What to Know About Clawfoot Tubs

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Thinking about purchasing a clawfoot tub? Read this first.

What is a Clawfoot Tub

Clawfoot tubs, as the name suggests, are freestanding bathtubs with four legs. The legs or pegs in each corner feature varied styles and looks. The exact origin of clawfoot tubs isn’t clear, but they’ve been around for centuries.

“In the early 19th century, clawfoot bathtubs were a mark of social standing and luxury, placed in private baths in wealthy homes where servants could fill them with water and have enough space around the sides to help a person bathe,” according to modernbathroom.com. “Their designs were intricate, with long, sloping backs and increasingly ornate feet to match the design trends of the time.”

Types/Materials of Clawfoot Tubs

free standing clawfoot tub in large bathroomPekic/Getty Images

Clawfoot tubs are typically cast iron or acrylic, according to Vintage Tub. Cast iron tubs are often lined with porcelain. The acrylic tubs are lighter than cast iron but not as durable, according to Vintage Tub. If your home has a clawfoot tub but you’re unsure which type or how old it is, there might be a simple way to tell.

“Tub manufacturers identified their products with stamps that often included the date of manufacture,” according to hunker.com. “Locating the stamp is the best way to tell how old a particular clawfoot is, but if the stamp missing, you may have to make the determination from the condition of the tub and other factors.”

Clawfoot tubs also come various styles. These are the most common:

  • Double slipper;
  • Double ended;
  • Classic/flat rim;
  • Single slipper.

The double slipper tub combines the looks of the double ended and single slipper with raised ends on both sides, while the single slipper has one raised end. Double ended features a level edge and a rounded lip with the faucet in the center. The classic look has the faucet at one end and a flat rim all around.

Clawfoot Tub Size/Dimensions

There isn’t a default clawfoot tub size. They typically range from 54 inches for smaller tubs and 72 inches for oversized tubs. The tub heights also vary. Because of their size, clawfoot tubs typically require more water to fill.

How Much Does a Clawfoot Tub Cost?

Standard 60 In Acrylic Tubvia homedepot.com

Clawfoot tubs prices depend on size and design. Most cost between $500 and $1,500. Cast iron tubs are typically more expensive than acrylic, but are not considered as durable.

This standard 60-in. acrylic tub sold at The Home Depot costs a little more than $600, while this vintage 67-in. cast iron tub runs $1,400.

How to Install a Clawfoot Tub

It will take multiple people to install a clawfoot tub because it’s heavy, weighing between 200 and 400 pounds. The tub must be positioned with the drain over the hole in the floor and the faucet over the edge of the tub. The faucet placement depends on the style of tub. As always, thoroughly read the installation guide before taking this on.

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Alex Shoemaker
Alex Shoemaker is the Digital Newsletter Editor of Family Handyman.