Add a Shower to an Existing Clawfoot Bathtub

Clawfoot bathtubs are old fashioned tubs that give your bathroom a vintage look.

Their high backs let you sit back, relax, and soak.

Adding a shower to these free standing tubs can greatly increase their functionality and can transform soaking tubs into dual function tub-and-showers.

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However, it’s easy to convert it using one of the many conversion kits available. The most basic of these is a pipe that runs from the tap/faucet assembly to the shower head. Attached to this is a shower rod that encircles the tub.

To properly fit the tub and ensure its continued style and use, be sure to include the following:

– Shower riser attachment: This will fit onto the tub filler and extend approximately 60 inches off the tub rim.
– Wall support: For added stability, a wall support will attach to the shower riser and the nearest wall. If the tub is located in the center of a room, it is possible to gain additional support at the ceiling.
– Shower head: Sunflower style shower heads are available to both fit the size of the shower riser and the style of the bathroom.
– Attached to this is a shower rod that encircles the tub. Oval shower rod: This should be slightly smaller than the overall size of the tub so that the curtain can adequately contain the water.
– Ceiling support rods: Most ceiling mount shower rings will come with three support rods which can be trimmed on site to fit the installation.

There are basically two ways to install the pipes for the shower.

One is to have hidden the pipes within the wall, which works only when the tank nears an existing wall of the bathroom.

The other possibility is that the exposed pipes are mounted directly on the tank. This is the most common choice, and there are various decorative patterns that make visible piping and buttons are looking for a beautiful finish.

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1/ Look for the shut off valves and turn the water off. If there is no valve, turn the water off at the main water supply, usually located in the basement.

2/ Remove the old taps and faucet. Generally, they are attached with lag bolts with the nuts located on the outside of the tub (use a pipe wrench).

3/   Measure the diameter of the holes for the taps and faucet and their distance in relation to each other. However, to ensure proper installation of the ceiling mount shower rod, and adequate support for the shower riser, proper measurements should be taken and followed. Use these measurements when buying the bathtub to shower conversion kit.

4/ Install the new taps and faucet. Home improvement stores like Lowes and Home Depot offer a variety of kit that are designed to fit most pre-defined claw foot tubs. There are shower kits designed to be integrated with existing lines and other pipes that are exposed at work, free-standing tub.

Your kit will most likely have extension pipes to bring the water supply to the new faucet. Included with the conversion kit are PVC pipes and elbows to extend down to the water main supply lines. Attach to the main water supply lines with the provided screw on fittings.

5/ Next step is attaching the shower pipe to the top of the tap/faucet assembly.

The shower ring will need to be mounted at a minimum of 72 inches off the finished floor. For bathrooms with lower ceilings, the ceiling support rods may need to be trimmed. For taller ceilings, the shower rod can be installed at any height, with a recommended height of approximately 3” above the shower head.

6/ Before attaching the shower curtain, find and mark the location of the studs in the ceiling.

Attach the shower curtain surrounded to the shower pipe. It will slide over the shower rod and be held into position with a finger bolt. You need help to hold the curtain rod in position.

Slide the brackets so the mounting plates are over one of the marked studs. Mark the holes for the mounting screws and pre-drill holes for them.

Screw the mounting screws into the mounting bracket’s pre-drilled holes.

7/ Attach the hooked part of the shower water supply. Attach the shower head to the hooked pipe.

8/ Attach two shower curtains to completely surround the tub.

Many users of claw foot tubs-and-showers may find that using two or more shower curtains works best to contain the water.

When the shower is not in use, the curtains can be pushed to the back of the tub to show off the tub’s style and design to best effect.

However, regardless of the type of shower option you choose, you can easily add a shower to your clawfoot tub to make it more convenient and useful.