How to fix a loose clawfoot tub foot.

Recently, one of our fans over on Facebook asked about fixing a clawfoot tub foot that keeps slipping off.
American Standard Clawfoot Tub with tapered wedge and set screw
Tub feet are typically first put on with the tub upside down. That way you do not have to fight gravity to set them in and you have full access to the screws. If the tub is already in place and you need to replace the foot it is going to be VERY difficult to do properly. There are a lot of different designs and mounting systems for tub feetThe most common foot attachment method out there is a tapered wedge tongue with a set screw. To replace the tub foot in situ, you need to temporarily lift the tub up just a little higher than the foot when it is in place. (I've heard of using a car jack to do this, but be careful!) Place some type of wood blocks or similar to hold the tub up securely. Take the foot that has fallen out and loosen the set screw so that it does not drag across the bottom of the tub as you slide the foot back into pace. You will need a good rubber mallet to do the next part. Slide the foot in place as far as you can. Take the rubber mallet and hammer home the foot till it cannot go any farther. Do not use a regular hammer – the foot is cast iron and you can break cast iron with a regular hammer. Tighten the set screw tight. (Do not use a hex headed bolt for the set screw as you can tighten the set screw too far and break the foot.) Remove the blocks and set the tub down in place. 

Are you missing a foot or two on your clawfoot tub?  Check out our post on replacing missing tub feet!

Good luck to you!
Sincerely, Steve Smith

5 comments:

  1. I think those are old type of tubs. Normally the new release tub doesn't have clawfoot.


    Cheap Shirts on UniformPoint

    ReplyDelete
  2. Any idea how to fix bathtub feet that do not have screws? Ours just slot into a groove and when we fill the tub the back feet slide out! We are trying to figure out a way to secure them to the tub... can we drill them perhaps? We tried JB weld and it didn't work...

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi, if your tub feet has slots on the tongue of the foot and those slots are positioned next to the bottom of the tub, you have a nail set foot. Nail set feet used the square sided cut-nails they used at the end of the 19th century and the begging of the 20th. The feet are driven in with a rubber mallet, tight, and the slots should line up just past the mounts. At that point the nails, which were slightly wedge shaped were tapped into the slots. They need to be snug but not any tighter than that. If you overdrive the nails they can break the foot tongue (cast iron is brittle). If you cannot find cut nails then regular nails work almost as good. Do not use nails that are too big as they can also put too much pressure and break the foot tongue.
    Good luck with your feet.
    Sincerely, Steve Smith

    ReplyDelete
  4. I have a claw foot tub with the tapered tongue and set screw attachment feet, however the area on the tub where the tapered tongue is supposed to fit in is missing a side wall. Is there a way to fix this so the foot will stay wedged in and on?

    ReplyDelete
  5. My refinished tub is missing part of the rail that the leg slides on to. What recommendations do you have for adhering/welding/gluing the missing side of the rail?

    ReplyDelete