Some thoughts from Ed the Plumber on choosing a traditional-type tub for the master bathroom.

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Q: We’re building a new master bathroom and my wife wants a freestanding cast-iron bath, like the old clawfoot tubs. I have been checking the Internet and it’s getting a little confusing. Plus, I really would like to see some tubs in person to help decide. Can you please point me in the right direction with some thoughts on choosing a traditional-type tub?

A: I receive a lot of questions on traditional cast-iron tubs. The selection process can be hazy because of all the design variations out there. So, I like to break down the choices into three basic categories. Then, once you know the type of freestanding cast-iron tub you like, focusing on that one category.

Here are three basic types:

Actual refinished vintage tub. These are very old claw foot-type tubs that have been refinished. If these tubs could only talk…

New copy of a traditional tub. These tubs have copied the older designs, but they are brand new and fresh from the factory.

Modern-type freestanding tub. These are vintage-looking cast-iron tubs with modern design twists. A bottom base in place of feet and a slip-resistant floor lets the past meet the future.

Final note: Even though we’re talking about freestanding tubs, these fixtures can be pricey.

Master contractor/plumber Ed Del Grande is known internationally as the author of the book “Ed Del Grande’s House Call,” the host of TV and Internet shows, and a LEED green associate. For more information, visit