Short Sided Tub vs Higher Sides & Old Folks :)

monicakm_gwAugust 10, 2014

Currently, DH's bathtub is a 60x30x15. Most standard size tubs I'm seeing on line are now 14" high. Higher toilets are easier on older bodies. He's said that he wants the new vanity to be taller for comfort. So it stands to reason that a higher sided tub would be easier to get in and out of as well, right? That's my theory. I just need someone to confirm or deny it :)

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Monicakm- not sure about the "old" age range you're talking about. But in general as people age they lose upper body strength. It's not the getting in that's tough especially if there's a ledge to sit on and swing your legs over, it's the getting out- push up, get your legs under you and stand. All in a slippery environment. There's some assistive devices that can help and so can grab bars, but it's still tricky. That's why people a lot of times transition to walk in (or roll in :-)) showers.

If it's just to step into to take a shower, it's a higher barrier to step over. If you don't put in grab bars now at least think about putting in blocking in the walls now to add grab bars later.

Hope this helps- Lisa

    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 7:36AM
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southofsa, we're in our mid 50s with no plans of moving. We built this house in 1981. It has since doubled in size and lots of major remodeling to the original house EXCEPT for DH's bathroom. Yes, I agree that it's more of an issue getting out than in. And it seems to me that the taller the side the easier it will be to push your body up out of the water. It's easier get it up off the floor when you have something higher than you to hold on to. He bathes but we'll keep the tub/shower configuration for when someone wants (or needs) to shower. His current tub is 15". Seems like 14" is the norm now for a standard 60x30 tub. I don't like the look or feel of a 14" tub. He's going to increase the wall next to the tub to gain 3.5" so we can install a 32" tub with a minimum of 15" in height, preferably higher. Thank you for your reply :)

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 2:29PM
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Kohler's Archer tub is 19 inches high but because it has a slot type drain it's water depth is the same as a standard 21 inch deep tub. It is available in 60x32 and 60x30.
FYI the prices on the Kohler webstite are quite a bit higher than what you can actually get it for so don't be scared off by that.
My daughter just installed the Archer Tub as a tub/shower combo in her hall bath and likes it very much

Here is a link that might be useful: Tub

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 5:16PM
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50 isn't old- in fact it's getting younger by the day (as is 60 and 70:-)). I've linked to a checklist on the National Association of Home Builders website that is an aging in place checklist with a section on bathrooms you might be interested in.

In a former life I worked in a rehab facility. Trust me, it takes less effort to push off from a lower height than higher.

Hope I got the link right- Lisa

Here is a link that might be useful: NAHB aging in place checklist

This post was edited by southofsa on Mon, Aug 11, 14 at 20:38

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 8:35PM
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Thank you for your confirmation about pushing off from a lower height being easier. My tub is 19" but has built in handles. I'm 5' and don't find it difficult unless my MS or back problems are causing me problems. My husband says pulling up from my tub is harder on him than his 15" tub but I'd still like NOT go with a 14". As for 50 getting "younger" (sigh), I'm afraid years struggling with MS, Fibro Myalgia, stenosis, a bulging disc and sciatica, I feel more 75 rather than 55. Thank you for the link. I'm going there right now!

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 10:43PM
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Monicakm- wow, there's age and there's physical age. You're already living some of the challenges most of us will face later in life.

I've linked to a post from January. About 3/4 of the way down lori_inthwnw posted a pretty good list of specs she came up with when researching bathtubs. Some of the information might be helpful.

Also, I didn't realize until recently that some tubs I'd seen with whirlpool can be ordered as soaking tubs only.

And also Americh and Jetta have optional handles that can be ordered on their tubs. I'm not sure if it's all their models or some, but might be helpful.

Good luck- tough decision unless you're lucky enough to live someplace that has a lot of showrooms to test the tubs you're interested in.


Here is a link that might be useful: Tub information 3/4 down the post

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 7:57AM
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I am not 60 yet, but pretty darn close. I bought a new tub today and purposely picked the shortest one I could find. The less high I have to lift my legs to get in and get out of the tub, the better. Seemed like a no-brainer to me.

And I will have one of those grab bars installed vertically, not horizontally, on the wall just outside the tub. I figure I can grab it while I climb out.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2014 at 10:32PM
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Some tubs like the Kohler Mariposa 60x30 are about 19" high, and have a wide are on part of the ledge. That makes it possible to get in and out by first sitting on the ledge and then swinging your legs over to the other side. It also has small armrests.

If you have trouble with climbing over a ledge, there are lots of tubs with watertight doors.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2014 at 4:47AM
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I think you also need to ask yourself, are you using the tub to BATHE in? Or, is the tub essentially your shower base?

If you aren't planning to sit down into the tub and take a bath, a lower sided one is better. It is less of a step to get your foot up and around. Less likely that you'll throw yourself off balance doing so, and less likely that you'll catch your toe on the edge on your way in or out and trip.

If you plan to bathe, as in take a bath, well, that is a whole other story... How long do you think you're body will let you do that? And, do you soak, or just bathe. I find many geriatric folks aren't bathing anymore. They are sitting on a stool (so have to step over the edge) and using a shower wand to cleanse themselves, because getting up/down is too difficult.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2014 at 12:03PM
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Many of the aforementioned tubs with hinged doors have an integrated seat for that purpose. They're often only 3' or 4' long but very deep, you sit in it submerged in water as you would on the ledge of a spa or hot tub.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2014 at 2:46PM
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littlebug, lifting my legs to get over my 19" tub is usually not an issue. It's lowering myself into the tub that can be a bugger depending on what's going on with my body at the moment. To me, that's where the higher sides help. Pulling up with a higher tub (it does have built in handles on the sides towards the top) hasn't been an issue (yet).

lee, my Bain Ultra air tub is 19" high with a wide enough ledge (plus it's a drop in with tile surround) that I could do that but still, it's the lowering myself in that can be quite difficult if my back or MS is being a problem.

kirkhall, both of us are bathers and soakers. Everyone talks about the ease of getting in and out of lower side tub for showering. Don't you have to get in and out of the tub if you're bathing? :) Seems the actual getting over the side of the tub is the same no matter your style of getting clean. And I'll bathe as long as I can! Just shoot me when the time comes that I can't relax in my soaking tub with air bubbles :( Maybe I'm just used to my 19" tall sided tub but based on the responses here, and his desire not to have a taller tub, I'll be sticking with a 15" tub. Really hate to go to a 14" with a more shallow drain height.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2014 at 4:22PM
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