Accessible walk in tubs have become a main staple to integrate into a bathroom for seniors or people with limited mobility.
With so many options available, choosing the right walk in tub can certainly be an overwhelming task! We frequently meet with potential customers who are overwhelmed by the large volume of information they have gathered as they shop around for the best walk in bathtub in the market.

And we don’t blame them! So the purpose of this article is to provide you with the only checklist you will ever need to assess and compare the technical specifications required in the ultimate accessible walk in tub.

After all this is about ensuring your walk in tub purchase will allow you or your relative to age in place with top performance for many years to come.

THE MAIN TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS YOU NEED IN AN ACCESSIBLE WALK IN TUB

1.Truly accessible entry and exit from the walk in tub

  • An accessible bathing experience starts with your access into the walk in tub. When considering what walk in bathtub to purchase, make sure your model or brand of choice provides easy and hassle-free entry and exit from the walk in tub. All you would need is a simple lateral transfer in and out of the tub.
  • An outward opening walk in tub features a wider door compared with an inward opening walk in tub. This greater width of the outward opening tub removes the hassle associated with entering into the walk in tub through a narrower door.
  • As the old adage goes, a picture speaks a thousand words! Compare for yourself the convenience and ease an outward opening walk in tub offers versus a narrow inward opening walk in tub.

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2.Hydrotherapy options

  • Hydrotherapy is not a fancy word. The tried and tested healing power of water is a benefit you should be able to enjoy in the walk in tub of your choice. Hydrotherapy helps treat such ailments as arthritis, diabetes, back pain, circulatory disease, joint pain, insomnia, among many others.
  • We recommend looking into the hydrotherapy options the model you are considering features. Is it air spa, a whirlpool or a combination of both?
  • The more jets the better! Consider the total number of jets featured in the walk in tub as this is an indicator of the effectiveness of the hydro massage you will get. A good number of jets starts at 35. Some brands like American Standard feature 44 jets.

3.Accessible and convenient control of walk in tub functions

  • Ease of use once inside the walk in tub is another factor to consider. If user’s mobility is restrained, a walk in tub featuring an electronic control pad will make a significant difference. Just with the touch of a button at arm`s length, the user will be able to control all tub features from water temperature to jets. The electronic pad surely enhances the bathing experience.

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The outward opening walk in tub offers a truly accessible bathing experience that guarantees a safe and easy entry and exit of the walk in tub.

4.Fast draining system and professional plumbing installation

  • This is a deal breaker when it comes to choosing the best walk in tub in the market! Ensure the model or brand of your choice evacuates the water from the walk in tub faster than a typical drain. Draining should not take any longer than 2 minutes.
  • Waiting for the water to drain for more than 2 minutes is considered below industry standards. As many walk in tub users put it: “It feels like an eternity, especially so when you are stuck inside a walk in bath tub waiting to get out!”

5.Self-cleaning sanitary system

  • Look for a sanitary system that works with Ozone as it is the most effective cleaning system for bathing facilities.
  • An Ozone self-cleaning system is safe and effective. It automatically oxidizes and eliminates disease-causing microorganisms in the tub, plumbing and jets.
  • The best part of the self-cleaning sanitary system is it does not require the active participation of the user!

6.Steady water temperature

  • Maintaining desired water temperature is a must to look for in the walk in bath tub of your choice.
  • Look for a walk in tub that does include an in-line water heater. The activation of such heating system should be automatic and not a manual process. This feature ensures you are not concerned about maintaining water temperature while enjoying your bathing experience!

7.Door system technology

  • Careful consideration should be given to the door in a walk in tub. As you compare multiple options, consider the following items:
    • the door needs to include a watertight seal able to withstand temperature changes and continuous exposure to moisture
    • consider the type of door construction. Absolute door alignment is a top requirement to have
    • non-corrosive material in all metal door parts is a must. Stainless steel is highly recommended
    • type of door handle with an ergonomic design for minimal effort manoeuvring

8.Professional installation and product warranties

  • You shall know thy installer! In addition to looking for a walk in tub with a proven rep and performance, we recommend to also ensure the tub is installed by a professional installer and not a general contractor who is not a licensed installer. This will save you lots of headaches. Too often we hear of a walk in tub installation that went wrong leaving the customer in a precarious situation with an installation problem that requires a more expensive solution, and in some cases, the replacement of the walk in tub!
  • Also inquire about product warranties. Before purchasing a walk in tub, compare warranties in terms of length and coverage. Reputable brands such as American Standard back their walk in tubs with limited lifetime warranty on both product and installation.

THE TAKEAWAY

A walk in tub purchase is an investment with a deep impact in the lifestyle of its user. Hence, you need to know beforehand the “puppy” you are bringing home is one that will perform at its best for years to come.

While the cost of a walk in tub is usually a determining factor at purchase time, it should not be the only aspect to consider. Knowing well the technical specifications of your multiple walk in tub options and understanding their advantages and shortcomings…. (yes, shortcomings!), will guarantee your final walk in purchase is the result of a well thought out process where you weighed technical performance, suitability to your lifestyle needs and product warranties.

A shortcut to this labour-intensive process? … Follow our checklist of key technical specifications in a walk in tub. With so much overwhelming information available, this checklist will surely help you cut through the clutter and make your walk in tub purchase a breeze!

Happy shopping around!

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26 May 2016

Rick Fangeat

Rick Fangeat is not only the man at the helm of the Walk in Tub Company, but also your trusted source for anything you need to know in connection to walk in tubs and safety showers. Having experienced for himself how family members can sometimes find themselves facing health issues that challenge their independence and mobility, Rick is adept at sharing valuable and straight-forward insights on ways to enhance accessibility and safety for individuals with physical limitations.