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View Full Version : Do you like a clawfoot bathtub?


SkeptiJess
08-06-2007, 08:17 PM
My husband and I will be remodeling our master bedroom and bathroom this winter. Currently we have a jacuzzi tub in there (along with a separate shower stall). I have always loved clawfoot tubs, so we had about decided to pull out the jacuzzi and replace it with an acrylic clawfoot.

Now, I had figured that this would be a pretty much universally approved plan -- surely everyone likes a clawfoot tub -- until I spoke with a lady today. We were talking in Lowes, while I was checking colors of granite for the countertop. I mentioned the clawfoot plan and she kind of wrinkled her nose a bit and said, "I'm sure that'll be nice if it suits your style. I wouldn't like one for myself."

Well, it does suit my style, but we try to keep most of our big, permanent projects kind of neutral in the interests of reselling someday. The tubs I'm looking at start at around $2000, so this isn't a small purchase. Which would you prefer to see in a home you were thinking of buying? A clawfoot tub or a nice garden tub?

Freudian Slit
08-06-2007, 08:25 PM
I think I'd prefer a nice round one. Clawfoot ones are quirky and awesome, but I'd be a bit squicked out. Like, what if it decides to walk away on its own.

tbdi
08-06-2007, 08:30 PM
I think they are interesting museum pieces but would never want one. If I bought a place with one I'd replace it as soon as convenient but it wouldn't be a deal breaker or anything like that. If you like the look then you should go for it.

Motorgirl
08-06-2007, 08:45 PM
I love claw foot tubs - the big, long deep cast iron ones with a good slope to the far end.

The cast iron holds the heat of a hot bath beautifully, and the older ones (I don't know much about modern ones) are soooo comfortable. You can fill them really full and soak for a long time.

Cap'n Obvious
08-06-2007, 08:50 PM
I love clawfoot tubs.

Don't know if I'd replace a jacuzzi tub with one though. Now, if they make a jacuzzi clawfoot, I'd be in heaven.

Shagnasty
08-06-2007, 08:51 PM
I have used a number of them over the years including one at my inlaws farmhouse last month. For deep, soaking baths they are great. For quick rinses, not so much and there is a definite safety risk with the tall and deep design combined with tall and hard sides. My entire house is very antique so I wouldn't rule one out automatically but an even bigger Jacuzzi bath with more modern conveniences and safety features might be a better choice for practical living that doesn't include long soaks every day. They also require a tremendous amount of water use and the design of the back is not especially comfortable or ergonomic.

Anaamika
08-06-2007, 09:04 PM
No way - the monsters always come for you in the clawfoots.

Seriously they have an...interesting look, but awfully archaic.

delphica
08-06-2007, 09:11 PM
I very much like clawfoot tubs, but their appeal to me is in their role as antiques. If I was looking at a buying a house with a new tub, I would probably plan to replace anything acrylic, but could potentially get more excited about a new cast iron clawfoot, especially if it was a slipper.

One thing that did surprise me after we bought a house with its original clawfoot is that it takes a lot of effort to keep the floor clean under it. I swear, I clean thoroughly, and still, every time I do something like bend over to grab something out from under the sink, I catch a glimpse of the underside of the tub and am amazed by a big streak of dust that I missed. But I love my tub, so the extra cleaning effort is worth it to me. I also realized the tub wouldn't be as great if we didn't also have a shower stall, because I think a hanging curtain spoils the great line of a good clawfoot.

I think you should go with whatever suites your taste, especially if you do not have specific plans to sell your house within the next few years. You're the one who will be bathing in it for the foreseeable future.

boytyperanma
08-06-2007, 09:17 PM
If you are going to be the ones moving it I would say hell no! Those things are fucking heavy. Claw foot tubs are all right in my book if they are already in place. For a maintenance thing they kinda suck stuff collects under them. I feel they look out of place in most modern bathrooms. If your going to make the whole room look antique they have a certain appeal.

panache45
08-06-2007, 09:19 PM
Years ago, I had an authentic cast iron one in an apartment I rented. That particular tub wasn't very comfortable, and I always wished I had a shower too. Given a choice, I'd keep the Jacuzzi. Another point: as you get older, you'll find it more and more difficult to get in and out of that type of tub.

Motorgirl
08-06-2007, 09:25 PM
I should add - if the clawfoot tub were going to be my only bathing place, then I would prefer an inset tub/shower combo, or a shower alone. I really dislike clawfoots with showers attached and the shower curtain that goes all the way around and gets stuck to you. Ick!

However, as an additional bathing locale, I'll take a clawfoot over any other kind of tub.

pendgwen
08-06-2007, 09:26 PM
Clawfoot tubs are awesome. I had them in my college dorm. The metal holds the heat and they're deep enough to really submerge yourself.

Freudian Slit
08-06-2007, 09:32 PM
No way - the monsters always come for you in the clawfoots.

Seriously they have an...interesting look, but awfully archaic.
Did the clawfoot tub in Nightmare Before Christmas get to you, too?

Lissla Lissar
08-06-2007, 10:20 PM
I just moved from an apartment with an acrylic tub to a clawfoot. I love it. I grew up in a house with a clawfoot, and I've missed it. They're good for soaking, they're not that weird almost-square nonhuman shape, and they're really deep.

phouka
08-06-2007, 10:37 PM
I want a clawfoot! I want a clawfoot! Please?

I've never gotten to take a bath in one. I haven't fit properly in a regular bathtub since I was about a foot shorter. I want to be able to get wet all over at one time. I want to drown if I fall asleep. (Well, not really, but still...)

Clawfoot!

ZipperJJ
08-06-2007, 10:47 PM
Thinking about resale is a good thing when remodeling - but with a clawfoot, can't you just take it with you (and replace it, of course!) if you ever move?

Personally, I used to love my ex-boyfriend's clawfoot tub. I used to spend hours in it. It kind of sucked that there was no showerhead but of course you can add that too. If I had room and money, I would definitely consider one.

Daffyd
08-06-2007, 10:59 PM
We used to have a clawfoot in our first house... I still miss it... When we finally get around to remodelling the bathroom in our present house, we will definitely get a clawfoot...

Then again, this is an 1890's place with 1970's bathrooms (foil wallpaper anyone?) - so antique really appeals to me.

If it suits the room, do it.

dangermom
08-06-2007, 10:59 PM
I wouldn't want one. I'm the one who cleans the bathroom around here, and don't want to have to mop under a bathtub. Too much work.

Now, if someone else was doing the bathroom cleaning, I might consider it...but I'm not a tub person, really. Hot showers for me. (I don't even like jacuzzis!)

Bobotheoptimist
08-06-2007, 11:11 PM
The clawfoot tubs I've been in are fantastic! Great-grandmother had one that seemed deeper and had a better slope on which to rest your back than any other tub I've been in. The one in that old hotel wasn't as big, but there was a definite coolness factor.

I'd much rather woo a lady if I a deep clawfoot available.

Baker
08-06-2007, 11:13 PM
I have a big, old fashioned iron clawfoot tub. I live upstairs in my house, and that's where it is. The downstairs bathroom has a more modern built in tub. This clawfoot is huge, I could sink into it a nearly full length.

The house is an old one, it's possible it's been up here a long time. But in 1966 the house got remodeling, after being damage by a tornado, so possibly the tub went in then.

I haven't the foggiest idea how it could ever be removed. The stairway is much too narrow. To get it out the window or a wall would have to be partially dismanteled.

I shower mostly, so there's a flexible show hose hooked up to a shower curtain ring over the tub. The curtain simply hangs into the tub.

Don't fight the hypothetical
08-07-2007, 12:37 AM
Decorative plumbing salesperson here. These guys (http://vandabaths.com/usa/index.html) make a great product. Seen them, been in them. Go clawfoot.

Walloon
08-07-2007, 01:15 AM
We have a clawfoot bathtub, cast iron with white porcelain surface. Probably dates from about 1915. Deep and with just the right slope to lay back and relax. I love that tub, and have resisted replacing it with something more modern.

Trollhaugen
08-07-2007, 01:48 AM
Our clawfoot is great since the house was built around it in 1921 (I assume that the builders just found it sitting there, on the ground, ready for a house, and decided that the bathroom would go there, damn thing must weigh a ton). I love the thing for baths, but they are a pain for showers. We plan on adding a second bathroom soon. The minute that is up with a shower, the contraption that provides shower water to the clawfoot will be history.

Solfy
08-07-2007, 09:43 AM
I love the look of clawfoot tubs. I just bought a house with a clawfoot temporarily rigged in the basement. The previous owners intended to put it upstairs when they renovated and never got that far. I'm not a bath person, but my husband loves a good tub soak when his back is acting up and said it's very comfortable. He was worried it would be difficult to wash small children in (we've got a 3yr old and a 1yr old) but that hasn't been a problem.

I definitely want to put it in the new upstairs bathroom we're planning (which will be a sort of 1920's style) and have been mulling over putting in an additional shower stall. On the one hand, I hate shower stalls. I always bump the door open while shaving my legs, and they make me feel a little claustrophobic. On the other hand, I don't like the idea of yards and yards of shower curtain billowing around me if I put a shower head above the clawfoot. Then I saw the solution at Lowes - an extra wide shower stall. Fortunately the new bathroom is plenty large, so I think we'll have room for both.

If I were house shopping, I would prefer a clawfoot if it fit the style of the house. In typical modern construction, though, I would expect and probably prefer a garden tub. The question is are you buying this tub for yourself or for resale value?

Colophon
08-07-2007, 09:46 AM
I like clawfoot baths, but I notice the OP mentions an "acrylic clawfoot". I'd steer clear of that as I think it could look tacky and fake. If you want acrylic, get a modern style; if you want a clawfoot, spring the cash for the genuine article.

Kalhoun
08-07-2007, 09:47 AM
I've got one. It's original to the house, as far as I know. Unfortunately, my husband dumped etching solution in it (D'oh! :smack: ) so I need to get it refinished periodically. I love it, but I'd sure like a shower, too.

SkeptiJess
08-07-2007, 09:56 AM
Thanks for the input, everyone. I feel better about the decision now. Doesn't matter, really, since we don't plan on selling for at least 15 years. But it's nice to know my tastes aren't completely out of the mainstream.

I would prefer a cast iron one, but it'll have to be acrylic since we're hauling it up a narrow-sh flight of stairs, then through two narrow-ish doors. The new vanity is also going to be a pain -- probably, I'll get a modular one that can be brought up in three pieces. And the vanity top is going to be a major bitch, since I'm going with granite, and it's a double vanity.

Thanks for the link, Don't fight the hypothetical, and the recommendation. Actually, my current favorite is one of theirs -- this one (http://vandabaths.com/usa/cheshire.html). I don't want a slipper back becasue I don't think it would suit the alcove where we'll put it.

Hal Briston
08-07-2007, 10:42 AM
I like ours (http://sirblah.com/photo/view.php?album=Mount%20Holly/Renovations/Bathroom&mode=&pic=Bath02.JPG&picindex=1) quite a bit -- it's great for a good, deep soak. However, the one thing that took a good amount of getting used to was getting in and out of the shower. It's a good 10-12 inches higher than a normal tub, so that first few times getting out nearly spelled disaster.

SkeptiJess
08-07-2007, 10:57 AM
Did you install it yourself, Hal? My husband is a good amateur plumber; and my father is also very experienced at plumbing and lives nearby. But neither of them has ever installed a clawfoot tub.

Kalhoun
08-07-2007, 11:02 AM
Thanks for the input, everyone. I feel better about the decision now. Doesn't matter, really, since we don't plan on selling for at least 15 years. But it's nice to know my tastes aren't completely out of the mainstream.

I would prefer a cast iron one, but it'll have to be acrylic since we're hauling it up a narrow-sh flight of stairs, then through two narrow-ish doors. The new vanity is also going to be a pain -- probably, I'll get a modular one that can be brought up in three pieces. And the vanity top is going to be a major bitch, since I'm going with granite, and it's a double vanity.

Thanks for the link, Don't fight the hypothetical, and the recommendation. Actually, my current favorite is one of theirs -- this one (http://vandabaths.com/usa/cheshire.html). I don't want a slipper back becasue I don't think it would suit the alcove where we'll put it.
That's my favorite model. Way better for two bathers.

Sunspace
08-07-2007, 01:15 PM
Clawfoots hold the heat well? Then I will reconsider: I was going to post that I wouldn't want one, because all that external surface meant that they would lose heat even quicker than a built-in bathtub. That was my objection. I've never used one.

gigi
08-07-2007, 01:57 PM
Like, what if it decides to walk away on its own.
It would be more of a scuttle, wouldn't it, like a crab? :eek:

chela
08-07-2007, 02:08 PM
I am replacing my single wide jacuzzi tub with a genuine iron clawfoot tub. Found the tub at an architectual salvage place for $90. Will spend about $350 getting it reglazed and shiny white. Instead of tub mounted fixtures, I'll get a wall mounted bath/shower combo. I had a clawfoot in my old house and loved it. I live in a typical ranch box and love adding quirky elements to the housed. We replaced a bathroom door with an old factory office door with a glass panel. The glass is etched and retains privacy. The door handles are brass and the door is solid wood. I need to find for it a brass plate that says "private" or "Office" or "poop deck " on it! :)

SkeptiJess
08-07-2007, 02:12 PM
I am replacing my single wide jacuzzi tub with a genuine iron clawfoot tub. Found the tub at an architectual salvage place for $90. Will spend about $350 getting it reglazed and shiny white.
Wow. If I found that good a deal, I'd seriously reconsider cast iron. I'd have to hire some husky dudes to move it, though, and possibly reinforce the upstairs floor... Maybe I'll research what it would take to go cast iron. Then I'd know how good a deal it'd have to be to be worth it.

Hal Briston
08-07-2007, 03:19 PM
Did you install it yourself, Hal? My husband is a good amateur plumber; and my father is also very experienced at plumbing and lives nearby. But neither of them has ever installed a clawfoot tub.Nope, sorry, it came with the place.

If you poke around that folder of pics, you'll see I took that one while redoing the bathroom. I very much wanted to completely disconnect the tub so I could get better access to the wall behind it, but I couldn't get the connections undone.


I did, however, manage to create a small leak that I can't seem to fix now...gotta turn off the hot water access to the tub when it's not in use for the time being. D'oh.

Troy McClure SF
08-07-2007, 04:07 PM
I have the first one I've ever used in my current apartment, and it's kind of a pain in the ass to me. High step into the tub, hard to clean, impossible to clean under (and we have very poor ventilation in there) and the shower was just kinda tossed on there with a bit of cheap piping (which is apparently common in old buildings, but is new to me and still looks & feels cheap and delicate).

MTRG
08-07-2007, 04:29 PM
They make really nice planters. Lots of space, drainage..

chela
08-07-2007, 04:34 PM
they also serve well as shrines for mary mother of jesus. :)

Walloon
08-07-2007, 05:08 PM
Bathtub madonna (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bathtub_madonna).

BJMoose
08-07-2007, 06:00 PM
Clawfoots hold the heat well? Then I will reconsider: I was going to post that I wouldn't want one, because all that external surface meant that they would lose heat even quicker than a built-in bathtub. That was my objection. I've never used one.
Course, you have to run the water somewhat hotter than otherwise to warm up all that metal.

Regarding weight: they look intimidating, but aren't all that bad (325 lbs. give or take, depending on the size). Three or four average people can heft it up, and once its up, two people can manage it up long enough to maneuver through doorways. (I haven't hauled one up a full flight of stairs. If the stairway isn't wide enough for two people at each end you'll may have to pass out the steroids.)

Anyone with a bit of plumbing experience should be able to figure out how to plumb a clawfoot. My only problem was an unscheduled trip to the hardware store for adaptors for the supply lines.

JohnBckWLD
08-07-2007, 06:18 PM
For men short in stature, climbing into or out of a clawfoot tub could be a literal ball-breaker. For elderly people, possibly worse. For anyone else, it's all a matter of individual taste.

Motorgirl
08-07-2007, 07:00 PM
Bathtub madonna (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bathtub_madonna).


I believe that's called "Mary on the Halfshell"

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