Installing a Clawfoot Tub Shower with Video Guide

6 min read

Installing a Clawfoot Tub Shower with Video Guide

Clawfoot Tub Shower

Whether you have a vintage cast iron clawfoot tub or you are starting off with a brand new Freestanding Clawfoot Tub, this guide will show you how to install a shower surround for clawfoot tub to go with your tub filler faucet. Although the video in this article shows a retrofit job, it is also helpful for illustrating how a new installation project would be done. In addition, you may want to take a look at our instructions for adding a shower to a clawfoot tub faucet. For more information including parts breakdown diagrams see How to Install a Clawfoot Tub Shower.

A 180 clawfoot bathtub shower curtain solution can help you add an important new level of functionality to your tub. If you have a small space but don't want to sacrifice the idea of a large soaking tub a complete clawfoot tub faucets with shower surround package can be a wonderful solution. You can have the best of both worlds. A shower for when you need to get out of the house quickly and a relaxing tub for when you want to stay in and take it easy.

The video embedded below offers a great real world example. It features the installation of a clawfoot tub with shower and details how to make the clawfoot tub shower rod fit even in a small space. The shower rod for clawfoot tub in the video is cut to fit and installed in a small upstairs bathroom with a slanted ceiling. The installation instructions help clarify how to cut and shorten an oval shower curtain rod and how to adjust it to fit your space limitations. It explains how to install the full Clawfoot Tub shower enclosure kit with faucet and how to mount clawfoot bathtub faucets directly to a tub.

A shower for clawfoot Tub can be a great way to modernize an old tub or simply to add an additional level of functionality to a brand new Tub. At we carry everything you need to retrofit your bathroom with your own claw foot tub Shower enclosure. With 40+ years of experience in the plumbing industry, we can help you find what you need to turn your dream of a fully functional clawfoot tub into reality!

This section of an "Ask This Old House" video details how to install a clawfoot tub shower conversion kit with an oval shower curtain rod. We have shortened the full length video to highlight the portion relevant to installing your clawfoot tub shower combo.

Freestanding Clawfoot Tubs

Examples of complete Clawfoot Tub Shower Packages

Chrome Clawfoot Tub Faucet Shower Kit with Enclosure Curtain Rod 206T1CTS
Oil Rubbed Bronze Clawfoot Bathtub Faucet Shower Kit with Enclosure Curtain Rod 555T5CTS
Satin Nickel Clawfoot Tub Faucet Shower Kit with Enclosure Curtain Rod 1009T8CTS
Chrome Clawfoot Tub Faucet Shower Kit with Enclosure Curtain Rod 106T1CTS

How to Add a Shower to a Claw-Foot Tub - This Old House

Text of this Video

Alright, we have to start by turning the water off, both hot and cold with these shut-offs that are right handy. I want to be sure they hold so I open the faucet - Good. Now we need to break the connections on the back. There's a couple of nuts on the back which make the water tight connection. I'm using an open ended wrench called a crescent wrench. You'll notice that there are no teeth so I won't mar the finish.

Alright, so these two connections are the water tight connections but there's also two nuts which hold the faucet onto the tub itself called lock nuts. Now just loosen that. Ok, now the faucet goes away.

Amy and I have dry fitted together your new tub and shower assembly. What do you think? - It's gorgeous Richard. - Look down at the bottom, you can see the hot and the cold faucets. Now you come up to the first choice which is the Tub Filler - Terrific - Now the water continues up through this pipe to a "T" and you have a choice to go over to a hand shower - oh that's really great - or it can continue up through a beautiful showerhead. Now we just need to disassemble this unit and install your faucet.

Alright, Amy put a little bit of putty right here on the back side of these escutcheons, I want to make a watertight seal between the faucet and the tub itself. Good. Ok Good. Now, put these locknuts on the back and as I do the putty will squeeze out. OK, that's hand tight on the hot side and now the cold. [Next use the crescent wrench to tighten both]. Ok, now we just need to tighten up our compression nuts, and again use the crescent wrench.

Alright our base faucet is installed and now we need to assemble the riser. Now that's a series of threaded connections that need to have some teflon tape applied. Why don't you go around there. You want to pull it tight now as you go. Try to keep it flat, yeah. Pull, pull, pull so it stays tight on the thread, so it goes right in there. Three wraps at least ok. Now you're gonna pull it tight and snap it off. Good.

Ok, that's straight. Pass me that riser. Thread that in, and Amy there's not an inch to spare there - look at how close we are to the ceiling - Perfect - With the riser in place, now we need to stabilize it to the building the manufacturer provides a wall support that we need to cut to length. And before I do, I want to make sure this riser is plumb. So I apply a level. Amy, just grab that magic marker and put a mark on that wall support where it intersects the riser. Good, Thank you.

To cut the wall support to length I'm going to use a tubing cutter. Line it up on the mark - OK. [Twist the cutter back and forth until the pipe is severed]. Good. Our Wall Support ties into riser with this set screw that I just need to tighten.

The manufacturer makes a shower curtain rod for a 5 foot tub and a full height ceiling - And I have a 5 foot tub but I don't have a full height ceiling - That's right. This roof angle is really crowding us. So the way this goes together is my half of the oval goes up here against this bracket tightened on to the riser. Now look how close it is to that roof angle. So what we're gonna have to do is modify or cut your half - That's going to be a tight fit - Absolutely.

Now we need to shorten this oval about as much as possible to fit it into that opening, but there's a limit to how small we can make it. That's determined by where this bend begins. Because there's a straight coupling that has to fit inside the curved curtain rod. We can't fit the straight coupling into the curve. And that's about as small as we can make it and that's where we're gonna make the cut using a tubing cutter. Now the tubing cutter slightly deformed that pipe so to bring it back to original round I'm going to use a reamer to just expand that pipe to it's original shape. Good.

Oil Rubbed Bronze Clawfoot Tub Faucet Shower Kit with Enclosure Curtain Rod 107T5CTS

Alright, we shortened up our oval and I've got that connected it into this bracket right here that's connected to the riser. Now what I want you to do is to hold that bar up and put it right up to this bracket which I've secured into a roof rafter. Now I'm just going to snug that up. Let me just get the other one. Ok. So we've got it secured at two points and now I have to add one wall support at the back so I can secure it so it doesn't tip.

Now there's no structure where I wanted this bracket to be so I'm using hollow wall sleeves. They just fit into the holes I've drilled and expand. Now we just screw the bracket into those.

Alright Amy your new shower head is in place - Oh that's terrific! The shower curtains are done - Alright time to fire it up. Close up the curtain - This is exciting - Your new shower! - Oh Richard, that's not half bad! - Not half bad haha! I'm going back to the beach. - The shower will be waiting for you when you come back. - Alright!

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Author Bio: Nick Kuzmin

Author: Nick Kuzmin

Co-founder,, Plumbing Industry Experience: 25+ years

Nick Kuzmin has been working with or around plumbing products for over 25 years. This lifetime of experience has given him a large amount of useful and practical knowledge on almost all plumbing related topics which he freely writes about and shares online. Nick co-founded with his father Jim in 2011.

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