Tag Archives: home improvement

The Power of the (Outdoor) Shower

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Imagine yourself standing in a cool rainfall of water with the stress of the day releasing itself from your tired muscles. Now add the feeling of sunshine on your face and the smell of freshly cut grass or a verdant, thriving landscape tickling your nose.

You’ve just experienced the power of an outdoor shower.

There’s nothing like the bold, invigorating, and dare we say tiniest bit naughty feeling you get from showering outside. Whether you live in the warm, tropical Southeast, the arid Southwest, or the chilly climes of the Northern states, an outdoor shower can offer you a way to reconnect with nature right in your own backyard. Now here comes the big but – BUT as with any plumbing project, there are certain things you need to consider before you purchase or install an outdoor shower.

Don’t know where to start? Don’t worry, your friends at PlumbingSupply.com® have you covered with a useful Outdoor Shower Buying Guide that will walk you through the process of choosing your location and your shower, as well as provide design suggestions and ideas.

The Pros and Cons of Outdoor Misting Systems

This article can now be found at thePlumber.com

How to Buy a Laundry Sink

Whenever you’re thinking about adding a new plumbing fixture to your home, it’s a good idea to do your homework first and purchasing a laundry sink is no exception. If you’re replacing an existing sink, you probably have a few more limitations than someone installing a sink fresh, but you should still be asking yourself the same types of questions.

 

What am I going to use the sink for?

What are you going to use your laundry sink for? This is probably the most important question you should ask yourself as it will influence all of your other sink-buying decisions. If you’re a single lady who only wants a handy place to rinse delicates and scrub stains, chances are you don’t need the same kind of laundry sink a family with 10 school-aged boys all on various sports teams needs. Ask yourself what you do in the laundry room already and what you would *like to do in the laundry room – and try to be realistic. A utility sink is really more of a convenience, and it helps to be specific about how this purchase is going to help you. For instance, will it save you having to run upstairs/downstairs just to rinse a quick stain, does it solve a practical problem like providing drainage for your washing machine, or is it going to keep your house cleaner or more organized by offering a designated place for wet towels, muddy soccer uniforms, handwash only items, etc.?

You should also ask yourself if there are any not-so-frequent laundry tasks you need to be equipped for. Some families dye hand-me-down clothes to hide old stains and give them a new look before they’re passed on to younger siblings, others use the laundry sink as a place to rinse cloth diapers before washing, and still more rinse mops, paint brushes, and gardening tools in their laundry sinks. Consider how frequently you really will use the sink and for what kinds of jobs before you begin shopping – it will definitely save you a lot of time and keep you from making an impulse purchase you might regret later.

 

Which size sink do I need?

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This will directly depend on your answers to the first question. If you’re only doing small jobs in the laundry room, a small sink is just fine. If you need to soak a whole soccer team’s grass-stained uniforms, you might need something bigger. Also, take into consideration the space you actually have available, especially if you’re buying a larger sink. This might require some prioritization on your part – for example, can another element of the laundry room be moved or eliminated to make room for a big sink? Or could the sink be relocated to another area close by like the garage?

 

Do I want a freestanding, wall mounted, or counter mounted sink?

Many people like the traditional freestanding laundry tub, and this can be a good option for areas where you have enough space for a big sink, but not enough and/or you don’t want to add a cabinet. Most wall mounted models also let you put a big sink in a small space, but keep in mind that you’ll need an available wall area sturdy enough to hold a tub full of water. On a side note, you can store things underneath both of these types of sinks, but it won’t be terribly aesthetic.

If you don’t need a large sink, your money and space might be better utilized with a counter mounted model. Counter mounted sinks definitely offer you the most versatility in style and construction materials since you can use pretty much any sink you want (kitchen, lavatory, or one designed specifically for utility/laundry rooms), but you will have to also install a cabinet for them to rest in – which can serve as extra hidden storage for supplies.

 

What kind of construction material am I looking for? And what can I afford?

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Our customers tend to favor stainless steel or Veritek™ (a compressed molded material) laundry tubs over the other options we offer. Now, that’s not to say there aren’t great utility tubs available in other materials, but we find that our customers are generally satisfied with these sinks and they’re great at standing up to the abuse of typical residential use – stainless steel is preferred for commercial applications due to its strength and heat-resistance.

A stainless steel laundry sink is going to be a lot pricier than Veritek™, but at the same time it will most likely last you longer. The biggest thing to consider when purchasing stainless steel is what gauge you’re buying. The lower the number, the thicker the steel – we suggest anywhere from 20 to 16 gauge. Why? Well, 22 gauge stainless steel is builder quality and super cheap, but it’s also very thin and isn’t going to wear well. On the other hand, 14 gauge stainless steel will last a single family home a very long time, but you really don’t need a sink that heavy-duty or that costly for typical family use or even for use by a small to mid-sized apartment complex.

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If you’re not super committed to stainless steel, it won’t fit into your laundry room design, or you just don’t have the budget for stainless steel, Veritek™ could be the option for you. Veritek™ has two main things going for it – it is incredibly affordable and it is super easy to maintain. The way this material is made, a solid color runs throughout the material so it won’t fade, and it is non-porous so it is easy to clean and resists mold and mildew. Generally, it only comes in white or beige, and it isn’t the prettiest sink you ever saw, but it will serve the purpose of a reliable utility sink at an affordable price.

 

And there you have it. Now, we’re sure there are other considerations for choosing a quality laundry sink, but hopefully the tips discussed here will help you get started on the right track. Happy folding!

5 Easy Plumbing New Year’s Resolutions

This post can now be found at thePlumber.com

Creating A Kid-Friendly Bathroom

Cute ducky sink with faucet Rubber ducky, you’re the one…you make bathtime so much fun! Rubber ducky, I’m awfully fond of you…boo-doo boop dee dooo…
Washing up should be a relaxing time for kids (and for parents) but too often it becomes a battle royale, exhausting you and them – and in the end nobody is any cleaner. Let us help you and your kiddos relax by turning clean-up time into fun time with a kid-friendly bathroom.
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Let’s start with the sink – after all, that’s where kids go to get the sugar bugs off their teeth, scrub away the sleep to find their shining morning faces, and wash away the travel grime from their latest adventures in kid-land. Yet the sink is the most overlooked fixture in bathroom remodels. Not anymore! Add the perfect finishing touch to a kid-themed bathroom with our exclusive collection of Barclay porcelain bathroom sinks. Designed specifically with children in mind – with super adorable rubber duckies, toy aeroplanes, and “muddy” kid handprints – they bring an element of fun and playfulness to the bathroom. The sturdy porcelain is a kid-tough, naturally moisture-, bacteria-, and dirt-resistant material, making it ideal for children’s bathrooms, while the hand-applied decals are safely baked under a layer of glaze so they won’t wear away.

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We’re sure your kids will love washing their hands and brushing their teeth in these sinks (and we don’t mind saying we secretly would too!). Hey, they might actually go brush their teeth without you telling them to!

Now let’s move on to the tub and/or shower. As parents, we know you take care to make sure your kids eat healthy food and get plenty of sleep and active playtime to keep their little bodies healthy inside, but what can you do about their outsides? Well, we always recommend generous and frequent application of sunscreen, but we’re also pleased to offer you a variety of filters for a truly clean bath or shower that pampers kids’ and babies’ sensitive skin.

bathBall baby babyshower

An excellent addition to any kid-friendly bathroom is our unique children’s hand shower with a filter connection that attaches to almost any faucet – including most kitchen sinks for bathing baby! The rain spray is gentle enough for babies, and the easy-to-grip handle lets older kids use it themselves. And since we know filling the bathtub with a hand shower would require more time than most busy parents have, we’ve got a filtered bath ball you can hang over your tub spout. Bubble baths are better with cleaner water!

Also, while we’re talking about making bath time easier, don’t forget a handy-dandy soap dispenser. Kids will love seeing their colorful shampoos and soaps all in a row, easily accessed with the push of a button (and what kid doesn’t like pushing buttons?). We also offer a range of shower heads and some truly unique shower drain covers with fun, whimsical designs like jigsaw puzzles, sea turtles, an octopus, and more that your kids will love.

At PlumbingSupply.com® we love to help our customers make their lives just a little bit easier. We hope we’ve inspired you with kid-friendly bathroom solutions, and invite you to check out even more cool stuff for children’s bathrooms, from potty training toilet seats to durable, comfortable Teak bath mats to help prevent slips and falls. You want it, chances are we’ve got it!

The New Grab Bar

When you hear “grab bar”, what comes to mind? For most people, it’s those long bars you see in public bathrooms or hospitals. You know, those stainless steel, industrial looking chunks of metal bolted to the wall.

What if we were to tell you that you may have encountered grab bars and thought they were something else? What if we were to tell you that grab bars are great for more than just public restrooms and hospitals? What if we were to tell you that the addition of elegant grab bars, placed discreetly, could increase the value of your home? What do you think of grab bars now?

Here's a grab bar with finials in a polished brass finishLovely example of a satin nickel grab barHow about a great antique brass grab bar?

First of all, grab bars these days come in all shapes and sizes and in a lovely selection of finishes. Long gone are the days of only one option, though of course the stainless steel tube is still widely available. But if you’re in the market for something more elegant, we suggest taking a second look at grab bars.

Example of a child pulling on a sturdy grab barSecond, by definition a grab bar is incredibly sturdy – it is designed to hold hundreds of pounds of weight without breaking or pulling from the wall. Hmm… when was the last time your toddler swung from the towels when you were trying to get him in the tub? Or knocked the towel bar down when trying to stuff the towel over the bar? How many times have you reinstalled or replaced that cheap chrome towel bar only to have to do it again? A solid and durable grab bar begins to look like a great investment after a while, doesn’t it? A sturdy, all brass designer towel bar, while not designed for the weight of a person, may stay on the wall longer, but for the same price or sometimes less, you can get a grab bar that is ADA compliant so you know it’s been tested and rated to hold the weight of a person; Tarzan Jr. won’t be able to budge it!

Grab bars on the side of a whirlpool tub are safe and stylishAnd thirdly, and possibly the most important, the sense of safety a grab bar can offer is amazing. If you fall and try to grab for something, towel bars will buckle, plain walls offer no grip, and shower doors should never be used as handholds or safety grips. If you or your loved ones ever reach for a towel bar or the shower door to steady yourself, you know how reassuring it can be to have a good handhold when you need it, so why don’t you install a grab bar right where you automatically reach to steady yourself? You’ll be glad you did!

Believe it or not, there are three grab bars in this pictureSo, for your next home improvement project, consider investing in your safety, style, and beauty and add a grab bar or three!

Your turn – what convinced you to finally install grab bars in your home, and were they plain or pretty?