Thursday, November 19, 2009

World Toilet Day

Today, November 19th, is exactly one week away from Thanksgiving. As you may not have known, it is also World Toilet Day. This day was started by the World Toilet Organization in 2001 as a day to increase awareness about sanitation problems due to a lack of toilets in some countries. According to UNICEF, “poor sanitation, hygiene, and unsafe water claim the lives of 1.5 million children under five every year”. It may seem insignificant, but having a toilet is actually something to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.

World Toilet Day Celebration in Berlin, GermanyWorld Toilet Day Celebration in UK
Learn more about World Toilet Day and the World Toilet Organization.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Museum Bathroom Art

When visiting an art museum, you most likely are there to observed the works of art featured in the museum. However, at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, the bathrooms themselves are actually works of art. Creating permanent art in the restrooms "begun in 1974 as a means of supporting artistic exploration by providing artists with access to industrial technologies".

Annually, a group of selected artists collaborate with Kohler Co. and actually handcraft the fixtures each step of the way. Each bathroom represents different periods and technologies. Photos below are from The Art Museum Toilet Museum of Art.

Social History of Architecture Bathroom
The Social History of Architecture


Sheboygan Men's Bathroom
Sheboygan Men's Room


The Women's Bathroom
The Women's Room


Childhood Vitreous Bathroom
Childhood Vitreous
Sources: 
John Michael Kohler Arts Center
The Art Museum Toilet Museum of Art

Monday, October 12, 2009

Kitchen of the Future

At the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) there is a group of researchers and developers who come up with new and advanced ideas for the kitchen. A BBC News Online article discusses three of these advances.
The first is a sensor that can be applied to a plastic food storage container. The sensor determines what kind of food is inside of the container, assesses the temperature, and counts down how much longer until the food spoils.


Another gadget being developed is a "chameleon mug" that tells you when the liquid inside is hot. The mug could also be equipped with sensors that could alert you when you've added too much sugar or rotten milk.


Of all the kitchen contraptions discussed in the article, the one I found the most interesting was the "dishmaker". The dishmaker begins as a plastic wafer and can inflate itself (using different amounts of air pressure) into the shape of a cup, bowl, or whatever dish you need. According to the article, the dishmaker "automatically recycles your dishes and stores them very compactly as thin disks."

Read more about developing kitchen technology.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Customer Gallery - Before and After

One set of photos submitted to our photo gallery are from Suzanne M. of Houston, Texas. The before photo seen below shows her gutted bathroom only including a sink.

Before Bathroom RenovationSuzanne turned the empty space into a beautiful bathroom, as seen below. To complete the bathroom, Suzanne installed a 54 inch classic clawfoot tub by Sunrise Specialty, a clawfoot tub drain by Strom Plumbing, and a clawfoot tub freestanding faucet by Sunrise Specialty.

After Bathroom Renovation

View other photos submitted of Suzanne's bathroom and browse the rest of our customer bathroom gallery. If you would like to showcase your own photos, send them to emily@vintagetub.com. Be sure to include your name, location, a description of the photos, and of course, the before and after shots.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

The Science Behind Accuracy

Many of us have been in a toilet related argument whether we remember it or not. A toilet seat left open or an unpleasant mess left behind are both grounds for disagreement. But how much fault can we place on the guilty party?

This video from the Discovery Channel show Time Warp, discusses the science behind aiming accuracy among men. An model was constructed to simulate a human bladder in action. Other variables were added to the test to demonstrate the difficulty of accuracy. Check it out below.


Monday, October 05, 2009

If Everyone Flushed at Once

Flush LeverI was recently reading an article called "What if Everybody Flushed their Toilets at the Same Time?" The article discusses sewage systems from our households to treatment centers and what would happen if everyone unanimously flushed their toilets.

Pipes from your home are small in diameter while those leading to neighborhood, town, and city treatment centers get progressively larger. Sewage leaving your home and arrives at the treatment centers after being pushed by a lift station. This is the first place waste would back up. Eventually, all of the waste would be forced back through the pipes and into our homes, resulting in backed up toilets, sinks, and even dishwashers. Not only would it back up in homes, but manholes in the streets would also overflow.

A solution mentioned in the article is low flow toilets. Low flow and dual flush toilets use a reduced amount of water when flushed and also save money on water and energy bills.

Source: How Stuff Works

Friday, October 02, 2009

Customer Gallery - Kitchen

This gorgeous photograph from our customer photo gallery was submitted to us by Dennis and Susan M. of Morro, California.

Kitchen from Customer Photo Gallery
Dennis and Susan's kitchen features a fireclay apron front sink by Belle Foret as well as a gooseneck swivel spout spray head from the Metrohaus Collection by Whitehaus.

Fireclay Apron Front Sink by Belle ForetGooseneck Swivel Spout Spray Head by WhitehausCheck out more photos of Dennis and Susan's kitchen or other photos from our customer photo gallery. If you would like us to showcase your renovation project, submit your photos to emily@vintagetub.com.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Historic Bathroom and Kitchen - The Narbonne House

The Narbonne House is an important part of historical Salem, Massachusetts and was considered a normal middle-class home of the 17th and 18th centuries. Though a portion of the house was built in 1675 by Thomas Ives, the house wasn't occupied by a Narbonne family member until 1823.

Below is a photo of the kitchen which "combines a modified 17th century fireplace and oven with late 19th and 20th century paneling and sink."

Narbonne House Historic KitchenThe photo below shows the tiny second floor bathroom with a toilet from the 1900's.

Narbonne House Historic Bathroom
Source: Salem Maritime National Historic Site

Monday, September 28, 2009

Bathroom Mold

Leave Shower Curtain Closed to DryNo matter whether your bathroom is new or old, whether you can see it or not, it probably has some amount of mold. Since there is so much moisture in the bathroom, it is easy for mold to grow and thrive. A simple way to prevent mold growth is to keep all areas and surfaces clean and dry including ceilings and walls. Other ways to prevent future mold growth in the bathroom are:
  • keep drains clean at all times
  • check humidity levels and allow air to circulate when humidity is high
  • close shower curtain after use to ensure the entire curtain dries equally
  • use a semi-gloss paint on walls
To remove existing bathroom mold:
  • use a fungicide as opposed to bleach to remove mold as well as its scent
  • perform an ozone shock treatment
  • clean surfaces with baking soda or vinegar
Source: Home Mold Tips

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Customer Gallery - Designer Bathroom

DesThe photo below was sent to us from Las Vegas designer, Tania, and is featured in our customer photo gallery.

Photo from Customer GalleryThe 67 inch acrylic clawfoot bathtub by American Bath Factory is used as a focal point and accompanied by a clawfoot tub faucet and widespread lavatory sink faucet.

67 Inch Acrylic Clawfoot Bathtub by American Bath FactoryClawfoot Bathtub FaucetWidespread Sink FaucetTake a look at other views of Tania's bathroom in Las Vegas or some of our other customer submitted photos. If you would like to send us your own, you can by emailing them to emily@vintagetub.com.

Monday, September 21, 2009

5 Reasons To Install A Hookless Shower Curtain

A recent addition to the Vintage Tub and Bath product line is the hookless shower curtain. This shower curtain with matching liner is easy to assemble and has a different look than a traditional shower curtain.

Hookless Shower CurtainThe curtain features patented Flex-On rings that can be easily hooked on to your shower curtain rod. The hookless shower curtain is water repellent and stays in place with magnets. Since it lacks hooks, the curtain adds a clean cut look to your bathroom.

Hookless Shower Curtain Liner

Friday, September 18, 2009

5 Types of Bathtub Drains and Overflows

In addition to supply lines and a faucet, a drain and overflow are essential parts of your bathtub purchase. Types of tub drains available include pop up, lift and turn, tower, chain and stopper, and cable operated. If you purchase a drain that uses a chain and stopper, you may want an overflow cover that will hold the stopper in place while bathing. An overflow cover, such as the one pictured below, is especially useful when you want to accommodate more water in your tub.

Overflow Cover
If you have little experience installing a tub or the necessary drain and overflow, you may find this video helpful. This video clip from the show, Bathroom Renovations on the DIY Network, shows you how to assemble and install a drain and overflow kit.


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Spruce Up Your Garden

With summer on its way out, now is a good time to begin preparing your garden for colder weather. Having a variety of colors and plants can make your garden look the best on the block, even during the colder months. An interesting way to incorporate a new look to your garden, year round, is to use an arbor or a trellis.


Climbing plants like roses, clematis, wisteria, and honeysuckle are ideal for trellises and arbors. Many climbing plants will survive through the winter, allowing you to enjoy them no matter what the season.

Learn more about fine gardening, different types of climbing plants, and what months they thrive.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Vintage Tub and Bath Buying Guides

Toilet GuideDuring the remodeling process, you have a lot of decisions to make and want those decisions to be well informed. Since there are so many different products with different styles, finishes, and sizes, it can be difficult to choose the most suitable one for your home. Whether you are renovating your kitchen or simply repairing a fixture in your bathroom, the Vintage Tub Buying Guides can help.

For example, the Clawfoot Bathtub Buying Guide explains the differences between clawfoot tub styles, the sizes available,Tub Guide and the types of fixtures necessary during installation. The guide also goes into deeper detail weighing the advantages and disadvantages of cast iron clawfoot tubs vs. acrylic clawfoot tubs. The different types of faucet drillings are also discussed. To make sure everything is clear before your decision is made, there are also three informative videos including How to Purchase a Clawfoot Tub, How to Choose Supply Lines, and How to Choose a Drain for a Clawfoot Tub.

Sink GuideAll informational guides include: Clawfoot Bathtub, Sink, Toilet, Whirlpool Tub, Kitchen Sink, Bathroom Mirror, Tub Drain, Supply Lines, Tub Faucet, Shower Enclosure, and Fireplace Accessories. If you need information on a product that is not listed, just ask here.

Friday, September 11, 2009

3 Helpful Resources For A Running Toilet

Catch a Running ToiletIs your toilet running? Why don't you catch it?

It seems as if my toilet runs at the worst possible moments: when I am trying to sleep, running late for something, or when guests are over. Not only is this annoying, but it can also be expensive. A running toilet can waste two gallons of water per minute. Learning how to fix a running toilet can prevent you from paying for unnecessary water usage, but also save you time and frustration. Here are some resources that I found helpful.

This three-minute video from This Old House will show you where parts are located in your toilet tank and how to troubleshoot the problem.

To learn about different problems and the correct name for each toilet part, read this toilet repair article from Do it Yourself.

If your toilet needs to be replaced, read our toilet buying guide before making a decision on a new toilet.

Sources: This Old House & Do it Yourself

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Vintage Phones

If you didn't know, Vintage Tub and Bath offers more than just tubs and bathroom fixtures. On our site, you can find all sorts of home products from ovens to outdoor lighting. We also have vintage style phones from different decades. Take a look for yourself below.

Vintage 1950's Style Pay Phone collects coins but does not require money for use.

Vintage Style Pay Phone
Vintage Style Candlestick Phone with rotary dial and push button features.

Vintage Style Candlestick Phone
Vintage 1920's Style Phone
Vintage 1920's Style Phone
View more vintage style phones.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Vintage Advertisements: Kohler

The first bathroom fixture sold by Kohler was the "enameled cast iron hog scalder/water trough". The product Kohler sold is more commonly known to those of us living in the 21st century as a bathtub. Later, in 1911, Kohler introduced the first built in bathtub.

Below are vintage Kohler advertisements throughout the years.

The first ad, from 1923, discusses the increase in bathrooms per household while promoting Kohler Ware quality enamel and design.

Vintage Bathroom 1923
This advertisement from 1924 positions Kohler Enameled Plumbing Ware as attractive, affordable and durable.

Vintage Bathroom 1924
The third ad jumps to the 1960's and promotes the "dreamy" Peachblow Dynametric bathtub.

Vintage Bathroom 1960
View modern and vintage style Kohler products.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Steps to Replace a Clawfoot Bathtub Faucet

When the time comes to replace your clawfoot tub faucet, you have many options. According to The Facts On Faucets, an article featured in This Old House, a good idea is to replace the old faucet with one of a similar style. This means, if you have a faucet that mounts to the bathtub wall as opposed to the rim or bathroom wall, that style bathtub faucet should be your first choice.

Strom Wall Mounted Faucet
Another factor to consider when replacing a clawfoot bathtub faucet, is the size of the drillings. Drillings are holes drilled into the tub by the manufacturer. The number of drilled holes can vary as well as the distance between the holes. If the measurement results are not standard and you have a unique distance between the drillings, you will want to purchase a faucet with variable centers. The distance between holes is no matter to be concerned about because these tub faucets are equipped with swing arms.

American Bath Factory Deck Mounted Tub Faucet
The article Claw Foot Tub Installation: New Plumbing, includes step by step photos and instructions on installing the necessary plumbing for your clawfoot tub. Depending on how much replacement is needed, you may be able to skip some of the beginning steps.

Included when purchasing a new clawfoot bathtub faucet, are installation instructions. Enlisting the help of a plumber is recommended on most instructions to ensure the product warranty is valid. These installation instructions are an example specifically created for a Randolph Morris Wall Mount Tub Faucet with Handshower (with variable centers, as mentioned above). Depending on the type of clawfoot tub faucet you choose, the installation instructions will vary. Installation instructions for the tub faucets can be found before purchase, below the Specifications section at the bottom of each product page.

Randolph Morris Deck Mount Tub Faucet
View different styles of clawfoot bathtub faucets and faucet sets which include a faucet, drain, and supply lines. Also learn how to choose the correct style faucet for your clawfoot bathtub.

Sources: This Old House
DIY

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Why You Should Install A Curved Shower Rod

Curved Shower Rod
If you've ever taken a shower and been frustrated because the shower curtain is too close, a curved shower rod may be the solution for you. Curved shower rods extend away from the bathtub allowing for more open space in your bathtub or shower. The crescent rod pictured above allows for 25% more space while the double crescent rod pictured below creates up to 5 feet of extra space.

Double Curved Shower Curtain Rod
One customer from Muskegon, Michegan submitted a photo of their double curved shower rod and explained " [they] put towels on the inside rod and [the] shower curtain on the outside of the rod and towels are dry for [the] next use".

Curved Shower Rod
Another customer from West Palm Beach, Florida told us that "installation was very easy and the rod [added] extra room at shoulder height".

View curved shower curtain rods and shower curtains.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Bidets

A bidet is a bathroom fixture that looks like a toilet but is equipped with a small bidet faucet. The faucet sprays a stream of water that will cleanse the area in need. The water can be a substitution for toilet paper and some people even use a bidet faucet to clean their feet. Bidets are popular among men and women living in European and Asian countries because of their many health benefits.Bidet
A bidet faucet can also be hooked up to a traditional toilet. Another option is a bidet style toilet seat. The toilet seat functions as a bidet with water pressure and temperature controls. The bidet style toilet seat pictured below also features a light for nighttime use, an activating sensor, and an energy saving function.Bidet Style Toilet Seat
View more bidets, bidet faucets, and bidet style toilet seats.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Clawfoot Tub Foot Coasters

One concern that comes with the purchase of a clawfoot bathtub is how to keep the bathroom floor in good condition. A good option to avoid floor scratches are clawfoot tub foot coasters.

Foot coasters are the "perfect solution to keep [your] tub from scratching tile floors" according to customer Linda K. from Easley, South Carolina. She used them under the clawfoot bathtub in her guest bathroom pictured below.

Clawfoot Tub Foot Coasters
Another customer, from Ontario, Canada told us about his remodeling project and how the clawfoot bathtub coasters came in handy:

"Reclaiming the tub, left me with such a gem that I wanted to set it apart & elevate it a little bit more, and these coasters were just the ticket. Lifting the tub by about an inch let me showcase the hardware I'd added without making the tub itself inaccessible. The exposed plumbing, prominently visible through the open bathroom door, becomes an accessible, proud and central element of retro styling."

Check out the photo he submitted below.

Clawfoot Tub Foot CoastersView clawfoot tub foot coasters, clawfoot bathtubs and replacement clawfoot tub feet.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Top 3 Reasons to Install a Custom Stone Shower

1. One day installation - With the shower system come
detailed, step by step instructions to take you smoothly through the installation process in only one day. The shower can transform the look of your bathroom over the weekend and still have time to relax after.

2. Flexible Design - The custom shower system can be installed in any bathroom because it is available in different shapes and sizes. The location of the door, faucet, and accent panels can be placed according to your bathroom layout. You can also customize your shower by installing a bench, shelf, and body spray where you choose.

3. Travertine Stone - The custom resin-based stone has the look of real travertine stone tiles and a much lower price tag. Another benefit of the custom stone is that it requires little work to maintain.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Space Bathroom

International Space Station BathroomWithout gravity, using the bathroom is probably a difficult task. It is obvious that a normal toilet could not be used on a space station. According to How Stuff Works, the bathrooms on space stations are built with leg, foot, and lap restraints that hold astronauts in place. One major difference between space and Earth toilets is the use of air as opposed to water. The air is used to draw waste away, where it is then compacted for disposal upon return to Earth.

Even space bathrooms are in need of a plumber sometimes. A Discovery News article discusses that one toilet located at the International Space Station was not functioning properly. To solve the problem, officials had to make room on a separate shuttle launch for a 1/2 foot long pump and its hardware.

Sources: How Stuff Works
Discovery News

Friday, August 21, 2009

Kitchen Safety Tips

Kitchen SinkThe National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) provides a source of information for professionals and consumers alike. Kitchen and bathroom remodeling guidelines, recommendations and ideas can all be found at the NKBA website.

One article, from the tips and how-to section of the website, discusses kitchen safety. Since the kitchen is a popular gathering place, it should also be kept a safe place. Some good points made in the article that may be overlooked are:

  • Use proper lighting, especially in work areas
  • Store a fire extinguisher in an easily accessible area
  • Regulate your faucet temperature to prevent burns
  • Round the edges of counter-tops and islands
Source: National Kitchen & Bath Association

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Kitchen Trends

As before, I've compiled a list of trends I've observed in various current home renovation books and magazines. More specifically, kitchen trends and popular fixtures. 
Bridge Faucet
Randolph Morris Bridge Faucet

  • Bridge Faucets - These unique kitchen faucets favor traditional and period styles. Designed with two handles, so it's easier to mix the flow and temperature of the water. These faucets go well with farmhouse, and undermount kitchen sinks.
  • Single Hole Faucets - Easy to use and to clean, single hole faucets typically have a minimalist design. These faucets are great when used with undermount kitchen sinks.
  • Pot Fillers - These convenient faucets help to reduce strain, increase ones ability to multitask, and minimize the mess in your kitchen. What's not to love?!
  • Farmhouse Sinks - Add an artistic touch to your kitchen with an old-fashioned farmhouse sink. These country style sinks are easy to care for, functional, and durable. They're also fairly large, so you can easily wash pots and pans.
You can see these and other popular kitchen trends when you shop online at Vintage Tub & Bath. Let us know what your favorite kitchen or home trend is in the comments below. 

Monday, August 17, 2009

Bathroom Trends

Trying to keep up with bathroom and kitchen trends, I have recently been browsing through a good share of home magazines. Like fashion magazines, these home magazines discuss what’s in style and showcase new designs. Instead of dresses and shoes, the hot topics on the pages of these magazines are things like dishwashers and faucets.

After flipping through magazines like Signature Kitchens and Baths, Bathroom Trends, Kitchen and Bath Planning 2009, and Kitchen and Bath Ideas, I began noticing a pattern. This instance is not only when I realized that I do not have the most up-to-date, trendy kitchen or bathroom, but when I then decided to write about the bathroom and kitchen trends that seemed popular amongst the magazines. Here are my observations of WaterSense Certified, Dual Flush, Toilet by TOTOwhat’s hot in the bathroom world:


You can view photos and read more information about each of the trends listed above by clicking on them. Check back soon to see my observations of kitchen trends.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Self Cleaning Bathroom

Cleaning the bathroom is not a task that most of us look forward to. There are an abundance of cleaning products on the market claiming to make the task easier, quicker, or safer for your family and the environment. 
Bathroom Faucets
Image Source: http://news.bbc.co.uk


A BBC News article discusses the future of bathroom cleaning and disinfecting with the use of nanotechnology. According to the article, scientists in Australia have been developing a coating of light activated nano particles that can be used as a cleaner. The coating would rid bathroom surfaces of E. coli bacteria as well as volatile organic compounds. Additionally, it would prevent fungus growth because of its opposition to water.

One drawback mentioned in the article is whether or not the material could be recycled. The safety of disposal is not yet determined, nor is the amount of energy required for manufacture of the coating.

Source: BBC News