Today’s New Cast Iron/Porcelain Clawfoot Tubs Are BETTER Than the Originals!

By Kerry Knight

Oh, The Drama.
 Photo credit: Lotus Carroll
Customers often ask me, “How did you and your brother get into this business?” It’s really kind of amusing, I answer.

As kids, Alan and I used to love playing in our grandparents’ large cast-iron, porcelain tub. We’d gather up all our toys, bubble bath soap and what not, and play to our hearts’ content. That is if we didn’t get into an all out splash fight, much to our grandmother’s dismay. So, as kids, we developed a real appreciation for claw foot tubs, and of course, that followed us into this business today.

Like our story, it's not uncommon today to hear people refer to “the good old days.” Many folks feel that if you go back far enough, a variety of things seemed to be better: prices, quality, features, opportunities, how we socialize with each other, etc.

We often hear our customers speaking in glowing terms about their childhood days when they too baths in their grandparents’ claw foot tub.. How perfect those tubs seemed in retrospect, they recount. They remember how large they were, and, like Alan and I, how much fun they had sitting and playing in the deep water.  Many tell us that their grandma or grandpa still has that old tub. Some have said that those tubs may not ever wear out. Their line of thinking follows the thought that many things were constructed better back then.
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Believe it or not, today’s new cast iron, porcelain bathtubs are actually better made than they were a hundred years ago.

Most importantly, the quality of today’s tubs is much better. With improved industrial techniques, advanced quality controls, and more specialized materials used in the casting process, the tubs of today are far better constructed than ever before.

Secondly, in the tubs of yesteryear, the holes were on the inside of the tub, so the faucet protruded into the tub space, taking up valuable room. Today’s faucet is located on the side rim of the tub, hanging above the tub’s interior to allow bathers to utilize all the interior space, from one end to the other.

Third, the new claw tubs offer more variety in shapes and sizes. About 80% of the old tubs were 60″ long. Back then, that would accommodate most people. Also, there was generally one design: the traditional roll rim, with the faucet and drain on one end and the sloped side on the other.  The legs were made of cast iron and would have to be painted. Today, you can have a cast iron, porcelain tub in sizes ranging from 48-75″ with the shapes of the traditional roll rim, or modern shapes such as double-ended, slipper and the elegant double slipper. 

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In addition to its physical design elements, today’s technology and our refinishing expertise allow buyers a wide variety of colors from which to choose. No longer do tubs simply have to be white. You can have your tub’s colors match your bathroom or, if you’re a sports fan, have it painted in your favorite team’s colors.

Our attention-to-detail, multi-step refinishing methods ensure you’ll have the best-looking colors that will last for years to come. 

Installation techniques have also improved, ensuring a problem-free tub that doesn’t leak or otherwise damage the bathroom.

Lastly, today’s tub legs can be chrome, polished nickel, brushed nickel, brass, gold, painted, or even oil-rubbed bronze. If preferred, customers can go for a model that sits on a handsome, yet sturdy pedestal.

You can't replace the memories you had in your grandparents’ tub. They are priceless. But if you're really looking for a quality bathtub that will withstand the ravages of time, look no further than today’s cast iron, porcelain claw foot tubs. Once you’ve purchased one, you'll have something in your home that could easily last for over a hundred years. You can create your own memories with your children and grandchildren.  And nothing is more valuable than creating beautiful memories, for both you and your precious family.

In this article, I discussed the variety of ways in which today’s cast iron, porcelain claw foot tubs exceed the tubs we fondly remember from our childhood. From design and construction, to choice of size, color, variety of models; to the different types of legs you can select.  Today’s cast iron, porcelain claw foot tubs are built to last a lifetime and then some. 

If you found this article useful, please share it with your friends and co-workers. If you have a comment related to this article, leave it in the comment section of this blog.  If you’d like to find more information on cast iron, porcelain claw foot tubs, enter “claw foot tubs” in the search box on this blog.  Have a question? Feel free to contact me at the number or email listed at the end of this article and I’ll personally get back to you. It’s been my pleasure sharing this information with you. Thanks again for visiting with us.

Until next time. 

Alan and Kerry Knight are the owners of Tub King, Inc., and in Jacksonville, Florida. Together they have many years of experience in the antique and senior bathtub industries. Their companies not only provide superior products, they are also award winners, receiving the “Best of Jacksonville Chamber Award” three years running. If you’d like to contact them, call (800) 409-3375 or (800) 843-4231; or send an email to

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