The Easy 3-Step Guide to Buying a Claw Foot Bathtub
Add $5,000 to Your House for the Price of a Claw Foot Tub
Claw Foot Bathtubs, like all bathtubs, come in different styles with different accessories. This guide will help you choose the right one for a classic-looking bathroom that could add as much as $5,000 to the price of your home.
We all like to build rooms around themes, no matter how subtle. Post World War I or the Roaring 20’s have been popular themes for decades. Nothing exemplifies these more than the classic claw foot bathtub. But like any fixture for the house, it’s important to pick the type and accessories that suit the period you are building your theme around.
The claw foot bathtub is free standing, supported off the floor a few inches by claw-shaped feet that are attached to the bottom of the tub. Most everyone has a mental picture of this very attractive and popular tub. In the period of 1890-1910, literally millions were installed in homes of that time.
Step 1 Picking the Type of Claw Foot Tub
There are five main types or styles of claw foot tubs:
* Classic Roll Rim- The post World War I or late 19th century tub is the most popular and well known of all the claw foot bathtubs.
* The Slipper- Named because one end has a high backside, resembling a lady’s slipper, that adds to the bather’s comfort. It was made to give someone a lounge position to rest their head.
* The Double Slipper- This tub has high backsides at both ends, with a side mount faucet and center drain configuration.
* Double Ended- Rounded at both ends, to enable one to pick, which way they preferred to bath. This claw foot tub has a side mount faucet and center drain configuration just like the Double Slipper.
* The Pedestal Tub- This claw foot tub, famous in the 20’s and 30’s, is reminiscent of bathroom gin and wild parties. It sits on a pedestal and has an art deco style to it.
These are the five main styles that lend themselves to themes involving 1890-1939. They are great theme conversation pieces, as well as adding comfort and practicality. They are very attractive and most women picture themselves lounging in the deep water they allow, drifting to some fantasyland with no stress or demands. What a nice addition to any home, while increasing its value and appeal.
Step 2 Picking the Faucet and Drain for the Claw Foot Tub
You must pick your style of tub first, because the plumbing and faucet arrangement needs to match the style of tub (see Double Slipper above).
There are three types of Faucets:
* No Faucet- You will need to purchase a free-standing type of faucet with a high goose neck configuration, or a wall mount.
* Wall Faucet- Faucet is attached to the wall with pipes and supply lines visible. They can also attach to a faucet that comes through holes in the side of one end of the tub, much like faucets in tubs today. Don’t worry-the pipes and supply lines are very decorative and made to add to the atmosphere of the bathroom.
* Rim Faucet- The rim faucet is very attractive for claw foot tubs, which have the holes in the rim at one end or the center and the faucet is easily manageable from the tub.
Drains are made for either end mount drains or center mount drains.
Step 3 Picking the Supply Lines
Since the claw foot tub is a free standing tub, which shows the sides and bottom the supply lines are open to the room. Very decorative in appearance, these 8″ lines come in three configurations:
* Double Bend- As the name implies, it has a double bend in which to get as close to the tub as possible and still get around the lip.
* Single Bend- This configuration is used, because no lip is present for an added bend.
* Straight- Last there is the straight configuration which comes straight up and is usually used with a wall mount faucet.
Again, you must have picked your tub style in Step 1 and your faucet type in Step 2 to know which of these supply lines to use.
Another consideration is a shower, which is optional but you need to make this decision up front before Step 1. A shower rod is needed and comes in a configuration according to the size and style tub you chose.
Lastly, the tubs come in cast-iron or acrylic. Cast iron will conduct the heat so keep the water heated longer. Acrylic tubs have more designs to pick from and are easily repairable.
Claw foot bathtubs are fun, attractive and a showpiece in perhaps an otherwise dull bathroom. Remember: they increase the value of your home and can help sell the home when you are in competition with others in your price range.