...because home doesn't happen overnight.
09.14.11 / Splash and Crash

Kid/Guest BathroomI shared the preliminary mood board for the kid/guest bathroom last week.  I included a clawfoot tub in the design of the bathroom and got a lot of feedback on the pros/cons of having one in your home.  I appreciate all the comments!  It definitely gave us a lot to consider.  In the end, we decided to go ahead with the clawfoot tub.

The bathroom will mainly be used by our kiddos.  Even though I semi-labeled it a ‘guest bath,’ the bathroom’s toilet and sink will be the only pieces really used by our guests.  Most of our immediate family lives in the area, so we rarely have overnight {i.e. bathing/showering} guests.  Plus, we won’t even have a designated guest bedroom at the Underdog, so I’d be surprised if we get one overnight guest visit annually.

For those rare overnight visits, we’re happy to share {what will be} a walk-in shower in the master bathroom with our guests if they should find the clawfoot tub too cumbersome.  ‘Share’ as in let them use it – not as in take a shower with them.  We don’t have those kinds of guests.  That would be weird.

We will be adding shower fixtures to the clawfoot tub so our boys can shower when they get older. As of right now, they both still take baths.  I don’t mind that the tub will require more curtain around the shower.  I think I can finagle something out of multiple curtains sewn together.  I don’t use shower curtain liners now and I don’t plan on using them with the clawfoot tub either.  We just let the fabric drape inside the shower/tub and I launder it weekly.  It doesn’t get moldy or smelly and it doesn’t blow in around your body while showering like some liners can. So, even though we know that a clawfoot tub might not be the most practical choice for some families, we think it will work for ours.

With that decision made, we immediately started searching craigslist for a vintage clawfoot tub since I had already discovered that a new tub with the same look was priced anywhere from $1,000-$2,000!!!  Our plumber told us a few things to look for in a clawfoot tub: 1) The drain should be on the same side as the faucet.  2) The faucet hookup should be 2″ above the overflow.  Both of those details are required by code regulations in our area.  We ran into a problem with the size. Our small bathroom is only 60″ wide, so we were looking for a tub 54″ long or shorter.  Most of the tubs we came across were 60″ which must have been the standard size back in the clawfoot tub days.  So when a 54″ one showed up on craigslist listed at $250, we called right away to go see it.

It ended up being the perfect size and was in decent condition.  It met one of the two requirements…the drain was on the same side as the faucet but the overflow wasn’t 2″ down from the faucet.  Handy Hubby quickly looked at clawfoot tub faucets on my iPhone and discovered that we could add on a faucet that would make the tub meet code requirements.  HH asked if the sellers would take $200 for it. They said yes and in just a few minutes it was loaded up into the back of HH’s truck.

We were feeling pretty good about the find…for the moment.  In our excitement, we neglected to tie down the tub.  I guess we were thinking it was so heavy that it wouldn’t budge.  To make a long story short, a cast iron tub + plastic truck bed liner + rainy night + sudden braking = smashed rear truck windows.  Luckily, I had driven myself and the boys separately in our SUV {which, HH, I still think could have held the tub easily…just sayin’} and HH, who was driving the truck, didn’t get hurt. Well, maybe his pride was hurt.

The window repair cost us another $200, so the price of the tub just doubled.  The moral of the story??  Always secure your load.  Even if you think it’s heavy enough to stay put and you promise to drive slowly.  We learned our lesson.  The hard way. It’s one of those stories that gets funnier the more we tell it and the farther away we get from the real life version.  We’re very lucky no one was hurt.  I wish I had a picture of HH’s truck to show you but I think HH would have thrown the tub right out of the truck if I’d have taken a picture in the moment.  He wasn’t too happy about the situation.

I do have a picture of the tub sitting in the garage at the Underdog to share with you.

Isn’t it cute?  Try to look past the green exterior.  I plan on painting it a glossy charcoal gray.  You may be wondering why one corner is propped up on a piece of lumber.

HH had a little mishap with one of the feet when he was unloading it.  You can imagine how this made him feel after all the other chaos.  Let’s just say it wasn’t HH’s best night.  I was trying to stay positive, thankful that everyone was okay and that the foot itself wasn’t damaged.

All in all, $400 for a 54″ vintage clawfoot tub {$200 for the tub + $200 for the window damage} still isn’t awful.  $200 would have been better but we’ll take what we can get.  We’ve already moved on and begun to get things in order for the rest of the bathroom…the tub/shower fixtures and the vanity.  I’ll be back later to share those with you soon!

images:  1) Polyvore collage by Dana Miller linked within  2) Keith Scott Morton for Country Living  3 & 4) Dana Miller for House*Tweaking

26 Comments

14.September.2011

Oh my goodness I’m so glad you all are ok! But, do not fret about it. When my truck now was brand new, my Mom ask if I could pick up her new hardwood floors from Lowe’s to save her delivery. I was worried about the weight even with my full sized truck, but it was 5 minutes away so I said ok.

They put it in the back with a fork lift and it was so high that it went up behind the back window and stopping to make the turn on her road the whole load shifted forward and I was sure it would break the window…but it didn’t!

Well! I get to her house and her garage is front facing and the front door and porch is off to the side up a curved sidewalk. I had to take the flooring in to let it acclimate so I decided to back up at an angle to this sidealk and the door. Instead of using my mirrors to back up which is super easy, (I grew up on a farm I can back up) my ex decided they would “back me up.” So, instead of looking at my mirrors I had to stick my head out the window to listen to them.

I backed the corner of the tailgate into the corner of my Mom’s garage! Some back up they gave me! Luckily the rain gutter caved and took most of the blow and didn’t hurt the garage wall, but my brand new truck tailgate was dinged and the hinge was bent and I ended up having to take it off the truck because it wouldn’t close.

I had it fixed pretty cheaply by the local body shop, because they found they could bang the hinge out and touch the tailgate up instead of replacing everything. But, it’s not lined up perfectly to this day and I just dealt with it. I was furious let me tell you!! So, HH I understand, but it’s not a big deal especially in the future I promise:) Anyway, long comment but feel better!

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14.September.2011

PS – as mad as I was at myself because of the above, I meant to say I wouldn’t have tied down a tub either and knowing my family I will probably have to take one somewhere sometime, so I will now and use my mirrors!

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replied on September 14th, 2011

Jason – Thanks for making us feel better about ‘the incident.’ You’re totally right. It’s just beans in the big scheme of things.

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14.September.2011

Growing up , one of my best friends had a claw foot tub at her house.Sleep overs there were such a treat. I could use this wonderful bathroom. I loved everything about it including the neat chrome shower cutain rod that encircled the tub. They had a huge billowy cotton curtain ( I don’t remember if there was a liner or not). The bath also had a toilet with the tank up by the ceiling, so cool. At the time ( this was the 70′s) I even thought the shag carpet was neat. Looking back I think that carpet in any bathroom is GROSS but still love the tub. This family of 6 enjoyed that old ( Built in 1902- so the bathroom was actually an afterthought/ retrofit) house for about 20 years .There was a scary toilet only in a basement alcove but that was their only bathroom.

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14.September.2011

Oh man, it seems like accidents happen with the worst possible things. My sister gave us a high-efficiency washer – those suckers are heavy. We’d successfully lugged it out of her basement, into my husband’s pickup, over to our house …. and we dropped it face down in the driveway. I felt sick to my stomach.

We got it in our own basement and assessed the damage – the front door handle was broken and it didn’t seem to be locking. My hubby (who also happens to be handy) assessed a manual/parts diagram we found online, and we were able to order a new door lock mechanism and handle. We fixed it ourselves and it works (thank goodness) but I never told my sister about it. I doubt I ever will.

Glad no one got hurt!

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replied on September 14th, 2011

M – We’re only human, right?! Just a small bump in the road…

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14.September.2011

Sorry to hear about HH’s truck, but “’Share’ as in let them use it – not as in take a shower with them. We don’t have those kinds of guests. That would be weird.” made me laugh out loud!

Totally enjoying your Underdog stories!!

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14.September.2011

Bummer about your car…but I LOVE the tub! It’s going to look amazing! And one warning about the light fixture…I bought a similar one at lowes and it didn’t give off enough light for a bathroom…it was really dark even with the highest watt bulb it could take. Hopefully you don’t have the same problem because the fixture is so cute!

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replied on September 14th, 2011

Julie – Thanks so much for the heads up on the light! I had several readers comment about the similar one available at Lowe’s for cheaper but it only allows for 60W. The one I found at Barn Light Electric would allow for a 100W bulb, so maybe we’ll stick with our original choice since it will be the only artificial light source in the bathroom. Luckily, we have a window in the bathroom to provide some natural light during the day.

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14.September.2011

Glad nobody got hurt! That stinks, but good for you for moving forward with your positive self :) You’ll love having the clawfoot tub for your kids. My hubby and I remodeled an older home and really miss our clawfoot tub (we since moved). I found it easier on my back to bathe little ones bc the floor of the tub is higher up than other tubs. We’re in another old house again and I would love get a clawfoot again if we ever get around to remodeling the kid bathroom. Will you be installing shower parts to the the tub too? They’re pricey but so convenient.

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replied on September 14th, 2011

Marla – We will be adding shower fixtures so our boys can shower when they’re old enough to. They are expensive!

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14.September.2011

We had our claw foot tub refinished last year when we remodeled our bathroom. I thought about getting a modern tub so it would be so much easier to shower, but I just couldn’t let my claw foot go. I was wondering if you are going to have it refinished or do it yourself!

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replied on September 14th, 2011

Bridgette – We’re not sure yet if we’ll refinish the inside of the tub ourselves or hire a professional. The tub looks to be in pretty good condition…no rusting through spots. If we could get another few years out of the finish we just a little elbow grease, I’d be happy to wait it out before we hire a professional. I guess we’ll see!

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14.September.2011

I didn’t mention that my stepdad has a clawfoot at his house in PA and it’s original to the retrofit of his 200+ year old house when they added a bath. They painted the bottom/outside “Penn State Blue,” it’s kind of a Penn State bathroom since they did some work to it and added a skylight. Not kind of,it is, there is some Penn State Wallpaper in there:) The shower curtain all around is nice because it can also act as a window curtain when you need it to and the sides of the tub are magnetic. Which is useful if you wish to affix Penn State Nittany Lion footpring magnets to it…or uh maybe some other magnets..but magnetic none the less..

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replied on September 14th, 2011

Jason – Don’t give HH any ideas! He’s a huge Steelers fan!!!

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14.September.2011

I loved this story. This is exactly how so many our CL purchases go. One good deal defeated by an accident or mishap LOL. Such is life It’s still a sweet tub.

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14.September.2011

I’m so happy that you stuck to your decorating guns (so to speak) and got a claw-foot tub!
I LOVE THEM. Yours is beautiful.

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14.September.2011

I love the mood board for this bathroom–I’m loving the colors and textures!! I am so excited to see how it turns out!

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14.September.2011

I had a clawfoot tub in my last house and loved it.

I think you’re right on target with your plan to have just the fabric liners hanging inside the tub as the curtain. With the way the back of a clawfoot tub angles back, it wouldn’t work very well to have a curtain hanging outside. It wouldn’t hang down straight, because the shower hardware (which is expensive!!) is designed to allow the curtain to hang straight down into the tub, not straight down outside the back.

I used two white fabric liners as curtains and put the gaps at the sides, not the ends. There were two reasons. First of all, because my tub was right next to a window, one of the shower supports had to go into the ceiling and one went into the wall that was perpendicular to the tub. Those supports were at the end of the tub, so I put half of the shower curtain rings from each liner on each side of each support. So each liner straddled the supports, and then I could still pull the liners open and have one hanging at each end. I loved how that looked — and besides, if I would have left the liners closed, it would have blocked the window. :)

But the second reason was just as important — I needed to access the soap and shampoo on the built-in shelf along the side of the tub. I would recommend thinking carefully about where you will put shampoo, soap, etc. They sell neat little metal racks that hook onto both sides of the tub (like the one in the picture you posted), but you can’t use those if you’re going to have a shower curtain hanging inside the tub. You’re probably already thinking about this, but if your shower hardware is anything like mine, you won’t be able to hang a regular shampoo caddy from it. The built-in shelf along the wall beside the tub worked really well for me.

Sorry this got so long! Hopefully some of this was helpful — if not to you, then maybe to someone else who is reading this. :)

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replied on September 15th, 2011

R8chel – I love the idea of some sort of shelf for toiletries just outside the tub!

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14.September.2011

We just refinished our claw foot tub (for the second time) definitely recommend going with a professional that does the process properly outside of your house. The first time we hired someone to do it in place and it hardly lasted a year. This time we sent the tub out to a shop of a guy who does car refinishing and are much happier with the results. Fingers crossed it will last longer.

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replied on September 15th, 2011

Amy – May I ask what type of finish was used for each refinishing? I’ve started looking around and there is a highly recommended company in our area that provides a standard epoxy finish {supposed to last 2-5 years} OR a more durable urethane finish {supposed to last 10 years}. Still not sure whether we’ll hire out or DIY but we like to know all our options first. Thanks so much for your real life advice!

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15.September.2011

So I had to share with you an even bigger badder hauling mishap after reading about your poor husband’s! THIS should make him feel better! My brother had moved into a new apartment right after my husband and I got married that had hole in the kitchen for a refrigerator that was too small. We offered to trade ours for his; and my brother and my new husband loaded our small fridge into my husband’s truck. All went well, and at my brother’s new place they loaded his fridge back into my husband’s truck and headed home. While driving home on a busy California freeway, all of a sudden the refrigerator flew out of the back of the truck, OVER the tailgate, and landed in a sparking heap! It was tied down, but apparently the one rope they used got cut on a sharp section of the refrigerator. They had to shut down the freeway, and helicopters were flying overhead while my husband and brother waited for the police! Luckily no one was hurt, there was no damage to the truck, and I got a new Kitchen-Aid from the scratch and dent department to replace it!

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replied on September 15th, 2011

Nanette – Oh my! So glad to hear no one was hurt and that you ended up with a new fridge out of the whole ordeal. That’s what we DIYers get for trying to do so much ourselves ;)

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15.September.2011

PS–Also, I LOVE your blog, and your sense of style! Thanks for the inspiration!

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25.August.2014

[…] work on the tub. We’re equal parts stoked : horrified. Especially considering what happened the last time we touched it. If anything, it should be a good learning experience. At least, that’s what we’re […]




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