Thursday, May 26, 2011

Copper Cabinet Hardware, Bath Accessories and Floor Registers: Accessorizing Your Copper Sink with Copper Accent Hardware for Your Kitchen & Bathroom

For a number of years now, copper has been a popular choice for those looking for a unique bathroom or kitchen sink. Copper bathroon sinks and copper kitchen sinks are typically handcrafted by skilled artesian using centuries old metal working techniques. Because they are not mass produced, copper sinks are available in a seemingly endless array of shapes, sizes and designs. Copper sinks feature hand hammered textures and are often finished with a brown patina. The application of patina results in copper sinks that range in color from rich brown antique or weather copper to a much darker oil rubbed bronze appearance.

One might think that choosing a coordinating bathroom faucet or kitchen faucet for your copper sink could be a challenge since traditional brass and chrome faucets seem so out of place next to a rustic copper sink. However, there are many new dark finish options for faucets that compliment copper sinks. Although there are some faucets that are offered in antique and weather copper finishes, much more faucets are offered in some sort of bronze finish and fortunately these faucets also look great next to copper sinks. Bronze faucet finishes vary from light brown to matte black, so care must be taken when selecting a coordinating faucet. Sign of the Crab and Elizabethan Classics oil rubbed bronze kitchen and bathroom faucets, for example, are almost black and would look best with copper sinks with similar dark oil rub bronze finishes. If you are looking for faucet options for an antique or weathered copper sink, you may instead consider faucet options from Belle Foret, Cheviot Products or Sunrise Specialty. Belle Foret’s tumbled bronze finish is a brown finish flecked with contrasting copper tone light brown speckles resulting in a burnished appearance. Similarly, many Cheviot bathroom faucets are offered in their antique bronze finish which is burgundy brown with brushed surfaces that expose light brown copper undertones. Sunrise Specialty's bathroom and kitchen sink faucets are offered in an old bronze finish. This is an antique finish with color variations that range from chocolate brown to dark brown. All three of these manufacturers' bronze finishes are great options of antique copper and weathered copper sinks.

Beyond selecting a copper sink and matching faucet, many wish to carry the copper theme to the adjacent walls, floors, and cabinets. This can be accomplished by including similarly styled bronze or copper cabinet hardware, garment hooks, bath accessories, and heat registers in your bathroom or kitchen design. A wide variety of handsome and affordable bronze home hardware has been available for many years. Hamilton Sinkler's line of bronze home hardware is an excellent example of bronze hardware that is both stylish and affordable. In the past, however, finding quality and affordable solid copper cabinet knobs, hooks, bath accessories and heat registers has been much more difficult. Now, The Copper Factory has introduced a new line of reasonably priced copper home hardware items that have a rich antique copper finish and textured surfaces that gives them a handcrafted appearance. Their antique copper collection includes a line of handsome bin pulls, cabinet knobs and drawer pulls cast with unique dimpled textures from solid copper. Solid cast copper bath accessory items including garment hooks, towel rings and rods, and toilet paper holders are also available with this same dimpled texture and rich brown patina. Add their hammered copper switchplates, outlet covers and antique copper floor registers to complete the look on adjacent walls and floors. Finally, The Copper Factory offers all of these same items with a satin nickel finish for those who are designing their kitchen or bathroom with a copper sink that has a pewter finish.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Freestanding Faucet Supply Lines for Freestanding Clawfoot Bathtubs Graduate To Excellence

Without the pomp and circumstance that heralds the arrival of new clawfoot bathtubs or new clawfoot tub faucets, Cheviot Products recently introduced new heavy duty freestanding faucet supply lines. Like college graduates leaving the nest to make their own way, these new freestanding supply lines are now self-supporting. They stand sturdily without additional reinforcement. They do not require a wall brace or clawfoot tub drain support brackets like traditional freestanding supply lines require. These self supporting supply lines allow a clawfoot tub to be placed anywhere in the room and allow the clawfoot tub faucet to be installed anywhere along the perimeter of the tub.

Similar to a college graduate starting a career, we commence our review of the Cheviot Products self-supporting supply lines at the ground level and work our way up. The supply lines require standard 1/2" male NPT rough-ins projecting 1/2" to 1" through the finished floor. The center-to-center rough-in for the supply lines should match the faucet centers. Common clawfoot bathtub faucet centers are 3-3/8", 7", or 8" but it is important to check and match the supply line rough-ins with the faucet centers. The freestanding supply lines proudly stand over 31" tall. At the top, the supply lines are male threaded for 3/4", #14 NPSM connections to a clawfoot tub faucet.

Shop 4 Classics offers the complete catalog of Cheviot Products clawfoot tub faucets that can be paired with these self-supporting freestanding faucet supply lines to provide an independent clawfoot tub faucet. The supply lines can also be used with Cheviot Products clawfoot tub showers to provide freestanding showers; although the shower riser and shower curtain ring will require support braces from the adjacent wall and ceiling.

The self-supporting clawfoot tub supply lines feature integrated shutoff valves that are cleverly concealed within the supply line tubes. A slotted screw operates the service stop valves to ease installation and faucet maintenance. The supply lines are offered in today's most popular finishes to match Cheviot Product clawfoot tub faucets.

The Cheviot Products self-supporting supply lines are perfectly qualified for any freestanding clawfoot tub faucet job. Put them to work on your freestanding clawfoot bathtub project.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Artesano Iron Works’ Unique Forged Iron Door Pulls: One of a Kind Hand Forged Iron Door Pulls

While visiting with Artesano Iron Works at this year’s Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS) I could not help questioning how the old adage of a picture being worth a thousand words applies to describing Artesano's door pulls and other hardware items. I concluded that, although a picture maybe worth a thousand words, no amount of words or images can fully capture the unique handcrafted look of Artesano’s forged iron door pulls. Hand hammered textures and other signs of the skilled Artesano blacksmith are enduring evidence to the old world craftsmanship that is invested in creating each piece of hardware.

Artesano Iron Works’ extensive collection of traditional forged iron door pulls, European iron door pulls, Spanish Mission iron door pulls, rustic iron door pulls, and truly unique contemporary iron door pulls. Their pulls are offered in natural iron, black and an oxidized rust finish. Although all the handcrafted texture of the forged iron is evident with all of these finishes, I prefer their natural iron finish. Pulls with this natural iron finish best display all of the unique features that can only be created by being individually handcrafted by Artesano’s skilled blacksmiths. That said, it is always a good idea to consider the style and finish or color of the door that will hold the pull when deciding on the pull's finish. There should be sufficient color contrast between the door and the pull to draw enough attention to the forged iron pulls to warrant a closer appreciative look at its unique handcrafted style. In contrast, I recommend that the pull's finish should complement other hardware items on the door and surrounding area to maintain a consistent and well thought-out appearance.

All of our door pulls along with push plates are located in the Interior Door Hardware section of the Shop 4 Classics website.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Kitchen and Bath Industry Show 2011: KBIS Transforms Sin City into Sink City

This year’s Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS) was held in Las Vegas, Nevada. The warm weather of Vegas was a welcomed change from the long cold winter in Kansas City. Another welcomed change was the more optimistic outlook of the many show participants compared to the prior year’s show. Most manufacturers’ of residential plumbing and home hardware products that I talked to sensed that this year would be better than the last. However, the affects of the ongoing slump in the housing market are still clearly weighing on the manufacturers’ investment decisions. Evidence of this was the noticeable lack of introductions of truly innovative new products or new lines compared with shows of a few years ago.

Strom Plumbing’s booth displayed many of their new products. Their large Clarion farmhouse sink drew a lot of visitor attention. Along with their very popular Solitude acrylic pedestal tub, Strom Plumbing also had their new Tuxedo acrylic clawfoot slipper bathtub outfitted with one of their new Art Deco style clawfoot tub faucet.

Many new products are on there way so continue to visit Shop 4 Classics throughout this spring as we may add just the right plumbing or hardware item that you need to complete your 2011 home renovation project.