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All About Clawfoot Bathtubs

Updated on August 29, 2011

Clawfoot Bathtub: Classic Style

This Is A Picture Of A Classic Style Clawfoot Bathtub.
This Is A Picture Of A Classic Style Clawfoot Bathtub. | Source

Are you thinking of remodeling your bathroom and getting a new bathtub? If so, then you might want to look into clawfoot bathtubs.

It has been debated as to when clawfoot bathtubs were invented. Many people say that the Minoan civilization from Crete invented the clawfoot style bathtub over 3,000 years ago. Even though bathhouses existed, it is unclear whether the clawfoot bathtub was around back then. It is otherwise said that the clawfoot bathtub wasn't invented until the 1850s. Either way, it's interesting to think of how a bathtub style has come to last for so many years (whether it was invented over 3,000 years ago or in the 1850s).

In the early 1900s (between 1910 and 1920), the clawfoot bathtub was becoming less and less popular.  Many people had complained about cleaning the clawfoot bathtub; especially cleaning underneath of it since it doesn't reach the floor.  The pedestal style bathtub was becoming more and more popular.

What Are They Made Of?

Back in the 1850s, they were usually made out of tin. If not tin, then they were made out of copper or oak trim.

It was only about 25 years later when clawfoot tubs started becoming made of cast iron and porcelain.

Now-a-days, clawfoot bathtubs are typically made of either cast iron and porcelain or acrylic. 

Double Ended Style Clawfoot Tub

This Is A Picture Of A Double Ended Style Clawfoot Tub
This Is A Picture Of A Double Ended Style Clawfoot Tub | Source

There Are 4 Different Styles Of Clawfoot Bathtubs?

There are 4 different types of clawfoot style bathtubs. They are Classic, Double Ended, Slipper, and Double Slipper. Below, I describe how they are styled differently. I have also posted pictures to make it easier to distinguish the difference between the two.

The Classic style clawfoot bathtub has one round end and the other end is squared off.

Double Ended clawfoot bathtubs are round on both ends.

Slipper style clawfoot bathtubs are squared off on the one end. The other end is rounded off, but is also at an upwards angle.

The Double Slipper style consists of both ends being rounded off and both at an upwards angle.

Since the Slipper style and the Double Slipper style clawfoot bathtubs have at least one end that is rounded off and at an upwards angle, it makes these tubs especially nice to lay back, relax, and soak in.

Slipper Style Clawfoot Bathtub

This Is A Picture Of A Slipper Style Clawfoot Bathtub
This Is A Picture Of A Slipper Style Clawfoot Bathtub | Source

Pros Of Clawfoot Bathtubs

So, you think you might install a clawfoot bathtub in your home? Before you do, let's take a quick look at the pros and cons of owning them.

Pros of Clawfoot Bathtubs: These bathtubs can range in length from 48" to 72". This is quite convenient because these bathtubs can fit into any bathroom. You may want the 72" long bathtub, but that size may not fit inside your bathroom. If not, you can choose sizes all the way down to 48" long. Just as a comparison, standard size bathtubs are 5 feet long (60"), so clawfoot bathtubs can be installed to be up to a foot longer.

I know from experience that standard size bathtubs can leave people feeling disappointed. If you fill it up, it still doesn't cover your entire body. Clawfoot bathtubs are also deeper than the standard size bathtub. The dimensions of clawfoot bathtubs make it easier for people to stretch out and bath comfortably.

If you choose to, you can get a shower head attached. These shower heads can actually be mounted on the wall. If you don't want that, you can choose to get hand held shower heads that come attached to the bathtub.

Since shower heads can be purchased, that obviously means that clawfoot bathtubs aren't just bathtubs. You can shower in them as well. This makes the clawfoot bathtub even more convenient. You don't have to worry about purchasing a separate shower for in your bathroom. You also don't have to be confined to only taking baths.

Many people don't realize that the outside of the tub can be painted, so if you don't particularly like the color white, you can get the outside painted a different color.

If you need to clean anything that is too big your your sinks, bathtubs are a great place to clean them in.

These bathtubs are popular among children since they are so big. Big bathtubs typically remind kids of being in a pool.

Clawfoot bathtubs are generally looked at as being luxurious and beautiful. People prefer clawfoot bathtubs because they add a sense of style and class to the home.

Double Slipper Clawfoot Bathtub

This Is A Picture Of A Double Slipper Style Clawfoot Bathtub
This Is A Picture Of A Double Slipper Style Clawfoot Bathtub | Source

Cons Of Clawfoot Bathtubs

Now that we have discussed some of the pros, or advantages of owning a clawfoot style bathtub, let's talk about the con's, or disadvantages.

Cons of Clawfoot Bathtubs: Earlier, in the 'pro section', I mentioned how you can use your clawfoot bathtub to clean anything that's too big for your sinks. Even though this is true, the sides of clawfoot bathtubs tend to come up rather high (since the bathtub is so deep). So, even though you can use it to clean certain objects, it might be difficult.

Clawfoot bathtubs don't sit on the ground. If you notice in any of the pictures, clawfoot bathtubs are raised up off of the ground. The bathtub is propped up with the 4 legs. This means that there is a small space underneath the tub that will need to be cleaned. This is the reason that clawfoot bathtubs started becoming less popular back between the years 1910 and 1920.


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    • profile image

      Ghost32 5 years ago

      Just finished installing one of ours, writing about the project, hit Publish--and your page popped right up as a Related Hub.

      A good one, too.

      Ours is a 59" length...but the way it's shaped, my knees are still very much going to end up slapping me in the face. However, as you point out here, it FIT the bathroom I'd built--with an inch to spare.

      And my 5-foot wife will be able to stretch out to her heart's content.

      Voted Up and very, very, Useful.

    • Jenny_Leigh profile image

      Jenny_Leigh 6 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Simone, I totally agree with you! They are lovely. Thank you for the comment!

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 6 years ago from San Francisco

      I am a huge fan of slipper style clawfoot tubs. They're so romantic!! It'd be lovely to own one someday. Great Hub!