Pros and Cons of Walk-In Tubs


When mom or dad moves in, you’re bound to find unexpected joys … and frustrations. For example, consider the simple bathtub. What was once a place of peace and relaxation may become a lying-in-wait fall hazard.

Walk-in tubs and curbless showers help with this problem. They also help elderly people stay in their own homes. But there are pros and cons to them, says aging-in-place consultant Susan Luxenberg. The showers, for example, require plenty of space. But the tubs may not be as convenient. Luxenberg writes at her blog:

Not all walk-in tubs are the equal so it’s important to research what each manufacturer has to offer. … Walk in tubs are also not flush to the bathroom floor so while they only present a small step, there still is a need to step over a small threshold in order to enter the tub. The big negative to a walk in tub is that you can’t get out of the tub until all the water drains out. So if this is the option you choose, I’d suggest also installing a heat lamp above the tub to take the chill off while waiting for the tub to drain.

One bathtub product Luxenberg doesn’t mention is a cut-out system you can use to convert your current tub into a walk-in one. Aging-in-place consultant Scott Ross talks about that in the OurParents article “Top-5 Best Remodeling Products for Aging in Place.”

Leigh Ann Otte is a freelance writer who specializes in health and aging issues. She covers finding and paying for senior care for OurParents. If you have any questions about this post or need help finding senior care options for a loved one, call 1-866-483-4896 to speak with a care advisor in your area.

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6 comments on “Pros and Cons of Walk-In Tubs
  1. Really good insight here. Some of our clients are considering walk-in tubs and now we can pass the info along. Thanks!
    Michelle Rogers, Home Instead Senior Care

  2. Ella’s Acrylic Walk-in Tubs is a Manufacturer of Quality, Affordable, and Safe Walk in Bathtubs. We Make the Best Accessible Safety Walk In Tubs Luxury Handicap Bathtubs.

  3. When looking at walk in tubs for your family members you should always ask these 3 question of the walk in tub provider.

    1. What is the warranty and who provides warranty service?
    2. How low is the door and can you choose which direction it opens?
    3. How long will it take to fill and more importantly how long will it take to drain?

  4. be careful when buying a walking tub. I called the company advertising on TV with Wilard Scott and they pretended to give me discounts down to $16,000 and only had one side tub. I called a company that manufactures the tub and they seemed more honest and because I’m heavy I had to get the larger, wider model. Their installers had to cut through 2 doors and take my upstairs deck railing off, but they fixed it all back together. I did the tiling of the floor, which had to be done because my old tub was wider, and the surround. However, the problem is, I have a 40 gallon tank and that will heat up to the seat, buy the time the cool water continues it was cold when full. So I turned my water heater up to Very Hot, and that gave me slightly warm water. Plus it took 15 minutes to fill, leaving me on a cold seat and chilly for that length of time. The door opens inward, so you can’t fill the tub then get in. Its 41 inches high so you can’t climb over. I did put a stool on the side and climbed over to the seat so that I could get enough hot water in it. It only takes 6 minutes to empty, and you have to wait til its right down to the bottom where the door ends. They are saying I will need a 75 gallon tank or a tankless water heater, which could be another 2000 expense. But I do feel safe in it. I can use the shower wand and wash my hair and body while waiting for it to fill. I don’t have to always do the full jacuzzi tub thing. They also told me it had a heater to keep it hot. Turns out it will keep the same temperature of the water you put in it, but thats after it is over the last jet, which by then its cold water. So vurtually no heating being done. The air bubbles blow cold air, so that also cools the water.

  5. Hi Leigh Ann Otte,

    Walk in bathtub is a great buy not only for elderly and disabled people, but also for one who don’t have enough space in their bathroom, Yes here you are right because the walk in tub is a small unit, getting it to the reserved space is a very tricky part of the fitting. But we can solve this by consulting it to the installer of the walk in tub before buying it.


  6. leo says:

    Walk in bathtubs are best for the elderly who need that extra assistance to enjoy a relaxing bath. And like any other things in the world they come with their pros and cons. While we were purchasing walk-in tubs for my father from Safeguard Tubs, we made sure we get to know every aspects of the product, consisting of its warranty/guarantee, maintenance and other hygiene related stuff .One of our friend suggested us Safeguard Tubs, and we going by his words installed it for my father. Taking of its pros: The first great thing about a walk in bathtub is,an elderly person will enjoy bath time much more when they have easy, accessible space. These tubs prevent slipping by adding safety bars attached to it and pads to keep you comfortable and safe. Furthermore, installing a walk in bathtub adds value to your home. Cons: Spilling is one of the main cons to having a walk in bathtub. It’s critical that as soon as you turn the water on the door is shut completely. Rest all the aspect of this tub is very much user friendly and easily workable.

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