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How to Rebuild a Claw Foot Tub

These step-by-step instructions show how to rebuild a claw foot tub by installing new hardware, a showerhead and a new shower ring.

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rebuilding a claw foot tub

Step 1: Prep the Area

Besides the claw feet, this tub is unique in that all of the plumbing running to the tub is visible. The waterspout is about 4 to 6" above the tub with the hardware mounting on the inside. The shower curtain hangs from a shower ring that goes around the tub.

Turn off the water at the main, using a curb key.

Drain the water lines by turning on a faucet above and below the tubs location.
Next, clear out the area by removing the shower curtain and ring. Also, remove the showerhead and riser.

Step 2: Remove the Faucet Assembly

Using an adjustable wrench, loosen the compression nuts on the back of the faucet assembly.

Then, loosen the nuts that hold the faucet in place. Remove the entire faucet assembly.

remove entire faucet assembly

Step 3: Prep the Pipes

Mark and cut the water pipes at the same height.

Next, cut the pipes using a pipe cutter.

Install isolating valves on each line.

prepping the pipes

Step 4: Tin the Pipes

Tin the old copper pipes. Tinning copper pipes helps to make it look more like chrome, which will match the new pipes that will be installed.

Scratch up the pipe to be soldered using a scratching tool (Image 1) that comes in most soldering kits.

Apply flux to the pipe. Heat the pipe using a torch. Solder the pipe (Image 2), then apply more flux.

Wipe the pipe down using a clean cloth.

Step 5: Replace the Drain Cover

Using a dumbbell wrench, remove the drain cover (Image 1).

Loosen the nut then remove the overflow cover using slip-joint pliers.
Apply Teflon paste to the threads of the new drain cover.

Next, apply plumbers putty to the underside of the lip (Image 2). Remove any excess putty. Tighten the cover down.

Step 6: Install the New Faucet

Mount the new faucet.

Then, tighten the collar nuts located on the back of the faucet assembly.

Attach the tub filler. Assemble the shower riser and attach to the tub filler.

Tighten everything up by hand.

mount the new faucet

Step 7: Install the Shower Ring

Install the ceiling hangers (Image 1) for the shower ring.

Put the extension bar into place then screw down.

Hang one side of the curtain ring on the wall mount, then to the shower riser (Image 2). Repeat for the other side.

Step 8: Install the Showerhead

Turn on the water at the main. Install an anti-scald control valve to the showerhead. Use Teflon paste on the threads of the valve.

Apply Teflon paste to the showerhead, then screw into place. Check to make sure the showerhead works properly.

install an anti scald control valve to showerhead

Step 9: Finish Installation

Attach flexible stainless-steel lines to the isolating valves, then tighten.

Turn on the water at the tub's faucet to check the lines for leaks.

Hang the shower curtain.

finish the installation