Monday, August 21, 2017

Things to Consider Before Purchasing a Freestanding Tub

Freestanding tubs can transform your bathroom, giving it a modern look, while becoming the focal point of the room. It’s almost like adding a piece of art to your bathroom. However, there are a few things to consider before purchasing a freestanding tub. 

Freestanding Tub


The first step to choosing a bathtub is deciding on the size. Your tub should be big enough to comfortably fit the tallest person in your home with their legs outstretched. You should also consider where the tub will sit in the bathroom. The great thing about freestanding tubs is they can be placed in any location or direction. At Vintage Tub & Bath we have freestanding tubs ranging in size from 38” – 72”.


Freestanding tubs are made in a variety of materials. Acrylic tubs are susceptible to scratches, but scratches are easily repaired by sanding and polishing. On the plus side, acrylic makes for a lighter tub than one made from cast iron. A cast iron tub is more scratch-resistant than acrylic, but once they’re scratched the damage is permanent. For a more rustic bathroom, choose a wood or copper freestanding tub. No matter which material you choose, make sure it’s one you’re capable of cleaning and maintaining.


Another element to consider is the style of tub. At Vintage Tub & Bath we have a variety of freestanding tub styles to choose from, including:
  • Classic Pedestal Tubs – Primarily made from cast iron, with a traditional roll top rim and a pedestal base, a classic style tub will add a touch of vintage charm to your bathroom.
  • Double Ended Tubs – These tubs are uniform on both sides, allowing the option to bathe facing either way.
  • Slipper Tubs – With a high-back construction on one end, slipper tubs provide a more comfortable seating position and are perfect for people who enjoy lounging in the tub.
  • Double Slipper Tubs – Both ends of double slipper tubs have a high raised back so you can recline comfortably on either end of the tub.
  • Skirted Tubs – Primarily made from cast iron, these tubs are enclosed in decorative skirts.


The final thing to consider when shopping for a freestanding tub is the type of faucet you want. There are three types of faucets to choose from – deck/rim mount, floor mount, and wall mount. To find out which faucet is best for you, read our Tub Faucet Buying Guide

If you have any questions or concerns when choosing your freestanding tub, email us at

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Light the Right Way

4-Light Bathroom Lighting

One aspect of a house that can be overlooked sometimes is lighting, yet we use it all the time. Light helps brighten an area so we can walk confidently across the room and can even highlight a grand masterpiece in the foyer. Because lighting is so versatile, it is essential to consider all the options before selecting a light source in a room.

There are several different types of lighting, all with different results for your space. The main three are ambient lighting, task lighting, and accent lighting. Before you can choose a light for a space, you need to identify what kind of lighting you need and how you can achieve it.

Ambient lighting: Also known as general lighting, this type of light provides an overall illumination of an area. It emits a comfortable level of brightness needed to safely walk around the house. In smaller spaces, ambient light can be a source for task lighting. This type of lighting can be emitted by chandeliers, ceiling or wall-mounted fixtures or mounted outdoor lanterns.

Task lighting: This lighting assists specific tasks, such as preparing and cooking food, folding laundry, applying makeup, shaving, etc. Pendant lights are a great source of task lighting in the kitchen over an island or prep bar. In the bathroom, sconces can be used around the mirror to make for a brighter area. Table lamps can be used throughout the house to add more lighting in the living room or on an accent table in the hallway.

Accent lighting: This lighting setup adds visual interest to a particular area, normally a piece of artwork, house plant or interesting piece of furniture. Accent lighting needs to be at least three times as bright as the general lighting in the room to effectively highlight the targeted area. Depending on the area being accented, pendant lights and simple sconces can be used.

With these three types of lighting in mind, you can begin to see a brighter future for every room of your home improvement.

Source: American Lighting Association

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Why So Fascinated With Fireclay?

Fireclay Kitchen Sink

If you're in the process of a home remodel, chances are you've seen or heard of the term fireclay. But what exactly is fireclay and why are so many people fascinated with it? Fireclay is a common material used to create kitchen and bathroom sinks because of its durability, nonporous, scratch-resistant and acid-resistant properties which make the material extremely popular in the home improvement market. These types of sinks are different than their enameled cast-iron counterparts because of the process in which fireclay is actually made.

Cast-iron sinks are molded from liquid iron and then coated with a porcelain enamel; however fireclay sinks take on a much longer and delicate process. The process of creating a fireclay sink really inspires the name. It uses fire and clay. After a sink basin is molded from clay, it is left to dry. Once hardened, enamel glaze is applied. This newly painted basin is then fired at 2200 degrees Fahrenheit for over 20 hours. The silicate in the glaze is fused to the clay under the intense heat and in turn becomes one unit. Typically the glaze colors used are white or off-white but can also be found in blue, black and gray.

In The Kitchen

Fireclay is used for several different styles of kitchen sinks. One of the most popular types

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Interview with Gwynne McCue Interiors

One thing we love about providing home improvement products to our customers is seeing how creative they are with their purchase. Recently we were contacted by a customer who had entered Apartment Therapy’s 2015 Big Reveal Makeover Contest. The entry was a bathroom remodel which included one of our cast-iron clawfoot tubs. The clean and breezy styled makeover blew us away, and obviously many others, as Stefanie’s Own Little Sanctuary won the contest.


Bathroom Remodel

Bathroom Remodel

Bathroom Remodel


Clawfoot Tub
Source: Gwynne McCue Interiors

Clawfoot Tub
Source: Matt Simmons Photography

Bathroom Shower
Source: Matt Simmons Photography

We contacted Gwynne McCue Interiors who was responsible for the beautiful remodel design and asked if she would share a bit about her experience in interior design and the contest. Below are her responses to a few questions we were curious about and some tips that may help others who are looking to remodel their home.

Vintage Tub & Bath (VTB): Can you tell us a little about your design background?

Gwynne: “My passion for interiors runs deep. I got a business degree, then I left a successful career in advertising to pursue this creative dream and took a host of handy business skills with me. Since then, I have built a broad range of experience & continue honing my skills in the design world – I've done everything from assisting with high-end residential interior design to managing production of luxury custom upholstery, from helping launch a successful contract flooring to running all aspects of an independent Manhattan home décor shop, plus moonlighting all along with my own residential interior design work, freelance gigs, and continuing education classes. I truly love what I do and I think it shows. I've moved this passion from part-time (or "no time"!) to full-time about 2 years ago & couldn't be happier.”

VTB: What was the most difficult part of the “Stefanie’s Own Little Sanctuary” remodel?

Gwynne:  “With bathrooms, it can be tough to get all the technical aspects & sizes of various items to work together. You may love a faucet or tile from one vendor but it isn’t always compatible with a vanity cabinet or tile you want from another! My role for my interior design clients is to create a unique group of items that not only look great together but work well together, too.”

VTB: What aesthetic was your client aiming for?

Gwynne: “She dreamt of a peaceful, classic, white bathroom with a bit of special femininity. We used a graceful claw foot tub set off by 6 different kinds of tiles made from seashell, marble, glass & ceramic in floral and geometric patterns. The goal was a fresh take on traditional.”

VTB: When taking on a new client, how do you come up with your design ideas?

Gwynne: “My client is always the inspiration! To start, I ask lots of questions about his or her personal style, where he likes to travel, what materials he prefers, even what season/climate he enjoys most. Then I look around his home for more clues about his taste and lifestyle that he may not have mentioned or even realize. I note any problems I want to solve. From there, I try to imagine his ideal spaces and then start developing a stylized, functional home that he will love for years to come.”

VTB: If a client has a different design style than you are used to, how do you adapt to the situation?

Gwynne: “Tricky! I work to understand a client’s taste & find areas where we may agree, so my job gets tougher if our tastes are very different. My goal is always to find the overlap where we both like an item so I stretch myself and also encourage clients to stretch by giving them options I prefer. In the end, I recognize it is their home and I don’t insist on anything. I really love making clients happy and enjoy a broad range of looks so I’m more flexible than many interior designers who won’t bend even occasionally.”

VTB: How do you decide on what size and style bathtub to install in a bathroom remodel?

Gwynne: “I recommend tub styles based on what I think will look great for each individual client and what seems to fit best with their taste. Every dimension of a tub should definitely “fit” a client physically and it should be in proportion to the room as well. I also “test drive” tubs personally and accompany clients to do the same whenever possible.”

VTB: With so many options for décor pieces, how do you decide on which piece to purchase?

Gwynne: “There’s an overwhelming sea of options in today’s market! I prefer “team player” pieces – meaning they look great, are good quality, work well in the group with other items I’m recommending, offer a good value for the price, and are available within my deadlines. Friendly, professional vendors with clear, informational websites also catch my attention.”

VTB: What should homeowners consider when deciding to remodel their home?

Gwynne: “Consider what problems a remodel could solve, whether it’s a matter of improving the function of a room, adding value to your home, or just getting rid of that ugly, old sink you don’t like. Get excited about how the space will look when completed! Lastly, consider hiring an interior designer. While there are lots of great DIY’s out there, a pro should offer you even better results, they’ll avoid costly mistakes, and you’re likely to enjoy the challenging process more with some help.”

VTB: What are some ways homeowners can narrow down their design style?

Gwynne: “Home décor magazines and websites are great sources to find things you might like. When you tear out a bunch of pages or pin images online, you should start to see common themes in what you’ve selected…colors, patterns, etc. Jot down places you’ve traveled that you liked or walk into different stores until one feels good to you. And listen to your heart - it’s the surest way to create a home you love.”

VTB: Does a homeowner have to update their plumbing to update their bathroom style?

Gwynne: “Not necessarily. If the plumbing is in good condition and you plan to install each new item exactly where the old one is, then you may not need to gut the pipes. There is also a lot you can do decoratively with tile, paint, lighting, window treatments and accessories that won’t even involve the plumbing.”

VTB: When would you suggest a homeowner remodel or restyle their rooms?

Gwynne: “If a room isn’t looking great to you and/or isn’t serving its purposes, then it’s time to do something about it! The sooner you begin, the sooner you’ll have a great space to enjoy.”

VTB: What are some ways a homeowner can make a small bathroom look and feel larger?

Gwynne: “If it’s a full bath with a shower, using a clear glass shower door instead of a shower curtain will instantly add a lot of space visually. Hiding clutter and keeping countertops clear will always make a small room feel bigger.”

VTB: Would you consider Vintage Tub & Bath for a future bathroom remodel?

Gwynne: “Yes! Vintage Tub & Bath has a lot of great product options and their sales staff is very knowledgeable, friendly and ready to help.”

Gwynne McCue has established herself in the industry with her unique style and eye for design. Having designed a broad range of residential interiors over the past 14 years, Gwynne has an understanding of functional aesthetics for every space. Her business, Gwynne McCue Interiors, is based in New York City. To view her portfolio or to hire her services, please visit her website.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

The Royal Throne: A Brief History of Toilets

Bathroom Toilet

The Ancient Throne

It is not actually known who invented the toilet. Historians have found evidence in Scotland dating as far back as 3,000 B.C. that suggests primitive bathrooms. Ancient Greece also had buildings with earthenware pans with terra-cotta pipes connected to a water supply. More famously known is Ancient Rome, who had public bathhouses and commercial lavatories; however, these were not used daily, with many Roman citizens throwing their waste onto the streets. Medieval England even had castle garderobes, which were protruding rooms with an opening which royalty could excrete waste into the moat below.

Plumbing and sanitation have come a long way since ancient times though. In fact, it was in the 1500’s when toilets started to resemble our modern idea of the design, using a raised cistern (the tank of water often found on the back of a commode) with a small pipe that released water when a lever was pulled. This idea was built upon 200 years later with Alexander Cumming's invention of the S-shaped pipe under the basin.

Thursday, November 05, 2015

Go Green With Native Trails

Go Green With Native Trails

What things do you do to be more environmentally conscious? Many families recycle, turn off lights when leaving a room or turn off the faucet while brushing their teeth. There are so many ways to make a positive impact on the environment from our homes, but did you know you can make an impact even during a home remodel? With Native Trails, you can acquire high-quality design pieces crafted from recycled natural materials.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Discover The Most Used Kitchen Appliance

Kitchen Sinks

Kitchen Sinks

When you think of the most used appliance in your kitchen, what comes to mind? Most likely not your sink, however, kitchen sinks are perhaps the most used house appliance (besides a toilet, of course). Used to prepare meals and wash dishes on a daily basis, these under-appreciated centerpieces can be quite functional and aesthetically pleasing. Kitchen sinks come in a variety of types fit for every style.