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.