Clawfoot tub as drop in w/ shower?

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by Scott Baxla, Feb 20, 2020.

  1. Scott Baxla

    Scott Baxla New Member

    Feb 20, 2020
    Asheville NC
    Has anyone seen this done? Using the claw foot tub as a drop in does not seem like a difficult task, but adding a shower introduces a drainage issue. The tub lip will be above the deck its mounted in and the shower will fill the space around the tub rim w/ water - so... how to drain that space???

    I'm working in a very small space and I've found a 48" clawfoot tub (very little hot water to fill it for a soaking tub), but need a shower for typical construction dirt bathing... Added advantage of being able to make the space (tub deck/"shower floor") 36" wide for a more comfortable shower width if using the tub as a drop in. (can't stand those tiny circular shower curtain rigs...)

    I'm considering sinking the whole thing down into the floor about a foot (easily step in and out of) and creating a shower curb style rim in the access side (with shower door), and rigging some sort of perimeter drain all the way round the straight sides of the deck/"shower floor" - along the curb and walls (clawfoot has curved back and curved corners at drain end). As far as I can tell, those linear floor drains are god-awful expensive...

    I once was in a group shower at a festival where they had a perimeter floor drain formed into a concrete floor by using tapered 6" pipe in the concrete when they poured (Pipe removed after pour) and a regular floor drain at the low point. Considering doing something similar with a brass or copper pipe perimeter, cut in half w/ tile deck draining into it (open trench perimenter w/ pipe 1/2 in bottom). Not sure how pipe will spring out of shape if cut in half.

    Any other thoughts or examples of others who have successfully done anything with this?


  2. fullysprinklered

    fullysprinklered In the Trades

    Jun 15, 2014
    self-employed plumber-electrician doing residentia
    Did a service call on one. Drop-in tub with shower. The tile man had imbedded a small drain, maybe a barsink drain, in the ditch between the tub lip and the back wall. Don't know if the ditch was sloped or not, but I do remember the drain was in a small dimple in the tile. From the drain they had run a dishwasher drain hose around to the overflow pipe and connected it to a slip-joint tee there. There may have been some duct tape involved at the connections, can't remember.

    Well, the dishwasher hose clogged up over the years and the lady of the house had a testosterone attack and went after it with a coat hanger. Destroyed the hose and ended up with a leak. I went in through a soffit in the basement and found the problem but couldn't fix it from that direction. Finally accessed it through the living room wall after moving the world's heaviest piece of furniture and cutting sheetrock. I was able to rework everything using slip-joint fittings from the truck bucket.

    Improvising on plumbing aint easy.
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  4. DIYorBust

    DIYorBust Active Member

    Mar 5, 2019
    Long Island, New York
    You can make a wet room and put the tub in and shower without a curtain if that's what you'd like. Undermouting the tub if possible might be a better bet for waterproofing.
  5. Scott Baxla

    Scott Baxla New Member

    Feb 20, 2020
    Asheville NC
    Thanks for chiming in DIY (and for your post on the fill spout on the other thread!). I working in a pretty tight space, so a big luxurious layout is not really an option here (wet room). My wet room will be 36" x 60" with a curb and shower door - stand alone shower/tub, not actually even a whole bathroom. The undermounting is a good thought since the trench drain around the top w/ curves and slopes seems complicated, but an undermount poses its own challenges too - tiling to the curves of the tub, the top rim of the tub being curved and challenging to drain the underlying water proofing membrane into and get tile over it... May still end up being an easier option. This installation is over a crawl space and I'm thinking about crating a drained basin (mop sink style) under the entire tub installation to catch any leaks - sort of like your wet room thought, just out of site and not needing to clean and dry the floor around the clawfoot that people don't like...
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