Everyone enjoys a long, leisurely and relaxing bath. For many Australian homeowners, no bathroom is complete without a bathtub for exactly this purpose.
When it comes to finding the right one though, there are lots of styles out there to suit everyone’s tastes. Visit your nearest bathroom showroom for yourself to see the range available to you. You’re sure to find something to suit your budget, style and home.
However, few people can look past a traditional clawfoot tub. But is it the right choice for you and your home?
What is a clawfoot tub?
A clawfoot bath is a free-standing bath that first came into existence in the mid-18th century. Made from cast iron and porcelain, this style became popular in the 19th century and were seen as a luxurious item.
While older versions were expensive and heavy, modern clawfoot bathtubs can be made with fibre glass, acrylic and other lighter materials. This can make a clawfoot tub more accessible to a wider range of homeowners.
There’s a lot to know before you purchase a clawfoot bathtub, so make sure you’re informed by reading our list of pros and cons below.
Clawfoot tubs have never lost their connotation of luxury. Whether you choose a vintage or modern style clawfoot bath, you can be sure that you’ll be getting a bath that adds a touch of elegance to the room.
- Aesthetically pleasing
While modern clawfoots may favor sleek lines, they look just as good as vintage styles that incorporate intricate and handsome designs. Whatever style you choose, a clawfoot can be a great center piece for your bathroom.
If you want a little more freedom in your bathroom layout, a clawfoot tub is the way to go. With these freestanding baths, you aren’t constrained by anything beyond ensuring the tub fits and it can be plumbed in.
- Available in a range of materials
As noted above, traditionally clawfoot tubs were made from cast iron. However, advances in modern materials mean you can get a tub that looks just as good but one that is far lighter and cheaper. Although, traditional options are still available if you want a truly authentic old-world bathroom.
- Easy to clean
Free-standing baths can often be easier to clean as you have more access around the tub. If you get frustrated contorting yourself around to properly clean the bath, then a clawfoot may be a good investment.
- Needs lots of space
Clawfoot bathtubs tend to be larger and deeper than the other models. While this is great for a long and thorough soak, it does mean these tubs take up more space. If you have a small bathroom where space is at a premium, a clawfoot may not be the best bathtub for you.
- Tricky to clean around
While it’s easy to clean inside a clawfoot tub, the same can’t be said cleaning around it. Cleaning underneath and around the tub can be tricky as it sits low. This can be even harder if it is pushed up against a wall too.
Additionally, some clawfoot bathtub materials, like porcelain, can be easily scratched, stained or chipped. Therefore, you need to take care as you clean around it.
- Can be difficult to plumb
Plumbing can be an obstacle whether you’re renovating or building a new home. For instance, if you’re renovating, your expected costs may go up significantly if you need to move plumbing around. Plumbers will need to pull back walls and flooring to get to pipes and relay them. Therefore, if you think your clawfoot will need its own new set of plumbing, be prepared for a higher cost and to opt for another bathtub.
- Heavy and expensive
As noted before, traditional clawfoot bathtubs are both heavy and expensive. While other clawfoots can be cheaper, depending on the material, they are still priced as a luxury item. Therefore, expect a higher price tag even if you can find a suitable lightweight clawfoot.
- Can be difficult to get in and out of
The depth and shape of clawfoot tubs means that they’re not always easy to get in and out of, especially for pets, children and older family members. If you have any concerns about slipping or falling, or difficulty getting up and down, another more accessible tub may be a better choice.
Make an informed decision.
As luxurious as a clawfoot tub is, it’s not the only bathtub option out there. Think about what you want in a bathtub and what would suit your bathroom before committing to a clawfoot tub.