Looking for a new old-style tub
Ed the Plumber: New "green" cast-iron claw-foot tubs gain attention.
Scripps Howard News Service
Plumber: Looking for a brand-new old-style tub
Q: I'm looking to remodel my bathroom the way I want it, not how everyone is telling me I should do it. I want an old-style claw-foot bathtub. Everyone is telling me that my best bet is to get a reconditioned one, but I don't want an old tub. I want a new cast-iron claw-foot tub. Is that too much to ask for, and are they still being made?
— Sally, California
A: Cast-iron tubs have made a big comeback in recent years. Believe it or not, the "green"-building movement has helped homeowners rediscover the benefits of cast iron. Cast-iron plumbing fixtures are usually made with a good amount of reclaimed materials. So, an old cast-iron heating radiator could be part of a new tub, and that fits right in with the "green" thinking.
The good news is that claw-foot cast-iron tubs are still being made, and the freestanding design can create a striking focal point for any bathroom. Also, with a freestanding tub, installation location options can be very flexible.
Remember, though, that this is a high-end item, and the labor costs to install a claw-foot cast-iron tub can be much higher than with a conventional bathtub.
Bottom line: Plan your budget carefully. You want to take a bath "in" your beautiful new tub — not when you pay the bills!
Master plumber Ed Del Grande is the author of "Ed Del Grande's House Call," the host of TV and Internet shows, and a LEED green associate. Visit eddelgrande.comor write firstname.lastname@example.org. Always consult local contractors and codes.