'Walk-in' tubs - for elderly - any good?

doofusMay 7, 2009


We've seen them in stores, but the salespeople weren't too enthusiastic about them, saying these tubs tend to leak.

Are they really all bad? One of the bathrooms in our house will be used by the grandparents, who (grandma, especially) would find it much easier to get into the tub without stepping over the regular tub's wall.

Leaking will not, actually, be a big deal for us, because we are getting the floor-traps in the bathrooms (water on the floor will just drain down instead of staying a puddle). Any other drawbacks to having these? A particular maker you like, if you have such a tub yourself?

Thanks! doofus

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No direct experience using them, but I have sold a few to customers redoing baths for elderly relatives. The American Standard brand is the one most often chosen, because it's a few dollars cheaper than others, and it can be ordered direct from me rather than from a company that is high pressure direct buy. The Safety Tub brand has had some issues, and the company hasn't been that helpful in resolving them for the customers--and this is before install. I no longer recommend that brand due to the unresponsiveness from the manufacturer.

These are not shower/tub combos. They are for tubs only, and you will still need a separate shower stall. They are also pretty heftily priced. 5K & up. I recommend that the optional heater be purchased to keep the water warm. My customers report good experiences with the American Standard brand, although several report that they had plumbers that were very leary of them and one who downright refused to install so they had to get another company. I've not had any customer report any problems of leaking once installed. Most are very happy to be able to offer a tub experience to their relative when they had long since given up on that. One lady even offered to sell the "spa experience" to folks who were considering buying one so people could see how useful and comfortable it was for themselves!

    Bookmark   May 7, 2009 at 8:25AM
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My 85 year old mom just moved in, so my powder bath is being converted mid-remodel from decorative to functional for her. She's lusting after one, but a contractor specializing in handicap accessible modifications said the same things as you noted: they're pricey, they leak, and they're ugly. Thus, I've added grab bars to the shower and she will have a portable shower seat.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2009 at 11:14AM
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Bumping this up for new poster on same question.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2009 at 11:49AM
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doofus, when I first saw these I thought what a great idea. Then I thought about it. You'd have to get IN the tub and close the door before you fill it. Okay. That's all right. The warm water feels great going in. But wait a minute - you can't get OUT until all the water has drained! Wouldn't you feel cold waiting for the water to drain? And you can't use a towel before then because it would get soaked! I don't think I'd like it at all.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2009 at 10:49PM
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I was going to post the same thing sameboat just did! Having to wait for the water to fill up then waiting for it to drain back out of that tall space would be a pain after a while.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2011 at 10:23PM
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I guess it also depends on how slowly your tub drains. I mean really, is it the tub's issue or your plumbing? My tubs drain extremely fast. We're talking a matter of minutes here.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2011 at 3:20AM
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For my fathrer-in-law with Alzheimer's, it was too much of a novelty. Never used.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2011 at 10:37PM
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My great grandmother had one installed, and she seemed to like it a lot. As long as you have plenty of thick rugs right on the outside, you will be fine.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2011 at 1:49PM
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Well I can suggest you walk-in tubs from Safeguard Tubs, they quite good if you wanna give your elderly person an independent and assistance free bathing experience. Try them out !!

    Bookmark   January 30, 2014 at 1:45AM
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Walk-in tubs for elderly has become more of an necessity than for luxury item. They need more of attention and comfort when it comes to bathing. While selecting also for a walk-in tub, one must be assured that it has anti-slip flooring and proper safety bars installation. Some good options coming in the market are from Safeguard Tubs catering to elderly customers.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2014 at 2:05AM
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