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Ask Flipped: Is It Immoral to Declaw My Clawfoot Tub?

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I don't want to do anything inhumane

Welcome back to Ask Flipped, where we answer very real questions from readers who are having problems with home decor, design, or anything else. Do you have a question? Write it on a post-it note and throw it into a strong gust of wind. If it was meant to be, we will find the post-it and answer the question.

Dear Flipped,

I have a beautiful hand-smoothed porcelain clawfoot tub that I bought at an estate sale. The only problem is, the claws are scratching up the tile on my bathroom floor. I want to keep the tub, but I'm thinking about having it declawed. Is that an okay thing to do? I don't want to harm the tub, but also I'm not sure how much more my floors can take!

Thanks in advance,

Bathtub Beneficiary in Biloxi


Dear BBB,

How dare you.

If you didn't want to take on the responsibility of owning a clawfoot tub, then you shouldn't have purchased a clawfoot tub.

Allow me to educate you about what happens when a bathtub is declawed. First the claws are sawed off with a handsaw. Then the stumps are sanded smooth and the gaps are filled with silicone caulking. Then the entire tub is refinished with acrylic primer and enamel. It is a brutal process. Imagine if someone sanded off your legs and covered you with enamel. You probably wouldn't like it very much, would you?

I hope that's exactly what happens.

And of course, once the claws are removed, the suffering doesn't end there. A clawfoot tub's claws are what it uses to keep itself steady. Without those claws to find purchase, your tub will be skidding pathetically all over the bathroom, especially when you are in it, which will serve you right. But also it will be a tragedy for the tub.

Please, for the love of all that is holy, do not declaw your tub.

Hope that helps,


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