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Vintage Tubs and Bath Fixtures

Updated on October 26, 2016

It’s rather ironic that in the twenty-first century, some of the most popular decorating trends for new homes and remodeling jobs come from the past. Of course, antique furniture never goes out of style, so I suppose the same is true for vintage bathroom fixtures.

The vintage tub and bath idea is taking the U.S. by storm. Antique clawfoot tubs are going for unheard of prices at auction houses across the country, and major businesses have sprung up that specialize in refinishing these vintage clawfoot tubs.

When it comes to a vintage tub and bath, the Victorian period is perhaps the most popular. This period ended at the beginning of the twentieth century. Another popular period for the vintage tub and bath design is the Art Deco period, which began around 1925 and lasted through much of the 1940s.

What Does "Vintage" Mean?

Vintage means old, from a certain era. When you use the word vintage to describe furnishings or décor, the term often denotes a classical period for that specific item or items. For example, the classical periods for bathrooms and bathroom fixtures is usually considered to be 1900 through the 1940s. This includes the end of the Victorian period and the beginning of the post-World War II era.

The Vintage Bath Tub

The vintage bath tub might take many shapes. The original tubs were usually made of cast iron and had an enamel finish. A modern replica of a vintage bath tub might be constructed of cast iron or of acrylic.

One of the most popular types of vintage bath tub is the clawfoot tub. These are generally made of cast iron with an enamel finish. Most of the clawfoot tubs are raised off the floor by “legs” or “feet.” Many have what’s known as “ball and feet.” In other words, the clawed foot, which often resembles the clawed paw of an animal like a lion, is resting on a ball. The balls and claws might be made of bronze, brass, chrome, or nickel. These might also be made of white cast iron to match the rest of the tub. There are several styles of claw foot tubs:

Vintage tub - classic clawfoot
Vintage tub - classic clawfoot

Classic Clawfoot Tub

This vintage bath tub has one squared-off end and one rounded end. The rounded end is made to be comfortable to the bather, while the faucet is placed at the square end. Consumers generally have the moist choices of sizes with this type of vintage tub. They range from 48 inches up to 72 inches in overall length.

Vintage tub: double-ended clawfoot
Vintage tub: double-ended clawfoot

Double-Ended Clawfoot Tub

This vintage bath tub has two rounded ends, so it’s an elongated oval in shape. The faucet is usually place midway on the wall side of the vintage tub to allow for two bathers. These bathtubs are usually 60-70 inches in length.

Slipper bathtub
Slipper bathtub

Slipper Bathtub

The slipper bathtubs usually have one rounded end and one raised rounded end. A few slipper bathtubs have a square end, along with a raised rounded end. Slipper tubs are steadily gaining in popularity, not only for their visual appeal, but also for their comfort. The raised end makes the perfect backrest for long soaks.

Double slipper bathtub
Double slipper bathtub

Double Slipper Tub

The double slipper bathtub has two raised rounded ends. This type of slipper tub is usually 71-72 inches in overall length. The faucet is usually placed at the side of the slipper tubs instead of at one end. This makes it possible for two people to bathe comfortably at the same time.

Vintage tub - pedestal tub
Vintage tub - pedestal tub

Vintage Pedestal Tub

Pedestal tubs are also popular choices for homeowners who are looking for a vintage bath tub and a vintage tub and bath look. These tubs are basically shaped like the classic clawfoot, the double-ended clawfoot, or the double slipper bathtub. Instead of resting on legs, however, this type of vintage tub rests on a pedestal.

Copper clawfoot vintage tub
Copper clawfoot vintage tub

Copper Bath Tub

Another type of vintage tub is the copper bathtub. Most of these are in the shape of slipper bathtubs or double slipper bathtubs. Like the slipper tubs, these copper models usually have one or two rounded raised ends. Some of the copper tubs rest on feet, while others are freestanding like the pedestal tubs. Copper is a wonderful material for tubs and sinks because of its natural antibacterial properties.

Vintage Sinks

Sinks for a vintage bath, like the tubs, might take several shapes. These include pedestal sinks, console sinks, vessel sinks, wall mount sinks, basin sinks, copper sinks, or sinks in vanities.

pedestal sink
pedestal sink

Pedestal Sink

The pedestal sink sits atop a single pedestal. The shape of the sink can be round, square, oval, or made to fit perfectly in a corner.

console sink
console sink

Console Sink

The console sink rests on two or four legs. The models with two legs are mounted to the wall at the back edge of the sink unit. The legs can be straight, turned, or Queen Anne in style. The art deco console sinks often have chrome legs.

vessel sink
vessel sink

Vessel Sink

This sink sits atop of a counter or surface instead of being recessed into it. Vessel sinks can be made of glass, stone, china, or metal.

antique wall mount sink
antique wall mount sink

Wall Mount Sink

Wall mount sinks are mounted directly to a wall and have no legs or supporting cabinet or vanity underneath. They come in square, round, rectangular, and half-moon shapes. There’s also a model that fits into a corner.

basin sink
basin sink

Basin

A basin sink is dropped into a bathroom counter. They come in several shapes, including ornate ones like scallop shells. Some of the basin sinks may also be painted with a design to match your bathroom décor.

copper sink
copper sink

Copper Sink

Copper sinks come in several finishes, including smooth and hammered. Many are hand crafted, so no two copper sinks will be exactly alike. As with the copper vintage tub, the copper sink has inherent antibacterial properties.

A vanity sink
A vanity sink

Sinks in Vanities

Using a vanity in a bathroom is a good way to carry out a vintage look. Simply choose an antique cabinet that complements your décor and use it to hold your sink. The plumbing is hidden inside the vanity cabinet.

vintage toilet
vintage toilet

Vintage Toilets

The classic vintage toilet is the high tank toilet with the pull chain. If you don’t like this type of toilet but still want to maintain a vintage tub and bath look, you can always add vintage flush levers to more modern toilets. These might have a porcelain handle or a brass handle to continue your vintage bath motif.

Are you ready?

 I hope after reading this article and looking at the photos you now have some ideas for your vintage tub and bath. Remember, everything in the room doesn't have to be vintage to give your décor an old fashioned flair. You might consider adding just a vintage bath tub, like a slipper bathtub, for example. Not only do slipper tubs and other comfy bathtubs of vintage type provide interest, they'll also provide long hot bubble baths and great stress relief!

While you're shopping for your vintage tub and bath, browse the internet to compare prices!

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    • profile image

      arlene 22 months ago

      for Molly, I'm looking for the exact pedestal. I have the sink bowl. I've been tracking it down by the numbers under the bowl and this is what I found: Niagara Conservation Corp., 1800-831-8383, It's hopefully model West Minster. I don't know the manufacturer yet but I'm working on it. 12/08/2015 believe it or not I found a trade mark on the underside of the bowl and tracked it down.

    • profile image

      Molly 2 years ago

      Thanks for this! We have a sink exactly like the first pedestal sink pictured here, but ours was recently broken during construction. Do you have any idea of the make/model of the sink pictured in your article?

    • profile image

      bill 5 years ago

      got a tub in a storage unit that i bid on, and it had a cast iron tub{not clawfoot} it has angled ends, instead of round. would you know what it is?legs are about 1" thick and 4" wide, straight down.

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 6 years ago from Georgia

      Wow,I've never seen one of those! Take a pic and ask at antique stores.

    • profile image

      grannyjo 6 years ago

      I have a vintage tub that has frog feet for the claws...is that unusual? I can't find any references online.

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 6 years ago from Georgia

      Many thanks for reading!

    • whitton profile image

      whitton 6 years ago

      Enjoyed reading your Hub! I think vintage tubs are great and they create a whole new look for your bathroom.

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks a bunch!

    • zuhr-akb profile image

      zuhr-akb 7 years ago from uk

      old is gold and vintage bath tubs and fixtures really stands out and could make a real difference with classic touch. good one .like that .

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Kellie, I've never seen a clawfoot tub like that! You might have something rare!

    • profile image

      kellie 7 years ago

      Hi, I have a question. My boss gave me an old tub, the feet are fish. I never have seen one like that and can't find one on the enternet. Have you ever seen one or know anything about it.

      Kellie, KY

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      vintage clawfoot tubs are cool!

    • elf_cash profile image

      elf_cash 7 years ago

      I really like the clawfoot tubs.

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks, mhuze!

    • mhuze profile image

      mhuze 7 years ago from USA

      Didn't realize there were so many types of vintage (clawfoot) tubs. They all look pretty cool to me.

      Enjoyed your hub!

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Glad you found treasurestrove, Dolores!

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 7 years ago from East Coast, United States

      I love anything vintage, in fact my whole house is vintage. Those old claw foot tubs are so pretty. They look great for a long bath with a book! (I came here from a link on treasuretrove which I checked out after you recommended it in the forums!)

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks for visiting, Micky!

    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 7 years ago

      Beautiful tubs. I had a couple of these along the way! Thank you Habee!

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Yeah, Jim. I know! Cookie cutter houses.

    • Springboard profile image

      Springboard 7 years ago from Wisconsin

      I see that every time I drive through a typical modern subdivision. No character. Just houses. :)

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Maita, thanks for stopping by!

    • prettydarkhorse profile image

      prettydarkhorse 7 years ago from US

      they are antique, beautiful habee, Maita

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Sage, I do, too! I would love to have a slipper tub in my bathroom!

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Lol, Katie - tub hub. Love it!

    • Sage Williams profile image

      Sage Williams 7 years ago

      Nice hub, I have always loved vintage tubs and accessories. They certainly have come a long way.

      Sage

    • katiem2 profile image

      katiem2 7 years ago from I'm outta here

      habee, Really cool Tub Hub...I love the slipper tub. I'm a tall gal and our modern day tubs just aren't built for bigger folks it looks like the slipper tub would be perfect. I love how it's higher in the back for you to actually lay back and relax...Ewww I want one. Thanks for the great tub hub, just had to say that again. Peace :)

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      I love these vintage tubs, especially, virybo!

    • viryabo profile image

      viryabo 7 years ago

      Fantastic hub habee. You know i love anything vintage and the past era pieces are always the best. They have so much character and were made with quality in mind.

      Really enjoyed. Great photos.

      Cheers habee.

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      So true, Jim! I hadn't really thought of it that way!

    • Springboard profile image

      Springboard 7 years ago from Wisconsin

      I think it's a trend I'm definitely happy about. I mean, back in the day there was so much more design and character, and intricate detail. Granted, there was a heart and a mind and an imagination behind each and every creation, and so really, these were artisans. Nowadays we focus far too much on static stuff—go to college and learn how to draw lines, and then tell a computer what lines to draw and where. We've lost something in that. Even though I'm sure some of this vintage stuff is created by the help of CAD, hopefully what we'll get out of it is some of that artisanship we had before. SOMEBODY has to have an imagination these days for something other than just creating game worlds. lol

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks, Pam!

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 7 years ago from United States

      Very nice way to redecorate. Good hub.

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Hi, Ann! I love the idea of the vintage tub, especially those slipper tubs!

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Nancy, cool idea about the "reading tub"!

    • Ann Nonymous profile image

      Ann Nonymous 7 years ago from Virginia

      These are my style! I know we should celebrate our advanced indoor plumbing but i love the claw feet and especially in the slipper tub you uploaded a picture of! And the vintage toilet...priceless! Thanks Habee for making me wish for something I won't have for years if ever! LOL Great hub and pictures!

    • nancy_30 profile image

      nancy_30 7 years ago from Georgia

      Great hub Habee. I loved all the pictures. I remember when I was in Elementary School, I think it was second grade, the teacher had a clawfoot bathtub in the classroom. She had it full of pillows and I loved getting in it and reading. Now I wish I had one in my bathroom. It would be great to relax in after a long day.

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Audrey, I found my granddaughter riding Hamlet yesterday - literally!

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Eth, they have small clawfoot vintage bathtubs, too!

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Smireless, the comfy vintage tub is great for a long soak!

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks, Herbi!

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Hi, Daisy! Mine too!

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Sheila, we have one of those!

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 7 years ago from Central Oregon

      Totally awesome photos and love the 'old fashioned' look - isn't it funny how we do come full circle! Great job as always and makes me want to go take a nice, long soak since I just got back from riding the dogs - urban mushing makes you need a soak!

    • ethel smith profile image

      Eileen Kersey 7 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      Those vintage baths are stylish but my bathrrom is just too small. I am not keen on the vintage loos perhaps because I remember them first time around.

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Granny, never listen to your husband about decorating! lol

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Bpop, I want one in my bathroom!

      Greek, good to see you here!

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Yeah, Woody, that cast iron is a beeotch!

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      "Back in the bathroom." Funny, HH!

    • Smireles profile image

      Sandra Mireles 7 years ago from Texas

      These vintage tubs are wonderful. My grandmother had a claw foot bathtub. I loved getting into it! Comfortable!

    • theherbivorehippi profile image

      theherbivorehippi 7 years ago from Holly, MI

      I LOVE the clawfoot bathtub!! I would love to have one of these! They bring such a charm an elegance with them!! Fabulous hub!

    • daisyjae profile image

      daisyjae 7 years ago from Canada

      Love these pictures! My dream bathroom would have a vintage tub like these.

    • sheila b. profile image

      sheila b. 7 years ago

      I once lived in an apartment with an old tub that was so big my little boy learned to float in it!

    • Granny's House profile image

      Granny's House 7 years ago from Older and Hopefully Wiser Time

      Years ago I told my husband i wanted to take an old dresser and turn it into a sink for our bathroom. He told me I was nuts. Now look what's happening!

    • De Greek profile image

      De Greek 7 years ago from UK

      I am all for these models :-)

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 7 years ago

      Nice ideas. I have a pedestal sink very similar to the one you showed.

    • profile image

      Woody 7 years ago

      when i built my house, we found an old claw foot tub that needed work. i had it sand blasted & refinished. it took 4 people to tote that thing up stairs. very heavy

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 7 years ago from London, UK

      OOps, habee, is back in the bathroom again hahaha Seriously, they are wonderful suggesttions and I wish I could do my bathroom. Thank you for a wonderful hub.