The Pros & Cons of Buying a Clawfoot Tub – Plus FAQ

The Pros & Cons of Buying a Clawfoot Tub – Plus FAQ

Clawfoot tubs are one of the most popular styles of freestanding tubs that we carry in our curated collection of luxury yet affordable bathtubs. The far-reaching and enduring popularity of a clawfoot tub means it is a timeless bathtub choice that will never go out of style.


The process of buying a clawfoot tub isn’t easy. There is a lot to consider, from cost to installation to style and aesthetics. To help you decide whether a clawfoot tub is the right choice for your bathroom, we created a list of the various pros (and cons) of clawfoot tubs.


The Pros & Cons of Clawfoot Tubs

Clawfoot tubs are freestanding bathtubs with decorative feet; they are typically made from highly durable cast iron or lightweight acrylic. Clawfoot tubs are known for their elegant, traditional aesthetic and can add a touch of vintage charm to any bathroom. However, like any other fixture, clawfoot tubs have their benefits and their downsides.


Clawfoot Tub: Pros

Aesthetic Appeal: Clawfoot tubs are often considered a statement piece and can enhance the overall visual appeal of a bathroom. They provide a distinctive classic look and add elegance to any space. A clawfoot tub is often chosen to be the focal point of a main bathroom - they are especially popular in traditional, modern farmhouse, and country chic style bathrooms.


Versatility: Since clawfoot tubs are freestanding, they can be placed nearly anywhere in a bathroom, giving you more flexibility in terms of layout and design options. Clawfoot bathtubs can be positioned against a wall or even in the center of the room to create a beautiful focal point in your bathroom.

The Pros & Cons of Buying a Clawfoot Tub – Plus FAQ


Heat Retention: Cast iron clawfoot tubs usually have superior heat retention properties compared to built-in acrylic tubs.


Customization: Clawfoot tubs come in a variety of materials, shapes, and sizes, which makes it easy for you to choose one that fits your personal style and preferences. A clawfoot tub can even be refinished or painted to match your bathroom decor, offering a high level of customization.


Comfort: As a soaking tub, many people find clawfoot tubs to be extremely comfortable. Clawfoot tubs feature an ergonomic design and deep bathing well, making them a more luxurious bathing option (when compared to most standard built-in tubs).


Clawfoot Tub: Cons

Space Requirements: Clawfoot tubs tend to be larger and bulkier than built-in bathtubs. They require a significant amount of floor space, which may not be ideal for smaller bathrooms or those with limited square footage. However, small clawfoot tubs are available.


Installation Challenges: Installing a clawfoot tub can be more complex and time-consuming compared to a standard bathtub. It typically involves additional plumbing work and may require reinforcement of the bathroom floor to support the weight of the tub.


Cleaning & Maintenance: The exposed exterior of a clawfoot tub is more time-consuming to clean than a built-in tub. However, clawfoot tubs are still quite easy to maintain (especially non-porous acrylic tubs).


Lack of Integrated Support: If you have limited mobility or balance issues, stepping out of a clawfoot tub can be more challenging compared to a walk-in tub. The absence of grab bars or other built-in supports may require additional precautions or assistive devices to ensure a safe exit.

Price: A quality clawfoot tub is often a significant investment and usually costs more than a built-in bathtub. However, the overall cost depends on various factors including material, manufacturer, and additional features (tub faucet and shower conversion kit may be sold separately). Additionally, installation costs can also add to the overall expense.


Clawfoot tubs are not for everyone. Most people purchase clawfoot tubs for their looks, durability, and comfort. Ultimately, the decision to install a clawfoot tub will depend on your personal preferences, available space, and willingness to handle any potential challenges associated with installation and maintenance. However, if you really have your heart set on a clawfoot tub, no other type of tub will do!


Frequently Asked Questions about Clawfoot Tubs

To help guide you through the buying process, we answered some of the most common questions we receive about clawfoot tubs.


What are clawfoot tubs?

Clawfoot tubs are a type of freestanding tub that stands on raised legs with ornate feet. Clawfoot tubs first became popular in the 19th century and are still sought-after today for their comfortable and appealing design.


What type of clawfoot tubs are available?

The Pros & Cons of Buying a Clawfoot Tub

Clawfoot tubs come in various sizes, shapes, styles (double-ended, slipper, and double slipper), and materials (including cast iron and acrylic). Rolled rim clawfoot tubs are especially popular for the ultra-traditional look that they provide. Modern style clawfoot tubs feature clean lines and a simpler aesthetic that is especially ideal for modern farmhouse bathrooms. There is a clawfoot tub available to suit every taste and bathroom layout!


What is the purpose of a clawfoot tub?

Clawfoot tubs are primarily used for bathing and relaxation. Their traditional look is sometimes used to complete a traditional, country chic, or eclectic bathroom design.


How much does a clawfoot tub weigh?

Lightweight acrylic clawfoot tubs can weigh 100-150lbs or less. Heavier cast iron clawfoot tubs often weigh between 250-300 pounds, or even more - depending upon size! A filled tub, of course, will weigh significantly more. Most clawfoot tubs have a water capacity of 30 to 75 gallons. Extra-large clawfoot tubs may be able to hold 100 gallons of water or more!


Do clawfoot tubs have overflow drains?

For added safety, many modern clawfoot tubs feature overflow drains, to prevent flooding if you leave the water running for too long. However, many antique clawfoot tubs do not have an integrated overflow drain.

If the clawfoot tub you are interested in purchasing does not have a pre-installed overflow drain, check with the manufacturer or retailer to see if a tub waste and overflow kit is available.


How are clawfoot tubs filled?

Most clawfoot tubs are equipped with faucet holes and can be filled using a traditional deck-mounted tub faucet. Some modern clawfoot tubs do not have pre-drilled faucet holes; these require the use of a freestanding tub filler or a wall-mount tub filler for use.


Why do people love clawfoot tubs?

Clawfoot tubs evoke a sense of nostalgia and remind people of a bygone era when bathing was seen as an indulgent and luxurious experience. Clawfoot tubs add a touch of Victorian-era charm to a bathroom; they are especially popular in traditional and farmhouse style bathrooms. Many people enjoy the connection to the past that a clawfoot tub brings and appreciate the historical significance of having such a fixture in their home.

Besides their timeless aesthetic appeal and historical significance, clawfoot tubs are prized for their comfort. Clawfoot tubs are known for their spaciousness and deep soaking capabilities. They offer more room for relaxation compared to standard built-in tubs, allowing individuals to fully immerse themselves and enjoy a comfortable and luxurious bathing experience. The ergonomic design of a slipper or double slipper clawfoot tub, which allows one to recline while bathing, also adds to the overall comfort.


How do I safely get out of a clawfoot tub?

Before getting out of a clawfoot tub, make sure the floor surrounding the tub is dry. When you're ready to get out of the tub, carefully lift yourself up from a seated position. Use the tub's interior and rim for support and stability as you transition from a seated to a standing position.

Pros & Cons of Buying a Clawfoot Tub

Once you have secure footing, shift your weight, and carefully step out of the tub. You may want to grip the tub rim or fixtures with your hands to assist in maintaining balance.

To increase the safety of your clawfoot tub set up, we suggest placing a non-slip bath mat near your clawfoot tub. Installing grab bars near your tub can add additional support and stability, especially for individuals with mobility issues or balance concerns.


Do clawfoot tubs increase home value?

A high-quality clawfoot tub is a premium bathroom upgrade that can pay off when it comes time to sell your home.

Some homeowner surveys have indicated that popular farmhouse style features – especially clawfoot tubs – can help increase the sales price of your home. Recent research from Zillow indicates that modern farmhouse features can help you sell your home for 2.3% more than expected in 2023.


How much does a clawfoot tub cost?

A quality clawfoot tub usually costs between $1,000 to $3,000 dollars. Cheaper and more expensive models are available. Affordable clawfoot tubs that cost less than $1,000 (without sacrificing quality in materials and construction) are available.


Can a clawfoot tub be delivered to your home?

Yes! Our luxury clawfoot tubs and clawfoot tub accessories (including clawfoot tub fillers and clawfoot tub shower conversion kits) can be delivered directly to your home or job site at no additional charge. Luxury Freestanding Tubs ships clawfoot tubs and other freestanding tubs and tub fixtures using the best couriers in the industry. All bathtubs are thoroughly inspected before being shipped. Average ship times for in-stock items take 1-7 business days to your residence.


The Best Clawfoot Tubs for your Bathroom Design & Budget

Our Clawfoot Tubs collection features premium and affordable clawfoot tubs from top brands like Barclay, A&E Bath and Shower, Cambridge Plumbing, Kingston Brass, and Whitehaus Collection. Clawfoot tub faucets and clawfoot tub shower conversion kits are also available.


Ready to find the clawfoot tub of your dreams? Contact our Customer Service team via email, chat, or phone today!

by Cassidy Carr