Friday, November 27, 2009

Spout Clout: Choosing a Clawfoot Tub Faucet

There is a veritable cornucopia of things to consider when choosing a clawfoot tub faucet. We’ve discussed plumbing code, finish, mounting location, valves, and a few other factors in this space already. There are other clawfoot tub faucet selection criterion that we will likely address in the future but today, Black Friday, this space is all about spouts.

Just as there are many clawfoot tub faucet criterion to consider, there are many clawfoot tub faucet spout variations to consider. The most common clawfoot tub faucet spouts are summarized below.

Clawfoot tub faucets with a gooseneck spout feature a spout that is shaped like a goose’s neck. The outlet on the gooseneck spout is usually above the clawfoot tub rim; making this spout a code-friendly choice.

The spout on many British telephone faucets is often compared to an elephant’s trunk. It is a long curved spout with a wide mouth. The term “British telephone”, by the way, refers to the way the handheld shower rests in the cradle above the faucet body; resembling the way the receiver rests in the cradle of an old telephone. The elephant trunk spout makes no contribution to the British telephone faucet moniker.

Clawfoot tub faucets with a nozzle spout have a short ripped nipple extending below the faucet body. Old-timers have been known to push a rubber hose on the nozzle to create a makeshift shower.

Finally, there are clawfoot tub faucets with a large spout that resembles brass horn instrument that you might imagine a portly young man blowing into in a Thanksgiving Day parade marching band.

It is a common misconception that the larger the spout, the greater the flow rate. It is not the spout but instead the valves that determine how fast the faucet will fill your tub. We can’t say that size doesn’t matter however. The size of the spout does impact its appeal. A small clawfoot tub faucet with an inconspicuous spout will be more balanced with a small clawfoot tub while a large clawfoot tub faucet with a prominent spout will be more proportional to a larger bathtub.

In some cases, it may be desirable to match the clawfoot tub faucet’s spout with the sink faucet’s spout. Plan your faucet selections to coordinate the faucet spouts just as you might with handles and finish.

Other than its impact on code compliance, the spout’s influence on your clawfoot tub selection is largely a matter of preference. You could fill a horn of plenty with the number of spout variations but choose a clawfoot tub faucet with a spout that best suits your style and personal requirements.

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