Monday, February 21, 2011

The Clawfoot Tub

The Great Bath
I came across a photo album in the house a few weeks ago that I had completely forgotten about. One of the photos was of The Roman Baths, one of the largest tourist attractions in South West England. As I flipped through the photos I couldn’t help but marvel at the ingenuity of Roman engineering.  At the very heart of the site is the Sacred Spring.  Hot water at a temperature of 115°F rises out of the ground at the rate of 240,000 gallons every day and has been doing this for thousands of years.  Through an amazing network of pipes the water eventually makes its way to the centerpiece of the Complex; The Great Bath.  According to records this large bath was once covered by a barrel vault, which I imagine, made the structure even more astounding in its day. It is an example of an ancient civilization using a natural renewable resource. Today; I believe we refer to it as  Geothermal Energy. 

The Spring Overflow
While the photos of my trip triggered memories of The Roman Baths, one thought led to another, and then another, and then I came across the history of the Bath Tub. Something that ties in directly with our idea of establishing a  Lifecycle Building Center. According to Wikipedia, evidence of the earliest surviving personal sized bath tub was found on the Isle of Crete where a 5-foot pedestal tub was found built from hardened pottery.  Wish I had a picture of it. According to the Site of Amazing Facts, "The Bathtub was introduced in England in 1828. The first tub in America was used by a Cincinnati resident named Thompson in 1842. After an argument among medical authorities concerning the benefits and hazards of bathing, the Bathtub was banned in Boston in 1845. Six years later, the first Bathtub was installed in the White House for Millard Fillmore."

I wonder how many people end up throwing out bathtubs and other fixtures when they renovate their bathrooms. Looking back at some of the small bathroom remodeling projects I was involved in many, many years ago I remember using a reciprocating saw to cut up one into smaller manageable pieces,  and then carting the pieces down to the dumpster. One other time I remember taking a sledge hammer to a cast iron model. How many of those tubs have made it to our landfills; or  is being used as a  planter in someone’s garden; or is sitting in an open field somewhere? 

According to the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI), new home building generates between 3 and 5 lbs. of construction waste per square foot of home. By contrast a remodeling project can generate between 70 and 115 lbs. of waste per square foot!

I recently came across a business called Miracle Method and as my curiosity got the better of me, I ventured into their store one day. (There is one based right here in Henry County, Georgia). Miracle Method Offers A Green Remodeling Alternative. The nation's largest surface restoration company is doing their part to restore damaged and dated bathroom fixtures, tile and counter-tops, eliminating the need for replacement, and reducing the amount of unnecessary waste clogging landfills. 

If you would like more information about Miracle Method, feel free to contact Denise Martin at 1-888-271-7690.  Or visit their showroom 3904 Jodeco Road McDonough, GA 30252 (Atlanta South - Downtown, Clayton, Henry, S. DeKalb, W. Cobb, Rockdale, S. Fulton, Fayette Counties).

Using the Miracle Method. Before & After
According to Chuck Pistor, President of the 28-year old national franchise. With the Miracle Method process, homeowners avoid the expense of removal and replacement of bathtubs, related flooring, tile, and plumbing hardware. “The savings to homeowners can be as high as 75%,” added Pistor.

“With a bit of planning, a homeowner should be able to get the makeover look they want by refinishing instead of replacing. They’ll not only save themselves money, but contribute to a better environment,” says Pistor. “We like the Green approach to remodeling.”

So, next time you find yourself with a sledgehammer about to let loose on an Antique Claw Foot Bathtub, please remember there is a Green Alternative. Use it!

Shane  A. Persaud, 678.699.2308