Why Your Shower Head is More Important than You Think

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Traditional Fixed Shower Head

Taking a long hot shower when it’s cold outside and a cool one in warmer months is something that can make a long difficult day fade away, but most people don’t truly consider their shower head at all until of course, it breaks or a bathroom refurbishment is planned. Many bathrooms come with a microphone shaped shower head as a standard, but when looking to upgrade you may want to consider a different shape and size for your new shower head. Choosing a shower head can be fun because there are a many models available. Some are larger than others and can offer massaging options or pulsating settings as well as the ones that will make it feel as though the shower is like a strong rainstorm. The size is one aspect to consider, but there is also the shape of the shower head. There is quite a variety there, too. Some shower heads are rectangular, some are round and flat like a plate, some have a wand that can move around or are able to be flexed into different positions. Many retailers will sell a traditional microphone shaped shower head, so buying a new shower head can mean that after the new shower is installed, you switch out the standard smaller one for the larger one that you purchase for about £40 more. Keep the one that came during the install so that if there is a problem, there is a spare one to use right away.

Refreshing Shower

Refreshing Shower

Another reason why your shower head is more important than you think is because it can also contribute to keeping your family healthy. If you filter your drinking water, have you considered filtering the shower water, as well? Most times the water won’t truly hurt you, but there can be harsh chemicals that can contribute to making you sick. There are filtering shower heads that are available to keep chlorine levels down in addition to other potentially harmful chemicals.

Traditional Fixed Shower Head

Shower heads are an important part of the bathroom not only for the aesthetics, but for the functionality that it can have. Having a relaxing shower that can soothe aching muscles and possibly filter some harmful chemicals out of the water can be a worthy investment. Being choosy about the type of shower head can add a design element to the bathroom and can let you get the shower you’ve been dreaming about.

NEEDLE SHOWERS- YOU’LL GET THE POINT!

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Unlike nowadays where a thermostatic shower is considered the norm rather than a luxury it was not common for a house that was built prior to 1920 to have a shower installed. At the time this would have been quite a hefty additional expense. Indoor plumbing was still somewhat of a luxury for many sectors of our society.Even where indoor plumbing was common, such as the big cities, showers were used primarily by men, and not women. Hard to believe though it is the streams of water were widely felt to be harmful to women. A woman was definitely the weaker sex in Victorian and Edwardian Britain. If a woman did want to shower it was recommended she take the advice of her physician.

So, well up until the 1930s, most women would not consider showering. What need was there for a shower fixture in the home? Bathing was done in the bathtub. But showers were used in the home for medicinal or therapeutic purposes. Shower sprays were believed to stimulate the action of the skin, and make some people healthier. Even today many modern advertisements for showers or showering products promote the invigorating feelings produced by having a shower. Power showers are a must and a luxury shower with additional jets is even better.

But, there were some people who specified showers be installed in their pre-1920 homes, and those people tended to be wealthy. Very Wealthy. The showers that had the most therapeutic value were the ones that had multiple sprays that would apply jets of water to specific parts of the body. These showers were called needle showers, since the fine jets of spray would strike the kidney area, ribcage, liver or spine like fine needles. These elaborate showers were very expensive, commonly costing from 10 to 15 times more than installing a very good standard complete bathroom. So in todays standards if you spent a relatively modest £5000 kiting out your new bathroom your needle shower would cost you a staggering £50,000 minimum. And you can buy reproductions today ranging in price from £9000 to £20,000. Perhaps not quite as expensive in comparison but certainly a luxury item.

This might help explain the rarity of antique showers today, especially the ribcage or needle showers. They were mainly only found in a very few affluent homes. And owners of such homes also were more likely to upgrade and modernize their homes on a fairly regular basis. Brass has always been a highly sought after commodity, so these showers did not tend to hang around once removed from their original installation. They were scrapped out for brass, and lost forever. Such a shame. So finding an original is rare indeed.

Today there are a few company’s that reproduce Needle showers and they are still sought after luxury items.

A day of work in Sheffield

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04/02/09

I travelled all the way to Sheffield today. It looks like they had had a lot of snow. We have employed a chap to cover this area specifically but I do like to do the odd job myself, especially when we are really busy. Sheffield is really rather nice.

sheffiledsnow

I got to the job. A very pretty roll-top bath from 1928 was the bath to be resurfaced. It was in excellent condition too. But the customer wanted the holes for the taps filled and that area to look like it had never had taps. He had the new taps coming in over the side of the bath from above. So I filled the holes and resurfaced the bath. Can you tell where the tap holes where? I hop not.

tubbeforetubafter

The house was having a lot of work done to it; an extension being added and so on. One of the sparkies said something to me I didn’t catch. I asked him what he’d said. He laughed and said (refering to my Scottish accent), “Tha’ talks worst than ma!”  “Black”, “kettle”, “pot” and “calling” are some words which spring to mind. And most people think i sound American!

Heading back to the motorway from Sheffield, you pass a church with a crooked spire. I hope you can make it out in the picture. I am pretty sure the spire is meant to be like this.Quite a sight. Does anyone have any information on that Church spire?

spiresheffield

When Should One Look at Having a Bath Resurfaced

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Bath tub refinishing, Bath tub Resurfacing

The majority of the baths we resurface are done because the bottom area of the bath has become dull, rough stained and hard to clean. These are, almost all of them, cast-iron baths.

Pressed-steel baths and plastic/acrylic don’t usually have this problem to the same degree because their finish is tougher and more resistant to chemical attack by modern cleaners, acidic water and so on.However they can become patchy and look bleached as well as suffer from lime-scale and off course they can be chipped or damaged in some way. As far as repairing a bath is concerned we do more repairs to pressed steel and plastic baths but not so many repairs to cast iron bath.

We also get asked to do baths to handle things like chips in the bath or to change the colour of a bath or cover in tap holes when taps have been moved (onto the wall, for instance).

We do also resurface some pressed-steel and plastic baths, particularly when removing them would result in expensive redecoration. Pressed-steel baths are prone to chipping but apart from that they usually last very well. They can become discoloured and a bit rough. Once in a while you come across one that has had damage done due to corrossive cleaning agents, but compared to cast-iron baths this is relatively rare.

So of the pressed-steel and plastic baths we resurface, the main reason for resurfacing tends to be to change the colour (currently the trend is to get a coloured bath changed to white) or to give the coloured bath a new lease of life.

Resurfacing versus replacement?

I suppose as it’s my business I ought to say it’s better to resurface. However, I think there is a valid case for both depending on what kind of bath you have and where it is fitted in the bathroom. Also it depends on what you are planning to do with your bathroom. Another factor is what will be what is the most cost effective. And finally there is the age of your home.

For example, if you are planning to completely change around you bathroom, moving the fixtures and so on, I would replace the bath if it is a pressed steel or plastic bath, as these are quite inexpensive, easy to get hold of,  and you are already going to be redoing the plumbing, plastering, tiling and so on.

If you have a cast iron bath then it may be more sensible to keep it and get it resurfaced, especially if it is a roll-top or 1930’s style of bath. These are not easy to replace and costly to buy even second-hand and are very desirable. If you are planning to get rid of a roll-top, then don’t throw it out. Sell it! People want these.

If you have one of the plainer cast iron baths from the 1950s or ’60s (these baths are usually large and boxed in) and you are planning to completely change around your bathroom then you may well be better to replace it with a plastic or pressed steel bath. I think in this instance it comes down to personal preference. Some people like the fact that a cast iron bath feels substantial when they are in it and these baths tend to be a bit deeper and wider. Others like the modern designs you can get with plastic baths. If you are a bit bigger like myself then a cast iron bath is a must have. But as i said it is down to personal preferences.

If you just want your existing bath to look better and are not planning to change things around in the bathroom (and this is the scenario in the majority of the jobs we do) then resurfacing becomes a good option because it will generally be cheaper, easier to organize and the bath will be out of commission for a shorter period of time (with us you will be able to use the bath the next day).

But even in this scenario, if you live in a modern house, it may be as cheap or cheaper to replace your existing plastic bath as it will be a standard size which is easy to get hold of and not expensive. It should be quite straight-forward for a plumber to change the baths around so his costs will not be great. You shouldn’t need to re-tile as the new bath ought to slot right in where the old one was.

But even with new-build houses there are exceptions. I recently did a plastic bath in a new-build flat for a single guy. He wanted it resurfaced because he worked all week and didn’t want the hassle of trying to source a new bath and organising a plumber and having to take a day off work to let the plumber in. As I was willing to work on a Saturday then resurfacing, for him, was a better option.

If you are not sure what would be best for yourself in terms of resurfacing you bath or replacing it, please feel free to e-mail me and I’ll do my best to help you out.

The Bath Business –
Repairing chips in a bath
We can repair chips in a bath. If the bath itself is in pretty good condition and just has a chip or two, then rather than having the whole bath done, the chip itself can be fixed. It is cheaper than resurfacing the whole bath. This repair service works best on a relatively new bath where one or two chips exist. Also we can repair small cracks or holes in the bath.

I wouldn’t recommend doing a chip repair if the bath is starting to feel a bit worn and rough, especially if the chip is in the worn area. The area repaired will have a different texture to the surrounding area and as the old surface is rough it will tend be hard to clean and discolour, making the repair very noticeable.

Another point to make in relation to chip repairs is that even if your bath is white, we will still need to colour match the repaired area to the existing bath otherwise you have two different shades of white right next to each other and the repair stands out like a sore thumb.

Probably the majority of  repairs we do are on pressed steel baths, as these are especially prone to being chipped.

The Bath Business –

What Kinds of Baths Can Be Resurfaced

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There are three main materials baths are made from: Cast-iron, Pressed steel and plastic/Acrylic.

We can resurface all of these.

CAST IRON BATHS.Cast iron is what baths have traditionally been made from. Baths have been made this way for a long time so you come across many different styles from Victorian roll-top baths with clawed feet, 1930’s art-deco style with broad, square shoulders and boxed in with cast-iron panels in matching colour (the most common colour of these baths is green/avocado) through to the much plainer baths of the fifties and sixties which are boxed in with panels made from ply or the like. Then as you get into the 70’s and 80’s you come across baths where the enamel is coloured again, the baths often have handles and again, usually the are boxed in.  The baths themselves are heavy. They do not flex when you get in them. A cast iron bath is very good at retaining the heat from the hot water. So a long soak in a deep cast iron bath is very desirable.We do resurface these baths regularly.

PRESSED STEEL BATHS. These baths are quite common today and are often still used in new-build houses. Generally they look very similar to cast iron baths from the fifties and sixties but are much thinner and lighter. If you rap them with your knuckle you can hear a “ring” from a pressed-steel bath which you won’t get from a cast-iron bath. Usually they are boxed-in. A pressed steel bath is quite easy to transport so, as mentioned earlier, it is quite popular to fit this kind of bath in a new build. We do resurface pressed steel baths.

PLASTIC/ACRYLIC BATHS. Very common from the seventies through to the present. A lot of the bathroom suites you see with strong colours such as burgundy, blue, mustard, green and so on tend to (but no always) have plastic baths. Also these baths tend to come in a wider variation of shapes than the cast or pressed steel baths. You can easily have a reproduction Victorian Roll top made from acrylic or you can have a luxury jacuzzi bath. It is a versatile material. This kind of bath is also very light and easy to install therefor. It can be damaged in transit or whilst fitting. We get called out to repair these fairly frequently.

These baths flex more when you use them and have a layer of plywood or chipboard under the base of them to stiffen and add strength.

A modern trend with plastic baths is to make them from much thicker material so they don’t flex and to do them in a roll-top style rather than boxed in, so you see the outside and feet of the bath.

– The Bath Business –

Bathrooms Sell Houses

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Bathtub refinishing, Bath tub resurfacing upgrade bathroom to sell home

Bathrooms have lost their plain utility status and are fast becoming a deal maker or breaker in real estate sales. In the current economic climate it is well worth while investing some time and money restoring or improving your bathroom. And if you decide to stay put all the better.The reasons are not hard to find says Martin Schultheiss, CEO of the Homenet estate agency group.

“It all started with the retreat of homeowners into their private space — a trend known as ‘cocooning’ in the lifestyle industry.

candellit-bath

“The trend has gathered momentum as the pace of modern life speeded up and consumers started expressing a need to relax at home, and in keeping with this the bath ritual has gained a faithful following with an attendant emphasis on the layout, finishes and fixtures of the bathroom. Although a lot of people do shower rather than bath most of the time, they still want the option of having a luxurious bath. And anyone with a young family will want to retain a family bath. “Indeed, many prospective homeowners now attach as much value to bathrooms as they have previously attached to functional and stylish kitchens.

“The trend is very evident in new developments where bathrooms can be baronial or resemble Roman spas, to say the least. And while that may not be encouraging news to owners who want to market older properties with functional bathrooms there is much that can be done to spruce up the look and feel of older bathrooms. Ideas that will not cost much, but will add value to the home and enjoyment to daily ablutions include:

* Replacing outdated floor and wall tiles as well as countertops while choosing co-ordinated materials that will tie the whole room together and create a more spacious look.

* Untiled wall surfaces can be painted in a light,fresh colour to enhance the new scheme.

* Large mirrors with clean lines above the vanity unit or on a blank wall will further increase the illusion of space.

* Baths and basins that have seen better days can be re-enamelled at reasonable cost.

* Tired old light fittings, taps and towel rails can be replaced with sleek alternatives.

– The Bath Business –

Beautiful Baths – The Bath Business

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Back in the day, a bath in a home was considered an item of luxury and was only found in hotels and the homes of the rich and famous. But today, a bath tub is an integral part of most homes, so much so that many homes have more than just one. In addition to being highly functional and allowing you to be clean, it also makes for a wonderful place to relax. They come in a variety of types to suite every home.

thebathsofcaracalla1

Built in Baths

These are very popular in most homes and come in various shapes, sizes and materials. They are enclosed onthree sides and open only on the front side. Drop in baths are built into the floor and are at ground level. Another example of a built in bath is a corner bath.

 

Freestanding Baths
As the name suggests the bath stands freely in the bathroom and works best in a bigger bathroom. The taps are usually mounted onto the side on the bath or on the wall. The most popular types of freestanding baths are Clawfoot and Pedestal.Freestanding baths generally are very versatile. They can be placed in the middle of the room or against a wall. There are also a variety of styles both modern and traditional, although, most people commonly think of a traditional roll top bath when they are thinking of a free standing bath.

Shower Baths
Shower baths are typically found in smaller bathrooms as they combine the two functions while saving the homeowner space. Some large freestanding baths could also have a shower hood attached to the bath. This is called a canopy bath. These baths generally were fitted in quite large properties and could be quite an impressive centre piece to a bathroom. They are rare now but are still found. We have restored a few of them.

Speciality Baths
A spa bath or jet bath will help turn your bathroom into a sanctuary of health and relaxation. Tension and stress is melted away by jets of water massaging your body and in turn reduces muscle and joint aches and pains, therefore relaxing, mind body and soul. In recent years, spa baths have become more affordable, with more manufacturers of the product encouraging healthy competition. Spa baths are available in various shapes, sizes and number of jets, so be careful to check these when comparing prices.

Types of Baths
Bath tubs come in an assortment of materials with unique properties that affect the distinct advantages and disadvantages.
Acrylic: Fibreglass is used as a reinforcement material to the vacuum-formed acrylic sheets. This makes the finished product resistant to cracking. They can still get chipped or even look like dents have been taken out of them. However these can be repaired. Acrylic baths are lightweight and relatively inexpensive.

Cast Iron: These baths are among the most expensive baths on the market. Cast Iron baths are made by pouring molten iron into a mould. They are impervious to most chemicals and are almost impossible to dent or scratch.The enamel however can be chipped and if chipped badly the client can be left with an unsightly spot where the original iron is showing through. This can be repaired by a reputable company

Cultured Marble: are not made from marble at all, they are made by mixing limestone with a polyester resin and then finished with a gel coat. The finished product resembles natural marble in appearance. Cultured marble baths are less expensive than cast iron, but more expensive than acrylic.

Solid Surface: Solid surface materials have been used for years as an alternative to natural stone, such as marble and granite, but only recently has it gained popularity in the manufacturing of baths. The material has excellent thermal properties and will maintain the bath water temperature for longer than most other materials.

The trend is towards squared-off basin design, but for baths the bigger the better, try for a bath size of at least 1 700mm.

If you enjoy a bath for two install the bath taps on the wall next to the bath, in this way two people can share the bath comfortably. As the bath is the largest fitting in the bathroom, choose a bath in a design and style that complements the rest décor in your home.

The Bath Business – Restoring Baths to Beautiful Standards

Services include: bath re-enamelling, bath chip repairs, bathroom suite, enameling, enamelling, bathroom renovation, re-enameling, resurfacing, bath re-surfacing, enamel repairs, chipped enamel, cast iron bath, bathtub refinishing, bath tub resurfacing,

Welcome to the Bath Business’s Blog

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The Bath Business

Uk’s Professional Bath Restoration company

We specialize in bath re-enamelling, bath chip repairs, bathroom suite restoration, bathroom renovation, re-enameling, resurfacing, bath and basin repairs, chip repairs bath re-surfacing, enamel repairs, chipped enamel. We have been resurfacing baths since 1986.

The main service we deliver is the restoring of baths to their original condition. We do this in-situ without disturbing existing tiling and/or decoration. We also sell original antique French and English baths and basins as well as original antique taps and other fine sanitary ware.
In Scotland we service the areas of Edinburgh, Glasgow, Melrose, Hawick (The Scottish Borders) and as far north as Aberdeen. In England we operate in London the South East primarily although we are also in Manchester and the north west of England. We cover areas such as London, Brighton, Hove, Gatwick, Surrey, Sussex, Manchester, Birmingham, Liverpool, Bath, Bristol and all surrounding areas.

Services include: bath-re-enamelling, Chip repairs, Bathroom Suite Resurfacing, enamelling, bathroom renovation, re-enamelling, resurfacing, bath re-surfacing, enamel repairs, chipped enamel, cast iron bath, bathtub refinishing, bath tub resurfacing,

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