How Much Does a Walk-In Tub Cost?
A walk-in tub allows easier bathing for those with limited mobility. Walk-in tub costs typically range from $1,500 to $12,000, with a national average of $4,000 for the tub plus professional installation.
- The typical range for walk-in tub installation is $1,500 to $12,000, with a national average of $4,000.
- The most significant cost factors affecting the cost of a walk-in tub are the tub size, type, and material; bathroom size; labor; and brand.
- Walk-in tubs can make bathing easier for those who are aging in place or have limited mobility. They are also safe, comfortable, and therapeutic, and they allow for more independence than standard bathtubs as well as potentially boosting home value.
- Installing a walk-in tub requires plumbing expertise and, on occasion, construction and electrical work. Only the most experienced DIYers will want to attempt this project.
Walk-in tubs provide convenience and added safety for those with mobility issues by allowing the user to walk into the tub without having to step over an edge. Once inside with the door closed, they can fill up the tub with water and enjoy a safe bath. But installing this type of tub comes at a cost. According to Angi, walk-in tubs can cost between $1,500 and $12,000, and the national average is $4,000. HomeAdvisor reports that high-end luxury walk-in tubs can cost up to $20,000.
Costs can vary regionally and depend on brand, size, style, and features. Demolition, installation, shower remodel costs, and accessibility will also figure into the price calculation. There is surprising variety in walk-in tubs, with choices nearly as numerous as for any other bathroom fixture. Walk-in tub cost reflects this selection, and this guide will cover the main factors that affect the total cost, the types of walk-in tubs, the benefits of installing this type of tub, and ways for homeowners to save when hiring a contractor.
What is a walk-in tub?
A walk-in tub is just what it sounds like: a tub that the user can walk into rather than having to step over an edge. Once seated in the tub—either on the floor or on a built-in seat, depending on the model—the user can close the door and fill it with water.
Walk-in bathtubs offer a simple, safe means of bathing for people with physical disabilities or mobility issues. They come with a number of options, such as size and the choice of a shower combo; features such as therapeutic or whirlpool jets and hydromassage; and safety items such as grab bars. A walk-in bath can help older adults age in place at home, maintain hygiene, and reap the numerous health benefits of a bath.
Factors in Calculating Walk-In Tub Cost
“The costs of installing a walk-in tub are multifaceted and can add up quickly,” says Mitchell Clay, owner of EZ Bath LLC. A basic walk-in tub can cost anywhere from $1,500 to $20,000, but as with any bathroom fixture, walk-in tub prices will vary according to size, type, features, and brand. Altogether, those alternatives add up to a national average cost of $5,500. Tubs that are compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) will likely cost more to install. Materials used to make the tub also affect the price. The bigger the tub and the more features it has, the higher the price will be. Installation is also a factor: “This includes the labor required to remove your old bathtub, prepare the space for a new tub, and install the new one. A typical additional cost in installation comes from widening doorways that won’t fit the walk-in tub,” says Clay.
While most walk-in tubs can be retrofitted in the space previously occupied by a standard tub, sometimes additional plumbing, electrical, or structural upgrades are needed. If the tub is being installed where there wasn’t an existing one, those added costs will go even higher. Because rates vary regionally, the final price of an installed walk-in tub can fluctuate.
Tub Size and Type
A basic walk-in tub without any bells or whistles can cost as little as $1,500. But some people prefer a long tub that allows them to stretch their legs out. Long tubs are considerably more expensive and may require additional renovation to the bathroom to accommodate them. The most common tub lengths are 60, 66, 72, and 84 inches. Widths can range from 30 to 40 to 50 inches. Couples may enjoy a two-seater walk-in tub. Its price will be comparable to that of a long tub and have similar installation charges regarding the need for extra space. Both two-seater and long tubs will also use more water.
Walk-in tubs are typically made of gelcoat, acrylic, or porcelain. Gelcoat is usually the least expensive at around $1,500 to $5,000, but it is less durable—prone to fading, scratching, and cracking. Porcelain tubs cost somewhere in the middle. Acrylic is a popular, easy-maintenance material, but it’s the most expensive and is still susceptible to light scratching. Acrylic walk-in tubs can cost as much as $13,500 after installation.
A homeowner’s choice of walk-in tub may be partially dictated by the size of their bathroom. Large bathrooms can accommodate many different tub sizes with little alteration. On the other hand, if the bathroom where the walk-in tub is being installed is relatively small, or any features of the room need to be relocated, this can increase the price by $6,150 to $15,250.
Labor costs for a simple retrofit, which involves removing the old tub, installing the new walk-in tub, and replacing the tile, range from $700 to $3,000. However, some tubs will need electrical hookups that require an electrician. Longer tubs and two-seater tubs may require additional renovation in the bathroom, including plumbing upgrades. These kinds of complex installations will drive up labor costs.
Walk-in tub prices will also depend on the brand. Variations in price are often due to a number of factors, including the quality of the materials used, warranty, and features offered by each individual model. Kohler has some of the most expensive tubs, with the priciest models costing $15,000 before installation. Safe Step’s, Universal’s, and Ella’s prices are more moderate, ranging from about $1,200 to $7,000. These material prices account for only part of the cost. Homeowners are advised to factor in labor to get an idea of the walk-in tub cost installed. Some of the best walk-in tub brands include the following.
|Walk-In Tub Brand
|Cost (Materials Only)
|Cost (Including Installation)
|$2,500 to $10,000
|$3,500 to $15,000
|$2,000 to $7,000
|$3,000 to $10,000
|$5,000 to $10,000
|$6,000 to $15,000
|$2,000 to $15,000
|$3,000 to $20,000
|$1,200 to $5,000
|$2,200 to $7,000
|$1,800 to $6,500
|$2,800 to $8,500
Additional Costs and Considerations
Although installing a walk-in tub isn’t too complicated, there are a few aspects for customers to consider when contemplating which unit to buy. It’s essential that they measure the available space to make sure the tub will fit. If the walk-in tub is being placed in a new place or the spot is being converted from a shower-only to a walk-in tub, some significant construction work could be involved.
Even if the job is an easy retrofit, some renovations may still be necessary to complete the install. Beyond plumbing and electrical, some tile work may be needed to finish off the space.
Selecting a tub with special features means not only that the unit itself will cost more but that the walk-in tub’s installation costs are likely to run higher due to added work needed to accommodate those features.
Old Tub Removal
Removing an old bathtub is an unexciting but necessary part of the cost to replace a bathtub.
This process includes detaching any plumbing hookups as well as disposing of the tub. “The homeowner could do the process of removing the old bathtub, provided they’re comfortable with this type of manual labor and take care not to damage existing plumbing and electrical work,” says Clay. For those who choose to leave this to a pro, the service can add $200 to $1,200 to the cost to install a walk-in tub; the cost will likely fall toward the low end of the range for an alcove or freestanding tub, and increase for more complex tubs.
Walk-in tubs hold more water than standard bathtubs, which makes them much heavier when filled. It may be necessary to have the floor underneath the walk-in tub reinforced before installation, especially if the tub material is particularly heavy. Floor reinforcement costs $300 to $800.
Depending on the extent of the renovation, it may be necessary to tile around the tub and part of the wall behind the tub. This helps finish the look of the bathroom and integrates the new tub. It also creates a watertight seal, protecting the wall and tub surround from moisture. Typical costs of installing ceramic or porcelain tile are $900 to $2,600, depending on tub size and type. Homeowners who are planning a major remodel may want to budget $300 to $3,000 for drywall repair, adding or removing a wall, and painting or hanging wallpaper.
Plumbing and Electrical
Walk-in tubs may require new plumbing with larger ¾-inch pipes to fill and drain quickly. This can easily add $600 to $1,600 to the project cost. “Walk-in tubs often have features that require electrical connections, such as heating or jets, which require running new electrical lines, installing GFCI outlets, or even upgrading your electrical panel if there isn’t enough capacity for the new load,” notes Clay. Most electricians charge $50 to $100 per hour.
Often, a walk-in tub will fit in the space formerly occupied by a standard tub, but this isn’t always the case, for example if the walk-in tub is being installed where there was previously only a shower stall. In some cases, homeowners must remodel the bathroom to accommodate a walk-in tub. If this is the case, a bathroom remodel costs $6,621 to $16,773, depending on the amount of work to be done. Labor alone can run from $50 to $75 per hour on average. Reasons for remodeling include installing a long tub or a two-seater tub that takes up more space than the old standard tub and converting a shower to a walk-in tub. If the layout is being rearranged, it may be necessary to plumb a new area with bigger pipes or add pipes in a new location, as larger tubs might benefit from the installation of larger pipes for faster drainage. This can cost anywhere from $600 to $1,600. Not sure who to hire for a bathroom remodel? Contacting a licensed bathroom remodeling contractor is a great place to start.
Showers take up less floor space than tubs: 9 square feet versus 13 square feet. Because of the size difference, installation costs increase, ranging from $4,000 to $6,000. Other considerations that impact the cost include the fact that part of the existing shower walls will need to be demolished, the floor pan removed, the pipes replumbed for the tub spigot to be higher, and tiling installed where the shower head was.
Extra Features and Upgrades
Any features or upgrades will drive the price higher. Adding things like whirlpool, air, or massage jets can add thousands to the price tag. Some enhancements are safety features, like ADA-compliant grab bars and slip-resistant floors. Others are luxury items designed to enhance the bathing experience, such as chromotherapy lights, quick drains, and curved backrests.
|Feature or Upgrade
|Average Cost (Materials Only)
|$200 to $350
|$200 to $350
|$50 to $300
|Handheld shower wand
|$50 to $200
|$1,000 to $3,000
|$150 to $300
|Quick drain technology
|$30 to $200
|$250 to $400
Walk-In Tub Cost by Type of Tub
There are several types of walk-in tubs from which homeowners can choose. The tubs can address special needs, a desire for added comfort, or budget. Of course, the bigger they are or the more technology they offer, the more they will cost. Most will cost between $2,000 and $7,000, and installation may be extra. The type of walk-in tub chosen can impact installation costs as well.
Tubs can be long to allow users to stretch out their legs or even lie down. They can have two seats so two people can use them at the same time. Hydrotherapy and whirlpool tubs feature jets to massage or gently soothe aching muscles and provide other health benefits. There are more accessible units for users with physical limitations. Another option is to get a walk-in tub with a shower that provides bathing options.
|Type of Walk-In Tub
|Average Cost (Tub Only)
|Accessible or bariatric
|$5,000 to $10,000
|$3,000 to $10,000
|$3,000 to $10,000
|$3,000 to $10,000
|$10,000 to $15,000
|$6,500 to $8,000
|$1,500 to $3,500
|$1,500 to $5,000
|$2,500 to $6,000
|$3,500 to $10,000
Accessible or Bariatric Tub
Accessible tubs usually feature wider seats and L-shaped, outward-opening doors for easier entry. They may even be wheelchair accessible. Bariatric tubs are also larger, wider, and more heavy duty than the standard tub to accompany larger users. Typically costing between $5,000 and $10,000 because of the additional spatial requirements and potential remodeling demands, these tubs benefit users with physical limitations.
Another therapeutic walk-in tub features whirlpool air jets. Unlike the hydrotherapy water jets, whirlpool jets help improve circulation because they use air instead of water to power the jets, reducing pressure to create a relaxing, gentle massage. This will raise the cost of a walk-in tub to somewhere between $3,000 and $10,000.
A hydrotherapy walk-in tub provides deep-tissue massage when the jets are turned on. It’s valued for easing sore muscles and general aches but may not be recommended for users with blood circulation issues. According to Clay, hydrotherapy tubs can also “help soothe aches and pains, alleviate arthritis symptoms, improve circulation, and promote relaxation. The warm water and pressure from the jets can also aid in reducing stress and promoting better sleep.” The average cost ranges from $3,000 to $10,000. Increased maintenance and cleaning are necessary to keep the jets from clogging.
Long tubs, which allow the user to lie down, can cost between $3,000 and $10,000. Because of their additional length, they often require more bathroom renovation. The added length may require some reconfiguring of the bathroom, and they may not fit in all bathrooms.
Luxury Walk-In Tub
Luxury walk-in tubs are characterized by their extra comfort features, such as aromatherapy, massage jets, and heated seats. Not only do the materials for this kind of tub cost more, but installation can also be pricier. This is especially likely if additional electrical wiring is needed for features such as lights. Homeowners can expect to pay $10,000 to $15,000 for a luxury walk-in tub.
Portable tubs can be a practical and cost-effective option for renters, as they do not need to be hooked up to plumbing and have locking wheels for easy transportation. A portable tub costs about $6,500 to $8,000 for materials and does not incur any installation cost.
Soaking tubs are an appealing option for homeowners who anticipate spending extended periods of time relaxing in the bath. These kinds of walk-in tubs typically occupy the same amount of space as a standard tub, so it may not be necessary to remodel the whole bathroom to make space for one. Soaking tubs cost between $1,500 and $3,500 on average.
The standard walk-in tub is the most affordable, ranging in price from $1,500 to $5,000. Because they are basic, without upgrades or features, they are lower in price. Standard walk-in tubs fit into the space a traditional tub fits in, making a retrofit a relatively simple process. Most walk-in tubs are 52 to 60 inches long, 28 to 32 inches wide, and 36 to 46 inches tall.
A walk-in tub-shower combo is more expensive due to the added convenience of the shower option. They can range in price from $2,500 to $6,000. For users weighing the pros and cons of a tub versus a shower and who want the option of a bath, a stand-up shower, or a sit-down shower, this is a good option. Because a walk-in tub with walk-in shower combo may require additional plumbing and tiling, the cost is higher.
The two-seater walk-in tub allows two people to bathe at the same time. Its larger size might require additional bathroom remodeling to accommodate it, which leads to higher costs ranging from $3,500 to $10,000. Because it also requires more water to fill it, there will be added water usage costs. And, because users may prefer not to wait a long time to fill or drain it, the addition of larger pipes for faster filling and draining comes with additional expense.
Do I need a walk-in tub?
Not sure if a walk-in tub is right for you? Anyone with mobility issues can benefit from a walk-in tub. Users who can’t easily or safely get into a standard tub but enjoy soaking may enjoy a walk-in option. They offer accessibility for users with disabilities and increased safety for older adults. Grab bars and slip-resistant floors can help prevent falls while a user is bathing.
Walk-in tubs with upgraded features can also provide health benefits like hydrotherapy with water jets that offer deep-tissue massage or whirlpool tubs with air jets that help improve blood circulation, ease pain from arthritis, and alleviate some symptoms of fibromyalgia and diabetes. A deep soak can reduce inflammation and relax stiff joints.
Simple relaxation and stress relief are also benefits. A soak can relieve depression and improve mood by releasing serotonin as well. Additionally, a bath can soothe some skin conditions and promote better sleep. Finally, a walk-in tub can add value to a home, particularly in retirement communities.
Aging in Place
Many older adults prefer to remain in their homes rather than move to an assisted living facility or nursing home. Sometimes it’s a financial decision as the cost of assisted living communities continues to rise. Adding safety features to their homes is one way to ensure they can safely remain in their homes. A walk-in tub is often a modification many will undertake so that they can stay at home.
Disability or Limited Mobility
Getting in and out of a standard tub isn’t easy for anyone with mobility issues that stem from age or a disability. Eliminating bath steps to provide easy access can make a world of difference.
Whether a user is in a wheelchair, uses a walker or scooter, or has balance issues that make climbing over the edge of a standard tub challenging, a walk-in tub offers an answer to their bathing needs. ADA-compliant grab bars and slip-resistant floors enhance safety.
Benefits of Choosing a Walk-In Tub
There are both pros and cons of walk-in tubs, but in most cases the benefits outweigh the costs. “While walk-in tubs may require a more significant initial investment than traditional tubs, the blend of safety, independence, and therapeutic benefits can significantly enhance bathing experiences, contributing to overall wellness and peace of mind,” says Clay. In addition to providing easier access to people with mobility challenges, walk-in tubs can also provide health benefits. Making bathing easier encourages better hygiene practices.
Even the ancient Egyptians used water to treat pain. Modern hydrotherapy tubs with water jets offer deep-tissue massage, while whirlpool tubs with air jets help improve blood circulation, ease pain from arthritis, and alleviate some fibromyalgia symptoms. They can also lower blood sugar levels—a benefit for those with diabetes. Additionally, soaking in the tub can reduce inflammation and relax stiff joints, and immersing oneself in a warm bath can improve the body’s oxygenation.
A bath can provide relaxation and stress relief as well. A deep soak can relieve depression and improve mood by encouraging the release of serotonin, and the addition of aromatherapy or bath salts can enhance the level of relaxation. A bath can also soothe skin conditions (like eczema) and promote better sleep, resetting a person’s circadian rhythm.
Walk-in tubs can be as easy to enter and exit as some showers; no longer does a user have to climb over the side of a standard tub. “Walk-in tubs are safer and more comfortable than traditional bathtubs,” says Clay. “They feature low-entry doors, nonslip flooring, built-in seating, and safety grab bars to mitigate the risk of slips and falls. In addition, the safe, easy access can be a lifesaver for those with mobility issues.”
Improved Comfort and Hygiene
Bathing can become more challenging as we age or for those with a physical disability. Being able to bathe safely and more easily is a health benefit. Being able to maintain personal hygiene enables many older adults to age in place in their own homes. Some models of walk-in tubs come with heated seats, neck rests, and other features for enhanced comfort.
Walk-in tubs with water jets provide hydrotherapy. Jets target sore muscles and joints in the back, legs, and feet, hitting pressure points to relieve pain.
Whirlpool tubs with air jets combine heat, buoyancy, and massage to improve blood circulation, ease pain from arthritis, and alleviate some fibromyalgia symptoms. The deep soak afforded by these taller tubs, which enable users to submerge their bodies completely, can reduce inflammation and relax stiff joints, improve the body’s oxygenation, lower blood sugar levels, provide relaxation and stress relief, and raise serotonin levels.
Having an accessible bath contributes to a person’s health and well-being. It can also help people age in place at home and retain their independence while bathing without assistance from family or health care workers. “For those with mobility issues, a walk-in tub can mean the difference between being able to bathe independently and needing assistance,” says Clay. “Self-independence can significantly improve the quality of life and self-confidence.”
Increased Home Value
Especially in assisted living and retirement communities, a walk-in tub can add value to a home. And because most walk-in tubs are professionally installed, they can give a home a competitive sales advantage.
According to a National Association of Home Builders survey, 51 percent of home buyers want a bathtub in the primary bathroom instead of only a shower stall. Tubs provide more privacy than most showers.
Walk-In Tub Installation: DIY vs. Hiring a Professional
Some seasoned DIYers want to do every project themselves. When homeowners are deciding between doing a DIY bathroom remodel or hiring a pro, the money saved on labor can be a compelling reason to dig out their tool kits. Labor is a sizable percentage of any remodeling job, including installing a walk-in tub. Contractors typically charge between 40 percent and 65 percent for demo, installation, tiling, grouting, and sealing, not to mention the plumbing and electrical work involved. General labor can cost between $700 and $3,000 (although that can vary regionally). Plumbers and electricians often charge even more. Without labor costs, it’s possible for a homeowner to keep the cost of a walk-in tub somewhere between $2,000 and $10,000.
“While some aspects of installing a walk-in tub might be manageable for a handy homeowner, it’s a complex job that involves several technical aspects, including plumbing, electrical work, and potentially structural modifications,” says Clay. Extensive plumbing work may be needed, particularly if larger pipes are needed to facilitate faster fill and drain times. If the tub has jets, electrical work will need to be incorporated to power them. It may be necessary to modify the floor plan to accommodate a larger tub or a tub in a different spot. According to Clay, liability is another factor to consider: “Mistakes can lead to leaks, electrical issues, or structural damage. Professionals are insured to cover these potential problems.”
Professional walk-in tub installers have the knowledge, tools, and experience to handle the job, including any surprises. For example, if they have to open up walls or floors, they may discover that additional repairs are necessary. If the home was built more than 40 years ago, it’s a good idea to evaluate the plumbing and electrical scene. For heavier tubs, structural support could be needed as well. A contractor will also know what permits are required for this type of work.
How to Save Money on Walk-In Tub Cost
Walk-in tubs can be pricey, but there are practical ways to save money. For example, when retrofitting the bathroom, stay within the footprint of existing plumbing, tub, and walls. The more that must be altered, the higher the project cost.
Selecting a basic tub without all the technology bells and whistles is another way to save. If the ability to lie down in the tub or have massage jets is not essential, then plenty of lower cost options will be available.
It’s conceivable to get a tax deduction or tax credit, given the proper circumstances. There’s also a chance of getting the cost covered by insurance. Some homeowners are even able to strike a deal with the tub sellers if they also offer installation. Don’t forget to look for rebates and sales; not all manufacturer rebates are prominently advertised. It also never hurts to inquire about a military discount if it applies.
- Look into Medicare and Medicaid. If you can claim a walk-in tub as a medical necessity, Medicare may cover it by reimbursement after installation—and Medicaid might cover installation costs. It’s best to check first so you’re not disappointed.
- Consider buying from a professional. Sometimes you can get a discounted rate on installation if you buy the unit from the same company that will install it.
- Claim a tax deduction. If your doctor prescribes a walk-in tub as a medical necessity for you to be able to bathe yourself, you can claim it as a tax deduction. Similarly, if you are purchasing it for someone you are taking care of, you may get a dependent care tax credit.
- Choose a smaller size. If you don’t think that you will regularly use a two-seater or long tub, there’s no need to install one of those larger models.
- Choose your features wisely. Realistically think about how much you will use features like whirlpool jets or colored lights. If you don’t think it will be more than a few times right after the tub is installed, consider forgoing those pricier options.
- Shop around. Get quotes from multiple installers and brands so you can ensure you’re getting the best price.
- Compromise on materials. Consider gelcoat or acrylic instead of costly porcelain.
Questions to Ask About Walk-In Tub Installation
When homeowners are considering adding a walk-in tub to a home, it’s essential for them to know precisely what is included in this cost. Does the tub have jets or other therapeutic features, and if so, how much do they add to the cost?
But there’s more to think about than just the cost of the unit. It’s also important for homeowners to know if the tub will fit in the space that is available or if the room will require significant modification to accommodate the new tub. Additionally, homeowners will want to know everything the installation includes, such as plumbing and electrical work. Below are some questions for homeowners to ask during the process of getting quotes.
- Does the walk-in tub come with a lifetime warranty, or do I have to purchase one?
- What is the cost to repair or replace the tub as it ages and begins to wear?
- How much does routine maintenance cost?
- How long will installation take?
- Are you licensed and insured?
- Do you have any references?
- What is the model best suited for my home and needs?
- Is there any remodeling work that will need to take place?
- How many workers will this job need?
Before homeowners make a decision about getting a walk-in tub or choosing which walk-in tub to get, it’s important for them to understand the cost, the return on investment, the benefits, and the challenges of owning one. Although they can be expensive, the payoff in health benefits, convenience, added independence, and home value might make the investment worthwhile.
Q. How much do walk-in tubs cost?
Walk-in tubs can cost between $4,000 and $20,000, with a national average of $5,500 including labor and installation. The unit could cost between $4,000 and $10,000 on its own. The final price depends on the tub’s features, technology, and ease of installation. Adding jets requires electrical work. A long tub or two-seater tub could add more plumbing work as well as renovation costs.
Q. Does a walk-in tub increase home value?
A walk-in tub can increase the value of a home, particularly for those who live in an assisted living community where buyers will appreciate the convenience of a professionally installed walk-in tub. Many buyers will appreciate that the work has already been done for them.
Q. Can I install a walk-in tub on my own?
Installing a walk-in tub is not for the novice DIYer. The installer will need to do plumbing and, depending on the model, electrical work as well as tiling. There could be even more complicated work to be done if the installation will include putting in larger pipes for faster fill and drain times or if modifications must be made to the floor plan to accommodate a larger tub or a tub in a different spot.
Q. Does Medicare cover walk-in tub installation?
In most circumstances, Medicare will not cover walk-in tub installation. However, if the tub was recommended by a doctor who is willing to submit documentation to Medicare stating that it is medically beneficial, there is a chance that Medicare will cover some or all of the costs.
Q. Are walk-in tubs tax-deductible?
Homeowners may be able to deduct a walk-in tub from their taxes if it is medically necessary or if they will be using it to care for a dependent. Additional evidence and documentation may be required for this process.