Finishing Touch: Installing a Vintage Tub in a Child’s Bathroom

The unusually shaped room with original beadboard that sits under the roof’s eaves will be adapted from its prior use as a home office to be a child’s bathroom with a Vintage-style bathtub.

Clip Summary

Bob visits the third floor to review what has been done in preparation for the baby. The third floor will primarily be a kids' floor and a baby safety gate has been installed at the top of the staircase. Across from the nursery is the guest bedroom where interior painting techniques were discussed. But the focus is on a room that was previously a home office and is now being renovated to become a child's bathroom. The unusually shaped room has the original beadboard and sits under the eaves of the roof. A new, freestanding Vintage-style bathtub has been installed in front of the dormer window that has been replaced with a Pella window to prevent cold drafts. We see how the plumber installed the tub and connected the supply and waste lines. Bob then talks with Tara Dick of Vintage Tubs about the bathtub’s features, how molds are made from older tubs, the durable porcelain finish, and the ball-and-claw feet. Fixtures for the tub can be bought from many companies. Dick adds that free-standing tubs offer great flexibility in design and can accommodate any bathroom layout. 


The third floor will probably end up being just a kid's floor as happens in many two-family houses. And of course we have equipped the top of the staircase with a little safety device.

And in here this is an extra bedroom that we did, and we really got a fabulous paint job from our friends at CertaPro, as you can see. And we got lot of tips on how to do a good paint job.

But right now we have got a bathroom right here that was a very interesting little room that our homeowners used as a home office. It's got original bead board all around it and we are turning that into a kids bathroom. Let's take a look.

Alright, this room right next to the nursery really, is not a room that you would think you could turn it into a bathroom, because it is essentially right in the eves of the roof.
It's all about angles, and the coolest thing about it, I think, is that the original bead board from 1890s has never been touched, it's still it's just shellacked.

And this is a great example of how a young couple can take space like this and turn it in to another use. In this case, this will be a kids' bathroom. As their family grows, you're gonna need one, kind of, bath center.

And the great thing about the space is this dormer window. Which is full of facets and angles and beautifully, beautifully put together by carpenters a hundred years ago.

And what they've done is, they've installed a perfect little tub, that we're going to talk about in a minute. And they put it right in front of the window.

And if you think about it, in New England, you can have creaky, old, drafty windows in the winter time. So, one important thing here was to replace it. We've got another one of these Pella windows in there.

And also, the insulation will really count for much in this space.
And this is where we blew in lots of insulation throughout this, throughout the roof.

But we've got a spacious unusual shape.
We've nooks and crannies in that section over there, we would have plenty of room for storage and towels and whatever else. And then, of course, we'll have toilet, tub, shower. Now this terrific little tub is not an antique.

We'll learn more about that in a minute but, just a couple of days ago we were watching the plumber install it.

Alright, were going to hitch up the waste and overflow here. Just try to.


This is the overflow.
You want it all hooked up first. Let me tighten the shoe.

This is the shoe.
Tara Dick is joining us now from Vintage Tubs. Welcome Tara.


On a very hot day in, where we're shooting here, in Melrose. But, this vintage four foot tub, which looks for all the world like a real antique, was just made last month.

It's brand new.

It is brand new. And I remember ,when we were renovating buildings in the seventies. That very often these things were worn out, and had a lot of broken enamel, and had rust around the drains and the ball and claw feet might have, anyway, they ended up in dumpsters. And then, more and more people wanted to preserve So, they'd spend a lot of time and energy trying to get them re-porcelainized. And now you've come up with perfect solution.

Fortunatly there's enough demand here to allow companies to make them new now, again. And they're just like the old ones.

Yeah. The one in question here is perfect for a kid's bathroom, because it's only a four foot size .

Yeah. This is a standard roll-top tub.


We have them anywhere.

The roll tub means?

The roll-top on here. And all one level around the whole outside of the tub.


Versus a slipper tub would have a high back that you can lay your head against.

Okay. And, so, can you get a long one if you wanted a six foot?

We have up to six feet in the roll-top style.


We have six foot double slippers.

Whats a double slipper?

Double slipper would have ... A big tub. Six feet.


Slopping ends on both sides.

Oh, so then you would fill it in from the middle.

Yes. They would have faucets in the middle.

A real wonderful soaker tub, right. Now, where are these made?

They are made in China, for our company. We design the molds for them and they're made for our company.

So essentially you've made molds from an original old fashioned tub?


Now, what about the porcelain finish, I mean, how durable is it?

The porcelain finish is very durable.
We have one of the highest in the industry.

And still people shouldn't attack it with scouring powders and stuff though right?

No no, its very durable to chemicals and cleaning chemicals.

And the ball and claw feet, which of course are most important component of something like this, how are they are made?

The ball and claw feet are solid brass with a triple-plated coat of chrome coating on them.

So this things going to be around for a century. Tell me about the fittings, the faucet and stuff.

This particular fits great in this area. It came from Stromme Plumbing , sells lots of different faucets and fittings for it. This is a great company, making nice period looking...

The thing is, it's perfect for our application here, because it incorporates both the faucet as well as the feed to the shower...

That's correct.

...and the hoop for a shower curtain. And it comes with a nice little arm so that you can secure it to the roof up there.

Yeah. The small size, this is great for a shower.

Let me put you on the spot, how much is this tub?

This tub, well our tubs, clawfoot tubs start around $1000. This one is about $1200, delivered to your door.

Delivered, ok.

Well, thank you, Tara.

Thank you, Bob.