Is a Walk-In Tub Right for You?

The bathroom can be one of the most dangerous rooms in the home, especially for seniors. But with a walk-in hydrotherapy bathtub, almost any bathroom can be transformed into a safe haven of relaxation and comfort.

By Donna Boyle Schwartz | Updated Feb 10, 2022 9:38 AM

Walk-in Tubs

Photo: americanstandard.com

Imagine if instead of having to make an appointment and haul yourself to the spa—and then have to pay for the privilege—you could treat yourself to a spa-like experience every day at home. This idea is not so far-fetched: For decades now, homeowners have been outfitting their decks with hot tubs and their master bathrooms with oversize jetted tubs. And while for the younger set, time spent in a Jacuzzi is merely a luxury, those who are older know that it can be something else entirely.

For women and men of a certain age, walk-in tubs with built-in hydrotherapy turn bathing into a restorative, even health-giving, experience. As one recent remodeler put it, “The whirlpool has helped take lots of aches and pains away. It is like being on vacation all the time without all the travel.” Having a walk-in Jacuzzi tub allows bathing to become a pleasure instead of a task.

Walk-In Tub - Hydrotherapy

Photo: hydrotherapybathing.com

Walk-in Tub Safety

Walk-in bathtubs put heavy emphasis on safety. Ordinary tubs can be dangerous for anyone; slips are responsible for many thousands of serious injuries, sometimes even deaths, each year. For seniors in particular, that danger is present not only during moments of inattention, but increasingly as their mobility naturally declines with age. About 10,000 Baby Boomers turn 65 every day in the USA and according to the CDC, one in three of these seniors suffers a fall each year.

Walk-in Tub Design

Photo: americanstandard.com

Walk-in Tub Design

The latest walk-in tub designs combine legendary Jacuzzi comfort with extraordinary safety features, including:

  • a leak-proof, low-threshold bathtub door
  • built-in grab bars
  • raised seat
  • anti-scald water temperature protection
  • textured, skid-resistant floor

Though made specifically for one type of homeowner, walk-in tubs are not just for one type of home. On the contrary, manufacturers know that no matter your age, it’s a priority to combine safety with preserving the look and feel of your bathroom and ensuring that your house not seem institutional.

Innovators have treated this seriously, using the concept of universal design—that is, features for the home that look great and work equally well for everyone, young and old. Their walk-in tubs, in other words, accommodate both grandparents and grandchildren.

Walk-in Tub Installation

As you age, your house hasn’t changed, but your needs do change. Rather than leave your home prematurely for a senior living setting, the obvious solution is to fix your house to meet your needs.

Walk-in bathtubs and showers are available in multiple sizes, so if your existing tub is a standard size, the walk-in Jacuzzi can fit right into the space that it vacates.

In-home installation of a walk-in tub is typically handled by professional, certified installers. This really is not a DIY project. There are a number of factors that can come up during installation, including the type and condition of the existing plumbing, electrical wiring and service, flooring conditions, local building code requirements, and the location of the bathroom within the house.

However, certified installers can deal with all of the issues during the installation process. That’s why most quality walk-in tubs are sold as an all-inclusive package including your new tub, installation and clean-up.