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Clawfoot Bathtubs – Pros and Cons


Clawfoot tubs are beautiful, elegant, and eye-catching, but they are not ideal for every home. If you are considering getting a clawfoot tub for your bathroom, you need to understand the pros and cons that come along with this process. It may not be a struggle if you are swapping an old clawfoot tub for a new one, but it can be a nightmare if you want to replace a standard bathtub with one of this style. Use the information below to guide you in your decision.

Pro – Flexible Placement

Because they are raised off the ground, clawfoot tubs can be placed at different angles than a standard bathtub. If you have a unique space that won’t support a corner tub, a round tub, or a rectangle, a clawfoot may be just the right fit for your bathroom. Of course, this largely depends on the size of space you have to work with and where the existing plumbing is. You may have to make modifications to accommodate the new fixture.

Con – Large Size

While having a large bathtub sounds great at first, it makes for a difficult installation. The bathtub is bulky and awkward, so it will not fit in smaller bathrooms. Even though you have the flexibility to angle it a different way (or make it freestanding), you still may not have the room to support this large of an object in your bathroom. Be sure to measure all of this carefully when you weigh out your options.

Pro – Unique Design

There is no denying the beauty of a clawfoot tub. They can make any bathroom instantly look more expensive and refined. Clawfoot tubs stand the test of time, so they fit in with nearly every design scheme you could imagine. Whether you want your bathroom to look antique or modern, there is a clawfoot tub for you.

Con – High Cost

The beauty of clawfoot tubs comes at a price. The tub itself is usually more expensive than a standard bathtub, and the labor it takes to install it will be more costly as well. The plumbing almost always has to be moved around for the tub, and you have to buy special fixtures that match the design of the bathtub. This is because the plumbing for a clawfoot is exposed. It looks artistic when installed properly, but if you select the wrong fixture or don’t put it in the right place, you could end up with a major eye sore.

There is one good thing in the cost. If you have an older claw foot tub, it can be refinished to look like new. So if beauty is your goal and you want to save a little in remodeling, you could get it professionally refinished and save some cash.

Pro – Relaxing Baths

Clawfoot tubs are great for soaking. If you want a place to take a warm bath at the end of a hard work day, this is it. Unfortunately, not everyone has time for bubble baths. If you don’t see yourself soaking in it regularly, you may be better off getting a standard tub and spending your money on a high-end shower head or premium tile work.

Con – Non-Existent Showers

Clawfoot tubs really aren’t designed to have showers with them. While it is possible to have a shower above a clawfoot tub, it will require even more adjustments to the plumbing and other fixtures. You will also need a special curtain rod that will fit the oval shape of the tub. It’s hard to make these look exquisite and could ruin the entire effect of the clawfoot tub. Of course, you can have a standalone shower separate from your bathtub, but your bathroom needs to be large enough to accommodate that.

Keep all of these factors in mind when you select the materials for your bathroom remodeling, and you will make the best choice for your personal goals.

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