
  • Strategies that can get you months of work
Photo Credit:naptcoltd.comaptcoltd.com
And it doesn’t stop there.  We also provide Marketing Training with trade secrets that are designed to help you jump start your business.  We also offer assistance with advertising with brochures, ads, flyers and more.  We provide a free lunch during the class.  Importantly, once the class is over, you’ll receive a Certificate of Completion as a trained refinishing professional.    
It gets better.  At the end of the course, we’ll add you to our database of professional refinishers. When someone calls us asking if we know of a qualified refinisher near their home or place of business, we’ll give them your number if you’re near them. 
The intensive, hands-on course costs $495 and requires a $100 nonrefundable advance deposit.  For your own protection, you must have a proper face mask in order to participate. If you don’t have one, can you purchase it from our office when you’re here.  
Photo Credit: tubking.com
Speaking of which, we also sell a variety of professional-grade refinishing equipment such as the TK8000 Three-stage Turbine (made specifically for us, hence the TK designation), Apollo SuperSpray Dual Feed Gun, and a wide range of Apollo chemicals for a variety of projects, including bathtub refinishing, countertop refinishing, tile refinishing, concrete staining, truck bed liner coatings, non-slip coatings and more. Everything you’ll need to get started in this potentially lucrative industry. 

This new year, why not invest in your future? Give us a call or send me an email to reserve your space in our nationally recognized Bathroom and Kitchen Refinishing Class today.  

Upcoming class dates:

January: 16-18
February: 20-22
March: 13-14
April: 17-19

Join us! And be the change you want to see in your own life. 

In this article, I talked about Tub King’s acclaimed Bathroom and Kitchen Refinishing Class. I gave an overview of our hands-on approach to your professional education, highlighted the curriculum, and talked about other benefits of completing the course, such as being added to our national referral database, having a near one-stop shop for key supplies, etc.  

Check Out This Video About Our Bathroom & Kitchen Refinishing Course
If you found this article interesting, please share and forward. If you’d like to leave a comment or question, please do so in the Comments section below.  
If you’d like to receive a FREE Clawfoot Tub Buyers’ Guide, click here.  Or, 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 below and I’ll personally get back to you. Thanks for reading; it’s my pleasure to share this information with you.  
For More Information About Our Acclaimed Refinishing Class, Click Here.
 
Alan Knight is the owner of Tub King, Inc., and SeniorBathtub.com  in Jacksonville, Florida. He has many years of experience in the antique and senior bathtub industries. His companies not only provide superior products, they are also award winners, receiving the “Best of Jacksonville Chamber Award” four years running. To contact Tub King directly, call (800) 409-3375, (800)843-4231 or email alan@tubking.com.

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“Don’t Replace Your Tub, Refinish It”
                                                                        

The Most Expensive Holiday Gifts You’ll Ever Buy


By Kerry Knight
Photo Credit: fashiontribes.typepad.com
Okay, let’s play a game.  If you had all the money in the world or at least more money than you could spend, what would you buy your friends and family for the holidays?  You might think it would be easy, but not so fast.  There are many choices, all in different price ranges.  I’m considering several rather expensive gifts for my work colleagues this year.  Tell me what you think.

Photo Credit: aliexpress.com

Rose Dipped in Gold.  There are a lot of advertisers on television and the radio suggesting that we send flowers as a Christmas gift.  Not a bad idea, but kind of ordinary.  Try this.  How about having a rose dipped in 24 karat gold?  It’s called, “The Forever Rose.”  Who said money can’t buy you love?  The cost is a mere $64.50 for one rose or $644.50 for a dozen.  Our office manager really likes flowers, but it would be a little personal for me to give her flowers, so I thought I would call her boyfriend and put him on to the idea.  I’ll put up the money.  He gets all the credit.  After all, isn’t this a season of good will?  Of course it is.  I’m just that kind of nice guy.

Photo Credit: dailymail.co.ukdailymail.co.uk
Dancing Robot. I’m talking about the same avatar robot design seen on TV and in the movies.  Controlled by a remote control, this life-sized companion can do almost anything that you command, providing hours of entertainment and astonishment for friends and family.  Some said it actually makes the perfect friend.  It never talks back, responds to music and can dance like a fool.  Our warehouse manager gets awfully lonely sometimes, especially when shipping slows down.  Plus his girlfriend lives in Rhode Island.  That’s about a thousand miles from here.  So this might be the perfect gift for him.  We’ll just name the robot Roberta, put a dress on it and maybe some Gucci high heels.  They say the robot is super strong.  I can sell the fork lift and don’t worry about lifting any heavy boxes again.  Roberta’s got that covered for us.  The price tag for this beauty is $345,000.  Sounds like a bargain.

Photo Credit: unaffordable.net
Diamond Pacifier. Our Operations Manager and his wife are having a baby so I’ve thought about getting this one for them.  Of course, babies can’t even pronounce the word “diamond,” but that shouldn’t keep us from spoiling them.  Can you imagine your baby sucking on a swanky pacifier with 28 pave cut diamonds?  That puts the old “silver spoon in the mouth” to shame.  The problem will be for me to keep the future father from running by Babies-Я-Us to pick up a $5 pacifier before heading to the pawn shop with the baby’s expensive gift.  He needs to know the value of his gift before he goes.  A mere $17,000. 
Photo Credit: gopixpic.com
 
He’ll probably take the money and go online to buy a Diamond-Encrusted USB Flash Drive.  Let’s face it, keeping a ready USB stick on your person is always a good idea, so why not carry around a mushroom-shaped one full of diamonds?  Swiss jewelry maker La Maison Shawish offers its luxury Magic Mushroom flash drive for the high-end, high-rolling technology geek.  It can hold up to 32GB of data, which is a lot of memory for a flash drive, and speaking of a lot, consider its price tag: $16,500.  

Photo Credit: newhorizon.hu
Sports Car Submarine. What do you buy as a gift for your business partner, who also happens to be your brother? He and I grew up watching the iconic James Bond movies, so I think I’ve settled on the ideal gift.  In the movie, “The Spy Who Loved Me,” Roger Moore as 007 had a car that could drive on the highway and in the water.  And not just “in” the water, but under water.  It was, in fact, a sports car submarine.  It had two water jets mounted on the front of the vehicle that allowed for steering underwater.  I figured this gift would not only be cool, it’s also very practical.  My brother/partner is always complaining about traffic jams, so with all the waterways around Jacksonville, such as the St. Johns River, the Intracoastal Waterway, and the Atlantic Ocean, if he gets in a jam, he can just leave the highway, dive in and make excellent time.  It’s really the least I can do to help him.  The only down side is the price.  I may have to pool my resources for this one.  The cost is a cool $2,000,000.
But it’s Christmas.  Money should not be an object for those you care about.  Don’t you agree? 
Photo Credit: houzz.com
Nonetheless, our company has a diverse inventory of affordable, yet exotic and unique bathtubs. Our Slipper tubs, Double Slippers, Dual-ended, Pedestal and Roll Top tubs are all made of cast iron and porcelain.  They look like a million bucks sitting on their elegant chrome, brushed nickel and oil-rubbed bronze legs … but the good news is, they don’t cost a million dollars.  We have the very best prices around and these tubs make for excellent Christmas gifts.  Many have been shipped out before Christmas.  Our prices start at just $895, and we’ll match any price you find.
Photo Credit: fairbankconstruction.com
We also sell the safety-featured Walk-inTub.  This one is designed for family members who can’t get around so well, or someone who likes the idea of having her or his own, private Jacuzzi.  It offers safety features to keep them from falling, but it also offers the convenience of being able to enter the tub, bathe oneself without help, and then exit the tub, thus creating a totally independent bathing experience.  The air-jetted hydrotherapy system in the tub treats many medical conditions like rheumatism, arthritis, high blood pressure, poor blood circulation, diabetes, fibromyalgia, and many others.  The water-jetted massage system helps with healing injuries, relieving pain, stress, and effectively relaxes the body.  This tub is affordably priced, so wouldn’t it be a great gift for someone you love?  Prices start at $1,895.
The Benefits of Warm Water Therapy
Nelson Mandella, former president of South Africa once said, “What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived.  It is what a difference we have made in the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.” 
If your gift helps someone with their burdens, it will enrich both your lives.

Photo Credit: pickthebrain.com
In this article, I shared some of the more exotic and pricey holiday gifts available this year and talked about whom I might get them for.  I also touched upon Tub King’s excellent inventory of cast iron, porcelain tubs and our safety oriented Walk-in Tub.  
If you found this article interesting, please share and forward. If you’d like to leave a comment or question, please do so in the Comments section below. 
If you’d like to receive a FREE Clawfoot Tub Buyers’ Guide, click here.  Or, 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’s been my pleasure sharing this information with you.  
 

Take Advantage of Our End-of-the-Year Specials.  Click Here!

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” four years running. To contact Tub King directly, call (800) 409-3375, (800)843-4231 or email alan@tubking.com.
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Space ‘n’ Bathers: How Astronauts Keep Themselves Clean Aboard the International Space Station


By Alan Knight
Photo Credit: commons.wikimedia.org
As noted in one of my brother’s most recent blogs, he shared how we humans have been bathing ourselves throughout millennia.  In some religions, bathing is considered a religious obligation, such as the ancient Hebraic mikveh baths, a practice that still exists today. 

Now that we are beginning to foray into outer space, astronauts, such as those who are on duty in the International Space Station (ISS), are required to live in an enclosed, low-gravity environment for months on end.  Have you ever wondered how these brave men and women clean themselves without water’s Earth-bound physiological attributes, along with the lack of normal plumbing systems? 
Read on and find out how and why it’s important for long-time space pioneers to “space bathe” on a regular basis. 

Dangerous Zero Gravity Germs

 

Photo Credit: holykaw.alltop
Since we’ve been sending humans into space in the early 1960s, researchers have now discovered that many original Earth-borne organisms become even more virulent in space.  According to space.com:
“The weightlessness of outer space can make germs even nastier, increasing the dangers astronauts face, researchers say. These findings, as well as research to help reduce these risks, are part of the ongoing projects at the International Space Station that use microgravity to reveal secrets about microbes.  ‘We seek to unveil novel cellular and molecular mechanisms related to infectious disease progression that cannot be observed here on Earth, and to translate our findings to novel strategies for treatment and prevention,’ said microbiologist Cheryl Nickerson at Arizona State University’s Biodesign Institute.”
Photo Credit: gaminingrebellion.com
In an earlier series of NASA space shuttle and ground-based experiments, Nickerson and her colleagues discovered that spaceflight actually increased the virulence (that is, the disease-causing potential) of the food-borne germ Salmonella.  She and her colleagues discovered that microgravity alters how the potentially deadly bacteria behaves in “profound and novel” ways.  Talk about the potential to become real-life “space invaders”! 

“By studying the effect of spaceflight on the disease-causing potential of major pathogens like Salmonella, we may be able to provide insight into infectious disease mechanisms that cannot be attained using traditional experimental approaches on Earth, where gravity can mask key cellular responses,” Nickerson said.
These findings are of special concern for maintaining astronaut’s health during extended space flights and/or rotational assignments in space, such as living aboard the ISS for extended periods of time.  It’s been found that space travel already weakens astronauts’ immune systems. Furthermore, these new findings indicate that astronauts may have to further deal with the threat of disease-causing microbes that have boosted infectious abilities from having been space-borne for extended periods of time.
Photo Credit: nasa.gov
Maintaining good personal hygiene habits while in space is therefore important not only for personal comfort, and regular social interaction in working alongside other humans in close quarters, but doing so also helps thwart the spread of low gravity-enhanced germs.  

In space, the astronauts don’t have a bathroom as we have on Earth.  But, they do have their own toothbrushes, toothpaste, combs, brushes, and shavers.  These implements of ablution are kept in each astronaut’s personal hygiene kit.  

So instead of being able to enjoy a leisurely warm and relaxing bath in an elegant Clawfoot Slipper Tub, or a safety-designed Walk-in Tub, our intrepid astronauts have to go through some very special procedures in specially designed equipment to keep themselves “in the pink.” 

Shower Power Aboard

 

Photo Credit: ech2o.co.uk

There are a variety of ways astronauts can keep themselves clean in a microgravity environment that isn’t conducive to sitting in a bath or standing under a running water shower head.

ISS has full body shower unit.  In order to take a shower, astronauts step into a full-body sized, cylindrical shower stall and shut the door.  Within the narrow devices’ confines, they can get their bodies wet and wash up similarly to the way we do on terra firma of Earth.  Ah, but remember there’s very little gravity aboard ISS.  So unlike a normal show in one of our SafetySuite Showers, is that the water’s droplets don’t flow downward into a recessed drain on the floor.  Instead, they float about freely within the shower unit itself.  So a special suction device must be used to eliminate the waste water from their skin and that’s accumulated inside the shower contraption.  FYI: Previously, on the Space Shuttle, the astronauts used specially treated sponges and non-lather/no-rinse shampoo to keep themselves clean. 
Photo Credit: phys.org

And astronauts do get sweaty (read: potentially stinky).  For one reason, ISS crew members are required to exercise strenuously and regularly on specially designed equipment in part to counteract the negative effects of living in a long-term low gravity environment. And while I’m certain, they’d especially appreciate the hydrotherapeutic action of air- and water-jetted bubbles across sore muscles from a Walk-in Tub, the ability to wash themselves at all while in outer space is still of paramount importance.  

Wonderful Waterless Wipes

 

Astronauts may also wipe themselves clean using a specially designed “wet” towel.  NASA also developed a waterless, no-rinse shampoo.  Waterless shampoo is used since it has no foam, which could spatter inside the ISS, causing all sorts of problems to the equipment.  
Photo Credit: dailymail.co.uk

For frequent hand-washing (which has been shown throughout numerous hospital-based studies) to reduce  the spread of germs, astronauts can’t simple go to a sink or faucet and turn on the tap to wash their hands. There were no sinks aboard the shuttle and ditto with ISS.  So in order to clean their hands or faces, astronauts clean themselves with alcohol or by using a specially designed wet towel that contains rinseless liquid soap. After washing, they use dry towels to dry themselves off and their washing is done.

Well-Suited for Cleanliness

 

Another method for cleaning oneself in space is to utilize one’s space suit. All of today’s space suits have a self-cleaning function which, like a self-cleaning oven, can be activated with the touch of a button. Should an astronaut feel the need to clean themselves, he or she can move away from sensitive equipment and into the exercise bay. By hooking up a special hose to the space, suit, the self-cleaning option can be activated. What follows is a full body shampoo and body massage, compliments of the NASA Development Team at Houston, Texas.  Following the auto-massage session, warm, dry air is flushed into the suit’s interior, thus keeping it dry and less prone to harboring potentially odorous bacteria. 

Keeping ISS a Clean Machine

 

Astronauts are required to change their shirts, socks and underwear every two days, and their pants once a week. ISS doesn’t have a washing machine, hence the astronauts’ clothes are designed to be disposable by placing their dirty clothes in plastic bags and throw them away.
In addition to keeping themselves clean, astronauts also have to keep their living quarters spick-and-span. That’s because there are six crew members all living in a very small space, so it’s necessary to keep the inside of the space station as clean and germ-free as possible.  Each member of the shuttle crew takes turns at housekeeping duties, which involve collecting the trash and cleaning the dining area, walls, floors and air filters. While not as easy to clean as a porcelain or Walk-in tub, to clean up, the astronauts spray a liquid detergent called biocide on surfaces and then wipe it off.   They use the same kind of wipes and cleanser on their forks, spoons, and eating trays. Astronauts use a specially designed vacuum cleaner to clean out the space station’s air filters.

Photo Credit: phys.org

ISS’ astronauts also employ a special container called a “glovebox,” or, more specially the Microgravity Science Glovebox (MSG). The glovebox was developed by NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, and the European Space Agency.

In this article, I discussed some of the reasons why it’s important for astronauts aboard the International Space Station to maintain a clean, healthy environment.  I pointed out that researchers have discovered that pathogens such as Salmonella become even more virulent in space.  I then went on to discuss the various ways astronauts clean themselves and the surrounding environment aboard the ISS.
If you found this article interesting, please share and forward. If you’d like to leave a comment or question, please do so in the Comments section below.

The Benefits of Warm Water Therapy
 If you’d like to receive a FREE Clawfoot 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’s been my pleasure sharing this information with you.  
Thanks again for visiting with us.  Kerry and I, and all of us at Tub King, wish you and yours a great holiday season.

Check Out Our End-of-Year Specials! Click Here.
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” four years running. To contact Tub King directly, call (800) 409-3375, (800)843-4231 or email alan@tubking.com. 

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History of European Bathing – What We Learned from the Greeks & Romans


By Kerry Knight
Photo Credit: hellenicaworld.com
Bathing in water has been essential to good health and peace of mind since the beginning of time.  Bathing emporiums became fashionable as early as the third century A.D.  The Greeks and Romans were instrumental in erecting many ornate and expensive bathhouses where business was conducted, gossip exchanged, and social contact between friends and lovers were enjoyed.

Many of these bathhouses were so spectacular that they had their own lecture halls, art galleries, meditation rooms, and prayer stalls.  There were special rooms to the side where “private” business was conducted.  Larger bathhouses afforded entertainment and physical fitness centers.  It was very common for wounded and tired soldiers to find refuge in these places before returning to the public after battle.  Some of the finest healers worked in these houses.  Many of the larger houses could accommodate 6,000 or more bathers at one time.
Photo Credit: iwallhd.com
Although the Greeks and Romans were both fond of bathing, their approach to the concept was a little different.  The Romans bathed to keep themselves healthy while the Greeks believed only women should immerse their entire bodies in water.  (Maybe the Spartans’ legendary strength was also due to their overpowering body odor?) 
The Greeks viewed bathing as something one simply did to cleanse oneself before conducting business, after a day’s work, or before taking part in philosophical discussions, or after a battle.
Regardless, the Greeks built numerous rich, beautifully designed bathhouses for both sexes, but the baths were not quite as splendid as those built by the Romans.
Photo Credit: adpharm.net
The Egyptian, Greek, and Roman baths were known as temples of beauty, and many therapies were developed to either heal or beautify those who entered through their doors.  The Romans were believed to be the first who used different colored plasters applied directly to the skin for specific ailments. As many as seven healers at one time would take a client into a bath with each healer taking responsibility for a specific area of the body.  Each had a field of expertise such as knowledge of herbs, oils, gems, or colors and their services were more sought after than local physicians. 

Bathhouses became so popular in Rome that not long after the third century the government learned to transport water by means of the aqueducts.  The initial reward was all of Rome was supplied with abundant water for their needs.
Not only the Greeks and Romans, but also many other cultures had a passion for the many pleasures bathhouses offered them.  The Turks developed very hot baths, which to this day are still known as Turkish Baths, or steam baths.  Their bathhouses were very artistic and expensive with rich hand-woven carpets, tapestries and ornate columns, fashioned with gold, silver, or brass fixtures.
Photo Credit: europeantraveler.net
The success of the bathhouses was short lived as many plagues, epidemics and diseases were quickly spread by water throughout the population of Europe and England.  The early aquaducts were made of lead and it was later discovered that this was the source of mass poisoning or toxicity.  As well as contracting various diseases from communal bathing, many people suffered a form of poisoning while others became impotent or sterile.  The baths soon became suspect and attendance dropped once the connection was made between the bathhouses and the spread of disease.  Eventually, mass public bathing facilities were closed.

In the late 16th century, and for the next two centuries, bathing lost its popularity.  Churches became increasingly more outspoken about the sins of self-indulgence, with many of their church members spending more time at bathhouses than at church.  The priests were particularly disturbed that many illegitimate children were created from dubious encounters outside of marriage, conducted, presumably, in the public bath houses. 
Photo Credit: ww.allempires.com
As time passed, various citizens began to protest against the “sins” of the bathers.  The new Christian trend was to oppose cleanliness because it was too sensuous and sexual.  Dirt was a symbol of one’s spiritual purity and indicated that the focus was outside one’s self, rather than on personal hygiene.  Refusing to bathe was proof that one was beyond such things and thus not egotistical or self-absorbed. 
It was also believed that filth was a protection against germs due to the numerous plagues that had previously killed a large population of England and Europe. Rather than being put off by the smell, body odor was thought to be magnetic and a turn on.  Powders, perfumes, wigs, cosmetics, and layers of clothes hid the grime and body scent.  If overwhelmed by a particularly potent smell, a bit of snuff to clear one’s nostrils was all that was needed.
Provisions for bathing were scant because there was not enough simple plumbing to make household consumption available.  When the plagues hit England in the early 1800s, so many people became ill or died that an immediate investigation was made as to how to connect the average home with water.  It was found that water was not the cause of the problem, but part of the cure.   England, having spent a lot of time and money researching the cause and the epidemiology of the plague, eventually became a leader in bathroom innovations.  
Once water became plentiful, new healing modalities, which used water, were created to prevent or cure many diseases such as typhoid and fever.  Bathing became viewed as being healthy and once again became fashionable.
Worldwide, people have adopted the same general attitudes towards water, using it to clean and to heal.  Soaking in tubs, Jacuzzis, spas and saunas has become increasingly popular. Plus, now with water coming in to each and every home, private bathing regularly has become the cultural mainstay. 
Photo Credit: overstock.com
Today, the deep porcelain soaking tubs such as the Slipper, Double Slipper, Roll Top, Pedestal and

Dual-ended can be found in many homes.

Seniors (and others) enjoy the proven benefits of the celebrated Walk-in Tub that offers many great features:

  • Private, independent bathing
  • Safety and protection against falling
  • Air- and water-jetted hydrotherapy

Furthermore, our new, European-designed/USA-made Safety Suite Showers provide low threshold ingress and egress, and can be custom-configured to accommodate anyone’s needs. 
We’ve come a long way in the evolution of bathing, and the mystery of the healing power of water lives on. Hmm. Come to think of it, that sounds like a great topic for an upcoming blog.  Stay tuned!
In this article, I provided a brief overview of the history of bathing, particularly in Europe as it was first enjoyed by the Greeks and Romans. I then discussed European and early Christian attitudes towards bathing in the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, and afterwards.  
Customer Testimonial for a Pedestal Tub
If you’d like to receive a FREE Clawfoot 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’s been my pleasure sharing this information with you.  On behalf of all of us at Tub King, here’s wishing you and yours a Happy Holidays. 
If you found this article interesting, please share and forward. If you’d like to leave a comment or question, please do so in the Comments section below. 
Thanks again for visiting with us. Alan and I, and all of us at Tub King, wish you and yours a great holiday season.
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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” four years running. To contact Tub King directly, call (800) 409-3375, (800)843-4231 or email alan@tubking.com. 

The ABCDs of Elegance: Accessorized Bathrooms Create Décor


By Alan Knight
What does one of the world’s leading supermodels think is most important about being a fashionista? 
Photo Credit: strawberryillustrations.blogspot.com
“It’s all about the accessories,” Alessandra Ambrósio astutely states.  This stunning Brazilian beauty should know: the svelte, sexy and wealthy Ms. Ambrosio is best known for her work with Victoria’s Secret and was chosen as the first spokesmodel for the company’s immensely popular “PINK” line.  In 2012, she came in sixth on “Forbestop-earning models list, estimated to have earned $6.6 million in one year. 

Oftentimes what pertains to the fashion industry is also germane to the home furnishing industry, as both utilize and celebrate such concepts as design, style, form, function, aesthetics, etc.  What better time to discuss bathroom accessories and upgrades than the holidays?  Here are some of the latest bathroom trends/accessories you may want to consider for yourself or perhaps someone you love:

Cool Cabinets

Photo Credit: leastewart.com
There are lots of ways to upgrade or refurbish your bathroom’s cabinetry (read our previous blog, “Caller Calling Your Bathroom, Part 2”). You can even go high-tech with them.  
For example, a company that specializes in modern bathroom cabinets has developed several models that provide USB charging, several outlets, a mirror defogger and night lights. One of its cabinets includes an internal “sub-cabinet” that is refrigerated, ideal for keeping temperature-sensitive medications safe. The fridge also works well for nail polish and various organic skin products (with no preservatives).  It’ll  even hold a couple of bottles of water, beer or a carafe of wine.  A relaxing bath, anyone?

Some of the newer, modular wood cabinets actually rotate180-degrees for easy storage access when open and a rotate back for clean and lean look when closed. 

Accommodating the Commode

 

Photo Credit: epa.gov

With the introduction of the U.S. government’s WaterSense® initiative (similar to Energy Star®), manufacturers and consumers are getting smart about reducing toilet and water faucet use. As stated on its website: “WaterSense helps people save water with a product label and tips for saving water indoors and out.

Products bearing the WaterSense label have been independently certified to perform well; help save water, energy, and money; and encourage innovation in manufacturing.”

WaterSense partners with manufacturers, retailers and distributors, and utilities to bring WaterSense labeled products to the marketplace and make it easy to purchase high-performing, water-efficient products.  WaterSense also partners with professional certifying organizations to promote water–efficient landscape irrigation practices.”
Caroma,an Australian company, was one of the first to offer dual flush technology, which allows for two different flushing options: 0.8 and 1.6 gallons per flush, depending upon one’s needs. Caroma now has several different models available. 
Today, almost all of the large toilet manufacturers offer dual-flush toilets. Toilets can run (pun intended) from several hundred dollars to several thousand, depending upon its design and features.  That’s because, like most things today, commodes have also gone high-tech.  In fact, one leading company’s description about its newer models, includes the verbiage “the ultimate in luxury and elegance coupled with unrivaled research and development … including such features as remote control and nightlight.” Sounds like a royal flush to me.
Photo Credit: trendir.com
Short of building a separate room with its own lockable door for it, another trend is accessories that are designed to hide or at least minimize the visual presence of the commode itself. 
One product, the Bench Toilet, from Julien, provides an aesthetic solution for camouflaging the toilet by incorporating an exotic, sliding wood panel that conceals the fixture as it also doubles as a powder room bench. 
Even though these products seek to minimize its visual “footprint” in the bathroom, they still allow for a commodious commode when it’s actually in use.  

 

A Fairer Faucet

 

As mentioned above, WaterSense® technology applies to sink and shower faucets, minimizing the use of water while also reducing homeowners’ water bills. The WaterSense website points out: “Replacing old, inefficient faucets and aerators with WaterSense labeled models can save the average family 700 gallons of water per year, equal to the amount of water needed to take 40 showers.”
Photo Credit: modelleriresimleri.blogspot.com
Homeowners can easily and affordably save water by installing low-flow aerators on new and existing

faucets. Upgrading to new faucet systems on sinks and in the shower (or handheld models on bathtubs) can save even more water and thus on consumers’ water bills.

Another trend for bathroom (and kitchen) faucets is to go touch-free. These provide convenience and health benefits.  Some microorganisms last for a very long time and can survive on almost every surface around your home. If you touch a surface with germs, you may become contaminated.  Yet, if you don’t have to touch a particular surface to use an object, the cross-infection problem is eliminated.

Applause for Hand Rails

 

Photo Credit: grabbarspecialists.com
Another accessory that’s becoming ever more popular with aging baby boomers and seniors are designer hand grips, which can easily installed near hazard zones for added convenience. The inclusion of handrails in and around the bath/shower and commode is now recommended by the Center for Disease Control (see our previous blog, “Shocking CDC Statistics About Bathroom Injuries – and What You Can Do to Prevent Them.”)  Manufacturers make these grab bars in a variety of metals and wood, so they can be easily integrated into most bathroom decors.  

Gratuitous Grout

 

While not an accessory per se, some people are using colored grout as a design element to help accentuate patterns and emphasize symmetry of materials. For example, if your bathroom tiles are white or off-white, you could use a darker shade of grout around them that would emphasize their layout.

The Tub’s the Rub

 

Photo Credit: hydrotherapybathing.com
There are other ways to accessorize and/or upgrade your bathroom as well.  For example, you can replace your existing bathtub with a safety-featured, Walk-in Tub, complete with hydrotherapeutic water and air jets with an in-line heater.  Now you have your own private Jacuzzi in the bathroom that’s bubbling over with innovative features (see our previous blog, “The Danger of Bathtubs – Falling is a Family Matter”).

If you’re looking to add a splash of elegance to your bathroom, consider our well-appointed cast iron, porcelain Clawfoot tubs. There are a variety of shapes to choose from, including the Double Slipper, Roll-Top and others (see our previous blogs, “Building a New Home? Add Beauty with a Clawfoot Tub” and  Today’s New Cast Iron, Porcelain Clawfoot Tubs are Better Than the Originals”). 
Photo Credit: tubking.com
You can also replace your former bathtub/shower with a European-inspired Safety Suite Shower.  These feature low or no ingress/egress, different types of built-in seats, multiple handrails, and other custom-configuration options (see our previous blog, “What’s New in Showers? Sophistication Today, Safety Tomorrow”). You can also add some of the matching safety rail-accessories such as shelves, paper roll handle, towel bar, etc. 
There are many ways to accessorize and/or upgrade your bathroom. From dabbing on a dash of color, to adding designer towels, to installing high-tech toilets and medicine cabinets, to replacing your existing faucets, to upgrading your bath/shower and more.  Why not make this most private room in your home a safety-featured environment within which to pamper yourself for hours on end?  After all, “it’s all about the accessories.” 
In this article, I discussed numerous ways in which people can accessorize and/or upgrade their existing bathrooms. I shared some of the new, innovative products and trends in the marketplace, as well as provided information on Walk-in Tubs, Clawfoot Tubs, Safety Suite Showers, and more. 
If you found this article useful, please share it with your family, friends and co-workers. If you have a comment related to this article, leave it in the Comment section of this blog. 
Thanks again for visiting with us.
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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.
 
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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” four years running. If you’d like to contact them, call (800) 409-3375 or (800) 843-4231; or send an email to Alan@tubking.com.
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The Weirdest Gifts of All Time


By Kerry Knight
Photo Credit: smashingmagazine.com
You can tell the holidays are in full swing.  You can’t find a parking place anywhere near or in retail shopping areas. People in the malls are shoulder-to- shoulder deep. Gifts are flying off the shelves, and retailers are grinning with holiday cheer and especially at the sound of their cash registers ringing “cha-Ching!” In my perambulations around various indoor and outdoor shopping centers in town, I’ve seen some fairly peculiar presents being gift-wrapped out there.  But when you think about it, people have been sharing some strange gifts for a quite a while now.  Here are a few:  


Fruit Cake.  This has been a running joke since the advent of processed food.  No one seems to want them.  And if you’ve ever tried to eat one, you know why.  Most people just repackage it to save as a gift for next year.  Strangely, these baked products almost never seem to erode… or go away for that matter.  Someone once joked, “There is only one fruit cake that has ever been made, and it just keeps circulating.” 
Photo Credit: rustyzipper.com
Handmade Grandma Sweater.  We’ve all seen one.  They are usually red (for Christmas) and oftentimes have silly features, such as real blinking lights or a protruting, 3D carrot nose. There may also besequins, sparkles and a big snowman, sometimes made out of cotton balls.  It is a poofy, gawdy thing, but it is the thought that counts, right?  After donning this sweater, I’m thinking that we might need to rethink that thought.

A Lump of Coal.    This was always a punitive gift, but it does happen.  It’s supposed to be a representative gift for a boy or girl who has been bad ― that is, has misbehaved ― throughout the year.  My grandpa once told me a story he claims happened to him when he was a boy.  He had always wanted a pony.  But all our family had, was a mule that was used for plowing.  One Christmas morning he awoke all excited, ran to the fireplace and grabbed his stocking from the mantelpiece.  He looked inside to find a piece of horse manure.  His father explained,” We got bought you a pony for Christmas, but I guess it got away.”  No, I never believed that story, but it was funny to hear him tell it.
Here is a short list of some of the weirdest holiday gifts in recent years:
Photo Credit: weirdomatic.com
  • A shrunken head (Believe it or not, Ripley)
  • Facial hair removal kit for women
  • A stuffed deer head with a red nose attached
  • Packaged, flavored larvae
  • A super “Swiss Army” knife with 20+ tools contained therein
  • A chess piece (yes, just one piece)
  • A turquoise leather vest
  • A sandwich bag of coffee (enough for one pot)
  • A tree ornament with the co-worker’s wife’s picture on it
  • A fire extinguisher
  • A bag of chips
  • “Gun of the Day” calendar

Photo Credit: boldsky.com
 The acclaimed American writer, O. Henry (a pen name for William Sydney Porter), once wrote a short story entitled “The Gift of the Magi.”  It’s about a young married couple trying to get through the Christmas season with very little money.  It is a sentimental story with a moral lesson about gift-giving.  It goes like this:

Young Jim and his wife, Della, live in a modest apartment.  Their two prize possessions are Della’s long, flowing hair reaching down her lower back and Jim’s gold watch that belonged to his father and grandfather before him.  The couple only has $1.87 between them, and desperate to find a gift for each other they take extreme means.  Della sells her beautiful long hair to a hairdresser for $20 and proceeds to buy Jim a platinum chain for his pocket watch.  Waiting for Jim to come home from work she begins preparing dinner and hoping that Jim will still find her pretty even without her long tresses.  When Jim enters, she admits to using her hair to buy his Christmas gift, and he then presents her gift.  It was an assortment of combs and hair accessories that he had purchased after selling his prized watch.  It is a touching story of sacrifice and the depth to which some will go to express their love.
Photo Credit: ckhindustries.com
Shouldn’t every gift be an expression of appreciation of love?  When you’re thinking about a gift for your mom or dad, or maybe your grandparents, why not buy something that really expresses how you feel?  We sell a product that does just that. The Walk-in Bathtub is designed to make sure your loved one is safe, can bathe themselves independently, and can see relief from pain.  It allows them to bathe themselves without assistance from anyone, in a tub with a watertight door with a low ingress and egress. It also has non-slip surfaces and a sturdy grab-bar to facilitate access into and exiting from the tub. Your loved ones can soak in warm water and treat themselves to delightful sensations and benefits of hydrotherapeutic jets.  (For more details on our Walk-in Tubs’ numerous benefits, check out some of our previous blogs such as “Does Your Body Need a Walk-in Tub?” and “There’s Never Been a Better Time to Buy a Walk-in Tub.”)
Many of our customers pool their resources with other siblings to a make a purchase for their beloved parents that can truly make a difference.  During this season of gift giving, why not offer something that really carries a message of how you feel about someone special?  A safety-featured Walk-in Tub from Tub King is a gift that will keep on giving, every time it’s used. 
In this article, I shared some of the more unusual gifts that have been given out during the holidays such as fruit cake, a hand-knit sweater with a snowman on the front, and several others. I also talked about one of the best gifts one can give to their parents, a safety-featured Walk-in Tub, and described some of its many features and benefits.
If you found this article useful, please share it with your family, friends and co-workers. If you have a comment related to this article, leave it in the Comment section of this blog. Thanks again for visiting with us.
Walk-in Tub Buyers’ Guide
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. 
Check Out Our End-of-the-Year Specials on Walk-in Tubs. Click here.
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” four years running. If you’d like to contact them, call (800) 409-3375 or (800) 843-4231; or send an email to Alan@tubking.com.
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Color Calling Your Bathtub, Part 2



By Allan Knight
Photo Credit: pantone.com
As I’m writing this blog about how to enhance the color of your bathroom and bathtub, I’m enjoying a nice, robust glass of semisecco (semi-sweet) Marsala wine from Italy.  And speaking of Marsala, having just googled the term, it’s now become the Pantone Color Institute’s “color of the year” (2015).  Already celebrities and models are adorning themselves and garments with this rich, delicious-looking dark reddish/purple color.  And come to think of it, it’d look good in a bathroom, too. 

Creative Color Concepts to Consider

Photo Credit: gpidesign.com
As mentioned in the first segment of this blog, “Color Calling Your Bathtub,” I talked about the science of Color Psychology, or chromodynamics, first espoused by Swiss psychologist Dr. Gustave Carl Jung (G.C. Jung).  Today, color psychology is used in numerous applications, but especially by professional interior designers of commercial, public and residential properties. 
Remember this little “formula”: Color = light = energy.  Scientists have found that measurable physiological changes occur when we’re exposed to certain colors.  Colors can stimulate, excite, depress, tranquilize, increase appetite, and create sensations of warmth or coolness. 
Our experience and perception of color is influenced by both personal and cultural associations.  In general, colors are perceived as being warm or cool due to long-standing and often wide cultural associations.  For example, yellow, orange and red are naturally associated with the natural heat of the sun and fire; blue, green and violet with the coolness of water and the sky.  Taking advantage of this natural perception, you can use warmer colors to accent certain areas because they typically seem closer to the viewer than their cooler counterparts. 
Photo Credit: deviantart.com
But wait … it’s not so cut-and-dry as that, especially when we humans, as I’d pointed out in the previous segment, our eyes/brain can differentiate about one million different shades and hues of colors.  Given the statement I’d said a few sentences back about warmer colors appearing closer is relative, not absolute.  That’s because vivid cool colors can overwhelm lighter and more subtle shades of warmer colors.  But in general, if you use cooler colors for your background structures (i.e., tile, wallpaper, paint, shelving, etc.) and warmer colors in the foreground (accents, towels, bath rugs, fixtures, etc.) you can enhance the room’s depth perception.  This would be especially useful, for instance, in a smaller bathroom, where you want to “enlarge” its perceived space. 

Photo Credit: amazon.com
Taking this concept further, the warmer colors are also considered to be “high-arousal” colors, whereas the cooler colors are “low arousal.”  Red has been shown to stimulate our senses and raise our blood pressure, while blue lowers our blood pressure and is more calming to our sense of well-being.  But again, it’s not so absolute.  That’s because the brilliance, darkness and lightness of a color can also change its psychological impact.  For example, while a light greenish-blue color can make us feel more tranquil, a vibrant teal or turquoise is more exciting to look at (especially when that teal is part of the Jacksonville Jaguars and they win a game).  So the psychological association of a color can carry more import than its primary visual properties. 
If you want to learn more about color theory, I recommend you check out, “Psychological Properties of Colours,” Color Psychology: How Colors Impact Moods, Feelings, and Behaviors,” and “Color Can Affect How People Think and Act,” for starters. 

Trooping the Colour

Photo Credit: bbc.co.uk
A rousing visual and musical ceremony performed by regiments of the Britishand Commonwealth armies, Trooping the Colour has been a tradition of British infantry regiments since the 17th century, although its roots go back much earlier.  On battlefields, a regiment’s colours, or flags, were used as rallying points.

You can “troop your own color” in your bathroom (or anywhere else in your home) to your heart’s content.  And happily, you don’t need to rip out tile floors or walls, nor install new sinks, toilets or even bathtubs (unless that is, you want to upgrade to a Walk-in Tub or our Iron Cast, Porcelain Tubs). However, if you’re considering a total bathroom refurbishment, do take some time to learn more about color and how it can be used most effectively to create certain moods.  Many of these projects can be DIY, thus saving you money on the labor. 

A Spirited Material World

Buy colorful, off-the-shelf window treatments and shower curtains, or consider getting them custom-made, if that’s within your budget.  Choose attractive-looking fabrics to accent either warm colors or cooler colors with existing colors in your bathroom.  For example, let’s say your bathroom walls are a subdued “old World” gold. If you want to create an impression of more depth, you can use warmer color fabrics in terms of decorative towels, bath mat, shower curtain, toilet seat cover, etc. 

 

 

 

Canvassing for Color

Photo Credit: .housebeautiful.comhousebeautiful.com

Consider your bathroom the way a painter may approach his or her canvas.  All sorts of surfaces in your bathroom can be painted, for instance.  Paint your walls, or if they’re mostly tile and you like them as they are, you can paint the ceiling.  You can paint the cabinets.  If you want to make minimal changes, you can paint certain items, such as the frame around a painting, or the frame around a mirror, or the door handles on your cabinets.  You can even paint the interior of the door a different color than its exterior, for when it’s closed, it solely affects the interior look of the bathroom. And let’s face it, bathroom doors are closed quite often. If you’re in the process of getting a new tub, you can consider having its exterior and its interior painted; they no longer have to be off-white.  If you’re going to sell your house years down the road and want to create a neutral look, you can always repaint them white or strip off the paint from wood and other surfaces.

A Knack for Knick-Knacks

Photo Credit: shoestringcouple.com
If you don’t need it for utilitarian purposes, you can place key color-scheme items atop the toilet.  A nice flower arrangement, or vase that holds flowers (real or artificial) or potpourri can work as well.  Ditto if you have room in your sink area.  On the sides of the bathtub. Even above your cabinets, if people can see the top of them. If you have open shelving, inside of filling all the cubby holes up with towels and/or bathroom supplies, you can add color-coordinated decorative items in there, too. Visit local art festivals or even museum gift shops for those very unique-looking items you won’t find in most commercial outlets.  

  

Colors Make Scents

Photo Credit: bangalore.click.in
Colored and scented candles will not only enhance the look of your bathroom, but can an element of

aromatherapy as well. These candles can easily be interchanged, depending upon your mood. Use lavender, for example, if you want to relax; red or rose-colored/flavored when you want to feel romantic.

Artfully Tasteful

You can choose images that are very attractive on the wall above the toilet or another wall in the bathroom, again being cognizant of how the image’s overall color scheme will affect the other colors in the room. Usually, moisture isn’t that much of a concern, but still, any image you post should be framed well. And don’t forget to choose a color-coordinated frame to enhance the color scheme even further.  

Other Ideas

One of our customers had a very handsome bathroom that had colorful stained glass windows strategically placed to capture the morning sunrise or evening sunset.  These imbued the entire room with multi-hued, almost regal quality.  The look was quite stunning. 
Photo Credit: designtaxi.com
And, last but not least, when you’re taking that long-awaited relaxing bath (ideally in our Walk-in Tub or our Cast Iron, Porcelain models), you can always use safe, vegetable food coloring to actually color the water when you’re lying in it.  Just make sure the color won’t remain on your skin; that might be hard to explain to your family, friends or coworkers the next day.  
In this article, I discussed various ways you can add color to your bathroom and bathtub. I talked about how certain colors are psychologically perceived and can be used to create the type of ambiance you’re looking to imbue in your bathroom. I also mentioned several different ways you can add color to your bathroom, including use of fabrics, painting, using decorative items, candles, and more.  
If you found this article useful, please share it with your family, friends and co-workers.  If you have a comment related to this article, leave it in the Comment section of this blog. 
Thanks again for visiting with us.
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If you’d like to receive a FREE Clawfoot 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’s been my pleasure sharing this information with you.

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” four years running. If you’d like to contact them, call (800) 409-3375 or (800) 843-4231; or send an email to Alan@tubking.com
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