Clawfoot Bathtub Buyers Guide - Essential Advice to Ensure
You Get The Right Tub For Your Needs
Looking to buy a clawfoot bathtub? It's a splendid choice and
more, once you have one of these classic tubs installed it is certain to become a striking
centerpiece in your bathroom that will dramatically transform
it into one that exudes character and style, as well as one
that you'll want to spend quality time in to bathe yourself. Furthermore, a clawfoot tub will be something
that you can admire and enjoy for many years to come and, let's not
forget, you'll always have
something to talk about with admiring members of the family and
friends, of which there will be many!
Before you take the plunge and dive headfirst into buying your bathtub, take some time to follow our advice to learn about the
different types available and how to determine which will be better
Styles of Claw Foot Tubs
- Are You In For a Soaking?
- Classic - The original & basic Clawfoot Tub with one flat end and one
rounded end. Faucets are typically attached at the flat end of
the tubs rim.
- Double Ended - Rounded at both ends. Faucets are most
often affixed midway along the rim of one of the long sides of the
or the bathtub will be positioned in such a way that wall mounted faucets are
located at the midway point.
- Slipper - Raised at one end. The raised end provides back and
head support for the bather. As the name suggests, the shape is
somewhat akin to that of a slipper.
- Double Slipper - Raised and rounded at each end.
- Pedestal / Skirted - Pedestal tubs sit on a skirt that surrounds
the entire base of the bath. They don't have clawfeet and
therefore cannot technically be called clawfoot bathtubs, however
they are mentioned here because pedestal bathtub styles are similar to the
Popular Clawfoot Bathtub Brands
These are a few of the companies that are making more than a
splash in the world of bath tubs with their high quality tubs and
- Elizabethan Classics
- Sunrise Specialty
- Herbeau Creations
- American Bath Factory
- Vintage Tub & Bath
Cast Iron or Acrylic Clawfoot Bathtubs,
The Choice is Yours
- Cast Iron Bathtubs - The original Victorian
antique clawfoot tubs were made from
cast iron and coated with porcelain. Cast iron is still much in
demand to this day and buyers will find a huge range available to
them. A couple of disadvantages are that cast-iron is cold to the
touch and extremely heavy.
- Acrylic Bath Tubs - Acrylic bathtubs are gaining popularity and are therefore just as
likely to be an option worth considering by buyers. They have the benefit of being lighter than their cast
iron equivalents, plus they will never crack or rust and they have a warmer
feel to them. Technological advances have also led to the introduction
of new resins used to manufacture acrylic
tubs that do not stain easily, are hardwearing and easy to clean.
- Fiberglass Bathtubs - Fiberglass tubs are also available but are mostly not of the same
standard as acrylic or cast iron types and therefore may not appeal
to buyers in the same way as the aforementioned types.
Prices - What Will You Get For Your Money?
Tub prices start at around the $1000 but can go up to $6000 or
more. Broadly speaking, the widest range of options exists between
$1200 - $1800 and you will truly be spoilt for choice if your budget
is within these amounts.
European or American Style Tubs?
Typically, European style tubs are supplied without faucet
drillings as the average requirement may be for a non bath mounted
fitting or an exposed freestanding water supply linkage that's attached and plumbed through the floor. However, European tubs do
come supplied with the drain and overflow holes already drilled.
American style bathtubs will mostly be supplied with faucet
drillings, as such the faucets can be fitted to the tub itself with
direct linkages to the water supply lines and drainage pipes.
Note: The mere fact that a tub is sold in the USA would not be
enough to classify it as an American style tub. If your requirement
is for a tub that already has the holes drilled for faucets, you
will want to carefully read the vendors description of your favored
bathtub to determine whether or not this is indeed the case.
Tub Sizes - You're In Deep Water!
Clawfoot tubs come in a wide range of sizes. Classic style tubs
are available in lengths as short as 4 feet, which makes them ideal
for installation where space is tight. Generally, tub sizes increase
steps of 6 inches. Common sizes are 48", 54",
60", 66" & 72", you can however find some
manufacturers that offer their tubs in additional sizes. It has to
be said that a slipper or double slipper tub in one of the larger
sizes is truly a sight to be seen and will exude an elegance
unmatched by any other bathtub and can really "set the
scene" in a bathroom.
Water depth is something else to give thought to. It varies from tub
to tub but will typically range from 13 to 16 inches.
Do remember that the longest, deepest and widest tubs will
require more water to fill them completely, sometimes as much as 80
gallons, and this will therefore be an important consideration
where water conservation is an issue.
Feeling a Bit Off Color? Make a Splash with Alternative Clawfoot Tub Color Choices
Somewhat predictably, the interior color of most baths is white.
Other colors are available but you may well have to hunt around
a bit to find your desired color such as champagne, cream, ivory or
even darker tones
like black or brown. Some manufacturers or suppliers, like Vintage
Tub, now provide customers
with a select choice of exterior colors, and in some cases
can custom paint a tub to your specifications. Clearly, your choice
will be down to your personal
preference and the bathroom decor with which you wish to match your
Do bear in mind that if
you choose a color that isn't one of the mainstream options you
may have to wait several extra weeks for delivery due to the extended
manufacturing time required.
Additionally, as with just about any kind of custom work, you will
likely see the end price of your bathtub increase. The benefit?
You'll have a tub that's unique to you, and well worth the wait!
Ready to Get Your Feet Wet? Clawed Feet Options
In many cases clawfoot bath tub buyers will be able to choose
both their preferred style of "claw feet" and the material/metal
that they are made from. Remember that your selection will
invariably have an effect on the overall cost of your tub
depending on what the feet are made of. The following are just a few
of the available choices:
Clawed Feet Colors
- White - Usually the lowest cost or 'standard' option
- Chrome or Brass - About 5 - 10% more expensive than
- Polished or Satin Nickel - About 15 - 20% more than white
Since the claw feet are
such a prominent feature, your choice will serve to either blend the
feet with the color of the bathtub, as well as that of your
bathroom's decor, or to contrast with it.
Your Desire for Stylish Fittings...
As clawfoot bathtubs are usually supplied without faucets you
will need to bear this in mind when calculating the total amount you
will spend on purchasing your tub. Essentially, pricing will come
down to both the model / style of the faucets and the quality of them. Some
of the various styles are listed below.
- Roman Tub Faucets
- Free Standing Faucet
- English Telephone Faucets
- Deck Mounted
- Hand Shower Faucet
- Standard Faucets
- Wall Mounted
Prices vary enormously and range from around $30, rising to $500
Some suppliers now offer "bathtub sets" whereby the
buyer is offered a choice of faucets that are suited to a particular
tub. This saves on a lot of the guesswork involved in
getting the right type and size of faucet and is definitely an
option that is worth further consideration if you want to have the minimum of headache
with the purchase and plumbing of your bathtub.
It's Time to Come Clean... and Dip Your Toe in the Water
So there you have it. We hope this guide has given you a better
understanding of clawfoot bathtubs, fittings and accessories. One
thing is for sure, you'll certainly be able to keep your head above
water when it comes to making your choice. Now go on and give
yourself that luxury soaking you've been promising yourself by
buying your very own classic clawfoot tub!