The Pros and Cons of a Walk-in Tub
Walk-in tubs are a popular choice for many people who want to maintain their independence. They provide an easier way to bathe and shower, and they also offer more safety than traditional bathtubs or showers. They’re great for seniors or others who have trouble getting into bathtubs, and some models can also be used by people with disabilities. They are becoming increasingly popular because they offer a number of benefits that other types of tubs simply cannot match.
There were over 200,000 bathroom injuries that didn't result in death in the U.S. in 2008 (which was the last year this study was conducted), according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Although these accidents weren’t fatal, they did send thousands to the emergency room for their injuries. To help reduce this risk, walk in tubs often come equipped with hand grips and a backrest, which makes it easier to get in and out of the tub. And walk in bathtubs are safer than standard bathtubs and showers because they prevent you from slipping down at a sharp angle–instead, an angled seat provides support for your weight as you sit down in one of these units.
Walk-in tubs offer many safety benefits, but they do have some downsides. We discuss the pros and cons of walk in tubs below, so that you can make the best decision for your home.
WHAT ARE THE PROS OF A WALK-IN TUB?
Walk in tubs are simply the best way to safely bathe for those with any physical limitations. They provide peace of mind to the individual as well as their loved ones, which makes them always a good investment.
Below are the benefits of walk in tubs:
There is nothing more important than safety especially when it involves standing water. Walk-in tub manufacturers make sure their products meet all applicable codes and standards. We go more in-depth into the available safety features of walk-in tubs a little bit further down the page.
Easier Access For Those With Disabilities / More Independence
If you have mobility challenges such as arthritis or back problems then a walk-in bath may be just what you’ve been looking for. You can easily get into the tub and avoid any potential injuries by stepping directly onto the tub floor instead of using an extra step stool.
This makes everyday activities such as taking a shower a lot less painful and stressful. It also gives you independence so you don’t have to rely on others to assist you. There are also options to get them with special wheelchair access.
More Room to Bathe
One of the biggest advantages of a walk in bathtub over traditional tubs is its ability to provide more room for your body when taking a bath or shower. This means less cramped quarters and more comfort while soaking away those aches and pains from the day.
Easy Cleanup and Maintenance
Because these tubs sit within their own enclosures, cleaning them up is much easier than if you had a standard tub sitting on top of the tile floor. They’re easy to clean and don’t require constant scrubbing like regular tubs do. Plus, since they’re enclosed, you won’t have to worry about water splashing onto the floor, which increases the risk of injury as well as water damage.
Better Water Pressure
Since most modern showers come equipped with high pressure jets, you’ll find that the water coming out of the faucet will feel stronger and better quality than what comes out of a normal tub.
You can sit down on a heated seat and enjoy a relaxing bath. Most seats are ADA compliant.
Therapeutic / Health Benefits
There are targeted massaging water jets built right into the walls of these baths that help relieve muscle tension and soreness, as well as increase blood flow. This is great for people suffering from conditions such as diabetes, arthritis, and back pain.
These massage jets also work great for relieving stress and anxiety.
Easy to Use
The controls for these tubs are usually within reach and easier to access than traditional tubs.
There are several different styles available to suit your specific needs. Each style has its pros and cons so choose one based on how you want to install it and which bathroom design suits you best. You can also get a walk-in tub shower combo.
There are some manufactures that offer a lifetime warranty.
The energy efficiency of a walk-in bath is another reason why some homeowners choose to go in this direction. These tubs use far fewer gallons of hot water per minute than a shower. In fact, some models actually save money over time due to their lower running costs.
If the individual bathing has any care providers, they can sit high up behind a wall during their bath if there are any family members or care providers nearby assisting them. A walk-in tub makes it possible to bathe without being exposed.
WHAT ARE THE CONS OF A WALK-IN TUB?
There are also some cons with regards to walk-in bathtubs. These are things you should keep in mind when considering whether or not to purchase one:
You can't pre-fill the tub
In a walk-in tub you must first step into the bathtub and close the door, before filling it with water. You might become impatient (and cold) while the bath fills, especially if you don’t have a way to control the water temperature. This is why you may want to consider opting for a heated seat feature.
Time to drain
A main disadvantage that walk-in bathtubs face is the fact that many have to drain before you can exit after taking a bath. With manufacturers rushing to fix this problem, fast moving drains and temperature controls are becoming more common at an additional cost.
Need solid water heater
Walk-in tubs are large and if you have an old water heater it may have trouble supplying all the hot water you may need. It should actually use less hot water than a normal shower, so if don’t have any water heater issues with your showers than you should be all set.
More expensive than normal tubs
One of the disadvantages of walk-in tubs is that they are expensive (on average, they cost around $6,000), making them an impractical option for many people. They cost more upfront than traditional bathtubs or showers.
You may not be able to install a walk-in tub in your house because it will need to have enough space. You need to account for the outward-swinging door that needs to open. You also may not have a strong enough foundation for its weight.
SAFETY FEATURES OF WALK-IN TUBS
Here are some key safety features to look for in your walk in tub:
To avoid tripping while stepping in and out of the tub, having a low surface to clear is important.
There are also grab bars and handles available to help keep users safe while using them. These should be installed where needed. If there aren’t any grab bars near the tub, consider purchasing extra ones. You may not use them every time you take a bath, but having them around could save someone’s life if they slip and fall in the tub.
What are the walk-in tub safety benefits?
– Prevents falls: One of the walk-in tub safety benefits is that it prevents falls. When someone steps into a walk-in tub, they have a solid base and are immediately seated. This reduces the possibility of slipping and falling, which is especially important for those who are elderly or walk with a cane.
– Safer entry and exit: Another walk-in tub safety benefit is that it’s safer to get in and out of than getting into a bathtub, due to the lower threshold for the person to clear when getting in and getting out as well as the handrails to grab onto.
– Seat for those with limited mobility: Lastly, there are walk-in bathtubs with seats to make it easier for people who have trouble standing or sitting down. These walk-ins can also be used by those who need to move around while they bathe and want a more comfortable experience when doing so.
What are the walk-in tub comfort benefits?
Walk-in bathtubs are designed for comfort and convenience. These tubs provide a safe, up to date way of getting in and out of the bathing area without assistance from another person. The walk-in design offers more room than traditional designs which can be particularly important when there is limited mobility.
If you have arthritis, back problems or other physical limitations it can be difficult to get into a conventional bathtub because of the height of its edges. With a walk-in tub, however, you don’t need to climb up on anything to enter the tub. You simply open the door and step inside.
Here are some comfort benefits of walk-in tubs:
– Comfortable seat that you do not need to lower your body almost to the floor to get into
– Massaging jets to help sore and aching muscles
– It also alleviates strain from joints like the knees, hips and back when getting in or out of the tub.
How much water does a walk-in tub hold?
The average walk-in tub can hold around 50 gallons of water, but there are models available that are either smaller or larger than this.
How much does a walk-in tub cost?
The average cost of a walk-in tub can range significantly depending on your specific needs, tub size, and safety features, but you can expect to pay between $3,000 – $10,000. See our average cost of a walk-in tub page for more pricing information.
Is a walk-in tub safer than a traditional bathtub?
Yes, walk-in tubs are safer than traditional bathtubs. There is no tub wall that a person needs to step or climb over. And some models come with bars on both sides for extra support while getting into the tub. Some also have ergonomic handles so you can easily sit down or stand up.
What are the features of a walk-in tub?
Walk-in tubs come with many features that regular tubs lack such as a comfortable raised seat, grab bars for easy standing and sitting, anti-slip flooring, and valves that prevent accidental scalding. They also have invigorating jets that massage sore and aching muscles.
What are the benefits of a walk-in tub?
Walk in tubs bring peace of mind to more than just the individual using them, as they provide a safer and easier way to bathe for those who are physically limited in their movements. The elimination of the edge that standard tubs have means that it is harder to slip over the side, and the deep water makes it easier for a caregiver to help someone bathe.
It also has health benefits and helps treat various ailments. Those suffering from conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, rheumatism, fibromyalgia or general muscle or joint pain and stiffness can benefit from the soothing effects of a walk-in tub. Additional benefits are listed above in the “Pros” section.
Why buy a walk-in tub?
A walk-in tub makes bathing a safer and more comfortable experience, especially for those with physical limitations. These tubs can also provide some health benefits as well as symptom relief through hydrotherapy, which massages aching muscles and helps increase blood flow for anyone with poor blood circulation.
How long does it take to fill a walk-in tub?
It will usually take between 5-10 minutes to fill up a walk-in tub full of water. The plumbing system in your home can have a large impact on this timing.
Bottom line: Who should buy a walk-in tub? Who could benefit from a walk in tub?
Walk-in tubs are for anyone who would benefit from the extra convenience of an easy-entry bath or may have difficulty getting in and out of a traditional bathtub. Some people will find that their independence is greatly improved by the walk-in tub and can take baths without relying on help at all.
– People who need help getting in and out of a tub (such as people with injuries, disabilities or limited mobility)
– Seniors or elderly who are frail or have balance issues that might make it difficult for them to step over the edge of a traditional tub.
– Nursing home residents
-Older adults who are living with Alzheimer’s disease and other cognitive impairments.
WHAT TYPE OF WALK-IN TUB DO I WANT?
Choosing the right walk-in tub.
When it comes to choosing which model will work best for you, it helps to think about what kind of experience you want to create in your bathroom. Here are the most common types of walk-in tubs:
A soaker walk-in tub is the most basic level of tub available. You are able to walk in and sit comfortably in the tub, but it does not have any bells and whistles such as massaging jets.
This type of walk-in tub has aerotherapy jets that push air into the water, which provide therapy and healing for aching muscles.
Hydotherapy is the use of water jets to massage and promote blood circulation, which is exactly what this type of tub offers.
Bariatric tubs have wider entrances and wider seats to accommodate larger individuals.
Wheelchair Accessible Tubs
These tubs make it even easier and safer for people in wheelchairs to comfortably transfer into them.
Additional factors to consider include:
* Safety features. Check if the tub comes with any safety features such as ergonomic handles, seat risers or slip-resistant mats. Some models come equipped with an anti-scald device too so you won’t get burned by hot water.
* How much space you have available. Buy a walk-in tub that fits your bathroom well. For example, check the dimensions of an installed tub against the width and length of your bathroom to make sure it will fit in properly.
* Direction of door. Make sure the tub has a door that opens outward and not inward (this is safer).
* What look are you going for. When shopping for a new walk-in bathtub, you’ll see many different options ranging from colors to finishes. Some manufacturers even allow customers to customize designs to fit their specific needs.
* Other convenience features to consider. These include: fast filling, quick draining, and heated seats.
In conclusion, walk-in tubs are a great way to make bathing more comfortable and accessible for many people. They often come with features such as a comfortable seat, handrails, and even jets that provide soothing massages. For many people, these baths feel like the height of luxury. However, there are some disadvantages to walk-in tubs that you should be aware of before making your decision.