What Do I Need for a Clawfoot Tub?
Featured Image: @our1917farmhouse CCK265C
Clawfoot tubs may make a statement, but they also have quite a few more needs than other tubs. They’re not as easy to drop into a matching space and just connect to the plumbing. Since clawfoot tubs are designed to stand alone, they need extra space and special equipment to fill them. Homeowners interested in clawfoot tubs will need to plan for these things before adding one to a bathroom.
Clawfoot tubs can be positioned closer to walls and other fixtures than some other freestanding designs, but they still need a minimum of three to six inches of clearance on all sides. Slipper-style tubs may need up to eight to 10 inches of clearance instead. Small bathrooms that were built to hold alcove tubs may not have the space for a clawfoot tub.
Floor Reinforcement and Protection
Most bathrooms that included a bathtub in the past will have enough structural support to handle the weight of a clawfoot tub. If the tub itself is very heavy or holds more than the average 50 gallons of water, reinforcement may be necessary. Reinforcement is likely needed if the bathroom was only built with a shower stall originally. This is especially true in mobile and manufactured homes.
Freestanding or Wall-Mounted Tub Filler
Even when positioned close to a wall, a clawfoot tub requires a special tub filler for clearance between the tub and the faucet. The tub filler can be free-standing or wall-mounted, but it must have enough height and reach to cross the tub’s wide, curled lip. Fillers must match the tub in dimensions and style, so choose one only after selecting a clawfoot tub.
Most clawfoot tubs include appropriate matching feet, but homeowners are free to mix and match any that will fit. It’s easiest to change out clawfoot tub feet before installation. It’s also possible to add risers under the feet to increase the total height of the tub, but keep in mind this can make it harder to get in and out of the tub as well.