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Clawfoot Tub Education

Installing a Clawfoot Tub

Please note: We are providing general guidelines for a standard installation as we cannot account for the individuality of the site or items you may be working with.

Tools & Materials:

  • The most important tool to use when installing a clawfoot tub is a licensed plumber. Most manufacturers will not accept warranty claims on items not installed by a licensed plumber.
  • Smooth-jawed Stillson (pipe wrench)
  • Level
  • PVC saw (if the piping coming through the floor is PVC)
  • PVC glue and primer (if the piping coming through the floor is PVC)
  • 1-1/2” marvel coupling (a/k/a trap adaptor or transition adaptor)
  • Thread sealant (like Hercules)

When roughing in a clawfoot tub that is not yet on site always have the cut sheet or schematic on hand to be sure of the dimensions of the tub. You’ll generally rough in 1 ½” male IPS with ½” of threads above the finished floor for the drain. For the supply lines, you will generally rough in ½” male IPS with ½”of threads above the finished floor for supply lines that do not include shut off valves and rough in ½” IPS with 1 ½” of threads above the finished floor for supply lines that include the shut off valves. Please refer to the specific Drain and Supply Lines Rough-in Instructions for your application or our video titled How to Choose and Install Supply Lines for placement of these pipes.

After setting the tub in place, make sure it is level. If you are placing the tub onto a gloss tile floor or installing an acrylic tub, we recommend using porcelain tub feet coasters to limit any movement.

The waste and overflow assembly should be assembled according to the manufacturer’s instructions. The drain and overflow tubing should be cut to fit. Be sure to use a smooth-jawed Stillson wrench when tightening the lock nuts to prevent damage to the finished brass. We will not accept returns on items that have wrench marks on the brass. Threaded connections should be secured with a thread sealant. All of our waste and overflow assemblies are supplied with a reducing washer to make the connection from the 1-1/2” piping coming out of the floor to the 1-3/8” pipe of the waste assembly.

The supply lines connect directly to the tub faucet by a compression fitting. Nuts are supplied with the faucet and the supply lines, so you will likely have an extra set of nuts after installation. Cut the lines to fit, if necessary. If installing shut-off valves, the valves should be positioned just above the escutcheon between the piping in the floor and the supply line.

Make sure your plumber turns on the water and tests the tub and hardware for proper operation and drainage before leaving your site.