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Do you know the different clawfoot tub feet types and the different types or sizes of clawfoot tubs? If you don’t, then this guide is exactly what you’ve been looking for!
For the most part, clawfoot tubs are associated with the past. However, they can still be found in modern homes today due to their durability and how aesthetically pleasing they are.
Clawfoot tubs come in a variety of styles and colors and can add a sense of luxury to just about any home. If you are looking for a clawfoot tub to install in your home, be sure you do the research necessary to make sure you’re getting the right tub for you.
Different Clawfoot Tub Feet Types
Believe it or not, there are a few different types of clawfoot tub feet – Ball and Claw, Paw, Cannonball, and Armada are the most common. Clawfoot tub designers took inspiration from different styles of furniture, which is where the clawfoot originated from.
The ball and claw design came from Holland originally and was created after its designer was inspired by a Chinese motif of a dragon clutching a pearl.
Instead of a dragon clutching the pearl, however, the design eventually became just the claw holding the pearl. The type of claw on this tub varies and can be either an eagle claw or talon, or a lion’s claw.
The lion’s claw design tends to be more popular in England, while the eagle talon is more commonly seen in America. However, both designs are still incredibly popular among clawfoot tubs in general.
A lion’s paw is also a common design and became popular around the 1850s. The cannonball clawfoot tub is pretty self-explanatory as the foot is rounded and in the shape of a cannonball.
Tubs with armada feet will find that the feet on their clawfoot bathtubs are more square than the rest of the feet designs.
Five Distinct Types of Clawfoot Bathtubs
For the most part, clawfoot bathtubs are oval in shape and are created with a layer of cast iron overlaid as well as porcelain.
Some tubs are made out of acrylic and as a result are lighter and much easier to install, particularly in second story bathrooms.
These days, most modern tubs are made from fiberglass or acrylic so as to make them more affordable. Aside from the materials they are made out of, there are five different types of clawfoot tubs.
- Classic/Flat Rim Clawfoot Tub
This type of tub is the standard clawfoot tub and has a flat rim or a rounded edge with the faucet and showerhead at the head of the tub. On this particular type of tub, the rim is straight and level with a curled lip throughout the tub.
- Double Ended Clawfoot Tub
The double ended tub is similar to the flat rim tub as it has a level edge and a rounded lip. The only thing that sets these two tubs apart is that the location of the faucet and the showerhead is different on the double ended tub.
Rather than being at the head of the tub, the faucet can be located in the middle of the tub where it forms double ends.
- Single Slipper Clawfoot Tub
As the name implies, this clawfoot tub is shaped like a slipper, or like a boat. One end of the tub is higher than the other, which in turn creates a deep basin while the other end of the tub is much shorter, although it’s usually around the same height as a regular bathtub.
- Double Slipper Clawfoot Tub
This type of bathtub is pretty unique and is both double ended and has some of the same features as the single slipper clawfoot tub.
The faucet and the showerhead are both located in the middle of the tub, just like they are with the double ended clawfoot tub.
Each of the identical ends are raised just like they are with the single slipper tub. As a result, the middle of the tub is shallow, while the ends are going to be a bit deeper.
- The Pedestal
The pedestal is a bit different from the rest of the tubs because it does not have a clawfoot. However, it still fits into this category because it is a free-standing tub that has a solid base, similar to a cake stand.
How Did Clawfoot Tubs Originate?
The clawfoot tub came to be during the 1800s but went out of style in the 1920s. In the beginning, clawfoot tubs were made out of tin or copper and contained an oak trim.
The inside of the tub was painted, which in turn resulted in peeling as well as other problems with maintenance.
However, during the second half of the 1800s clawfoot tubs started being made out of cast iron and enameled in porcelain to create a soft and smooth finish.
Interestingly enough, tubs were initially created to be used by farm animals and livestock as bathing wasn’t exactly a common activity during this time.
Once people started to realize how easy tubs were to clean, they caught on to the concept of bathing. Victorian era bathtubs were made with shower enclosures and curtains for privacy and for an added “spa-factor.”
Thanks to the fact that they were made out of cast-iron, clawfoot tubs had the ability to keep water both hot and cold for extended periods of time.
Once the Victorian era bathtubs went out of style, Art Deco Pedestals came into popularity during the 1920s. Despite their popularity, the invention of built-in, double-walled single bathtubs eventually began to overshadow clawfoot tubs.
Things to Consider Before Getting a Clawfoot Tub
As aesthetically pleasing as a clawfoot tub may be, they may not necessarily be right for every home. If you’re considering one for your home, there are a few things that you should factor in before taking the plunge.
Aside from deciding on the type of clawfoot tub that you want, you’ll also want to consider the size of the tub. If you live in a household with several people in it, you’ll want to make sure the tub is big enough for everyone to fit it comfortably.
The color of the tub will also be something to factor in. Some people may also be undecided about whether or not they should refinish their tub or simply purchase a new one.
Many people believe that refinishing a tub is less expensive than replacing it altogether, but this may not always be the case.
Whether or not you refinish or replace your current tub depends on factors such as if you’re willing to put up with the mess, the current condition that your tub is in, and how much time you want to spend on the project.
Aside from being luxurious and gorgeous, clawfoot tubs have an incredibly interesting history as well. Not to mention they come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors making them ideal for any home despite the aesthetic.
When choosing a clawfoot tub for your home, be sure to decide what type of clawfoot you want specifically, and shape and style that best suits you.
Regardless of which one you pick, it’s safe to say you’ll be the owner of a classic and timeless piece of furniture that is sure to please everyone in your home.
Hello, my name is David Zal and I’m a plumber with more than 20 years of experience based in Englewood (Florida). I like to teach normal people how to make easy fixes in their homes. I believe that a lot can be achieved just with DYI and that’s why I started this blog.