Choosing a Clawfoot Tub

Choosing a Clawfoot Tub

Misty Adair
Mar 18, 2010

Soaking in a clawfoot tub is a luxurious dream shared by many, especially those of us who currently have less than relaxing tub situations. Given the chance to purchase a clawfoot tub for your bathroom remodel, what do you buy? Surprisingly, there are a wide range of choices and we are here to share our newfound knowledge.

The first consideration when shopping for tubs is whether you prefer a cast iron or an acrylic finish. A porcelain finish is more durable, more substantial and more historically accurate. Once cast iron is scratched, it is scarred. An acrylic finish has that "plasticy" feel, but when it is scratched it can be refinished. Also, cast iron tub surfaces are slower to warm than acrylic tub surfaces but maintain the water temperature longer for extended soaks.

Style is the next choice. There are four versions of the traditional clawfoot tub (reproduction or refurbished antique), as well as more modern renditions like the square slipper tub pictured above. The photos featured in the gallery represent each of the four clawfoot tub styles:

1. Double Slipper Tub - Sloping on both ends with the faucet in the center, this style is visually balanced and truly elegant.

2. Classic Roll Top Tub - The most traditional in style, these were made from 1890 to 1940 and were 5 foot long to fit in post war bathrooms. The classic roll top is squared off on one end where the faucet is placed and rounded on the other end where you would rest your head. The faucet can be mounted on the deck of the tub, on the tub wall, or on the wall of your bathroom.

3. Double Ended Tub - Rounded on both ends with the faucet in the center, this and the double slipper offer the flexibility of sitting at either end of the tub.

4. Slipper Tub - This is closely related to the classic clawfoot tub with the exception that it slopes on one end. The slipper is perfect for those who like neck support while lounging in the tub reading a book.

5. Bonus! Baby Slipper Tub - This petite tub offers the charm of the slipper tub, but only measures 54" for those bathrooms short on space.

Finally, don't forget the faucets. These are usually sold separately but are sometimes offered as a packaged deal with the tub. Faucet placement can be wall mounted, rim mounted or a freestanding floor faucet. Be aware of the proper faucet placement for your bathroom plumbing before ordering a pre-drilled tub. Now the only thing missing is the Mr. Bubble!

Tell us about your clawfoot tub. . . love it, hate it? Or like us, are you still pining for one?

Related Posts:
Best of the Bath: Old Fashioned Clawfoot Tubs
Roundup: Clawfoot Tubs

Roundup: Painted Tubs

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