Friday, January 29, 2010

Completing the Look with Bath Accessory Sets from Hamilton Sinkler

On a per square foot basis, more purchase decisions are made in the bathroom’s design than in any other room of a home renovation project. The bathroom renovator faces seemingly endless choices in wall and floor coverings, light fixtures, sinks, bathtubs, toilets, faucets, showers and much more. Since the bathroom is such a small space, it is typically desirable that all of these items are well coordinated in style and finish. Selecting the right bathroom accessories including towel bars, toilet paper holders, and garment hooks provides an excellent way to tie all of the pieces together. At the very least, bath accessories should complement the style of the bathroom’s lighting and plumbing fixtures.

Hamilton Sinkler offers bath accessory suites in a variety of traditional and contemporary styles. Their bronze bathroom accessory series, which is also available in brushed nickel, brims with the distinctive rustic character that is the result of the centuries old sand casting method by which they are created. Their bronze bath accessories coordinate well with today’s popular bronze faucets and copper and bronze sinks. In contrast, Hamilton Sinkler’s new 4004, 4005, 4007 and 4008 series of bath accessory suites offer a contemporary look that is sleek and sophisticated. Each suite includes uniquely designed garment hooks, towel bars and toilet paper holders. All of the 4000 series of suites are offered in polished chrome, uncoated brass as well as polished nickel and brushed nickel. With the addition of the 4000 series, Hamilton Sinkler offers bath accessories that will complete the look of your traditional or modern themed bathroom.

Monday, January 25, 2010

The Beauty and Brawn Of Restoria Acrylic Clawfoot Tubs

The Restoria Bath Tub Company was founded nearly ten years ago with the goal of creating a new standard in the look and construction of acrylic clawfoot bathtubs. Maintaining the vintage style of original cast iron tubs was a necessity. To this end, Restoria committed to crafting handmade molds for each of their tubs. As a result, their clawfoot tubs offer a truly unique appearance from any other acrylic tub on the market. Unlike other acrylic clawfoot tubs, the Restoria tub’s exterior is not perfectly smooth. Rather, they have subtle variations in texture designed to mimic the character of original Victorian era cast iron tubs. The craftsman at the Restoria Bath Tub Company understood that looking like the original cast iron tubs was not enough. Their tubs’ designs also had to be amazingly sturdy and durable if they were to rival the original cast iron tub. Therefore, their innovative tubs are constructed of acrylic reinforced with fiberglass and include a 10-gauge steel plate within the bottom of each tub.

The new Marquis tub is Restoria’s first double-ended acrylic clawfoot tub. This 5 ½ foot clawfoot tub is available with or without faucet holes located along the rim of the tub. The Marquis can rest upon your choice of white, polished brass, chrome, brushed nickel or vintage bronze ball and claw feet.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Cure Today’s Cabin Fever with Copper and Bronze Cabinet Knobs and Pulls

With the world’s keen focus on the environment, a modern and sophisticated adaptation to the classic rustic style has grown increasingly popular. Natural stone, reclaimed wood and other organic materials are being incorporated in the construction of everything from new homes to home furnishings. The term “green products” has been applied to all things made from natural occurring and recycled materials. The use of these products is revolutionizing not only the construction but also the look of homes today.

Finding interior home hardware items that compliment these new green interior spaces can become a design challenge. For example, traditional lustrous chrome and brass cabinet hardware will seem terribly out of place on kitchen cabinets constructed from reclaimed wood. Fortunately, Mission Metalworks line of Brookside interior hardware offers the perfect solution for this design dilemma. Their Brookside hardware series represents a collection of copper and bronze cabinet knobs and pulls and matching copper and bronze switch and outlet covers made from predominately recycled alloys. Each piece of cabinet hardware has been tumbled resulting in a unique polished appearance resembling that of stones shaped by centuries of running water. Thus, Mission Metalworks interior hardware compliments the appearance of today’s green interior spaces as well as the eco-friendly movement that inspires them.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

No Walls. No Worries. Installing a Shower Enclosure Without Wall Support

All of the clawfoot tub shower enclosures are pictured with a wall brace. I would like to install a Strom Plumbing shower enclosure but the faucet end of my clawfoot tub is not against a wall. How do I make this work?

We hear some variation of this shower enclosure question daily it seems. The inquiry often radiates drama worthy of a Golden Globe but the hand-wringing and desperation is not necessary. With a few additional parts, Strom Plumbing shower enclosures can be installed without a wall brace at the faucet end of the clawfoot tub.

Strom Plumbing clawfoot tub shower enclosures include a 12" wall brace and a 36" ceiling brace and are always pictured with the wall brace at the faucet end of the tub. The rectangular shower surround has a tee at each end of the enclosure. The wall tee at the faucet end of the enclosure has a hole on the side for a wall brace. It also has a hole in the middle of the tee through which the shower riser is installed and supported. The ceiling tee at the opposite end of the shower surround has a hole in the top to install the ceiling brace.

If you can not brace the shower enclosure to a wall behind the clawfoot tub faucet, Strom Plumbing offers a 90 degree elbow that can be used to convert wall braces to ceiling braces or vice versa. It is this elbow that provides the versatility to install a Strom Plumbing shower enclosure without a wall brace at the faucet end of the clawfoot tub. The 90 degree elbow provides two possible solutions.

The first solution is to use two ceiling braces, one at each end of the enclosure. To do this, you will need to use a 90 degree elbow with the wall tee. The 90 degree elbow will thread into the side of the wall tee so the brace can be threaded into the top of the elbow, thus converting it from a wall brace to a ceiling brace. Unless you have exceptionally low ceilings, the 12" brace that is included with the Strom Plumbing shower enclosures will not be long enough to reach the ceiling so you will need a longer shower enclosure brace in addition to the 90 degree elbow. You may be able to use the extra 12" brace to secure the side of the enclosure to the wall next to the tub. The side wall brace will provide a third brace and additional support.

The second solution is to reverse the ceiling brace and the wall brace. To do this, you will need two 90 degree elbows. One elbow will be used with the wall tee to convert it to a ceiling tee, as described in solution one. The second elbow will be used with the ceiling tee to convert it to a wall tee. The 90 degree elbow will thread into the top of the ceiling tee, thus converting it from a ceiling brace to a wall brace. FYI...You can not simply flip the shower curtain ring. The wall tee at the faucet end of the tub also supports the shower riser. If the shower curtain ring is flipped, the shower riser support will be at the wrong end of the clawfoot tub.

The 90 degree elbow works with all Strom Plumbing shower enclosures but is unlikely to work with shower enclosures from other manufacturers. Clawfoot tub shower curtain rings and shower enclosure braces are not governed by a standard that guarantees that these parts will be interchangeable. Sunrise Specialty and Cheviot Products provide their own solutions to this dilemma but that is a subject for another day.

For more information about shower enclosures, please see the Shop 4 Classics Clawfoot Tub Shower Enclosure Tips. A link is provided on each shower enclosure product page and our Help page.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Bejeweled: Crystal Knobbed Victorian Door Hardware By Brass Accents

All crystal is considered glass but not all glass is crystal. Crystal is the result of adding lead to glass. The presence of lead causes the glass to diffract light more efficiently thereby causing crystal to appear more colorful and bright compared to normal glass.

Crystal glass door knobs commonly adorned door hardware manufactured from the mid 1800’s into the 1930’s. During the 1930’s, styles changed from ornate to streamlined designs. Simple metal knobs became the standard for door hardware from that point forward.

Adding crystal knobbed reproduction door hardware as a step in your home renovation project is one way to bring vintage flair through out your entire home. Brass Accents offers a selection of crystal knobs to crown their reproduction period doorplate and rosette style door hardware. In addition to choices in knobs, Brass Accents door hardware is available in all of today’s most popular finishes including oil rubbed bronze and satin nickel. The resulting list of possible combinations offers the renovator an opportunity to design a set that demonstrates your personal sense of style.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Curtains to 2009: Time To Change Your Clawfoot Tub’s Shower Curtain

For many the arrival of a New Year is a time to commit to replacing past bad habits with healthier habits for the New Year. Losing weight and getting in better shape are always tops on resolution lists each year. Joining a gym and signing-up for a diet programs are popular activities this time of year. For others, however, the coming of a new year is simply a reminder to commit to much more mundane activities like changing their home's furnace filter or smoke detectors’ batteries.

Many also replace the shower curtain annually in January. Clawfoot tub shower curtains by Strom Plumbing can be found in the Clawfoot Tub Accessories section of the Shop 4 Classics website. Strom Plumbing’s shower curtains are specially designed for use with cast iron clawfoot tubs and pedestal tubs. Their curtains are extra wide in order to enclose the tub on all sides. A row of magnets also runs along the bottom of the shower curtain. These magnets cling to the sides of the tub thus keeping the curtain in place during bathing.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Antique Sinks & Faucets: Now We're Talking Taps

The holidays have passed so its time to get serious. Today we discuss antique sinks and faucets to fit them. If your New Year's resolution is to restore an inherited antique bathroom sink, you may discover that the faucet holes in the sink are unevenly spaced or irregularly sized. Restoring the sink is appealing but locating a faucet to fit the sink poses a problem. Often antique reproduction basin taps are the solution. Authentic reproduction faucets not only look appropriate on an antique sink but they may be the only suitable solution.

Ironically, antique reproduction basin faucets are not only a solution but a source of the problem. These self preservist little faucets have completely independent taps for hot and cold water that, combined with the fact that plumbing standards were still being defined at the time, allowed early sink manufacturers to space faucet holes at irregular distances apart.

Modern widespread faucets do provide variable centers but they require three faucet holes. Antique sinks often only have two faucet holes or, if they have a center hole, the hole is too small for a spout. Basin taps only require two faucet holes; one for the hot tap and one for the cold tap. The small center hole in antique sinks was likely there for a chain stay. The chain stay anchored the drain's rubber stopper to the sink so it could not get misplaced.

Separate hot and cold taps were popular from the early days of indoor plumbing until the 1930's when mixing faucets began to dominate lavatory sinks. Mixer faucets, such as modern widespread lavatory faucets, allow water temperature to be moderated through a single spout. They facilitated washing, shaving, and brushing teeth with running water controlled from one spout. Separate taps require the water to be mixed in the sink bowl. The bowl is filled to provide temperate water for washing. This may not be as convenient but it suggest that basin taps were a bit ahead of their time in regard to water conservation.

Its lack of conformity to modern standards can limit the number of faucet options available for an antique sink but as long as there are antique reproduction basin faucets, the sink will not be rendered obsolete. The minimalist nature of antique reproduction basin taps also means these faucets are relatively economical. So if you are feeling a bit "tapped out" after the holidays, an antique reproduction basin tap shouldn't prevent you from completing your resolution to restore an antique sink.