One drawback to owning a vintage claw foot bathtub can be the lack of having a shower. If your claw foot tub doesn’t currently have a shower feature, there are several options you can choose to add that modern, yet important feature. You could add a separate shower enclosure to the bathroom, but this is a much more costly option and some bathrooms may not be able to fit a full shower enclosure. Plus, this would add an additional chore to bathroom cleaning. The most ideal situation is to add a shower enclosure and curtain to your existing claw foot tub. Luckily, there are some available options to making this task fairly easy to achieve.
To add a shower to your existing claw foot tub, you can hire a contractor or plumber to do the work for you and they can recommend several options. One of those options is to add a shower to the claw foot tub and put in a surrounding shower rod and curtain. This allows the shower curtain to completely surround the tub, therefore minimizing water splashing and leaks. Another option for tubs near a wall is to tile the existing wall, add tiled water “detractors” around the wall sides of the tub and put an “L” shaped shower rod and curtain to cover the exposed sides of the tub. The drawback to this option, of course, is that it is more costly and takes away from the freestanding look of the claw foot tub.
There are basically two options to installing the plumbing for the shower. One is to have the pipes hidden within the wall, which only works if the tub is close to an existing bathroom wall. The other option is to have the exposed pipes that are mounted directly on the tub. The latter is the most common choice and there are some various decorative styles that make the exposed pipes and knobs have a nice finished look.
There are several “do-it-yourself” options available for those who are willing to take on the task themselves. Home improvement stores such as Lowes and Home Depot carry various kits that are predesigned to fit most claw foot tubs. There are shower kits designed to work with existing pipes and others that add the exposed pipes to the freestanding tub. Both types of kits are affordable, easy to install and only require the use of a few basic tools. Both Lowes and Home Depot have staff in the plumbing department that can make some recommendations based on the set up that you currently have. Still, it might help to get someone who is familiar with plumbing to help out or the check the job once it is complete.
Regardless of the type of shower option you choose, you can easily add a shower to your claw foot tub to make it more convenient and useful. This will allow you to have the best of both worlds, a nice large tub to take a long, leisurely bath or a shower that you can use quickly and efficiently thus making your bathroom more functional and enjoyable.