The Vintage Beauty Of Clawfoot Tubs
A noticeable trend that is coming up in the bathroom world is the inclusion of tubs in shower rooms. Tubs are relatively large containers which are basin-like and can hold water. A person may soak and bathe in these tubs. The increase in the demand of such bath tubs has led to more creativity in the types of bath tubs that can be fixed into the shower rooms. Among the many types of bath tubs that people have come up with is the clawfoot tub.
What is a clawfoot tub?
Clawfoot tubs have been defined by many to be timeless, elegant and sophisticated bath tubs. But one might wonder, just exactly what is a clawfoot tub? A clawfoot tub is basically a freestanding bath tub that stands on four feet. It has been built with four pegs or feet directly beneath it. A freestanding bath tub here refers to any bath tub that has been finished on all sides and has the ability to stand alone. This kind of tub is named a ‘clawfoot’ tub following the design of these pegs or feet; they are finished with a claw design. These claw-like feet of a clawfoot tub come in multiple styles to fit the owner’s preferences. The aesthetics of the clawfoot bath tub can also be changed to however the owner prefers. Another defining factor of a clawfoot tub is that this tub is finished on every side and has a lip on the front, which acts as the footrest or provides space for a bath tray.
WOODBRIDGE 59″x 30″ Slipper Clawfoot Bathtub with Solid Brass Polished Chrome Finish Drain and Overflow
This Woodbridge clawfoot bathtub is made out of 100% high gloss white LUCITE acrylic, polished chrome feet , solid brass polished chrome drain & overflow. It’s double walled for maximum thermal insulation. Click for more info.
61″ Cast Iron Slipper Clawfoot Freestanding Tub with NO Faucet Holes & Oil Rubbed Bronze Feet
Get ready for a superb bathing experience. Built from long lasting Cast Iron, the “Chariton” gives you a beautiful Porcelain interior to relax in with this Vintage Slipper freestanding tub design. This 61″ cast iron tub is perfect for increasing the overall beauty of your luxury fashionable bathroom. Click for more info.
Sinkology TBT-6631CL Heisenberg Handmade Copper Solid Freestanding Claw Foot Bath Tub
For those that demand a different level of refinement from their bathroom, a copper bathtub transforms the room into an escape. The Heisenberg clawfoot tub from Sinkology is made from pure 14-gauge, solid copper and will inspire you to think differently about your bathroom design. Click for more info.
Hotel Collection HLSL57FPK 57″ Heavy Duty CoreAcryl Double Walled Acrylic Single Slipper Clawfoot Bath Tub and Faucet Pack
This fabulous 57″ Slipper Clawfoot bathtub from Hotel Collection is ready for you. Has a high gloss interior and exterior shells with a slip resistant floor. The claw feet are cast iron, solid and strong. Everything needed to install is included in this package. Click for more info.
WOODBRIDGE CLAWFOOT TUB, 54″ ‘Freestanding Tub
This AAA Quality Slipper Clawfoot Bathtub with Chrome Finish from Woodbridge is vintage and modern at the same time. Full fiberglass construction with acrylic topcoat for high durability. Brushed nickel integrated overflow & push pop-up drain included. Faucet sold separately. Click for more info.
DKB Laguna Freestanding Acrylic Soaking Bathtub
Decorative Kitchen and Bath makes this awesome looking Laguna freestanding, clawfoot bathtub. This oval tub lends a modern, elegant, and streamlined look to any bathroom. Constructed from acrylic, the Laguna will always maintain its bright white appearance. Click for more info.
1001Now Cesano Black 63″ Clawfoot Freestanding Acrylic Bathtub
This gorgeous retro-inspired lounger will add a striking look to your bathroom. It has regal brass lion feet (adjustable for stability) and is made of two acrylic sheets to help retain warmth. Faucet sold separately. Click for more info.
59″ CoreAcryl Hotel Collection Double Slipper Clawfoot Tub and Faucet Pack
This fabulous 59″ Double Slipper Clawfoot bathtub from CoreAcryl is a joy to behold. It has a high gloss interior and exterior shells with a slip resistant floor. Comes with solid brass with porcelain handles and cast iron, solid claw feet. Click for more info.
Differences Between A Clawfoot Tub And Other Freestanding Tubs
Despite the fact that it is basically just another type of a freestanding tub, a clawfoot tub has differences that make it stand out and unique from all other freestanding tubs. First, clawfoot tubs, if vintage and quite old, can be refurbished, unlike most freestanding tubs. The owner can fit in multiple styles of claw feet to fit their preferences as well varied finishes and other style options. Such a change is however not possible with other freestanding tubs, as they lack varied finishes or even the feet/pegs themselves.
Also, clawfoot tubs contain feet or pegs beneath it whereas other freestanding tubs lack such. These feet or pegs provide the clawfoot tubs with an empty space beneath the tub which is not only very helpful in facilitating cleaning of the bath tub but also in creating the illusion of a larger and more spacious shower room. On the contrary, lack of such feet or pegs in other freestanding tubs denies such the ease of cleaning the tubs and makes the shower rooms appear smaller.
Another notable difference between clawfoot tubs and other freestanding tubs is that clawfoot tubs are basically larger and deeper as compared to other tubs. Such a larger size gives the clawfoot tubs an added advantage in that they are more comfortable and relaxing than other freestanding tubs. Such major difference are what actually gives the clawfoot tubs their classic sense of style and fashion; being preferred even more than other freestanding tub.
History Of Clawfoot Tubs
The origin of Clawfoot bath tubs can be traced back in the early 18th century, during the period of chairs, tables and other furniture. The first claw feet to be invented were fitted on showers, however, they didn’t last as long as the clawfoot tubs. Then there came a time when horse troughs were highly glorified and marketed. Adding legs to these horse troughs turned the troughs into bath tubs, which very quickly gained popularity among the wealthy homes in America. Since then, the clawfoot tubs, which were made of cast iron, featured a rolled rim and consisted of the already invented claw feet, and they came a long way throughout the American history.
In the earlier years of the 19th century, during the wartime in America, clawfoot bath tubs were found at homes that were of a high social status. Servants could fill these with water, leaving just enough space around the sides for their lords to bathe. During this time, the design of the clawfoot tubs was intricate and had longer sloping backs as well as larger ornate feet. The tubs, were made using metal iron since iron could retain heat and kept the bath warmer for quite a longer period. During this time, the metal tubs, especially the feet, were considered as being more than just decorating features. This was so since metal was an highly demanded product during this wartime period, hence the feet of the tubs would be confiscated and used for making weapons and war supplies.
With the end in the world war, America focused more on the construction of more simple houses that consisted of indoor plumping. For this to happen,the clawfoot tubs now had to be done away with and swapped with built-in tub designs. These built-in tub designs were constructed with materials that were easy to clean and that came in a variety of colors. People could match their built-in tubs with the home theme. Hence, when compared to the clawfoot tubs which were made of metal iron, were quite difficult to clean at the time and didn’t really offer a multiple color choice, these built-in tub designs gained even greater popularity than the clawfoot tubs and in no time the claw foot tubs became quite outdated.
However, in the recent past, it seems that the clawfoot tubs have been regaining their popularity once again. It is very evident that their sense of class and luxury wasn’t really lost as more people are now fitting their shower rooms with clawfoot bath tubs. Homeowners, who wish to create unique designs at their homes as well as add more luxury to their shower rooms, now opt for freestanding clawfoot tubs, as they serve just the purpose.
A factor that may have contributed to the recent increasing popularity of the clawfoot tubs is the way they are now designed. As explained before, the earlier clawfoot tub models were made of metal or cast iron which had all the disadvantages from difficulty in cleaning and lacking multiple color choices. However, in the modern times, clawfoot tub models are now being made of acrylic or fiberglass. Such a modern model has the advantage in that it provides them with elegance and class and at the same time are easy to maintain.
Types Of Clawfoot Tubs
There are several styles of clawfoot tubs. The difference in the types of clawfoot tubs is determined by the style of the four feet or pegs of the clawfoot tubs. The different styles of the clawfoot tubs are ball and claw tubs, paw tubs, cannonball tubs and armada tubs.
Ball and claw tubs are designed similar to the Chinese lion statues. In this design, the ball of the tub and the claw finish with a round ball as the bottom part. Therefore, this kind of a design forms a round structure that the bath tub rests on.
The paw type of a clawfoot tub applies more of the traditional design. Just as the name goes, the paw tub has feet that are paw shaped. The paw tub is similar to the ball and claw tub, with just one major notable difference; while the ball and claw tub stands on a flat and smooth surface, the paw tub stands on actual feet.
On the other hand, the cannonball tub can be defined as the simpler version of the ball and claw type of clawfoot tub. The cannonball tub has a design with a simpler round base and loses the decorative and elegant character of the Chinese lion statues in the ball and claw tubs.
Lastly, the Armada tub is the most unique of all the other types of clawfoot tubs. It is designed with a simple flat surface made of wood. This style does away with the balled edges of the other styles and applies decorations of some light gold paint. Another aspect that makes this specific design unique and different from the other styles is that it is built a bit lower to the ground than the other clawfoot tub types. The aim of building the Armada tub relatively lower to the ground is to increase its stability.
Variety Of Clawfoot Tub Designs
Following the modernization of the clawfoot tubs, there exists a wide variety of materials that make up the tubs. Each of these materials which make up the clawfoot tubs has their own unique characteristics that improve one’s bathing experience. Some of the popular materials in the market which are used in building clawfoot tubs are cast iron, copper, acrylic and fiberglass.
Cast iron material is famously known for its high durability. Construction of cast iron is done by pouring molten iron into a shape then finishing using a layer of enamel coating. Clawfoot bath tubs made of cast iron material have two major advantages; they are highly durable and have an higher heat retention. The major disadvantage about cast iron clawfoot tubs is that since cast iron is in itself an heavy material, then the floor on which the tub is to be constructed has to be heavily reinforced. However, the fact remains that clawfoot tubs made of cast iron material have been known to be the most durable of all bath tubs in the market.
Copper material in turn, is a relatively expensive material. However, it is of a very high quality and has additional characteristics that make it unique from other materials in the market. For instance, clawfoot bath tubs made of copper overtime glow or shine on the surface, hence creating more attractive bath tubs as they get older. Also, since copper is an antibacterial material, then copper clawfoot tubs are very easy to clean. Furthermore, copper has a very good heat retention and is therefore very effective when used as a material for constructing a bath tub. Due to its unique and fine characteristics, copper is the most expensive clawfoot tub material in the market.
On the contrary, acrylic is the most affordable clawfoot material in the market. Acrylic is made when vacuumed sheets of acrylic undergo reinforcement with fibreglass. This results to a material that has a lighter weight, is quite durable and has a moderate heat retention. Despite the fact that it is not as highly durable as the other clawfoot materials in the market, acrylic has a lighter weight and is hence easier to install and remove.
Fibreglass material in turn has a relatively thin gel coat, which comes about from how it’s made. Fibreglass is made by combining molded fiberglass with an acrylic layer known as a gel coat. This thin layer of gel causes it to have lesser durability, even than that of acrylic material. This aspect also causes fibreglass material to be a flimsy stuff with a lighter weight. Hence, fibreglass is the least used of clawfoot materials.
Clawfoot Tub Accessories
Some of the common accessories that may be included in a clawfoot tub are clawfoot tub board or cuddy, clawfoot tub curtains, clawfoot tub water filler and shower attachments.
Shower attachments are the most common clawfoot tub accessories. They cause a clawfoot bath tub to be always available for everyday use rather than the common occasional use. The attachment could be of a shower faucet on the bath tub, which serves to add more flexibility to the clawfoot tub.
Another clawfoot accessory is the tub cuddy or board, which can be used in place of the cubby that holds the soaps and shampoo. The clawfoot cuddy or board holds all the bathing equipment in one area that is also easy to reach. The advantage of this accessory is that it minimizes loses of the soap cubby.
Clawfoot tub curtains are also other available accessories for those who are more sensitive with their privacy and would prefer a more isolated soak and bath. Another advantage of this accessory is that it keeps water that comes out of the bath tub from spilling over.
Clawfoot tub water fillers could be mounted on walls, floors and decks. There are also diverse ranges of tub fillers, both modern and old fashioned. They are also characterized by a variety of finishes as well as handle options such that the owner can optimize their look to fit their tastes.
Final Thought On Clawfoot Freestanding Tubs
It is true that some still feel that clawfoot bath tubs are outdated and out of fashion. However, with the newer versions of the clawfoot tubs, which come in multiple designs, then it would be firmly concluded that clawfoot tubs are now the better modernized tubs that come with all the good qualities of the perfect bath tub. Therefore, if you want to make an instant and perfect fashion statement in your bathroom, then a striking clawfoot tub would do just the job.