Quality of decorative supply lines and drain/overflow for clawfoot tubs?

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by pmoe, Dec 25, 2008.

  1. pmoe

    pmoe New Member

    Messages:
    25
    Location:
    Norwood OH
    I'm doing a bath remodel with a vintage 4' cast iron tub, with wall mount faucet.

    I need everything to get this going like I want - new faucet/riser, ring, supply lines, and drain/waste.

    I've been advised that the quality of the decorative chrome you get from the boutique suppliers is poo. Further, I've been told that the chrome will eventually wind up green from the hard water in the area (Cincy).

    I have no experience with this, but I don't want to spend $200-$300 on these parts only to have to scrap them.

    The tub will be a few inches from a wall, but the lines will still be partially visible. I really don't want a gnarly PVC drain assembly there. I've been advised that braided stainless would be a good option for the supply lines.

    Also - will I want shutoffs on the tub, or is this optional?

    Advice?
  2. nhmaster

    nhmaster Master Plumber

    Messages:
    3,189
    Location:
    S. Maine
    The total cost of the trim for my wife's claw foot tub ran over $ 3,500.OO my cost.
  3. cwhyu2

    cwhyu2 Consultant

    Messages:
    1,347
    Location:
    Cincinnati OH
    Try the guy on delaware st next to the doughnut shop in your area.
    They should have all that you need.K;)
  4. pmoe

    pmoe New Member

    Messages:
    25
    Location:
    Norwood OH
    I've been told that the alluded to shop is the highest place to buy stuff in the tri-state.
  5. pmoe

    pmoe New Member

    Messages:
    25
    Location:
    Norwood OH
    As a recently laid off person, I think that's out of my budget.
  6. rmelo99

    rmelo99 Network Engineer

    Messages:
    349
    Location:
    Connecticut
    I'll post my .02 I also had to outfit an old clawfoot with new hardware.

    I was shocked by the sticker on most of the stuff out on market.

    I kept searching but too was worried bout getting cheap china crap. After much searching I ended up getting a "COMPLETE" hardware kit from overstock.com

    They didn't list who the MFG was but the reviews from customers kept commenting on how "high-quality" it seemed once it arrived.

    I ordered the set for I think like $600. It was all made by a company called Kingston Brass. Their website shows they have very high selection of "clawfoot type specialty" gear.

    I got the full tub faucet, hand shower, divertor, supply lines, drain line and overflow, shower head, shower head kit, and the shower curtain round rod!

    The quality was by my standards VERY HIGH. The drain and overflow was very THICK guage and very high quality chrome over SOLID brass. The same as the faucet assembly. NO PLASTIC. It's more than I can say for most of the "NAME" brand stuff I've purchased recently.

    http://www.overstock.com/Home-Garden/Clawfoot-Tub-Package-Chrome/2670968/product.html

    This is the one I bought, no where in the description does it list that the drain assembly is included, but the review of one customer mentioned it. That is a few hundred if u were to purchase it seperatly, and it CAME for free with the KIT


    To answer your question about stops, I installed one below each supply line. The kit came with estucheon plates for each line going into the floor, but I cut the lines shorted and put in 1/4 turn ball stops. Cheap insurance, in my opinion.
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2008
  7. pmoe

    pmoe New Member

    Messages:
    25
    Location:
    Norwood OH
    rmelo99 - thanks for the info. Does that have 3 3/8" holes? I didn't see that anywhere in the description.
  8. rmelo99

    rmelo99 Network Engineer

    Messages:
    349
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Yes, if you are referring to the spacing in the tub. The website says 4" spacing, but it is 3 3/8" just like the old tubs. Fit perfect.
  9. pmoe

    pmoe New Member

    Messages:
    25
    Location:
    Norwood OH
    If you google the overstock.com model # (CCK2141PL), the first hit is for a measurement PDF for the Elements of Design model edk2141pl.

    Google that and you'll find an identical-looking product, with a heftier price tag:

    http://eodfaucet.com/bathdetail_custom.php?id=EDK2141PL
  10. rmelo99

    rmelo99 Network Engineer

    Messages:
    349
    Location:
    Connecticut
    I did the same initially nd found that elements of design item. It linked me to a PDF spec sheet that allowed me to get exact measurements.

    But what I received from overstock was Kingston brass. Really good customer service too, I received a replacement drain tube from them at no cost.

    P.S the drain and overflow are cut to size. Measure 2,3,4 times then cut. :)
  11. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,815
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    faucet

    I would like to see a picture of a wall mount leg tub faucet, which has ONLY part of the supply pipes visible. If it mounts in the "tub wall" then it has to have several conditions to make it acceptable. Most legal leg tub faucets hang in the air above the tub's rim.
  12. rmelo99

    rmelo99 Network Engineer

    Messages:
    349
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Mine mounted in the tub, not wall.

    I think I see what your getting at, the spout on mine arches up and I think the bottom of it works out to land above the tub rim.
  13. pmoe

    pmoe New Member

    Messages:
    25
    Location:
    Norwood OH
    If you're referring to my comment that the lines would be 'partially visible,' I misspoke (typed?) a bit. I just meant the lines would be near a wall - somewhat inconspicuous - but you would be able to see the lines if your head was, say, 6" from the nearest wall and 10" from the floor. :)
  14. Master Brian

    Master Brian DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    368
    Location:
    Kansas
    I can't speak of lasting quality, but I just finished installing a complete clawfoot tub setup from vintage tub and bath and was impressed visually by the parts. I got a nickel finish. I actually got supply lines and shutoffs for the tub, toilet and pedestal sink. Everything was copper, or brass, that had been plated. I am 99% sure they were copper, but someone told me copper can't be coated, so that's my doubt. The material cuts just like copper pipe and is copper/brass colored.

    The toilet and sink supplies were Randolph Morris, I believe, I can't recall the brand for the tub. Had to go with two different companies to get the "old style" shutoff valves for the toilet and sink.

    The only problem I experienced, which was a bit of a bitch, was sealing the threaded joints. I tried teflan(sp?) tape (white and yellow) and pipe dope. Nothing seemed to work well. My final thought was that the protective coating, clear coat, on the threads was too "slick" for the sealers to work correctly. I finally scuffed the threads, then put a small amount of pipe dope, then tape, then dope and the leaks are finally stopped!

    You ask about shutoffs, that is kind of determined by the rest of your plumbing. If you have to work on the faucet again or if a leak developed how hard would it be to shut off water to the tub? Personally I went with shut-offs, but mainly for looks, as I have a copper pex manifold with shutoffs in the basement. My mother's setup, which was professionally installed doesn't have the shut-off's, but she has gate valves in the basement that can be used to isolate the tub fixture from the rest of the plumbing.

    Don't know about the chrome, but I'm told by two different companies that the nickel plating is pretty tough. Like I mentioned above there seems to be a clear coating over the finish to help protect the finish. In fact, I had several pieces that appeared scratched and they sent me replacements when I sent them pics.
  15. Master Brian

    Master Brian DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    368
    Location:
    Kansas
    What makes it legal? Are you referring to the anti-scald features? If so how do you tell if the unit has that?
  16. rmelo99

    rmelo99 Network Engineer

    Messages:
    349
    Location:
    Connecticut
    I also have a pex manifold supplying my fixtures. I chose stops at the tub because my clawfoot tub is in the third floor bath. The run down 4 flights of windy stairs takes a few moments.

    I wanted to use some fancy cross handle ones, but couldn't justify the $35 each. I settled on 1/4 turn ball chrome stops with a regular handles.
  17. Master Brian

    Master Brian DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    368
    Location:
    Kansas
    I know what you mean by that....... Not that I listened to my instincts, because I ordered them!

    The crazy part is I know 99% of the people would never notice and I probably myself wouldn't think of it in someone elses home, but I am the type of person that would feel I "cheaped out" and after spending the $700+ for the shower, a few hundred for new feet for the tub, then the tile, etc, etc, I figured what's a little bit more and I didn't know how much they would show.
  18. rmelo99

    rmelo99 Network Engineer

    Messages:
    349
    Location:
    Connecticut
    I had this discussion with my wife just the other day. I like paying attention to all the little details, but I stepped back and realized that no one is noticing my valves!! It was easier for me to do that when we recently went to someone's house and I asked my wife about somedetails and we couldn't remember anything!! I pulled off the period look without sacrificing anything and no one noticed those valves aren't there!!

    I go overboard on many little "period" details that no one ever notices
  19. Master Brian

    Master Brian DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    368
    Location:
    Kansas

    To be honest, I am having a bit of issues with the nickel supply tubes. Even though I cut 3-5 times, I still seem to have managed to cut the toilet supply about 1/4" too short. I'm currently still playing with it trying to stop the leak, but I may end up going with a braided stainless tube that I have laying around. I used the braided tubes on my pedestal sink, because I am still unsure about the nickel tube needing a washer or not and I had people coming over and needed the sink. I seriously doubt anyone would or will notice the stainless tubes. They will likely get replaced, since I have the nickel ones, but it's not a priority. Does seem silly in hindsight.
  20. pmoe

    pmoe New Member

    Messages:
    25
    Location:
    Norwood OH
    I'm planning on shutoffs for the sink and toilet. The tub was the only fixture in question. The bathroom is 1st floor and will only be a few feet away from a (new) 1/4 turn stop and waste ball valve for the incoming supply lines feeding only that bathroom.

    I'd be curious to see pix of your (and rmelo99's) setups. I'm still debating how to handle the supply/drain lines, shutoffs, and P trap for the pedestal sink. And the relevant parts for the toilet. All my supplies will be coming up from the floor (exterior walls).
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