Long before I was old enough to drive, I remember asking my mom take detours through the historic parts of town so I could oooh and aaah at the grand old houses.
Seriously...what kid does that?
I’ve always admired the craftsmanship and charm of older homes; the large porches, hardwood floors, lead glass, and my favorite...clawfoot tubs. I’ve always dreamed of owning an old home or at least the luxury and classic beauty of a clawfoot tub. So, when renovations began on our 1907 home the hunt began! I scoured craigslist, estate sales, and salvage yards with little success.
Most of the tubs that I found were in poor condition. I know...I know... they can be refinished. But when you’re doing a full gut renovation who wants another project, right? When I did find a tub in decent condition, it was SO small and still expensive. Other new tubs started at around $1200 and were made of fiberglass or acrylic. This 5'5'' woman shouldn't be able to single handedly move a clawfoot tub--that’s just cheap!
One day to my surprise I found FOUR new cast-iron clawfoot tubs for sale on craigslist. I thought for sure it was a scam...too good to be true. So I did more homework than I’m willing to admit to make sure it was legit. This tub retails for over $3,000 and we got it for...drum roll please.....$800. Not only was it under budget, it is HUUUUUGE! 73inches to be exact. And those LEGS! Yow!
Most retailers have products that are slightly damaged, last season or floor models. If you’re ok with minor imperfections, you can save hundreds or thousands on appliances, furniture and other household items. Our tub has a finishing flaw on the edge of the rim (see photo) that doesn’t hurt the integrity of the tub. It’s purely cosmetic and hardly noticeable if you ask me. For a $2,000 savings, I’m perfectly fine with a little flaw. Besides, had we gone with a vintage tub I’m sure it would’ve had flaws as well.
One more thing to know about clawfoot tubs is the hardware can cost nearly as much as the tub. Wall mounted faucets are usually less expensive. We needed a free standing filler (more expensive of course). When we bought our tub, they sold us the matching hardware for 50% off retail. SCORE!
Just look how perfectly it fits in the window of our master bath. Many people have shared with me fond memories of growing up with a clawfoot tub or bathing at grandma’s house but I assure you this is NOT your grandmother’s tub!