You are probably reading this article because you are interested in purchasing a walk-in tub with a shower for that luxurious soaking you have ever wanted. The problem is that there are so many products to choose from in the market. We have picked the top three products to go over in this article. Whether it is your first tub ever at home or an upgrade to your existing one, it is important to go over all the pros and cons before purchasing. After all, it is a huge investment.
Among the hundreds or even thousands of choices in the market, these three products below are the top ones.
Empava EMPV-WIT373 52.5″ Acrylic Freestanding
The Empava EMPV-WIT373 52.5″ has an ultra-low step-in threshold. At less than four inches, stepping into the bathtub allows little to no effort at all. The step-in threshold also keeps water from overflowing or spilling into your bathroom floor, promoting safety and security. The tub’s floor has slip-resistant flooring, preventing slips from happening.
If the overall aesthetic is a concern, fear no more because the Empava uses 100% glossy white acrylic and a contemporary design. The control knobs are simple and easy to use. They are very ergonomic, so you won’t have any trouble using them.
Do you sometimes find it hard to stand up from the bathtub? Have you ever wanted to have a handrail around it? The Empava EMPV-WIT373 has handrails on the rim, providing you with the support and grip you need when going in and out of the tub. When you are already inside, a grab bar provides stability while bathing, standing, and sitting. The integrated seat fits an average adult, which can submerge in water up to shoulder level.
It has a water capacity of 94 gallons and outer dimensions of 52.5″ length x 26.5″ width x 40 inches height. The Empava comes with one pillow, three grab bars, three faucets, and a two-inches copper drain. The faucets are strategically pre-installed inside – left side drain, left side door, and in the middle. To top it off, it is 20% wider than the others on the same tier and opens fully, so you will have a lot of space accessing it.
Ella’s Bubbles OA3052HH5PRh Capri Hydro-Massage
Ella’s Bubbles Capri Hydro Massage Bathtub comes with nine fixed jets and six adjustable jets. A dial control allows you to adjust the intensity. An in-line water heater provides warm water when needed and ozone sterilization to clean the entire system and the water.
You can find five hydro jets at your back. There is also one for each calf and two for each foot. The calf and foot hydro jets have their pump and controls, so you can still enjoy your soak up to the seat level only. With all the water coming out of the jets, you will need an efficient drain system. The Dual Drain Technology has two independently-controlled drains that are easy to turn. To effectively drain water out of the bathtub, four two-inches outlets are in strategic locations to facilitate.
To quickly fill it with water, the 5-piece fast-fill faucet can push up to 18 gallons per minute. There is a mounted faucet, as well as a pull-out hand shower should you need it. The diverter and temperature levers are in chrome finish, which makes it easy on the eyes. The seat is 20 inches wide and comes with a heater to keep you warm whenever you need it.
With all these fancy features, surely you are already enticed. But what good is a bathtub if it does not come with grab bars? The Ella’s Bubbles has two – one on the rim and the other one on the left sidewall.
Energy Tubs Walk-in Bathtub 30″ x 60″ Luxury Whirlpool
The Energy Tubs is a tub and a whirlpool massage in one. It uses a marine-grade fiberglass shell, making it very durable. Don’t worry about getting scratches, as the triple gel coat finish prevents it from happening. The door is lined with water-tight vinyl, so water won’t escape from the bathtub when it is closed.
The anti-slip flooring safety feature prevents you from slipping. A low threshold entry of just about six inches makes stepping in and out hassle-free. The built-in stainless steel grab bars and U-bar provide support whenever you need it. The heated seats help you stay comfortable as you sit back and relax.
A low threshold of only six inches allows you easy entry and exit to and from the tub. The door drains collect excess water in the door area and redirects it to the main drain. You could even shower your cat or dog in it!
Among the three top products above, we recommend the Empava EMPV-WIT373 52.5″ Acrylic Freestanding Walk-in Bathtub. It offers more space and features than the other two, at a better price.
What to look for?
The walk-in tub is a luxurious addition to anyone’s bathroom, so you should know the things you should be looking for before purchasing. Below are some tips that will help you. You can’t walk into a store and buy any model. Factors such as layout, size, budget, and type need consideration. These tips should help you in your thought process, from choosing a brand to picking a specific model.
They come in several sizes to fit the needs of various specifications. Some people prefer a small size that could fit one person, while others prefer a unit that can accommodate two or more people. Most models from different manufacturers have high walls of three feet or higher and are 26 inches to 32 inches wide. They typically also have a length of 60 inches, which should take the space of a standard one without needing to renovate the room. In the unlikely event, it is not a perfect fit, extensions are available to make it fit perfectly.
The quality is probably the first thing you should check before everything else. Go for brands and models that are manufactured in the USA, as these brands offer the best. With quality also comes warranty coverage. Look for a company that has a lifetime leak-proof door warranty. The tub itself and the jets should also come with a lengthy warranty. If what these manufacturers claim is true, offering a lengthy warranty with their products should not be an issue at all.
Another thing you can do when checking on quality is to check reviews online. You can refer to Reddit, Amazon, and even the manufacturer’s website for customer reviews. Be warned that not all reviews are unbiased, so use your best judgment when reading through these.
You can also reach out to a friend or a friend’s friend who has experience with that particular product. Ask them how their overall experience is and if they would recommend it.
When it comes to the door, most models have a door that opens inward. But what if anyone in your household requires a bigger opening? A door that opens outward may be a better option for anyone using a wheelchair or is huge. It makes it easier to exit and enter. The downside is that it requires more floor space since the door swings out.
Certain manufacturers can configure their models depending on the needs of the customer. If you need a bigger door, you can reach out to these manufacturers.
Manufacturers offer several types, so it is up to your needs to select which one to purchase. Below are some of the main types.
Compared to other models, the deep soaking tub is deeper. It allows you to submerge your body while sitting in an upright position. This type is ideal for people who enjoy a nice, long soak without having to lie down.
The walk-in whirlpool tub is quite similar to a walk-in air bath, but the former features a system of massaging jets. The jets blow out water, circulating and reheating it throughout the water.
Walk-In Air Baths
A walk-in air bath still uses water, but the jets pump air instead of blowing water out. In effect, it gives it a massage-like effect.
The bariatric walk-in tub is best for overweight people, specifically ones that are over 300 pounds. They have a wider door and a deeper area for soaking. If you feel the traditional units are cramped, you can opt for this type. Some feature a whirlpool jet, while others feature air jets.
Even the most basic model can cost you thousands of dollars. So before you go looking for one, you need to align your wants or needs with your budget. Make a prioritization list of things. Once you have decided to buy one, you need to talk with a store specialist about your budget. Most go as low as $4,500 or as high as $10,000. This cost is the unit alone and does not include delivery or installation fees.
You will also need to think about the effect it will have on your water and electricity bills. Will you be able to manage the increase in these utility bills? They are heavily dependent on water and electricity, so be warned. Make sure the wiring is properly protected. You don’t want exposed wiring anywhere where you risk it getting in contact with water.
Several tubs feature a sealed door, at least one grab bar, and a low entry threshold. Ask yourself if anyone using it will need additional safety features. Some of the most common add-ons are the following.
Certain manufacturers have an optional water purification feature. It is often a two-fold feature. On the one hand, it oxidizes water and allows for the unit to self-clean. On the other hand, it actively filters water as you are using it.
Easy Locking Handles
One of the most important features of the one you get is the door’s locking mechanism. What good is it if the water flows out on the door gaps? Some models may require a certain amount of strength to lock the door. An easy locking mechanism drastically reduces the effort you need to put in sealing the door.
More Grab Bars or U Bars
For sure, this luxurious addition to your bathroom will have at least one grab bar. But you might need more than one to guarantee safety. Most manufacturers have the option to add optional grab bars around the rim or inside the tub. U bars will likely only be possible to install around the rim. We recommend a minimum of three grab bars.
Similar to non-slip bathroom tiles, a walk-in bathtub also have the option for a non-slip surface. These units typically feature textured seats, walls, and even floors for that added grip.
You might think everything is ready, but have you considered the drain system? It is easy to overlook, but the drain system is vital. When flushing out the water, you will need to remain inside until all the water has flushed down the drain. An average tub would need about 50 gallons, which means draining could take some time. A manufacturer with quick-draining technology will come in handy to prevent you from sitting for a longer period.
The price of a walk-in tub shower combo will depend on its features and the brand. They go as low as $2,500 and as high as $10,000. The advantage of a combo is the ability to shower inside the unit. They typically include a showerhead, which you can pull. This shower combo is ideal for those who prefer to have the support of a seated bath.
In general, a tub has better resale value than a walk-in shower. They are more expensive and difficult to install than a shower, so getting one at a discounted price is beneficial to the buyer. Even though these two have similar brand new prices, a bathtub would increase the overall market value of your home as the market sees it as more valuable.
Medicare does pay for a few medical types of equipment, such as hospital beds, wheelchairs, and walkers. However, walk-in bathtubs do not usually qualify. Why? Because they do not consider it as a piece of medically necessary equipment.
An average of $3,000. It’s possible to do it cheaper, but it’s definitely also possible to do it much more expensive.
There are several brands manufactured and sold in the United States. These three brands below are only some of them.
Safe Step is manufactured in Tennessee and is the premier shower and walk-in bathtub manufacturer in the United States. When quoting the price, Safe Step includes plumbing, electrical work, installation, and bathroom modifications. They also typically have more features than other options, and installation will only take a few days. On the other hand, they may charge you an upfront deposit, so be ready with it.
Jacuzzi has a model for every budget. Their models are known internationally for luxury, quality, and the health benefits of hydrotherapy. Jacuzzi models have low thresholds, making it easy for users to enter and exit the tub safely. They also offer free home consultation, in case you need help throughout the decision and buying process. The downside you might encounter with Jacuzzi is their models do not offer tons of variety and configuration.
American Standard is one of the trusted, well-known brands in the market. They offer several types of models, which cater to different budgets and needs. Their door seals come with a lifetime warranty, so you don’t have to worry about leakage in the long run. Some of their models are air baths, deep soaking, walk-in whirlpools, and combo massage ones. Most of their units come with a 10-year warranty on the components.
How to convert a tub to a walk-in shower?
Converting to a walk-in shower can be summarized in five steps. The very first is to determine the spacing as well as the placement. The best location is right in the same space left behind by your bathtub. Any work needed in plumbing will be very minimum. Second, decide on what sort of walk-in shower design you want. There are several kits available in the market, so you will have to choose which one best fits your taste.
Third, remove any wall sections and tiles around the bathtub. The fourth step is one you have been waiting for – removing the bathtub. It is best to consult the manufacturer or an instructions manual before proceeding. The final phase is to install the walk-in shower. The kit will likely have instructions, so follow whatever it says.