Monday, August 21, 2006

How Do I Fix Broken Clawfoot Tub Feet?

I like posting the more interesting letters we get from our customers. Today, Camille wrote us about some problems she was having with her tub feet:

WE RECENTLY HAD A MAN COME TO PUT TILE DOWN ON OUR BATHROOM FLOOR , HE HAD TO REMOVE THE CLAW FOOT TUB OUT OF THE BATHROOM IN ORDER TO COMPLETE THE TASK. IN ORDER FOR HIM TO REMOVE THE TUB OUT OF THE BATHROOM HE HAD TO TAKE TWO OF THE BACK LEGS OFF. WHEN HE FINISHED TILING OUT FLOOR AND PUT THE TUB BACK WE FOUND OUT THAT ONE OF THE LEGS WAS NOT SECURE AND THERE WAS A BIG BOOM , THE PIPES BROKE IN HALF AND WATER WAS COMING FROM THE BATHROOM, THROUGH OUR DINING ROOM CEILING IN WHICH RUINED AN ALREADY OLD BUT FUNTIONING CHANDELIER ETC. WE CALLED HIM AND HAD HIM COME BACK TO SEE WHAT WENT WRONG SO HE TRIED SOLDERING IT BACK ONTO THE BOTTOM BUT THAT DIDN’T WORK AND THE OTHER BACK LEG FELL OFF TOO. SO NOW WE HAVE TILES AND BRICKS TRYING TO KEEP THE TUB UP. WE WOULD LIKE TO KNOW IF THERE IS A COMPANY NEAR PHILADELPHIA THAT CAN FIX THIS TYPE OF TUB. IT’S A SHAME TO HAVE TO GET RID OF IT (which is what we are thinking of doing). WHAT DO YOU SUGGEST. WE WAS TOLD BY SOMEONE THAT A TUB LIKE OURS COULD COST A FEW THOUSAND DOLLARS BECAUSE IT’S ANTIQUE (I guess) IT IS A CAST IRON. HELP! I LOOK FORWARD TO YOUR RESPONSE.

My reply:

OK – here is what I would do. First, do not try to reattach broken feet to a tub. They just don’t work. Soldering the feet did not work for you. We don’t suggest welding the feet back on either as the intense heat of this processes can damage the porcelain interior of the tub. You can try to find an antique foot that matches your foot but that that might be a chore as there are over 450 different styles of antique tub feet. Next, you could try to have a foot cast to match your tub. Again, this is a bit tricky because the front legs of many tubs are a slightly different length than the rear legs so you need a rear foot to make the copy. Unfortunately, it sounds like the other rear foot was damaged as well.

I would suggest you replace all four feet with a new cradle and foot set from Strom Plumbing. We have had good luck with these feet.


Replacement Clawfoot Tub Feet from Strom Plumbing


Alternatively, you could get rid of your tub and replace it with a new one. I would not recommend this unless your current tub is in need of refinishing or you were planning on replacing it anyway. I have no idea what your tub is worth, but unless it is a truly rare piece, it will only be worth $50 - $500 depending on condition. The two broken feet in the back will drop the tub value quite a bit.

Thanks for the question,

Allan


Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Clean your tub the natural way!

I just got an email from my buddy Adam who wanted to pass along a recipe for making your own bathtub cleaner. We have not tested this recipe but thought we should share it with you anyway:

Silky Scrub
1 cup baking soda into a medium-size mixing bowl
1/2 cup castile liquid soap
5-10 drops of antibacterial essential oil, such as lavender, tea tree or rosemary (optional)

1. Pour baking soda into a medium size bowl.
2. Add soap a little at a time, stirring continuously. Stop adding after your mixture has begun to resemble frosting.
3. Mix in drops of essential oil.
4. Store in an airtight jar for up to a year.

The original post appeared in Apartment Therapy - Los Angeles.