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We want you to understand what you're buying...


At Clawfoot Alley we understand that purchasing plumbing parts for your clawfoot tub can be VERY confusing. There are many terms that are used that you may not be familiar with and you may not even be sure what exactly you're looking for. This page is designed to help introduce the basics of clawfoot tub plumbing and explain what you'll need to know to make the right purchases.


If you have a specific question, you may want to visit the FAQ page or contact us.


IMPORTANT TERMS TO KNOW AND UNDERSTAND:


Source pipes: Usually in your floor, these pipes are the source of the water flow for your clawfoot tub. There are two - one for hot water and one for cold.


Centers: Used for purchasing the plumbing for your clawfoot tub (like faucets and supply lines), centers are a measurement. Centers refers to measuring from the center of a pipe or hole across to the center of the other pipe or hole - measuring the distance between them from each center. The centers you'll need to know is the centers of your source pipes and of the your faucet holes on the tub itself.



A PART'S METAL AND FINISH

Many parts, such as faucets and supply lines, are made of one metal for strength and quality and finished/plated with another metal for visual appeal. The price of a product is directly related to which metal the part is made of.


Brass: The highest quality parts are made of solid brass - it is an ideal metal for strong, durable plumbing components. Brass is also a beautiful metal when used as a polished finish. It glows a warm, golden color.



Aluminum: A light-weight metal, aluminum is not as durable as brass and also not as expensive. Aluminum is used in some rods and Add-a-Shower kits and lowers the prices of these products considerably. However, if you're looking to purchase high quality parts that are durable and made to last, brass is a more reliable choice.


Nickel: Nickel is a silvery metal that Clawfoot Alley offers in a beautiful satin finish on your plumbing components. The satin effect softens nickel's look and reduces sharp glare.



Chrome: Also a silvery metal. However, while the satin nickel is subtle and soft, chrome makes a bold statement with its polished bright shine.



THE BARE ESSENTIALS:


 tub

 faucet

 How to pick a faucet type PDF file

 drain/waste overflow

 supply lines

 measurements

THE EXTRAS:

shower

stops (Clawfoot Alley HIGHLY recommends adding stops)

shower curtain/accessories

FAUCET














Facuets designed for clawfoot tubs are very different from faucets designed for a regular bathtub. Since there are so many variations to the plumbing set-up and tub type, there is a wide variety of clawfoot tub faucet styles. You want to be sure the one you purchase will suit your needs and your tub. Here's a look at what's available:


Tub-Filler: A tub-filler is a faucet that does not have any shower connections. It is simply used to fill your tub.


Handheld Shower: These faucets are connected to a handheld shower. When not in use, the shower rests in an included cradle (for an example click HERE). For a standing shower, you will want to purchase an Add-a-Shower unit which will include the correct faucet.


Gooseneck/Hi Rise: A classic design, the spout of a gooseneck faucet curves downward like an upside-down "J" (for an example click HERE).


Simple Spout: Simple spouts are faucet with a spout that points straight down (for an example click HERE).


Rim (or Deck) Mounted: Facuets that are rim-mounted are designed to be installed on the rim of the clawfoot tub. If your clawfoot tub has the holes for the faucet drilled on the rim, this is the faucet type that you will need.


Tub Wall Mounted: If the holes for the faucet that are drilled in your tub are drilled in the wall of the tub and not on the rim, then this is the faucet type you will require.


What does "code approved" mean? When a faucet is "code approved," the outlet of the spout is at least one to two inches above the rim of the tub. This is a precaution against a drop in pressure in the water line, such as a break - if the spout is above the rim of the tub bathwater cannot be siphoned out, back through the lines, and contaminate the fresh water supply. Almost all locations require a code approved spout for new construction . Please check with your local plumbing code before ordering a non-code spout. Faucets with hand held personal shower heads (that include a flex hose) may require an inline vacuum breaker to meet that same code. If in doubt, contact a plumber.

Clawfoot buying Guide

DRAIN/WASTE OVERFLOW

When purchasing the piping for your drain/waste overflow, its important to know the size/measurements you're looking for. The old drain lines had a 1 3/8" diameter - all new lines will be 1 1/2". We carry drains that fit both. Our drain from the middle of the tub shoe to the middle of the "T" pipe (refer to the picture below - all straight lines are connected to one T-shaped pipe, which is our reference here) is 10 inches and from the middle of the over flow plate (the screw hole ) to the middle of the "T" pipe is 17 Inches. The new style drain is 13 1/2" from the "T" pipe, drain is 7" from the "T" pipe. The new style will fit most of the old and new but with the new fiberglass tubs the holes can be cut on site which confuses everything. Our suggestion is measure your tub to find out what your needs are. When measuring, make sure your measurements are straight and do NOT follow the curve of the tub (the drain lines are straight). The drain is exposed on the outside of the tub, so measure from the waste overflow hole (hole beneath where the faucet will sit) to the bottom of the tub (this measurement should be AT LEAST how long the waste overflow pipe measures from the overflow face plate to the "T" pipe) and from the drain hole to the edge (this measurement should be AT LEAST how long the tub shoe measures to the "T" pipe). If in doubt, call a plumber. The components of a clawfoot drain/waste overflow system are explained below.

COMPONENTS OF DRAIN/WASTE OVERFLOW

Vintage/Old fashioned                   Regular (no drain holes, available with 1 or 2 screw holes)


Drain: There are several drain types offered by Clawfoot Alley:


Regular - This is the standard drain that is included. To seal this drain shut a stopper is required, which is included when purchased from Clawfoot Alley.


Flip - The name of this drain describes how the drain works. The drain has a circular center piece that serves as a built-in stopper. This piece flips to let water down the drain or flips to seal the drain shut.


Lift and Turn - The name of this drain describes how the drain works. The drain has a built-in stopper. To let water down the drain, this stopper must be pulled up and twisted to lock in the "opened" position. To stop water, twist drain, press down, and twist to lock in the "closed" position.



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SUPPLY LINES

Supply lines connect the source pipes to the faucet, carrying water up into the faucet for use. There are three types of supply lines - double offset, single offset, straight , and freestanding supply lines.

Double Offset supply lines are the most commonly used supply lines. These lines are bent once forward, like the single offset, but double offset supply lines are bent again in an outward slope. These supply lines are used when the centers of your tub's plumbing is at 3 3/8" and your source pipes are set at 8". Used when the clawfoot tub has holes drilled in the tub wall for faucet connections.

Single offset supply lines have a single bend in them. At the top they are bent forward to connect to the tub wall. These supply lines are ideal for when the centers of your faucet match the centers of your source pipes (for example, if your tub's faucet has 3 3/8" centers and your source pipes are set at 3 3/8" centers). Used when the clawfoot tub has holes drilled in the tub wall for faucet connections.

Straight supply lines have no bend in them. They are used when the centers in your tub match the centers in your floor. Used when the clawfoot tub has holes drilled in the tub rim for faucet connections.

Freestanding supply lines have supports and are used when there are no holes drilled for a tub faucet.

SHOWER

There are two types of showers Clawfoot Alley has to offer: handheld and Add-a Showers. A handheld shower has a shower attachment you pick up and hold - when not in use it rests in a cradle. An Add-a Shower includes everything you will need to turn your clawfoot tub into a standing shower, such as curtain rod, faucet, and plumbing. It is important to understand that when you are installing a shower, a special faucet will be included. This included faucet has special attachments that allows the water to run to the shower. A regular clawfoot faucet cannot be purchased and used with a shower - the faucet must have the attachments for a shower.

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Add-a Showers

Handheld shower

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STOPS

At Clawfoot Alley, we HIGHLY RECOMMEND that stops be installed on your bathroom plumbing. Stops do exactly what their name implies - they are cut-off valves that make it possible to stop the flow of water. When stops are installed, it makes any work you have to do on the tub/sink MUCH easier -instead of shutting off the water supply to the entire house, you can simply stop the flow from reaching the tub/sink you are working on.


When purchasing a stop, its VERY important that you know what you are looking for. The stop is installed between source pipes and supply lines. There are two types of stops: angle stops and straight stops. Angle stops are used when you need to install the stop where lines connect at a 90 degree angle - like the elbow of an "L". Straight stops are used when the stop is to be installed between lines that are connected straight-on. Source pipes for tubs usually come up from the floor - so straight stops are usually used. Angle stops are more commonly used for sinks and other plumbing fixtures.


After deciding whether you require an angle or straight stop, you must next understand what kind of lines the stop will be connecting. The inlet size is the size and metal of the source pipe. Source pipes are either copper (a rare metal to find in modern plumbing) or iron (iron pipes are called IPS, which stands for Iron Pipe Size). The metal is an important factor in buying the correct stop - be very sure that the stop you are purchasing says it is made for the metal of your source pipe.

Your next step is to determine the size of your source pipe. The standard diameter of a source pipe is 1/2". Therefore, you will want to order a stop with an inlet size of 1/2" (the inlet end of the stop connects with the source pipe, where it "lets in" water).


Making sure your stop is correct for your supply lines is a little easier - the only information you will need is its diameter. This size should correspond to the outlet size of the stop you purchase.

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MEASURING

SHOWER CURTAIN/ACCESSORIES

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After all the essentials are taken care of, then the accessories come in. Clawfoot Alley allows you to accent and personalize your clawfoot experience - be it hanging a shower curtain or adding a classy chrome-finished soap dish. The only important thing to remember here is - HAVE FUN!

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