Clawfoot Bathtubs

Vintage-style clawfoot tubs

Clawfoot bathtubs, with their classic elegant touch, are a great addition to any bathroom, as they never run out of style. These vintage tubs bring in a charm of luxury and nostalgia, and it isn't unusual to find them passed down through the generations in many families.

History of clawfoot bathtubs

One of the first evidences of the personal bathtub use can be traced back to the Ancient Greece. The daily bathing ritual was started by the Romans, with only the wealthiest owning ornate bathrooms, as the remaining population made use of public baths. It wasn't until 1883 that the first clawfoot iron tub was commercially fabricated in the US, by the Standard Sanitary Manufacturing Company (known as American Standard today). Interestingly, the first few models of the tub were used as horse troughs and hog scalders, to be rediscovered as bathtubs a while later.

The first clawfoot cast iron bathtubs to enter the market had an oval shape with rolled rims. These tubs had their signature ornately embellished feet that often emulated popular furniture leg designs of the era. The cast iron made these tubs very heavy, and the floor on which they were placed had to be reinforced to support the weight. The first few takers for the clawfoot tubs came from the wealthy class, and owning a private bathing room with an individual tub was seen as a status symbol. These bathtubs would often be placed on an elevated platform in the bathroom, as a center highlight piece.

It wasn't long before the general population embraced the bathing tub, and it became an inseparable part of many households. As the modern day approached, the discovery of modern materials allowed for the cast iron construction to be replaced by the lighter construction such as acryl. Single unit and modern pedestal tubs caught on. Nowadays clawfoot tubs are available in fiberglass and acrylic frames and don't require additional installations.

How to find the perfect vintage clawfoot tub for your home?

- Estimate how much room your bathroom interior has to offer to the bathtub. Make sure that the bathtub height falls a good number of inches under the length of the finished walls, so the plumber can assemble water and drain supplies when the tub is placed. Also, make sure that there's enough space to move in the bathroom.

- Choose between acrylic, metal and cast iron clawfoot tubs. The age-old cast iron tubs are heavy and well-suited for reinforced floors. Acrylic bathtubs are light and available in several styles. Metal tubs are opulent, but may ask of additional maintenance to handle water spots.

- Vintage bathtubs come in a wide range of offerings. It is essential to consider your bathroom interior while making your choice. Clawfoot tub feet have designs to suit from traditional to ultra-modern indoors ranging from ball-and-claw to minimalistic leg patterns. Flat rim tubs, slipper clawfoot and double slipper bathtubs are some classic varieties of shapes that you could select. Also, see what other details your tub could use; a bathtub with better depth is perfect for lavish soaks while a double-ended raise allows you to lean comfortably back on either side.