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Clawfoot Bathtub Buying Guide

What is a Clawfoot Bathtub?

A clawfoot bathtubs, also called a free standing bathtub, is a tub that is elevated from the floor and typically supports itself with feet. Quite different from the traditional drop-in bathtub, the clawfoot bathtub comes in many shapes, styles, colors and configurations.

The most common and familiar clawfoot tub is the traditional roll rim bath. Rolled rim tubs are based on the original cast iron tubs which were made by the millions between 1890 and 1940. The typical vintage roll rim bathtub measures 5' long – just big enough to fit into the standard post-World War I American bathroom. Standard clawfoot bathtub sizes are 4', 4.5', 5', and 5.5', lengths to fit all sizes of people and spaces.

There are three basic styles of clawfoot bathtubs:

Traditional clawfoot bathtubs follow the style of the original clawfoot bathtubs and usually have a flat top. Typically with a rounded seating area at one end and the faucet and drain on the other.

Slipper clawfoot bathtubs are distinguished by their high-back construction which provides a more comfortable seating position. If you prefer to lounge in the tub with a place to rest your head, the slipper bathtub gives you all the support you’ll need.

Double-ended clawfoot bathtubs have each side rounded for your choice of bathing positions. These bath tubs typically have a center drain configuration and side-mounting faucet. The double-ended slipper tub offers both ends with high-back construction.

Pedestal bathtubs, sometimes called free-standing bathtubs, mimic the art-deco style tubs that appeared in the 1920s and 1930s. Instead of clawfeet, the pedestal tub sits on a base. Pedestal bathtubs have many of the same styles and configurations as clawfoot bathtubs.
Traditional Clawfoot Bathtub                                 Slipper Clawfoot Bathtub                                 Double Ended Clawfoot Bathtub                                 Pedestal Bathtubs

Selecting a Clawfoot Bathtub

Clawfoot Bathtub Material

Clawfoot bathtubs are typically made of either cast iron or acrylic. Cast iron clawfoot bathtubs are typically made with a layer of cast iron overlaid with porcelain and painted on the opposite side. Acrylic clawfoot bathtubs are made in a variety of different ways and combinations of materials. Acrylic clawfoot bathtubs are lighter, easier to install, and safer on the 2nd floor than cast iron clawfoot bathtubs. An example is American Bath Factory's clawfoot bathtubs which are vacuum formed from two ¼" sheets of high-quality cast acrylic, laminated together with their patented crushed stone/resin compound to give the bathtubs thickness, strength, and weight. The cast acrylic sheet has a second layer of ABS behind it which gives their bathtubs unmatched strength. This multi-layered proprietary material is patented and called Acrastone.

Clawfoot Bathtub Feet Type and Finish

Clawfoot bathtubs have varying choices when it comes to bathtub feet and finishes. The most common clawfoot bathtub feet types are Ball & Claw, Paw, Cannonball, & Armada. The most common finish colors are White, Polished Brass, Chrome, Satin Nickel, Old World Bronze, and Old World Copper.

Clawfoot Bathtub Feet                                 Clawfoot Bathtub Feet Finish

Clawfoot Bathtub Faucets

Clawfoot bathtub faucets can be found with a variety of colors, styles and functionalities. Clawfoot bathtubs can be purchased with no faucets holes, 3-3/8” deck mount faucet holes, 7” deck mount faucet holes, and 3-3/8” inside mount faucet holes to accommodate whatever type of Clawfoot bathtub faucet is being installed with the tub.
Deck Mount Bathtub Faucet                                                             Wall Mount Bathtub Faucet                                                             Floor Mount Bathtub Faucet

Clawfoot Bathtub Colors

Clawfoot bathtubs can be found in many different colors. With white or bisque being the most common colors there are some manufacturers that offer clawfoot bathtubs in a variety of colors and might also have color match programs or custom painting services.
Yellow Clawfoot Bathtub           Orange Clawfoot Bathtub           Blue Clawfoot Bathtub           Pink Clawfoot Bathtub           Red Clawfoot Bathtub           Black Clawfoot Bathtub

Clawfoot Bathtub Hydro Massage Options

Hydro Massage can also be an option with clawfoot bathtubs, including both air baths and whirlpools. The whirlpool bath system consists of jets that create a more vigorous and targeted massage. The jets use a combination of air, and water to create a hydro massage for targeted areas of the body. Whirlpool jets are often adjustable, making changes to the jets will change the flow and direction of the massage. It is not recommended that bath oils or salts be used in a whirlpool bath. Air baths on the other hand consist of many tiny bubbles that surround the body for a more soothing and relaxing massage experience. Heated air is pushed through tiny wholes in the bathtub which create warm massaging bubbles throughout. This relaxing experience is adjustable for one’s desired intensity.

Clawfoot Bathtub Packages

Clawfoot bathtub packages are available to remove the hassle of selecting all of the appropriate pieces and create a coordinated clawfoot tub appearance. Packages are available with the drain system, faucet or both to make selection and installation easy.

Vintage Shower Sets

Vintage shower products can be used in conjunction with a clawfoot or free standing tubs to create that old world look or an enclosed shower. Vintage shower sets, risers, enclosures and accessories are available to create just the right look or function.
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