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Should You Install a Walk-in Tub? Answer These 4 Questions to Find Out

15 Jan

After a long day, few activities feel as relaxing or rejuvenating as a long soak in the bathtub. But plenty of standard bathtubs are too shallow, slippery, or small to enjoy properly.

One common solution for an undersized tub is to install a walk-in model. These large tubs typically feature a hinged door, similar to walk-in showers. But walk-in tubs also boast large capacities, permanent seating, and sometimes even jets or other special features. These characteristics optimize the way you enjoy the therapeutic benefits of hot water and a bubble bath.

Many homeowners find that a walk-in tub sounds great, but they don’t know if such a big bathroom appliance will suit their needs or home. In this blog, we make the decision process simple. Just answer the four questions below to determine whether or not a walk-in bath represents a worthwhile investment for your home.

1. Does Using Your Current Tub Feel Unsafe?

The most obvious reason to upgrade to a walk-in tub is if you or another member of your family cannot bathe safely in the current bathtub. Walkin tubs tend to have the most benefit for individuals with one or more of the following health concerns:

  • Debilitating chronic pain or injury
  • Mobility issues
  • Old age

If you’re unable to enjoy a soak without some aid, you may benefit from a walk-in tub since these models often come equipped with handrail, seats, and textured surfaces to prevent falls.

2. Does Your Bathroom Have Adequate Dimensions?

While each walk-in unit differs from its counterparts, most tubs have similar dimensions. The average tub has the following sizing characteristics:

  • Length of approximately 60 inches
  • Walls of at least three feet long
  • Width of 26 to 32 inches

If your bathroom won’t quite accommodate this size tub, your supplier may have an extension kit to fit the space.

But you might be surprised at the manageable size of most walk-ins-plenty of models can smoothly replace a standard tub without a major renovation.

3. Do You Have an Efficient Plumbing System?

Perhaps one of the drawbacks of a walk-in tub is that the bather typically has to remain inside while the bath fills and drains. If you have a slow faucet, it could pose a profoundly uncomfortable scenario.

Before you install a walk-in, you’ll want a plumber to evaluate the bathroom system. Additionally, opt for a fast-fill fixture and maintain the drain to ensure short fill and empty times.

4. Do You Need Advanced Water Therapy Often?

Hydrotherapy has many benefits, from reduced pain to enhanced mood. Many individuals opt for hydrotherapy to help them recover from surgery or injury, age gracefully, and manage chronic joint or muscle pain.

Unless you have a Jacuzzi, a walk-in tub offers your best option for regular water therapy at home. Just be sure to look for a model with both air and water jets when you choose a tub. Air jets alone can feel perfectly pleasant, but they do not provide enough pressure to qualify as hydrotherapy.

If you answered yes to most or all of our questions, a walk-in tub may be a great investment for you. Ready to install your new bathtub? Reach out to a supplier to find out more about specific models. Prepare your bathroom’s dimensions so you can rule out models that have too-large of a capacity at your first consultation.

Still not sure how you feel about a nontraditional tub? Consider talking to a bathroom fixture supplier or installation contractor. These experts can evaluate your specific situation and make recommendations tailored to your home and family.

For more information on renovating and improving your home for safety, efficiency, and comfort, read our other blog posts.