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Why Buy a New Cast Iron Clawfoot Bathtub Instead of an Antique Vintage Tub?

Recent Customer Installation of New Cast Iron Clawfoot Tub

You’ve just purchased a Victorian Era styled house or wish to build or remodel based on the style and are looking for a tub fitting the period. In early America, when main bathrooms came in to style, the cast iron clawfoot tub became the standard. Known for their durability and temperature retention the cast iron bathtub became the hallmark soaking tub used through several generations.
 

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.

 
Now take a look at the placement of the overflow and faucet holes on the new cast iron bathtub.
 
 

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.



HOW TO DECORATE YOUR HOUSE – ROOM BY ROOM

By Alan Knight

Courtesy of www.flickr.com

You can find a lot of advice out there about home decorating.  Usually they will focus on a certain room or even a part of the room, but who has the time to find the whole package.  Extensive reading is a luxury few have.  Trying to piece together information on decorating the entire house is daunting.  So, why not look at all the parts in one complete article.  We will take it one room at a time.
The ENTRY way of your home may seem to be an insignificant area on which to focus.  But this is not the case.  This tiny area provides the visitor with their first impression of your house.  If a visitor comes through the front door and continues on to the next room without stopping to admire something special you have failed.  Your guest needs to be greeted with a positive and welcome atmosphere from the very first moment they enter.  This can be done in a number of ways.  One of the most popular ways is to add a side table, and one that is unusual.  About thirty years ago, we moved into an upscale neighborhood in Houston, Texas.  The neighbor just behind us was very cordial and offered assistance with the move-in.  On the second day, she had noticed that we had a foyer that was causing some decorator problems.  We had nothing to really complete it.  So, she went to an antique shop, found a long, tall and narrow oriental table and brought it over.  It was beautiful.  Made of mahogany with delicate imprints and sculptured legs, it seemed to be absolutely perfect.  I was ready to pay her any amount of money to keep it, but she insisted on giving it to us as a house-warming gift.  Tables like this one can perfectly accessorize an entry area.  Also consider purchasing some art or an antique mirror to go over the table and then add décor on top of it.  If your guest does not stop at your foyer to admire your work, you need to rethink the way it is decorated.
Courtesy of  www.flickr.com

The living room or family roomcomes in all shapes and sizes.  They are multi-purpose rooms and are one of the most used spaces in the home.  This is a great place to have fun with color, pattern, and accessories.   By the way, before you start buying decorator items measure your room, shelves, windows, and other elements BEFORE going shopping.  Items in a store will always seem smaller because the store is so big.  You will be sad if you get your items home and they are the wrong scale or too small or large for a wall or table.  In most homes the family room also serves as an entertainment center.  Instead of displaying a rather utilitarian flat screen TV or stereo system in the open, why not choose an antique armoire or manor cabinet where entertainment centers can be concealed when not in use.  Then decorate the areas around that piece of furniture.  Since they are typically tall, choosing tall plants on either side is an option.  Also make the seating look warm and comfortable.  Break up the usual couch and chair with some other pieces, like a chase or deep lounging furniture.  They come in all shapes and sizes.  Also end tables for reading and floor lamps are a good choice.  The key is to create a theme and find interesting pieces, not the usual fare.   If the family room is more of an entertainment room, choose wall decorations that are more fun than artistic.  I remember one home that decorated the family room New Orleans style.  There was jazz artwork on the walls, rote iron railings in key places and even a cool player piano.  A massive antique armoire housing the entertainment pieces and even an antique popcorn machine really defined it.
Courtesy of  pixabay.com

Because kitchens are designed 98% around function, it can be hard to know where to put the pretty things.  Kitchen decor should reflect what’s happening in the kitchen.  Start with selecting pretty jars, canisters, baskets, and greenery, even silk plants or plastic fruits or veggies can’t hurt.  For counter placements, start with the corners.  If you have the height, put the taller pieces in the corner and layer out in front of them.  The canisters that hold actual food can be placed more in the middle or near the stove top.  Again, less is more in the kitchen.  Keep those counters free of clutter and keep them as clean as possible so you have more room to cook and less places to collect dust and germs.  Above cabinets, keep it free of clutter.  Again, less is more.  Some people love to pack them full from corner to corner.
Courtesy of  www.flickr.com

Bedroom colors are important.  The wise will prefer to keep the tones and patterns subdued… to create a relaxing and restful place to retreat to.  Neutral colors with accents of pattern and lots of texture can create this comforting look.  If you have a head or footboard that is a great statement piece, let them speak for themselves.  Choose simple accessories that complement the focal point-furniture.  Floating nightstands are a good way to simplify.  Also, don’t be afraid of wallpaper.  The wallpaper of today is not your grandma’s wallpaper.  Adding a pattern to the wall behind your bed, whether with paper or a stencil, creates a beautiful finished look.  Gorgeous fabrics in a bedroom is what makes them feel lush and comforting.  Most people choose to hang decor above their headboard, which is totally fine, but don’t be afraid to be different and hang pieces over your night stands instead.  Another thing, you don’t have to buy “bedroom sets” (or living room sets) because when you do, you’re allowing some salesman or manufacturer to decorate your home.  Instead, choose furniture pieces that complement each other, but don’t necessarily match each other.  Paint your side tables a fun color and then repeat that color throughout the room.  Have your headboard be a bright color and then have neutral side tables.  The ideas are endless, and I promise if you break away from the “bedroom set” idea, you’ll have a more designer look in no time.
Courtesy of  Tubking.com
The bathroom is similar to the kitchen in the fact that they mostly exist for functional purposes. That doesn’t mean you can’t add a little decor to them.  For example, for the vanity add beautiful canisters or baskets that hold the everyday items like q-tips and towels.  Tall and thin vases with greenery and flowers bring the outdoors in and soften up the hard lines of a bathroom.  One way to really add a focal point to a bathroom is the addition of a clawfoot or pedestal porcelain bathtub.  There are a few specialized companies (Tub King, Inc. for example) that have brought back the old antique style with some more modern improvements.  The slipper tub, for example, made of thick, rich porcelain comes in various sizes to fit any bath and has the sexy lines of a slipper.  Instead of placing it in a corner, as with traditional bathtubs, you redesign the bathroom to have it in the center as a key focal point.  With draperies and towel to add color to this beautiful fixture, you can really make the bathroom come alive.
One last thing, unless architectural elements call for something different (mantels, wainscot, etc.) hang your art with the center of the piece just above eye level.  A good standard is about 5 foot 5 inches.  If you look around, most people hang their frames and mirrors way higher than this… bring them down where you can actually see them.
When you examine your home room by room, does it speak to you?  Is there a consistent pattern that shows someone took time and energy to make it special?  There is a lot you can do, even on a budget.
In this article I have provided sound advice on how to decorate your house room by room, including the kitchen and bathrooms. This advice includes design styles like contemporary verses antique and architectural elements like a claw-foot tub verses a modern pedestal bathtub.  
If you would like to see examples of porcelain, claw-foot, pedestal and contemporary bathtubs, visit our website at www.tubking.com. You will not be disappointed. We hope you visit soon.

Thanks again for visiting with us.  Until next time.

Would you like to receive a free copy of our eBook – Tub King’s Ultimate Guide to Cast Iron/Porcelain Tubs, Walk-in Tubs & Safety Suite Showers? Fill in the form below and we will send it to you for free, or you can buy it on Amazon.com by clicking on this link

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At TubKing.com


Have a question? Feel free to contact me at the number or email listed at the end of this article and I will personally get back to you. It has been my pleasure sharing this information with you.

Visit TubKing.com today

Alan Knight are the owners 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, the company is also multiple time award winner, receiving the “Best of Jacksonville Chamber Award” four years running. If you would like to contact him, call (800) 409-3375 or (800) 843-4231; or email them at alan@tubking.com.

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What do Animal Fat, Wood Ash and the “Days of Our lives” Have in Common?

By Alan Knight
Photo Credit: kimberlysnyder.com
Believe it or not, the answer fits in the palm of your hand: Soap! 

The history of soap making and usage goes hand-in-slippery-hand with the history of bathing.  (See our previous blogs, “History of European Bathing …” “Bathtubs in the Old West,” and “The Birth of the Bathtub.”)
Soaps ― there are many different kinds ― are mainly used as surfactants for washing, bathing, and cleaning, but they’re also used in textile spinning, as antiseptics, for various medicinal purposes (such an antidote for various types of poisoning) and are components of certain types of lubricating greases. Soaps are also used for decorative purposes.

What’s in a Name? 

Photo Credit: eupedia.com
There are two schools of thought concerning the origin of the word, “soap.” One legend has it that soap was named for the fictional Mount Sapo, which was supposedly near Rome in Italy, where ancient Romans made burnt animal sacrifice offerings to their pantheon of deities. The wood ash and animal grease resulting from such sacrifices formed a primitive kind of soap.  However, another school of thought says the word “soap” hails from Europe’s ancient Celts, whose animal fat/wood ash soap was called “saipo.”  


Soap Through the Centuries 

Photo Credit: docmo.hubpages.com
Aside from making fire and cooking food, blending oil and fat into soap is one of the oldest and simplest chemical reactions known to mankind.  An excavation of ancient Babylon revealed that the Babylonians were making soap around 2800 B.C., being the first culture to master the art of soap making.  A formula for soap consisting of water, alkali and cassia oil was written on a Babylonian clay tablet around 2200 BC.  Typically, their soap was made from animal fats boiled with wood ashes.  Initially, soap was used for cleaning wool and cotton that was used in textile manufacturing.  Also in the Middle East, the Ebers papyrus (Egypt, 1550 BC) reveals that the ancient Egyptians mixed animal and vegetable oils with alkaline salts to produce a soap-like substance.  According the Pliny the Elder, the Phoenicians used goat’s tallow and wood ashes to create soap in 600 BC.  In his “Historia Naturalis,” he discusses the manufacturing of soap from animal fat and ashes, but mentions it was only used as a hair pomade. Early Romans were thought to have made some of their soap from urine (!). It was used throughout the Roman Empire as a topical treatment for various skin diseases.
Photo Credit: mbeenos1.blogspot.com 
The purpose of soap as a cleanser appeared in the second century AD. By the 900s AD, soap was common in France, Italy, and Spain.  A 12th-century Islamic document describes the process of soap production.  It mentions one of soap’s two main ingredients, alkali, derived from the Arabic word al-qaly or “ashes,” which would later become important in modern day chemistry.  By the 13th century, the manufacture of soap in the Islamic world had become virtually industrialized.
Soap production began in England around the end of the 12th century. In France, by the second half of the 15th century, the semi-industrialized professional manufacturing of soap was concentrated in a few cities that supplied the rest of the country. Finer soaps were later produced in Europe beginning in the 16th century, using vegetable oils (i.e., olive oil) as opposed to animal fats. Many of these soaps are still produced, both industrially and by small-scale soap artisans. For instance, Castile soap is a popular example of the vegetable-only soaps derived from the oldest “white soap” of Italy and Spain, named for the latter country’s Castile region.  However, most European countries rarely used soap as a personal cleanser until the 17th century (which is one of the reasons perfumes and colognes were created, but that’s another story). Soap manufacturers had to pay a heavy tax on all the soap they made, which made it very expensive for most of its populace.  So soap didn’t become a widespread commodity until the tax was repealed in 1853.  By the 19th century, soap had become more readily available and was becoming popular throughout Europe.
Photo Credit: gregbenzphotography.com
Soap making was a small scale, usually family-owned business until the Industrial Revolution.  In 1780, Andrew Pears started making a high-quality, transparent soap. His family-derived soap-making business expanded when his son-in-law, Thomas J. Barrat, opened a soap factory in 1862. James Keir built a soap factory after he’d discovered a method for extracting alkaline products from potash and soda. Nearly 30 years later,
American manufacturer, Benjamin T. Babbitt, introduced marketing innovations that included the sale of bar soap and the mass distribution of his soap samples. William Hesketh Lever and his brother, James, bought a small soap works in in 1886 and founded what is still one of the largest soap businesses, formerly Lever Brothers, now called Unilever.
Industrially manufactured bar soaps first became available in the late 18th century, as advertising campaigns in Europe and the United States promoted the growing awareness of the relationship between cleanliness and health, especially as the understanding of microbiology and disease continued to unfold.
Today, the use of soap has become universal in industrialized nations due to a better understanding of the role of hygiene in reducing the population size and virility of pathogenic microorganisms.

The ABCs of S-o-a-p

Photo Credit: dowdycornerscookbookclub.com
Soap is created by the combination of fats and oils with an alkaline base.  From ancient times and even today, soap is derived from a combination of different types of fats:
Animal-based (tallow ― made from beef, sheep and other animals’ fat suet, which is the hard, white fat on the kidneys and loins of animals)
Plant-based (beeswax, canola, cocoa butter, coconut, olive, laurel, palm, peanut, soybean, etc.)
In a process known as saponification, soap is made when a fatty acid comes in contact with an alkali.  When fats or oils are combined with a strong alkali, the alkali first splits the fats or oils into fatty acids and glycerin.  The glycerin is a useful by-product, which can be left in the soap product as a softening agent, or extracted for other uses.
Photo Credit: churchstreeteats.com

When soap is used for cleaning, it enables various previously insoluble particles (dirt, grease, debris, microorganisms, etc.) to become soluble in water, which can then be rinsed off.  For instance, oils and fats are normally insoluble in water, but when a couple of drops of soap are added, the oil/fat is broken down and can be washed away by the water. That’s how you can get things “squeaky clean.”

The type of alkali metal used determines the kind of soap product. Sodium soaps, prepared from sodium hydroxide, are firm, whereas potassium soaps, derived from potassium hydroxide, are softer or often in liquid form.

Soaping it Up

Photo Credit: simplybudgeted.com
Walk down any supermarket aisle today and you’ll find numerous different types of soap and soap-derived cleaning products: solid soaps, liquid soaps, body soaps, specialty facial soaps, shampoos, decorative soaps, toothpastes, shaving soap, laundry detergents, dishwashing detergents, rug detergents, boot soaps, and various household cleaning products.  And don’t forget all the different kinds of lubricants with soap as their main ingredient (especially as what’s sold in automotive specialty and hardware stores).
A somewhat recent “re-development” is the crafting and sale of handmade soaps by contemporary private soap artisans as well as interested DIYers.  Most of these soap recipes usually use all-natural ingredients, and some are entirely vegan, that is, not made of any animal products.  Many have delicious-sounding names such as Chocolate Mint, Bit o’ Honey, Oatmeal, Lavendar/Rosemary, Almond Nut and others.  A perusal of your local health food store and/or the Internet will bring an entire world of exotic soaps to your bathroom and kitchen.  
Photo Credit: insiderye.wordpress.com

A centuries-old chemical process creating what we now call soap has indelibly changed our lives for the better. It’s made us healthier and more aromatic. (Hence, more romantic?) So the next time you’re bathing in a Walk-in tub, Clawfoot tub, or a Safety Suite Shower, and you reach for the soap, think for a minute about its centuries-old history.  You may even find yourself washing with more gusto and zest than ever before.

In this article, I briefly described the centuries-old history of soap-making. I also discussed how soap is made, and pointed out its various usages, products and byproducts.  If you have a comment, please type it in the Comment section below.  Of course, I encourage you to share this article with your family, friends, and colleagues.

If you’d like to receive a FREE Walk-in Tub Buyers’ Guide, simply fill out the form below.

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If you’d like to receive a FREE Clawfoot Tub Buyers’ Guide, just fill out the form below.

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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. 

Visit Our Webpage for Recent Specials. 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)843-4231 or email alan@tubking.com.

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Building a New Home? Add Beauty with a Clawfoot Tub

By Kerry Knight
TubKing Double slipper Clawfoot Tub
Today’s builders are looking for ways to add value to the homes they build. Many homes, especially in nicer, upscale neighborhoods, are adding designed bathroom and kitchens. These are two places that people spend a lot of time. 

Designers are always trying make a house more functional, and are also striving to add elegance, beauty in places where home owners can relax and get away from the hustle and bustle of today’s stressful life.  Many designers are now calling for Clawfoottubs as their designed bathroom center piece.

TubKing Slipper Clawfoot tub in Red and gold.
And it’s not just designers and homebuilders who are doing this. Many who are in the market for buying, or having a custom homebuilt, are also looking to add a touch of elegance to the biggest purchase they’ll ever make.

Clawfoot tub sales are up. Many are in the market to purchase these elegant tubs. If you don’t know about this let me explain.  About 150 years ago, Clawfoot tubs were introduced to American society. At first, only the rich and famous had them. They were mostly a European product, and they became very became fashionable after the Civil War.  Foundries abroad, using a mold, would cast a bathtub out of iron.  They would then spray a porcelain glass material over the cast iron to make a high-gloss finish that was both beautiful and functional.  Legs, also made of cast iron, were then fashioned into many exotic designs to fit on the bottom of these tubs.  It became a craze that reached into the U.S. very quickly, and the concept continued for over a hundred years.

TubKing tubs can be customized for color and feet type.
Eventually, foundries in the U.S. began to close due to lack of demand.  They were being replaced by a new substance called fiberglass.  It was much more cost effective and the units were not nearly as heavy.  The one piece shower surround became the new craze.

Today, many are returning to the retro look of the antique Clawfoot tubs.  Most have to be imported, but the quality is the same.  The advantage today is there are more shapes and sizes to choose from.  The Slipper Tub, especially, is a hot item.  Made of cast iron and porcelain, these tubs have the pronounced slope on one end of the tub that has been seen on many movie sets.  It is exotic-looking to say the least, and especially attractive for ladies.  The exterior of the tub can be done in any color and the legs can come in many different metallic finishes.

At TubKing, we can create one just fro your taste & budget.
We’ve found that many who are in the process of building a new home have created ways to really glamorize their bathrooms.  Most builders will put in the standard 5-foot fiberglass shower surround or an acrylic garden tub.  These are all too common.  A better choice might be to talk to your builder about making an exchange.  Get a credit for his fiberglass tub and purchase one of the classic Clawfoot tubs.  It will immediately add perceived value to your home and become the centerpiece for decorating your bathroom.

I’m currently in the process of building a new home and have already told the builder I didn’t want his standard tub.  I’ll put in my own cast iron and porcelain Slipper Tub.  The faucet, drain, water supply lines and the legs will be oil-rubbed bronze. It will also have the “English Telephone Faucet” with sprayer.  Yes, there will be a separate shower stall, but this tub will be the focal point of the entire bathroom.

Another TubKing Clawfoot tub.
You spend a lot of time designing a home; do something special in one of your bathrooms.  You can even make it into your own private oasis. Guests will love it, and you’ll get a hundred years of use out of your Clawfoot and your bathroom will be the envy of all who visit.

In this article, I discussed how you can have a new Clawfoot tub installed in that new house you’re planning to buy instead of having to settle for a plain old shower/tub combo. Many home builders and designers are using Clawfoot tubs as a showcase item to bring elegance and beauty to the designer home they’re selling. In many cases, you can get a credit for the planned tub or shower enclosure in exchange for the Clawfoot tub.

Customer testimonial for a clawfoot tub.

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 Comments section of this blog.  If you’d like to find more articles about Clawfoot tubs, enter “clawfoot” in the search box at the top of this blog. 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.

Alan and Kerry Knight are the owners of Tub King, Inc., andSeniorBathtub.com  in Jacksonville, Florida. Together they have many years of experience in the antique and senior bathtub industries. Their companies not only provide superior products, they are also award winners, receiving the “Best of Jacksonville Chamber Award” three years running. If you’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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Put a Walk-in Tub in Your Future Plans

By Kerry Knight

Photo Caption: http://outspokenontheath.com

We recently had a customer walk into our showroom with a rather unusual request… or was it?  They wanted to purchase one of our Slipper Tubs.  They loved the beautifully elegant, white porcelain and the solid cast iron exterior that was designed to last a lifetime.  They chose the Slipper Tub because of the 19thcentury look.  With the high slopping back and large brushed nickel legs, the customer’s eyes registered “love at first sight.”


Here’s the Unusual Part of this Story

Photo Credit: Walk-in Tub Guide


But that was not the unusual part. They then asked if they could also seeour Walk-in Tubs.  Now typically a stroll around a Walk-in tub would be considered for someone who has mobility limitations.  That would include those with injuries, loss of motion, or the elderly who are more likely to fall while getting into or out of a bathtub.  But this couple was still young by most standards, only in their 40s.  They had no health issues, so the idea of considering a walk in around tub seemed a bit pre-mature.

No Demolition Required

Then they explained. “We are building a new home, our dream home, and we plan to be there through our senior years. It would be a lot easier to go ahead and install this in a guest room so that we don’t have to do any demolition later. It will save us money and also serve a purpose until we’re older.” The purpose they were talking about made sense. They were going to use it to relax and treat tired aching muscles. Both of them enjoyed working outside. This meant a lot of bending and stooping. Plus, if they had ever suffered some muscular injury or have to rehab after a hospital stay, it would come in very handy. So they bought both: a cast iron, porcelain Slipper Tub and a Walk in Tub.

Walk-in Tubs are not just for seniors

We are all familiar with how important it is to plan for the unknown. That’s why a smart family will invest in life insurance, disability insurance and a plan that offers retirement income. So why shouldn’t that apply to future needs in your bath. The Walk in Tub provides safety features to eliminate the likelihood of falling or even the fear of falling. They have slip resistant seats and floors, grab bars, an entry door on the tub with a low threshold. The step up is only six inches. The faucet, drain and controls are within easy reach, along with air jets, water jets, and even a heater.

The Slipper Tub For The Whole Family

The Slipper Tub they purchased would provide many years of fun and relaxation.  Plus, it will also be a

Photo Credit: Calfinder.com

beautiful decoration for any bathroom.  The outside can even come in colors to accent the other colors in the bath. A guest who visits will no doubt praise the beauty of their bathroom featuring their new elegant slipper tub. Their children will love it as well as future grandchildren.  Kids love playing in claw foot tubs. But, when it becomes too much of a challenge for them to get in and out of that claw foot tub, then the Walk-inn Tub becomes the perfect solution. 


The Walk-in tub for Their Golden Years

They won’t have to worry about having difficulty getting in and out of their walk in tub and they will most certainly be able to appreciate all the therapeutic benefits as well as the safety features as they have. And best of all they will never have to do any demolition in either of their bathrooms because they planned ahead for their golden years.

So remember, it’s not too early to plan for a perfect house. A little forethought, research and advanced planning can go a long way to making your dream home a reality. If you’re thinking about building your dream home, consider the Slipper Tub and the Walk-in Tub, they are a good match for now and later.


Tub King Walk-in Tub Testimonial

In this article, I discussed how a couple in their 40s were able to complete their dream home by planning for and adding both a Claw Foot tub and a Walk-in tub. Even though this couple was relatively young, they had the forethought to plan ahead for their golden years. I explained how a little planning and research made it possible for them to have the best of both worlds.

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

Until next time. 

Alan and Kerry Knight are the owners of Tub King, Inc., and  SeniorBathtub.com  in  Jacksonville, Florida. Together they have many years of experience in the antique and senior bathtub industries. Their companies not only provide superior products, they are also award winners, receiving the “Best of Jacksonville Chamber Award” three years running. If you’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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Expand Your Bathroom and Make Room for a Slipper Tub

By Kerry Knight

Emma & the Washtub textured
Emma & the Washtub textured
(Photo credit: Barney Wrightson)
How have the demographics of the common American family changed the size and functionality of our homes over the past century?

A hundred years ago, home designs in the U.S. were much different than they are today.  For middle class America, they were more functional than elegant.  Kitchens were normally larger, especially in rural areas, because families were bigger.  There were many farm homes, where a couple might raise ten or twelve kids.  Having a larger family virtually guaranteed help in farming the fields, which, before the invention and proliferation of automated machinery, was physically labor intensive.  But feeding more people meant needing a larger kitchen.  Conversely, bedrooms and bathrooms were small because no one spent much time there … folks were just too busy.   In some homes, the bath tub was simply a large, metallic tub, in which families would also later do their laundry. (You’ve perhaps seen photos of those old, metallic washboards, where clothes were washed clean using manual friction?) So aside for a small area this tub and perhaps standalone washing basin, there wasn’t much else in ― or room for ― a full-functioning bathroom.

Sunnyland Washer
Sunnyland Washer (Photo credit: lars hammar)
Likewise, in textile towns, houses were designed primarily for utility.  Companies would move in and build entire developments for their workers.  Some of these were called mill villages.  All the houses basically looked the same, again with small bathrooms and bedrooms being the norm.

Apartments in urban centers were also fairly small, and consequently had limited sized bathrooms and kitchens. One of the advantages of the then newly invented vertical, one-person shower was that it didn’t require as much floor space as a bathroom with a horizontal bathtub that could fit two adults or three or four kids.

Times have changed.  Today, bedrooms and especially bathrooms are two to three times larger than yesterday’s.  There’s far more emphasis on comfort, leisure, design and elegance.  Even in modest homes, modern design calls for a garden tub, double vanities and extended countertops.  Separate showers, a small room for the toilet (often times with its own door), and linen closets are common.

Customer testimonial on Her Claw Foot Tub

With this new look, many bathrooms are sporting new bath tub designs.  Instead of the old, common drop-in tubs, space is available for free-standing, claw foot and slipper tubs, so-called because they resemble a women’s slipper supported by four feet. Pedestal tubs are similar, but instead of being supported by feet, these include a pedestal underneath, hence their name. These modern tubs still manage to reflect a degree of “old world” elegance as they’d become very popular among the aristocracy in late 19th century Europe.  

Today’s common design choices for cast-iron, porcelain tubs are Single Slippers, with a dramatic slope on one end; Double Slippers, with slopes on each end; Double Ended, offering a symmetrical dual slope with a center drain; and of course, the traditional Roll Rim tubs.  The most elegant of these are sturdily constructed of cast-iron and porcelain, and are capable of lasting several lifetimes.  While heavier than traditional drop-in tubs, they’re extremely durable, unlike today’s more common acrylic tubs that fade and show wear and tear rather quickly.

These stand-alone unique tubs can become the centerpiece of the larger bathrooms that are being built today.  Mounted on exotic legs in metallic finishes including chrome, brushed nickel and oil-rubbed bronze, they create a whole new look in the bathroom.  They offer a very relaxing bathing experience, but equally as important, they suggest a more treasured appreciation for the home itself. 

If your aim is to express your keen decorating skills, one way to do so is by installing an attractive, new claw foot tub in your garden bath.  The exterior (and even interior) of the tub can be painted in a wide variety of colors, if you really want to make a “fashion statement.” (More traditionalists usually opt for neutral) white.  Likewise, there’s a wide range of fashionable yet functional accessories you can buy to make your bathing experience even more enjoyable.

If you have a smaller home, or smaller bath, consider expanding it.  With remodeling, you can add a lot more value to your home.  Simple projects such as adding a longer countertop in a stone finish; or perhaps porcelain, pedestal sink with antique mirror; and, of course installing and a handsome, new claw foot tub, can add tremendous value without breaking the bank.
Get rid of that old, out-of-date drop-in tub and replace it with a new cast-iron, porcelain claw foot design. Its elegance and durability will enhance your bathroom and bathing experience for years.

Short Video about Claw foot tubs

In this article, I talked about the difference between the bathroom sizes and designs of yesteryear in comparison to today. I discussed the various types of cast-iron, porcelain claw foot tubs that are available which can enhance any bathroom’s décor. I also mentioned a few suggestions on popular bathroom upgrades that are available today.

Short Video about Walk In Tubs
If you found this article useful, please share it with your friends and co-workers. If you have a comment related to this article, leave it in the comment section of this blog.  If you’d like to receive a FREE Walk-In Tub Buyers’ Guide, click here.  Have a question? Feel free to contact me at the number or email listed at the end of this article and I’ll personally get back to you. It’s been my pleasure sharing this information with you.  We hope to be helping you in the near future.

Until next time.

Alan and Kerry Knight are the owners of Tub King, Inc., and SeniorBathtub.com  in Jacksonville, Florida. Together they have many years of experience in the antique and senior bathtub industries. Their companies not only provide superior products, they are also award winners, receiving the “Best of Jacksonville Chamber Award” three years running. If you’d like to contact them, call (800) 409-3375 or (800) 843-4231; or send an email  alan@tubking.com.
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Today’s New Cast Iron/Porcelain Clawfoot Tubs Are BETTER Than the Originals!

By Kerry Knight
Oh, The Drama.
 Photo credit: Lotus Carroll
Customers often ask me, “How did you and your brother get into this business?” It’s really kind of amusing, I answer.
As kids, Alan and I used to love playing in our grandparents’ large cast-iron, porcelain tub. We’d gather up all our toys, bubble bath soap and what not, and play to our hearts’ content. That is if we didn’t get into an all out splash fight, much to our grandmother’s dismay. So, as kids, we developed a real appreciation for claw foot tubs, and of course, that followed us into this business today.
Like our story, it’s not uncommon today to hear people refer to “the good old days.” Many folks feel that if you go back far enough, a variety of things seemed to be better: prices, quality, features, opportunities, how we socialize with each other, etc.
We often hear our customers speaking in glowing terms about their childhood days when they too baths in their grandparents’ claw foot tub.. How perfect those tubs seemed in retrospect, they recount. They remember how large they were, and, like Alan and I, how much fun they had sitting and playing in the deep water.  Many tell us that their grandma or grandpa still has that old tub. Some have said that those tubs may not ever wear out. Their line of thinking follows the thought that many things were constructed better back then.
Photo credit: tubking.com
Believe it or not, today’s new cast iron, porcelain bathtubsare actually better made than they were a hundred years ago.
Most importantly, the quality of today’s tubs is much better. With improved industrial techniques, advanced quality controls, and more specialized materials used in the casting process, the tubs of today are far better constructed than ever before.

Secondly, in the tubs of yesteryear, the holes were on the inside of the tub, so the faucet protruded into the tub space, taking up valuable room. Today’s faucet is located on the side rim of the tub, hanging above the tub’s interior to allow bathers to utilize all the interior space, from one end to the other.
Third, the new claw tubs offer more variety in shapes and sizes. About 80% of the old tubs were 60″ long. Back then, that would accommodate most people. Also, there was generally one design: the traditional roll rim, with the faucet and drain on one end and the sloped side on the other.  The legs were made of cast iron and would have to be painted. Today, you can have a cast iron, porcelain tub in sizes ranging from 48-75″ with the shapes of the traditional roll rim, or modern shapes such as double-ended, slipper and the elegant double slipper. 
Photo credit: tubking.com

In addition to its physical design elements, today’s technology and our refinishing expertise allow buyers a wide variety of colors from which to choose. No longer do tubs simply have to be white. You can have your tub’s colors match your bathroom or, if you’re a sports fan, have it painted in your favorite team’s colors.

Our attention-to-detail, multi-step refinishing methods ensure you’ll have the best-looking colors that will last for years to come. 

Installation techniques have also improved, ensuring a problem-free tub that doesn’t leak or otherwise damage the bathroom.
Lastly, today’s tub legs can be chrome, polished nickel, brushed nickel, brass, gold, painted, or even oil-rubbed bronze. If preferred, customers can go for a model that sits on a handsome, yet sturdy pedestal.
You can’t replace the memories you had in your grandparents’ tub. They are priceless. But if you’re really looking for a quality bathtub that will withstand the ravages of time, look no further than today’s cast iron, porcelain claw foot tubs. Once you’ve purchased one, you’ll have something in your home that could easily last for over a hundred years. You can create your own memories with your children and grandchildren.  And nothing is more valuable than creating beautiful memories, for both you and your precious family.
In this article, I discussed the variety of ways in which today’s cast iron, porcelain claw foot tubs exceed the tubs we fondly remember from our childhood. From design and construction, to choice of size, color, variety of models; to the different types of legs you can select.  Today’s cast iron, porcelain claw foot tubs are built to last a lifetime … and then some. 
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 find more information on cast iron, porcelain claw foot tubs, enter “claw foot tubs” in the search box on this blog.  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.
Until next time. 

Alan and Kerry Knight are the owners of Tub King, Inc., and SeniorBathtub.com in Jacksonville, Florida. Together they have many years of experience in the antique and senior bathtub industries. Their companies not only provide superior products, they are also award winners, receiving the “Best of Jacksonville Chamber Award” three years running. If you’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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