Thursday, September 15, 2005

The Price is Right, baby!

Wake the kids and call the neighbors - one on our fine Vintage Tub and Bath clawfoot tubs is going to appear on the September 20th broadcast of the Price is Right! I will not spoil the surge of excitement you must certainly be experienceing at the moment by telling you if the contestant won the claw foot bathtub set or not - you will just have to find out on your own.

Price is Right Clawfoot Bathtub Set

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Corner Sinks for Your Small Bathroom

So you have a small bathroom and regular size bathroom sinks just don’t fit. Fear not, humble reader, Vintage Tub and Bath to the rescue with a bevy of great corner sinks that fit almost size bathroom.

The corner sinks we offer come in two basic styles: wall mounted and pedestal versions.

The wall mounted corner sinks range in size from the tiny American Standard Minette Corner Basin Sink (measuring 11” x 11”):

Minette Corner Sink

Our most popular wall-mounted corner sink is the Elizabethan Classics English Corner Turn Sink (it currently is only $115 and that includes shipping in the 48 contiguous United States):

Elizabethan Classics English Corner Turn Sink

Vintage Tub and Bath also offers three corner pedestal sinks:

The Cheviot Petite Model 944 (The smallest corner pedestal sink measuring 15 ¾” per side):

Cheviot Petite Corner Pedestal Sink

The St. Thomas Creations Barrymore Corner Pedestal Lavatory Sink (Model number st5074-080-01) measuring about 17 1/2” per side:

St. Thomas Creations Barrymore Corner Pedestal Lavatory

and the Cheviot model 930 (measuring 18 ¼” per side):

Cheviot Model 930 Corner Pedestal Sink

If you know of a corner sink that we do not carry, feel free to drop us a line so we can add it to our selection. Just an FYI: the correct spelling of pedestal is “pedestal”, not “pedistal”. If you use an online search for a pedistal corner sink, you unnecessarily limit the amount of bathroom sinks you will find.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Painting the Exterior of an Old Claw Foot Tub

Preparation is the key to a good-looking claw foot tub exterior finish. There are four ways to prepare the exterior surface for refinishing and painting:

1. Wire Brush
2. Sandpaper
3. Chemical Paint Removers
4. Sandblasting

Using a wire brush to remove the paint will usually only wear your arm out and provide you a mediocre surface for your primer coat. Obviously, we don’t recommend using a wire brush.

An electric sander is a decent option depending on how many layers of paint you are dealing with. Remember, you will be creating a lot of dust when sanding so you will want to be in a well ventilated area and you SHOULD HAVE A GOOD DUST MASK AND SAFETY GLASSES ON. You really should think safety - the paint you are taking off will likely contain lead (most old paints had lead in them). Start with a coarse to medium grade of paper and work your way down to a fine grit when you get to the cast iron layer.

Chemical paint removers are another option (if standard paint removers don’t work well, you can go to an auto parts store and ask for a stronger “Aircraft Stripper”). Chemical strippers are convenient but you need to exercise care when using them – they usually have a very strong chemical odors and harmful fumes. If you use chemicals, make certain to follow the safety precautions. I can tell you from personal experience – I got a glob of aircraft stripper on my arm and it hurt like hell. Needless to say, I am a lot more careful with chemical paint removers now.

Finally, you can sandblast the exterior. Sandblasting is the most thorough way of removing paint. If you decide to have your tub sandblasted, make certain to tape off the edges of the roll rim, drain hole(s) and any faucet holes with a strong duct tape. This will help prevent damage to the porcelain during the sandblasting process. Again, you really need to think safety here if you decide to do the sandblasting on your own. Remember, you will be blasting chips of paint from the surface of the tub with a sand frit (thus, the term sandblasting – clever, eh?) and you don’t want to get that stuff in your eyes.

Once you clean the surface, you need to get a primer coat down as soon as possible. This is particularly true with a sandblasted tub. Exposed cast iron can begin to show signs of surface rust within hours of exposure.

When choosing paints, find a primer that adheres well to metal and a top coat that stands up well to moisture. When it doubt, look up the paint manufacturer online or ask the staff at the paint desk at your local hardware store.

One last thing: I would always recommend having the claw foot tub feet sandblasted. They have so much detail that is so difficult to clean out and the results are almost always worth the extra effort to find a sandblaster. Again, make certain to get a primer coat on them as soon as possible to prevent rust from starting.

Friday, September 02, 2005

The Bathroom Diaries

What can I say - when you gotta go, you gotta go. But that does not mean you have to accept just any bathroom. No indeed - especially when you have "The Bathroom Diaries" to help guide you to just the place (their motto: "Toilets . . . Bathrooms . . . Dignity").

Aside from offering "user reviews" of thousands of restrooms worldwide, they also offer a gallery of the best bathrooms on earth. Their absolute best is the Shoji Tabuchi Theatre in Branson, Missouri which features this bathroom Valhalla:

According to The Bathroom Diaries: "The women’s room has a fountain, wainscoting, stained glass appointments and an Empire tin ceiling. Live orchids lay nestled at every granite and onyx pedestal sink. The fixtures are carved from black Italian marble and gold. Voluminous chandeliers soar overhead. The air is fragrant with 80,000 fresh violets (used per month). But in this glut of material luxury, simple needs are remembered--a rocking chair is placed at the changing nook. The gents facility is equally gorgeous yet manly with black lion head sinks, black leather chairs and a marble fireplace. The burled walnut mirror was built in 1868. Men can bond over the hand-carved mahogany billiard table."

Now that's a bathroom!