Walk-in tub installation - Why is it a must for people who want to age in place?
Mobility issues are often the result of aging, trauma, or illness. Most people over 60 experience them
to this or that extent. And if they want to live independently and continue to age in place, their living
space should be prepared accordingly. Everything should be equipped to prevent falls and injuries, from a
wheelchair-accessible entrance to non-slip floors and a walk-in tub instead of a regular tub or a shower
with a high threshold.
Below we'll cover everything you need to know before walk-in tub installation. Read on to learn about
the walk-in tubs operation principle, their different types, distinctive features, advantages and downsides.
Plus, you will discover the therapeutic features offered by walk-in tubs and how they can help to create a
more accessible home environment for people aging in place.
What are the walk-in tubs, and how do they work?
Walk-in tubs are specifically designed for people with mobility issues and aged adults. Their working principle
is the opposite of traditional tubs. Walk-in tubs imply a person enters a tub, closes the door, and fills it with
hot water. And once the bathing is over, the water is drained before the exit.
Walk-in tubs are equipped with a watertight door on the side, making it simple for a person to enter the tub without
stepping over the side. Besides, these doors feature a sealed gasket that keeps the tub watertight. Other basic safety
features of walk-in tubs include safety grab bars, a built-in seat, a slip-resistant textured floor surface, and a
quick-draining water removal system.
Some manufacturers also add extra comfort and safety features to their tubs. The most sought-after of them include a
whirlpool or jacuzzi option, an extendable shower head feature, twin seats, lighting, a heated backrest or seat, and anti-scald technology.
What are the main types of walk-in tubs?
Walk-in tubs come adjusted for different people's needs, from therapeutic to accessibility ones. That is why they widely
vary by functionality, shape, and size. Here are some of the main types of walk-in tubs available on the market. Check their
overviews and compare their features to make an informed buying decision.
- Walk-in soaking tubs.
This is the standard type of walk-in tub equipped with a super-low threshold, fixed seat, and a sealed door. Soaker tubs allow
a bathing person to submerge up to the neck or upper torso in still water. They lack additional therapeutic features and usually come at an affordable price.
- Bariatric tubs.
These tubs are made to accommodate obese people (over 300 pounds and up to 600 pounds) and make their bathing experience comfortable and safe.
They're equipped with a wide door and big-sized seats.
- Hydrotherapy tubs.
The working principle of these walk-in tubs is similar to whirlpool or jacuzzi tubs. They also use water jets to
create a massage effect and relieve muscle tension. These tubs provide a healing effect for people with arthritis. Nevertheless,
people with hypertension or other cardiovascular issues should consult their physician before getting this tub.
- Aero-therapy tubs.
These walk-in tubs feature air jets on the sides that create a gentle massage action in the water, relieving aches, muscle tension,
and similar issues. These tubs are not recommended for people with balance problems.
- Wheelchair-accessible tubs.
Also called roll-in, these tubs are designed explicitly for immobility people. They allow moving from the wheelchair to the bathtub's seat,
minimizing the risk of falls. Roll-in tubs have a maximum low threshold, wide swinging doors, and grab bars.
- Aromatherapy tubs.
Walk-in tubs of this type are made to provide a soothing effect, turning a bathing experience into a spa therapy session. They evaporate
relaxing scents while you bathe, mixing essential oils with water.
Is it worth investing in installing a walk-in tub in your house?
Except for the healing effect and a safe bathing experience, walk-in tubs can be advantageous in multiple other ways. Let us take a
close look at them to help you make the right decision:
- Increased home value.
Walk-in tub installation can raise the value of your home, especially if it's placed in a retirement community. Tubs with multiple
therapeutic add-ons can make your property more desirable and increase the number of potential buyers among older adults and people who love spa procedures.
- Prevent accidents.
People with mobility problems often fall and get injured while stepping into a standard tub. Injuries like joint strains, sprains, and fractures result in
hefty medical bills and long-term rehabilitation. The impact of both financial strain and pain from an injury can make the life of lone seniors on a tight budget unbearable. Walk-in tubs are best to prevent this.
- SPA at home.
It's wonderful to get a full spectrum of hydro therapy procedures without leaving your home. Jets in walk-in tubs promote muscle relaxation, soothe aching joints and inflammation,
heal arthritis and vascular diseases, and help to relax. Even standard-configuration tubs without aromatherapy or hydrotherapy additions can offer multiple health benefits, as soaking in warm water has a healing effect itself.
What to know about walk-in tub installation?
Most bathrooms need to undergo specific preparation and remodeling before a walk-in tub installation. Depending on the square footage of your bathroom, even amending the floor plan might be required. That is why professional
walk-in tub installation is inevitable. Keep in mind extra costs on labor before getting a walk-in tub.
The typical bathroom installation process involves the following:
- Taking measurements and checking the building permits
- Old bathtub removing and disposing
- Getting the installation place ready
- Plumbing and electrical work
- Fitting a prefabricated walk-in tub in its place
- Installing the drain system
- Caulking and securing the tub
Consult a manufacturer or a walk-in-tubs installer near you about the compliance of a chosen tub model with local building and plumbing codes.
Why are walk-in tubs not DIY-friendly in terms of installation and maintenance?
As we said before, a walk-in tub installation involves experience with plumbing and understanding building codes.
DIY installation can be not only expensive and time-consuming but also dangerous as it requires teamwork rather than solo.
The best way to go is to hire a dedicated local installer with broad expertise in installing walk-in tubs of different configurations.
Besides, some manufacturers provide installation services, taking care of you at every step of the process, from walk-in tub selection to mounting.
We warn you to refrain from hiring installers with expertise in typical tub installation. The installation process is a bit different for walk-in
tubs, so only certified installers are trained to do things right.
How to discover local walk-in-tub installers through HomeQuote?
HomeQuote is a rapidly-growing contractor-matching platform with representative offices all around the country.
The essence of our win-win services is to connect motivated parties - individuals and businesses looking for quality
home improvement services from one side and contracting companies and individual contractors who provide these services
from another side.
Discovering local walk-in-tub installers through our platform won't take you much time. You only need to complete a short questionnaire mentioning
your location and requirements. The other steps are on us. Once we get your answers, we will refer you to our partner contractors who work in the
specified area and are available for the installation project.