What to Look for in a Walk-in Tub

Many today are shopping for a Walk In Tub.  If you've done any shopping at all it has become apparent that there is no uniform price.  As one lady put it, "the prices are all over the map."  Low end pricing can start at $1995.00.  On the other end of the scale numbers can reach $12,000.00.

Obviously, the specific features on the tub will dictate how many are priced.  With that in mind, let's first look at the main features and ask if they're included in the price.
FAUCET AND PLUMBING.  Most of our customers ask up front.  Is the faucet and plumbing included?  Some companies do include it, others do not.  Is it an option or an included feature?  Don't assume.   Check it out.

JETTED OR SOAKER.  The soaker models represent tubs that have no air or water jets.  They are simply designed to allow the user to soak.  All the safety features are typically  there.   But again make sure you check to be sure.  Common features on a soaker tub would include.   1.  Low threshold for stepping into the tub; 2.  Slip resistant floor and seat; 3.  ADA compliant height on the seat; 4.  Interior grab bar; 5.  Safety latch on the door; 6.  Overflow protection; 7.  Reinforcement under the floor and seat of the tub.

AIR JETTED TUB.  This tub should have all the features of a soaker, but would also include an air pump and all the ports to allow for an air jetted system.  This feature allows for air to be generated into the water to create thousands of therapeutic bubbles.  These can help with dozens of medical conditions.  Obviously, the air jets will create a price jump, over the soaker model.

AIR JETS, WATER JETS AND INLINE HEATER.  The deluxe version of walk in tubs will also add the water pump.  This circulates and pulses the water against the body like a massage system.  It is great for treating injuries as well as tired aching muscles, and arthritis.  The inline heater works in conjunction with the water pump to make sure the water stays warm while bathing in the tub.  This will also increase the base price of the tub.  Usually, a fully jetted tub will have about 12 air ports and 6 water ports, all located in strategic points around the body of the tub.

Another thing that will affect the price of a walk in tub is, "Who pays for shipping?"  Again, don't assume that shipping is free.  If you're paying for it, it could add another $500.00 to the price.

There are some features that I call "window dressing."  There are companies that will add things that provide no real value or benefit to the tub, just to get the price up.  Here are a couple of examples:

1.  LIGHTS IN THE TUB.  Some companies have added as much as a thousand dollars to their price, just because they added a couple of lights in the bottom of the tub.  Now, this might be more practical if we were talking about a swimming pool, but it's laughable, when suggesting that this is needed in a walk in tub.  Unless you are planning on bathing in the dark, there is plenty of light in the bathroom to illuminate your walk in tub.

2.  AROMATHERAPY.  Another  ridiculous add-on by some companies, is adding a fragrance to the tub.  Again, here is a mindless way to price you out of the market.  If you want a fragrance, why not just burn a candle in the bathroom.

3.  And what about the QUICK DRAIN.  Some companies have added an exterior pump to evacuate the water a little faster.  Most walk in tubs are designed so that the water drains faster than a normal tub.  Consider the fact that all the water in columned over the drain.  The pressure alone makes it drain faster.   And with displacement, since a person is sitting in the tub, the tub doesn't hold much more than a normal five foot tub anyway.    But there is another consideration.  The existing drain in the bathroom can only accommodate so much water at any given time.  Some things just can't be forced.

In reality, if the user will open the drain when finished with their bath, begin to rinse off with warm water, using the hand held shower, then begin to towel dry, by this time the tub is about empty anyway.

The whole point of this article is, don't over pay for things you don't need.  You don't need to spend $12,000.00 for a walk in tub, or even $6000.00.  Find out from the seller, which features are offered.  Then choose the ones you absolutely need, and find the best price.  They are out there.

In this article I have provided a list of needed and unnecessary feature to consider when buying a walk-in tub. These features determine the purchase price and in some instances allows a vendor to over charge for items that are just not necessary. When finished, the buyer will have a good idea as what is needed to make a wise decision.

Check out this short Walk-in Tub 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) 843-4231; or email them at alan@tubking.com or kerry@tubking.com.

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