Jan 142010

A previous article discussed walk in tub benefits, features, and options. But there are other considerations when purchasing a walk in or safety bathtub. These include the size of the tub, the construction materials used, and its cost.

Walk-in tub Sizes

A standard bathtub is usually around 60 inches (152 cm) long and 30 or 32 inches (76 to 81 cm) wide with a height of about 14 to 18 inches. The biggest difference with a walk in tub is its height. Typical walk in tubs range from between 36 and 47 inches (91 to 119 cm), although some are available that are only 20 inches (51 cm) high. The additional depth means you can be fully surrounded by water when you sit in the tub.

Walk-in tubs can vary in size. The most common tubs can fit into a standard tub space. That is, they will be 60 X 32 inches. Of course, they will usually be higher than the standard tub. This size is best for larger people as it will have the largest door and most room to move around in. It will provide you with a deep, immersive bath.

Other size walk-in tubs range in length, going down to about 36 inches (91 cm) long. These are good for smaller bathrooms or converting some other bathroom space.

The shorter sizes will usually come with some sort of kit intended to fill the space between the end of the tub and the bathroom wall. This extra space can be used as a shelf for bathing needs such as shampoo.

Walk-in tub Construction Materials

Walk in tubs are most often built of either acrylic or fiberglass.

Fiberglass is a polyester resin that is reinforced with fine glass particles. The fiberglass is then covered with a gelcoat. Gelcoat is a material of modified resins that provide the fiberglass with a high-quality finish. Fiberglass is lighter than acrylic, which can make a fiberglass walk-in tub easier to install. It also typically costs less than an acrylic walk-in tub. However, fiberglass is more porous than acrylic meaning, over time, it is more susceptible to mold and mildew that get into its pores.

Walk in tub Cost

Walk in tub prices can range from US$3000 to $15,000. The size, features, options, and materials will all impact the cost.

For example, larger size walk in tubs use more materials so will cost more. Acrylic construction will typically cost more than fiberglass. Some manufacturers will include safety features such as grab bars and non-slip flooring in their price. Others will charge extra for these items. An option such as a whirlpool or massage jet system usually needs a separate motor and pump, which will raise the cost of the tub.

And when considering pricing, don’t forget the cost of installation. A basic installation would consist of removing your old tub and installing the new tub, needed extensions, and putting in any new piping, motors, or pumps required. This can take from 1 to 2 days of labor.