Saturday, February 27, 2010

Ins and Outs of Heat Register Louver Assemblies

A heat register is a vent cover that has a pre-attached louver assembly. The louver assembly opens and closes to regulate air flow through the heat register. Today, we will take a look at the many different mechanisms manufacturers implement to control the operation of louver assemblies.

The most common technique for adjusting the dampers is to use a lever on the louver assembly. The lever extends through an opening in the grille and flips back and forth, much like a light switch, to open or close the louvers. Hamilton Sinkler and Brass Elegans implement a lever operated louver assembly. The lever is popular for its simplicity but in order to make the lever functional, it usually extends slightly above the grille. This may make the lever operated louver assembly a minor tripping hazard on a floor register in a high traffic area. Fortunately, most heat registers are placed away from the path of normal foot traffic.

Another technique is to use a thumb-actuated dial. Classic Grills louver assemblies operate with a dial. The dial eliminates the tripping hazard but a dial can be more difficult to operate. This is especially true with more ornate grille patterns where the dial may be partially obstructed by the grille. Most of us leave the registers in the open position but if you have a spare room where you frequently adjust the registers, you may want to consider this characteristic of the dial actuated louver assembly.

Reggio Register louver assemblies operate with a removable key. The louver assembly does not attach to the vent cover. It is placed in the duct behind your choice of grille. The key is inserted through an opening in the grille to actuate the louvers. In some cases, however, the keyhole will not line up with an opening in the grille and it will be necessary to remove the grille to adjust the louvers. If the grille isn’t secured with screws, it will be easy to remove and easy to adjust the louvers.

Tailored Vents provides a slide damper option for many of its wood vent covers. The damper slides back and forth in guide rails that run along the underside of the wood register. Slots in the slide damper line up with slots in the grille to allow air to pass through or to be blocked from passing through the grille. This is a very simple and effective mechanism but it limits grille pattern options to the most basic designs.

All of this talk about the mechanics of louver assembly operation may be overstating its importance to your choice of heat registers. How the louvers work is inconsequential if the register doesn’t fit the duct. Always measure the duct opening that you are covering and choose a register with inside measurements that match. For most applications, the register’s louver assembly operation is secondary at best and often is third to choosing a style and finish that complements other hardware and d├ęcor in the room.

For more information about choosing heat registers, see Vent Cover Tips at Shop 4 Classics.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Belle Foret Pot Filler Kitchen Faucets For the Everyday Chef

Snowed in yet again this weekend, I found myself desperately flipping through the TV channels in search of anything interesting. I was amazed at just how many reality shows involve the preparation of food. Fully equipped professional kitchens served as the stage where want-a-be chefs competed to please the palettes of the masters of culinary art. One common fixture is the pot filler. Pot fillers are mounted on the wall or deck close enough to the stove so that their extended, and typically double-jointed, spouts fill pots sitting on any one of the stove’s burners. Often, pot fillers have handle controls on the spout instead of, or in addition to, controls at its base. This allows the chef to turn the water on and off without reaching across a hot stove.

Belle Foret offers a deck mounted pot filler and a wall mounted pot filler for the residential market. Belle Foret’s pot fillers feature dual controls and double-jointed spouts that extend out almost 20” from their base. Belle Foret also offers a series of high spout kitchen faucets and gooseneck spout kitchen faucets as an alternative for those of us needing to fill a pot in a kitchen that does not have the required plumbing near the stove.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Cheviot Products: Going For Gold!

When I was a youth, I competed in the Olympics. Well, not the Olympics but I competed in our neighborhood Olympics. This year, the Olympics are being held in Vancouver, Canada. And located nearby in Port Coquitlam, British Columbia, is Cheviot Products.

For over five Winter Olympics (20 years), Cheviot Products has offered high quality cast iron bathtubs, fine vitreous china bathroom fixtures, and top quality period plumbing. The Cheviot Products catalog ranges from Victorian inspired clawfoot tubs to contemporary double-ended skirted tubs. They offer vintage pull-chain toilets as well as modern dual flush toilets. The Cheviot Products faucet selection includes the most basic clawfoot tub filler to full-featured thermostatic shower systems.

I recall winning enough gold medals to shame even Michael Phelps in such challenging athletic endeavors as the one-legged long jump and most consecutive somersaults prior to injuring oneself. If you are hoping for a gold medal in your next project, consider Cheviot Products at Shop 4 Classics.

Good luck to all of the Olympic athletes!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Getting to Know Your Craftsman Bungalow and Others That Adore Them

Kansas City, like many cities of the Midwest, has many neighborhoods surrounding its urban core that are filled with Craftsman style bungalows. Common architectural themes such as one and a half stories, quaint front porches and overhanging low-pitch roofs define the Kansas City bungalow. However, Kansas City’s bungalows also have distinctive characteristics that make each one truly unique. They have differing shapes and their exteriors feature varying combinations of wood siding, brick and locally quarried stone work. The bungalows’ interiors only add to their charm. Features like hardwood floors, distinctive mill work, and plaster walls offer enduring evidence of the care and craftsmanship of their original builders.

Owners of these bungalows are also a unique bunch. They take great pride in their homes and the neighborhoods in which they live. Many are members of bungalow ownership clubs or bungalow neighborhood associations. Here they share their bungalow experiences. Members also benefit from tapping into the group’s collective knowledge on such topics as old home maintenance, restoration resources and even local history. Beyond the natural social and educational aspects of these clubs, historic home and neighborhood preservation is often a key group objective. Groups are often active in lobbying local governmental agencies to preserve these iconically American homes. Midwest bungalow clubs include the Kansas City Bungalow Club, Twin Cities Bungalow Club and the Historic Chicago Bungalow Association.

Speaking of bungalow resources and preservation, Shop 4 Classics offers many reproductions of original hardware and plumbing products found in these classic homes. For example, a number of designs of Nostalgic Warehouse door hardware are quality reproductions of the originals commonly found in bungalows. Likewise, any one of the Sign of the Crab American kitchen faucets are fitting replacements for that one hundred year old kitchen faucet that is beyond repair. Finally, Shop 4 Classics is proud to offer Mission Metalworks Company's reproduction of the once common gravity style baseboard heat registers.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Fleur De Lis Fervor

The fleur de lis symbol was hard to miss on Sunday. The NFL Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints wear the fleur de lis symbol on their helmets and uniforms. The symbol was featured in banners, tattoos, and face painting in the stands at the Super Bowl. But the New Orleans Saints and their fans weren't the first to wear the fleur de lis. The fleur de lis has been popular for centuries. Although typically associated with France, the fleur de lis symbol is found in many cultures. It can be found on flags, stamps, coins, military insignia, artwork, logos, architecture, and even football uniforms. It is a diverse symbol with many loyal fans.

For fans of the fleur de lis, Shop 4 Classics offers many products that feature the fleur de lis motif. Fleur de lis hooks offer a great way to eliminate clutter while showing allegiance to the enduring symbol. Fleur de lis cabinet knobs and drawer pulls perfectly accent cabinetry. The symbol can be found on everything from door hardware to bathroom sinks.

While you don't have to be a New Orleans Saints fan to appreciate the fleur de lis, some may prefer the horseshoe symbol of the Indianapolis Colts. Never one to disappoint our customers, we offer a horse themed door knocker that features the horseshoe that symbolizes the Indianapolis Colts.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Special Lite’s First Class Decorative Wall Mounted Mailbox


Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these mailboxes from safely keeping a courier’s delivery from his completed rounds. The mailboxes that I am refering to are those made by Special Lite Products. Special Lite’s wall mounted decorative mailboxes are truly a first class mailbox. Unlike many wall mounted mailboxes that are made from sheet metal, their mailboxes are constructed of cast aluminum components. They are, therefore, thicker than the typical mailbox sold at the local hardware store. Since Special Lite's mailboxes are made of aluminum components, they are also rust proof.

What good is an incredibly durable mailbox if it quickly becomes an eyesore with a finish that failed to hold up to the elements? Thus, even the decorative aspects of Special Lite mailboxes are designed to last. For example, the ornate surface designs found on their Hummingbird mailbox and their Floral mailbox are deeply cut so that they will not wear off over time. All of their mailboxes are coated with a maintenance-free powder coat finish for lasting color.

Monday, February 1, 2010

The Lowdown on Down Spout Clawfoot Tub Faucets

The down spout clawfoot tub faucet is one of the most common faucets found on antique clawfoot tubs. This ubiquitous faucet has a short, ribbed nozzle spout that extends from the bottom of the faucet body. It isn't unusual to see an antique down spout clawfoot tub faucet with a hose pushed onto the ribbed nozzle spout to create a makeshift handshower for a faucet that normally might not support one.

There are several variations of the down spout clawfoot tub faucet including inexpensive, compact clawfoot tub faucet models to models that feature a hand held shower or even a shower enclosure. But the faucet has even more names than it does variations. In addition to "down spout clawfoot tub faucet", this faucet is also frequently called the "nozzle spout faucet" or even the "P6"; which originates from the model number Sign of the Crab assigned to their version of the down spout clawfoot tub faucet.

Although the down spout clawfoot tub faucet is still a very popular choice for renovators, it does come with a caveat. The design of this faucet means that the spout will be below the tub rim or even extend below the tub's overflow hole. Plumbing code in some areas requires the spout to be above the tub's flood plain. If plumbing code in your area requires the spout to be above the rim of the tub, consider the code friendly gooseneck clawfoot tub faucet. As always, check with a local plumbing inspector for code interpretation in your area.