DIY Network

How to Install a Claw-Foot Whirlpool Bathtub

DIY expert and licensed contractor Amy Matthews shows how to install a claw-foot style soaking tub with whirlpool jets.

More in Bathroom

  • Time


  • Price Range

    $2,500 - $5,000

  • Difficulty



Step 1: Prepare for the Plumbing

In our project we fitted a claw-foot soaking tub with whirlpool jets and installed the tub motor.

Begin by cutting access holes for the PVC supply and return hoses, as required by the manufacturer, for the whirlpool pump in the drywall near the floor and ceiling.

cut access holes for PVC supply and return hoses

Step 2: Make the PVC Hose Connections

Tape the end of the PVC hose to keep out debris (Image 1) and then thread it through the wall and into the ceiling (Image 2).

Attach a coupler to the hose (Image 3) using PVC primer and glue to make the connection (Image 4).

Insert the check valve (Image 5) and attach the pump (Image 6).

Step 3: Prepare for Faucet and Tub Install

Before putting the tub in place, make an access panel for the plumbing that needs to be done later for the faucet. In our project, we selected a faucet with an exposed tub filler and showerhead. From the open wall in the bathroom, drill four pilot holes through the drywall into the adjacent room (Image 1). Then use a circular saw to cut out an access panel in the room (Image 2).

Installing a heavy cast-iron tub takes manpower so have helpers available for lifting and positioning of the tub. In our project, we put the tub in final position following the faucet installation.

Add plumber’s putty to the tub’s drain gasket (Image 3) and fit the gasket and the waste line in place.

Step 4: Attach the Drain Fixture

Use a star wrench to tighten the drain gasket (Image 1) and wipe away the excess putty.

Screw the strainer cap into place (Image 2).

Slip the overflow pipe onto the drain (Image 3) and lock it in place with the retainer (Image 4).

Step 5: Complete the Drain Installation

Attach the drain lever to the plunger rod (Image 1), slide on the overflow cap (Image 2) and screw into place (Image 3).

Tighten the compression fittings on the drain (Image 4).

DIY Experts

Sweat Equity

Renovate your home with host Amy Matthews.

Tune in:


10 | 9C

Full Schedule