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Merry Christmas from Tapshop!

December 24th, 2012 by steph

Here at Tapshop, we would like to take this opportunity to wish you all the best over the festive period. The last 12 months have been a wonderful and busy time for us, with many of our taps finding homes with satisfied customers. However, we are fully aware that we wouldn’t have been able to achieve any of us this without the help, loyalty and commitment of you, the customer. Whilst we are fully committed to providing you with the best taps in the bathroom business, we are completely aware of the gratitude and debt we owe, as you continue to return and spread the word about our services.

Over the festive period we’ll be taking a few days off to celebrate, recharge and ultimately, return as a better tap retailer before. We will be out of the office and unable to take calls on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day, before returning on the 27th. We will then rejoin the festivities on New Year’s Eve and New Years Day, before returning to work fully on the 2nd of January, ready and raring to make 2013 our best year to date.

Finally, we hope that you have the Christmas you could hope for and get everything you want. So, from everyone at Tapshop, have a merry Christmas and a happy New Year!

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Reducing Water Wastage in the Bathroom

December 10th, 2012 by steph

The average home owner wastes a staggering amount of water every day, and it may not be immediately apparent why. The smallest habit changes could easily contribute to enormous savings on water and heating bills; in fact as much as 2/3 of the water we actually use on a daily basis in used in the bathroom, so what better place to start!

Heating Water

It’s not just water that we tend to waste in the bathroom; 25% of the heating supplied to our home is used to warm the water we use to wash and bathe in, so by reducing the amount of hot water wasted we can cut heating bills too!

It’s common knowledge that taking a shower uses far less water than taking a bath does, but many people shower for far too long, using up far more than a bathtub’s worth of water. If possible, substitute baths and long shower sessions with shorter shower sessions, this will reduce heating usage and water usage simultaneously.

Water Saving Fittings

There are some fantastic water-conscious fixtures and fittings on the market that can help you reduce water wastage when spending time in the bathroom. Aerated taps mix water with air before it is emitted, saving water every second the tap is on, without sacrificing performance. Aerated showerheads work in the same way, and feature smaller holes from which water is emitted, further saving water without sacrificing performance.

If you’re not planning on upgrading your toilet to a water saving ‘dual flush model’ (which allows you to flush with a lesser amount of water when needed) then fear not, you can easily retrofit a dual flush syphon, it’s quick and easy to fit and shouldn’t cost you more than £20.

Patching Up Problems

Believe it or not, leaking toilets and taps are a major culprit when it comes to water wastage in the household. By fixing leaking taps and toilets, you could save up to 7,000 litres of water per year; again, cutting down on water bills and further doing your bit for the environment!

To detect a leaking toilet, simply take a bottle of food colouring and empty a few drips into the cistern, if the colour finds its way into the toilet bowl without being flushed, the cistern is leaking water and should be repaired!

So there we are, a few simple water and money saving tips to help you create a much more ecologically and economically friendly bathroom.

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Why not make your home a Handmade Haven and therefore truly yours?

November 20th, 2012 by steph

You don’t need me to tell you that we are smack bang in the middle of a really awful economic slump, created dare I say, as a result of the ‘buy now, pay later’ culture we have come to know but not necessarily love. Couple this with the ‘discard that and buy the next model’ attitude, it’s no wonder we’re in the mess we are.

What happened to the time when we saw something that we really wanted or needed and then knew that it would take ‘X’ amount of weeks or even months to save up for it? Then, wasn’t it a sweet moment when we could go along and make our long awaited purchase? Furthermore didn’t we value such an item all the more because we were only too aware of the effort in acquiring it?

There is nothing wrong in having to wait for something, surely we now realise that in most cases, instant gratification is just that ‘instant’ and the pleasurable after effect is very short-lived.

I would like to suggest that by altering our attitude to the way we purchase and what we purchase, we will not only help our economy but we will actually be providing ourselves with a more meaningful, sustainable and happier existence.

I speak specifically about handmade products and services.

Today the media is full to bursting, of programmes and articles dedicated to the tangible achievements of the past, where experts extol the virtues of craftsmen and craftsmanship. They talk about the detail, the design, the skill, the workmanship and the fact that many of these items are still in working use, literally hundreds of years later.

It may be surprising to learn that there is still, to this day a thriving handmaking and craft industry in Britain today worth an estimated, £3bn per annum to the UK economy* and if common sense has any part to play in our future then this figure will rise exponentially.

* (Creative and Cultural Skills Report 2008).

In buying handcrafted products and services we are not only making a considered purchase, we are making a connection with another human being or collection of human beings, who have taken it upon themselves to learn particular skills, coupled with their life experiences, to produce the most beautiful, useful and desirable things, that will not only make a statement and command attention in our home, but which will also become treasured possessions and heirlooms of the future, that have meaning far beyond their aesthetic or functional value. Our homes will truly become ours when we fill them with individually crafted interiors that reflect who we are as people rather than the generic profile of some large chain store. While we will be secure in the knowledge that we are not only spending our ever more hard-earned cash really well but that we will be genuinely contributing to our economy by supporting our craftsmen and women.

And while we not only have the economy but the environment to consider, we will be much closer to having a positive effect in this direction as well, if we purchase products and services that have been created with an almost instinctive awareness of sustainability because handcrafted items are more often than not produced from renewable or recycled resources.

So my message would be ‘buy it once but buy it well’ and keep your local craftsmen and women going. But don’t think for a minute that I am talking about turning your house into a living museum, as an homage to purely traditional/heritage crafts; There is some really cutting edge, contemporary stuff out there as well, it just happens to have been beautifully crafted by hand and will almost certainly outlast it’s machine-stamped counterpart by years if not generations. If that’s not value for money I don’t know what is!

Gillian Montegrande

Founder of Made by Hands of Britain

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Sleep Benefits of Blackout Blinds

October 3rd, 2012 by steph

As humans, we are programmed to survive on a schedule of sleep which changes throughout our lives. Babies have a greater need to sleep in order to allow their brains to develop, and can sleep for up to 20 hours a day, whereas adults can be fully functional on 7-9 hours per day. Getting the right amount of sleep is important for your mind and body, as it is time that your mind uses to recover produces melatonin, an important vitamin in keeping your body functioning at full capacity.  To get the best out of your time spent asleep, it is important to make your environment as sleep friendly as possible.

Keeping your bed strictly for sleeping will help your subconscious associate the bed with sleep, and should cut down the time it takes to drift off.

Sleeping in loose fitting clothes or even without clothes will stop your body temperature from rising, and give you a restful night, without feeling claustrophobic.

Setting the mood for sleep is important to block out any external disruptions. A good sturdy set of blackout blinds will stop any signs of sunlight creep in, as well as street lamps or neighbours lighting that could potentially intrude on your sleep. If you have noisy surroundings, like heavy traffic or loud neighbours for example, it might be beneficial to mask the sound with something more soothing, like a fan or quiet classical music.

Engaging in a relaxing activity before bed will help your body prepare for rest. Yoga, reading, a bath, or light stretching should help to relax and make you fall asleep quickly and easily.

If you need to get out of bed during the night for a drink or to use the bathroom, avoid switching on lights, and use small hand-held lights if possible; a phone or torch, for example, will let you see where you’re going without disturbing your eyes and waking you up completely.

Diet and drinking habits also influence sleeping patterns. Eating too close to bedtime will make your stomach work overtime to digest the food, meaning loud stomach noises or feeling sick, which will keep you tossing and turning for hours. Drinking close to bedtime may seem a good idea to stave off dehydration, although it takes a few hours to process fluids which would result in lots of bathroom breaks. Caffeine and alcohol before bed will keep your mind active, making it harder to sleep.

When waking up, switch on the lights or open blinds and curtains to let your mind and body adjust to light properly and associate light with waking up.

 

http://www.madetomeasureblinds-uk.com/ is a Reading-based company, specialising in blackout blinds, roller blinds, venetian blinds, vertical blinds and roller blinds.

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How To: Install a Bidet

June 25th, 2012 by admin

In France, 1710, there was the first recorded reference to an item, that we now call the bidet. Intended to assist in personal hygiene, the bidet was used to clean more private areas of the body, between weekly baths. Bidets were kept in the bedroom, with the chamber pot, until the 1900s when modern plumbing made it more practical to install it in the bathroom, in close proximity to the toilet. Nowadays, throughout Europe, bidets are an integral part of the bathroom. (In Italy, it is reported that approximately 90% of the population owns a bidet.)

There are obvious hygienic reasons as to why, you should want to own and use a bidet, and that is a blog post itself. However, this blog post will talk you through installing your chosen bidet:

To install a bidet you need the following:
- Hot and cold water pipes
- A waste pipe
- A bidet and all the necessary nuts and bolts
- Socket set/wrenches
- Spirit level
- Sealant
- Screwdriver

You should start by installing the hot and cold water pipes and the waste pipe; this job should be handled by a professional to prevent leaks and potential problems. The bidet is traditionally installed next to a cistern so keep that in mind when designing your bathroom; make sure you have space for your bidet and that the floor and wall are level (if wall attached).

Before you get them installed you should make sure the basin, bidet, cistern and bath you’re purchasing are all the same material and colour. If you purchased your bath, basin and cistern before the bidet then you should contact either your supplier or the manufacturer of the product to either ask for the specific colour or to purchase a bidet from their range.

Step 1 – Turn off the water, then start by assembling the bidet – attach the faucets and drain fittings.
Step 2 – Check the alignment of the pipes, make sure the bidet will fit where you want it and that all pipes will connect fine.
Step 3 – Use the spirit level to make sure the floor you are using is flat.
Step 4 – Measure up where the bidet is going to be installed, mark the holes in the floor and wall where the bolts will go, also mark the outline of the bidet so you know where to place it in Step 6.
Step 5 – Drill pilot holes into the floor.
Step 6 – Place the bidet, make sure you measure up with the guides you made and that the holes in the bidet match the holes you drilled in the floor.
Step 7 – Insert and tighten the hold-down bolts, use the spirit level to make sure that you have installed the bidet correctly and that it’s not at an angle.
Step 8 – Place the caps over the bolts, and apply sealant to the base of the bidet.
Step 9 – Connect the hot and cold water supply tubes, the shut-off valve and drain.
Step 10 – Turn on the water and test for leaks or flaws etc.

Bidets are extremely practical; they’re more hygienic and offer benefits to all users. In addition, bidets are versatile and can be used for cleaning items, such as clothes. Installing a bidet now may seem less challenging – however if you do not feel comfortable in following the above steps, we advise that you contact a local plumber, in the first instance.

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