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Appraising A Vintage Clawfoot Tub

"You can buy an antique clawfoot tub for a few dollars or a few thousand dollars. The factors that usually determine the price are condition, size, and originality."

Assessing the Value of Antique Clawfoot Tubs

Authors Website: http://www.vintagetub.com/

You can buy an antique clawfoot tub for a few dollars or a few thousand dollars. The factors that usually determine the price are condition, size, and originality. The most commonly manufactured, and therefore, most readily available clawfoot tubs are the standard 5' roll rim tubs. The cost increases for any tubs smaller or larger than 5' or for any tub that is unusual in any way – a wide, flat rim, a slipper-style tub, ornate feet, etc. A 5' roll rim tub may sell for $50 while a 5' French double-ended clawfoot tub may sell for $2000.

A few of the manufacturers of antique tubs were American Standard a/k/a Standard, Crane, Mott, and Kohler. There were literally hundreds of different styles of clawfeet made for these tubs, so if you're buying an antique tub be sure to purchase one with its original feet. Retrofitting non-original antique feet to an antique tub can lead to instability and damage.

The condition of the tub will also factor into its selling price. You will pay more for a tub in original condition than if there are cracks in the porcelain, stains, and knicks. An antique tub will normally have superficial scratches in the porcelain, making the most used areas of the porcelain dull. Refinishing the tub will revitalize the interior, eliminating the stains, knicks, and cracks in the porcelain. However, if the cast iron is cracked, the tub will not hold water.

Tub refinishing can cost an additional $500-$1000. Refinishing is a painting process that will repair defects in the porcelain. The interior of the tub is body-filled, sanded, acid-etched, primed, and painted. The exterior is sandblasted down to the original cast iron, and then primed and painted. The tub will look smooth and brand new again, but will not last nearly as long as a new cast iron clawfoot tub. In fact, a refinished clawfoot tub has to be treated much more gently than a new tub, so if you plan on using it on a regular basis, it would be much more economical to purchase a new clawfoot bathtub.

There are many salvage yards throughout the country that sell antique clawfoot tubs - search SalvageWeb.com to find one near you.

We offer the following guide for estimated wholesale pricing of antique clawfoot bathtubs. Be aware that prices vary widely by area and condition. Prices assume that all tubs are 30" wide and have all four decorated feet. Tubs narrower than 30” tend not to be worth as much as the same 30” wide tub.

  • 4' (needs refinishing) $175
  • 4' (original) $350
  • 4.5' (needs refinishing) $100
  • 4.5' (original) $200
  • 5' (needs refinishing) $50
  • 5' (original) $100
  • 5.5' (needs refinishing) $50
  • 5.5' (original) $100
  • 6' (needs refinishing) $250
  • 6' (original) $300

If you wish to sell your tub, try calling local antique dealers and scrap yards. You might try listing it for sale in a classified advertisement magazine (like the Paper Shop in Pennsylvania for instance) or even on an online auction site like eBay. If you want to get the most for it, clean the tub as best you can before offering it for sale. Check out our FAQ page for more information about cleaning and selling your tub:


You can search for “clawfoot tub” or “claw foot tub” in the completed eBay auctions to see what tubs sold for nationwide. This may assist you in pricing your tub.

Here are a few resources that may help identify or appraise your item:

Appraisers Association of America

American Society of Appraisers

Vintage Tub & Bath cannot identify or appraise your antique items. We offer the above information as a general reference.

Vintage Tub & Bath
534 West Green Street
Hazleton, PA 18201
Toll Free: 877-868-1369

Note: This article was submitted by a second party and the contents are subject to our disclaimer.

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