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How-To: Considerations Before Buying a Clawfoot Tub

Who isn't enchanted by clawfoot tubs? Just staring at this photo makes me want to fill one full of bubble bath and relax with a good book. However, if you're thinking about adding one to your home, here are some things to consider beforehand.

  • If you use an old clawfoot tub, prepare for a very heavy tub, since it's made from cast iron.
  • You should take this heaviness into consideration before buying an older tub. Are your floors sturdy enough to support the added weight?

To hear the rest,


  • A reproduction clawfoot tub may be a good option for you. Try Vintage Tub and Bath for different acrylic models.
  • Besides their lighter weight, acrylic models do not rust.
  • How will you deal with the pipes? Since clawfoot tubs are freestanding, the pipes will be exposed. Does the look of exposed pipes bother you?
  • Clawfoot tubs will require non-abrasive cleansers, which won't damage the tub's finish.

What tips do you have for living with a clawfoot tub?


Join The Conversation
The-City-Girl The-City-Girl 8 years
Wow, I feel the exact opposite about the coldness factor. Original clawfoot tubs have enamel over cast iron, so as soon as the hot water hits it, the iron heats up and it gets really, really warm. I grew up having one, and as soon as I used the newer style in college I absolutely hated how cold it stayed for the entire duration of the bath.
ujanadu ujanadu 8 years
To deal with the cold feel, rest your back on a towel. It will get wet but gives a nicer, softer feel to your bath.
colormesticky colormesticky 8 years
I second the cold. You have to take a pretty hot bath to heat that sucker up.
brookberrys brookberrys 8 years
We're renovating an old house and the tub was cheap, so yeah we're just going to put it in the bathroom as decoration. I have my dream shower all planned out in my head, and I don't take baths anyway.
GraceKelly GraceKelly 8 years
They're COLD. I live in a rented apartment with one and it's beautiful and nice and deep, but it's so cold when you take a bath and lie back, unless the water's covering. Ours also requires three shower curtains to go all around. And yes - there is a thick layer of dust underneath. Looks beautiful - but not the most practical. Maybe brookberrys is onto something ...
TidalWave TidalWave 8 years
wow. people buy tubs for decoration only? that boggles my mind.
brookberrys brookberrys 8 years
We just bought one, but it is for decoration only. I don't think we will hook up the water to it.
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 8 years
ewww yea....the cleaning aspect...
Twinkle1 Twinkle1 8 years
Cleaning under and around them could be a pain as well.
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