Homeowners: Should You Consider a Walk-In Tub?

Have you decided to remodel your bathroom? You may have started thinking about what type of materials and design you want, including whether you want a walk-in tub or shower. These are very big decisions and we want to help ensure you make a choice that fits your needs. 

Walk-in tubs have gained a lot of popularity over the years because they offer homeowners many benefits. We recently sat down with our owner, Terry Crews, to find out more about why homeowners should consider purchasing a walk-in tub. 

Heather: Walk-in tubs are gaining in popularity. Why should a homeowner consider purchasing one?

Terry Crews: That’s a good question. Folks with a number of health issues find it extremely helpful to have a walk-in tub. For example, this will help people with arthritis of any kind, which is most of us as we age. Seniors tend to love walk-in tubs because it not only makes you feel better, but also it helps loosen up your joints and muscles and gives relief from the pain of arthritis. When you are able to get in a nice warm bath and are able to soak (especially with jets), this tends to relax the whole body and help the blood flow.

Heather: That sounds wonderful. You mentioned walk-in tubs can benefit people with certain types of health issues. Can you talk more about this?

Terry Crews: Absolutely. Homeowners should know there are a number of health issues people can benefit from having a walk-in tub. Getting in the nice warm water and also, with jets of course, tends to improve blood flow which relaxes the muscle tissues so blood flows better, especially through the lower extremities of the body. It also purges toxins from our body and this helps keep us healthier and more comfortable. For seniors, this can mean having the ability to stay in your own home longer. If you want to get into specific health issues, we’ve had clients with heart problems, diabetes, and a number of other illnesses come to us for walk-in tubs. Research shows that warm water can help us relax and help certain pains go away. Another reason for adding a walk-in tub is it helps with sleeplessness at night. If you are having issues falling or staying asleep at night, taking a nice warm bath just before you go to sleep can help relax you. When you can sleep better – more consistently and longer – this helps our body become healthier too. 

Heather: You mentioned seniors benefit from walk-in tubs, but can younger age groups benefit too?

Terry Crews: Certainly. Younger people purchase walk-in tubs from us as well. I remember one situation in particular – we had a young lady and her husband who had one bathroom. They purchased a walk in tub to help with the strain and stress of their jobs. She was an aerobics instructor who taught multiple classes a day. At the end of the day, she wanted to relax in a nice soaking bath. Her husband was a welder and he spent a great deal of the day on his knees and on his back reaching up. He usually came home with sore muscles from the strain and stress of working on his knees and laying on the ground and reaching up. They both thought a walk-in tub was a tremendous help as opposed to just a traditional bathtub. They invested not only a walk-in tub, but also one with jets because they wanted all of the benefits. 

Heather: I understand completely. What are key convenience and safety issues homeowners should be aware of when considering a walk-in tub?

Terry Crews: There are a few questions homeowners need to ask before deciding is a walk-in tub is the right choice. Number one, can I get in and out of this tub easily myself or do I have a health issue preventing me from getting in and out of the walk-in tub? Also, determining whether a swing in door versus swing out door (to allow easier and safer access), and the width of the door… Will the door allow me to get in and out safely? Not all walk-in tubs are created equal… At NewBath Alabama, we have multiple choices of products to consider for your particular needs. 

In addition, an important question is where is the drain? Is the drain in the walk-in tub in a location I might accidentally step on it and injure my foot, stub my toe, or injure myself? Or, is it out of the way and safe so I won’t hurt myself on the drain in the walk-in tub? This is an often overlooked element in the industry.

Another issue to think about is whether the seat is safe and comfortable. Again, there is not one size fits all, so we’ve taken out quite a few walk-in tubs to replace them because the seat was too small for comfort and safety. Homeowners have complained about how the old walk in tub was too low off the ground, or it was too high off the ground, or it was too shallow from front to back, or it was not safe enough for someone to sit on. Or even the tub slopes down (for water to run off), instead of sloping up, which is safer, with a water channel in the middle (for water runoff). Another complaint is the tub may not be wide enough for some folks, so they can not comfortably get their arms down to bathe.

Heather: That makes sense. Is there anything else you recommend homeowners think about when considering a walk-in tub?

Terry Crews: Yes – keep in mind the comfort level of a walk-in tub depends on how the tub is set up. Where are the faucets? Are the faucets located in a place where you can easily and comfortably get to them? Is the handheld shower easy to pull up and out and for you to use, – to wash your hair and rinse your my upper body, or is it in a hard to access location? These are rarely discussed considerations when buying a walk-in tub.

Heather: Thank you so much, Terry!

Terry Crews: Any time.

As you have learned, there are many things to consider when purchasing a walk-in tub. Do you still have questions about whether this type of tub is a good option for you? Call our experts today to set up a free consultation!