OF SAFE STEP
WALK IN TUB
Safe Step is a US-based company that builds all its tubs in Tennessee. It’s known throughout the industry for its excellent customer service and for tailoring every element of the process towards what the customer needs. Both of those are usually signs of a luxury company (meaning high prices), however Safe Step provides a number of discounts and options to help make their products more affordable.
This guide will walk you through all of the costs involved in purchasing a Safe Step walk-in tub so that you can enter the process with as much information as possible and get the best price for you.
Safe Step releases very little information about the cost of their models – preferring to create custom quotes for their tubs based on specific options. However, the below figures operate as a ballpark figure, giving you a range that your tub is very likely to fall within.
Overall, you can expect to pay between $9,000 and $25,000 for a Safe Step walk-in tub, with most models ranging from $11,000 to $16,000. For a Safe Step Walk-in Shower, you will pay $4,000, making it a more affordable option for many. Generally, however, the $9,000 cost for a basic tub includes none of the add-ons that make Safe Step famous.
The above figures do not include the cost of installation. Again, Safe Step creates a custom installation quote for each tub based on your location, the design of your home, and the model you are having installed.
Generally speaking, the more expensive your tub, the trickier (and therefore more expensive) the installation. The costs for installation range between $1,800 and $5,000. Therefore, the final cost you’ll pay for the model and installation ranges from $10,800 to $30,000.
5 KEY COST FACTORS
As mentioned above, Safe Step does not carry a price list on its website; instead, it offers five factors that break down the cost of purchase. These factors are:
The size and shape of your tub impacts the cost (with larger tubs being more expensive). Safe Step offers three standard sizes of tubs, although there are also customization options available.
As mentioned in the ‘Overall Costs’ section, the installation will cost somewhere between $1,800 and $5,000, although reports online suggest it will likely be at the higher end of this range. The price is dependent on the size of your tub, where you are located in the country, and where in your home it is being installed (i.e. a ground-floor installation will cost less than one on the upper floors).
Safe Step offers a $1,500 rebate to reflect the lack of funding for walk-in tubs from Medicare or Medicaid, so if you are eligible for either of these programs, you will receive $1,500 off the cost of your purchase. Safe Step also offers military discounts for veterans.
If you have sufficient credit, Safe Step offers financing for your tub. Each of its financing plans is tailored to the client, so you can spread the cost over a convenient number of payment periods.
Lowest price guaranteed
Safe Step has an important guarantee for those shopping for walk-in tubs. It promises to beat the price of any comparable tub. That means if you can find a walk-in tub with the same features from another company, Safe Step will lower its prices to be lower than that of the other company. For savvy shoppers, this can save a great deal of money. However, as with many of these offers, the strict definition of the word ‘comparable’ is open to interpretation.
Although Safe Step is secretive about its prices, you can use the following table to give you a ballpark figure for the three main options on its website.
The range of prices is contingent upon the specific options selected; the largest range is for the walk-in tub because the biggest price determinant is the size of the tub. For a bariatric tub, you are likely to pay the higher end of the range, whereas a standard size tub you can keep the cost down to the lower end of the scale.
|Walk-in Tub||$9,000 - $25,000|
|Walk-in Shower||$4,000 - $6,850|
|Hybrid Tubs||$9,000 - $13,000|
Hybrid Tubs contain both a bath and a shower element, and therefore offer a neat entry-level option to a walk-in tub. They tend to be cheaper than the walk-in tub (due mostly to the size of the tub) and the additional shower element gives a little more freedom for the user. None of the above prices include installation.
Although the prices for a walk-in tub may seem fairly straightforward (you add the cost of the tub to the cost of installation), there are other factors to consider. There are ways you can both raise and lower the final cost of the purchase. Again, this requires a bit of savvy and a bit of shopping around, although Safe Step is known for both its tailored pricing and its customer service, meaning you can most likely work with them to get all of the discount options available to you.
As mentioned above, for veterans or active-duty members of the military, you can get a discount on the final cost of your tub. Although Safe Step doesn’t explicitly outline this discount, the most common military discounts available range from 10-20%. Based on a range of $10,800 to $30,000 for a tub and installation, this means a likely saving of $1,080 to $6,000 – a significant cost reduction.
If your walk-in tub has been recommended by a medical professional, then you can claim it as a legitimate expense, and therefore claim a tax deduction against the cost of purchase and installation. A key point to note is that the tub needs to be for a ‘medical safety reason’ rather than a purely therapeutic one.
Therefore, you’ll need to coordinate between your doctor and your CPA to ensure that you are truly eligible to claim it as a tax deduction. However, this can significantly reduce your tax bill at the end of the year, effectively reducing the cost of the purchase of the tub and offsetting the financial difficulties of affording it.
You may also still be able to claim a tax deduction if you are paying for the tub in installments. The combination of these two factors often makes the purchase a lot more affordable.
Medicare generally doesn’t cover the cost of a walk-in tub. There is one exception to this, which is something called the Durable Medical Expense (DME). This cost will cover your purchase of a walk-in tub if you have experienced a sudden injury that requires one. It will not cover it if you are experiencing a progressive decline in mobility.
The key factors in claiming a walk-in tub as a DME is that the rationale for buying one has to be safety, not therapy; and it has to be caused by a specific event, not a degeneration over time.
You’ll need to speak to your Medicare representative before assuming you are covered (or that you are not) as this can potentially save you thousands of dollars.
Safe Step offers financing packages that are as tailored as the rest of its service. It does require you to have good credit, although Safe Step is able to be fairly flexible on the packages it has available.
If you are in doubt as to whether you can afford a walk-in tub or what will be the best payment option available to you, speak to a CPA and have them help you. You can then present this option to Safe Step, who will be able to work with you on the overall cost.
One key factor to consider in the installation of a Safe Step tub is that your cost of water may increase. Most walk-in tubs range in size from 50-80 gallons, although something like a bariatric tub may be 120 gallons. To fill this tub may exceed your water heater capacity and filling a tub of this size may cost a great deal more than your standard tub.
Before proceeding with your purchase, consider closely the running costs from this perspective, as a tub that is double the size will cost twice as much to run per year.
A traditional bathtub is usually around 30 gallons and if you fill it with warm water every day, it will cost you around $270 for the year.
A bariatric tub at 120 gallons will cost $1,080 to run per year. This additional $810 can make a big difference.
If you need to buy a new heater, you will likely pay between $800 and $1,100 for a traditional 50-gallon model (including installation) and $3,200 for a tankless model. Both of these should be factored in to your overall costs for a walk-in tub.
The decision to buy a walk-in tub is rarely a financial decision, but a medical one. However, making the right financial decision is important to avoid being stuck with a bill you can’t afford, as well as making sure you can get the best tub for your money.