Clawfoot Tub Designs
Long seen as a luxury fixture, freestanding clawfoot bathtubs are a stunning centerpiece in any bathroom. Clawfoot tub designs typically feature cast iron and porcelain construction, but today they also can be made of fiberglass, acrylic or other lightweight modern materials.
Presenting the Solo Tub
This hammered-nickel tub from Waterworks needs no embellishment it stands alone as the centerpiece of this bath suite designed by Heather Hungeling. The modern metallic finish offers a fresh counterpoint to the traditional look of columns and dentil molding. Photo courtesy of Heather Hungeling
Opulent Traditional Look
To create space for amenities in this bath, Tina Muller of Drury Design placed one wall of the shower enclosure on the tub deck no easy engineering feat. The floors are Calcutta gold marble and cabinets are painted creamy white with a warm glaze. Photo courtesy of Drury Design
Simply Indulgent Shower
Rather than continue the busy pattern of the marble up the walls, Muller chose a serene and complementary subway tile for the shower's interior. The shower includes multiple body sprays, a rain showerhead and a steam machine for a total spa experience. Photo courtesy of Drury Design
Maximum Function, Minimum Space
Designer Jennifer Gilmer wanted a large freestanding tub and a shower in her master bath, but lacked the room to put them side by side. A trip to Japan inspired her to combine the two in an open space this arrangement is common there. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Gilmer
Zen in the Details
Gilmer's materials suggest a Far Eastern sensibility. The shaving sink and showerheads are arranged against a backdrop of Verde Bamboo granite; the opposing walls are covered in a cool green tile; the niche shelving is lined with river rock; and the floor is black marble mosaic. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Gilmer
Sleek and Sparkling Ambiance
Gail Drury of Drury Design says that the glass tiles in this contemporary bathroom's steam shower lend a sparkle to the whole room. Floating espresso cabinets and a streamlined tub add to the dreamlike effect. Photo courtesy of Drury Design
Water, Water Everywhere
Soaking in a full tub is grand, but adding a water feature creates undeniable atmosphere. This gorgeous stone composite tub from Tyrrell & Laing is finished in bronze and rests below a romantic stone water cascade at the Della Terra Mountain Chateau in Estes Park, Colo. Photo courtesy of Tyrrell & Laing
Tranquil Reading Retreat
Gladys Schanstra of Drury Design created this Zen bath for a client who wanted a soaking tub for reading her favorite novels. Sweet details: a river-rock ceiling border for the shower (out of view) and a built-in bathmat comprised of Sobu bamboo tiles embedded in the limestone floor. Photo courtesy of Drury Design
Better Than Natural Stone
The "limestone" in this shower is actually a porcelain lookalike that's less expensive and easier to maintain. The medallion is composed of marble, mosaic tile and natural limestone. The splurge here, says designer Carolyn Thomas, is the curved glass chamber and two-way hinged door that keeps water inside after showering. Photo courtesy of Carolyn Thomas
A Tub for a King
This Imperia tub for two by Tyrrell & Laing, shown at Sir Richard Branson's Lodge Verbier in Switzerland, is made of a smooth stone composite that's much lighter (fortunately!) than solid stone. At 76.5 inches long and 45 inches wide, it's one of the largest free-standing tubs on the market. Photo courtesy of Tyrrell & Laing
Clawfoot tubs have a striking appearance that hasn't changed much since they first became popular about two centuries ago. Clawfoot tubs come in several styles, the most common being the classic roll rim or roll top. A slipper tub is the most elegant of the clawfoot tubs, having one end raised and sloped for a more comfortable reclining position. Double slipper tubs have both ends raised. Pedestal tubs are a more modern take on the traditional clawfoot tub; instead of feet, the tub is placed on a pedestal. Clawfoot tubs can also be double-ended, which means both ends are rounded rather than one end being more flat or squared.
Once you have selected the style of clawfoot tub you would like, you can then choose the type of feet and finishes. Chrome, polished brass, brushed nickel, antique bronze, or basic white or black are among your options for the foot style that will match other fixtures in your bathroom. You may want to purchase coasters for the feet as well, to protect your bathroom floor. You may also want to consider a wooden base rather than the feet; this can give you a warmer look that can be matched to your bathroom cabinets.
You can select from a variety of clawfoot tub accessories and add-on items such as a reading rack or wine glass holder. Or add a tub caddy that fits over the rim for storing your shampoo, soaps and loofah. If you need the tub to do double duty as a shower, you can even add an enclosure with a riser pipe and curtain rod.
One major advantage to choosing a clawfoot bathtub is its ease of installation. Unlike other tubs that have to be dropped in and caulked, a clawfoot tub is simply placed in the area of your bathroom that's set up for plumbing; no caulk necessary. Be sure you have enough space in your bathroom before purchasing a tub, as these units range from 60 to 72 inches long.
Another advantage is that a clawfoot tub is styled for comfort. The contoured shape lets you recline comfortably in a tub that is deeper than many drop-in tubs. They are commonly made of materials that hold heat for a longer time—meaning you can relax longer.
If you like to spend time soaking in a hot bath, and your bathroom ideas include traditional, classic style, then a claw-foot bathtub may be the tub choice for you.
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