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Clawfoot Tub Installation Cost

Clawfoot Tub Installation Cost

National average
$2,500
(60-inch cast iron roll top clawfoot tub installed)
Low: $1,600

(60-inch acrylic roll top clawfoot tub installed)

High: $5,000

(72-inch dual-on-plinth cast iron tub installed)

Cost to install a clawfoot tub varies greatly by region (and even by zip code).
Get free estimates from shower door and enclosure contractors in your city.

The average cost of installing a clawfoot tub is $2,500.

In this guide

Pros and cons of having a clawfoot tub
Materials
Types
Depth
Installation
Labor costs
Freestanding tubs vs clawfoot tubs
Maintenance
Enhancement and improvement costs
Additional considerations and costs
FAQs

How much does it cost to install a clawfoot tub?

Few housing fixtures are more instantly recognizable than the clawfoot tub. This design has been around for centuries and is nearly universally loved by those with historic properties as well as those who love a good soak.

Today’s clawfoot tubs come in a range of styles in two materials. Costs vary depending on material, size, and style of the tub, but most homeowners find that they spend around $2,500 on a cast iron, roll top tub, installed.

Pros and cons of having a clawfoot tub

Like any material or fixture you add to your home, clawfoot tubs have both advantages and disadvantages for the homeowner. Part of this stems from the fact that there are two materials for these tubs, and each has pros and cons. In addition, the style of the tub itself has other attributes to consider.

Clawfoot tubs are standalone baths. Therefore, they take up more space than an alcove tub, which means that it can be harder to find room for them in smaller bathrooms. They also need to be plumbed differently than standard bathtubs. The only way the water can be plumbed from the wall is if the tub is pressed tightly against it. Otherwise, it needs to be plumbed through the floor.

Clawfoot tubs can be made into showers, but this requires specialized equipment, such as a shower ring to contain the water. Depending on the tub, they may also require some maintenance to keep them looking their best.

However, clawfoot tubs add ambiance to a room. They have an attractive style and, in many cases, are very comfortable to use, holding more water than the average bath. Cast iron clawfoot tubs also hold heat very well so that you can soak longer. Cast iron versions retain their value and may improve the value of your home as well.

Materials

Clawfoot tubs come in two basic materials - cast iron and acrylic. Cast iron tubs are longer-lasting, hold heat better, and have a more timeless look and appeal. They also retain their value longer. However, they are much heavier, requiring you to reinforce the flooring they stand on. Also, it can be difficult to install them in upper-story bathrooms. They tend to cost about $900 more than acrylic, with cast iron tubs costing about $2,000 to $3,000 installed on average and acrylic tubs $1,100 to $2,100 installed.

Acrylic tubs are much lighter, so they can be used in more spaces. They do not hold the heat as well, however, nor last as long. They can be a great alternative for upper-floor baths that may not get as much use, providing the ambiance and style of a clawfoot tub.

Types

Clawfoot tubs come in many styles, which impacts how comfortable or functional they are:

TypeDescriptionCost
Roll top

Classic style

Has a perfectly level top that has a rolled edge

Single styles have one slanted back and one straight back

$1,000 - $2,000
Slipper

Has one raised end to allow the bather a complete back rest

The other end is lower and has a straight back

$1,000 - $2,000
Dual roll top

Classic-styled tub with both ends slanted back to admit two bathers

Typically longer than single tubs

$1,600 - $3,000
Dual slipper

Slipper style tub with both ends raised into back rests with a dip in the middle to admit two bathers

Typically longer than single tubs

$1,700 - $3,000
Pedestal

Not technically a clawfoot tub, but provides a similar ambiance

May be roll top or slipper, single or double

Has a pedestal or plinth that the tub rests in rather than on feet

Usually larger than standard tubs

$1,700 - $5,000

Depth

While clawfoot tubs are designed for soaking and bathing, the water is not actually very deep. The average tub has a depth of somewhere between 13 and 16 inches, with most coming in around 14 inches. This is the same depth as a standard alcove tub. Pedestal tubs or plinth tubs are typically deeper, giving you depths closer to 20 inches or more.

Keep in mind that when climbing into the tub, it has a much higher total height than an alcove tub of the same depth. While a 14-inch alcove may have a water depth of 12 inches, it requires 14 inches to climb over. A typical clawfoot tub may be 20 to 24 inches in total height from the feet to the rim. The depth is usually indicated by how high the water can go before hitting the overflow valve installed on the side.

Installation

Installation of a clawfoot tub is fairly simple. The tub is brought into the room and positioned. For a cast iron tub, this requires two people, while an acrylic tub can be brought in by one person. The feet are attached and leveled, and then the plumbing is attached. This can either be brought through the floor or wall and may also be attached to the side of the tub itself. The tub drain is connected, and if the tub will also be used as a shower, the exterior plumbing will be installed and secured to a nearby wall.

If the floor cannot handle the weight of the tub, the joists should be reinforced prior to installation. A plumber is the most common professional to install a clawfoot tub, but a carpenter may be required for the joists. Cast iron tubs cost more to install than acrylic simply because they are more difficult to move.

Labor costs

Labor varies depending on the type of tub and plumbing installation required. On average, expect to pay around $500 for an acrylic tub installation and approximately $1,100 for a cast iron tub installation.

If the joists need strengthening prior to installation, this will increase costs, adding between $100 and $300 per joist.

For a cast iron roll top tub, this makes the total costs around $2,500 installed, with no joist reinforcement, or closer to $3,000 if joists are involved.

Freestanding tubs vs clawfoot tubs

Technically, a clawfoot tub is a variety of freestanding tub, meaning that it is not in an alcove or deck installation. However, when most people discuss freestanding tubs, they are referring to tubs that do not require a pedestal, plinth, or feet to stand on. This means that the tub extends straight down to the ground.

Freestanding tubs tend to be much more contemporary in style than clawfoot tubs and are more likely to be made of acrylic, copper, stainless steel, or stone. Clawfoot tubs, however, are made of either acrylic or cast iron. 

Freestanding tubs are larger, in general, and more expensive, with many starting at around $2,000. Despite their size, they are often lighter than clawfoot tubs, except for stone tubs, because they are most commonly made of acrylic. Installation, reinforcement of floor joints, space constraints, and plumbing are all similar for freestanding and clawfoot tubs. 

Maintenance

Maintenance for your clawfoot tub varies depending on the type of tub. Cast iron tubs are usually primed on the exterior and need a coat of paint after installation. This may need to be periodically touched up. Likewise, the feet, if made of metal, may need to be cleaned properly to avoid rust, especially where the iron and feet meet.

Acrylic tubs are much lower in maintenance, but acrylic may scratch. Therefore, always clean your acrylic tub with a non-abrasive cleaner to prevent scratches. Cast iron tubs can be cleaned with a broader range of products without fear of scratches. 

Enhancement and improvement costs

Colors

Most acrylic cast iron tubs are white, but some may be found in other colors. Cast iron tubs are white porcelain on the interior, but the exterior can be painted. In this case, choose to paint your tub a contrasting color to the rest of the bathroom, such as black or red at no additional cost. Acrylic tubs have an upcharge if you purchase a color other than white, starting at $100.

Shower Combination

While not the easiest tub to shower in, it is possible to cover your clawfoot tub to a shower. This requires an exterior shower pipe, extension for the showerhead, and shower ring with supports that attach to the ceiling or nearby wall. Expect to pay an additional $500 to $1,000 to convert your tub into a shower.

Additional considerations and costs

  • Cast iron tubs are safe to use. They are, however, extremely heavy, require a minimum of two people to safely install, and may require floor reinforcement.
  • Old cast iron tubs that are in good condition may be worth nearly as much as a new one because they tend to hold their value.
  • The feet on cast iron clawfoot tubs are removable. They are usually made of brass and finished with another metal like chrome, nickel, copper, or bronze. The feet are screwed into the tub during installation and then leveled.
  • Clawfoot tubs need specific tub fillers that either go through the tub wall or extend over its top. Purchase one with a mixing valve that allows better control of the water temperature and matches the finish to either the feet or other faucets in the room.
  • Cast iron tubs last much longer than acrylic and are still made in the original styles and techniques. This is why they are considered more authentic and hold their worth longer, adding value to your home. Acrylic tubs do not.

FAQs

  • How much does it cost to install a clawfoot tub?

Installation of a clawfoot tub costs around $500 for an acrylic tub and $1,100 for a cast iron tub.

  • How much space do you need for a clawfoot tub?

This depends on the size of the tub. Most are around 30-inches wide but can range in length from 60 to 72 inches. You also need at least a few inches on one end for the plumbing, and you may want additional space to make it easier to clean around it. ​

  • Can I put a clawfoot tub on tile?

Yes, you can install a clawfoot tub on any suitable bathroom floor material, but your floor joists may need to be reinforced if the tub is cast iron. ​

  • How far should a clawfoot tub be from the wall?

Technically, the tub can be placed up against a wall, but you may want to leave some room to make it easier to clean. ​

  • Are clawfoot tubs heavy?

Cast iron tubs are very heavy, while acrylic tubs are actually quite light. 

  • What is the average length of a clawfoot tub?

The most common length is 60 inches, but they are available in 67-inch and 72-inch lengths.

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Cost to install a clawfoot tub varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

Stand alone clawfoot bathtub next to a chair

Labor cost by city and zip code

Compared to national average
Albuquerque, NM
-14%
Arlington, TX
+6%
Arvada, CO
-3%
Athens, GA
-9%
Aurora, CO
+10%
Baton Rouge, LA
+19%
Battleboro, NC
-35%
Bellevue, WA
+13%
Bronx, NY
+32%
Buffalo, NY
-1%
Chandler, AZ
-2%
Charlotte, MI
+2%
Charlotte, NC
+6%
Chicago, IL
+40%
Cleveland, OH
+7%
Columbia, MD
+26%
Columbia, SC
-10%
Columbus, OH
+5%
Compton, CA
+9%
Concord, CA
+30%
Conroe, TX
+21%
Dallas, TX
+10%
Dayton, OH
-7%
Denver, CO
+1%
Detroit, MI
+16%
Durham, NC
-1%
Euclid, OH
-1%
Fontana, CA
+6%
Fort Lauderdale, FL
+2%
Fresno, CA
-6%
Glendale, AZ
-2%
Grand Rapids, MI
+7%
Henderson, NV
+10%
Homestead, FL
-2%
Houston, TX
+24%
Irving, TX
+10%
Jacksonville, FL
-1%
Kansas City, MO
+4%
Knoxville, TN
+10%
Las Vegas, NV
+7%
Lincoln, NE
-13%
Los Angeles, CA
+11%
Madison, WI
+13%
Memphis, TN
+11%
Mesa, AZ
-2%
Miami, FL
+1%
Minneapolis, MN
+25%
New Iberia, LA
+17%
Oklahoma City, OK
-12%
Owensboro, KY
-28%
Labor cost in your zip code
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Methodology and sources