What Size Walk-in Tub Should I Choose?

By Kerry Knight

Have you ever wondered how you would choose a Walk in Tub for your home? There are many factors worth looking at. When a prospect comes to our showroom, we always ask them a series of questions to help them make the best decision and to make sure there are no issues with delivery and installation. In this article, I will discuss these very questions so that you, our readers, will have a leg up when you go to size your walk in tub purchase.

Short video - What size should a Walk in tub be?

There are a variety of sizes available in Walk in Tub models. However, one must first answer questions regarding how the tub will fit the room as well as the person using it.

The first consideration is DOORWAY OPENINGS. Find out how wide the tub is. This should represent outside dimensions. Then find out how wide the doorway openings are. That would include the exterior door leading into the house, other interior doors, and the door into the bathroom. Sometimes you can buy a little space by removing door casings. But if you have a 30-inch wide Walk in Tub and you're trying to go through a 24-inch bathroom door, you've got a problem. You will either have to widen the door opening or find another access into the bathroom. Some have used large windows to come through, and I know of others who have actually come through the wall from another room. This requires cutting a large section of the sheet-rock. Of course, that requires a little more work and repair.

Second, check to see if there are HALLWAYS that are too narrow to deliver the tub. Also, are there sharp turns in the hallway that make it impossible to slide it through? In most cases, if you stand the tub on end, while it rests on a piece of carpet, you might be able to pivot it around those tough areas.

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The third challenge in getting your Walk in Tub home is, HOW LARGE IS THE BATHROOM itself? Some bathrooms are very tiny, as you know. If there is already a bathtub there, which must come out, that part of the preparation should already have been done. Most of the old, traditional bathtubs were 60 inches long and 30 inches wide. Most Walk in Tubs should fit in that space. 

However, once you have the Walk in Tub through the doorway, does it have to be turned? If it does, is there sufficient room to turn it? This might well determine what size Walk in Tub you can accommodate.  Usually a 54- or 48-inch length can be turned, and most tubs of this size come with a "filler" panel that will help fill in the rest of the 60-inch opening.

Now, we need to consider the best size tub for the individual that will be using it. Let's suppose for argument's sake that the doorways and bathroom will accommodate a 48- or a 54-inch length with a maximum width of 30 inches.  
Our doors open inward for
safety and convenience.
The first question to ask regarding the tub itself is, "WHAT IS THE SIZE OF THE DOOR ON THE TUB?" Most doors are wide at the top and then narrow with a taper at the bottom. It is designed that way to allow for a person to easily move the door past the knees and legs. If you are seated you can move the knees and legs to the side, away from the door, and move the door easily past them. This being said, you do need to make sure the size of the body above the knees can pass successfully through the door.

THE SIZE OF THE SEAT then becomes important. Get a true measurement of the seat and compare that with a normal household chair. Will that accommodate the person who will be using it?

The Walk in Tub comes with a seat, normally 17 inches high, so it can handle a person of any height. Legroom is not normally a problem area.

So, measure your doorways, your bathrooms, and the Walk in Tub dimensions closely before moving forward. That way there are no unwelcome surprises later on.

In this article I have provided a series of questions that a person needs to answer when they are considering purchasing and installing a Walk in Tub for their home. These questions will help them determine the right size to choose and also help them avoid any unnecessary surprises or unwanted construction work.

Walk-in in Tub Buyers' Guide

If you found this article useful, please share it with your friends and co-workers. If you have a comment related to this article, leave it in the comment section of this blog.  If you’d like to receive a FREE Walk-In Tub  Buyers’ Guide, click here.  Have a question? Feel free to contact me at the number or email listed at the end of this article and I will personally get back to you. It has been my pleasure sharing this information with you. Thanks again for visiting with us.

Until next time.

Alan and Kerry Knight are the owners of Tub King, Inc., and SeniorBathtub.com in Jacksonville, Florida. Together they have many years of experience in the antique and senior bathtub industries. Their companies not only provide superior products, they are also award winners, receiving the “Best of Jacksonville Chamber Award” three years running. If you would like to contact them, call (800) 409-3375 or (800) 409-4231; or email them at alan@tubking.com.

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