The clawfoot tub is the stuff of romance. They connote images of lords in manors relaxing in a tub as a servant shaves his beard. Throughout history they have never gone out of style, and this is why we continue see them evolve with each decade, becoming more and more modernized. Nonetheless, the classic Edwardian look has never lost our respect and continues to appear in luxury homes and resorts.
Something as decadent as a bubble bath in a clawfoot tub deserves the right kind of bath filler. Styles range from the ornate vintage style to the bare bones exposed plumbing look to the ultra modern minimalist appearance. But while some clawfoot bathtubs come paired with tub fillers, most of them don’t – which means you’ll need to do a little legwork to find a look that works with the tub you choose.
For classic roll-top clawfoot and slipper tubs, you really can’t beat the classic gold-and-ivory finish filler. These can be either freestanding, mounted to your wall, or installed directly into the deck of the tub, but always have a really decadent, glamorous old-Hollywood feel, like a retro gold and cream rotary telephone. In addition to filling the tub, these have built-in hand showers on long, flexible lines that allow you to wash and rinse your hair in the tub without the need for an awkward and elaborate shower curtain.
Slipper tubs are designed to have one side higher than the other and sloped so that the bather can recline more comfortably. These tubs are gorgeous, but often require your tub filler to be freestanding at the foot of the tub rather than deck or wall mounted, unlike classic roll-top tubs, which usually have the faucet mounted along the length of one side of the tub.
That said, not all clawfoot bathtubs (or even freestanding bathtubs in general) have a vintage aesthetic. In fact, you can find some pretty impressive modern iterations of this classic tub design, and some very streamlined, elegant modern tub fillers to go with them. They have all the same parts and pieces – both filler and hand shower – but with simplified, geometric designs that abandon the ornate, decorative styling of antique-inspired fillers.
For a modern wall mounted tub filler, Rohl offers the Cisal Wave Collection. The Cisal Collection is manufactured in the town of Alzo, known as the “Village of Faucets” because it is famous for putting out the finest fittings in the world. They were once the location for bronze working and the manufacture of church bells. Rohl pays tribute to the town with a bell shaped base on almost every faucet.
The clawfoot bathtub has always been considered a luxurious tub because in the 1800s they were made of cast iron and lined with porcelain. Only the very wealthy class could afford them. The large square spa has replaced the clawfoot as the rich man’s bathtub, but we can’t help but salute the enduring presence of this illuminating Victorian design.