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How to Add a Claw Foot Tub Enclosure

by Paul Sanders

Woman relaxing in a claw foot tub

Things You Need:

  • Shower enclosure hardware
  • Power drill
  • Measuring tape
  • Tube cutter
  • Screwdriver

You can add a lot of old-fashioned charm to your bathroom with a claw foot tub and shower enclosure. Once you have the bathtub and plumbing fixtures installed, it's time to set up the frame for the shower curtain. With a normal tub, you could just rely on a shower rod between two walls, but a clawfoot tub is usually set away from the wall in an open area, which means the shower curtain rail will need to cover the entire bath tub perimeter. And that can require a custom enclosure frame for your unique claw foot tub. Here are a few steps to help you install it.


  1. Determine the curtain rod dimensions. The height of the ceiling and the location of wall shelves and other objects near your claw foot tub can affect how high the enclosure frame will be. You'll need a few measurements to cut the shower-rod tubing. If your curtain rod frame is pre-cut and assembled, you can skip to Step 2.

  2. Write down measurements for the frame. The size of the frame doesn't have to match the size of the claw foot tub, but you probably won't want it to be longer or wider than the lip of the tub. A curtain is about 72 inches long, so you may need two curtains to encircle your entire claw foot tub.

  3. Determine the height. Assuming that you want the curtain to hang 3 inches or so below the lip of your claw foot tub, you'll want the frame to hang about 70 inches above the top edge of the tub.

  4. Select support locations. The frame will rest on three support points that will prevent it from tipping. Supports brackets can connect to claw foot tub plumbing, nearby walls, the ceiling above your claw foot tub or a combination of these. Measure, mark and pre-drill holes in wall studs or use drywall anchors to install brackets solidly.

  5. Measure and cut the rod tubing. If your frame is pre-cut, you can skip to Step 4. Use the tube cutter to cut the rod tubing to fit the measurements you've made of the clawfoot tub. Cut only the female ends of the tubing, so you'll still have the male ends to connect the whole frame together.

  6. You'll also need to measure and cut support rods that will connect the support points to the mounting brackets which suspend the frame above your clawfoot tub. Fit the frame together snugly and set it aside.

  7. Hang the shower rod frame. Have someone stand in the clawfoot tub and hold the frame while you attach the brackets.

  8. Install support rods. The support rods will extend from the ceiling or wall to hold your curtain frame in place over your clawfoot tub. Attach them to the support-point anchors.

  9. The tubing of the frame will be clamped into the support brackets and screwed down tight.

  10. Attach the shower curtain. With the frame installed, hang the shower curtains to be sure they cover the entire perimeter of your clawfoot tub.

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