Cast iron tubs are a period piece that is glorious in its simplicity, but is a decorator’s dream piece. The newer models of cast iron tubs are very versatile in that you can place them in the center of a large bathroom for a focal point or you can install them near a wall. You can even make them appear as a built in tub if you want to. The possibilities are endless.
Benefits of Cast Iron Bathtubs
Cast iron is one of the most durable products naturally that you can find. Once you purchase a cast iron tub, you will never need to purchase another in your lifetime. These tubs are very roomy and can usually hold two people in them. Cast iron tubs are much deeper than a traditional bathtub to make them the ultimate for a soaking tub. Another great advantage of cast iron tubs is that they retain the heat much longer than any other material so you can rest and recuperate after a long day at work.
Making Your Cast Iron Tub Your Own Style
The newest models of these tubs have a coat of black primer on the outside, so you can paint them in any color of oil-based paint that you wish to match your décor. They also come without any feet on them, so you can also choose the finish and the pattern of feet you want on your tub to bring out your true style. Popular styles of feet include the antique claw feet, the ball and claw feet with a ball at the bottom and a claw at the top. Choose from chrome, brushed nickel, polished brass, or oil rubbed bronze to match your tub and bathroom sink hardware color. White feet are also available with a powder coating over cast iron for a more demure appearance. To install your choice of feet, you will need an assistant to help you flip the tub upside down and onto a soft padding of some sort. You slide the bolt for each foot up from inside the tub and align the foot with it. Then you tighten the nut onto the bolt. The nut and bolt are hidden behind the design of the foot so they are not visible.
Painting Your Cast Iron Tub
Since your new cast iron tub already has primer on it, painting it in any color you wish is a simple task. You only need painter’s drop cloths and a spray gun. Place your tub right side up on top of painter’s drop cloths and add your oil based paint to the spray gun. Spray two coats evenly on the exterior black surface of the tub while letting it dry completely between each. Clean the paint reservoir on your spray gun and fill it with a clear epoxy-based sealer. Apply to coats of sealer letting each one dry completely before adding the next.
Choosing an Installation Method and Area
Make certain that your bathroom floor is able to withstand the weight of the tub, water and a person. Tile and stone floors work best in a bathroom with a cast iron tub. Decide if you want your plumbing to run to the center of your bathroom for a freestanding installation or if you are replacing a tub, you may have the plumbing run already through a wall in the bathroom.
A freestanding installation gives you a lot more options in bathroom décor than an installation near a wall. You can choose to have the hardware installed on the tub’s deck, or it can be free standing also to evoke a vintage Victorian style bathroom. Consider using the same type of plumbing fixtures that match the feet on your tub to tie the appearance all in. You can also place a freestanding towel and washcloth holder or a metal shelving unit to hold all of your bathroom items, such as bubble bath, bath bombs, specialty soaps and even candles for a great experience.
You can build or renovate a home to add a cast iron tub to your master bathroom and make it like your sanctuary of the ultimate elegant comfort, beauty and style.