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Why Consider a Walk-in Tub?

Updated on February 19, 2010

A walk in tub offers two big advantages over a standard bathtub – safety and convenience. Think about it. With a standard bathtub you have to climb over the 14 to 18 inches of its rim in order to get in. But a walk in tub is a bathtub with a door. You just open the door, walk in, sit down, and fill it up with water.

And if you think sitting in a tub can be comfortable, with a built-in tub, the available features and options can make the experience even more pleasurable.

In this hub you'll learn about the benefits and features walk-in tubs provide – it may change the way you think about your bathing experience.

Enjoy a bubble bath in your walk in bathtub
Enjoy a bubble bath in your walk in bathtub

Safety and Convenience Benefits

Consider some of the physical reasons that can contribute to someone slipping when they have to climb over a standard bathtub rim. They could be weak because of sickness, old age, or an injury. In these cases, standing on one leg in a wet and slippery environment and putting their other leg into water creates a dangerous situation.

With a walk-in tub, these people can simply open the door and walk into the dry tub. After being comfortably seated, they turn the water on. It’s a lot harder to slip if you’re already sitting down!

For added safety, grab bars on the walls and a slip-resistant tub floor are recommended.

Another consideration is the convenience a walk-in tub offers. First, some walk in bathtubs offer different seating options, meaning the seat can be contoured to your body. And the height of the seat can be adjusted for your height so you can decide the amount of water you want covering your body.

Also, while sitting comfortably, you are within easy reach of the hot and cold water fixtures. Then, by adding some optional whirlpool/jacuzzi jets, you can have massage therapy while you sit in the tub. Talk about muscle relaxation!

Walk In Tub Features

The first buying consideration should be the walk-in tub size. A standard bathtub is typically about 60 inches long. Its width is about 32 inches. And we’ve already said that typically it’s about 14 to 18 inches high.

Most, if not all walk-in tubs are higher than a standard tub. Although some manufacturers offer a small, 20-inch high walk in tub, most tubs are from 36 to 47 inches high. The benefit, of course, is that instead of your top half sticking out of the water as with a regular tub, you can be surrounded by water.

Although walk-in tubs are higher, you can find them with the dimensions that will let them fit into a standard tub space. Depending on the space available in your bathroom, shorter walk-in tubs are available, with the shortest being about 36 inches long. Shorter size walk in tubs can be used for replacing existing shower stalls.

When buying this kind of tub you should also ask about how high you have to step to get into your bathtub. Look for a tub in which you only have to step over about a 2 to 4 lip.

You’ll also have to consider walk in tub construction materials. You choices are either acrylic or fiberglass. Acrylic walk-in tubs are known for being very durable and resistant to germs and stains. That’s because they’re manufactured as one continuous waterproof piece.

Fiberglass is a polyester resin that is reinforced with gelcoat, which gives the fiberglass a high-quality finish. It is more porous than an acrylic walk-in tub. On the other hand, it’s lighter than an acrylic tub which can mean installation will be easier.

What does a Walk-in Tub Cost?

The cost of walk-in tubs will vary depending on the size, materials, and options you choose. Low-end prices start at around US$2,500 and can go up to $15,000. Most typical prices are in the US$4,000 to $6,000 range. Be sure you are clear about what features are being included in any price. And don’t forget to ask about walk in tub installation. Is it included in the price or will there be an additional cost?

Keep the benefits, features, and cost in mind when you consider buying a new walk-in bathtub.

For more information about walk in tubs, click here.

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    • Billsnotes profile image
      Author

      Billsnotes 7 years ago

      Agree wholeheartedly with your comment. Thanks.

    • Ruth Benjamin profile image

      Ruth Benjamin 7 years ago from Georgia

      Bathtubs are just a slippery accident waiting to happen, and walk in tubs are the solution! Thanks for a really great hub.

    • Billsnotes profile image
      Author

      Billsnotes 8 years ago

      Thanks for your comment -- especially from someone who is an expert on the subject.

    • TJ Stephens profile image

      TJ Stephens 8 years ago from Burnsville, MN

      Great article about walk-in tubs. thanks.

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