What do I need to know before buying a walk in tub?
Become informed – learning about walk-in tub construction, materials, finish, faucets, features and available options can help the process significantly. Be skeptical of companies that will not discuss pricing over the phone. You’ll quickly find that there are countless options for these products and most companies tout their tub as the best. A few quick phone calls should differentiate the professionals from the companies looking to give you their sales pitch.
Why are walk-in tubs priced so differently?
Pricing often depends on the quality of the tub. An imported tub from overseas that is bought in bulk can be sold for much less. These tubs may only be a “soaker tub” / a tub with no jets. They advertise a low price but as you add features such as faucets and air jets and hydro jets they will often end up costing more, be of poor quality, and have little to no warranty. Companies with large overhead usually have the most expensive tubs because they have several layers of people that need to get paid.
Why can’t I get a price over the phone from so many of these companies?
Pricing may be relative to how much the company’s salesman thinks he can get. You’ll find that many companies will start the price out very high ($17,000 – $25,000) for the tub and installation. The salesman then applies a series of “discounts” until he gets to the “buy today” best deal price. Be prepared for a sales representative to set up in your home for a lengthy sales pitch that will likely include discount gimmicks and pricing games. They won’t give you a price over the phone because the salesman needs to size up his customer, and figure out how much he can get them to pay. We recently found a company offering “Free Installation” – Seriously? We have yet to find any professionally qualified installers to install walk-in bathtubs for FREE.
How much should I pay for installation?
Depending on how complicated the installation is you can expect to pay anywhere from $2200 to $5000.
How difficult is installation?
Installation can be a lot more complicated than one may realize. Plumbing, carpentry, and electrical work is required to install most walk in tubs. It is best to leave it to the pros when it comes to installation.
Why do companies want to send a Rep to my house for an appointment?
It will be necessary for a company representative to visit your home in most cases unless you contact one of the experienced companies that allow a knowledgeable representatives to answer calls. We have only highly recommended the companies that do this. Or if you have hired an experienced professional installer a knowledgeable phone representative can help get you what you need.
There are several different walk in tub sizes – what size is right for me?
This depends on the size of your bathroom, existing tub or shower size, and it may also depend on the size of the walk-in tub
What is the difference between an “air jet” system and a “water jet” hydrotherapy system for walk-in bathtubs?
An air-jet system will blow warm air into the water creating a light hydrotherapy massage. A water-jet system uses a water pump to produce massaging streams of water. The water-jet system will produce a more concentrated massage, and the heater systems are often more effective on water jet hydrotherapy systems.
Will the jets “hurt” or be uncomfortable?
Most companies jet system comes standard with controls and/ or speeds for both the air and water jet systems. This allows the user to increase and decrease the pressure of the water coming out of the water jet system & increase and decrease the air flow pressure as well. Ask a knowledgeable staff member from your walk-in tub company about the jet systems. We’ve found that the in-home sales person may say whatever it takes to get a check for a sale.
How long does it take for walk in tubs to drain?
It really depends on the existing plumbing. If your current tub drains at a good pace a walk in tub will as well. Usually it will take 2 to 4 minutes for the tub to drain if the tub is installed correctly and existing drain lines operate properly. If a tub takes an unusually long time for a walk in tub to drain, it was likely installed incorrectly. Have a qualified professional check the drainage configuration.
How long should it take for a walk-in tub to fill?
Factors that will affect how long it takes are water pressure at your home and the size of the walk-in tub. It can take 2 + minutes for a tub to fill. Many companies offer sizes, but remember to consider the size of a user when considering smaller tubs.
What size water heater do I need for a walk in bathtub?
A properly functioning 40 gallon tank should be sufficient for a standard sized walk in tub. The over-sized walk-in tubs may require a larger size.
Can a walk-in tub be installed in a home that is built on a concrete slab?
My current tub is surrounded by tile on the walls – can a walk-in bathtub be installed in that space?
Yes, a walk-in tub can be placed right up against the tile or the tile may be removed and either re-tiled. There are several options that can go in place of tile.
My current tub is a combination bathtub and shower (one-piece) – can a walk-in tub be installed in that space?
Yes, after removal of the tub / shower unit, a walk-in tub can be easily installed. A wall surround is often put around the tub.
How can I replace my over-sized tub (garden tub, jacuzzi style bathtub, extra-large tub) with a walk in bathtub?
Since most walk-in tubs are designed to fit in a variety of spaces, the bigger the space the more options you will have. Shelves on the back and sides are often built in to fill space without having to replace flooring.
What is the difference between acrylic and fiberglass?
Tubs will typically be made of Fiberglass with a Gel-Coat finish or Fiberglass with an Acrylic Coating. Either design is acceptable, but you will want to note the thickness of the shell. Tub companies & consumers alike often compare Fiberglass to Acrylic – Tub shells are constructed of a combination of Fiberglass & Resin (the tub shell), which gives the walk-in tub its rigidity. This shell is the coated with either Gel-Coat (a non-porous coating that is applied similar to paint) or Acrylic (a heated and stretched plastic-type material). We’ve found that the Gel-Coated tubs may be more durable and less likely to crack and/or fade over time.