5 Things You Need To Do To Get The Most Out Of Your Clawfoot Tub

Owning your very own clawfoot tub may have been a longtime dream, and now that it has finally come true, you're ready for long relaxing soaks and inspiring bathroom aesthetics. These tubs not only look chic and elegant but offer a respite from the standard models most bathrooms exhibit. Taking you back to the eras of the 18th- and 19th-century romance, clawfoot tubs exude decadence and self-care. According to Pelham & White, they were originally created in Holland but quickly became popular in England and the United States once the designs spread to other countries. And while these additions are the pinnacle of luxury in some regards, they can produce a few hurdles homeowners have to get past in order to really be able to enjoy them.

That isn't to say they won't fulfill all your adulting aspirations and more. In fact, once you purchase and apply all the following suggestions, you'll be able to take full advantage of the relaxation station. It comes down to being prepared since clawfoot tubs differ in dimension from larger models or shower/bath combinations. If you intend to have a shower attachment, this changes the dynamic of the tub and the space. Thinking about all of these things ahead of time will ensure that it is nothing but magnificent when the moment comes for that first soak.

1. Invest in good shower curtains

One of the most important things you need to decide once you've installed your clawfoot tub (or even if you already have one but barely use it) is if you plan to shower in it. Unfortunately, these tubs don't usually come with a shower attachment, and one has to be added if people prefer that over a bath. Also, because there are no walls to keep the water in, one piece you might struggle with is avoiding getting moisture all over your floors.

Investing in good, solid curtains that are machine washable will help with this issue. If you do install a shower nozzle, the curtains will need to sit inside the tub rather than hanging on the outside. This will keep water from splashing out onto the floor, but the material may become worn and soiled over time. On the other hand, washing them regularly might become the norm, so picking options that are simple to clean will save you a lot of time.

Invest in water-resistant curtains too, which will dry a little better between uses as long as they are air-dried properly. According to Bustle, you also want to buy a heavier, bigger unit that requires more grommets on top and is held down by suction cups or magnets at the bottom. This will keep the fabric from flowing inwards while the shower is being used, sticking to whoever is inside.

2. Buy a bath or shower caddy

Because of the nature of these tub builds, most don't have any storage or flat areas around the lip. While this gives them a clean and stylish look, it presents a problem for anyone who likes to keep their toiletries nearby while soaking. Enter: a shower or bath caddy. Whether you splurge on a stunning wood plank that can hold everything while balanced across the top of the ceramic or a wire caddy that sits on one end, you'll be much happier with a place to store candles, soaps, and even drinks. Of course, if you don't want a caddy, you can also invest in a small stool or table near the tub.

Traditionally, people with clawfoot tubs have kept their belongings on something that hooks onto the sides and sits across the middle. These allow a person to access everything easily while they relax, and the holders are easily movable or adjustable. For anyone who plans to add a shower attachment, you can also keep a caddy on the vertical pole or pipe that rises from the valves and faucet.

House Caravan recommends sticking with bamboo if you opt for a wood material since it can withstand moisture better and is more durable than other types. Per The New York Times, Wirecutter has four coveted trays that are the best bet for clawfoot tub owners, one of which comes with a book and wine holder — what could be more useful than that?

3. Add an anti-slip liner

Whether standing for a shower in your clawfoot tub or climbing in for a relaxing rest, these models can be very slippery and hard to balance due to their narrower dimensions. The sloped siding can get even trickier to maneuver when soap is involved, which is why anti-slip liners come in extremely handy. The best mats for a bathtub should have suction cups to keep them connected to the bottom and gripped on the surface so you can easily move around when inside. According to Mitch Wright Plumbing Heating & Air, these are also ideal for catching things that may slip out of your hands or fall off shelves, preventing them from rolling or causing chaos.

Choosing a smaller mat will create better suction in the base of the tub, and because your standing/sitting area isn't as big, it will still ensure you don't slip while inside. These come in all shapes and sizes, so you can easily find the right one for your clawfoot tub that won't look garish or take away from its elegance. Being safe is better than risking a spill from your new soaking station, and if you opt for a clear one, it will barely show.

4. Avoid using harsh chemicals

If your tub is an antique, the porcelain might already be thin and porous, which means it is sensitive to harsh chemicals and cleaners. Even if your clawfoot tub isn't older, using abrasive mixtures and substances can be detrimental to the lining and materials which make it up. In order to preserve your special addition, stick to mild dish soap and warm water. According to HomeSteady, the easiest way to scrub your tub is by adding the soap to a sponge, then using water from the tap to wet the interior portion of the unit. Next, apply gentle pressure to the sponge while wiping down the sides and bottom.

After you've scrubbed all of the surfaces, run the shower attachment or faucet to rinse away soap suds. If there are more intense stains inside, baking soda can be added to try and get them out. Reuse the sponge to work at the mark(s), then give the base another rinse.

5. Keep it near natural lighting

If you invest in a clawfoot tub, you are picturing it as a focal point in your bathroom. These units are meant to be seen and appreciated, so you want them to be in the best possible location. Kingston Kitchen & Bath recommends placing the tub close to natural light sources like windows or doors (depending on your washroom setup). This will allow them to be a central anchor point and use the sun as a highlighting tool.

If your bathroom doesn't have a lot of natural light or it is too difficult to place the tub near some, you can also try and angle fixtures from the walls to shine more prevalently on the basin. Bigger scones that divulge more illumination can help accent the piece, too. Clawfoot tubs are, in essence, art, and while yours is likely a source of relaxation, it can still benefit from a staged lighting design. Opting for lamps that can be brightened or dimmed will ensure your soaking time is peaceful and subdued, but that company can get the full effect of this addition whenever they enter the room.