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A walk-in bathtub is a spacious, elegant tub that is equipped with a watertight door and allows an individual to step in. In fact, it forms an important part of bathroom renovations in multiple, modern households. Easy to access and featuring a low threshold, they offer a gamut of design possibilities. Whether you want a steam bath or a rainfall showerhead, you can get them in a variety of styles.
However, when you purchase a walk-in bathtub, there is a wide range of factors to consider before making the decision. While according to some homeowners, it is the ideal set-up, as per others, it comes with multiple disadvantages. Therefore, in order to help you make an informed choice, we have outlined the basic pros and cons of this type of bathtubs.
The pros of a walk-in bathtub
Walk in tubs offer easy access to homeowners, especially for aged individuals. They are specifically designed to prevent slips and falls. With a gamut of embedded features such as inbuilt handrails, ADA compliant construction, anti-slip flooring, low built-in seating, and less height, they are perfect if you have elderly members in your household. Certain types also come with wide doors that allow wheelchair-ridden patients to have a secured bath, without extra assistance. If you wish to go a step further, you can install a scald prevention valve to prevent burns from hot water.
2. Ease of installation
As we already mentioned, a walk-in bathtub comes with a number of pre-installed features. Hence, when you decide to install one in your bath, you do not need to do too many modifications. You are spared the trouble of purchasing separate components and individually installing them.
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3. Easy accessibility
Walk-in tubs are easily accessible as compared to baths. They are ideal for families who have members with mobility challenges. Since you don’t need to step over a high ledge (as in the case of conventional tubs), it’s a good alternative for long-term investments as well. Because, with age, everyone can face physical problems. Hence, if future accessibility is your concern, then this is the perfect bathtub to install in your home. It also enhances your home’s overall value and makes your property attractive in the market for prospective home buyers.
4. Increased water depth
Since walk-in bathtubs come with a low threshold and there are no tall walls, they offer a deeper water depth as compared to traditional tubs. For instance, conventional tubs usually have a standard depth of 13 to 14 inches. But walk-in tubs can easily ensure up to 4 feet of water depth. This not only lends a comfortable bathing experience but also secures a safe environment while you are seated conveniently.
In the most common models, seats are generally constructed at a height of 17 inches. These leaves enough space, around 20 inches, for you to immerse the torso.
5. Increased home value
As you can see, a walk in tub offers multiple benefits in terms of safety, comfort, and accessibility. It increases your home’s value, especially when you install it for easy access and as part of your long-term investment. Irrespective of the type of bathroom, there’s a walk in bathtub to suit your needs and specifications.
Other features include adjustable shower heads, bubble jets, hydrotherapy jets, chromotherapy lighting, and heated seating. Therefore, when you plan on selling your property with a walk-in tub installed in your bathroom, you can expect to get higher value as compared to homes with standard tubs.
The cons of a walk-in bathtub
1. Prolonged bath times
At times, especially during busy morning hours, waiting inside a walk-in tub until the water drains out, can be a pain. In such cases, you can install a heat lamp above so that it dries off your body as you wait for the water to clear out. Usually, such tubs are raised from the bathroom floor level. Hence, although it comprises a small step, you need to fix a small threshold for stepping over as you enter the tub.
2. Water spillage
Another disadvantage of having a walk-in bathtub is spilling. As soon as you turn on the bathroom water faucet, you need to immediately shut the door so that that water does not flow out. Hence, as soon as you enter the tub, you have to ensure closing the entrance before you start the water. Other measures can be to install a fast-draining system and a filling faucet so that you can get out of the tub as quickly as possible after bathing.
3. High installation costs
Walk-in bathtubs can be expensive. Usually, the upfront cost of any model starts at $1,000 and can go up to $5,000 for high-end versions. Again, you have to consider installation costs, which shall depend on various factors (labor costs, material changes, zip codes, etc.). The approximate price can range up to $10,000 for the tub and installation.
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As you can see, the pros of a walk-in bathtub far exceed its cons. However, if you are planning to install one, you must do thorough research and know about the different manufacturers and the various types offered by them. Understand the price and note if it falls within the budget of your estimated bathroom renovation cost. Check if it is the ideal investment choice for you. After analyzing all the information, make an informed decision.
Read more: How to Choose a Bathtub for Your Bathroom