They say age is merely a factor. True, being above sixty may bring a lot of restrictions, but it does not deny basic pleasures.
Day-to-day activities like bathing can be of super comfort to the elderly. A walk-in tub is just what you need to take their mundane experience to a whole new level.
Even those seniors who are not prone to falling or are habituated to a shower can not deny the soothing effects of soaking in a tub. The Arthritis Association highly recommends the use of lukewarm water for therapeutic effects.
Additionally, a walk-in tub makes your house perfectly safe and ideal if you are looking after elderly people. If you are wondering how much does a walk-in tub cost then you’re just on the right page to get all your answers
Fortunately, not much. Maximum companies display walk-in bathtubs costs but fail to disclose additional prices that you will incur.
From installation prices to labor charges and maintenance, we have got you all covered.
Walk-In Tub Features
Unlike the standard tubs which have built-in barriers, a walk-in tub features a door that is closed to fill the tub. People with dementia, obesity, or arthritis often find it difficult to step over. A walk-in tub is designed specifically to resolve these issues.
Things To Consider While Buying a Walk-In Bathtub
The following features must be considered while you are choosing a walk-in bathtub for the aged ones :
- A bathtub that is wide enough.So that your loved one doesn’t feel confined.
- A wide door with double latching is preferable to prevent water leakage and ensures safety.
- Non-slippery floor and surfaces
- A control panel positioned for easy access that is readable
- If need be, look for models that allow an easy transfer from a wheelchair to the bath seat.
How Much Are Walk-In Tubs?
Given the features which you might consider while purchasing a walk-in tub, the installation costs may vary from $3000 to $8,500. On average, walk-in bathtubs costs $4000.
Your final bill would depend on the type and size of your tub, the add-ons you choose, and whether you need an electrician to place the motor, you are replacing your old tub or you are simply buying a new one.
Installing a walk-in bathtub would cost you around $2500 to a maximum of $20,000.
Walk-In Bathtub Prices By Type
Apart from making it ideal, are you looking to make the bathroom nothing less than a well-furnished suite? Well, companies continue to entice even the seniors with the myriad of options. Just like standard bathtubs, walk-in bathtubs, too, have a wide range to choose from:
1. Soaking Tub
Not only does a good soak relieve joint and muscle pain, but it also gives you a robust sleep. Soaking tubs are specially engineered to enable you to sit and soak for extended periods.
They lack features like extra jets or aromatherapy but make a good choice for the elderly with arthritis or rickets. Moreover, seniors commonly suffer from itchy skin.
Give your body a warm soak in fine ground oatmeal and say bye to the irritation. The average cost of a soaking tub ranges from $2,500 to $5,000.
2. Air Bath
Like a regular soaking tub, this tub comes with an additional feature of releasing bubbles from the small holes located near or bottom of the tub. This provides a very consistent and regular massage that improves blood circulation. Air-bath walk-in bathtubs cost $5,000 to $7,000 on average.
3. Hydrotherapy (Whirlpool)
This is a jetted tub that vigorously circulates the water. It offers deep tissue massage. Keep all your muscle aches at bay with this hydrotherapy.
Since the water drives out at extreme speeds, we would not recommend this if you are prone to any heart diseases. However, you can also use this as a soaking tub by switching off the jets when not required.
The average cost of a hydrotherapy walk-in tub is between $5,000 and $7,000.
4. Two Seater
As the name suggests, a two-seater is designed especially for those who need extra hands while bathing or someone to keep a check on. These tubs may be soaking, whirlpool, air bath, combination – anything. The only structural difference is of two backrests on either side with a drain in the center.
This tub is ideal for caregivers or those elderly people who need constant monitoring.
Additionally, they are larger-minimum of 72 inches in length-and the pricing ranges from 7000 to 20,000 dollars.
As every family has that one-man army, combination tubs are for walk-in bathtubs. A two-seater, air bath, hydrotherapy, this tub has it all.
Customize this tub for your convenience simply by switching off any of the facilities you don’t need. Combination walk-in tubs prices range between $10,000 and $15,000, on average.
Being crippled or disabled shouldn’t take away your right to enjoy a relaxing bath. The bariatric tub is specially designed for those who have serious mobility issues or need help entering or exiting the tub.
The wide space ensures your comfort and ease and can be either soaking, whirlpool, combination, or air-bath. A bariatric walk-in bathtubs costs $10,000 to $20,000.
A luxury tub is one that comes with additional features such as curved backrests, aromatherapy, audio therapy to make you feel even more cozy and comfy. Typically larger and deeper, they are much more contemporary in appearance.
Though not scientifically proven, light and colors always tend to have a different effect on the mind. For instance, red improves circulation while green is believed to have a calming effect.
A series of LED lights is placed on the floor of the bath-tub. The bather can create the perfect ambiance simply at the push of a button.
9. Audio therapy
A feeling of loneliness and depression is often common in old age. Be it a soothing lullaby or rocking to the tunes of Pink Floyd like in your teens, music is bound to add to it.
Many texts have proven that certain scents soothe anxiety and reduce depression. Thus, a mixture of essential oils like sandalwood and rose can relax you and bring a good night’s sleep.
Depending on all these benefits that you choose, a luxury walk-in bathtubs costs within the range of $15,000 to $20,000.
Walk-In Tubs Prices By Brands
There are two primary sources of buying a new tub. Either you purchase it from big-box stores like Home Depot or Lowe, or you directly contact the manufacturer.
Manufacturers and big box stores have different walk-in bathtubs costs. Deciding whom to purchase from might put you in a fix. However, each of these options has their pros and cons too.
Buying from a Manufacturer
Manufacturers like American Standard and Kohler have the installation and labor charges included in their walk-in bathtubs costs along with free shipping. Moreover, they have financial plans for eligible customers.
Manufacturers have consultants who would visit your home to guide you about the perfect choice and discuss proper payment plans. They have professionals who would install your tub without any worries.
So looking at the charges you will incur, buying your bathtub from a manufacturer would make a better investment.
Buying from a Big-Box Store
Going to Lowes or Home Depot, assessing the workability of the tub you want to buy is always a good option. But there is one thing you are missing out on. The labor charges, installation costs, transportation – all these would add up to an exorbitant bill.
Additionally, you would also have to look for a good plumber as installing a bath-tub requires perfection. So measure your options wisely.
Let’s have a look at the different brands.
Walk-In Tubs From Big-Box Stores
Lowest Price – Ariel 51. Is available as a left or right-handed model, rectangular, 51” l x 26” w x 38” h, heavy-duty reinforced door system, handheld showerhead and Roman faucet, in-built safety grab bar. No jets or air injectors.
Dollar check – $1,979.01.
Moderately priced: American Standard Model Gelcoat Value Series.51.5” l x 29.75” w x 42” h, soaking depth 36.75” combination air spa and whirlpool massage, heater included, 8 jets, 1 jet setting.
Dollar Check : – $4,609.20
Highest Price: Jacuzzi Finestra. 60” l x 36” w x 38.5” h, soaking depth of 31.5”, whirlpool and air bath, acrylic tub, water capacity 127 gallons, pillow, remote control, 16 air injectors, 10 jets, adjustable jet direction, and flow.
Dollar Check :– $10,353
2. Home Depot
Lowest Price: The Pinnacle by Signature Bath.59.47” long, rectangular, left-side drain and door, durable high-luster acrylic finish, large inward opening door, safety door drain, adjustable leveling feet. Non-whirlpool cannot add heating options.
Dollar Check : – $1,688
Moderately priced: Universal Tubs HD Series.99.52.8” l x 29.5 w x 37.5 h, soaking depth of 30”, Hand shower, Heater, Tub filler, Fiberglass, adjustable jet direction and flow chromotherapy.
Dollar Check – $4,649.
Highest Price: The Ella Lounger.59” l x 26.75” w x 43” h, 3-latch door, heated seat and backrest, fast-fill-and-drain system, 5.5” threshold, 14 therapeutic air massage jets with variable speeds, infusion microbubble therapy to moisturize and exfoliate the skin, pull-out handheld shower, and more.
Dollar Check: $7,668
Walk-In Tubs From The Manufacturer
When it comes to selecting the best walk-in tubs for the elderly, American Standard, Kohler, Safe Step Tub, and Jacuzzi are the manufacturers we recommend.
1. American Standard
A company that dates back to more than 140 years, American Standard has been the trust of millions. They claim to have the best hydro jets of any walk-in tub.
American Standard also claims to be the fastest draining walk-in tub with a filling and draining time of as less as two minutes. You wouldn’t have to wait for eons to open the door and get out of the tub.
This company has bagged the Ease Of Use Commendation Award from the Arthritis Foundation for their Liberation Series Walk-In Tubs. These tubs have 44 hydro jets engineered specifically to target the body area of poor circulation.
Currently, the American Standard has the best offer. You get 1,500 dollars in savings without any interest and payment for 12 months.
Pocket Pinch : $5000 to $16,000
Kohler is one such company that offers a lifetime warranty on your tub. It is applicable only if you own the house for which you buy the tub and has been installed by a Kohler professional.
Additionally, get the parts replaced or repaired free of cost. What is unique about this plan is that all costs are covered – be it motors, jets, door seals, even the hand shower.
Kohler tubs feature handrails both on the outside as well as inside. Moreover, they provide the lowest threshold – have a safe entry and exit with Kohler.
The best part? They got 11 color combinations to customize the perfect ambiance for you. Choose to your heart’s content.
Pocket Pinch : $12,000-$17,000
3. Safe Step Tub
The only company that can create any tub as per the client’s needs. Just order and get what you want. Nothing less than ordering your customized Subway!
They have a unique 30-day policy. Safe Step refunds you the full amount with an additional thirty dollars if you find the same tub elsewhere within thirty days of your purchase.
Unlike Kohler, all Safe Step products have a lifetime warranty without any terms and conditions. They have a 14 point Quality Control Inspection to ensure the superiority of their products.
Best known for its MicroSooth Air Therapy System, this would be a good choice if you’re looking for an air bath. The backrests and seats can also be heated for warmth while you wait for the tub to fill in.
Moreover, it has a towel rack. So no more stepping onto chilly floors after a warm bath. Neither do you have to be all wet and drippy till you reach your room?
Pocket Pinch : $1,200 – $ 5000
Clearly, we would recommend Safe Step for an average income household that has an elderly to take care of. A product that’s worth the price.
Apart from the top three recommended brands, there are others too. Here’s a list comparing other brands with all the features for your convenience :
Premium Features – Price Tag(USD)
a. Safe Step
Customized tubs, Extra comfort, Best Airbath technology, Highly recommended for seniors
1,200 – 5000
b. Homeward Bath
Innumerable variations and sizes
c. Safety Tub
Specializes in smaller tubs for cramped spaces
Go to brand, if varieties and sizes of doors are what you are looking at
Features a swinging door that opens inwards.
Patent hydrotherapy jet system, best combination tubs
g. American Standard
Quick draining, best investment plans, Recommended by the Arthritis Association
Lowest step-in threshold that any bathtub can offer.Lifetime warranty covering all costs.
Walk-In Tub and Shower Combo
It may always happen that you have kids and the elderly all together in the same house. Kids love the pitter-patter of the shower, while they may not be ideal for the elderly. A Walk-In Tub and Shower combo is the solution for this case.
This combo comes as a single unit that can be fitted into where you already have an existing shower. It is also good for those who like to sit while bathing.
It also solves the problem if you have to bathe your pets, who might otherwise be scared to get into a walk-in tub.
This special combination of a shower and walk-in bathtubs costs $10,000 to $20,000.
Conversion From a Shower To a Tub
You might be thinking, why buy a new walk-in tub? You could easily convert the shower to a tub and incur lesser charges. That is a big NO.
Walk-in tubs tend to be longer than the standard bathtubs. This requires you to demo the previous shower walls and also remove the existing shower floor.
Additionally, you would need a plumber solely to increase the height of the tub spout. Moreover, you would even feel the need to renovate your bathroom after all the extra-work. Nobody likes patchy walls with the paint peeling.
Costs would just keep piling up.
Keeping all this in mind, we would recommend you to get a new Shower and Walk-In tub combo instead. Not only are you making a better investment, but you are also adding value to your property. Also, say hello to a welcoming and relaxing bathing experience!
Labor Costs For Installing a Walk-In Tub
The task of installing a walk-in bathtub in a typical bathroom is usually simple with not many nitty-gritty whatsoever. All that is required is for your old tub to be removed, to be replaced by the new one.
Since walk-in bathtubs are higher and deeper, the old set of tiles have also to be removed to fit the new one. The cost of installing a walk-in bathtub is almost similar to that of a standard one
It typically takes around six to eight hours with an average rate of 85$ per hour. That makes it a total of roughly 1000$.
If you plan to install an air bath or whirlpool, the cost would significantly level up to 1500 to 2000$. The extra dollars are invested in running electricity and the motor that has to be placed.
The motor needs to be fitted in a nearby location and has to be hooked-up tight enough.
Although maximum tubs nowadays fit into the already existing alcove, significant remodeling is necessary. However, there are other considerations you cannot miss out on.
1. Improvised pipes
While investing in a walk-in tub for your loved one, you would want everything to be perfect. Thus filling time becomes a top priority. Nobody likes to wait for ages, especially for simple activities like bathing.
So consider installing a ¾ inch diameter pipe by replacing the standard size. This would add a maximum of 6000 dollars, but will also save your time and ensure quick filling of the tub.
With the extra liters of water comes the issue of getting an uninterrupted flow of hot water. The standard heater may not fulfill this purpose.
Installing a tankless heater will give you an endless supply for a minimum of 3,500 dollars.
On the other hand, standard tanks cost as less as $600-$800. However, they supply only fifty gallons of hot water.
Although the general capacity of a walk-in tub is usually 50-80 gallons, a standard tank may work fine in the short run. It is better to install a tankless heater if you are looking into a long term investment.
3. Electrical Grids
You may feel costs piling up, but all of these changes actually make for a good investment. The tankless heater and installation of additional hydro jets would require a 15 amp circuit and good GFCI grounding.
Electricians usually charge $65-$85 on an hourly basis for this job. However, the additional cost of fixing a new grid is $1,300-$3000.
4. Add-ons and Enhancement Costs
Choosing several add-ons for your walk-in bathtub is as easy and simple as choosing your favorite pizza topping. While extra cheese and tomatoes add to your bill but give you the best taste, the same is the case with your tub.
However, you might consider adding a few of these elements to pamper yourself or your loved ones:
If you are looking to tile the tub into the surrounding for a better furnishing, then request for extra flanges. The cost of including flanges typically ranges around $100-$500. It depends on the placement and the variety you choose.
6. Neck rests
These add for additional comfort, especially the curved ones. Neck rests do not cost much. Nothing more than $100, these make for a reasonable choice.
7. Self-cleaning Tubs
This might be a good thing to consider for the elderly. These tubs have self-cleaning amenities like an ozone sanitization system, UV cleaning to get rid of viruses, bacteria, and bad odor.
Not only does regular cleaning make it safe for the user, but also cuts down the hassle and cost of getting it sanitized by professionals.
Walk-In Tub: Pros and Cons
Like every other item in your house, a walk-in tub, too, has its pros and cons. Majorly, there are pros, but the cons can’t be denied either.
As compared to any other standard bathtub, a walk-in bathtub has the lowest possible threshold to ensure the safest entry and exit. They also have extra handrails to provide extra grip.
Coming to the cons, a walk-in bathtub has very few drawbacks. The only issue is having to wait until the water drains out and waiting for it to fill up. However, the tubs by American Standard have the shortest draining and filling time.
1. Walk-In Tub Maintenance Charges
It really doesn’t cost much to maintain the walk-in bathtub. All that you would incur is the regular cleaning, repairing, and plumbing charges. Although plumbing charges may be skipped, it is good if you get regular checks done.
As for cleaning, consider buying a self-cleaning tub as mentioned earlier. There are options to curb down repair costs as well. Checking the tub body is important in this case.
Go for a hard acrylic body. This material is easy to clean and is chip-and crack-resistant. Moreover, it is also stain-resistant and retains a polished look even after regular usage.
2. Additional Costs On a Walk-In Bathtub
With a walk-in bathtub, you would want a ceiling lift owing to the taller height of these tubs. A ceiling lift comes for about 3000$.
Shower benches and shower chairs priced at $50-$500 are also available for those who like to remain seated while showering.
If you do not invest in a self-cleaning tub right away, you might have to bear the cost of special cleaning which would amount to $10 on average.
3. Will Medicare Cover Walk-In Tub Expenses?
Unfortunately, no. A walk-in tub is not a necessity but something that eases the tasks of the elderly, or of the caregiver.
They are not for supporting any medical condition. Thus Medicare would not cover walk-in bathtubs costs or their installation.
4. Are Walk-In Tubs Taxable
Well, there is a ray of hope here. When you are buying this tub for medical safety reasons, it means that the caregiver or you cannot do without this item. This makes the tub tax-deductible.
Additionally, if you are purchasing this tub for someone under your care, and he/she is dependent on you, there is a claim for that too. This makes you eligible for the Dependent Care Tax Credit.
5. Additional Grants
The US Department Of Agriculture (USDA) offers medical grants to low-income elderly people residing in rural areas. Since a walk-in bathtub is of primary importance, it can be covered under the USDA grant.
6. Veteran’s Assistance
Veteran’s grants are a valid option for the older veterans as home modification costs include that of installing a walk-in tub. In such cases, they are eligible for extra assistance from the Department Of Veteran’s Affairs.
Bathing is a regular activity and should not be burdensome. The proper choice of the tub gives not only a sense of well being and independence but also a dose of mental strength.
All these are very much required in old age, along with personal hygiene and care. With all the medical grants and additional facilities, walk-in bathtubs costs can be curbed. They, in turn, promote the well-being of the family.
In this article, we have tried to provide a feasible solution to all your dilemmas – how much does a walk-in tub cost, are walk-in bathtubs costs tax-deductible, and many more. However, feel free to tell us if we’ve missed out on any. We would surely try incorporating it in our future articles.