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|Recent Customer Installation of New Cast Iron Clawfoot Tub|
Why did they fall out of favor?
in 1883, both the Standard Sanitary Manufacturing Company (now American Standard) and Kohler began the process of enameling cast iron bathtubs to form a smooth interior surface. For a time, only the wealthy could afford the cost of a cast iron bathtub but when they started mass producing the tubs it opened up availability to home owners of lower income levels. Which was great, however, the sheer weight of the tub limited the type of houses the tub could be put in and generally only on the first floor. In many cases, having a properly reinforced floor to accommodate a heavy tub may not have been in a homeowner’s budget or consideration when building or purchasing a home back then. Other materials and lighter weight options eventually began to enter the scene and take over the market. Slowly the beautiful and timeless cast iron bathtub disappeared as an option to purchase “new”.
Why did it take them so long to emerge back in to style?
Actually, the clawfoot tub never really lost its allure to home buyers and remodelers who cherished the look and the period of American history they represent. For many years it was nearly impossible to find a brand new cast iron bathtub and buyers started turning to the secondary market. Availability of new tubs in the U.S.A. was impacted by the amount of lead content in the tubs manufactured at the time as well as the fact that the American National Standard plumbing codes changed. The change in the code essentially prevented vintage cast iron tubs from passing plumbing inspections on new builds and bathroom remodels.
Take a look at the placement of the overflow and faucet holes on a vintage tub.
The revised plumbing codes required the placement of the overflow to be at least on-to-two inches below the rim of the tub, where the incoming waterlines come through the faucet. This is a precaution against a drop in pressure in the water line, such as a break. With the faucet being above the rim the bathwater is prevented from being siphoned out, back through the lines, which would contaminate the fresh water supply. https://law.resource.org/pub/us/code/ibr/iapmo.upc.2009.pdf
In an online article, This Old House states, “For an average cost of $350 to $500-a fraction of the $1,200 to $5,000 expense of a new cast-iron or steel tub installed — refinishers can make an antique fixture look brand new.” This may be applicable to a homeowner who has an existing cast iron tub which requires refinishing to bring it back to life as the owner is not remodeling or building a new home. If the tub is not part of the original structure the story and estimates may prove significantly higher, perhaps even more costly than purchasing a new clawfoot tub and fixtures.
Essentially, an antique cast iron clawfoot tub found on secondary seller sites such as Craigslist would have to be retrofitted to accommodate modern plumbing so as to pass inspections. This would require, not only, a thorough refinishing of the inside and outside of the bathtub but also a significant cost in plugging the existing holes on the face of the vintage tub. Both the plugging of the holes and the refinishing or reglazing of the bathtub results in a tub that is now not original porcelain on the surface. Once a the tub has been refinished or reglazed the owner now has to be concerned with cleaning chemicals and sharp or heavy items which may damage or discolor the new surface. Inevitably the tub will have to be professionally resurfaced much more often than a new porcelain cast iron bathtub.
Here at Tub King, in Jacksonville, Florida, we routinely refinish vintage tubs, farmhouse sinks, and other items. We are also the only approved refinishing/resurfacing trainer in the entire United States for Midwest Chemicals. We have a great love for the antique cast iron tubs and thoroughly understand the allure of wanting to have that “feel” and “look” of the past, which is why we sell brand new cast iron clawfoot and pedestal bathtubs for new home builders and home remodelers. In the end, what you “think” is a higher cost saves money and headaches down the road when deciding whether to purchase a new or buy a vintage tub.
When pricing the purchase of a new tub or considering the expense of retrofitting and refinishing a vintage tub, consider the long term savings of buying brand new and visit http://www.tubking.com or calling us at (800) 409-3375.
By Alan Knight
For over 20 years now, bathtub refinishing has been an option for restoring and beautifying ugly bathtubs. I recently read an article that raised the question, “Is bathtub refinishing a scam?” The article concluded, “No, it is not a scam, it is simply an option.” Those interested in the subject are concerned for one of a number of reasons:
Just a few years ago, most people had never heard of Bathtub Refinishing. It was thought that the only answer to an ugly bathtub was to simply jerk it out of the bathroom and replace it with a new one. That’s certainly an option, but unfortunately an expensive one. When you really do the research, you’ll find that removal and replacement with a new tub involves several expensive steps.
First, the old tub must be removed. That means it will have to be detached from all plumbing and its connection with wall tile and floor tile. Who is going to do this? The homeowner is ill-equipped to undertake such a thing. The tub may weigh upwards of 300 pounds if it is made of cast iron or steel. If it is made of fiberglass, it will make a tremendous mess. Greater yet, if it is a fiberglass shower surround model, it may require you cut it in pieces using a power saw, just to get it through the bathroom door and out of your house. A major undertaking, to say the least.
Many do-it-yourselfers have had the misconception that refinishing a bathtub was a simple process that anyone can do. Maybe they have visited Lowe’s or Home Depot and seen a refinishing “do-it-yourself” kit in the paint department. Unfortunately, it rarely works. First, the materials sold are not the quality needed to have pleasing, long-term results. It requires a person to use a brush or roller to apply the coating products. Again, the results are not going to please the average person. There is a huge difference between spraying an application and rolling it on. You might say, “I know how to use a sprayer.” Maybe, but is it the right system? The only system that works with the quality of a fine finish, similar to the original, is an HVLP rig. That stands for High Volume, Low Pressure, and requires a professional to apply it.
2. Learn from a professional training center how to refinish your tub. You might be thinking this is too expensive, but really it’s not. For as little as $495, you can learn to refinish your own tub (as well as cabinets, counter tops, etc.), and turn it into a business.
All of the coating and other materials that we teach you about (and use when we refinish a tub) are professional grade.
The first phase of coating requires a high-grade spray-on primer that dries quickly. Only then is the surface ready for the application of the professional top coat. The very best topcoats are acrylics. They will hold up much better than expoxies. This is also applied using the HVLP Spray Rig. The very best available can only be purchased from bathtub refinishing companies or specialized chemical companies.
Furthermore, the entire area around the tub must be covered with masking paper and masking tape. The floor must be covered and anything else that might come in contact with over spray. The technician involved in the refinishing process must protect him or herself as well. There should be proper ventilation in the bathroom. A fume extractor with a sufficient length of hose should be used and the technician must wear the proper protective gear, such as a high-quality respirator. Proper skin covering should also be considered.
And there is one added bonus. After receiving a Certificate of Completion from Tub King’s course, you can start your own bathtub and kitchen refinishing business. With the purchase of a professional spray rig, approximately $700 of coating materials, you’re now a skilled contract laborer. Not only would you now be trained to refinish tubs, but also counter tops, ceramic tile, appliances, sinks, and cabinets. Whether part-time or full-time, this could expand your income far beyond just being able to refinish your own tub.
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 been my pleasure to share this information with you.
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By Kerry Knight
|Phot Credit: anticap.wordpress.com|
The job reports that have come out in the last few months are very deceiving. Our job-challenged, sluggisheconomy hasn’t gotten any better over the last few years, and reports about the actual numbers of those currently unemployed are hiding some alarming secrets.
|Photo Credit: spotontub.com|
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internationally attended Bath & Kitchen Refinishing certifies participants in the art and craft of refinishing several different types of Clawfoot bathtubs, sinks, countertops, cabinets, tile, etc.
|Photo Credit: kitchen-counter-tops.net|
- An Overview of the Refinishing Industry
- How to Select the Right Equipment
- Proper Preparation
- What are the Most Reliable Coating Products
- How to Refinish Porcelain (sinks and tubs)
- Striking Gold in Antique Clawfoot Bathtubs
- How to Refinish Fiberglass
- How to Do Spot Repairs
- What are the Most Effective Cleaners
- How to Refinish Kitchen Countertops
- How to Refinish Appliances
- How to Refinish Ceramic Tile
- How Refinish Kitchen & Bathroom Cabinets
- How to Create Multi-speck Patterns
- How to Refinish Concrete
- Bathtub Conversion (for Walk-in Tubs) for seniors
- Truck Bed liners (which is a separate business all in itself)
- How to Properly Set Up Your Business
- A Review of the Best Marketing & Advertising Strategies
- Using Key Strategies to Obtain Work for Months
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without having to replace it. Many bathtubs today are old, discolored, dull, and damaged. Many have outdated
The advantages are many: First, nothing needs to be removed. The refinished tub stays in place. Second, the process can be completed in less than a day. Third, the savings are significant. A tub can be refinished for as little as $250.00.
bathroom a nice facelift. And don’t forget the kitchen. You can have your kitchen countertops, sinks, cabinets and even appliances refinished.
Alan & Kerry Knight are the owners of Tub King, Inc and Senior Bathtub.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, winning the best of Jacksonville Chamber Award three years running. If you would like to contact them call (800) 409-3375 or (800) 843-4231or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.