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6 Tips for Buying Walk-In Tubs

Did you know the vast majority of falls in the home occur in the bathroom? In fact, a whopping 80 percent of senior spills occur in bathrooms, according to the National Institute on Aging (NIA).

Shopping for walk-in tubs? Check out our list of retailers: Top Walk-In Tubs for Seniors

Luckily there are some simple things caregivers can do to reduce the risk of falls in the bathroom while supporting senior independence. At the top of the list? Fall-proofing the bathroom by investing in adaptive devices, such as walk-in tubs.

But how do you choose between the many different options available? Let's count down six things to keep in mind when choosing a walk-in tub for your aging loved one. You can also review previous articles in this series about walk-in tubs.

Tips for Purchasing Walk-In Tubs

1. Do Your Research

There are many different types of walk-in bathtubs offering a breadth and depth of features and functionality. Before heading to the store, take time to research various products and their pricing online. If possible, head to the store for an up-close-and-personal look.

Ultimately, whether you end up making an in-store or online purchase, the more information you have at your disposal, the better prepared you'll be to make a smart purchasing decision.

Walk-in tubs
Enhancing bathroom safety means better peace of mind — for seniors and their caregivers.

RELATED: WHAT IS A WALK-IN BATHTUB?

2. Use Peer Power and Check out Reviews

Walk-in tub manufacturers and retailers alike share a common goal: to entice the public to buy their products. If you're looking for real insight into whether a walk-in tub is likely to fulfill your expectations, rely on the input of people who don't have a financial stake in the matter. There's a reason why people trust their fellow consumers over other sources in this era of peer sharing: it's accurate and unbiased.

3. Know Your Needs… and Your Wants

Are you looking for an all-in-one option including built-in grab bars and hand-held showers? Are additional “bells and whistles,” such as jets, air massages, in-line heaters, and hydrotherapy, also on your must-have list? What sort of installation will you require and are you on a particular deadline? As you identify the attributes you're looking for in a walk-in tub, you'll automatically narrow down your list.

4. Set a Budget

Walk-in tubs range from basic to luxury with price tags to go along with them. Aligning your needs and wants with your budget is an important part of the walk-in tub buying process.

RELATED: WALK-IN BATHTUB PRICING

5. Consider Warranties and Return Policies

While understanding the warranty specifics for all of the walk-in tubs you're considering can seem like an overwhelming process, you'll be glad you did so if/when you encounter any issues with your purchase.

Walk-in tubs and their parts, including everything from water-tight seals to water pumps, heaters and blowers, can vary in terms of what's offered, so be sure to understand exactly what you're getting when making a purchase.

Additionally, some companies allow returns; others do not. If you opt to purchase from a company without a return policy, be sure to double-check your measurements.

6. Consult a Plumber

The last thing you want is to deal with the hassle of purchasing a walk-in tub that doesn't work with your aging loved one's current set-up. Depending on how the plumbing is wired, projects can range from simple and straightforward to a complete tub relocation. Knowing what to expect early in the process can help you adjust your wish list and budget, as necessary.

Walk-in tubs
One last thing to keep in mind? Walk-in tubs and other adaptive equipment support the ongoing health, safety and independent of aging loved ones. While spending a significant amount of money on a walk-in tub may seem like a splurge, it's actually an invaluable component in senior home care, not to mention an investment in your aging loved one's quality of life.

15 Comments

  1. I think walk-in tubs are so cool! I like how you said that it’s important to see if additions are important to you in terms of jets, in-line heaters, and hydrotherapy. Can really help determine your price point. My wife and I are looking at getting one and we found this very informative thank you!

  2. Really handy tips! We are looking at buying an assisted bath for my grandmother and I was wondering if anyone has has any previous experience with a Abacus Healthcare Aquanova Baths? My grandma is keen on one but is unsure as to which would be best for her to buy, assuming she gradually gets a little worse? Any help would be great [url redacted-admin]

  3. My husband and I are remodeling our bathroom. We want to make sure we find the right tub enclosure that will be functional and stylish. As you said, know what amenities you’re looking for in a tub is important to narrow down the options. Thanks for sharing!

  4. That’s a good tip that peer review has less bias. That’s because consumers just want good work done. I’ve been thinking about getting a walk in tub for my mom, so I’ll have to consider this.

  5. I really like your point about looking at some reviews about the walk in tub you are looking at. It would be nice to know that others have the model you are looking at and that they like it. Plus, you might be able to find one that is very well liked for its different services.

  6. I like what this article recommends about setting a budget. It makes sense that it would be good to set a strict budget because specialized equipment can get seriously expensive. It’s something I’ll have to talk to my mom about whenever we buy any sort of medical equipment to ensure we don’t spend too much on random features.

  7. I never knew that some bathing solution companies do not offer returns – that seems entirely ridiculous, especially as making this investment is not only important but serious for those who need it,

  8. I like that part of the article when it states that some companies allow returns; others do not. My friend’s mother still lives with her, she is 80-years old. They bought one but soon after it didn’t work and the company didn’t accept returns. When I come of age that I need one I will be sure to talk about the return policy with them!

  9. I appreciate your tip to consider warranties and return policies when purchasing walk in tubs. It’s easy to forget things like that when purchasing something like a tub. Thanks for the tips, i’ll be sure to pass them along to my grandparents, they’re considering purchasing a walk in tub!

  10. Thanks for the valuable points that you have mentioned above. Yes, walk in bathtubs is very beneficial for seniors who have difficulty getting in and out of a regular bathtub. Installing a walk-in bathtub can improve safety, relief for many seniors as it allows them to bathe safely. There are many professional suppliers for a walk-in bathtub at, North Cal Services, Columbia basin, bath, etc., who will provide with a specifically the brand model of the bathtub, which you wish to purchase for the senior citizen.

  11. Thanks for sharing these tips. Whether you are handicapped or then have a senior couple in your house, choosing the right walk in bathtubs is always advisable.

  12. I would definitely say a plumber would be key for installation, and I would also recommend grip bars on the wall for extra safety. Great information, thanks for sharing!

  13. I like that you mention setting a budget. It would be helpful to not to get one that was too expensive. It would also be helpful to make sure that a plumber could come in and set that up for you.

  14. Bathtubs are great. They make it easy to relax. If I eve is getting a walk in tub I will be sure to take your advice and do some research because I would want one that is best for me.

  15. I guess it’s smart to think about aligning my needs and wants. I’ll definitely be able to save more money with that tips alone. My grandmother is actually looking for new medical equipment. I hope that I can help her find some.

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