How Much Should it Cost to Have a Walk-in Tub Installed?

By Kerry Knight

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Many are in the market today for a Walk-in TubSeniors especially, are becoming aware of the advantages of replacing the old, outdated bathtub with something safer and more therapeutic. They look at the Walk-in Tub as the best solution.  After all, it eliminates the danger of falling while stepping into a traditional bathtub.  Regular tubs typically requires lifting one's leg up 12 inches or more, and then placing a bare foot onto a slippery surface inside the old tub.  The Walk-in Tub, by contrast, has a short, six-inch threshold and provides a sturdy rail to hold on to while going in and sitting down.  The floor of the Walk-in Tub is also slip-resistant. Once a decision to purchase the Walk-in Tub has been made, the customer begins to look into its pricing.
In addition to the cost of the Walk-in Tub itself, there is another cost that has to be considered, installation.   Some people have the skills to do their own installation. Many of our customers were contractors before retiring.  If they have the energy and the ability to do the installation themselves, it can certainly cost them less money.  Oftentimes, there is someone in their family, an uncle, cousin, brother-in-law or maybe just a good friend who will help with the project. This can create considerable savings on installation fees.
Customer Testimonial of Installed Walk-in Tub

But let’s say the customer has to search for a professional to install their Walk-in Tub.  Where to start?  By calling a qualified plumber.  They can certainly hook up the plumbing for you and water test it.  They may even have an electrician on their staff that can do any electrical work.  Most customers have a plumber they have worked with before, one they trust and can count on.
Another choice would be a general contractor.  Many are purchasing Walk-in Tubs for new construction.  They are having a house built, and find this the perfect occasion for installing the Walk-in Tub.  Usually the contractor will give them a credit for the tub allowance, and will have his subcontractors install it for new homeowners.
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Some customers have used a handyman service to install their Walk-in Tub.  Check the phone book or go online, and you’ll see several professionals who offer many different services, such as carpentry, plumbing, electrical, tile, etc.  It is like finding a one-stop service to do it all.
Now we come to pricing the job.  How much does it cost to have a Walk-in Tub installed?  There isn't a one set price because every situtation is different.   What is the actual work that must be done?  Let me mention some variations that will alter the pricing of an installation.
Is there an old bathtub that must be taken out?  In most cases there is.  One complete day is usually devoted to demolition.  This requires separating the plumbing, ripping out the tub, clean up and prep work, and disposing of the old tub.  If it is a complete shower surround, it becomes a little more complex. 

What Size Walk-in Tub Do I Need?
Will the installer have to widen any doors? Most Walk-in Tubs rest on a steel frame so they can’t be broken down into smaller pieces.  If the tub is 30 inches wide, which most are, then the doorway to the bathroom must accommodate that.  Usually, the technician can remove the door jamb to give them a little extra room, but the width of the doorway is a consideration and could add to the cost to the installation, especially if the entrance way must be widened even further.
Another consideration when pricing an installation is how the Walk-in Tub will be trimmed out.  Is there ceramic tile in the tub area already?  What exactly is left on the wall around the old tub?  The walls must be protected against water.  The technician may choose acrylic panels, ceramic tile or some other waterproof material to surround the new tub.
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If the old tub was 60 inches long and the new Walk-in Tub is 54 inches long, what's to be done with the extra six inches?  Most Walk-in Tubs will come with a filler or extension panel that will complete this space.  If not, the contractor will need to provide a knee wall or shelf that can be constructed on the spot.
Have the installer come to your home and review your situation.  He can take measurements and determine if there are any challenges out of the norm.  He should be able to give you a price at that point.  What could the installation cost?  The national average for installing a Walk-in Tub without any surprises or extended labor or material costs, is $2,500. The geographic region you live in can affect the price as well. Do your homework.  Get a couple of estimates and you should be fine.

In this article, I provided a number of things to consider when you're having a new Walk-in Tub installed.  Many seniors are upgrading their bathrooms to take advantage of the safety features of the Walk-in Tub. Especially since it addresses the number one reason seniors end up needing 24-hour care, (i.e., falling in the bathroom). By upgrading to a Walk-in tub, seniors have a much safer bathroom, allowing them to remain more independent, and to retain their privacy and dignity. 

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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’ll personally get back to you. It’s been my pleasure sharing this information with you. 
Thanks again for visiting with us.

Alan and Kerry Knight are the owners of Tub King, Inc.,  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’d like to contact them, call (800) 409-3375 or (800) 843-4231; or send an email to

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