Vintage to Modern Clawfoot Bathtub Fillers

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. That’s why we continue see them evolve with each decade, becoming more and more modernized. The classic Edwardian look has never lost our respect and continues to appear in luxury homes and resorts. But whether you’re looking for a classic look or something fresh and new, all bathtubs need matching bathtub fillers.

Classic Clawfoot

Dora 59" Freestanding Tub with Faucet from A and E
Dora 59″ Freestanding Tub with Faucet BT-830-59 from A and E

Something as decadent as a bubble bath in a clawfoot tub deserves the right kind of bath filler. Styles range from the ornate vintage replicas to the bare bones exposed plumbing look to the ultra modern minimalist appearance. But while some clawfoot bathtubs come paired with bathtub fillers, most of them don’t. That means you’ll need to do a little legwork to find a look that works with the tub you choose.

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For classic roll-top clawfoot and slipper tubs, you really can’t beat the iconic matching clawfoot bathtub fillers. These can be either freestanding, mounted to your wall, or installed directly into the deck of the tub. Either way, they always have a really decadent, glamorous old-Hollywood feel. 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, with a sloped back for comfortable reclining. 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. This is a contrast to classic roll-top tubs, which usually have the faucet mounted along 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.

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Wall-mounted and deck-mounted bathtub fillers come in a similar range of styles. While the look is a little less iconic, they do have one main advantage over freestanding fillers: you don’t need to reroute your plumbing (or re-tile your floor) to install one. Of course, not all wall mounted tub fillers will match perfectly with the existing plumbing in your wall (and not all freestanding bathtubs have faucet mounts). But if you’re installing a new tub near the existing one? This can be a good way to trim down the scope of your project.

Bridal 3-Handle Calwfoot Tub Faucet with Hand Shower In Gold FS-AZ0061RG from Anzzi
Bridal 3-Handle Calwfoot Tub Faucet with Hand Shower In Gold FS-AZ0061RG from Anzzi

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!

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