Decorating the Bathroom in Your Log Cabin Home

By Alan Knight
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Today there are tens of thousands of log cabins and log homes in the United States alone.  Additionally, here are many more log home lovers who are considering building their dream home based on this revered material and design structure.  There are about 400 companies in the U.S. and Canada vying for your business, ranging from small mom-and-pop shops to large-scale, multi-state operations

History of Log Cabins

For those who’ve never researched or have been introduced to it before, the history of log home building is fascinating.

In some of the earliest writings, construction of abodes and structures using logs was described by Roman architect Vitruvius Pollio as laying logs horizontally over top of each other and filling in the gaps with “chips and mud.” Earlier precursors to the log cabin of olden time construction has its roots in Scandinavia and Eastern Europe. Although their exact origin is uncertain, the first log structures were probably built in Northern Europe in the Bronze Age (about 3500 BC). Even before Europeans began to settle in North America, they had a long tradition of using logs for houses, barns, and other outbuildings in the Scandinavian countries as well as Germany, Northern Russia, and Ukraine.

According to noted historian C. Weslager, the Finns had a “close attunement” with forests.  He states: "By stacking tree trunks on top of one another and overlapping the logs at the corners, people made the ‘log cabin.’  They developed interlocking corners by notching the logs at the ends, resulting in strong structures that were easier to make weather-tight by inserting moss or other soft material into the joints.  As the original coniferous forest extended over the coldest parts of the world, there was a prime need to keep these houses warm.  The insulating properties of the solid wood were a great advantage over a timber frame construction covered with animal skins, felt, boards or shingles.  Over the decades, increasingly complex joints were developed to ensure more weather tight joints between the logs, but the profiles were still largely based on the round log.”

Back to the Present 

Though log home construction features some classic, “Daniel Boone” and “Davey Crockett-type” models as often seen on TV and in motion pictures, the log homes of today can be quite different than their earlier American counterparts.  Today's log homes often feature innovative designs that, unlike their smaller predecessors, feel modern, open, and upscale.  Many contemporary builders include large windows with outstanding views of the outdoor landscape, cathedral ceilings for a light and airy feel, and modern kitchens that are perfect for entertaining the scores of guests who always flock to any cozy log home.

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Many residents or landlords of these homey dwellings today decorate their homes with stylish, contemporary furnishings and accents.  Although the outside looks rustic, the inside looks much like any other home in the 21st century.  However, there are still various elements that are commonly maintained in many of the current log homes, such as solid wood construction, not just in the logs, but even the furniture.  Exposed solid wood beams that stretch across the expanse of the vaulted ceiling are common.  Bedrooms enjoy exposed wood, or box-and-tray ceilings, giving each bedroom a more spacious feeling. Many tables are made of solid oak, hickory or cedar.  Even chairs have the touch of the outdoors, with impressive carvings.  Wall hangings of antlers and animal skins are not uncommon.

The Rub on Bathtubs

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In the younger years of our own country, if a log cabin had an indoor bathroom (most didn't), it  would be very small.  Inside the small bathroom, there would be a basin for washing, possibly a hand-pump, and a bathtub.  Water would be heated on a wood stove and brought in for the tub.   The bathtub would be made of wood or metal (zinc was popular), or later,  porcelain and cast iron.  The tub would typically be about 54 inches long, which is small by today’s standards.

Today's log homes’ bathrooms are usually enormous by comparison.  An abundance of ceramic tile and stone tile line the floors and walls.  The indoor toilet is oftentimes hidden in its own private room, allowing the separate area containing the sink and bathtub to make a statement of classic elegance.  Today, there are many refinished (restored) antique Clawfoot tubs in log cabins, but something has changed in the market.  No longer do you have to go out in search of an old porcelain tub that has been discarded, with all the problems of chips, broken porcelain, scratches, and fading porcelain.  Over the last several years, many American companies (such as Tub King, Inc. of Jacksonville, Florida) have begun to import impressive, newly cast porcelain tubs from foundries all over the world.  In addition to being built using time-honored materials with the latest technologies and equipment, they come in many sizes, designs and colors.  The old Roll Top rim traditional tubs have given way to many handsome, and popular styles:

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The Slipper Tub with its high, arch back has become the most popular choice for log home lovers.  Shaped similar to Cinderella’s slipper from the Disney movie, it offers a sexy look with fine lines and smooth edges.  The legs come in various finishes such as chrome, brushed nickel, white, and oil-rubbed bronze.

The Dual-ended Tub has a gentle slope on each end of the tub for perfect balance and symmetry.  The faucet and drain are located in the center of the tub, which allows for two bathers at once in the larger 68- or 75-inch versions.

The Double Slipper has the high back on both ends of the tub and is designed for the home that is looking for the very best in glamour and elegance.  Since the modern log homes have opted for larger bathroom space, this tub will fit in almost any bathroom.

And for someone who really wants to display their bathtub, the Pedestal Tub is the ultimate.  The tub, regardless of size, sits on a cast iron/porecelain skirt or base, instead of clawfoot-sculpted legs that actually place it on a pedestal.  It is ideal for the homeowner that wants to feature their tub as a highlight of their home.

Victorian Pedestal sinks are also popular with the more modern log home designs, taking advantage of the precious space in even the smallest bathrooms.
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Log homes may have changed in some aspects over the years, and the new improvements  are certainly welcome.  Designing your log home’s bathroom(s) to show off your beautiful, porcelain and cast iron bathtub makes for great d├ęcor as well as ensuring many wonderfully relaxing moments in your own, private provincial palace.

In this article, I shared information about the historic and contemporary build/design features of log homes, and also highlighted the various types of porcelain/cast iron tubs that have frequently complement their bathrooms. I pointed out that various types of porcelain/cast iron tubs are available today, and that will add a rustic, and memorable bathing experience. 

Customer Testimonial for Double Slipper Pedestal Tub

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Have a question?  Feel free to contact me at the number or email listed below and I’ll personally get back to you.  Thanks for reading; it’s been my pleasure to share this information with you. 

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Alan Knight is the owner of Tub King, Inc., and  in Jacksonville, Florida. He has many years of experience in the antique and senior bathtub industries. His companies not only provide superior products, they are also award winners, receiving the “Best of Jacksonville Chamber Award” four years running. To contact Tub King directly, call (800)843-4231 or email

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