Is a Walk-In Bath Right for You?
A walk-in bathtub lets you enjoy your bath without stressing about the slip and fall risks of step-in bathtubs. They can also give you an added measure of independence since they make it easier for you to bathe yourself without help.
If you’re interested in the independence and safety a walk-in bath provides, read our blog below. We’ll discuss the benefits of walk-in tubs and what you can expect from the installation process.
What Are Walk-In Bathtubs?
A walk-in bathtub is a tub with a door on the side that allows the user to enter it easily. Instead of clambering over the tub’s side to take a bath, you can walk right into the tub. The tub must be empty for you to enter and exit, so most walk-in tubs come with fast-draining and fast-filling capabilities. The doors on these tubs have watertight sealants, so you don’t need to worry about the water flooding the bathroom.
Depending on your needs and budget, walk-in tubs can come with a variety of extra features, such as:
- Handrails and grab bars
- Bubble jets
- Comfortable slip-resistant tub seating
- Adjustable hand-held showerheads
- Slip-resistant floors
Your options range from modest, practical tubs to tubs that turn your bathroom into an at-home spa.
Who Can Benefit from a Walk-In Bathtub?
Anyone who worries about bathtub safety can use a walk-in tub, including aging people who want to stay in their homes and people who are permanently disabled. Consider a walk-in tub if you have any of these specific conditions as well:
- Heart problems
- Knee or hip replacement, surgery, or injuries
- Parkinson’s disease
What Are the Pros and Cons of Walk-In Bathtubs?
As previously mentioned, walk-in tubs’ primary benefits include increased safety and independence. Most walk-in baths minimize the possibility of slipping, tripping, or falling on your way in or out of the tub. And since you can walk easily in and out of these tubs, most users don’t require an additional person to help them bathe. If they do, this task becomes easier and less intrusive as well, since the tubs typically stand higher and span larger than regular tubs.
However, walk-in tubs do come with some drawbacks:
- High cost. The cheapest tubs usually start at $2,500, with anything less than that too low in quality to benefit the user. Specialty tubs can range from $7,500-$10,000.
- Professional installation. If you want a DIY bathroom remodel, don’t count on a walk-in tub. You must pay a professional to install one for you, which adds costs.
- Chilly waiting periods. Even though most tubs fill and drain quickly, you still have to sit in the tub while you wait. Some people find this too uncomfortable and cold to make the bath worth it.
- Upgraded water heaters. Since these tubs are larger than regular tubs, they require more hot water to fill. If your water heater isn’t up to capacity, you might need to install a larger or newer model, which adds costs.
s you consider adding a walk-in tub, weigh the drawbacks against the pros. You might decide the extra costs are worth the benefit of staying in your home instead of moving to a senior care facility. Talk to your plumber about installation costs and research walk-in tub companies to get a better idea of what will work best for you.
What Stylistic Choices Do I Have?
As with any bathroom remodel feature, you’ll want to consider how a walk-in tub will affect your bathroom’s current look. You should consider:
- The tub’s size: will the model you choose fit comfortably in the room, or will it make the room look cramped? Consider a tub with an inward-swinging door to save space in a small room.
- The tub’s colour: most walk-in tubs come in white, but some brands sell other colours, such as pink, off-white, or cream. Choose a tub that will complement other appliances in your bathroom.
- The tub’s placement: will it go against a wall, or will you install it in a corner? Where you place the tub will also affect how large or small the room looks after installation.
Consult with your local plumber for ideas on where to place your tub and how to choose a tub that works for your bathroom.
How Do Professionals Install Walk-In Bathtubs?
Most professional plumbers can install walk-in tubs within one or two days. First, he or she will inspect the tub for damage. Next, your plumber will remove your existing bathtub, which you can throw away, sell, or recycle. He or she will usually place your new tub in the same spot as the old tub.
Finally, your plumber will fill and drain the tub to ensure it doesn’t have any leaks or problems. He or she will then caulk the new tub and clean up any messes.
If you decide a walk-in bath is right for you, contact us at EZ Plumbing. We can give you recommendations on the right tub for your bathroom and help you install it after you complete your order.