We have two clawfoot bathtubs, both of which sorely need new fixtures. One is currently a tub only, but has very old, and I think improper, fixtures. The faucet is TINY and very narrow, so that the water comes shooting out like a firehose. I am wanting to change it out for a simple faucet and handheld shower with cradle, wall mounted in tub. The second tub is more problematic. It currently is set up for shower only, with a very poor set of lines and fixtures. The hot water won't shut off, sprays everywhere, and has to be turned off and on at the floor valve (and I will go ahead and offer a blanket apology for misuse of terms, I generally just call things what I think they might be, until I know better). I would like to replace this one with a faucet, diverter, and mounted shower head, but these can be pricey. And money is tight. Does anyone know if you can put in a standard faucet and handheld set, and then have some sort of apparatus at shower-height where you can set the handheld shower head when you want a stand-up shower? In other words, can we forego the standing pipe and fixed showerhead set-up? We already have a decent shower curtain rack.
And lastly, we have a lot of "brown" water leakage in both tubs. Will this be remedied by changing out the bad/leaky fixtures for good one, or am I going to need a real plumber to get in there?
There are shower kits for old claw foot tubs that replaces the original faucets. Some include rings for shower curtains. It sounds like you have at least one original faucet there, don't toss it, it could be worht something to a collector.
If you have galvanized plumbing, you will not get rid of rust stains. If it is copper, PEX, etc., up to the faucet, then there is steel in the faucet and a new faucet will cure the problem.