Claw Foot Tubs the latest fashion statement in Home Improvement.
The latest fashion statement in home improvement is found in the bathroom these days. The new trend is to re-create an old look! Makes sense right in a world that has found that it is a good thing to recycle! This recycled look in home décor and designer fashion plumbing is called “Vintage” or “Restoration”. As it turns out we sell a lot of these types of plumbing fixtures and have found most people are not sure how to outfit that new or restored Claw foot Tub they have. These tubs have become the focal point in a Vintage style bathroom with all other fixtures and accessories chosen to compliment the Claw Foot Tub and its fixtures.
Sounds simple but the most complicated part of this project is to choose the correct faucet, supply lines and drain kits for your tub. With Claw Foot Tubs you have options. There are different types of tubs and with them there are different types of faucets, supply lines and drain kit applications required. For example here is a typical question we get often from shoppers:
Help!!!! I was looking through your products and I’m totally confused My husband & I are doing a total remodel on our house AND we have a claw foot tub we are restoring and putting back in it’s original position original faucets are on the tub(and inside/not on the “deck”)but may need to be replaced. Please give me some advice! Ideally we want a similar faucet to the original, a shower ring and a rain type shower head. We sure could use some help in ordering the correct items.
So, what we did was create an easy to read none technical term E-guide. Hope this will be helpful to you in making the correct purchase so you can soon be enjoying your new tub and bathroom.
Everything you need to know about buying Claw foot Tub Plumbing Fixtures for your Claw foot Tub
You are all excited you just bought your first claw foot tub! Your next task is to buy and install or have installed the plumbing fixtures for it. Like most people you first check your local stores only to leave empty handed because of the sticker shock for the plumbing fixtures and other parts needed for your tub. You then decide to go online because you have heard that the prices are definitely better… so you starting browsing and shopping. You know that you want quality but at the best price you can get after all isn’t that what online shopping; eBay and auctions are all about!
You are right, you can get a better price online but you want to make sure that what you are buying is the correct fixture for you tub and is of a high quality construction as well as the style and finish you are looking for. Claw foot tubs with Vintage fashion plumbing has made a huge comeback. To have one in your bathroom these days is like having a Mercedes in the driveway. And better yet to get that Mercedes at Chevrolet pricing is even better…right! At Faucet Suite you will find we specialize in Vintage and Restoration Plumbing fixtures and offer the highest quality at the lowest possible prices. After you have gotten the information this E-Guide contains on what to buy and how to choose the correct fixtures you may want to browse our online catalog at: www.faucetsuite.com , or our eBay store and auctions for additional discounts, www.stores.ebay.com/faucetsuite.
Faucets, Supply lines, Drain kits…oh my!
Let start with the Faucets they are the foundation for your setup and you will find that there are different models for different applications. Always make sure any faucet you buy is of solid brass construction as this is the highest quality and will stand the test of time. You can mount your faucet at the foot of the tub, on the side or on the wall behind the tub.
Claw foot tub faucets are antique reproductions made to resemble the faucets from the early 1900’s. There are small inside tub mount tub fillers only type faucets but for more function and style most people prefer the larger tub fillers with a hand held shower.
There are several basic types of these Claw foot Tub Faucets: Deck Mounts, Wall Mounts, Inside Tub Mounts and Floor Mounts.
Let’s start with the Deck Mounts. There are fixed center deck mounts and adjustable mounts. The standard application for fixed mounts is 3 3/8”, 6”, 7” or adjustable 3 3/8’ to 13”. If there are holes already drilled on your tub for a deck mount at the foot of the tub or on the side then you need the measurement of the distance between the holes measuring center to center to choose the correct size. If you do not have holes drilled yet
then the choice is yours. But remember to have the holes drilled to fit the standard faucet measurements that most manufacturers offer.
3 3/8’ is the smallest standard measurement on old restored tubs and new. It is very important to get the right size if it is a fixed mount however, if you are still not sure after measuring and want an optional situation then an adjustable deck mount maybe a better choice.
Next, let’s look at the Inside Tub Mount. There are two standard fixed mount measurements; 3 3/8, 7” and then adjustable. The standard adjustable for this application measurement is 3 3/8” to 8 ½ “. Measuring for the correct fit would be the same as for the deck mount. If there are existing holes drilled in the tub then measure the distance between the holes center to center. Again the adjustable mounts are for the option of mounting the faucet any where between 3 3/8” and 8 ½”. This gives you some margin for error in measuring and still be able to mount the faucet on your tub.
Lastly, there are wall mount and floor mount faucets. The wall mount are faucets that are actually mounted on the wall of your bathroom above your tub. You maybe replacing an old wall mount faucet in which case you would need to choose carefully as before measuring for a correct fit. If you are in the building phase or remodeling an existing bathroom then you will have the option to choose the faucet you want and then have the holes and supply lines customized to fit the faucet attachment. There are also fixed and adjustable mounts offered for this application as well.
A floor mounted faucet is a faucet that is attached to freestanding supply lines. The faucet spout hangs over the tub but the faucet is not attached to the tub. This is a great look however, you will need to consider that this type of faucet will be restricted to a down spout and hand held shower piece only. Use of a shower riser and enclosure attachments are not recommended with this type of faucet application. .
Ok, now that you have chosen the style, finish and measured for a correct fit you will need to consider the type of supply lines you will need and the style of drain kit you prefer.
Supply lines are the water pipes that go from the floor rough-in to the tub faucet. They need to be chosen to fit both the proper faucet configuration and rough-in through your floor. I will be discussing the exposed type of supply lines.
Supply lines come in several styles and are choose more for functional purposes and correct attachment application than for style. There are straight, Single Offset, Double Offset and Freestanding supply lines. And, yes…oh my!
I am going to keep this simple. Straight supply lines are used with deck mount faucets. They come up from the floor and connect from underneath the tub lip through the holes to the faucet connection. If you do not find the exact length you need they can be cut to desired length.
Single Offset and Double Offset supply lines are for an inside tub mount faucet application. Generally, the single offset supply lines have one bend and are for use when hot and cold water supply rough in and faucet are both on a 3 3/8” centers. Double offset have two bends and are used when hot and cold are roughed in at 8” centers and the faucet is on a 3 3/8” center. These supply lines can also be cut to fit the correct height required for you tub.
Freestanding supply lines are used for an alternative means to mount the faucet when there are no holes drilled in the tub and the tub will not sit close enough to a wall to wall mount the faucet. This also referred to as a floor mount. These water supply lines are sturdy and easily support most faucet attachments however, they will need to have support braces that will connect to a wall or in some case a sturdy wooden free standing box type stand that is secured to the floor. As stated before it is strongly recommended against using a faucet with a riser and shower enclosure attachments with freestanding supply lines. Riser and shower enclosures are best used with faucets that are mounted to the tub.
Now where there are supply lines there is the option of shut off valves. Shut off valves are optional and can be both functional and decorative. Most people opt to have them so they can shut off or control the flow of water when needed. They are installed at the lower end of the supply line close to the flanges just above the floor. You will want to choose a straight quarter turn valve with the handle style to match your faucet handles.
Drain, Waste & Overflow Units
This may be the easiest item to choose as drain, waste and overflow units are a necessary functional part that is needed and are usually referred to as a drain kit when ordering.
Typically the style is a matter of preference, the most popular and closest to the antique or vintage style is the chain plug type. Other options are twist and turn, the British lever style or the trip lever and grid style.
Shower Risers and Enclosures
This is very basic and a matter of functional shower options. On tub mounted faucets you can attach a shower riser and enclosure which will provide the option of rinsing off with the hand held shower handle or using an over head shower. At Faucet Suite we offer the Everything for your Claw foot tub package that includes the Faucet, Supply lines, drain kit, valves and all the parts you will need for the shower riser and enclosure setup.
This is a matter of choice where many want to go with the popular Vintage finishes like the Satin Nickel or Oil Rubbed Bronze. I thought I would mention that there is something to be aware of when you are choosing a finish. Chrome, Satin Nickel and Polished Brass are generally standard but may have slight variations in shades from manufacturer to manufacture. It is always best to buy your fixtures, parts and accessories from the same manufacturer. The Oil Rubbed Bronze finish is the finish that is most likely to have variations in color from the same manufacture from different lots. Also, different manufacturer’s Oil Rubbed Bronze finishes can range from very dark almost black to a lighter more coppery bronze. It is much like buying fabric where if the fabric is from different lots and or different companies it could be way off to being slightly off and not come out exactly the same shade showing as lighter or darker.
In conclusion, this E-Guide was written because I have heard from many of our customers that are new to the Claw foot tub experience that purchasing the correct items for their tub can be a difficult and confusing task. I hope that this simple little guide will help you make the correct choices for your tub and bathroom needs so that you may start enjoying your new tub! We have also tried to make it easier for our customers by offering various types of complete Claw foot Tub Packages that include all you will need to setup your tub. We are committed to offering the highest quality plumbing fixtures at the lowest possible prices. When you are online shopping for Claw foot tub fixtures you may want to check us out: www.faucetsuite.com