For many senior citizens, climbing in and out of the bathtub is not only difficult, but also dangerous. A slip and fall can cause substantial damage to your health, and leave you in a compromising situation.
Making the choice to install a walk-in bathtub in your home can alleviate the struggle for seniors who face mobility problems, and provide peace of mind that you can safely and easily enter and exit your tub.
With the various walk-in tub options on the market today, it can be hard to decide which model is best for you and your home. Here is a list of seven key things to consider when buying a walk-in tub:
It is important to consider the quality of the materials and the overall product you are installing in your home. This means checking where your tub was manufactured and assembled. The United States follows the standards outlined by the American National Standards Institute, and Canada abides by the Canadian Standards Association rules to certify that the tubs produced are safe and made from high quality materials. Taking the time to double check where your tub was made helps to safeguard your health and well being, and guarantees you end up with a superior tub.
Walk-in bathtubs can vary in price from $1,500 to over $8,000. The price of a tub can change based on a number of factors, including materials used, safety features, and technology. Most tubs in the mid price range (between $4,000 to $6,000) should have the features needed, like non-slip floors and safety handles. Determining your budget before you begin to look for a tub can help you narrow down your search and prevent you from overspending.
3. Size and Step-In Height
When choosing your tub, take into account the size of the existing space where the tub will be installed. Factors like your own height and weight should be considered alongside of the tub’s step-in height. For users with very limited mobility, a lower step in height is better to make getting in and out of the tub a breeze. After all, the point of installing a walk-in tub is to assist you in getting in and out of the bathtub. You want to make sure the size and specifications fit your needs before taking on the expense.
4. Optional Features
Most tubs come with optional features that can make bathing a dream. Different kinds of technologies are available to assist in controlling water temperature, providing aqua massages, and even include different lighting options. You can customize your walk-in tub to create an experience that is just right for you, but keep in mind these extra features can come with additional costs.
5. Door Options
The appropriate door option for your tub will largely depend upon your individual needs. The majority of walk-in tubs have a door that opens inward, but if you use a wheelchair, or are a larger person, you might want to consider installing an outward opening door. If you choose a door that opens outward, you will need to factor in additional bathroom space as well.
Another option is vertical lifting doors. These sit about two feet off the ground and allow easy access from a seated position.
6. Fill And Drain Rates
One complication in using a walk-in bathtub is that the user must wait for the tub to fill and drain while they are sitting in the tub. This can make the bather rather chilly in the mean time, and cause some relative discomfort. Most tubs use accelerated fill and drain features to help ease this process. Doing some research into the fill and drain rates of a tub can help you make an informed decision regarding your comfort level in the bath from entry to exit.
7. Where To Shop
There are a lot of companies that specialize in walk-in tubs, and will work with you to figure out your specific tub needs. Brands like, American Standard, and Safe Step, have been producing quality walk-in tubs for years, while larger businesses like Lowes and Home Depot provide walk-in tub services as well.
Your security and comfort should be priority one when choosing to install a walk-in bathtub. These tubs can ease the burden of those with mobility issues, ensuring you can enter and exit your tub with ease. Keep this list in mind when shopping for you walk-in tub, and ensure a safe bathing experience that is right for you and your family.