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The Iconic Clawfoot Tub Is Back

Long associated with glamour and relaxation, clawfoot tubs are once again the must-have soaker tub in today’s spa-like bathrooms.

As the name implies, a clawfoot tub is a freestanding bath tub that sits on four claw-like feet. The pedestal style tub dates back 1000’s of years, but gained popularity in the United States in the mid 1800’s.

Originally seen as a fancy horse trough on legs, the clawfoot tub soon became a sought-after luxury item by America’s most prominent families.

Today, clawfoot tubs are seeing a resurgence in popularity due in part to their popularity on television makeover and design shows and their history of elegance and refinement.

Materials for Clawfoot Tubs

Original clawfoot tubs were made of cast iron and lined with porcelain. Today they are still made of cast iron and porcelain, or modern lightweight synthetic materials such as acrylic or fiberglass. The tubs feature a rolled rim and the iconic claw feet. This shape and style tub is also popular in copper. Cast iron and copper are both excellent materials for retaining the heat of the hot water for a longer soaking experience. Fiberglass heats up quickly, but does not retain the heat for very long.

The clawfoot is patterned after a Chinese-inspired motif of a dragon clutching a pearl. English furniture designers incorporated the design in their furniture pieces during the Victorian era, with a lion’s paw or eagle’s claw clutching a ball. The furniture design carried over to bathtub design.

Clawfoot Tub Styles

Clawfoot tubs are classified in several distinctive designs – classic, double ended, slipper, and double slipper. A pedestal tub is often added to this group.

The classic clawfoot features a rolled edge top with a rounded end on one wide and a flat end on the other where the faucet and drain are usually located. The tubs are available in various lengths to fit in a variety of spaces and sizes of individuals.

The double ended clawfoot is similar to the classic, but has two rounded ends. The drain is usually in the center of this model.

The slipper tub has a raised back on one end that resembles a slipper. The slipper end allows for reclining for a more comfortable soaking. The double slipper has the flare at both ends.

The pedestal tub is a doubled ended tub that rests on a pedestal or platform rather than on clawfeet. Acrylic pedestal tubs are very popular choices in today’s luxury bathrooms.

Bathub Faucets

Complete your clawfoot tub with a variety of tub faucet options and accessories. There are a number of beautiful wall mount (home wall or tub wall), deck mount and freestanding faucets available with choices of finishes, handheld shower heads, porcelain handles, and more.

A shower surround and enclosure mounts to the wall and ceiling and turns your tub into a vintage style shower.

Add a large rain head shower head and wash away your cares.

Add stylish accents like a vintage tissue holder, soap dishes, towel bars, and shelves for the ultimate bathroom retreat.

 

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About Larry Padgett

Larry is an award-winning journalist and photo journalist with over 35 years of experience. He has written for a number of industries including healthcare, die casting, construction, home restoration, sports, education, and religion. He is a copywriter and blogger for Van Dyke's Restorers.

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