Tag Archives: antique clawfoot tubs


Returning to work last week, we flipped our calendars to the new year and began our annual tradition of “tidying up” the showroom. In between assisting customers, answering phone calls and returning emails, we attempted to do a little house cleaning behind the front counter. It was during this process that we pulled out a drawer of old photos. One by one, as each photo was pulled from the drawer, we began reminiscing about how far this small, family owned business has come. 2017 will celebrate Southern Accents 48th year in business!

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques


This year will mark 17 years since Garlan, Jr. returned home to take over the business for his Dad, Garlan, Sr., who founded Southern Accents in 1969. There have been many changes over the years. The showroom itself got an unexpected facelift in 2011 after surviving a horrific day of dangerous tornados that ripped apart Cullman’s downtown area. While Southern Accents online presence was established in 2000, the last few years we have garnered a social media following that numbers in the tens of thousands. In recent years we have expanded our business to include reclaimed wood and have ventured into designing and creating event staging. But, as the business continues to grow and expand in new and exciting areas that were unimaginable 48 years ago, many things remain the same. We have not lost our love and passion for architectural antiques. That love, passed from father to son, is still the core of our business.

As we continued to filter through old photos, we laughed at how much the faces have changed. But in the background of each photo, beautiful architectural relics can be seen. Claw foot tubs, heavily carved doors and mantels, glistening chandeliers, stained glass windows… the same quality of antique relics that started this business 48 years ago still exists today. The only difference is that the relics, along with ourselves, are all a little older!

Rub A Dub Tub

Southern Accents is seeing a huge resurgence in the popularity of clawfoot tubs. The antique, cast iron tubs are one of our most sought after items as we get numerous inquiries each week from customers looking for them. We take advantage of every opportunity to rescue these beauties! While many of the tubs that we obtain aren’t in perfect condition, our friend Stephen Bush, at Rub-a-Dub Tub, is an expert when it comes to lovingly restoring them to like new condition!

These salvaged, claw foot tubs will look brand new once refinished.

These salvaged, claw foot tubs will look brand new once refinished.

Most of the old cast iron tubs and sinks can be refinished and given a new life. We are all familiar with the traditional white, roll top bath tub, but what many don’t realize, is that there are numerous finish options available. Your tub can be turned into your own unique work of art! In addition to unlimited color options, the exterior of the tub can even be finished in stone, glass or tile! If you want a rustic look, a “wood” finish can be applied to the exterior giving the bath the look of real wood!

Restoring a procelain finish cast iron tub is a multi step process. The outside of the tub is first sandblasted, primed and sanded to be ready to paint. The interior of the tub is cleaned and etched. It then receives a coat of primer followed by a top coat of paint. The painted tub is then wet sanded and polished to give it that smooth finish before a final coat of acrylic urethane is applied. Unlike the cheap appliance paints that you can purchase in hardware stores, this detailed method of restoration ensures that your tub or sink is brought back to like-new condition.

This salvaged, cast iron, claw foot tub has been totally refinished, fitted with new feet and is ready for it's new home!

This salvaged, cast iron, claw foot tub has been totally refinished, fitted with new feet and is ready for it’s new home!

Often, the tubs we rescue may be missing one or more feet. Fitting an antique tub with feet is quite a task. Tubs are custom fitted for their specific feet when cast, therefore each type of foot has a unique peg connection, peg length, and curvature of the top of the foot that must match the tub. We have a collection of tub feet that we pull from when needed. When replacing feet on a tub, we install a safety clip to the back of the leg to help secure the feet, preventing them from coming off. These safety clips are cast especially for Southern Accents to ensure the tub is stable when it is being filled with water once installed in a home.

Most salvaged clawfoot tubs, before refinishing, range in price from $350 to $650. The refinishing cost ranges in price from approximately $850 to $1200. Visit Southern Accents showroom or website to view our collection of antique and vintage bath fixtures which include clawfoot tubs, pedestal and farmhouse sinks and more!

Chadder & CO., U.S.A. – Elegant Baths

Chadder & CO. U.S.A.Antique claw foot tubs and bath fixtures present a feeling of luxury and decadence that many of our customers desire. In 2001, Southern Accents began looking for a line of replicated bath fixtures when the demand for the antique and salvaged bath fixtures quickly outgrew our supply of antique products. After much research, we found exactly what we were looking for with Chadder & CO.’s line of high-end, traditional and antique plumbing products. We began a conversation with Chadder & CO.’s owner and designer, Martin Chadder, which lead to Southern Accents purchasing the exclusive U.S.A. distribution rights for this exquisite line.

With the purchase of exclusive distributions rights in the U.S., Chadder and CO. U.S.A. was formed. Southern Accents is thrilled to be able to offer our customers a choice when it comes to bath products. By continuing to offer the antique cast iron tubs and sinks, Southern Accents also has access to this high end line of luxury baths which allow us to meet the expanding needs of our customers.

One thing that sets Chadder apart is the availability of baths that have the look of the antique cast iron tubs but with improved features afforded from the development of a new material and manufacturing process. Martin Chadder is recognized as one of Britain’s finest traditional bathroom designers, famed for his cast metal designs as well as his commissioned works. Having close ties to the yachting and marine industry, Martin used developments in marine technology to produce a new material, Chaddite, that provides a sound, solid bath product. The use of this material allows him to manufacture tubs that have the look and feel of cast iron at a fraction of the weight, which allows the tubs to be more easily transported. The Chaddite tubs have a Teflon coating, making them easy to clean. They are also warm to the touch with good thermal properties that better retain the heat in the water. These qualities take luxury bath design and performance to a new level.

Chadder & CO., U.S.A.In addition to the spectacular tubs, Chadder & CO., U.S.A. offers a line of exquisite basins, taps and faucets, mirrors, and bath accessories. Visit Chadder & CO., U.S.A. online to view our expanding line. You can call Southern Accents showroom at 877 737-0554 and speak with one of our sales staff to inquire about any of our products. Come talk to us and let us help you design your new bath!

Let’s Talk Tubs

Southern Accents Architectural AntiquesDid you know that remodeling your bathroom or kitchen provides more return on your investment than any other interior upgrade? If you are considering remodeling your bathroom or are involved in a new building project, have you considered antique or salvaged bath fixtures? If not, you should!

If you have perused any of the home decor magazines recently, or spent any time on Pinterest, you have surely noticed a trend towards vintage bath fixtures. Pedestal sinks and large claw-foot tubs can easily give any bathroom an aura of opulence. We get a lot of customer questions regarding reproduction versus antique bath fixtures. What you may not realize is that you can purchase a 100 year old, cast iron, claw foot tub and have it refinished for about half the price of what you would pay for a new one. Don’t let those rusty looking old tubs turn you away! The rusty tubs shown above can easily be turned into the elegant tub shown to the right. Southern Accents Architectural AntiquesWe work with some of the best refinishers in the southeast. Rust spots, scratches and even some breaks can be repaired. These tubs can also be painted on the outside to match any home decor.

There are two ways to plumb out antique tubs and sinks. The first is to retro fit them using antique faucets and plumbing. Antique plumbing may not match today’s drains, overflows and pipes, resulting in more labor costs and plumbing problems so be aware of this risk. Antique plumbing also does not come with any type of warranty that will cover such issues should they arise. The second option is to buy reproduction plumbing that will offer you the antique look with modern conveniences and a warranty. Please be aware that most modern plumbing will not fit the antique fixtures. Therefore, you can not purchase an antique tub and then run into the nearest hardware store and pick up a faucet or shower head that will fit. Southern Accents has access to a wide variety of brand new reproduction plumbing that is specifically designed to fit the antique bath fixtures. We can special order hardware that will give you the exact look you desire with choices available in a variety of styles and finishes.

Come visit our showroom and outdoor lots to view our vast collection of antique bath fixtures. Let us walk you through the refinishing process and help you select new faucets and plumbing that will add the perfect finishing touch to your antique sink or tub. We are here Tuesday – Friday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm and Saturday from 10:00 to 4:00.

Written by: Lisa Jones

Edited by: Garlan Gudger, Jr.

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