Climbing the stairs with a clawfoot tub

It takes more than two men to move a clawfoot tub up a stairway.

Unfortunately, the NickMoore Hotel bathroom remodeling crew didn’t know this rule.

Last week our contractor sent two hammer-swingers, a shoulder strap and a World’s

Crewmen Cory and Eric use straps to move a clawfoot tub into the house.

Strongest Man highlight tape to move a 400-pound cast iron tub to the second floor bathroom.

It didn’t take long to figure out if I wanted a clawfoot tub in our bathroom I would be paying for the privilege to help move it.

Sure the two guys were young and hopeful but they looked more like placekickers than linebackers. Hope doesn’t move a clawfoot tub.

I know this because I supervised delivery of the porcelain pond from a Minneapolis antique store to the NickMoore Hotel basement last summer. No stairs would be involved in this move. Just store the tub in the basement.

What could go wrong?

Our New Jersey friend Buck Johnson, a former U.S Marine who resembles Grizzly Adams, happened to be visiting. I recruited him for the mission. In Minneapolis, an antique store worker helped us push the tub off a loading dock into my pick-up. No problem. After an easy haul to Duluth things got tricky.

Buck and I managed to get the tub off the truck. We set it down in the alley near a gate to the basement door. That’s as far as we could get it. The tub was now blocking traffic. Fortunately, a neighbor saw our predicament. He introduced himself and helped us lift the thing through the gate and into the basement. I thanked him and give him a beer.

It would take more than Buck and beer to get the tub to the second floor.

Last week, crewmen Eric and Cory both gamely stepped into shoulder straps and prepared to haul the tub up a flight of living room stairs. They were using the same technology used to build the pyramids.

“I’ve hauled a few tubs DOWN the stairs on jobs before,” said Eric. “Never up.”

A couple attempts yielded only dangerous maneuvers that threatened toes and the stairwell banister. We launched Google searches. Watched a

A two-wheel dolly to the rescue. Eric celebrates a successful climb.

Spanish YouTube video and brainstormed for ideas.

“My dad used to move vending machines for his job,” I told the guys. “He always used a two-wheel dolly.”

A call was made to a rental agency and 30 minutes later the tub was strapped into the dolly like a heart attack victim on a stretcher. Cory pulled the handles from above. Eric and I shouldered into the load below. It took us less than three minutes to plow the tub up the stairs.

Three men. Three minutes. And a two-wheel dolly.

That’s the rule.

In case anyone else out there is moving a clawfoot tub UP their stairs.




One thought on “Climbing the stairs with a clawfoot tub

  1. Looks like you are ready for a new career endeavor as a professional mover! Enjoy that claw tub and hope it doesn’t come crashing through the floor!


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