One of the most amazing things about clawfoot tubs is that they are freestanding and can be placed anywhere in a room. That is something to remember when purchasing plumbing for the tub. Water must be available right next to the tub. The placement of the faucet and the drain will be dependent on where the faucet holes are on the tub.
If a bathtub has no faucet holes and the in- home water lines are in the wall, then a wallmount faucet will be necessary. These types of faucets are installed right into the wall and the tub must be placed close enough that the water flows from the faucet into the tub. In this instance, aside from the faucet the only other necessary plumbing fixture is the drain and overflow assembly. This fixture is “L’ shaped. One portion of it goes under the tub so that the water in the tub drains into it, while the other piece goes straight up to the overflow hole and attaches to the outside of the tub so that water which splashes into the hole also goes down the pipe and into the drain.
Another faucet option for a bathtub with no faucet holes is to install a faucet on top of freestanding water lines. For this method to work, the in-home water lines must be in the floor. The tub is placed in the room next to where the water lines are. Typically, the connection of the water lines is below the surface of the floor. A metal support in the same finish as the faucet and supply lines will secure the tall supply lines to the wall or the tub for sturdiness. Again, if the tub has an overflow hole, a drain with overflow assembly is required. If there is no overflow hole, just a rubber plug or a lift and turn drain is fine.
Deck mounted faucets are placed in the faucet holes that are molded or drilled into the rim of the tub. This style of faucet requires that the in-home water lines are in the floor. The freestanding tub supply lines connect in the floor and come straight up beneath the rim of the tub to connect to the faucet. As a standard, the hot water line is on the left and the cold water is on the right. The distance between the water lines is determined by the width of the holes in the tub, typically seven inches center to center. A nice feature with this style is that there is no additional space required since the faucet literally sits on the rim of the tub.
Placement Is Important
Tubs which have three holes in the tub wall requires that the faucet is placed into the two holes closest to the top of the tub and the overflow cover is placed over the third hole which is lower in the tub. The faucet stems will be hot water on the left side and cold water on the right. As with the deck mount style, the water supply lines are within the rim of the tub. Each of the two supply lines will have a slight curve so they can connect to the faucet stems which are sticking out from the tub.
Classic Telephone and Gooseneck style faucets are both available for each type of tub. The Classic Telephone style has a spigot which juts out like an elephant’s trunk. Another name for this style is British Telephone Faucet and it is well known for filling a tub quickly by pouring ten gallons of water per minute. The Gooseneck is also known as an English Telephone. The telephone look is achieved by placement of the hand-held shower which rests in a cradle above the faucet body.
Regardless of which faucet type your freestanding tub requires, there is no need to settle for anything less than the top quality and high style with fancy exposed vintage style Classic Telephone or English Telephone Faucets.