Friday, December 31, 2010

Faux Strap Hinges: Creating a Smart Look with Dummy Strap Hinges

The strap hinge appeared early in the evolution of the metal door hinge. Strap hinges are hinges with an extension, or strap, that fastens to the face of the door in order to provide the hinge added support. This design was necessary because modern mounting wood screws had not been invented yet and doors were heavy, typically made of solid wood and often larger than modern doors. Forged iron strap hinges were used for centuries in Europe and simple designs of strap hinges were crafted by blacksmiths for doors found on the first early American homes. The introduction of the modern wood screw enabled the modern strapless door hinge and brought an end to the wide use of the classic strap hinge.

Faux, or dummy, strap hinges are essentially strap hinges without the hinge. Dummy strap hinges are purely decorative, recreating the charming look of real strap hinges. Like real strap hinges, dummy strap hinges are usually made of cast or forged wrought iron. However, Dummy hinges are also made of aluminum, bronze, copper and steel. They are available in many styles including Old World European, Early American and American Craftsman styles.

Old World European Style Dummy Strap Hinges
European style strap hinges typically have more ornate forms featuring decorative tips and are constructed of black forged or cast iron. European dummy strap hinges are ideal for European-revival style homes including Tudor and French Country Cottage style homes.

Early American Style Strap Hinges
Original Early American style strap hinges are much less ornate than their European counterparts. True to the past, reproduction Early American style dummy strap hinges often feature simple designs with bean, heart, or spade shaped tips. Dummy Early American style strap hinges are typically constructed of black forged iron.

Craftsman Style Strap Hinges
Distinctively styled hand crafted strap hinges were reintroduced during America’s Arts and Crafts period. Like the originals, dummy Craftsman style strap hinges typically have a rustic, hand crafted appearance. They are also often made of copper and bronze and have simple tulip, square or other geometric shaped tips.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Antique Bathroom Sinks: The Hole Truth

Sometimes in this space, we say a lot about a little. Today is one of those days. We will be discussing the middle hole on antique bathroom sinks. If a hole is nothing, then today we will be saying something about nothing; which, if you think about it, is saying quite a bit. On with the show…

Early bathroom sinks typically had two separate taps. Sinks had one hole on the left for the hot water tap and one hole on the right for the cold water tap. Between the taps was the subject of today's blog post, the center hole. The center hole in antique sinks was typically used to install a chain stay for a rubber stopper style drain. A chain stay anchors the rubber drain plug to the sink. While far less common, pop-up drains were also available by the end of the nineteenth century. If an antique sink had a pop-up drain, the stopper was activated by a pop-up knob that would be installed through the sink's center hole. Pop-up drains were innovative for the time, so the knob usually featured a white porcelain button labeled "waste" to help the less-sophisticated identify its intent.

By the 1930s, mixing faucets began to grow in popularity and the purpose of the middle hole changed. Mixing faucets have hot and cold faucet handles flanking a center spout. The spout was installed in the middle hole of the sink. As is common today, the pop-up knob was integrated into the spout.

Over time, standards developed for bathroom sinks. Today, the spread between the two outside holes is usually 4" for centerset faucets or 8" for widespread faucets. The faucet holes in modern bathroom sinks are usually 1-1/4" diameter minimum.

Recognizing the significance of the bathroom sink's center hole is important if you wish to restore an antique sink. If the center hole was originally designed for a chain stay, the sink may not support a widespread faucet. The center hole may be odd shaped (e.g. square) or too small. Shop 4 Classics offers antique reproduction taps and chain stays to restore the sink to its original charm. Or, if you prefer a mixing faucet, you may be able to use a bridge faucet with a sink hole cover to cap the center hole in the sink. Sinks that had an antique-style pop-up drain are typically the most difficult to restore because the center hole can be too large for a chain stay, a sink hole cover, or a widespread faucet's spout. If you can not restore the original pop-up drain, it may be necessary to fabricate flanges to retrofit the sink with other options. If the sink was designed for a widespread faucet, you can choose a widespread faucet, a bridge faucet with a sink hole cover, or antique reproduction taps with a chain stay.

In addition to being useful for antique sink restorations, the evolution of the bathroom sink's center hole can be used to impress family and friends as you gather this Christmas to roast chestnuts on an open fire. Best wishes for a joyous holiday season from your friends at Shop 4 Classics!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Quality Counts When Buying Fireplace Screens and Fireplace Tool Sets

Winter weather has blown into Kansas City sending temperatures into the teens. I still enjoy at least the first couple of months of cold weather and the occasional snowfall that it brings. I look forward to starting a fire in our fireplace as it brings back vivid winter memories from my childhood. Our fireplace was always lit to warm the house when family came to visit. While the parents played cards, the kids played in the fireplace’s warm glow. However, not all of my memories were so positive. I remember getting in trouble numerous times for fiddling with the fire and playing with the fireplace tool set. I also remember the occasional scare I got when an ember popped out of the fireplace towards me. It should come as no surprise, therefore, that a forged iron fireplace tool set and heavy duty forged iron fireplace screen were among my first purchases upon moving into my new home.

Fireplace tool sets are a necessity if you intend to burn natural wood in your fireplace. The standard fireplace tool set includes tools used to maintain the fire as well as tools used to clean-up the fireplace after the fire goes out. Fire place tongs are used to add and reposition logs in the fire. Similarly fireplace pokers are used to reposition logs and stir the fire to keep it burning. It is well worth the added cost to purchase heavy duty iron tongs and pokers that are sufficiently long enough to adjust the fire without getting too close to its heat. Fireplace tool sets typically include a fireplace brush and shovel used to remove the ashes once the fire goes out and its embers cool.

The primary purpose of fireplace screens is to prevent embers and burning logs from exiting the fireplace. As with fireplace tools, purchasing a quality fireplace screen is always money well spent. Fireplace screens should have a metal, or fire resistant, mesh supported by a heavy and very sturdy frame. The mesh is designed to prevent small embers from popping out of the fireplace and onto the floor. The fireplace screen’s metal frame should be heavy and sturdy enough to stop burning logs that may roll from the fireplace.

Shop 4 Classics selection of heavy duty fireplace tools and screens are created by skilled blacksmiths from hand forged wrought iron. Our forged iron fireplace accessories feature ornate designs that ensure that they remain an attractive hearth accent even when the fireplace is not in use.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Door Hardware Harmony: Matching Keyhole Doorplates

When you purchase a fixer-upper old home, you are almost certain to encounter a hodgepodge of door hardware. Additions and incomplete restorations will likely elevate the mishmash of door hardware in your project home. However, creating uniformity by replacing interior antique door hardware is a relatively simple task and, if your budget demands, it can be completed in stages.

In an old home, you may discover that some doors employ tubular latches while other doors utilize antique mortise locks. This can present a problem in your quest for consistency. Mortise locks and the doorplates that are used with them have a hole for the doorknob spindle and a hole for the keyway (i.e., a keyhole). Tube latches have a spindle hole but they do not lock with a key and, therefore, neither they nor their doorplates have a keyhole. If your doors include a mix of latches and mortise locks, they likely have a clash of backplates with and without keyholes. The presence or absence of a keyhole in the doorplate may seem insignificant but this minor discord can be eliminated with a simple trick of the trade.

Keyhole doorplates can be used with both mortise locks and tubular latches. However, because a tubular latch does not have a keyway, the surface of the door will show through the doorplate's keyhole. It may appear as if an incompatible backplate was paired with the latch. To remedy this situation, position a piece of black electrical tape on the door behind the doorplate's keyhole. The black tape will give the appearance of a functional keyway and all the backplates will match. Ahh...doorplate harmony doesn't require a Christmas miracle afterall.

Peace and quiet can be hard to find in a home crowded with family and friends at Christmas but vintage door hardware featuring keyhole doorplates are easily found in bountiful supply at Shop 4 Classics. Save an additional 5%-10% on door hardware orders with our online coupon codes. Don't leave your home off your list this Christmas.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Cast Iron Steamers and Trivets: Ideal Christmas Gifts for the Vintage Kitchen

With this winter’s first snowflakes now blowing about outside my office window, my thoughts turn toward finding the right gifts for my family members and friends. The process of gift giving for me usually begins with me regretting not accumulating gift ideas over the past twelve months. I do, however, have a couple of unique and affordable gift ideas for those who have someone on their shopping list that appreciates their vintage kitchen.

Cast Iron Stove Top Steamers
Shop 4 Classics offers cast iron steamers in a variety of decorative and novel designs. All of our steamers have a durable porcelain coating inside and out to prevent rusting. Stove top steamers add moisture to the dry winter air. Additionally, droping a handful of potpourri in the steamer’s water will fill your home with fragrances of the holidays.

Cast Iron Decorative Trivets
Shop 4 Classics also offers cast iron trivets that, like our steamers, have durable protective porcelain coatings. Decorative trivets are always a thoughtful gift idea. This is especially true during the holiday season when cooking large meals and baking holiday treats make the kitchen a hive of active.

Cast Iron Matchstick Holders
If your vintage kitchen has a wood burning stove or adjoining hearth, decorative cast iron matchstick holders are a useful and affordable gift idea. Match stick holders provide a convenient and safe place to store stick matches.

Other hardware items that are popular gift ideas include house numbers, fireplace screens and fireplace tool sets, and novelty shoe brushes.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Glass Cabinet Knobs and Drawer Pulls: The Lucky Charms of Cabinet Hardware

I am sure that everyone is familiar with Lucky Charms cereal with its colorful marshmallows shaped like pink hearts, yellow moons, orange stars, green clovers. Like Lucky Charms, glass cabinet knobs and pulls are offered in many shapes and in a rainbow of colors.

The technology to mass produce glass knobs by pressing molten glass into molds was developed in the early 1800’s and American hardware companies began producing colored glass hardware throughout the 19th century. These early knobs were typically set in iron or brass shanks with mushroom or octagon shaped knob tops. Popular color choices were clear, white, black and cobalt and robins egg blue. However, glass cabinet hardware was never more popular than during the early 1900’s. American hardware companies focused on glass cabinet hardware during World War I as brass and iron were being rationed for the war effort. Production methods also improved allowing a much wider spectrum of color choices and shapes. The popularity of glass hardware continued through the 1930’s when glass knobs and pulls took on even more unique shapes defined Art Deco design movement.

Shop 4 Classics offers one of the largest collections of reproduction colored and clear glass knobs and pulls on the Internet. Included in the collection are popular colored glass octagon knobs and colored glass hexagon knobs and coordinating colored glass hexagon post drawer pulls. Our collection even includes reproductions of Art Deco style glass cabinet knobs.

Friday, November 19, 2010

When Picking the Right Clawfoot Tub Shower Enclosure, It is All about Location, Location, Location

Clawfoot tub shower enclosures not only add another facet of bathing functionality but also transform a solitary clawfoot tub into an item of vintage industrial art. The typical clawfoot tub shower set includes a tub faucet with shower diverter, shower riser pipe with shower head, shower ring and brackets to secure the shower ring to the bathroom’s ceilings and/or walls. It may seem odd but clawfoot shower curtains and curtain rings are generally not included within clawfoot shower sets and must be purchased separately. Purchasing and installing a clawfoot tub shower enclosure can be a rather daunting endeavor. The old real estate adage regarding the importance of “location, location, location” applies to the fundamental first steps of selecting the proper shower enclosure for your clawfoot tub.

Location Rule #1: The Shower Set You Choose Must Adhere to Local Plumbing Codes

The location of your residence may be the first consideration that narrows your clawfoot tub shower search. Plumbing codes are not universal across the United States. Plumbing codes are dictated by locally established ordinances. It is wise to consult the codes in your area, but some of the more common plumbing code requirements that may affect your selection are listed below.

Certified Lead-Free Faucet Laws
Arnold Schwarzenegger the actor may have saved the world by filling aliens, gangsters and terrorist full of lead in his movies but he has taken an anti-lead stance as the governor of the State of California. This year he passed a law banning lead from the construction of faucets and showers sold or installed in the state. The lead-free code has already been passed in Vermont as well and it is likely that similar laws will be adopted throughout the country over the next few years.

Anti-Siphon Plumbing Codes
Anti-siphon ordinances may require the tub faucet’s spout to be above the tub’s rim to prevent bath water from being drawn back into supply lines, possibly contaminating the water supply. Gooseneck faucets are popular because the mouth of the spout extends above the rim of roll top tubs, satisfying code in most areas.

Pressure Balance and Anti-Scald Plumbing Codes
Some locations may require pressure balance and anti-scald systems. Thermostatic clawfoot tub faucets are required to meet these code requirements. Thermostatic faucets have a feature that controls the flow of hot and cold water to ensure that the mix of hot and cold water flowing to the faucet’s spout and shower does not exceed a set temperature.

Location Rule #2: The Placement of Clawfoot Tub’s Faucet Holes, or Lack Thereof, Determines the Shower Set’s Faucet Type

Clawfoot tubs have either faucets holes drilled along one of the walls of tub, in the tub’s rim, or have no faucets holes at all. Clawfoot tub faucets are offered to fit each of these three configurations. There are, therefore, three basic designs of clawfoot tub faucets: rim mounted, tub wall mounted, and free standing. The sales of clawfoot shower sets are typically organized by these same groupings.

Clawfoot Tub Wall Mounted Shower Sets
The most common location for faucet holes for original as well as reproduction clawfoot tubs is within the tub’s wall. The distance between the faucet holes is also important and is often referred to as centers or center-to-center. Some faucets are designed rigid to accept only a specified center-to-center measurement whereas others are designed to accommodate a given range of centers.

Clawfoot Tub Rim Mounted Shower Sets
Double ended and slipper style clawfoot tubs often have faucet holes along the tub’s rim or deck. Faucet drillings along the tub’s rim is also a more common option for modern variations of clawfoot tubs. This option is popular today because faucets mounted along the tub’s deck do not extend into the bathing well. As with tub wall mounted shower sets, the distance between the tub’s faucet holes must also be considered with rim mounted shower sets.

Freestanding Clawfoot Tub Shower Sets
Many clawfoot tubs, particularly reproductions, are available without faucet holes. Freestanding faucets and showers are the most common options for these tubs. Freestanding clawfoot shower systems mount outside of the clawfoot tub which allows the beauty of vintage style plumbing to be on full display.

Location Rule #3: The Location of the Clawfoot Tub Determines the Required Shower Ring Mounting Brackets

Clawfoot shower enclosures are not capable of standing on their own and therefore must be supported by mounting them to bathroom walls and/or ceiling. Adjustable wall and ceiling braces are typically included within clawfoot shower sets. These brackets are intended to address common shower enclosure installations. Please email our technical staff at if your tub’s location adds unique wall and ceiling support mounting considerations.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Multi-Faceted Clawfoot Tub Faucet

Clawfoot tub faucets come in many shapes and sizes. They range in price from economy clawfoot tub faucets to full featured thermostatic clawfoot tub faucets. There is a great assortment of finishes, faucet handle options, and tub spouts to choose from. Some clawfoot tub faucets offer a handheld shower while still others are equipped with a shower riser and overhead showerhead.

But wait, there's more! There are clawfoot tub faucets that can be configured to mount inside the tub wall, on a bathroom wall, on the rim of a clawfoot tub, or on freestanding supply lines. In many cases, this versatile little spigot can transform from one configuration to another simply by adding or subtracting parts.

It slices, it dices, it even juliennes. Okay, it doesn't slice, dice, or julienne but believe it or not, it can be used in the kitchen. The Sunrise Specialty gooseneck faucet is offered as both a clawfoot tub faucet and a kitchen sink faucet. In the kitchen, the tall spout provides extra clearance for washing pots and pans. The spout swivels so it can be used with double bowl kitchen sinks. The faucet can be mounted on the countertop in a modern kitchen or wall mounted on a farmhouse sink in a traditional kitchen. Sham Wow! That faucet is resourceful!

There are a few caveats to consider prior to choosing a clawfoot tub faucet for your kitchen sink. Kitchen countertops are typically thicker than the wall or rim of a clawfoot tub. The spouts for clawfoot tub faucets often project further than kitchen faucets and may overshoot the bowl. Although the spout on the Sunrise Specialty gooseneck faucet swivels, most clawfoot tub faucet spouts do not swivel. Clawfoot tub faucets have hand showers. Kitchen sink faucets have hand sprayers. Common clawfoot tub faucet centers are not always so common for kitchen sinks. As with any faucet, check the specifications prior to purchasing a faucet for your project.

While it may not be as revolutionary as a Veg-o-Matic, the clawfoot tub filler is certainly multi-faceted. Visit Shop 4 Classic for help selecting a clawfoot tub faucet for your next project whether it is for the kitchen or the bath.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Hardware, Copper Faucets and Sink Selections for Your French Country Kitchen Makeover

French Country is one of the hottest design trends driving kitchen renovations today. French Country style wraps the modern kitchen in an old world charm that is inspired by the quaint cottages that dot the French countryside. The resulting kitchen exudes a warm and welcoming atmosphere while remaining highly functional. French Country design incorporates a palate of rich dark colors and use of an assortment of rustic textured materials like stone, distressed wood, bronze, copper and iron.

A complete kitchen makeover to the French Country style entails more than fresh paint and a few smartly chosen accent pieces. Your kitchen’s existing shiny brass or chrome faucets, sinks, and hardware items would be noticeably out of place among the rustic surroundings of a French Country style kitchen. They, therefore, should be replaced as part of your renovation. Shop 4 Classics offers a variety of plumbing and hardware products that would look at home in the rustic kitchen remodel.

Copper and Bronze Faucets and Sinks
Shop 4 Classics offers French cottage inspired kitchen faucets and copper kitchen sinks by Belle Foret. The Belle Foret collection includes sinks and faucets with bronze and weather copper finishes that compliment the granite countertops and rustic tile backsplashes that are common elements of French Country design.

Forged Iron and Bronze Cabinet Hardware
Cabinets of French Country kitchens often have a slightly distressed or antiqued appearance. If the cabinets are painted, they are typically also antiqued and/or embellished with hand painted floral, fruit, or scroll accents. Painted or not, sturdy looking and simply designed forged iron cabinet hardware or cast bronze cabinet hardware completes the cabinet’s rustic look.

Decorative Bronze Heat Vent Covers
Those existing builder’s grade steel vent covers will clash with your new European country cottage decor and should also be replaced. We recommend solid bronze vent covers with a scroll or grape vine design grille that is finished with a rich brown or black patina.

Cast Iron Shelf Brackets
Displaying a variety of decorative copper and ceramic vases, canisters and other accents pieces throughout the kitchen is another common French Country decorating theme. Shelves should be constructed of thick pieces of distressed wood affixed to sturdy cast iron shelf brackets with a Victorian scroll, grape vine or similar ornate design.

Bronze Switch Plate and Outlet Covers
Replacing those plastic utilitarian-looking switch plates and electrical outlet covers should not to be overlooked in the design of your French Country kitchen. Rustic bronze switch plates and outlet covers compliment the natural wood and textured painted walls often found in French Country kitchens.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Doorbell Chimes: Ding-Dong! The Witch Is Dead.

Ding Dong! The Witch is dead. Which old Witch? The Wicked Witch! Ding Dong! The Wicked Witch is dead.

Munchkins everywhere will be ringing doorbells this Sunday. Only this Sunday, the ding-dong of the doorbell chime will be followed by a chorus of "trick or treat". Rather than the demise of the Wicked Witch of the East, munchkins dressed as ghosts, goblins, and even witches will be celebrating the candy that neighbors kindly drop into their plastic pumpkins.

Don't let the repetitive ring of your door chime haunt you this Halloween. Replace the chill of that boring plastic door chime with the thrill of Craftsmen Hardware's skillfully handcrafted copper and wood doorbell chimes. Pair the door chime with a copper doorbell button to really trick out your home.

Greet the munchkins with a bowl of candy this Sunday and treat yourself to a new door chime and doorbell button from Shop 4 Classics. Have a safe & happy Halloween my pretties!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Eastlake Cabinet Hardware is Quintessential Victorian Style

The Victorian period is known for its varied, yet always elaborate, architectural and design movements. In the late 1800s, architect Charles Eastlake introduced one of the most enduring styles of the Victorian period. What became to be known as Eastlake style was rich with distinctive details. Eastlake style interior and exterior millwork and furniture featured angular designs carved in low relief. Similarly, Eastlake style cabinet knobs and bin pulls are characterized by angular forms with flat surfaces that are rich with low relief, complex designs. During the Victorian period, Europeans and Americans were fascinated with ancient and exotic cultures of the Middle East and Orient. The designs on Eastlake Style hardware, including cabinet knobs and bin pulls, reflected this with the appearance of geometrically stylized sunbursts, flower and plant forms, and chevron stripes elements.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

How To Add A Shower To An In-Wall Tub Faucet

As bathroom design trends shifted from freestanding clawfoot tubs to built-in tubs, the plumbing morphed from exposed to in-wall. Valves and pipes were no longer open to view but now concealed behind a finished bathroom wall leaving only the handles and tub spout exposed. If the bath included a shower, the shower arm projected from the wall above the handles. Early in the transition, however, built-in bathtubs were often plumbed without a shower. Adding a shower today might not only involve replacing the tub faucet but might require a significant remodel because access behind a finished wall is required.

There is an alternative to extensive renovations however. If we borrow from the exposed plumbing of the clawfoot tub era, it is possible to add a shower to a tub faucet without tearing out bathroom walls. A diverter spout allows us to adapt a tub faucet with an exposed shower riser creating a hybrid in-wall tub faucet with an exposed shower riser and showerhead.

Replacing a standard tub spout with a diverter spout is a relatively easy project that normally does not require access to plumbing behind the finished wall. A standard tub spout has a 3/4" IPS female threaded connection. The spout unscrews from a 3/4" IPS nipple that projects through the wall. Once the original spout is removed, the diverter spout then threads onto the nipple to complete installation of the diverter spout. The diverter spout has an outlet on the top where a 2-piece shower riser can be connected with a riser nut. A knob next to the outlet diverts water from the spout to the shower riser or vice versa. To complete installation of the exposed shower riser, support must be provided by either a shower enclosure or a wall mounted riser holder. Finally, install a standard 1/2" IPS showerhead on the riser to finish the new shower. Or, to further enhance the shower, add a handshower conversion kit to provide the convenience of a handheld shower.

The diverter spout provides a budget-friendly option to upgrading a tub faucet with a shower and the exposed riser makes it all possible without a major remodel. Visit Shop 4 Classics to purchase the diverter spout and shower riser described in this tutorial or for help with your home remodeling project.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Shopping For Recycled Bronze and Copper House Numbers

Products from Shop 4 Classics appeared in the current issue of my favorite magazine, This Old House. Copper and bronze house numbers and house number tiles from Mission Metalworks were featured in This Old House's Shopping section of the magazine that focused on unique products made from recycled materials. Mission Metalworks sand cast bronze and copper house numbers and tiles are made in the United States from 95% recycled metals. Check out these and all of the other amazing green products in the October issue of This Old House magazine.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Flirtin’ with Clawfoot Tub Shower Curtains

At some point in our lives, we’ve all experienced the frisky shower curtain. A soothing shower turns into a comedic struggle to fend off a clingy shower curtain. Clingy shower curtains can be especially problematic with clawfoot tub showers because the curtain wraps all four sides and clawfoot tub shower surrounds tend to be somewhat narrow. Strom Plumbing’s vinyl clawfoot tub shower curtains are specifically designed to solve this problem. The shower curtains are constructed of heavy .15 mm thick seamless vinyl that helps the shower curtain hang straight. Magnets are sewn into the bottom of the curtain so the curtain is attracted to the walls of the cast iron clawfoot bathtub rather than the bather.

Clawfoot tub shower curtains are 180” wide; which is more than twice as wide as traditional 72” wide shower curtains. The additional width allows the curtain to enclose the clawfoot tub; eliminating gaps that occur when multiple traditional shower curtains are used.

The vinyl clawfoot shower curtains are offered in clear, frosted, or white. A black fabric clawfoot tub shower curtain is also available. If you prefer something more colorful, the vinyl shower curtains can be used as shower curtain liners in combination with traditional cloth shower curtains.

These clawfoot tub shower curtains have 36 nickel grommets and, therefore, require 36 shower curtain pins. Shop 4 Classics offers shower curtain pins in finishes to match your clawfoot tub plumbing, including the extremely popular roller ball shower curtain rings. The roller ball shower curtain pins have beads that roll on the shower surround. The shower curtain pulls effortlessly around the shower enclosure and the rolling balls prevent scratches that occur when conventional shower curtain pins drag on the shower curtain rod.

The next time your shower curtain tries to get fresh with you, get your space with a Strom Plumbing vinyl clawfoot tub shower curtain.

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Simple Beauty of Push Plates and Door Pulls

Push plates and door pulls are a simple alternative to standard knob door plate sets for doors that are meant to swing freely without latching. With no moving parts, their technical design is about as simple as their name implies. However, door pulls and push plates are available in an endless array of styles, materials and finishes.

Solid bronze hardware is typically created using sand casting techniques. Bronze door pulls or push plates created by sand casting have a less refined texture of similar cast brass hardware. Complimenting their somewhat rustic texture, solid bronze push and pull door plates get their rich brown and black color from the application of a patina. Patina chemically ages the bronze surface rather than plating or painting processes that add a color layer over top the metal’s surface. Because the surface of bronze push and pull plates is not protected, it has what is referred to as a living finish. A living finish continually changes over time, getting darker with exposure to the elements and lighter in areas where frequently handled.

Given that their functional design is so simple, forged iron becomes a natural choice for unique push plates and door pulls. Individual handcrafted forged iron door pulls and push plates design is limited only by the creator’s imagination and blacksmith skills. Forged iron has long been used to recreate Early American style door hardware that often did not have turning knobs with latches. Southwest style door hardware, particular swinging door pulls and push plates, are also commonly crafted from forged iron.

Brass is the metal commonly used to recreate the ornate style of antique original push plates and door pulls. Brass hardware is typically created using the same sand casting method used for bronze hardware. However, the more complex lost wax casting method is used when the casting has fine details that would be lost through the sand casting method. Regardless of how it is cast, brass can be polished smooth to a brilliant finish. However, as is common with other forms of brass door hardware, reproduction brass push plates and door pulls are available in all of today’s most popular finish options including satin and polished nickel, chrome, and faux oil rubbed bronze.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Knock on Wood: Flush Mount Wood Floor Registers Keep A Low Profile

Floor heat registers are often ignored when planning a new hardwood floor or refinishing an existing wood floor. The astute remodeller reviews the floor plan and recognizes the location of heating and air conditioning vents but may not consider the register that will cover the opening. Without giving it a second thought, we assume a surface mounted floor vent cover will do the trick. A self-rimming floor register, perhaps even a wood self-rimming floor register, will certainly suffice but if we are refinishing a wood floor or installing a new hardwood floor, a flush mounted wood vent cover may provide a better option.

Unlike a surface mounted register whose rim rest on the floor, projecting slightly above its finished surface, a flush mounted wood heat register includes a special frame that permits the register to sit level with the surface of the floor. Flush mounted heat registers provide a smooth continuous flat surface. The low profile of a flush wood register is less likely to be scratched or scuffed by shoes and vacuums than the raised grill of a surface mounted register and the level surface eliminates the minor tripping hazard posed by a surface mounted register's elevated grill.

Flush mounted floor registers do require planning. The wood floor is typically fitted around the flush mounted floor register's frame during installation of the hardwood floor. Although you can install a flush mounted register after the wood floor has been laid, it requires cutting away the floor to make room for the frame without cutting through the subfloor the frame will eventually rest on. Flush mounted floor register frames are 3/4" thick to match modern 3/4" thick wood floor planks. In a retrofit application, the surface of the frame and grill may need to be sanded to match the thickness of the refinished floor; especially if the floor is an old floor that may have been refinished on multiple occasions. The frame is permanently glued and/or nailed to the subfloor. With the frame in place, the floor is stained and coated to ensure a consistent finish. The wood grill is finished separate but drops into the frame to conceal the vent. The wood grill easily lifts out of the frame to permit cleaning of the vent.

Shop 4 Classics offers flush mount floor vent covers from Tailored Vents and Reggio Register. They are available in the most popular wood species to ensure an appropriate grain blend. Flush mounted wood floor registers and wood air return grills are offered in the most common duct sizes. As with any vent cover project, make certain to check the dimensions of each duct to guarantee an appropriate fit.

True to their nature, flush mount wood floor vent covers won't upstage your wood floors but will instead subtly enhance their overall charm.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Air Jetted Whirlpool Clawfoot Tubs Lift Your Troubles Away

Air Jet Clawfoot bath tubs combine modern whirlpool technology with the vintage style of classic clawfoot and pedestal tubs. Air jet clawfoot bath tubs, or air bath clawfoot tubs, are an increasingly popular alternative to water jet/Jacuzzi style tubs. Air jet tubs provide a relaxing massage of thousands of bubbles of heated air released from tiny air jet holes arranged along the tub's bottom. Like most water-jetted tubs, air jet tubs include electronic controls to provide varying speeds and massage patterns. However, air jetted clawfoot tubs provide a much more relaxing bathing experience than that of typical Jacuzzi style tubs. Air bath clawfoot tub systems are quieter and offer a gentle massaging experience compared to the often powerful massaging effect characteristic of water jetted tubs.

Shop 4 Classics offers a large double ended air pedestal tub by Elizabethan Classics and an equally large traditional clawfoot styled air bath tub.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Interpreting Showerheads

Plumbing code enacted in 1992 restricts showerheads to a maximum of 2.5 gallons per minute (GPM). The plumbing industry has always interpreted the code as applying to a single showerhead. As we in the plumbing industry understood it, showering systems featuring multiple showerheads, handshowers, and body sprays conform to the law as long as each showerhead or spray is limited to 2.5 GPM. However, the Department of Energy (DOE) argues that this was not the intent of the original water conservation regulation. The intent, according to the DOE, was to limit the entire showering compartment to 2.5 GPM. As is often the case with plumbing code, application and enforcement is left open to interpretation and, in this case, interpretation did not match intent.

In June, the DOE set out to clarify its definition. The proposal defines all showerheads in a single showering compartment as a single showerhead. The 2.5 GPM limit applies to the entire showering compartment regardless of the number of showerheads. This stricter limitation could take effect as early as October.

Multi-head shower systems aren't common in old homes. The average old home owner is either unaware of, or unconcerned with, this impending change. However, even old home remodeling projects may be impacted. While a clawfoot tub shower does not typically feature multiple overhead showerheads, many clawfoot tub shower enclosure sets do include a handheld shower in addition to the showerhead. Under the new proposal, shower enclosures that offer the convenience of a handheld shower in addition to the stationary showerhead may not conform to the new code.

The plumbing industry and the Department of Energy continue to debate the proposal. If it goes as plumbing code typically goes, the final proposal will still leave much to interpretation.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Ever Adapting Cast Iron Freestanding Bath Tub

It is amazing to me how the Internet has so quickly morphed from a source of basic entertainment, information, and shopping into such an integral aspect of millions of peoples’ lives. It seems like a revolutionary technology innovation becomes widely commercialized at the end of each of the past couple of centuries. Just as the Internet was introduced into American homes at the end of the 20th century, indoor plumbing was introduced towards the end of the 19th century. The bathroom became a necessary component of every floor plan for new homes built thereafter.

The classic cast iron clawfoot bath tub became a common fixture of early bathrooms. The design of clawfoot tubs in many ways were an adaption of Victorian furniture designs of the period. Tubs rested on ornate ball and claw or lion’s paw feet similar to those found on tables, stands and other furniture of the day.

The popularity of fanciful furniture embellishments, like ball and claw feet, waned following the end of World War I. The Art Deco style of the post World War I period featured sleek designs inspired by the shapes of modern machinery such as air planes and trains. Cast iron bath tubs manufactured during this time rested on smooth pedestal bases. Art Deco style and pedestal tubs remained popular throughout the 1930’s.

During the mid-part of the 20th century, the commercial introduction of drop-in bath tubs essentially brought an end to the freestanding bathtub. As a result, the bathtub was no longer seen as a piece of furniture. In many ways the bath tub became much more utilitarian. It took on more of the aesthetic qualities of the kitchen sink than that of the couch in the parlor.

Fortunately, renewed interest in the design potential of uniquely styled bath tubs brought about the reintroduction of many styles of freestanding bath tub in the later half of the 20th century. Not only are modern freestanding tubs enjoying increased popularity but reproductions of classic clawfoot and pedestal tubs are now also back in style. Check out all of Shop 4 Classics' modern and antique reproduction clawfoot tubs and remember to use our TUB10 promotional code for added savings.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Magical Appeal of Freestanding Clawfoot Tub Faucets

The final installment of our discussion on connecting clawfoot tub faucets features freestanding clawfoot tub faucets. My first recollection of a freestanding faucet was a floating faucet outside the Dogpatch Gift Shop at the Lake of the Ozarks. The faucet streamed water from the spout without any apparent source or support. Age was not kind to this magical faucet, however, and over time the source and support for the faucet became apparent as the clear tube that ran up the center of the streaming water and into the spout turned yellow. The floating faucet was not as freestanding or magical as I thought as a boy.

Freestanding clawfoot tub faucets have a similar revelation for many. Despite what their name might suggest, freestanding clawfoot tub faucets do require support. They install independent of the clawfoot tub but they can not stand free of support. Most freestanding supply lines include wall brackets to brace the supply lines to an adjacent wall. Sign of the Crab and Sunrise Specialty also offer overflow brackets that allow their freestanding supply lines to be braced to the overflow tube of the clawfoot tub's drain. By bracing the supply lines to the tub drain, the faucet can be positioned away from a wall. Clawfoot tub drain tubing is not universal so it is not safe to assume that overflow brackets from one manufacturer will fit a drain or supply lines from another manufacturer. Check the specifications before mixing and matching clawfoot tub plumbing from various sources.

Freestanding supply lines connect to the faucet's body. It may be necessary to remove the inlets from the faucet body to connect the supply lines. Thread patterns can be nonstandard and not all faucets feature removable inlets so Shop 4 Classics recommends choosing a faucet and freestanding supply lines from the same manufacturer. More and more frequently, manufacturers are bundling the faucet and freestanding supply lines to ensure trouble-free installation.

Because they do not install through faucet holes in the tub, freestanding clawfoot tub faucets are also often called floor mounted clawfoot tub faucets. Freestanding supply lines are roughed in through the finished floor. Most freestanding supply lines include 1/2" IPS straight stops (shutoff valves). Rough-in 1/2" IPS threaded supplies to connect with the 1/2" IPS shutoff valves. The spread between the hot and cold supplies will depend on the faucet. Freestanding faucets with 3-3/8" centers, 7" centers, and 8" centers are all common.

If you are in the market for a freestanding clawfoot tub faucet, Shop 4 Classics offers a wide assortment of clawfoot tub faucets, freestanding supply lines, and bundled freestanding clawfoot tub faucets. If it is novelty gifts made of walnuts or corn cobs, visit the Dogpatch Gift Store at the Lake of the Ozarks and watch for the magical floating faucet.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Arts and Crafts Period Craftsman Style Door Hardware

During America’s Industrial Revolution production shifted from the efforts of individual skilled craftsmen to mass production methods that depended on machines and armies of unskilled workers that toiled along assembly lines day in and day out. These modern production methods were recognized as dehumanizing by many and contributed to the creation of the Arts and Crafts movement. Those associated with the Arts and Crafts movement called for a return to valuing the individual worker by providing enriching and rewarding work. Products developed by craftsmen were embraced by the Arts and Crafts movement. These products were collective called Craftsman style and included the simplest of home hardware items to the homes themselves. Craftsman style door hardware is one of the many lasting legacies of the American Arts and Crafts period. Craftsman style door hardware is generally made from non-lustrous metals including copper, bronze or iron and at least appears to be handcrafted. Craftsman style door hardware is often also referred to as Mission as well as simply Arts and Crafts style door hardware.

Shop 4 Classics offers Arts and Crafts style door hardware from the Craftsmen Hardware Company. True to the Arts and Crafts tradition, the artisans of Craftsmen Hardware handcraft its door hardware from copper at their shop located in the quaint town of Marceline, Missouri.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Deck Mount Supply Lines for Rim Mounted Clawfoot Tub Faucets

Today, we continue our series on clawfoot tub supply line connections with a discussion on supply lines for rim mounted clawfoot tub faucets. Rim mounted clawfoot tub faucets are perhaps the easiest installation of the four options we will review.

Generally, antique clawfoot tubs have rounded rims. If the tub has faucet holes in the rolled rim, the faucet holes will be drilled through a deck on the rim. The deck is a short flatten section in the rolled rim that provides a level place to install the faucet. Some tubs, such as the Strom Plumbing Lucerne slipper tub, have holes drilled through a continuous rolled rim. These tubs either require a faucet with an adapter for a round rim or, as is the case with the Lucerne cast iron tub, include roll rim adapters. Faucet hole spacing of 7" centers or 8" centers is most common for tub rim holes but deviations aren't uncommon. The faucet holes will always be centered above the waste and overflow holes in the tub. Depending on the type of tub, the holes may be on the end of the tub or on the side of the tub.

Supply lines for deck mounted clawfoot tub faucets are called deck mount supply lines, rim mount supply lines, or simply straight supply lines. As the latter name suggests, the supply lines are uncurved straight tubes. Shop 4 Classics also offers a deck mount pressure balance supply system from Strom Plumbing. The pressure balance supply system has a mixing valve to regulate fluctuations in water pressure. Preventing fluctuations helps to maintain constant water temperature while the system is in use.

The rough-in for straight clawfoot tub supply lines must be centered with the faucet holes in the rim. Often this will mean that the supply line rough-in will also be centered with the clawfoot tub drain rough-in. However, check the tub and drain prior to roughing in the supply lines to make certain they align. The supply line tubes must be cut to adjust their length to the height of the faucet. If the supply line rough-in is offset from the faucet holes in the tub or the supply is roughed-in through a wall, flex hoses can be used instead of rigid straight supply lines.

Rim mount clawfoot tub faucets and deck mount supply lines connect with 1/2" IPS fittings. The rough-in connection for supply lines should also be 1/2" IPS. Shutoff valves, or straight stops, are recommended between the rough-in and the supply line. Shutoff valves aid with installation and maintenance. Most of the deck mount supply lines that Shop 4 Classics offers either include shutoff valves or provide them as an option.

Tubs that have faucet holes drilled in the rim of the tub are typically large soaker-type tubs. By mounting the clawfoot tub filler on the rim, more space is made available inside the walls of the tub. Straight supply lines also conserve space outside the tub walls. Unlike a tub wall mounted faucet or a faucet on freestanding supply lines, deck mount supply line connections are centered underneath the tub rim. Therefore, you do not need to reserve space outside of the tub to install the deck mounted faucet or it's supply lines.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Light Switches and Electrical Outlets Covered in Style

Through the efforts of such legendary inventors as George Westinghouse and Thomas Edison the power of electricity was tamed and used in ways that would forever change our daily lives. The first commercial power plants were constructed towards the end of the 1800’s and by the early 1900's the race to power all American homes quickly gained speed. Soon, light switches and electrical outlets became common place fixtures in virtually every room of the American home.

Even as utilitarian as light switch and electrical outlets are, they can be transformed into a stylish wall accent when covered with the right decorative light switch plate covers and electrical outlet covers. If you have more complicated configurations of switch and electrical outlets, say an outlet that includes multiple outlets and/or switches, it is a good idea to refer to a Switchplate & Outlet Cover Configuration Guide to ensure that you purchase the right cover for these more complex outlets. The choice of style of outlet covers and switchplates should complement the look of the surrounding room. This is especially true when shopping for covers that will be installed in smaller rooms. For example, it is important to choose switch and outlet covers that coordinate well with bath accessory hardware and the bathroom sink faucet when shopping for switch plates and outlet covers for that bathroom remodel. Fortunately, Shop 4 Classics offers a wide variety of styles of switch plates and outlet covers. Handcrafted bronze and copper switch and outlet covers are ideal for the Arts and Crafts bungalows and rustic style homes. Decorative solid brass switch plates and outlet covers are good choices for Victorian as well as traditionally styled home.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Pleasing the Mobs: Wall Mounted Clawfoot Tub Faucets

As sequels go, The Godfather Part II is widely considered the best movie sequel of all time. In fact, Part II was so good that there is still much debate whether it was better than the Academy Award winning Part I. Today, we continue our series on connecting clawfoot tub faucets. In our sequel, the wall mounted clawfoot tub faucet is the star. In part I, we discussed connecting a clawfoot tub faucet on the wall of a clawfoot tub. In part II, we discuss mounting a clawfoot tub faucet on a bathroom wall.

In most cases, faucets intended to be tub wall mounted can not be wall mounted without modification for the following reasons:
1. The interior wall of most clawfoot tubs is slanted. The slope of the bathtub wall varies but clawfoot tub faucet inlets are angled to compensate for the slope. Without angled inlets, the faucet may appear to lean backward when installed on a tub with a slanted wall. Angled inlets correct for this problem when installed on a sloped bathtub wall; however, they create the opposite problem if installed on a flat bathroom wall. If installed on a bathroom wall, the angled inlets will cause the faucet to lean forward. The trajectory of water from the spout will be inward toward the wall rather than outward toward the tub.
2. A clawfoot tub faucet's shanks are intended to extend through the wall of a clawfoot bathtub. A tiled bathroom wall is thicker than a bathtub's wall. The faucet's shanks will often be too short to be secured through bathroom walls.
3. A clawfoot bathtub faucet's shanks are threaded. If installed on a freestanding clawfoot tub, the faucet's threaded connection to the clawfoot tub supply lines is exposed. If installed on a bathroom wall, the threaded connection will be behind a finished wall which may be against plumbing code in your area.

To mount a clawfoot tub faucet on a flat bathroom wall, the inlets must be removed from the faucet body and replaced with straight wall mount couplers. Shop 4 Classics offers wall mount adapters for Sign of the Crab clawfoot tub faucets and Elizabethan Classics clawfoot tub faucets. The adapters aren't universal and only clawfoot tub faucets that have detachable inlets can be adapted with wall mount couplers. Some manufacturers, most notably Sign of the Crab, now offer a wide assortment of faucets that have already been configured with wall mount couplers.

Installing a wall mounted faucet requires 1/2" IPS male threaded pipe roughed-in through the finished wall. The wall mount couplers will thread onto the exposed 1/2" male IPS threaded pipe. This places the threaded connection on the outside (exposed side) of the finished wall.

As we discovered in the previous discussion of clawfoot tub faucets, most tub wall mounted clawfoot tub faucets have 3-3/8" centers. Since wall mounted clawfoot tub faucets are adaptations of tub wall mounted faucets, one might assume that most wall mounted clawfoot bathtub faucets are also 3-3/8" centers. Not so! Wall mounted clawfoot tub faucets can be 3-3/8" centers but they may also be 6", 7", or 8" centers. The Sign of the Crab British telephone faucets have swing arms that provide adjustable centers. In fact, the Sign of the Crab British telephone clawfoot tub faucet is one of the exceptions that can be mounted on either a tub wall or a bathroom wall without additional couplers. The point here is that the supply lines must be roughed-in to match the centers of the faucet so keep this in mind as you shop for a tub wall mounted clawfoot tub faucet.

Bathroom wall mounted clawfoot tub faucets have become increasingly popular. To appease the mobs of people requesting these faucets, Shop 4 Classics now offers a 10% discount on tub orders that include a clawfoot tub faucet and drain from the same manufacturer. Use the TUB10 coupon code to apply this discount to your tub purchase. As Don Corleone might say, it's an offer you can't refuse.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Lion Head Door Knockers are the Pride of Shop 4 Classics

Representations of the lion head has for centuries stood to represent strength, power, and royalty. In fact, the industrial artists that designed door hardware during a period that lasted from the mid-1800’s through the early 1900’s often included the lion head or other imagery borrowed from ancient Greek and Roman civilizations. During this time, large and small lion head door knockers with distinctive styles were cast in brass and bronze. Reproductions of these antique lion head knockers as well as more contemporary versions of the lion’s head door knocker are still popular today.

Among Shop 4 Classics expansive collection of unique door knockers are a variety of bronze and brass lion head door knockers. Some of our brass lion head door knockers are offered in other popular finishes including oil rubbed bronze, antique brass and satin nickel. Our most popular bronze lion head door knockers have a dark bronze patina, however they are also available with a more contemporary brushed nickel finish.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Connecting with Clawfoot Tub Supply Lines for Tub Wall Mounted Faucets

Choosing supply lines for a clawfoot tub faucet can be a bit intimidating. This is especially true for tub wall mounted faucets. There are several different types of clawfoot tub supply lines for tub wall mounted faucets and within each type are several variations. It can be overwhelming initially but it needn't be. Today, we will tackle the bully of the clawfoot bathtub faucet shopping process with some basic tips for choosing the correct supplies for a tub wall mounted faucet.

Clawfoot tub faucets that mount on the bathtub wall have two threaded shanks (hot and cold) that extend through holes drilled in the wall of the tub. Most often the holes are drilled 3-3/8" on center but exceptions do occur. Usually, the shanks are threaded 3/4" IPS for tub wall mounted faucets but 1/2" IPS threaded shanks are also quite common. The rough-in connection for clawfoot tub supply lines is typically through the floor but can be through a bathroom wall in basement clawfoot bathtub projects. The rough-in is often, but not always, 8" centers. The supply lines connect to the shanks on the exterior of the tub and given the number of installation possibilities, it is easy to see why supply line selection gets complicated. At this point, you might be thinking that we're moving in the wrong direction in our attempt to simplify the selection of supply lines for your faucet. We'll get back on track in the next few paragraphs.

Double offset clawfoot tub supply lines are the best option for most tub wall mounted clawfoot tub faucet projects. The first offset in the double offset supply line bends 90 degrees to allow a tub wall mounted faucet to connect with a roughed-in through the finished floor. The second offset flares from 3-3/8" centers at the faucet connection to a common 8" center rough-in. Double offset supply lines include nuts and washers to connect with both 3/4" IPS and 1/2" IPS faucet shanks. Double offset clawfoot tub supply lines address the majority of clawfoot tub faucet installations and are certainly the recommended approach to new installations. If your faucet has 3-3/8" centers and the rough-in is through the floor at 8" centers, your project is normal and double offset supply lines are for you.

Like double offset clawfoot tub supply lines, single offset clawfoot tub supply lines curve 90 degrees to allow a tub wall mounted faucets to connect with a roughed-in through the finished floor. However, single offset supply lines do not have the offset for 8" center rough-ins. The rough-in centers must match the faucet centers. For example, if single offset supply lines are used with a 3-3/8" center faucet, the floor rough-in must also be 3-3/8" centers. Single offset supply lines include nuts and washers to connect with both 3/4" IPS and 1/2" IPS faucet shanks. Single offset supply lines are most frequently selected for clawfoot tubs that have faucet holes drilled at unusual centers (e.g. 4" centers, 6" centers, etc.).

The brass tubing for double offset and single offset supply lines is malleable. A tube bender can be used to make slight adjustments to the supply lines if the rough-in isn't perfect. A 90 degree turn for a rough-in through the finished wall is not considered "slight" however. If the supply lines for your clawfoot tub are roughed in through the wall, stainless steel braided flex hoses are the solution. Flex (as in flexible) hoses can be shaped to solve rough-in problems that can not be solved with either double offset or single offset supply lines. Flex hoses have a 1/2" IPS nut at each end that can connect directly to a 1/2" IPS faucet shank. Supply line elbows (or bathcock ells) are used with tub wall clawfoot tub faucets that have 3/4" IPS shanks. Supply line elbows have a 3/4" IPS faucet connection and reduce to a 1/2" IPS flex hose connection.

Shop 4 Classics recommends shutoff valves for the connection between the rough-in and the supply line. Shutoff valves (or stops) are recommended because they aid with installation and maintenance. Some double offset and single offset supply lines include 1/2" IPS shutoff valves while others offer them as an option.

Shop 4 Classics also recommends allowing 5"-6" between the tub rim and the wall for installation of double offset or single offset supply lines. In addition to the projection of the supply lines themselves, space will be required to accommodate the floor escutcheons. Squeezing the biggest tub possible into a space is a noble thought but ignoring the supply line connection may force you to choose flex hoses to complete installation of the faucet.

We've addressed every reasonable supply line possibility for clawfoot tub faucets mounted on a tub wall but clawfoot tub faucets can also be freestanding, installed on the tub rim, or mounted on the bathroom wall. These configurations introduce several more variations of supply lines as well as one configuration that does not require supply lines of any kind. We'll get to these configurations in future posts to the Shop 4 Classics Old House Blog.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Doorbells with a Twist: Mechanical Doorbells

I am sure that the door knocker was invented shortly after the invention of the door itself. The door knocker remained the most common way to announce your presence and desire to enter one's home for centuries. Over the years numerous other inventions, many included variations of a string attached to a bell or chime, were introduced to perform this same function but none were so widely adopted as the simple door knocker. Mechanical door bells were first widely marketed in the mid 1800’s and were popular through the early 1900’s. Twist style mechanical doorbells included a thumb turn knob mounted on the home’s exterior. Turning the knob rings a connected bell inside the home. By the mid-1900’s, electricity was being fed to homes throughout the United States and electrical devices were rapidly replacing their mechanical predecessors, including the mechanical doorbell.

Shop 4 Classics offers mechanical doorbells from IDH and Copper Mountain Hardware. These reproduction twist style doorbells feature ornate patterns and designs that were commonly found on hardware created at the turn of the 20th Century.