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Clawfoot Tubs

The Clawfoot Tub or Claw Foot Tub is usually made of cast iron, but there are also acrylic claw foot tub models. Modern technology has recently dropped the price of new claw foot tubs, period lavatories and related hardware. Hence, while true antique claw foot tubs are still collected, restored, and coveted by some, new reproduction claw foot tubs are chosen by some remodelers and new home builders today. If you would like to know more about these, just give us a call.

Claw foot tubs come in 5 major styles:

  • Classic Roll Rim, Roll Top, or Flat Rim tubs.

  • Slipper tubs -where one end is raised and sloped creating a more comfortable lounging position.

  • Double Slipper Tubs - where both ends are raised and sloped

  • Double Ended Tubs- where both ends of the tub are rounded. Notice how one end of the classic tub is rounded and one is fairly flat.

  • Pedestal Tub - Pedestal tubs, unlike all the style listed above, do not have claw feet. The tub rests on a pedestal in what most would term an art deco style. Evidence of pedestal tubs date back to the Isle of Crete in 1000 BC


  • The first claw foot tub in history

    The first claw foot tub discovered in history was found on the island of Crete and dates back approximately 3000 years. Five feet long, this ancestor of the modern clawfoot tub was crafted of hard pottery.

    Many of the first bathtubs and plumbing in the United States were made of wood or, once settlers traveled to the West, porcelain over cast iron. The cast iron claw foot tub was created in the Victorian era, when bathing more often became popularized.

    American claw foot tub history

    The J.L. Mott Ironworks Company is credited with being the first company to produce a cast iron clawfoot tub with an enamel interior in 1873. Clawfoot tubs quickly became popular because their hard enamel surface could be cleaned easily and did not harbor bacteria. Also, this was an affordable way for people to bathe.

    Powdered enamel was heated to very high temperatures and poured over the cast iron claw foot tub to create a smooth, slippery, glass-like surface in which to bathe. A cast iron claw foot tub could weigh anywhere between 250 to 400 pounds. Cast iron claw foot tubs were produced in the United States until the 1930s, when built-in bathtubs became the standard.

    The Bold Look of Claw Foot Tubs

    Today, many home decorators have started looking into history for elegant design inspiration. The cast iron claw foot tub, one of the most stylish bathtubs in decorating history, has seen a reemergence in popularity. Because they are so heavy and can be expensive, many homeowners have opted for a less-expensive acrylic version of the claw foot tub.

Thinking of a used Clawfoot Tub?

If you've made the decision to decorate your bathroom with a classic clawfoot bathtub, but you've decided to do it with a slightly damaged model, Countertops Plus Tubs can refinish your tub for less than you think. It will cost between $400 and $600 for an average-size clawfoot tub, far less than a new cast iron claw foot can cost and easily worth your investment. You'll get rid of the dull finish, chips, and rust on a tub that can even increase your property value. We also have new period plumbing hardware available to complete the look.

Plumbing Terminology

Acrylic: A material containing acryl; a synthetic glassy thermoplastic that can be molded and cast into such items as bathtubs.

ADA Compliant: Adheres to the standards and guidelines listed by the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Angle Stop/Angle Shut-Off: A stop valve with a 90° turn from the inlet to the outlet piping. Mainly used when the connection needs to be made in the wall and not the floor. Most sink supply lines require angle valves to make the water line connection in the wall.

Ballcock: A valve used to fill a toilet. When a toilet is flushed and water is released into the tank, the ballcock will be tripped at a predetermined level to begin filling the tank again. .

Basin Taps: Sink faucets with separate hot and cold valves that do not mix the water.

Basket Strainer: A device with holes inserted into a drain opening that allows water to pass through, but catches most solids.

Bridge Faucet: A mixer faucet on fixed centers with an exposed, above-sink connection of the hot and cold valves. The spout does not connect directly to the sink or countertop on which the faucet is mounted. 

Brushed Nickel: A nickel finish that has been treated to dull the finish. Also known as matte nickel or satin nickel. This finish varies among manufacturers.

Centers: The measurement from the middle of the hot faucet-hole drilling to the middle of the cold faucet-hole drilling. 

Centerset Faucet: A sink faucet that fits on 4” centers with the hot and cold valves and spout as one unit. .

Clawfoot Tub: A freestanding bathtub most commonly made of cast iron that is supported by feet usually resembling a claw clutching a ball. 

Compression Fitting: A pipe connection created by tightening a nut and thereby compressing a washer or gasket to form a water tight seal.

Console Sink: A larger wall-mounted bathroom sink with 2 to 4 decorative legs.

Deck Mount: Also known as Rim Mount. The installation of a tub faucet directly on the rim of a clawfoot tub or on the surrounding platform of a drop-in tub. 

Diverter: A valve on a faucet that changes the movement of water to a different outlet. .

Double-Ended Tub: A symmetrical bathtub with each end rounded and, typically, a center mounting drain and faucet. 

Double Offset Supply Lines: Supply lines that bend twice from the connection at the faucet to allow for an 8” floor rough-in.

Double Slipper Tub: A double-ended tub with both ends extending upwards and, typically, a center mounting drain and faucet.

Escutcheon: A decorative plate used on piping to conceal the cut surface through which the pipe extends. May also be referred to as a flange..

Exposed Shower: A shower unit usually mounted on the bathroom wall whereby the piping from the faucet body to the shower head is in front of the wall.

Female Threads: Pipe threading that is found on the inside of the pipe.

Fireclay: A variation of vitreous china that has greater amounts of quartz and feldspar in the clay material. It is denser, thicker, and heavier than regular clay. These characteristics allow for a durable, smooth, flat surface on large fixtures not attainable with standard vitreous china

Flapper: The part of the flush valve in a toilet that allows water to enter and exit the tank.

GPF: Gallons Per Flush. Current US regulations require all new toilets to be no more than 1.6 GPF.

High-Tank Toilet: A toilet with a separate tank and bowl with the tank mounted to the wall high above the bowl. Also called a pull-chain toilet.

IPS: Iron Pipe Size. Standard pipe threading, measured by the inside of the pipe.

Lift and Turn Drain: A drain that utilizes a stopper controlled by the motion of lifting and turning the stopper by hand. 

Lift Gate Service: A service provided by freight companies that allows their cargo to be lowered from the truck to ground level by a mechanized platform.

Male Threads: Pipe threading that is found on the outside of the pipe.

Matte Nickel: A nickel finish that has been treated to dull the finish. Also known as satin nickel or brushed nickel.

Mixing Valve: A faucet valve used to combine hot and cold water to achieve desired water temperature.

Nipple: A short piece of pipe threaded on both ends. Mainly used to extend connections.

OD: Outside Diameter. The measurement of a pipe from outside edge to outside edge.

One-Piece Toilet: A toilet manufactured with the tank and bowl as a single unit.

Pedestal Sink: A bathroom sink that sits on a column. The column is meant to hide the plumbing of the drain and P-trap.

Pedestal Tub: Generally, a tub consisting of the body of a clawfoot tub sitting on a base instead of feet.

Plumber’s Putty: A pliable substance used to seal pipe joints and fixtures.

Pressure Balance: A device, usually within the water supply lines, that maintains the current water pressure in a faucet if water is being used elsewhere within the building. .

P-Trap: The trap connecting a sink drain to the plumbing behind the wall. The P shape of the pipe traps foreign objects and prevents sewer gasses from escaping.

Quarter-turn Valves: Modern, ceramic valves that are washerless and require only a quarter turn of the valve to be completely open or closed. s.

Reducing Washer: A washer used to connect pipes of different sizes.

Riser: The straight piping attached to tub faucet valves to raise the faucet higher above the rim of the bathtub. Sometimes referred to as a deck-mount couplers. Also, the pipe connected to the top of the tub faucet body to allow a shower head attachment. .

Roll Rim / Roll Top Tub: The classic clawfoot tub with one end straight and one end rounded.

Rough-in: For plumbing, a preliminary step to measure and prepare the surface to accept  plumbing as a drain and water supply lines.

Satin Nickel: A nickel finish that has been treated to dull the finish. Also known as matte nickel or brushed nickel.

Shower Enclosure: Allows a shower setup within a clawfoot tub. Typically includes a tub faucet, riser pipe, shower head, shower ring, ceiling support, and wall support. 

Shut-off Valve: A stop valve on a water supply tube that cuts off the flow of water when turned. Allows water to be turned off locally without shutting off supply to entire house.

Single Offset Supply Lines: Supply lines that bend once from the connection at the faucet to allow for a 3-3/8” rough-in.

Single Post Faucet: A sink faucet that requires only one hole drilling on the sink or countertop.

Slipper Tub: A clawfoot bath tub with one end of the tub extending higher than the other end.

Stanley Couplers: Solid brass attachments to a tub that create a flat surface and allow a faucet to be mounted almost anywhere along the curved roll rim.

Stillson Wrech: A pipe wrench with adjustable jaw. A “smooth-jawed” Stillson is recommended for use in the installation of plated plumbing fixtures to protect their finish.

Straight Stop / Straight Shut Off: A stop valve with straight inlet and outlet piping mainly used if the connection is made through the floor and not the wall.

Strap Wrench: A type of wrench with a flexible strap used to prevent scratching or damage to plated surfaces.

Supply Lines: The piping necessary to supply water to a faucet.

Sweated Connection: A soldered connection between pipes.

Swing Arm Couplers: Parts attached to a faucet body to allow for a greater range of installation possibilities for non-standard faucet drillings. Sometimes referred to as swivel connectors or S-unions.Teflon® Tape: A tape used to wrap threaded pipe fittings to create a water-tight seal.

Thermostatic: A device, usually within a faucet, that maintains the current water temperature if water is being used elsewhere in the building. This is not an anti-scald device

Two-Piece Toilet: A toilet with a separate tank and bowl connected by bolts.

Vacuum Breaker: A small device used as an attachment to a handshower hose to prevent back siphoning of bath water – frequently, a plumbing code requirement. 

Variable Centers: A faucet that is able to fit a range of faucet drilling centers.

Vessel Sink: A bathroom sink that sits on top of the counter. This style harkens back to the pre-indoor plumbing days of the pitcher and wash basin atop a dresser.

Vitreous China: A nonporous, hard clay material that is fired to create a smooth, glassy surface. .

Wall Mount: A faucet that requires installation on the wall of the tub or bathroom. 

Wall Mount Couplers: Attachments to the body of a tub faucet to allow the faucet to be connected to a wall.

Waste and Overflow: The complete assembly used to empty water from a tub through the overflow hole and drain hole.

Water Closet: An old term for a toilet derived from the common placement of the toilet in a small, closet-sized room.

Water Depth: The measurement from the bottom of the drain to the bottom of the overflow hole.

Widespread Faucet: A sink faucet meant to fit 8” centers and wider with separate hot and cold valves and spout.


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