Cast iron pedestal tubs and acrylic pedestal tubs in styles that include streamline plinth tubs of the 1920's to sophisticated modern freestanding skirted tubs. Although first popularized during the Art Deco period following World War I, the smooth lines of skirted and pedestal tubs make them an equally popular choice today.
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Unlike clawfoot tubs that stand on elaborate ball & claw feet, pedestal bathtubs sit on a pedestal. The popularity of pedestal tubs in America soared during the Art Deco period of the early 1900's as homeowners favored the simple pedestal over the fancy clawfoot tub feet of the preceding Victorian period. Pedestal tubs use the same faucets and fittings that clawfoot tubs use. For many, pedestal tubs' greatest advantage over clawfoot tubs is that the pedestal (also sometimes called a plinth) covers the area below the tub, eliminating the chore of cleaning underneath it.
Pedestal tubs, like clawfoot tubs, are generally constructed of either cast iron or acrylic. The pedestal is constructed of the same material as the tub itself. The pedestal is heavier than clawfoot tub feet so pedestal tubs are usually heavier than clawfoot tubs of the same size and material. The difference in weight between an acrylic clawfoot tub and an acrylic pedestal tub may not be significant, however, cast iron pedestal tubs can be substantially heavier than either cast iron clawfoot tubs or acrylic pedestal tubs.
Pedestal tubs are a popular choice for soaker tubs. Acrylic feels warmer, warms quicker, and is a better insulator than cast iron so acrylic pedestal tubs are a great option for those that like to soak.
Cast iron pedestal tubs offer more tub styles. Cast iron pedestal tubs are offered in traditional roll top, slipper, and double-ended bathtub varieties. Acrylic pedestal tubs are usually only offered with double-ended tubs.
Acrylic pedestal tubs are cast in traditional white acrylic inside and out. The exterior of cast iron pedestal tubs is normally painted white but they can be easily repainted to match room decor. Cast iron pedestal tubs have a porcelain enamel interior that is usually white but manufacturers are beginning to offer other colors such as biscuit and black porcelain. The porcelain enamel resists stains and scratches better than acrylic but acrylic is less likely to chip.
Closely related to pedestal tubs are skirted tubs. Skirted tubs also do not have feet but rather than sit on a pedestal, skirted tubs sit inside a wraparound skirt. Skirted tubs are a bit of a hybrid in that they often have a double wall like modern built-in tubs but also are freestanding like a clawfoot tub or pedestal tub.