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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  Let’s say you have an out-of-date, fiberglass shower-surround that was installed when the house was built 40 years ago.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.

Customer Testimonial for Cast Iron/Porcelain Tub from Tub King
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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.

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Janie’s Pedestal Bathtub Success Story

Why is Home Remodeling so Ideal in the Spring?

Top Seven Bathtubs of 2014

By Alan Knight
Photo Credit: biography.combiography.com
Someone wrote, “If Rosa Parks had taken a poll before she sat down in that bus, she would still be standing.”  A poll is nothing more than the opinion of a group of people, however it does identify what issues people hold as being important to them.  The larger the polling number, the greater the evidence of something worthy of notice.  A poll from last year revealed the public’s favorite bathtub choices.  Here are the top seven: 

#7:  The Traditional Roll Top Tub

Photo Credit: grandillusionfaux.com
About a 120 ago, there were quite a few foundries in the U.S. manufacturing bathtubs.  In general, these were known as Clawfoot tubs.  This was because the tubs’ removable legs were in the shape of animal feet or paws.  There were bear claws, lion claws, and even ostrich claws.  The tubs and legs were made of cast iron.  At the foundries, tubs were overlaid with thick, stylish porcelain.  This ceramic substance had a shine and feel that was extremely popular and remains so today.   These particular tubs had a rolled rim that gave them their second name of “rolled rim” tubs.  Today, these tubs are still fashionable.  Most of the modern ones, however, have the faucet holes drilled on the top rim of the tub (to enhance interior space) instead of inside the tub like the original ones.

# 6: The Pedestal Tub  

Photo Credit: vintagetub.com
This model sits atop a cast iron skirt or ring instead of legs.  It gives the tub more of a contemporary look, especially for those who find animal legs not to their liking.  There is usually a cut-out in the rear of the tub for plumbing purposes.  The pedestal base can be found on just about every shape and style of tub created.  It was an alternative that seemed to be favored by the aristocracy throughout the ages. For example, some of the former kings of Europe and the Middle East had their tubs mounted on to raised bases.  This “royal” preference is in vogue even today for its majestic, sophisticated look. 

# 5:  The Dual- or Double-Ended

Unlike the traditional rolled rim, this tub has a raised slope at each end of the tub.  The drain is also centered, instead of being on the end.  This allows a person to sit on either end of the tub, facing in either direction.  It also creates symmetry and balance.  If the tub is going to be placed under a window or painting, this style is perfect.  This tub comes with chrome, brushed nickel or oil-rubbed bronze legs, as well as the pedestal base.

# 4:  The Double Slipper  

Photo Credit :dispenser.com
Imagine a 72- inch tub with a majestic slope on each end and room for two people … that’s the Double Slipper.  It requires that you have enough space in your bathroom.  While it does take up some additional space in one’s bathroom, it goes a long way in helping to glamorize the room.  Like the Dual-Ended model above, this design is another one that is perfectly symmetrical.  With its ostensibly aristocratic look, it can become the focal point of any bathroom.  Believe me, once installed, everyone will take notice.  This tub is both regal and romantic.  One version of the Double Slipper is a hybrid of the Dual-Ended, only the Double Slipper has a slope that’s not so pronounced on each end. 

# 3:  The Slight Slipper  

This tub is also 72 inches in length, but the sloped ends of the tub are not as pronounced.  Think of this model as being a cross between the Dual-Ended and Double Slipper.  The poll showed that this was the preferred model over the Double Slipper by a narrow margin, citing it was a matter of comfort.  Participants commented that when reclining, the back of this tub was more comfortable because it “fit” the body better. 

# 2:  The Slipper Tub  

Photo Credit: plumpingsupply.com
We’ve all seen them with their high, sloping backs at one end of the tub.  The traditional Slipper tub has been in movies (see our previous blogs “Famous Bathtubs in the Movies,” and “Romantic Movies That Featured a Porcelain Clawfoot or Pedestal Bathtub Scene,”) and have also been use throughout history as the baths of royalty.  The main reason people love them is their sensuous look.  One writer stated, “they are sexy and revealing.  That’s why the movie industry loves them so much.”  The tub comes in two different sizes: 57 and 67 inches.

 # 1:  The Walk-in Tub

Photo Credit: theoriginalwalkintub.com
Now, this tub is different than the aforementioned cast iron, porcelain tubs. It’s built differently, it looks completely different, and it serves different purposes. The cast iron and porcelain tubs are predominately focused on style and aesthetics, although they are perfect for soaking in warm water and relaxing.  The more modern invention of the Walk-in Tub is more utilitarian. It serves two main purposes:

A. It’s designed for those who have trouble getting into and out of a normal bathtub.  This is where its safety features come in.  The tub is free standing with six hidden legs with levelers.  It’s a tall 40 inches from the floor, but the threshold for entering is a mere six inches from the floor, facilitating safe and easy access in and out of the tub.  It has a door that opens to the inside and is sealed to make it water tight.  The floor and seat are slip-resistant and it comes with an added interior grab bar for balance and support.  Everything about this tub addresses the issue of safety.  No high lifting of the legs required to get into or out of the tub. All controls are within easy reach, there is a specially contoured seat for sitting while bathing, and there support rails for balance and maneuverability.  
B. The other function of the Walk-in tub is hydrotherapeutic.  The tub can come with air jet hydrotherapy for treating many physical ailments and water jets for a soothing massage action.  You can also choose the inline heater, which makes the water stay warm longer for a more relaxing bathing/hydrotherapeutic experience.
The Walk-in Tub comes in different sizes to fit each person and the space where it will be placed.  The 54-inch length is perfect for those who need a little extra room inside the tub (its width is 30 inches).  The 48-inch model is perfect for smaller frames, and fits easier into smaller sized bathrooms.  
While the Walk-in Tub may not be as pleasing to the eye as the Slipper Tub, it definitely is a crowd favorite.  The poll made it the number one choice of bathtubs in 2014.
In this article, I shared the poll results and described the most popular bathtubs of 2014.  These included the Roll Top, Pedestal Dual-Ended, Double Slipper, Slight Slipper, Slipper, and Walk-in tubs. 
 Customer Testimonial for Cast Iron, Porcelain Pedestal Tub
If you found this article interesting, please share and forward it to friends and family. If you’d like to leave a comment or question, please do so in the Comments section below. 
If you’d like to receive a FREE Walk-In Tub Buyers’ Guide, click here.  Or, 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 below and I’ll personally get back to you. Thanks for reading; it’s my pleasure to share this information with you. 
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Alan Knight is the owner of Tub King, Inc., and  SeniorBathtub.com  in Jacksonville, Florida. He has many years of experience in the antique and senior bathtub industries. His companies not only provide superior products, they are also award winners, receiving the “Best of Jacksonville Chamber Award” four years running. To contact Tub King directly, call (800) 409-3375, (800)843-4231 or email alan@tubking.com.
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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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Placing Your Bathtub on a Pedestal

By Kerry Knight
Items of beauty, works of art and yes, elegant bathtubs need to be shown off. We put movie star on pedestals to show them off, why wouldn’t we do the same for a functional work of art like a beautiful slipper tub.

We recently had a couple in our showroom who were shopping for a claw foot tub.  They didn’t want just any tub.  They wanted something that was unique and special, something you don’t find just every day.  After looking at our “footed” tubs they announced that they just weren’t happy with the idea of a tub resting on the legs of some animal.  The chrome, brushed nickel and oil rubbed bronze legs that we carry often display the image of an eagle’s claw, and bear claw or an emperor’s headdress.  Not everyone  is drawn to that style.  So this couple asked if there was something else they could see.  

That’s when I introduced the Pedestal Tub.  Many of our claw-footed tubs come with the option of being on a pedestal.  Some call it a skirt or a ring, but most just refer to it as a Pedestal Base.  Most remark that it makes the tub look more contemporary, more modern.
 But it also makes it look even more elegant.  Just after the turn of the twentieth century, the pedestal tub became the tub of choice for the elite, sophisticated, and wealthy.  During the roaring twenties, it was a popular item at parties and new-worthy events.  I remember reading about a party during prohibition.  There was gunfire as the Revenuers came in with guns blazing.  One guy jumped in the cast iron tub filled with gin.  He survived but was very tipsy when he came up.

Check out this video on double slipper tubs
There is a big event-taking place in our city where the theme is a throwback to the roaring twenties.  A couple of reps for this project came by our showroom recently and RENTED one of our pedestal tub for the event.  They said this was going to be the centerpiece for the entire event.

The cast iron and porcelain tubs that we offer with the pedestal base instead of legs would include:
  • The Dual Ended in sizes of 60, 66 inches and 75 inch lengths.
  • The Slipper Tub in sizes of 61 and 67 inch lengths.
  • The Traditional Roll Tub in sizes of 61 and 66 inch lengths.
  • The Double Slipper Tub in the 72 inch length.
  • The Slight Slipper Tub in the 72 inch length.

Double Slipper Pedestal Tub
The pedestal tubs will typically weigh around 100 pounds more than the footed tubs due to the massive skirt.  Make sure to check the support capacity of your floor when considering it, although for the majority of homes, this weight will not be a problem.  The tub will set up slightly taller, so the step over may be a little more than the footed tubs, but again, it’s not prohibitive.

The pedestal tub is definitely in a league of its own.  When considering your purchase of a claw-footed tub, you might want to give it a look.
In this article, I have discussed how claw-footed tubs can be purchase with a pedestal instead of the traditional claw feet. Adding a pedestal totally changes the appearance from a more Victorian look to that of a modern or contemporary bathtub. A pedestal roll or slipper tub provides that modern look that may desire and it’s a great addition to most of our claw-foot tubs.

Customer Testimonial

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

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

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