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Tubs of Terror: Hollywood’s Blood Bath

Courtesy of Wikimedia

by Alan Knight

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a bloodbath is a violent and cruel killing of many people. The earliest known use of the term “blood bath” had to do with Elizabeth Bathory, who was known as the Blood Countess. She was born in Transylvania, Hungary, in 1560. According to legend, she believed that human blood would help to preserve her youth and her own fading beauty.

It’s estimated that she may have killed as many as 600 people. That would make her the most prolific female serial killer in history. The immortality she sought didn’t work out for her. She was imprisoned for her crimes in 1611 and died three years later. Although there’s evidence that she was very cruel, there’s some debate about whether or not she actually bathed in blood. In any case, the legend of the Blood Countess has been presented in several movies and also on TV.

In 1974, four stories, including hers, were wrapped up into one package called Immoral Tales, which was made in France. In 2008, Bathory was featured in an episode of a TV series called Martina Cole’s Lady Killers. There was a biography that same year called Bathory: Countess of Blood, which was filmed in Europe. Most recently, in 2014, a movie titled Elizabeth Bathory was released.

“Bathory poster” by
Jakubisko film Europe
The blood baths of Elizabeth Bathory are not the only ones that have shown up in the movies. There’ve actually been several movies titled either Blood Bath or Bloodbath. In 1966, a horror movie titled Blood Bath was released. The setting is Venice, CA. An artist kills beautiful women and dumps them into a vat of hot wax in his studio.

In 1976, another movie titled Blood Bath was released. In this film, the members of a cast of a horror film go out together one night and tell each other their scariest stories. In 1979, a Spanish horror film titled Bloodbath was released.  In 1999, yet another Bloodbath hit the screens, this one set in L.A. In 2008, a Blood Bath was filmed in Argentina. And, finally, according to the IMDB, a new movie titled Blood Bath is currently in development.

There’ve been numerous suicides in bathtubs in the movies. One of the most memorable was Frank Pantangeli in Godfather Part II. In that movie, the suicide was depicted in a montage of still pictures instead of moving pictures. One of the most artistic suicide bathtub scenes was in the unforgettable Rules of Attraction. While Harry Nilsson sang, “I can’t live, if living is without you,” a young woman got comfortable in the tub and proceeded to slit her wrists. Some viewers thought the scene was too nice and that it romanticized the act of suicide.

Electrocution is always a scary possibility in a tub full of water, as Mr. Morgan found out in The Ring. Dropping an electric device in the tub seems simple enough. However, not every movie character can pull that off. In Groundhog Day, Phil Connors, played by Bill Murray in one of his best roles, resolutely dropped a plugged in toaster in the bath he was taking. It didn’t work. Phil would have to die again another day.

Blood Baths don’t only show up in the movies. They’re in books as well. In addition to over a dozen currently available books simply titled Blood Bath or Bloodbath.  A few more imaginative titles are: Blood Bath in Rio, Blood Bath and Beyond, Blood Bath in Jasper County Mississippi, The Assam Blood Bath, Blood Bath of Bethlehem, The Bloodbath Ritual, Kansas Bloodbath, Kentucky Bloodbath, Preacher’s Bloodbath, Bloodbath in Tinseltown, and Beach Blanket Bloodbath. In addition to all the movies and all the books, there are numerous video games with Blood Bath in the title. There’s also a death metal band from Stockholm, Sweden, that calls itself Blood Bath.

One of the greatest things about taking a bath is the sheer relaxation of it. The second you step into the water, your body knows that it’s time to slow down and smell the roses or whatever else you have on hand for aromatherapy. It’s almost like entering into a different world where the job, the bills, and high blood pressure don’t exist.

That’s why bathtub scenes in horror movies are so frightening. A character gets into the tub and relaxes. Normally the character is completely alone and completely vulnerable. Even so, the character feels safe. Some say that taking a bath is like returning to the safety of the womb psychologically. As the character takes a few deep breaths, a shadow passes in the hallway or it seems like someone is jiggling the bathroom door handle. And then… No need to get graphic.

The nice thing about Tub King baths is that they’re some of the safest bathtubs known to man. In all the years we’ve been in business, we have yet to hear of one report of anyone taking a blood bath in any of the tubs we’ve sold and installed. We’ve never even heard of a single customer scratching himself or herself in a Tub King tub. That may be hard to believe, but it’s true.

Whether you choose a clawfoot tub, a pedestal tub, or a solid surface tub, they’re all very safe. Our walk-in tubs are the safest of all. They’re so easy to get in and out of that a caveman can do it without hurting himself at all. Also, you won’t have to open a vein to purchase a great tub, because our prices for high quality bathtubs simply cannot be beaten.

Perhaps the best part of buying a tub from Tub King is that it gives people something they really want to live for. When you can look forward to a nice relaxing bath in a beautiful tub at the end of the day, you know how good life can be. When you really think about it, there aren’t many problems at all that a nice soak in a warm bath won’t help.

In this article, I’ve written about the earliest use of the term “Blood Bath” which was associated with Countess Elizabeth Bathory of Transylvania in the sixteenth century. I’ve also mentioned movies and books with “Blood Bath” in the titles I’ve specifically noted that, to the best of my knowledge, nobody has ever taken a blood bath in a bathtub sold or installed by Tub King.

If you found this article useful or entertaining, please share it with your friends, family and co-workers. Or click on the Google Plus button. If you have a comment about this subject, leave it in the comment section at the end of this article.


Would you like to receive a FREE COPY of Tub King’s Ultimate Guide to Cast Iron/Porcelain Tubs, Walk-in Tubs & Safety Suite Showers, our new e-book? Fill in the form below and we will send it to you for free! It is also for sale and you can see/buy it on Amazon.com by clicking on this link.


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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’s been my pleasure sharing this information with you.

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. In addition to providing superior products, Tub King has been honored with “Best of Jacksonville Chamber Awards” for four years running. If you would like to contact Alan Knight, call (800) 409-3375 or (800) 843-4231; or send an email to alan@tubking.com.

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Bathtubs: The Big, The Bold, and The Beautiful

Courtesy Wikimedia

by Alan Knight

Bathtubs have been symbolic of the so-called “good life” since the days of antiquity. Nero, the infamous Roman emperor who initiated centuries of Christian persecution, probably had one of the nicest bathtubs of them all. It’s on display at the Vatican Museum. Ricky J. McRoskey, who sometimes writes for the Catholic Business Journal, saw it during a visit to Rome. 


“This was no ordinary tub. Crafted at the emperor’s behest from some of the heaviest and most expensive marble in the world, the circular sculpture has a roughly 25-foot radius and weighs thousands of pounds.  Perched on curvaceous stone legs, it’s smooth, purple, and gorgeous, and essentially looks like a colossal birdbath,” McRoskey wrote. 

“When I looked at Nero’s tub, I couldn’t help but marvel at its intoxicating magnificence, its size, its opulence, and begin to imagine servants filling the basin with warm water for Nero to bathe in a sea of suds.  How amazing, I thought, would it be to clean off in a bathtub half the size of a bedroom?  How cool would that be?  It was so polished, so deft, so clean, so sleek… So… That’s when the word finally came to me: seductive.”

Luxurious bathtubs from Tub King.
Nero wasn’t trying to keep up with the Joneses. He was the guy other Romans wanted to keep up with but probably couldn’t.  According to McRoskey, “One could not take sight of this tub and not want to bathe in it, or at the very least show it off to his neighbors.  It was indeed beautiful.”

The tub was made of purple marble. Purple was the color of royalty, and this type of marble was very desirable for its regal appearance. Purple marble was the hardest available in ancient Rome, and it was prized for monuments and building projects. The dimensions of Nero’s bathtub are not available, but from the pictures it appears to be at least four feet in height. Nero must have had a small ladder to climb in and out of it. 

Extravagant bathtubs have symbolic value and people recognize that. Any man or woman who can spend money on something as frivolous as a fancy and expensive bathtub would have to be successful and prosperous. Because of their symbolic value, bathtubs have been used as props in movies for a long time. There are numerous memorable movie scenes which portray characters living large as they bathe in their beautiful tubs. 

Courtesy Wikimedia
In 1954, iconic sex symbol Marilyn Monroe was filmed taking a luxurious bubble bath in The Seven Year Itch. Somehow, she had gotten her big toe stuck in the spout. Happens all the time, right? The plumber who came to her rescue, a blue collar hero if ever there was one, nervously dropped his wrench in the tub. He was apologetic as he reached around in the water to retrieve it. “That’s alright,” Monroe told him. That scandalous bathtub scene was removed from the film by censors.

In 1964, Cleopatra featured the incomparable Elizabeth Taylor looking her best in a circular bath made of marble. Although the marble was probably not as rare and expensive as the purple marble in Nero’s tub, Cleopatra’s bathtub looked very nice. It appeared to be large enough to fit eight people or more. There was ample room for Cleopatra’s boat and her other floating toys. In one decade, the times, and the standards for censorship of bathtub scenes had changed. Unlike Marilyn’s scene, Liz Taylor’s bathtub scene was not deleted from the final cut of the movie. 

Nearly twenty years later, Al Pacino was featured in a memorable bathtub scene as the violent drug lord Scarface. The tub looked very similar to the one in Cleopatra. Scarface was smoking a cigar and seemed to have it all, including a beautiful wife and a beautiful home with a big beautiful tub. Unfortunately, he didn’t seem to be happy with all that he had. While he bathed, he chastised his wife for sitting around all day and told her to get a job as a nurse or something.

A master bathroom in a typical home could never fit a bathtub like Nero’s, or Cleopatra’s, or Scarface’s. Fortunately, you don’t have to be a movie star or a despotic tyrant to take a luxurious bath in a glamorous tub. You don’t have to spend a fortune to install a beautiful and functional bathtub, which could be the centerpiece of your bathroom. A tub like the one Marilyn Monroe appeared in could fit in many bathrooms. You can live large in your own tub in your own home.  Tub King can help.

For example, a traditional rolled top tub can make a statement without breaking the bank.  It brings back the look and feel of the early to mid-twentieth century.  Tubs with cast iron exteriors and porcelain interiors are available in a wide range of colors from Tub King. Legs can be finished in chrome, brushed nickel, oil-rubbed bronze, or in colors to fit any décor.   The rolled rim version comes in lengths of 48 inches, 54 inches, 60 inches or 66 inches.  These tubs are affordably priced with models available for under a thousand dollars. 

Another popular tub that can add a touch of elegance to many bathrooms is the Dual Ended tub.  It has a gentle slope on each end of the tub with a center drain and center faucet holes. It provides perfect balance and comes with a pedestal base or legs in whatever finish the customer prefers. Finally, the Double Slipper tub is a sight to behold.  With a high back on each end of the tub, the Double Slipper hearkens back to a more glamorous era, perhaps the Roaring Twenties. At over 72 inches in length, it can easily accommodate two consenting adults. 
In this article, I discussed Nero’s bathtub, which is on display at the Vatican. I also discussed several other beautiful bathtubs that have been used in movies. Those movies include Seven Year Itch, Cleopatra, and Scarface. I’ve mentioned that a nice bathtub can be an affordable luxury for homeowners. A beautiful new bathtub can be very affordable with prices starting under $1,000.

Would you like to receive a FREE COPY of Tub King’s Ultimate Guide to Cast Iron/Porcelain Tubs, Walk-in Tubs & Safety Suite Showers, our new e-book? Fill in the form below and we will send it to you for free! It is also for sale and you can see/buy it on Amazon.com by clicking on this link.


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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’s been my pleasure sharing this information with you.

 
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. In addition to providing superior products, Tub King has been honored with “Best of Jacksonville Chamber Awards” for four years running. If you would like to contact Alan Knight, call (800) 409-3375 or (800) 843-4231; or send an email to alan@tubking.com.

Things to Consider When Remodeling Your Bathroom

Photo Credit: waucc.org

In addition to cleaning, many homeowners also begin remodeling projects in the spring. After all, ’tis the season for renewal, fresh starts and new beginnings, right? Spring is a great time to reconfigure and re-create and remodeling fits right in.

Before you set out to remodel your bathroom, take a moment to evaluate what you already have.  Are you content with the size of the bathroom?  If it seems too small, there are several options available. 
One option, of course, is to make it bigger by simply rearranging the contents.  That means making better use of the space by removing old, cumbersome fixtures that may no longer serve you.  Let’s say you have an out-of-date, fiberglass shower-surround that was installed when the house was built 40 years ago.  It definitely takes up much-need space.  However, with a little effort it can be expertly removed and discarded.  But now, what do we replace it with?  An excellent option is to bring in a freestanding tub.

Photo Credit: tourfactory.com

There are several popular choices in today’s market such as the elegant porcelain/cast iron Clawfoot or Pedestal soaking tubs.  It might be the Slipper Tub design, with its high back that resembles Cinderella’s slipper, or the Dual-ended tub that offers attractive, symmetrical slopes on each end of the tub.  The Pedestal tub is also a contemporary favorite as it replaces the Clawfoot designs with a cast iron skirt at the bottom.  These cast iron/porcelain tubs all come in various sizes and can easily fill almost any space.  The point is, they won’t look like the standard, run-of-the-mill combo fiberglass tub/shower you had before.  Far from it. You are adding elegance and making better use of space.  

Photo Credit: tubking.com

An alternative approach, one that’s very much in-demand today, is the Safety Suite Shower. Available in different configurations regarding drain orientation (left, center, or right) and numerous colors/patterns, Safety Suite Showers offer a very open design with either a low threshold (usually four inches high) or a zero threshold so you can safely and easily walk or roll right in.  This is indispensable if a person is wheelchair bound or has trouble getting into a traditional bathtub.  They are extremely attractive with high tile walls and matching floor. There are various options regarding what type of built-in seat one can choose as well (fold-down, molded, etc.) Along with the shower itself, you can also choose various bathroom accessories such as bathroom paper roll, towel rack, and self, all of which are equipped with handsome, yet sturdy safety grab bars. The shower itself includes several strategically placed grab bars as well. Safety Suite Showers come in sizes ranging from 48- to 60-inch lengths, so that they can accommodate any size bathroom.

Photo Credit: nwtile.com

Another way to make better use of the space you already have is to consider doing away with the old laminate counter top and drop in sink.  Again, if your bathroom is 40 years old, the sink is usually large and takes up way too much space.  The counter top is probably a laminate variety that is already showing wear on the edges and maybe some lifting of the laminate from the pressed board underneath.  You can take advantage of some beautiful counter top choices now available.  Take, for example “natural stone.”  There is organic beauty in every stone slab.  The variations in each slab are unique and will amaze you.  The colors are spectacular.  The polished granite is highly stain- and scratch-resistant.  Another interesting option, as seen in the photograph to the left, is a combination of stone, granite and wood. Talk about natural beauty.

Since I mentioned the sink, if you have a tiny bathroom, go for a porcelain pedestal sink.  There are some slim, silhouettes out there that are perfect for a powder room or diminutive bathrooms.   The only drawback is that they offer almost zero storage space and a small deck space.  To work around this, many homeowners are creating niches in the wall for toiletries and other necessities. Unlike clunky over-the-shower headorganizers, a recessed cubby in a tub or shower surround gives shampoo and soap a permanent home that doesn’t take up premium stall space. 

Photo Credit: wallpapertren.com

If the floor of your bath looks bad, tear up that linoleum and replace it with “no-regret” tile floors.  If you want an easy-care floor, go for porcelain or glazed tiles, and avoid porous natural stone tiles such as limestone.  Unless sealed it’s been vigilantly, limestone (and other porous stone) will absorb drips and spills and become stained.  If you want a non-slip floor, choose tiles with textured surfaces, matte finishes, or sand-containing glazes.  Another option would be “small” tiles with lots of grout lines, as these offer better “grip” than the larger tiles.

When caulking around tubs, sinks or tiles, it’s best to choose an acrylic caulk. It can be removed without the use of harsh chemicals so that replacement is easier.  And make sure it is mold- and mildew-resistant.
Most homes that are 50 years old or older offer an antiquated wiring service in the bathroom.  Over the years, the circuit has usually been abused by years of high-power hair drying.  So don’t just swap in GFI outlets.  Replace the wiring, too, with dedicated 20-amp circuits and plenty of outlets for all the appliances you use, from electric razors, and toothbrushes, to hair-straightening irons, hair dryers, etc.
Photo Credit: gardnerfox.com

If your bathroom is simply too small for any changes except expansion, then consider the following:  In most cases, the homeowner is not going to be happy with anything smaller than a bath  that is 3 to 4 feet wide by 6 to 8 feet long.  (Make sure to check with local codes for additional requirements.)  Some homeowners have found that by just taking out an adjoining closet, they can garner precious space without really changing the footprint of the house.  But if you must expand, contact a remodeling expert who can give you some viable options. If your lot is large enough, the contractor might be able to add a bathroom without interfering with any property lines or set-backs.  It’s important that he keeps the natural flow and design of your home.  Look at the roof style that you have in your home.  Can a gable be extended?  As you might expect, “expansion” remodeling is not cheap.  Just like new construction, it will require several sub-contractors, such as framing, floor covering, sheet rock, plumbing and electrical.  Ask for referrals, shop around and get several estimates, and then decide what you can live with.  Establish a budget that you can afford before you ever begin.

In this article, I discussed several options for homeowners to consider when remodeling their bathrooms.  I talked about replacing their current fiberglass tub/shower with a standalone cast iron/porcelain Clawfoot or Pedestal tub and/or going with the Safety Suite Showers. I also discussed various things to consider such as new sink and cabinet designs, replacing linoleum floors, upgrading the electric wiring, using acrylic caulk 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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Have a question? Feel free to contact me at the number or email listed at the end of this article and my brother, Alan, who heads up Tub King, will personally get back to you. It’s been my pleasure sharing this information with you.

Coming in June 2015 to Tub King! 
Alan Knight has many years of experience in the antique and senior bathtub industries. His companies not only provide superior products, they are also multi-award winners, receiving the “Best of Jacksonville Chamber Award” four years running. If you’d like to contact Tub King, call (800) 409-3375 or (800) 843-4231; or send an email to Alan@tubking.com.

Get a Free GiftCard from Tub King. Click Here. 
Related articles

Color Calling Your Bathtub


By Alan Knight
Photo Credit: smallbathroomdesignsideas.com
Roses are red, violets are blue. How you color your bathroom is up to you.
Color and lighting can influence how people perceive and respond to the areas around them.  By decorating your bathroom and bathtub in particular color schemes, you can tailor this most private room to reflect and/or enhance certain moods.  You can also utilize different techniques to stimulate your moods such as changing the ambient lighting and/or coloring the bath water when luxuriating in a warm, soothing bath. 
Before looking at the various colors and associated moods and feelings they can imbue, as well as discussing ways to take advantage of this phenomenon in your bathroom, let’s take a brief look at how we perceive color, as well as the history of humankind’s understanding of color.  

The Eyes Have It

 

Photo Credit: pantone.com
Did you know the retina inside our eyes is actually considered to be part of the brain? It’s covered by

millions of light-sensitive cells, called photoreceptors. Some of these are shaped like rods (which perceive black and white). Other cells are shaped like cones (which perceive color). These receptors act as transistors that process light waves into nerve impulses and, via the optic nerve, send them to the brain’s cortex region. Most of us have six to seven million cones, and almost all of them are concentrated in a 0.3 millimeter spot on the retina called the fovea centralis. Thus, working together, our eyes and brain translate light waves into colors.

Red, green and blue are the additive primary colors of the color spectrum. Combining balanced amounts of them also produces pure white. By varying the amount of red, green and blue light, all of the colors in the visible spectrum can be produced. Think of all the colors out there; the majority of us can see/perceive about one million different colors. However, based on our genetic structure, some of can see more, others less.  And to think, these millions of hues are made from just red, green and blue. 
Photo Credit: tubking.com
Take teal for example, one of the Jacksonville Jaguars’ primary colors. It’s a mixture of medium blue and dark cyan. How do I know this? Because one of our customers had us custom-color a Clawfoot tub for them consisting of a teal interior, a black exterior and ornate clawfoot legs of gold.

Something to Reflect Upon

 

It was the English mathematician and physicist, Sir Isaac Newton ― more about him later ― who discovered that color is not inherent in objects.  Rather, the surface of an object absorbs some colors and reflects others, which are then perceived by the human eye.
Take for example the famous red apple that led Newton to formulate his famous theory of gravitation. Red is not “in” the apple.  The skin of the apple reflects the wavelengths that we perceive as red, while absorbing all the other lightwaves.  A white bathtub, for example, reflects all the wavelengths, whereas one that absorbs all the wavelengths will appear black.   
TedEd on Color

History of Color Theory

 

The study and usage of color is thousands of years old, much older than the creation of bathtubs in Europe.  In China, Feng Shui (pronounced “fung shway”) was developed over 3,500 years before the invention of the magnetic compass, originating in Chinese astronomy.  Essentially Feng Shui is an in-depth system and school of thought that deals how to arrange and balance the energies of any given space to assure health and good fortune for people inhabiting it.  Feng Shui concerns itself with the energy or “chi” of a given space.  In this ancient system, colors are comprised of and can also reflect specific energies and moods.   
Centuries later in Europe, the Italian architect, poet, priest, and linguist, Leone Battista Alberti (circa 1435) and the now-venerated Leonardo da Vinci (circa 1490) both wrote about “color theory” principles.  Three hundred years later, Newton’s theory of color was espoused in his book, “Optiks,” which was published in 1704. 
Photo Credit: masterlife.com
Newton also developed the very first color wheel, wherein he divided sunlight into red, orange, yellow, green, cyan and blue beams. He then joined the two ends of the color spectrum to depict the natural progression of colors. Interestingly, Newton associated each color with a corresponding note of the musical scale. What color is your favorite music?

Nearly a century following Newton, Johann Wolfgang Goethe began studying psychological effect of colors.  He observed that blue induced a feeling of coolness and yellow had a warming effect. Goethe and Johann Christoph Friedrich von Shiller created the “rose of temperaments” (Temperamenten-Rose) in 1798, to depict the psychological effect and attributes of colors. These colors were then divided into two principal groups, the plus side (red, orange, yellow) and minus side, (green, violet, blue). Plus side colors were said to produce excitement and cheerfulness, whereas colors on the minus side were said to be associated with weakness and unsettled feelings. Their diagram matched 12 different colors to character traits and occupations, which were grouped in the four “temperaments” as espoused by the Greek physician, Hippocrates: 
    Photo Credit: wikipedia.com
  • Choleric (red/orange/yellow): tyrants, heroes, adventurers
  • Sanguine (yellow/green/cyan) hedonists, lovers, poets
  • Phlegmatic (cyan/blue/violet): public speakers, historians, teachers
  • Melancholic (violet/magenta/red): philosophers, pedants, rulers
The current form of color theory was developed by Johannes Itten, a Swiss color and art theorist who was teaching at the School of Applied Arts in Weimar, Germany. This school is also known as “Bauhaus.”  Itten developed what he called “color chords” and modified Newton’s color wheel. Itten’s color wheel is based on red, yellow, and blue colors as the primary “triad” (borrowing a musical term for a three-note chord) and includes twelve hues.
More recently, Carl Gustave Jung (a.k.a., C.G. Jung) the Swiss psychiatrist and psychotherapist who founded analytical psychology, is also associated with the pioneering stages of “color psychology.” His work has historically given birth to the modern field of color psychology and art therapy. 
The general model of color psychology relies on six basic principles:
  • Color meaning is either based on learned meaning or biologically innate meaning
  • The perception of a color causes evaluation automatically by the person perceiving
  • The evaluation process forces color-motivated behavior
  • Color usually exerts its influence automatically
  • Color meaning and effect has to do with context as well
In this article, I introduced the concept of using color to affect your mood while in the bathroom, specifically while bathing. I discussed the physiology of how we perceive color, and how, throughout history, we’ve developed an understanding of our emotional interaction with color in an evolving science known as “color theory.”  
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 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. 

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Thanks again for visiting with us.
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 multi-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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What do Your Teeth and Bathtub Have in Common?


By Kerry Knight
Photo Credit: sodahead.com

If you’re considering getting false teeth, you have two primary options in terms of their material. One is acrylic and the other porcelain.

 
Many people choose porcelain teeth for a variety of reasons. Porcelain is a harder substance than acrylic, making porcelain teeth more durable.  Because porcelain teeth resist wear, these dentures preserve the normal jaw movement and alignment.  Acrylic teeth are subject to abrasion and will wear down over time, causing changes in the length of the artificial teeth. This, in turn can alter your bite, which could eventually cause Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) issues later on. This condition can become very uncomfortable, if not outright painful. 
Another problem with acrylic dentures is that acrylic contains microscopic pits that can trap and retain bacteria.  Brushing or quick soaking does not effectively remove the bacteria, although overnight soaking does a better job at cleaning dentures.  The bacteria remaining on acrylic teeth can multiply rapidly and cause bad breath, or worse, an infection in your mouth.  
Photo Credit: blisstree.com

One more thing:  Acrylic dentures are about the same price as porcelain. So why not choose the more durable, better functioning material?

Now let’s switch gears.  Glamorous bathtubs today, like the Slipper tub, Double Slipper, Dual-ended, Pedestals, and Roll Tops are made of either acrylic or porcelain.  Interestingly, the pros and cons that apply to dentures apply equally to bathtubs.  Which material do you think is more durable for a tub?  Let me illustrate.  
Porcelain is always the material of choice.  It resists the forces of time and every day wear and tear. Just think of the abrasive cleaners one has to sometimes use in their bathtubs to get rid of soap grime, etc. Acrylic must be cleaned with nonabrasive cleaners.  Otherwise, scratches may occur in the surface of the bathtub.  In fact, if you were to vigorously scrub an acrylic tub repeatedly, especially with an abrasive cleaner, over the years, it would also develop pitting and an uneven surface. 
Photo Credit: medical.angihel.com
Another thing, as we have already shown with dentures, bacteria can get trapped in the microscopic pits of the acrylic material.  You could be setting yourself or someone in your family up for various dermatological conditions if you have an acrylic tube that several people bathe in.  Common skin infections include cellulitis, erysipelas, impetigo, folliculitis, and furuncles and carbuncles.  Most of these are caused by the Streptococcus or Staphylococcus species of bacteria. These conditions can range from being uncomfortable to outright painful, and they’re almost always unattractive. Also keep in mind they’re potentially contagious.
Not so with porcelain.  The glass surface can be easily cleaned and ― importantly ― sterilized.  And from an aesthetic standpoint, porcelain tubs’ high gloss finish can be maintained for a hundred years with appropriate care.  I once owned a porcelain claw foot tub that was dated back to 1878, and it still looked good.  

Recently, I someone call me that wanted to order a porcelain Clawfoot tub.  He explained that he had purchased an acrylic one, but it just hadn’t held up.  He said it had started to fade and because of the weight of the water inside the tub, it had begun to lose its once-firm shape.  The legs of the tub could not even rest on the floor properly.  So he now had a tub that had lost its aesthetic appeal and that had also become unsteady. It may have even become “scarred” with microscopic pitting.  Obviously not a good situation.  
Photo Credit: bathrenovationhq.com
When you think about it, what is acrylic?  It’s a type of plastic.  Acrylic tubs are formed from one piece of  These sheets are put onto a mold and heated to form around the mold. After the tub is formed, fiberglass can be sprayed onto the back of the tub for reinforcement.

colored, plastic acrylic sheets.

However, porcelain is a type of glass.  You simply can’t compare durable cast iron/porcelain with plastic for durability.  Sure, some may counter that porcelain can break easier than some industrial grade plastics, but how often do you see someone drop an anvil in their bathtub?
If you’re looking for a material that will last, porcelain is your go-to choice. These tubs are made by pouring molten iron into a mold of the desired shape, then smoothing it and coating it with a thick layer of enamel.
Porcelain tubs are the most durable on the marketplace. Their finish is resistant to chipping, scratching and denting, as well as most types of chemicals. There are a number of different colors available, and there’s a richness to cast iron that just can’t be matched, truth to tell. Porcelain also tends to retain the water’s heat better than acrylic and other materials. 
And just like the denture illustration I gave earlier, the prices you’ll encounter when comparing acrylic tubs to porcelain tubs are about the same.  
Photo Credit: tubking.com
Consider this: If you had a choice between buying a plastic plate, or one made of fine china, and they were both priced the same, which would you choose? Those who purchase acrylic tubs, especially the nicer designs that I have mentioned, are eventually disappointed.  I had someone tell me, “They just look cheap.”

We decided years ago that Tub King would only carry the highest quality, cast iron/porcelain glamour tubs.  They’re worth every penny and will last a lifetime, if not beyond.
Testimonial for Cast Iron Bath Tubs by Tub King
In this article, I compared the differences between acrylic and porcelain, both as a substance for dentures, as well as for bathtubs. I discussed the various disadvantages of acrylic, especially in comparison to porcelain, and also shared several more positive attributes that definitely make porcelain the material of choice for bathtubs (and dentures).
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 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.
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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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Bath Tubs in the Old West

By Kerry Knight
Photo Credit: gallowglass.org
What I’m about to share with you might shock you.  As much as it’s become a near-daily ritual to we moderns (especially in the U.S.), throughout human history, bathing has not always been considered a necessity.  Even within the last two hundred years, bathing was considered a luxury in which few availed themselves. 
Back in the 1980s when I toured the castle at Versailles, outside of Paris, I was astounded to discover there was not one bathtub in the entire castle, and not even one bathroom.  If royalty wasn’t bathing, imagine what the common people must’ve smelled like.
Now let’s fast forward to the Old West in our own country.  A cattle drive from Kansas to Texas would take a month.  Did they carry a bathtub along?  No.  How about a wash basin?  Not likely.  Many rashes and serious skin conditions were caused or aggravated by a lack of proper hygiene. Infrequently, if the cowboy got to the point that he just couldn’t stand himself, he might go to a take a dunk in a nearby river or stream, but that was it.  He would sometimes pack a bar of homemade soap in a saddle bag.  If they did stop to take a bath, most would put the same dirty, unwashed clothes back on.  Even as late as the early 1900s, bathing was considered of minor importance.  Many believed that bathing too much could cause illness.  
Photo Credit: eliteproducts8.biz
While to discuss the sweet-scented history of perfumes and colognes would take an entire article ― an interesting one at that ― suffice to say that in lieu of bathing frequently, early Americans, like many other cultures throughout the ages, used scents and perfumes to help mask the scent of their not-so-clean bodies. In early America, the first were colognes and scented water were exported by French explorers to New France (a vast portion of Canada and the U.S., encompassing the Great Lakes all the way down to New Orleans). Also popular was a scent called “Florida water,” which was a simple mixture of eau de cologne with a dash of oil of cloves, cassia, and lemongrass. 
 
As a young boy, I heard stories of great uncles who lived on a farm.  They would take a bath in the spring as the weather began to warm.  In the winter they would wear the same long johns all winter long.  They must’ve smelled pretty darn “ripe” come spring time. Aren’t we all glad we didn’t live back then?
Photo Credit: monstermarketplace.com
I’m sure many of the cowboys of the Old West, when they got to town after a cattle drive, would go to a bathing house and pay a nickel for some warm water and a tub, especially if they were looking to find a woman later on. Bathing was just not catching on, that is until the advent of indoor plumbing.  You see, early tubs had to be filled by hand.  Water would be heated over a fire and poured into the tub.  By the time it was full, the water inside the tub was already turning cool.  Tubs were made of tin, zinc, copper and  wood.  I personally owned a tub that dated back to the mid to late 1800s.  It had an interior made of zinc and the outside was mahogany.  It was very small, only about 48 inches long.  

Interestingly, due to inadequate nutrition and other factors, people weren’t as tall back then, especially the ladies.  Usually houses were much smaller back then, sometimes just one room.  Including a bathtub was considered a waste of valuable space.  Again, men would choose to bathe outside, in a lake or stream, when the mood hit them.  Women were more confined to the inside, with a basin of water and a wash cloth.  On rare occasions, like a wedding day, they might visit a lake with a bar of soap.
Photo Credit: tubking.com

Soon after indoor plumbing arrived in rural America in the 1930s, bathtubs started to be viewed in a different light. No more trips to the outhouse or streams, especially in cold weather. With the new addition of running water, especially hot and warm water, people began to look more closely at personal hygiene.  Bathing regularly actually became a good thing.  People learned that doing so could contribute to  good health and much better social relationships, because people smelled better.

Eventually people began building a separate room for their bathtub, and even turning this small room into an attractive addition.  With the advent of the cast iron and porcelain sink and Clawfoot tubs, the stage was set for a bathing revolution.  Even in the Old West, the finer hotels offered the beautiful and stylish Clawfoot tubs and Slipper tubs.  Many movies have immortalized this relic of antiquity.
Photo Credit: mobmit.com
Those today who wish to add this gorgeous Victorian look to their current bathroom can do so with the resurrection of the old porcelain tubs.   Classic porcelain tubs such as the Roll Top, Slipper, Double Slipper and Dual-ended can be purchased today.  They are newly cast and offer attractive designs and finishes on the majestically sculptured legs that support them.  Who knows? Two  hundred years from now, your great-great grandchildren might be talking about your Clawfoot tub.  It will still be there long after we’re gone.

In this article, I talked about the history of bathing and bathtubs in the United States, particularly in the 19th century and in the western portion of our country, commonly referred to as the Old West. I talked about bathtub designs, materials, the “how-to” of bathing back then and more. 

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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.  
Thanks again for visiting with us.


 
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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How to Create a Relaxing Bath


By Kerry Knight
Photo Credit: express.co.uk
Taking time to relax to reduce your stress levels can make you feel good. Reducing stress is an important part of taking care of oneself, such as eating properly, getting adequate exercise and sleep.  A warm bath can help relax tense nerves and muscles and can also improve your overall health.   When you’re more relaxed, your blood pressure is lowered, and your body produces less cortisol, a hormone that can wreak havoc in your body over time. Let me offer some suggestions on how to make your bath a special occasion to relish.

Photo Credit: www.tubking.com
Have the Right Tub.  The ideal tub for relaxing tired muscles and frayed nerves is a deep-soaking tub.  The beautiful cast iron and porcelain tubs are ideal for this.  A traditional fiberglass drop-in tub is only a few inches deep when you measure to the overflow.  This is the type of tub you’ll find in most homes. It’s time to get rid of the old “tub bucket” and replace it with a gorgeous deep-soaking tub, such as our elegant Clawfoot Tubs.  The classic reproductions are very similar to the antique bathtubs of yesteryear.  These cast iron tubs, overlaid with rich classy porcelain, are back in vogue.  They come in many shapes and sizes such as Slipper Tubs, Double Slippers, Dual-Ended, Pedestals, and Traditional Roll Tops.  Most will come with elegant chrome, brushed nickel or oil-rubbed bronze legs, all of which accentuate the beauty of the tub.  These tubs allow you to lie back in a full body of water and totally relax.
Testimonial for Cast Iron Pedestal Tub

Photo credit: lucisglass.com
Another great option is our Walk-in Tubs. They’re like having your own, private Jacuzzi in your own bathroom.  Some models have air jets, and others have both air jets and hydro jets with a built-in heater. The soothing jets relax tired, aching muscles and joints, and reduce the discomfort and disability associated with back pain, fibromyalgia, early arthritis and much more.  Did you know that the human body weighs 90% less in water?  That fact alone brings rest to a weary and tired body, and stressed out mind.

Get Clean Before You Soak. This first step is optional, but if you’ve been exercising or working in the yard or just feel grimy, rinsing off in the bath or shower first will help you feel like you’re not soaking in dirty water.
Make Sure Your Bathroom is Clean and Warm.  Nothing destroys the mood more than seeing trash or clutter on the floor while you’re trying to relax.  Set the temperature gauge so that when you get out of the tub there’s no sudden chill.  A small heater in the bathroom might be the perfect thing – as long as you place in area that’s going to remain dry.  Remove any items that can spoil your mood. For example, if you have a cat and keep the litter box in the bathroom, move it elsewhere when you’re taking this important time out for yourself. 
Photo Credit: terrysfabrics.co.uk
Plan a Themed Bath.  How about a total lavender theme? Combine lavender oils, fragrances and décor.  But, keep the fragrances to a minimum so as to overpower your senses. You could even use some rich, soft purple towels to really set the mood right, along with purple candles.
Set the Water Temperature Right.  Make sure the water is warm but not scalding.  Incidentally, unlike regular fiberglass tubs, the cast iron will help keep the water’s warmth longer. Water temperature is very subjective so you may want vary it to see which suits you best. I know of some people who prefer cooler water temperatures in the summer time and warmer during the colder months. 
Speaking of temperature, if you’re one of the fortunate few to have a shower and bathtub in the same bathroom, you can always take a lesson in relaxation from the Finns, Danes, Swedes, Russians, etc. Sometimes called a “sauna cycle,” you alternate between soaking in a hot (again, not scalding) bath for about 10-15 minutes and then immediately take a cold shower.  Alternate between the two for about three to five times each. I guarantee when you’ve finished this ritual, your body/mind will thank you. 
Keep Nice, Fluffy Towels and Night Clothes within Arm’s Reach. When you step out of the tub, why not step into an oversized towel, which can you can wrap around yourself from shoulder to foot? Then, once you’ve dried yourself off, slip into some ultra-soft PJs or a comfortable nightie. Don’t forget slippers if it’s cold and if you have wooden floors. The idea is to make your transfer from the bathroom to the bedroom as pleasant as possible. After all, you don’t want to spoil the mood you so carefully created for yourself. 
Photo Credit: pinterest.com

Use a Tub Caddy. This is the tray that reaches across the tub, which is ideal for holding some additional comforts. Pour a glass of wine, open your favorite book (I don’t recommend a thriller at this point; remember, you’re trying to relax), or light a scented candle.  Tub Caddies can be purchased as a special feature for your Clawfoot Tub.

Place Something Soft Behind Your Neck and Head. As you recline on the sloped side of the tub, use a neck pillow or a folded towel to rest your head and neck. 
Consider Adding Some Mood Music. Bring in a disc or MP3 player and put on your favorite relaxing music. There are thousands of CDs and artists to choose from. If you’re handy with the PC, you can use software such as Windows Media Player to custom-mix your very own “bath time music.” Another option is to visit sites such as iTunes or YouTube. There are some specific musical entries that are specifically designed for relaxing or meditating. Here’s one to get you started: “3 Hours of Relaxing Music | Relaxation Music” featured by the Relaxing New Age Music Channel.  If you bring a laptop into the bathroom, make sure it’s in a place that will remain dry. 
Relax Your Eyes. Place cotton pads soaked in ice water or slices of cold cucumber over your eyelids to reduce puffiness while you rest. You may want to do this after your bath, however. The temperature contrast between the cold eye presses and the warm bath water may prove to be a bit disconcerting for some. Try it out; if you like it, go for it. 
Photo Credit: flickr.com
Use 100% cotton flannel scrubs to wash yourself once you’ve exited the bath.  Blot yourself dry and    

then apply lotion or a moisturizer.

Finish it all off with a warm drink to keep you relaxed. The age-old standard is warm milk and honey. Or you could sip some herbal chamomile tea. Chamomile, by the way, has been scientifically shown to have mild sedative effects; it’s treasured for its ability to relieve insomnia and encourage a good night’s sleep.  
Come to think of it, all this talk about how to take a relaxing bath has definitely put me in the mood. I’m already starting to plan out my bathtub-induced “me time.” Let’s see, I have a nice bottle of Beaujolais, a compilation of relaxing smooth jazz that I recently made, a cinnamon-scented candle, my favorite PJs …  I can’t wait to get home!
In this article, I shared several great tips for how to take a relaxing, stress-reducing, long and luxuriating soak in the bath.  I talked about which bathtubs are best for these special moments, such as Clawfoot and Walk-In Tubs, and discussed other things you can do to create the ambiance that will help you best relax. 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.

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.

Thanks again for visiting with us.

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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.
Check Out Our End-of-the-Year Sales. Click Here for More Info.
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