How Does Santa Relax: With Steam, Bubbles & Heat, Of Course.

After traveling 175 Million miles and delivering 660 Million Tons of toys in one night, Santa is wiped out, but there is no rest for the jolly old elf.

santa is beat

Come December 26th, St. Nick is back at it again preparing for next year, so how does he recover.  The magic to Santa’s recovery is steam, bubbles and heat.  The steam is provided by Mr. Steam, the bubbles are courtesy of Bain Ultra and Kohler and the heat comes in the form of dry heat from Steamist.

Steam

Mr. Steam

The self-proclaimed champions of Steamtherapy, Mr. Steam has been providing the benefits of steam to the North Pole for almost 100 years.

Bubbles

Bain Ultra Thalassa Bath

Bain Ultra's Thalassa Spa Bath: tiny heated bubbles for the rotund keeper of Christmas

Kohler Riverbath Whirlpool Tub

Kohler's Riverbath Whirlpool: targeted hydro-massage will soothe Santa's weary muscles

Heat

Steamist Pre-Cut Sauna Room

Steamist Pre-Cut Sauna Room: heat up to 185 degrees and 10-15% humidity should get to Santa's bones

Of course, you can see the all of the Santa’s recovery products at our fine showrooms through New England.  Merry Christmas to All!!!


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Tis the Season: Some of The Ultimate Bath Store’s Favorite Brands

As 2013 comes to a close , TUBS wanted to take the opportunity to look at some of the new offerings of their select brands.  Toilets, faucets and other bathroom accessories may not be the perfect Christmas gifts, but the promise of a bathroom remodel might win you some major Christmas cheer.

As a Premier partner of Kohler,  let’s indulge in some of Kohler’s and Kallista’s products, but before taking a look, Kohler deserves some accolades for receiving the Environmental Protections Agency’s 2013 Water Sense Sustainable Excellence award.  Kohler is being recognized for its long-term efforts to increase consumer awareness of water issues and provide products to conserve water in homes and businesses. Congratulations Kohler for this honor.

Kohler’s Q2 and Q3 Toilet Seats

Kohler Quiet Close Toilet Seat

Q2 and Q3 toilet seats are all about convenience, with features that make them easy to install and remove, and that prevent them from slamming and shifting.

Kohler_Quiet_toilet_Seat

This Q3 Advantage seat features innovative technology that prevents the seat from slamming, and simplifies both cleaning and installation.

Surround yourself in warmth. Kohler’s Baths with Bask Heated Surface

Kohler Bask with Heated Surface

KOHLER baths with the Bask™ heated surface warm your back and neck as you bathe, creating a soothing, spa-like environment. Bask allows you to recline on a heated surface that complements the warmth of the bath water for ultimate relaxation. Three heat settings make it easy to customize the surface temperature to your liking.

Veil Wall-Hung Toilet

Kohler Veil Wall Mounted Toilet

With its concealed tank and minimal footprint, the innovative Veil wall-hung toilet saves up to 12 inches of precious bathroom space over KOHLER's longest floor-mount models. And with dual-flush technology, this high-efficiency toilet can save as much as 6,000 gallons of water annually over a traditional 1.6-gallon toilet.

How about a few offerings from Kallista.

Kallista Air Induced Raindome

KALLISTA: AIR-INDUCED SOFT MODERN RAINDOME - Air-Induction technology delivers a fuller, more powerful spray and maximizes the air/water mix for a powerful, even flow

Kallista Barbara Barry Counterpoint Faucet

KALLISTA: COUNTERPOINT BY BARBARA BARRY SINGLE CONTROL LAVATORY FAUCET, MARBLE HANDLE - Reflecting the minimal elegance of 1930s and inspired by the simplicity of modern design, Counterpoint has a chic sensibility and sophisticated presence of line

Kallista Counterpoint Wall Sconce

KALLISTA: COUNTERPOINT BY BARBARA BARRY ROCK CRYSTAL WALL SCONCE, DOVE WHITE SHADE

Your friends at Bain Ultra have a new tub collection.  It is called Ora.  It comes in either oval or rectangle.  Palm trees not included!!!

Bain Ultra Ora

Ora oval 6838 freestanding Freestanding, Theatre Stage - 68 x 38 x 25

Bain Ultra Ora

Ora oval 7240 Drop-In, Undermount - 72 x 40 x 21

Bain Ultra Ora

Ora rectangular 6636 freestanding Freestanding, Theatre Stage - 66 x 36 x 25

Gerber Plumbing has committed to producing a number of products that conserve water.  Like Kohler, they are a Water Sense partner.

Gerber Plumbing Fixtures - Avalanche Toilet

Gerber Avalanche Toilet

Gerber Plumbing Wicker Park Toilet

Gerber Wicker Park Toilet

Gerber Plumbing Pomeroy Faucet

Gerber Pomeroy Faucet - Brush Nickel

Gerber Plumbing Logan Square Faucet

Gerber Logan Square Faucet

Since 1932, Gerber Plumbing Fixtures LLC has been a leading manufacturer of vitreous china plumbing fixtures, faucets, fittings, and bathroom suites for the residential, commercial, and hospitality construction markets. Gerber’s comprehensive line of high performance, high-efficiency and eco-friendly plumbing products are sold exclusively through the plumbing professional and are supported with Gerber’s “Best-in-Class” customer service.

Never to be a company outdone, Moen is always pushing the limits of style and innovative.  Moen’s M-PACT common valve system let’s you change out the fixtures without having to change the plumbing.  Untwist the current fixture from the top to remove.  Choose from the wide assortment of fixture styles.  Lock into place.

A few M-Pact products:

Moen Eva Bath Faucet

Eva Brushed nickel two-handle high arc bathroom faucet

Moen 90 Degree Bath Faucet

90 Degree Brushed nickel two-handle low arc bathroom faucet

Moen Waterhill Bath Faucet

Waterhill Wrought iron two-handle high arc roman tub faucet includes hand shower

Moen Fina Bath Faucet

Fina Chrome two-handle low arc wall mount bathroom faucet

So, surprise your loved one with the gift of a renovation.  Visit one of our stores and have one of our knowledgeable showroom sales consultants show you some Christmas cheer.  HO HO HO!!!

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Kohler’s Moxie Showerhead: The Perfect Gift for Christmas

It’s that time of year again.  With only a few days before Black Friday & Cyber Monday and the pressure is on to find the perfect gift.  Our friends at Kohler have found the solution:  the Moxie Showerhead and Wireless Speaker.

Everyday we step into the shower to begin our day or wash off the day’s efforts, so why not, enjoy this time with some of your favorite music.  Kohler has taken advantage of Bluetooth Technology to transport your favorite songs into this innovate new showerhead.   With music piping down from your showerhead, no doubt, your showering experience will never be the same.

The Ultimate Bath Store in conjunction with it’s premier partner Kohler is bringing the Moxie Showerhead to you for just $124.99.  That’s $70 off the manufacturer’s suggested price.  At this price, it is the perfect stocking stuffer.  Click on image for this special offer.

Kohler Moxie Showerhead and Wireless Speaker

Kohler's Moxie Showerhead and Wireless Speaker: the perfect elixir for the Black Sunday & Cyber Monday. Click on image for more information.

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What To Consider Before Starting a Bathroom Project

Your standing in your bathroom and you look around and realize that besides a couple coats of paint,  the bathroom hasn’t been updated in a long time.  Once this realization has been hit you, you decide that it is time for a bathroom renovation.   So where do you begin?

How involved do you what to go? ‘Involved’ in this case has two meanings: 1) how involved are you going to get with the actual work and 2) how involved is the project going to be.  Are you looking to change out the toilet, vanity and faucet, which may require some help, but many DYIers could tackle these activities or are you looking for a complete tear-out?   The answer to the 2nd question, will determine the answer to the first.

Let’s say the decision is made to go down to the wall studs and sub-floor.  Since this is the chosen approach, you are going to need to bring in the professionals:  a showroom professional and a contractor, preferably one that has experience with bathroom remodels.  But before you engage the professionals, you need to do a little homework.

Who can help in this process? Ultimately, this bathroom is about you, so you need to go to the Internet or buy some home design magazines and fire up your creative side.  This process will take some time, but it will open you up to the wide variety of options that are available, both on the style side and the product side.  Understanding the size of your space and creating a couple of rough sketches of how you would want the new bathroom configured in the existing space.  Gathering all of this intel will be critical to your next step:  finding a bath & plumbing showroom professional.

The Ultimate Bath Store_Portland_ME

NEXT STOP: The Showroom

If you want this project to get done with the less amount of headaches, on time and on budget, a bath & plumbing showroom professional is key.  They bring product knowledge, design knowledge and vast experience to the project.  A showroom environment provides an excellent opportunity to see products as well as bathroom displays that will further enhance the creative process.  It is also likely that you can kill to two birds with one stone when you visit a bath & plumbing showroom.  One by establishing the critical relationship with a showroom professional and often they will have suggestions for competent contractors.

Obtaining a contractor: The National Kitchen & Bath Association estimates that an average bathroom renovation costs about $11,000 and that roughly two-thirds of that cost comes is tied up in labor, so do your due diligence in finding the right contractor.  If you can obtain at least three names, this will provide a decent cross section because every contractor might have a different approach to the project.  Key things to know when vetting a contractor:  have they done a lot of bathroom projects,  do they represent themselves in a professional manner,  are they insured,  do they have a website where you can go to see their past projects,  who do they hire for sub contractors (plumbers & electricians) and can they articulate time estimates.

Labor is roughly 2/3rd of your costs, so picking the right contractor is critical.

So now you have a rough design concept,  a contractor and a bath & plumbing showroom representative, the next step is the fun part: finalizing the design and choosing the products.   The Ultimate Bath Store showroom professionals have laid out many design concepts.  They know the in’s & out’s of bathroom projects and they are an invaluable source to the contractor.   They also have the most experience with the products.  They receive regular visits from manufacturer representatives and they have seen the products in action.

So, once you’ve reach that point, where you’ve decided that your bathroom needs an overhaul, stop by an visit Mike Alber in our Burlington, Vermont showroom, Karen Schooner in our Concord, NH showroom,  Tiffanie Chase in our Exeter, NH showroom,  Jean Tillinghast or Gay Quartella in our Groton, Connecticut showroom, Darlene Brown in our Lebanon, NH showroom,  Marianne Fox or Diane Tetreault in our Lowell, MA showroom,  Collette Camberis or Michelle Pattle in our Manchester, NH showroom,  Tracy MacKay in our Portland, ME showroom,  Shelia Garcia or Shelley LaPanne in our Rochester, NH showroom,  George Burkett in our Rutland, VT showroom, Beth Craver in our Westerly, RI showroom and Karen Essex in our Worcester, MA showroom.

You’ll be glad that you did.

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Aquatic: Where Inspiration Takes Shape

There is something about New England winter’s that makes the prospect of submerging into hot water very appealing.   Whether it is the cold driving wind or the sub freezing temperatures,  having your body surrounded by water that is between 104-110 degrees eases winter’s icy grip.  The folks at Aquatic provide a number of watery retreats that work perfectly for coping with Old Man Winter.

Aquatic manufacturers whirlpool baths,  hotsoak tubs, air baths, soaking tubs,  acrylic showers and steam showers.  All Aquatic products are made by American workers in U.S. factories, using an unparalleled process that melds precision engineering with expert craftsmanship. They finely tune details inside and out, making sure every curved edge and water line is perfectly clean, so you can enjoy many years of luxury and beauty.

Aquatic Modern

Whether you’re remodeling a master bath or planning a new bathroom, you’ll find an array of bathtubs to fit your needs and design preferences. The considerations below will help you narrow down your options and make the best choice.

The first step in choosing a bathtub involves taking into account some basic considerations related to your bath space:

  • Measure the dimensions of the room to get a better idea of what tub size and configuration will work best
  • Take note of the plumbing layout of your space, so you can be sure the drain location of your new tub matches up with connecting pipes. Contact a professional plumber if any plumbing needs to be moved or reworked.

The next step is determining the type of bathtub to chose and there are a few possibilities:

  • Skirted tubs have one finished side and are anchored on the other side and both ends by a bathroom wall. The visible finished side, also called an skirt or apron, can be flat or bowed.
  • Corner tubs have triangular-shaped designs that fit into the nook of a room. These units are often configured for two-person bathing.
  • Drop-in tubs have no finished sides and are usually installed within a constructed deck and surround. A self rimming edge can be seen above the mounting surface.
  • Undermount units are similar to a drop-in style and are equally versatile. Similar to an undermount sink, the bath is installed beneath a cutout in the mounting surface, and there is no visible edge.
  • Freestanding tubs are finished on all sides and can be placed almost anywhere in a bathroom. Designs range from vintage clawfoot bathtubs to contemporary styles with pedestals.

Aquatic Skirted Tub

Aquatic Corner Tub

Aquatic Drop-In Tub

Aquatic FreeStanding Tub

To see more Aquatic products like, tubs and showers, stop by one of our store locations.

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In the Spirit of Halloween

Just a bit of black & orange in celebration of Halloween.

Bathrooms

Kitchens

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Aquatic and The Granite Group Donate ADA Shower For Boston Marathon Bombing Victim

When Aquatic’s customer, The Granite Group, recently approached us about donating an ADA shower for the family home of Boston Marathon bombing victim, Jeff Bauman, our answer was an unequivocal “yes!”

You likely have seen news reports about Bauman because the media have covered him extensively – at the time of the bombing and subsequently as he has been recovering from the horrific event that dramatically changed his life in an instant. On April 15, the 27-year-old Costco deli worker from Chelmsford, Mass. was waiting for his girlfriend, a race contestant, near the marathon’s finish line when the first of the two bombs detonated and hit him. Later that day, doctors amputated both his legs.

Jeff Bauman with his family, left to right: Csilla, stepmother; Csilla, stepsister; Jeff; Erika, stepsister; Jeff. Sr., father (Photo courtesy of the Bauman family)

To help Jeff as he faces the many challenges of life as a double amputee, friends, neighbors, people from his stepmother’s church and both local and national businesses have joined forces to help renovate the family home in Concord, New Hampshire for accessibility. Although the initial plan was to simply add an exterior wheelchair ramp to the traditional 1940s, New England-style house, the project quickly expanded to include a 525-square-foot addition with an accessible bedroom, bathroom and laundry room, plus the kitchen will be relocated – all to ensure that Jeff can get around and function independently.

“We hope that Aquatic’s donation of this accessible shower will enable Jeff to bathe with the same ease and safety as before last April’s tragic event,” said Stacy Zar, Director of Marketing and New Product Development, Aquatic. “As a company, we strive everyday to make people’s lives better in small ways, but it’s humbling to think that a simple product could affect Jeff’s life significantly.”

These are just some of the 100 volunteers helping to build an 525-square-foot, accessible addition to the Bauman family's home so Jeff can get around and function independently. (Photo courtesy of Cobb Hill Construction)

Cobb Hill Construction, also located in Concord, is spearheading the renovation, which has involved rounding up donations of products, materials and services from more than 70 companies. Cobb Hill also has been coordinating approximately 100 volunteers – skilled craftspeople, community residents, friends and relatives – who are helping with all aspects of the construction. Area restaurants have been providing on-site meals for all the workers as well as restaurant certificates for the Bauman family while it is without a functional kitchen.

The Granite Group, one of the top 50 plumbing, heating and PVF wholesale distributors in the United States, is among the companies that Cobb Hill approached for donating materials. Also based in Concord, Granite has 26 locations serving New England and Eastern New York, and is a major supplier for Cobb Hill.

“The Boston Marathon bombing was a national tragedy that also hit close to home since the Bauman family lives in Concord and Jeff frequently visits his relatives here,” said Rand Hinman, Director of Showrooms, The Granite Group. “Jointly donating an ADA shower with Aquatic is a relatively small thing that we are easily able to do but it hopefully will have a big, positive impact on Jeff’s quality of life for years to come.”

We are very proud to do business with customers such as The Granite Group – with companies that want to get involved with projects that make the world a better place, whether for communities of people or one deserving person at a time.
Rand Hinman
Director of The Ultimate Bath Stores

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To Paint is To Determine the Right Color

Color is a powerful tool that can be used to inspire emotions or simply set the mood and atmosphere for any particular room.  In a research study called Impact of Color in Marketing, it was found that 90% of snap judgements made about products can be based upon color alone.  Chromatherapy has been described a couple of times in this blog: June 2013 & December 2011.  There is no question that color plays a significant role in how soothing you want your room to be or how exciting it should be.

The concept of the color wheel was invented when Sir Isaac Newton bent the color spectrum into a circle. Since then, the color wheel has been used as a tool for understanding color relationships and creating harmonious color schemes. The color wheel clearly shows which colors are warm and cool, complementary, split complementary and analogous.

Color Wheel

Warm colors range from red to yellow. Warm colors are active, attention-grabbing and aggressive. They stimulate the emotions, motivate and seem to add more pop to a room.

Cool colors range from blue to violet. Cool colors have a calming effect.  Blue is contemplative color, meaning intelligence and strength, whereas, violet is a connotation of regal and dignity.

Complementary colors lie opposite each other on the color wheel. They complete or enhance each other. Using complementary colors in a room is quite pleasing to the eye. The colors seem to belong together.  When using complements, let one of them dominate by giving it a bigger area, while using the other as an accent.

Split complements (also known as contrasting colors or triads) lie on either side of a color’s complement on the color wheel. These colors offer many of the same benefits as complementary colors, but the effect is more subtle.  Analogous color schemes use colors that are adjacent on the color wheel and so have similar hues. For example, blues, blue-greens and greens are analogous.

When choosing colors,  there are a few things to consider. Think about the mood that you are trying to create.  If you want your bathroom environment to be stimulating, use colors that pop and energize, like yellows and reds.  For a calming effect, tone it down to blues or violets.  It is critical to pay attention to the lighting.  Does the room receive natural light or is the lighting created artificially.  Natural light will show the truest colors, whereas incandescent light brings warmer tones.  Don’t be afraid to stay within one color scheme.  With today’s color palettes, the variations are numerous and off-setting different walls provides some subtle contrast.   Finally, use different paint finishes like an eggshell finish on walls and a satin or semigloss on trim.

Every year the folks at Pantone, the world renown authority on color and provider of color systems establishes a color of the year.  The Color of the Year for 2013 is Emerald.

2013 Color of the Year - Emerald

They also establish a seasonal color palette: FALL 2013

Pantone's Fall 2013 Colors for Fashion

Recently, Benjamin Moore named their color of the year for 2104: ‘Breathe of Fresh Air’.

Benjamin Moore Color of the Year for 2014

Breathe of Fresh Aire - Benjamin Moore's 2014 Color of the Year

To see more offerings from Benjamin Moore’s 2014 Color Palette: Peach Parfait, Palladian Blue, Flint and Super Nova.

Sherwin Williams has also established their 2014 Color Forecast.

So, no matter what color palette inspires you,  go to your local paint shop and sit down with one of their experts to determine how to get the best results.  We will happily fill in the blanks for the properly color coordinated kitchen and bath products.

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Mr. Steam: The “Feel Good” Company

Mr. Steam has been in the “Feel Good” business since 1917.  Mr. Steam is one of those company’s  in the bath & plumbing industry, where literally their mission embodies their history.  Having cut their teeth on building steam boilers for the the U.S. Navy and the Kennedy Space Center, Mr. Steam has been an innovator in the ‘feel good’ industry for almost 100 years.

In 2013, Mr. Steam was the recipient of the KB Culture Award for Excellence in Design and Technology in the Bath Fittings category for it’s iSteam.  This sleek, moisture-proof control pad is all that’s needed to select the settings for a customized steam shower experience.

Mr. Steam iSteam

when the President of your company can speak the language of industrial design, this is the outcome.

Not sure, why I didn’t have this product at the top of my tech savvy list.

Whether it has been the Greeks, the Romans, the Russians, the Norwegians, the Turks, the Japanese or Natives Americans in North & South America, steam has played a role in cultures from the dawn of civilization.  The medicinal qualities of steam have also been chronicled.  The ability for a Mr. Steam to respect the history of steam and evolve the therapeutic qualities gives it the necessary edge in the home spa industry.

In the steam business, the generator is the heart of the spa. Selecting a proper generator is key to making sure that your residential steam bath is going to provide the optimal experience.

 Steam Generator by Mr. Steam

Mr. Steam’s website has a number of areas that helps the homeowner understand more about adding steam to your bathroom project.

How to Select a Steam System

What is a Steam Shower

Home Steam Bath

SteamTherapy

Build Your Own Spa

Of course, you can always visit our showrooms to speak with one of our knowledgeable showroom representatives about the Mr. Steam products and advantages of adding a steam bath to your bathroom project.

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Tech Savvy Bathrooms: Meeting Gen Y Expectations

Gen Y has grown up with technology, so as they decorate their homes, they want products to match their tech sensibilities.  The demand is growing for bathrooms that offer touch-free fixtures, spa-like appointments and the ability to allow your personal devices to follow you seamlessly from other parts of the house into the inner sanctum of privacy.

The housing market has been revving up, but not everybody is ready to jump into new homes quite yet, so they are putting their resources into their current home.  They want thoughtful designed, energy efficiency and technically sophisticated gadgets.  Many of the these products are changing the face of the bathroom experience.

Illuminated Glass Block

colored lights with fiber optics can create an distinctive mood

Sensitile Scintilla

interactive surface which respond to the shadows, movements, lights and colors around it - no power needed!

Changing the surfaces in your bathroom can alter the mood of the bathroom, but the fun starts now.

Robern TVID Medicine Cabinet

TV integrated into the medicine cabinet. Men will never leave the bathroom.

Moen ioDigital Vertical Spa

the power is in your hands to control flow and heat

Kohler Hybrid Energy System

Kohler AC Touchless Faucet - AC touchless faucets with Insight technology features an adaptive infrared sensor that gathers and analyzes the surrounding area upon installation.

There is no reason that stepping out of the shower or bath should be a shock.

Sun Touch Radiant Heating

why should you feet have to suffer after a shower or bath

Now this is definitely a luxury, but being a fire fanatic, I can’t leave it out.

These tech savvy products are not only appealing to the Gen Y folks, they are also sought by homeowners, who want to stay on the cutting edge of design trends.  If you’d like help in understanding what manufacturers are introducing innovative products into the bath industry, stop by one of our showrooms and speak with one of our trained showroom representatives.

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