How much does it cost to install a clawfoot tub?
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Clawfoot Tub Installation Cost Guide
Updated: August 18, 2022
Clawfoot tubs are stylish and luxurious bathtubs, noted for their freestanding design that sits atop feet. Popularized in the early nineteenth century, they were a common decorative style that enhanced rest and relaxation due to their larger size. Today, clawfoot tubs are designed to match a variety of interiors ranging from vintage to contemporary. Aside from their visual impact, homeowners choose to install a clawfoot tub for their durability.
The national average cost for installing a clawfoot tub is between $2,000 and $6,000. Most people pay around $3,700 for a slipper cast iron clawfoot tub with a standard hardware set. At the low end of the spectrum, you can opt for a $1,000 classic roll top fiberglass tub. At the high end, you can pay up to $13,000 to reinforce the floor and install a double-ended copper clawfoot tub with designer hardware elements and a glass enclosure.
Clawfoot Bathtub Price
|Clawfoot Tub Installation Cost|
|National average cost||$3,700|
Clawfoot Tub Cost By Type
Clawfoot tubs come in various styles, each costing between $650 and $9,000 for the unit only. The style impacts how comfortable and functional the tub will be. The choice of style may also be influenced by the interior design and historical period of the home. There is a lot of overlap in terms of costs when comparing styles, with material, length, and depth being the biggest driving factors behind the final cost. Below are the average price ranges for clawfoot tubs, not including installation:
|Type||Clawfoot Tub Cost (Unit Only)|
|Slipper||$650 - $5,500|
|Classic / Roll Top||$800 - $4,500|
|Double Slipper||$1,000 - $6,000|
|Double Ended Roll Top||$1,050 - $9,000|
Slipper Clawfoot Tub
The slipper clawfoot tub price is generally $650 to $5,500. As its name suggests, the slipper clawfoot tub resembles a slipper in its shape. This is a popular vintage-style tub. The slipper tub style is rounded at both ends, and one end is raised and sloped to create a deep basin. This allows for a comfortable, reclining position that keeps stress off the back or neck as the bather reclines.
Classic Clawfoot Tub
The classic or original clawfoot tub price varies greatly between materials, generally costing around $800 to $4,500 for the tub only. Classic roll rim clawfoot tubs, also known as roll top or flat rim tubs, are the traditional clawfoot tub style. The classic clawfoot tub has a perfectly level top with a rolled edge, and there are also single styles that have a flat and a rounded end. They come in various sizes to accommodate one or two bathers, and the faucet can be installed on one side or in the middle, depending on the model.
Double Slipper Clawfoot Tub
Double slipper clawfoot tubs generally cost $1,000 to $6,000 per unit. The double slipper clawfoot tub is similar to the slipper clawfoot tub in that it is rounded at both ends and also sloped at both ends to provide two bathers a comfortable, reclining position. This tub is typically longer than single tub styles to accommodate two people, with the faucet installed in the middle.
Double Ended Clawfoot Tub
Expect to spend between $1,050 and $9,000 for a double ended clawfoot tub. The double ended clawfoot tub is similar to the classic clawfoot tub, except that both ends are rounded. The main difference between double ended and double slipper tubs is that the edges are flat and do not tilt upwards like in double slipper tubs. The faucet is often mounted in the middle of the tub, allowing room for two bathers.
Clawfoot Tub Price by Material
Clawfoot tubs are available in many materials beyond the traditional cast iron, costing $650 to $20,000. Not only will the choice of material affect the tub price, but it also affects the tub’s look, durability, weight, and heat retention properties. The weight is a very important factor for proper installation. Because clawfoot tubs are freestanding, heat retention properties are more important than with other tub models. The most common materials used for clawfoot tubs are fiberglass, acrylic, cast iron, stainless steel, copper, and marble. Each material has its benefits and downsides.
Fiberglass clawfoot tubs are affordable and easy to install. However, they last 10 to 15 years, less than other materials. Acrylic tubs have the traditional look of cast iron tubs but for a more affordable price. They are lightweight, making them easy to install. Their surface can easily be buffed out if it has any dents or scratches. Cast iron clawfoot tubs are the traditional tubs that are durable, hold heat better, and retain their value longer. However, they are heavy. Their complicated installation may require reinforcing the floor and more than two people to carry it. If damaged, they need to be refinished. Stainless steel and copper are very durable, resist rust, and retain heat. However, copper tubs are sensitive to abrasives and acidic substances. Similar to cast iron tubs, they may require reinforcing the floor. Marble tubs are incredibly durable and aesthetically pleasing. However, they are very rare in practice because they are mostly custom made. Installing them requires special care due to their weight. They also need to be cleaned with a special marble cleaner. The table below shows the price for each of these materials, not including installation:
|Materials||Clawfoot Tub Cost (Unit Only)|
|Fiberglass||$650 - $3,500|
|Acrylic||$650 - $4,500|
|Cast Iron||$1,000 - $6,000|
|Stainless Steel||$1,350 - $7,500|
|Copper||$1,650 - $9,000|
|Marble||$5,000 - $20,000|
Clawfoot Tub Cost by Brand
Several brands manufacture and sell clawfoot tubs, costing between $750 and $2,800. Each brand specializes in specific types of tubs. The most popular manufacturers are The Tub Connection, Pelham & White, and Woodbridge. The Tub Connection has been popular for the last 20 years and produces different bathroom products, including clawfoot, freestanding, and pedestal bathtubs, vanities, and hardware. Pelham & White specializes in clawfoot, pedestal, and freestanding tubs and a range of kitchen products. They also focus on innovative clawfoot tubs integrating the latest technology and material mixture. Woodbridge specializes in freestanding bath appliances and produces various clawfoot tubs. The table below shows the most popular brands selling clawfoot tubs and their average prices.
|Brand||Cost (Unit Only)|
|Woodbridge||$750 - $2,500|
|The Tub Connection||$900 - $2,800|
|Pelham & White||$950 - $2,000|
Cost to Install a Clawfoot Tub
A licensed plumber must install the clawfoot tub and plumbing, costing $45 to $200 per hour. It usually takes seven to ten hours to complete the installation, so the labor costs range between $315 to $2,000. Fiberglass and acrylic clawfoot tubs have the lowest labor costs, while bronze and marble clawfoot tubs will cost the highest.
Installing a clawfoot tub is fairly straightforward. The tub is positioned in the room, and the feet are leveled. Plumbing can be brought through the wall or floor. Unless the tub is flush against the wall or plumbed through the floor, the plumbing will be somewhat exposed. Nothing can be done to fix this because this is part of the tub design. The option not to expose the plumbing is to position the tub flush against the wall or bring the plumbing up through the floor. Some people see this as a design element, while others view it as a drawback.
Depending on the tub material and size, the weight may be excessive. This usually requires you to reinforce the floor underneath the tub so it doesn’t crack under the weight of the tub. This involves floor framing, which takes the expertise of a carpenter. This job usually takes between 4 and 8 hours and costs $300 to $800 in labor and $600 to $700 in materials.
Clawfoot Tub Dimensions
While clawfoot tubs are designed for soaking and bathing, the water is not actually very deep. The average tub has a depth of somewhere between 13 and 16 inches, with most coming in at around 14 inches. This is the same depth as a standard alcove tub. Pedestal tubs or plinth tubs are typically deeper, giving you depths closer to 20 inches or more. Most clawfoot tubs are around 30 inches wide but can range in length from 48 to 72 inches.
Keep in mind that when climbing into the tub, it has a much higher total height than an alcove tub of the same depth. A 14-inch alcove may have a water depth of 12 inches, and it requires 14 inches to climb over while a typical clawfoot tub may be 20 to 24 inches in total height from the feet to the rim. The depth is usually indicated by how high the water can go before hitting the overflow valve installed on the side.
Clawfoot Tub Hardware
The full set of clawfoot tub hardware costs $100 to $700 for the kit and an additional $150 to $400 for the installation if the plumbing does not need altering. Clawfoot tub hardware usually includes the mixing valve, faucet, spout, and shower head. You can order designer or custom-made fixtures, but they cost significantly more than the regular, store-bought sets.
Most clawfoot tubs include the faucets in the price, but some acrylic models may not. Faucets and tub fillers can be deck, wall, or floor mounted. If you have one type of faucet and want to switch to another one, it may require longer water lines, drastically increasing the installation cost. Aside from these hardware pieces, you may also need an overflow set, which collects excess water before it overflows.
How Much Does a Clawfoot Tub Weigh?
The weight of a clawfoot tub depends entirely on the tub material and its dimensions. Some materials have a thicker consistency and use a different mixture. While a fiberglass clawfoot tub weighs about 58 lbs, the same size clawfoot tub made of marble may weigh up to 1,700 lbs. The tub size varies, which greatly contributes to the weight. Standard dimensions typically vary between 31’’ and 71’’ in length, 18’’ to 41’’ in width, and 19’’ to 34’’ in height. The exact size and material you choose ultimately affect the weight of the clawfoot tub. The table below shows the most common tub materials and how much they typically weigh.
|Tub Material||Average Weight in Lbs|
|Fiberglass||65 - 130|
|Acrylic||75 - 200|
|Copper||100 - 175|
|Stainless Steel||170 - 340|
|Cast Iron||310 - 455|
|Marble||770 - 1,800|
How to Clean a Clawfoot Tub
Maintenance for your clawfoot tub varies mainly depending on the material of the type and the type. Cast iron tubs are usually primed on the exterior and need a coat of paint after installation. This may need to be periodically touched up. Cast iron tubs can be cleaned with a broad range of products without fear of scratches. Acrylic and fiberglass tubs require less maintenance, but acrylic may scratch and cannot be refinished like cast iron. Acrylic tubs should be cleaned with a non-abrasive cleaner to prevent scratches. Stainless steel tubs must be kept dry when not in use and should be cleaned with baking soda, water, and a soft cloth because they can scratch easily.
When made of metal, the feet may need to be cleaned properly to avoid rust, especially where the iron and feet meet. Copper tubs should be cleaned regularly with mild dish soap and a soft rag, stripped with copper cleaner, and waxed a few times a year. Like metal tubs, marble and other stone tubs need to be kept dry when not in use and should be cleaned with a stone care cleaner. The marble tub also needs to be resealed once every six months to a year.
Pros and Cons of a Clawfoot Tub
Like any material or fixture you add to your home, clawfoot tubs have both advantages and disadvantages for the homeowner. Part of this stems from the fact that these tubs have different materials, each having pros and cons. Clawfoot tubs have an attractive style that adds ambiance to a room. In many cases, they are very comfortable to use and hold more water than the average bathtub. Many materials used for clawfoot tubs also retain heat well, so you can soak in them for longer. In addition, cast iron versions retain their value and may improve your home’s value.
On the downside, clawfoot tubs are standalone and take up more space than an alcove tub. This makes it harder to fit them in smaller bathrooms. Clawfoot tubs also need to be plumbed differently than standard bathtubs. The only way the water can be plumbed from the wall is if the tub is pressed tightly against it. Otherwise, it needs to be plumbed through the floor. Some people see this exposed plumbing as a design element, but others view it as a drawback.
Clawfoot Tub vs Soaking Tub
A soaking tub costs $1,000 to $12,000, depending on the model and material. A clawfoot tub is a soaking tub. This means that it was primarily designed for users to fill it up with water and bathe by soaking in the water instead of letting it flow down the drain as it does during showering. Soaking clawfoot tubs allow you to immerse yourself in water completely and usually have enough space for one or two people to lay back and stretch out.
Clawfoot Tub vs Freestanding Tub
In general, freestanding tubs are larger and more expensive, with many costing around $600 to $20,000 for the unit only. Technically, a clawfoot tub is a freestanding tub, meaning it does not need an alcove or deck to hold it. The tub extends straight down to the ground and is held by four feet, or claws. There are various designs, styles, and colors of freestanding tubs. Roman, Greek, Japanese and garden tubs are some examples of freestanding tubs.
Freestanding tubs can be made for soaking, come with jets, or be designed for air baths. Despite their size, freestanding tubs are often lighter than clawfoot tubs, except for stone tubs, because they are most commonly made of acrylic. The costs for installation, reinforcement of floor joists, space constraints, and plumbing are all similar for freestanding and clawfoot tubs.
Clawfoot Tub vs Standard Tub
Clawfoot tubs cost $2,000 to $6,000 installed. A standard tub refers to the tub size. A standard tub is typically 60 inches long and 30 to 32 inches wide and costs $1,500 to $5,000 installed. This is particularly true of volume because a clawfoot tub is made for soaking. The clawfoot tub is a more timeless design element that may add value to your home. A standard tub is more practical.
|Tub Type||Cost (Installed)|
|Standard||$1,500 - $5,000|
|Clawfoot||$2,000 - $6,000|
Enhancement and Improvement Costs
Clawfoot Tub Shower Enclosure
A clawfoot tub shower enclosure costs from $20 for a rod and curtain to $2,000 for a full glass enclosure. Adding a clawfoot tub enclosure is the best way to ensure you have more privacy while bathing. It is also a great way to minimize spillovers and ensure the bathroom floor is not wet after bathing. Clawfoot tub shower enclosures can be added to the top of the tub, from the adjacent walls, or hung from the ceiling. For any changes to the plumbing or fixtures, it is necessary to call in a plumber.
Adding a Shower to a Clawfoot Tub
Adding a shower to your clawfoot tub requires a plumber and costs approximately $300 to $2,000. A shower can be added to a clawfoot tub, depending on the tub material and its location. Some materials, such as acrylic, are not conducive to adding a shower because of their brittle nature when being cut for plumbing. But generally, adding a shower can be done with a cast iron tub.
Clawfoot Bathtubs With Jets
It should only take a couple of hours and costs $350 to $600 in materials and between $100 and $400 in labor to add jets to a bathtub. On the other hand, buying a jetted tub costs between $1,500 and $17,000. Clawfoot tubs can be outfitted with jets for added luxury. This project usually involves a plumber. There are two types of jets: water jets that use water to create a whirlpool effect and air jets that use the air to create the same effect.
Additional Considerations and Costs
- Colors. Most acrylic cast iron tubs are white, but you can find some in other colors. Cast iron tubs are white porcelain on the interior, but the exterior can be painted. In this case, choose a contrasting color to the rest of the bathroom, such as black or red, at no additional cost. Acrylic tubs have an upcharge if you purchase a color other than white, starting at $100.
- Clawfoot tub feet. The feet on cast iron clawfoot tubs are removable. They are usually made of brass and finished with another metal like chrome, nickel, copper, or bronze. The feet are screwed into the tub during installation and then leveled.
- Clawfoot tub fillers. Clawfoot tubs need specific tub fillers that either go through the tub wall or extend over its top. Purchase one with a mixing valve that allows better control of the water temperature and matches the finish to either the feet or other faucets in the room.
- Antique units. You can find many antique clawfoot tubs with the traditional look and material. While the unit is more affordable, many have to be restored and refinished to give them their original look back, which can be a complicated task requiring professional help. Antique clawfoot tub prices range from $500 to $1,500 for the unit only. The restoration cost adds up to $2,500 for a porcelain clawfoot tub.
- Refinishing/reglazing. Refinishing and reglazing can be done to second-hand and vintage tubs. The cost to reglaze a clawfoot tub is usually not included when buying second-hand or vintage units, so you have to do it separately. It is usually done to tubs with surface damage like dents, scratches, and cracks to restore their original shine. The cost to refinish a clawfoot tub is $500 to $1,300.
- Moving. Homeowners should consider a potential need to move the tub when buying a clawfoot tub. They are really hard to move to another house, which may result in higher moving costs.
- How much space do you need for a clawfoot tub?
This depends on the tub size. Most are around 30-inches wide but can range in length from 48 to 72 inches. You also need at least a few inches on one end for the plumbing, and you may want additional space to make it easier to clean around.
- Will a clawfoot tub crack tile?
If the clawfoot is too heavy and installed on a gentle floor such as tile, it may crack the tiles and damage them.
- How far should a clawfoot tub be from the wall?
Technically, the tub can be placed up against a wall, but you may want to leave some room to make it easier to clean.
- Are clawfoot tubs heavy?
Cast iron, copper, stainless steel, and marble tubs are very heavy, while acrylic and fiberglass tubs are quite light.
- What is the average length of a clawfoot tub?
The most common length is 60 inches, but they are available in 48, 67 and 72 inches too.
- How hard is it to install a clawfoot tub?
While acrylic and fiberglass clawfoot tubs are relatively quick and easy to install, cast iron, copper, stainless steel, and marble tubs are heavier and may require reinforcing the floor before installation. If plumbing work is needed, the job complexity increases.
- Are clawfoot tubs valuable?
Clawfoot tubs do not add direct value to the house. However, some homebuyers appreciate this addition and would be ready to pay extra for a house that has one. If the model is a restored antique, its value may be greater than new clawfoot tubs.