Saturday, May 13, 2006

We're about to renovate the first of our bathrooms, and I went today to a Kohler showroom to check out the bathtubs. I had a Victorian bathtub in the 1910 house we had in McKinney, and I was so spoiled by that monster hunk of enameled iron. I am baffled by the preponderance of acrylic bathtubs on the market because acrylic feels nasty and gets dirty and discolored so easily. I'm amazed by all the ugly products on the market - are people actually buying this overpriced shit?

Once I was in a relative's bathroom in their double-wide in Arkansas, and I used the master bath. Next to the toilet I noticed the oddly-shaped acrylic jacuzzi-tub with a row of cigarette burns along the edge. What blows my mind is that rather than set the next cigarette on an already-scorched patch of the fixture, they deliberately laid the cigarette down in a very uniformly spaced grouping of two dozen or so scorches. You know those old tree-slice home-spun art pieces with the wood burning kit embellishments along the edge of the board? Same thing. This must be the new decorating hobby for mobile homes far and wide. I'll bet there'll be a special on HGTV on this trend. "Acrylic fixture modification: smoke your way to a more unique bathroom!"

By the way, HGTV (Home & Garden Television) is opium for the Mrs.


Thomas J Wolfenden said...

My sister now owns the house in Cape May, New Jersey where my grandparents on my mother side retired to. It was build back in 1880 and is a picture perfect Victorian.

When my sister accquired it it needed a LOT of work and she went about restoring it, using vintage hardware like doorknobs, hinges and locks for the interior. The one catalog she had with all these cool antiques was a section of the bathroom, including the old water closets, sinks and plumbing fixtures. It also had thos old, HUGE claw-foot bathtubs.

If I can find out what the name of the place was I'll let you know.

:P fuzzbox said...

I was in the market for bathroom fixtures not too long ago. You are correct in saying that it is overpriced shit. There is no way that a damn faucet should cost as much or more as a months electric bill.

Kelly said...

1. I have to have a soaking tub. No point in climbing in there with my Sex Bomb if I can't really soak. If I cross my fingers really hard (or get on my knees and...beg), maybe I'll get one.

2. Speaking of Sex Bombs, I got the Lush catalog yesterday. Sooooo very tempting.

3. I think what you saw in you relative's bathroom is what they call "mobile home interior decorating". Hell, if you burn it once, why not try and make something nice out of it, right?

4. HGTV. I love me my HGTV. I love Designer's Challenge and House Hunters. I forced Dick to watch. I don't think he was impressed. I also have a Food TV fetish. It's a sickness.


Barbara Bruederlin said...

Or, just possibly, there were a dozen people in the tub at one time.

opium for the Mrs - harhar

Anonymous said...

Hey Ree, did that relative also have those classy plastic fork fans? If not we should make one for them.

Dick said...

The infamous clawfoot tub. Lowes has a couple on display at most of the stores around here, and there are numerous places on the net to buy one. So look hard, compare prices and quality.
A phone call to Seconds and Surplus might be in order as well but use caution with those folks as their product quality is sometimes a bit shady.
Enameled cast iron is always the winner in my book when it comes to tubs.
Yes, Kelly won't have to twist my arm too damn hard, as I was planning on buying her one anyway.
Now, on this renovation.
Are you gutting, then moving walls, or just gutting and starting over?
And when you do this, I demand lots of pictures, because I'm not above stealing a good idea! ;)

phlegmfatale said...

hey sis - no - no fork fans in sight, and who would hide such a treasure? I think I won't be able to fit any time in my schedule for making fork fans for the next century or so...

dick - Yeah, I'll document the process. Thanks for the recommendations - I'm definitely going to scour the market to make the best choice for the money. Yup - enameled cast iron it has to be. Kelly is a lucky girl, and you're a lucky guy - I'm happy for the two of you.

Not gutting walls, just ripping out all fixtures/lights/stripping hideous texture (no popcorn ceiling, thank God) and replacing all. The cabinetry in our house is very nice - I just want a serious change in the bathroom. Maybe paint it and make my mind up later about it. New toilet, tub, countertop/sink at the very least, and also tile on the floor to replace the carpet. What brain trust carpets bathrooms? ew. Yes, we'll document. I'll see to that.

LJ said...

I have a decorating tip for your relatives they might like.
Place a thick pad of newspaper on the pine kitchen table.
Place racks from oven on top.
Spray liberally with lethal toxic oven-cleaner.
Leave to soak.
Lift racks and newspapers later to discover wood-burning decorative effect on table.

Good luck with the tub hunt!

Ms. M said...

I used to live in an house with one of those old tubs, but I didn't find it easy to soak in it. I don't think it was standard sized, it was VERY narrow. Still, they are so quaint looking and I would love to have an OVERsized one for soaking or getting my freak on with the BF!

Dick said...

When you pull the old carpet, wear latex gloves and a dust mask. The nasty from a wet bathroom carpet pretty much smokes by everything else.
I just did mine and the wet padding was gawdawful.

June Cleaver's Revenge said...

We have a cast iron tub original to the house (1890 Queen Anne style Victorian) in an upstairs bathroom (the only bath the house had at the time). It's huge and beautiful and that cast iron can really hold the heat. You get that thing filled with hot water and the water stays hot just about forever. No one had even added a shower attachment till we moved in, but we put one in. I love that bathroom. It's a small bath but it is so charming!

phlegmfatale said...

lj - omg - is the voice of experience what taught you that recipe for a customized dining table? *LOL*

ms. m - my tub will be all about languorous soaks with my good-smelling Lush products. Yeah, some of the Victorian tubs WERE narrow. Mine won't be.

dick - advice noted, and I told husband what you said. Thanks for the tip - I've heard commercials for Seconds & Surplus, but never checked it out. I'll give a full progress report as it goes along.

june c's r - ooooh, sounds lovely. Yeah, I love how after you drain the tub after a warm bath, the surface feels warm to the touch for a long time. I'm getting excited!