This article provides an overview of walk-in tubs, the benefits of a walk-in tub, what you can expect to pay for a walk-in tub, and the best options for walk-in tubs on the market.Walk-in tubs provide an excellent option for people who have difficulty standing for a long time in the shower or climbing into or out of a traditional bathtub. The design of them helps to eliminate the risk of slipping and falling. Even though these types of tubs have been around since the 1940s, they have come a long way since then. Today’s walk-in tubs include various features for design, comfort, and therapeutic options. Some even make you feel like you are bathing in a spa-like environment.
If you are considering purchasing a walk-in tub, it can be an investment. Therefore, you will want to do your research and consider the various designs and options to choose the one that has the features to best meet your needs and style. Keep reading to learn all about walk-in-style tubs and things to consider before purchasing one of your own.
What Is a Walk-In Tub?
A walk-in tub is a cross between a traditional bathtub and a shower. These tubs are generally taller and narrower than a standard bathtub. The main design feature of a walk-in tub is a door on the side that, when opened, allows the person to enter the bathtub by crossing a low threshold rather than stepping over the edge.
Inside the tub, you will find a bench, fill spout, and a handheld shower to ease washing and rinsing hair. You will also see handlebars and footholds for added safety.
After you step into the tub and sit on the bench, you can fill it and use it like a regular bathtub. However, these tubs have more depth than a traditional tub and, when filled, will immerse you in water from the torso down.
Many modern walk-in tubs have extra features such as non-slip surfaces and comfortable seating. There are also options with LED lights, heated seats, or hydrotherapy jets.
Benefits of Having a Walk-In Tub
Walk-in tubs provide many benefits to the elderly or people with mobility issues. Immersing yourself in warm water provides many soothing benefits and can help alleviate aches and pains. If you have a tub with built-in hydrotherapy, you can gain the added benefit of a body massage to further help with relaxation, muscle pain, or aching joints.
In addition to the relaxation and therapeutic benefits, the safety and accessibility benefits also prove essential. Some tubs are wheelchair accessible or have other specialized attributes that allow anyone with mobility issues to have a comfortable bathing experience.
Other features that contribute to the ease of use include options for left-handed and right-handed door handles, inward or outward swinging doors, and quick-drain systems.
These tubs also fit into your already-existing standard tub space, which means that you will not need to undertake a significant bathroom renovation to obtain safety and peace of mind as you bathe.
Why You Might Need a Walk-In Tub
Anyone can benefit from the ease and convenience of a walk-in tub, and they make great investments for seniors who plan on staying in their current homes as they age. Walk-in tubs also make a good option for anyone with mobility issues, weak knees, or trouble standing for extended periods.
With the ADA-compliant features, these tubs also serve the needs of individuals with disabilities or who are wheelchair-bound.
Types of Handicap Accessible Tubs
Walk-in and accessible tubs come in various styles to meet different requirements and preferences. The main styles that you will find on the market include the following.
- Soaking Tub — These tubs do not have jets or other extra features. They are designed for sitting and soaking comfortably for extended periods of time.
- Air bath — Air baths generate bubbles from holes in the bottom of the tub. These bubbles gently massage the body. With the air feature turned off, the tub is a regular soaking tub.
- Hydrotherapy tub — These tubs have jets that circulate the water around and provide a deep tissue massage. Not all people should use a hydrotherapy tub, as it can further aggravate some conditions.
- Bariatric Tub — A bariatric tub has a wider design that meets the needs of larger users or those with significant mobility issues that may need extra help entering and exiting the tub. They can come in soaking, air bath, or hydrotherapy options.
- Two-Person Tub — These tubs hold two users who face each other and fill and drain in the center. They can come in soaking, air bath, and hydrotherapy options.
- Tub with Shower — These options allow the user to immerse their body in the water and bathe or take a shower while seated.
- Combination Tub — These tubs have both air bath and hydrotherapy features and also can be utilized as a standard soaking tub.
- Luxury Tub — These tubs provide additional comfort features, such as ergonomic seating, adjustable water jets, specialized lights, backrests, and much more. These tubs are the most expensive type of walk-in tub option.
Costs of Walk-In Tubs
Having a professional install your walk-in tub in a bathroom can be rather costly. The average cost for a walk-in tub is $6,500. Some lower-end models will run about $3,500, and extremely high-end models could cost up to $20,000.
These prices do not figure in the additional costs associated with professional installation. Expect to add anywhere from $1,000 to $3,000 for that service. Installation costs will vary based upon location and type of tub. For example, a tub that requires a customized installation will cost more than one you can easily swap into an existing tub space.
Brands of Walk-In Tubs
Today’s market has many brands offering walk-in tub options to meet various needs and budgets. The following are some of the top brands of walk-in tubs for 2022.