Clawfoot tub shower enclosure

lam13April 21, 2010

We are finally nearing the end of our bathroom remodel. I was so excited Monday when the plumber came in to install the tub, sink and toilet. However, when I came upstairs to inspect his work I found the riser on the shower enclosure was not vertical, but slanted toward the back. (I'll attempt to post a picture). The company (Vintage Tub) claims there is a cone washer which will allow for adjustment of the riser due to the curvature of the tub and correct the problem. My plumber claims a cone washer will not fit the riser nut and the joint will leak. Has anyone else with clawfoot tub enclosures had this issue? I don't know who is right and am very disappointed we did all this work for a substandard result.

Here is a link that might be useful:

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I'm sure a washer is pretty cheap, so why not try it? It will be immediately obvious if the joint gushes water all over.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2010 at 2:27PM
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Circus Peanut

You can specify an angled shank for your setup -- what brand is your riser fixture? You will have to exchange the one you have for one with an angled shank; don't worry, it's not unsolvable, just the wrong part. :-)

Here is a link that might be useful: sample page with angled shank riser

    Bookmark   April 21, 2010 at 2:39PM
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Bill: It came with a cone washer. My plumber insists it doesn't fit the nut and won't take the riser off to try. I'll try to find a smaller one at the hardware store, but I may talk the husband into trying the other one first as I think it will fit. (He's terrified of plumbing!)

Circuspeanut: We think this would be a great solution and makes perfect sense. I don't know why the company we ordered from didn't offer it as an option. We ordered from Vintage Tub and Bath. I will contact Vintage and see if they have an angled shank.

Thank you both for your quick replies. I am determined to get this right and appreciate the help!

    Bookmark   April 21, 2010 at 3:04PM
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Hi. We just ordered a clawfoot slipper tub from Vintage Tub and it arrived the other day. We also ordered the Strom plumbing hardware, but did not get the standup shower enclosure setup. We will have the British telephone handshower set.

I'm interested in your discussion because who knows, we may in the future decide to convert to a tall shower setup.
I know I've had a good experience with Vintage Tub on several orders for hardware for two baths and one kitchen sink so far, and never had issues with them. There is a way around your concern, and I'm sure they will help you resolve it.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2010 at 12:50PM
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Moccasinlanding: Vintage has been great so far. I think the problem lies with our plumber. We are either going to have another plumber come look at it or try the cone washer ourselves. Vintage has an angled shank, but wants $80.00 for it. I will let you know how it works out!

BTW, as far as getting the shower enclosure, I don't know how your water pressure is, but ours is pretty poor. We found the handshower actually has a stronger flow than the showerhead that comes with the enclosure. You may be better off just with the handshower or you may want to look into a different type of showerhead than the ones that typically come with the enclosures if water pressure is an issue for you.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2010 at 1:15AM
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Thanks for the tip about the issues with water pressure and the shower enclosures. We have a second bath which has only a shower, no tub, so I am not anticipating the enclosure in our master bathtub. But one always knows the options and issues, before getting any new bright ideas!

Thank heaven, we do have good water pressure in our house. The alterations made to our plumbing this year have not affected it. My observation is that the time it takes for hot water to reach certain areas changed somewhat, and I'm still getting used to that. I think our plumber said he'd replaced the old drains and supply lines in MORE than half the house, bringing it up to our newer code.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2010 at 3:38PM
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Circus Peanut

So glad it will all work out! I bought my plumbing from Mac the Vintage Plumber -- excellent service as well -- and mine's also from Strom.

I can attest that the Strom setup is designed perfectly for the whole household's needs:

    Bookmark   April 26, 2010 at 4:40PM
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Cute kitty!!!!!!!!!

My nutty young cat Figbash loves to play ping pong in the clawfoot tub - he bounces it around and it makes a LOT of loud noise which he loves.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2010 at 11:24AM
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Adorable that the cat gets fresh water at the tub! I really like your setup. My Strom faucet set will be rim mounted and supply lines come up through the floor. To avoid any issues with the porcelain floor tiles cracking, I chose a 2x2" mosaic mounted on a 12x12" mesh. The color is RIALTO WHITE, made in Italy, and sold by Lowes. We've used this same tile in different colors and sizes for several jobs now, and it is easy to install and great looking. Also a good price.

Our tub, currently waiting on a pallet in the back yard, will be installed in a 4x6' bumpout of the current bathroom. Tiny remnants of the old exterior wall will remain, as well as the wall above window height. I figure this will give a sort of "alcove" look to the tub. This area is the place for the smaller mosaic tiles. We'll put beadboard on all vertical surfaces, ceiling, and floor to ceiling on the walls. The west-facing window will have a 24x28" old stained glass so the setting sun really illuminates it spectacularly. The walls will be Behr ORANGE CONFECTION in semigloss latex enamel (an oilbased primer though), which reads white until you have a cloudy day, and then it has a soft orange glow.

Tile on the floors in the rest of the bath are the same RIALTO WHITE porcelain in a 16x16 size. It does look like tumbled marble, with dark striations in the textured pattern. Not too much pattern, but it is not a hard white.

The Strom plumbing faucet set has a gooseneck spout and white porcelain handles. We got the polished chrome. I am so looking forward to bathing in this new bathroom. It is a cross between old fashioned and current style--cannot say modern, but definitely not a period piece.

I'm thinking it will be easier to clean around the bathtub and not worry about a leaking tub surround--that is what sold my DH on the freestanding tub....

    Bookmark   April 27, 2010 at 11:49AM
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Has anyone tried the less expensive shower retrofits for a clawfoot? I saw a site that had it for about $300 instead of the $700 charged by Strom. Anyone know if there is a difference? I do have Strom sink faucets and think they're great. They look much like the originals.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2010 at 10:12AM
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This is not the advice you asked for but I suggest that you get clear shower curtains. I find being totally surrounded by opaque curtains disorienting and when I'm in a relatively unfamiliar bathroom, I forget where I can safely lean if I need to in a hurry. There is one such bathroom that I used to visit a couple times /yr and I hated using the shower. (and I felt that way about it in my 30s through 50s, so its not an age thing).
We have a small original claw tub in our upstairs bathroom which it would be nice to get a shower into. So I'd also be interested in knowing peoples experience with the less expensive options.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2010 at 6:59PM
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