Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Magical Appeal of Freestanding Clawfoot Tub Faucets

The final installment of our discussion on connecting clawfoot tub faucets features freestanding clawfoot tub faucets. My first recollection of a freestanding faucet was a floating faucet outside the Dogpatch Gift Shop at the Lake of the Ozarks. The faucet streamed water from the spout without any apparent source or support. Age was not kind to this magical faucet, however, and over time the source and support for the faucet became apparent as the clear tube that ran up the center of the streaming water and into the spout turned yellow. The floating faucet was not as freestanding or magical as I thought as a boy.

Freestanding clawfoot tub faucets have a similar revelation for many. Despite what their name might suggest, freestanding clawfoot tub faucets do require support. They install independent of the clawfoot tub but they can not stand free of support. Most freestanding supply lines include wall brackets to brace the supply lines to an adjacent wall. Sign of the Crab and Sunrise Specialty also offer overflow brackets that allow their freestanding supply lines to be braced to the overflow tube of the clawfoot tub's drain. By bracing the supply lines to the tub drain, the faucet can be positioned away from a wall. Clawfoot tub drain tubing is not universal so it is not safe to assume that overflow brackets from one manufacturer will fit a drain or supply lines from another manufacturer. Check the specifications before mixing and matching clawfoot tub plumbing from various sources.

Freestanding supply lines connect to the faucet's body. It may be necessary to remove the inlets from the faucet body to connect the supply lines. Thread patterns can be nonstandard and not all faucets feature removable inlets so Shop 4 Classics recommends choosing a faucet and freestanding supply lines from the same manufacturer. More and more frequently, manufacturers are bundling the faucet and freestanding supply lines to ensure trouble-free installation.

Because they do not install through faucet holes in the tub, freestanding clawfoot tub faucets are also often called floor mounted clawfoot tub faucets. Freestanding supply lines are roughed in through the finished floor. Most freestanding supply lines include 1/2" IPS straight stops (shutoff valves). Rough-in 1/2" IPS threaded supplies to connect with the 1/2" IPS shutoff valves. The spread between the hot and cold supplies will depend on the faucet. Freestanding faucets with 3-3/8" centers, 7" centers, and 8" centers are all common.

If you are in the market for a freestanding clawfoot tub faucet, Shop 4 Classics offers a wide assortment of clawfoot tub faucets, freestanding supply lines, and bundled freestanding clawfoot tub faucets. If it is novelty gifts made of walnuts or corn cobs, visit the Dogpatch Gift Store at the Lake of the Ozarks and watch for the magical floating faucet.

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