Claw Foot Tubs

Written June 11, 2012

Somewhere along the line, I thought it would be fun to recreate my Taylor Street (Wisconsin) youth and get a claw foot tub for the master bathroom. I think it was when we realized that an initial design of the bathroom (remember this space used to be a bedroom so we’re starting from scratch) included a custom angled tub/shower unit. Have you priced those lately? We did. Then we went to plan B and decided to build a custom vanity in that angled space instead (MUCH more reasonable) and do a standard tub and shower unit in a corner. Well, yeah, that seemed a little boring after all of the hullabaloo of custom tubs and such, so we went to plan C. A stand up shower stall for showers and a claw foot tub for baths.

I researched tubs – their original finishes, the options for reglazing the inside and powdering the outside, available sizes, and sizes that would fit in our space (60” max.) After hunting around we stumbled upon one on Craigslist in a little town north of here called Fremont. It has been inside most of its life and thus has the original finish inside and out fairly intact. In other words, we won’t need to get it reglazed or powdered. The feet need a little polishing so at some point we’ll remove those and take them in to be done…a pedicure of sorts?

Here is a picture of it loaded in the back of the van right after purchase.

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It actually had to stay there for awhile because we never had the right combo of brawn at home to muscle it out. So for about a week I’d have a good giggle every time I got into the van and saw my new ‘old’ tub coming along for a ride. (Ask my sister, Sue, about this…she also got a good chuckle out of it.)

Then it sat in our backyard for a week with the intention of getting it all cleaned out. It has a thin layer of drywall mud in it that needs to be scraped. A fingernail works great, but that takes a LONG time and time was not at a premium, so before we could get to it, the plumber, Sean, said he needed it in place to establish the drain line into the floor.

We got on the stick and loaded her back into the van still in need of a good cleaning. Here’s a picture of Joel, Bryce and Drew with it in the foyer of the new house preparing to haul it up the stairs.

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And here’s one and two videos of them moving it up the stairs. I know. I should be helping rather than videotaping, but how else was I supposed to share this experience with all of you?

Views of it in its new home.

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I had a lapse of attention during this time and thus did not get a picture of it in our backyard. You’ll have to use your imagination for that one unless you can convince Joel, Drew and Bryce to move it back there.

Speaking of tubs…remember that other cast iron one that used to be in the full bath?

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Then when that bath got gutted, Leith hefted it into the back bedroom?

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Well yesterday it was time to move it back into its place for plumbing prep. Leith was not around so Doug, Sean and Steve got her done. Thanks, guys.

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All tubs in place…check.


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Regina Leffers McCaleb, Ph.D.

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