Thursday, March 24, 2011

Nostalgic vs. Grandeur Door Hardware: Reproduction Door Hardware Options by Nostalgic Warehouse

For almost twenty years the Nostalgic Warehouse name has been synonymous with high quality antique reproduction door hardware. Their door hardware is known not only for having meticulously crafted authentic vintage looks but also for having smooth-operating and reliable internal mechanisms. Occasionally, however, there is confusion between Nostalgic Warehouse’s two lines of antique reproduction door hardware. Nostalgic Warehouse’s Nostalgic and Grandeur lines share most of the same authentic period designs and finish options so they look very similar. Thus, those new to Nostalgic Warehouse question what is the difference between the two. The major differences between Nostalgic and Grandeur interior and entry door hardware sets are how they are assembled and installed.

Nostalgic Warehouse's Nostalgic door hardware line is intended primarily for the old home restoration market and therefore is designed to accommodate original antique doors. Generally speaking, the installation of Nostalgic interior door hardware and Nostalgic entry door hardware sets is more complicated and time consuming than modern door hardware. Nostalgic door plate and rose sets require more assembly resulting in a more complicated installation process. For example, Nostalgic door knobs are affixed to a square spindle with set screws. Rather than pre-assembled as a complete unit, the Nostalgic knobs, spindle, and backplates must be assembled as a step in the installation process. Unlike most lines of modern door hardware, options with mortise locking mechanisms are offered in Nostalgic Warehouse’s Nostalgic line of door hardware.

Speed and ease of installation are highly desired for qualities for door hardware used in today’s new home construction market. Builders of custom and period-inspired homes were in need of high quality period reproduction door hardware similar to Nostalgic door hardware but much more simple to install. Nostalgic Warehouse responded to home builders’ requests with the introduction of their Grandeur door hardware line. The Grandeur line includes entry door hardware sets and interior door hardware sets with the same vintage look as their Nostalgic line but with less individual parts to be assembled during the installation process. Grandeur’s door knobs, unlike Nostalgic door knobs, are an integral pre-attached component of their back plates. Nostalgic Warehouse’s Grandeur door hardware is designed for modern configured doors and therefore is not offered with the mortise lock option.

Regardless of which line you choose, you can purchase with confidence as Nostalgic Warehouse stands by both its Nostalgic and Grandeur reproduction door hardware lines with lifetime mechanical and finish warranties.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Coat Hooks Offer Old Fashion Organization

Spring is right around the corner. With the change in season comes spring cleaning and organizing. The limited closet space in most old homes can make organizing for spring particularly challenging. Clutter can't be as easily hidden behind closet doors in an old home. Coat hooks are a simple solution that can provide order even in plain view.

In their most basic form, coat hooks have a single prong. Double and multi-prong coat hooks can provide even greater storage for hanging jackets in layers. They can be used to hang bags, umbrellas or even provide you with a place to hang your hat on. In addition to their obvious place in mudrooms and coat rooms, coat hooks can be used in kitchens and bathrooms to hang incense sticks, towels, or other knick-knacks for decorating.

Beyond the number of prongs, style and finish are other important factors to consider before choosing coat hooks for your spring organizing effort. Shop 4 Classics offers coat hooks to fit homes from most any American architectural period.

Early American coat hooks were typically forged from iron by blacksmiths working with a hammer and anvil. Colonial period coat hooks are usually black with hammered textures. Shop 4 Classics offers iron coat hooks from Artesano Iron Works, Acorn Manufacturing, and John Wright Company.

Machine manufacturing during the Victorian period introduced coat hooks with more elaborate designs. Hand hammered iron coat hooks were replaced with fancy polished brass coat hooks. Solid brass Victorian coat hooks from Nostalgic Warehouse and IDH by St. Simons are available at Shop 4 Classics.

The Arts and Crafts movement called for a return to handcraftsmanship and simple designs. Cast bronze coat hooks in dark patinas were the hook du jour. Shop 4 Classics offers solid bronze coat hooks in a dark brown patina from Hamilton Sinkler.

Starting with the Art Deco period, modern coat hooks feature sophisticated designs and shiny finishes. Chrome and nickel in particular became associated with the Art Deco period and remain popular today. Brushed nickel and polished chrome coat hooks from Nostalgic Warehouse, IDH by St. Simons, and Hamilton Sinkler are available at Shop 4 Classics.

Shop 4 Classics' collection of coat hooks offer old fashion organization and new fangled function. These coat hooks beg your children to hang things on them so you won't have to!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Aluminum Grilles and Registers: Aluminum an Attractive Alternative to Brass, Bronze and Iron Vent Covers

Replacing builder’s grade vent covers is an easy way to add decorative accents to your home’s floors, walls and ceilings. Most consumers think of brass, bronze or cast iron when beginning their search for decorative heat registers and air return grilles. However, manufacturers are now also offering vent covers with cast aluminum grilles. Their aluminum heat registers and aluminum air return grilles are available in the same popular style, color and size options available in the other metals. Their aluminum grilles typically have a painted or powder coat finish that resembles the finish of their brass, bronze or cast iron grilles. Shop 4 Classics offers aluminum heat registers and grilles from Classic Grills and Reggio Register.

Aluminum Heat Registers and Air Return Grilles from Classic Grills
Classic Grills has made a name for itself by offering high quality bronze vent covers in a comparatively wide array of unique styles. Many of these styles are also available in aluminum as well. Classic Grills offers their Arts & Crafts, Victorian and Renaissance vent covers in aluminum and in most sizes as their bronze vent covers of the same pattern. Just like their bronze vent covers, Classic Grills’ aluminum heat registers have pre-attached louver assemblies and their aluminum air return grilles have pre-attached diffuser screens.

Aluminum Vent Cover Grilles from Reggio Register
Reggio Register offers its Square Grid grilles exclusively in aluminum and also offers its popular Victorian grille in aluminum in all but the larger sizes. Their Square Grid grilles are available in black and silver while the Victorian grilles are available in black, paintable gray and a faux brass finish called Sun gold. Further, Reggio’s versatile drop-in louver assemblies can be added to provide air control when these grilles are used to cover forced air vents.

Although still not as common a choice as other metals, aluminum vent covers are becoming an increasingly popular choice for today’s remodelers and home builders. The popularity of aluminum heats registers and return air grilles can be attributed to three advantages over vent covers with brass, bronze and cast iron grilles:

The most obvious advantage of vent covers with aluminum grilles is that they are much lighter than vent covers with cast brass, bronze and iron grilles. This makes aluminum grilles logical choices for wall and ceiling applications. However, vent covers with aluminum grilles are also suitable to be used as floor vent covers with a few exceptions. Aluminum is not offered in extra large sizes and therefore not an option for extra large air returns. Additionally, aluminum grilles are not recommended for floor vent covers that will potentially endure a lot of foot traffic as their painted surfaces can scratch.

Aluminum heat registers and grilles are also an excellent alternative to cast iron in areas where the vent cover will be exposed to moisture like bathrooms and exterior applications. Quality aluminum and cast iron grilles have durable powder coat finishes, however, aluminum will not rust if the powder coat finish becomes worn or damaged like cast iron might.

Cost is often a key concern of those shopping for decorative vent covers and price has attracted many to choose aluminum grilles. Aluminum heat registers and grilles are generally considerably more affordably priced compared to their cast brass, bronze and aluminum counterparts. Including aluminum grilles as a substitute for cast iron or bronze grilles will reduce the total cost of your project while maintaining the desired consistent look among your floor, walls and ceiling vent covers.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Clawfoot Tub Showers: Add A Shower To A Clawfoot Tub Faucet

It happened again this week. A customer wrote desperately seeking help with her teenage daughter. While most parents of teenage daughters are desperate for help of some sort, this particular customer was seeking help adding a shower to the clawfoot tub used by her teenage daughter. Adding a shower to a clawfoot tub does not always require replacing the faucet nor does it require an extensive remodel. If the faucet has a handheld shower, it likely can be adapted with a clawfoot tub shower riser. Clawfoot tub shower risers have exposed tubing so adding an overhead shower also does not require access behind a finished wall. Today, we will look at an economical solution for adding a shower to a Sign of the Crab clawfoot tub faucet.

The parts that you will need to complete a shower conversion for a Sign of the Crab clawfoot tub faucet include:
(1) Two-Piece Shower Riser
(2) Shower Curtain Ring
(3) Showerhead
(4) Riser Nut & Washer
(5) Handheld Shower Diverter Kit (optional)
(6) Riser Mounted Handheld Shower Bracket (optional)

After you've turned the water off to the faucet, the first step is to uninstall the handheld shower, the handshower hose, and the inlet handshower bracket from the faucet. The shower riser will install on the open diverter outlet vacated by the handshower bracket after it has been uninstalled.

The Sign of the Crab shower riser (item 1) can be installed with a riser nut and cone washer (item 4) but this will eliminate the handheld shower. To install the clawfoot tub shower with both an overhead shower while maintaining the convenience of a handshower, a handshower diverter kit (item 5) is required. The Sign of the Crab handshower diverter kit includes the riser nut and cone washer so these do not need to be purchased separately if the handshower diverter kit is purchased. The handshower diverter will install on the top of the faucet. The riser will connect to the top of the handshower diverter and the original handshower hose will attach to the side of the handheld shower diverter.

A handheld shower bracket will be required to store the handshower when it is not in use. The original inlet handshower bracket will no longer be useful once the riser is installed in its place. There are a number of handshower brackets available but the most popular handshower bracket for clawfoot tub showers is the riser mounted handshower bracket (item 6).

The shower riser will require support. Shower risers are normally supported by the shower curtain ring (item 2). The riser fits through a tee that is included with the Sign of the Crab clawfoot tub shower surrounds. There are also a number of brackets, ringlets, and clamps that can be used to provide support but this is beyond the scope of today's post. Visit Shop 4 Classics for help with other shower riser support options.

To complete installation of the clawfoot tub shower, choose a standard 1/2" IPS showerhead (item 3). The sprinkler can showerhead and sunflower showerhead are popular options for clawfoot tub showers.

Raising a teenage daughter is hard. Adding a shower to a clawfoot tub faucet doesn't need to be. With a few parts, a clawfoot tub faucet can be converted to full featured clawfoot tub shower enclosure in an afternoon. Visit Shop 4 Classics for these parts and many other fine products for clawfoot tubs and old homes.