Sunday, August 8, 2010

Deck Mount Supply Lines for Rim Mounted Clawfoot Tub Faucets

Today, we continue our series on clawfoot tub supply line connections with a discussion on supply lines for rim mounted clawfoot tub faucets. Rim mounted clawfoot tub faucets are perhaps the easiest installation of the four options we will review.

Generally, antique clawfoot tubs have rounded rims. If the tub has faucet holes in the rolled rim, the faucet holes will be drilled through a deck on the rim. The deck is a short flatten section in the rolled rim that provides a level place to install the faucet. Some tubs, such as the Strom Plumbing Lucerne slipper tub, have holes drilled through a continuous rolled rim. These tubs either require a faucet with an adapter for a round rim or, as is the case with the Lucerne cast iron tub, include roll rim adapters. Faucet hole spacing of 7" centers or 8" centers is most common for tub rim holes but deviations aren't uncommon. The faucet holes will always be centered above the waste and overflow holes in the tub. Depending on the type of tub, the holes may be on the end of the tub or on the side of the tub.

Supply lines for deck mounted clawfoot tub faucets are called deck mount supply lines, rim mount supply lines, or simply straight supply lines. As the latter name suggests, the supply lines are uncurved straight tubes. Shop 4 Classics also offers a deck mount pressure balance supply system from Strom Plumbing. The pressure balance supply system has a mixing valve to regulate fluctuations in water pressure. Preventing fluctuations helps to maintain constant water temperature while the system is in use.

The rough-in for straight clawfoot tub supply lines must be centered with the faucet holes in the rim. Often this will mean that the supply line rough-in will also be centered with the clawfoot tub drain rough-in. However, check the tub and drain prior to roughing in the supply lines to make certain they align. The supply line tubes must be cut to adjust their length to the height of the faucet. If the supply line rough-in is offset from the faucet holes in the tub or the supply is roughed-in through a wall, flex hoses can be used instead of rigid straight supply lines.

Rim mount clawfoot tub faucets and deck mount supply lines connect with 1/2" IPS fittings. The rough-in connection for supply lines should also be 1/2" IPS. Shutoff valves, or straight stops, are recommended between the rough-in and the supply line. Shutoff valves aid with installation and maintenance. Most of the deck mount supply lines that Shop 4 Classics offers either include shutoff valves or provide them as an option.

Tubs that have faucet holes drilled in the rim of the tub are typically large soaker-type tubs. By mounting the clawfoot tub filler on the rim, more space is made available inside the walls of the tub. Straight supply lines also conserve space outside the tub walls. Unlike a tub wall mounted faucet or a faucet on freestanding supply lines, deck mount supply line connections are centered underneath the tub rim. Therefore, you do not need to reserve space outside of the tub to install the deck mounted faucet or it's supply lines.

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