80+
Hours of Research
24
Phone Interviews
54
Walk-In Tubs Reviewed
16
Companies Considered
12
Companies Selected

Many Americans want to “age in place,” that is, stay in their own homes as they get older. A 2015 survey found that as many as 9 out of 10 seniors intend to age in place for at least the next 5-10 years. Many other seniors wish to stay with relatives on a long-term basis instead of moving into a retirement community.

For seniors who are discussing one of these two options with their loved ones, a key question to ask is “how can I make my daily routines within this home easier on my body?”

Seniors can modify their homes and routines in many ways so that personal care becomes safer. One popular option to increase safety, comfort, and independence is installing a walk-in tub. Walk-in tubs usually include many of the modifications that the National Institute on Aging recommends for “fall proofing” a  home.

We’ve created a guide that profiles walk-in tub companies and their products. You’ll find details about pricing, warranty, installation, customer service, safety features, tub styles, upgrades, and more. As you shop, this guide can help you narrow your list of companies to ones that offer the services you value.

Contributing Expert

Heather Suri, BSN RN CMC

Heather Suri is a Registered Nurse with 20 years of experience primarily in geriatrics and hospice. She holds a Bachelors in Nursing from Western Governors University and is certified as a Care Manager through NACCM. She is a member of the Aging Life Care Association at the Advanced Professional level. In addition to practicing as a Geriatric Care Manager, Heather is the Director of Nursing for Griswold Home Care NoVA West.  Heather volunteers her time in the community through a program she developed called The Caregiver Resource Hour, as well as for Girl Scouts of America.


The 12 Best Walk-In Tubs of 2019

For a quick overview of our findings on the top 12 walk-in tub companies in the U.S.A, view the table below.

Company Tub Types Available Safety Features Price Range* Warranty
Bathing Solutions Standard walk-in, Deep Soaker, Bariatric & Slide-In Grab bar, anti-slip floor, as low as a 4” step in some models $3,500-$6,500 Limited Lifetime
Ameriglide Standard walk-in, shower hybrid, slide-in, front-entry, deep soaker, extra large Grab bars, anti-slip floor $2,600-$6,000 Limited
Spirit Walk-In Tubs Standard walk-in tub, wide walk-in, deep soaker, and custom sizes Grab bar, anti-slip floor, extra low 0-2.5” step $6,000-$10,500 (includes installation) Lifetime
Hydro Dimensions Standard walk-in, bariatric, slide-in, deep soaking Grab bars, anti-slip floor $8,000-$12,000 (includes installation) Lifetime
American Standard Standard walk-in, slide-in, bariatric Grab bars, anti-slip floor $4,800-$11,400 Lifetime if Installed by American Standard
Independent Home Slide-in, shower hybrid, bariatric, cube-style, walk-in with sling Grab bars, anti-slip surfaces Possibly $10,000 (includes installation) Lifetime
Freedom Bathtubs by Accessibility Professionals Walk-in, slide-in Grab bars, anti-slip floor $3,100-$4,800 Limited
Ariel Bath Walk-in Grab bar, anti-slip floor $2,000-$4,600 Limited
Jacuzzi Walk-in Grab bar, anti-slip floor $6,800-$8,900 Limited Lifetime
Ella’s Bubbles Standard walk-in, slide-in, two-person, front entry, petite, extra-wide Grab bar, anti-slip floor $3,700-$7,600 Limited Lifetime
Safe Step Walk-In Tub and Walk-in Shower Hybrid Grab bars, anti-slip surfaces, low 4” step Possibly $20,000 (includes installation) Lifetime (excluding caulking)
Kohler Walk-In Tub Grab bar, anti-slip floor, low 3” step Possibly $10,000 (includes installation) Limited Lifetime

* Walk-in Tub pricing can be difficult to determine. Prices in this chart do not include installation unless otherwise noted. If a price says “possibly,” this means that the company does not provide any pricing information online or over the phone, and the price is derived from secondary sources.

Bathing Solutions Walk-In Tub Review

Best for Rigorous Certification

Bathings Solutions offers many walk-in tub models that fall in the low- to mid-range of standard walk-in tub prices. The company impresses with an inclusive selection of tubs for bathers with different bodies and abilities. Bathing Solutions does not take a one-size-fits-all approach to its tubs, so anyone looking for a walk-in tub is likely to find an option that meets their needs.

Out of the ten models that Bathing Solutions offers, we chose to review the most basic model (Model 28), a model that’s best for large bathers (Model 3555), and a model that’s great for seniors in wheelchairs (Model 3252). These three models represent the range that this company offers. It’s worth noting that Bathing Solutions also has a model similar to but larger than Model 28, two deep soaker models, two different shower sized models, and a luxurious “fully loaded” version of Model 28 that has even more features than the original.

In addition to Bathing Solutions’ inclusivity, the company meets high manufacturing standards, especially when it comes to plumbing and electrical work. All Bathing Solutions tubs are certified for the following: UPC (Universal Plumbing Code) & USPC (Universal Spa Plumbing Code), ETL (Electrical Testing Labs), UL (Underwriter Laboratories). These voluntary certifications and tests are a testament to Bathing Solutions’ commitment to safety and reliability.

Model 28: Standard Walk-In Tub Model 3555: Bariatric Walk-In Tub Model 3252: Wheelchair Transfer Bath
Style Walk-In Tub Bariatric Walk-In Tub Slide-In Tub
Size 52” x 32″ x 40″ 41” x 55” x 35” 32” wide x 52” x 40”
Materials Gelcoat fiberglass Gelcoat fiberglass Gelcoat fiberglass
Door Inward swinging Inward swinging Outward swinging
Safety Features Low 4” step, grab bar, anti-slip floor Grab bar, anti-slip floor Grab bar, anti-slip floor
Price Range $3,500 – $5,500 pre-installation $5,000 – $6,500 pre-installation $5,000 – $6,500 pre-installation
Hydrotherapy Yes Yes Yes
Air Jets Yes Yes Yes
Chromotherapy Yes No No
Aromatherapy Yes No No
Shower Wand Yes Yes Yes
Heated Seat No No No
Installation Facilitated by Company Yes (optional) Yes (optional) Yes (optional)
Warranty Lifetime on tub & whirlpool, Limited Lifetime on electronics Lifetime on tub & whirlpool, Limited Lifetime on electronics Lifetime on tub & whirlpool, Limited Lifetime on electronics
Made in the USA Assembled in CA, fiberglass portion constructed oversees Assembled in CA, fiberglass portion constructed oversees Assembled in CA, fiberglass portion constructed oversees

Model 28 is designed to fit through narrow doorways for easy installation. At 52” x 32″ x 40”, it fits well in standard bath spaces, yet provides a comfortable bathing experience. The door on this model opens inward. One of its best features is its low 4.5” step, which makes it easier for bathers to get in and out of the tub.

This bariatric tub stands out because it is truly made for comfort. Not only are its general proportions of 41” x 55” x 35” bigger than the average walk-in tub, but its seat is extra wide at 30 ½ inches. Model 3555 offers a deep soaking depth, making it a good option for both tall and bariatric people.

Model 3252 measures 32” wide x 52” x 40”. Made for wheelchair users, this tub eliminates the hassle and danger involved in stepping around an inward swinging door to get to the seat of the tub. An L-shaped door opens outward to reveal direct access to the bench seat so that the bather can slide into it with as little trouble as possible.

Tub Features

Standard Equipment

All of these tubs share in common:

  • Gel coat fiberglass shell
  • Internal metal frame
  • Faucets
  • Handheld shower
  • Secondary drain near the door
  • Right or left side hinging for door

Some features unique to each tub model:

  • Model 28: Bidet notch for hygiene
  • Model 3555: Extra large door proportions of 23 ½” (top), 17 ½”  (middle), and 15” (bottom)
  • Model 3252: Outward swinging L-shaped door

Safety Features

All of these tubs share the safety features of textured anti-slip flooring and grab bars for stability, which are common in the industry.

With a step in height of 4.5”, Model 28 has the safest step height of Bathing Solutions’ offerings. The other two tubs have a step height of 7”, which is fairly common for walk-in tubs.

Upgrades and Accessories

Model 28 Upgrades:

  • Air jets (inline heater included)
  • Whirlpool jets (inline heater included)
  • Chromatherapy (includes 20 lights)
  • Aromatherapy
  • Ozone water sterilizer

Model 3555 Upgrades:

  • Combination air and whirlpool jets (inline heater included)

Model 3252 Upgrades:

  • Air jets (Inline heater included)
  • Whirlpool jets (inline heater included)
  • Combination Jets (inline heater included)

How to Purchase

Tub Pricing

Model 28 typically costs $3,500 – $5,500 pre-installation. Models 3555 and 3252 both cost roughly $5,000 – $6,500 pre-installation. Pricing varies depending on which upgrade features are chosen.

Installation

Bathing Solutions says that installation of its tubs is simple and can be done by a local plumber. Costs vary widely and depend on the plumber one chooses.

Installation costs may be lowest, however, if the customer chooses to use an installer who is trained and recommended by Bathing Solutions. Installation arranged through Bathing Solutions may cost around $2,000 – $3,000.

Financing

Bathing Solutions does not offer a financing program at this time. Seniors who are interested in getting help with paying for a walk-in tub can look into personal loans of various kinds or Medicaid and Veterans Affairs (VA) grants, which may be useful for those who are eligible.

For some, it may also be worth looking into what’s called “The Single Family Housing and Repair Grants and Loans,” offered by the USDA. This program is specifically designed for low-income people in rural areas.

For more details on these and other financial options for purchasing a walk-in tub, view the “Financial Resources” section at the end of this article.

Warranty

For its entire line of products, Bathing Solutions offers a lifetime warranty on the tub itself and on its whirlpool features. The warranty also includes a limited lifetime warranty on electronic components. As long as the original purchaser has the tub in its original location, defects and problems with the tub itself will be covered, and electronic problems will be covered in a more restricted manner.

Over the past few years, terms of this warranty have expanded and changed, and the website may not always reflect the current level of warranty offered by Bathing Solutions. Bathing Solutions’ Customer Service Team can be reached at 1-(866)-292-5546 for exact and up-to-date coverage details.

Additional Models to Choose From

Style Dimensions Extra Features
“Fully Loaded” Model 28 Deluxe Walk-In 28 in. x 52 x 41. (extension filler increases external length from 52” to 60”). Soaking depth of 35”. Interior width of 30”. Special LED light faucet set, bidet jet, aromatherapy, numerous whirlpool and air jets, extra quiet motor, sanitizers
Model 32 Standard Walk-In 32” x 60” x 37” (fills standard tub space without a filler) 23 ¾ “ interior width. Optional heated air, whirlpool, or combo jets
Model 3048 Petite Walk-In 29 ¾” x 47 ½” x 38” Optional heated air, whirlpool, or combo jets
Model 2645 Extra Petite Walk-In with bi-fold door 26” x 45” x 40” Optional heated air, whirlpool, or combo jets
Model 30 Deep Deep Soaker Walk-In 29 ¾” x 55” x 47”, 39” soaking depth Optional heated air, whirlpool, or combo jets
Model 32 Deep Deep Soaker Walk-In 32” x 60” x 47” , largest tub offered by company Optional heated air, whirlpool, or combo jets
Model 3555 Bariatric Bariatric Walk-In 35″ x 55″ x 41″ Optional heated combo air and whirlpool jets
Model 3252 WT Slide-In 52” x 32” x 40” Optional heated air, whirlpool, or combo jets

Ameriglide Sanctuary Walk-In Tub Review

Best for Shower Enclosure Options

Ameriglide brings many types of accessibility aids into the lives of seniors and those with disabilities. The company’s mission includes providing “the correct mobility and accessibility solutions for clients needs at the best possible prices…” To that end, Ameriglide offers thirteen walk-in tubs from its “Sanctuary” line of products.

We’ve reviewed four of Ameriglide’s walk-in tubs: a standard tub that comes in four sizes, another standard style walk-in tub that includes therapy options in its base price, a shower enclosure walk-in tub, and a wheelchair accessible walk-in tub. These three tubs show some of the variety this company offers, but there are several more great options including extra large and extra small options available.

Ameriglide tubs come in a variety of materials and sizes and with various features. One of its best offerings is its Shower Enclosure walk-in tub. This versatile model blends affordability and therapy features and comes in two different sizes. The Shower Enclosure tub lives up to Ameriglide’s mission of accessibility at a great price.

Sanctuary Walk-In Tub Sanctuary Hydrotherapy Plus Walk-In Tub Sanctuary Small Shower Enclosure Walk-In Tub Sanctuary Deluxe Wheelchair Accessible Walk-In Tub
Style Walk-In Tub Therapy Walk-In Tub Walk-In Tub/Shower Hybrid Slide-In Tub
Size
  • 28″ x 48″ x 37.5″
  • 26″ x 53″ x 37.5″
  • 29.25″ x 54″ x 37.5″
  • 31.25″x 50″ x 37.5″
30″ x 53″ x 38″ with 6” step Tub, 30.5″ x 40.5″ x 37.5″
Enclosure, 30.5″ x 40.5″ x 42.5″
30” x 52” x 40”
Materials Gelcoat Gel coat fiberglass Industrial grade acrylic Marine grade gel coat fiberglass
Door Inward swinging Inward swinging Outward swinging Outward swinging
Safety Features Grab bar, anti-slip surfaces, ADA compliant seat Grab bar, anti-slip surfaces, ADA compliant seat Grab bar, anti-slip surfaces, ADA compliant seat Grab bar, anti-slip surfaces, ADA compliant seat
Prices $2,570.00+ $3,564.99+ $3,993.00+ $4,700.00+
Hydrotherapy Yes, extra cost Yes, included Yes, extra cost Yes, extra cost
Air Jets Yes, extra cost Yes, included Yes, extra cost Yes, extra cost
Chromotherapy No No No No
Aromatherapy No Yes No No
Shower Wand Yes Yes Yes Yes
Heated Seat No No No No
Installation Facilitated by Company Yes (optional) Yes (optional) Yes (optional) Yes (optional)
Warranty Limited Warranty Limited Warranty Limited Warranty Limited Warranty
Made in the USA Yes Yes Yes Yes

The most popular model that Ameriglide offers, this walk-in tub is great for those looking for a safe, comfortable bathing experience. Designed to fit a standard bathtub space, it comes in four very similar sizes to accommodate slightly different space needs. All of the sizes are the same price, so seniors may choose whichever is best for them.

This walk-in tub is made from durable gel coat fiberglass and comes with all the standard features you’d expect like an inward swinging door, a safe seat (17”), and a mid-range step (6”). Buyers may also choose from a variety of feature upgrades.

This gel coat Hydrotherapy Plus walk-in tub measures 30″ x 53″ x 38″. Similar in looks to the standard Sanctuary Walk-In Tub, this version is slightly larger and is considered the company’s luxury model. The Hydrotherapy Plus model comes standard with many relaxing features including hydrotherapy and even aromatherapy. This makes it a great option for seniors looking for a tub that will provide a spa-like experience.

With a structure composed of industrial grade white acrylic, the Shower Enclosure model functions as a walk-in tub that can also be used as a seated shower. A handheld shower mounts above the bather’s head for a traditional shower experience when desired.

Enclosed on three sides and measuring 30.5″ W x 40.5″ L x 37.5″ H with enclosure dimensions of 30.5″ W x 40.5″ L x 42.5” H, this design is perfect for small bathrooms or even mobile homes. It can also be purchased in a medium size for somewhat larger spaces.

A marine grade gel coat tub that measures 30″ wide and 52″ long, this slide-in model represents a safe choice for seniors with mobility challenges. Its outward swinging L-shaped door allows the bather to transfer directly to the seat without having to work around an inward swinging door.

Tub Features

Standard Features

All of these models include:

  • Stainless steel internal frame
  • Handheld shower
  • Overflow protection drain

Beyond these basics, each of these models has special features tailored to the tubs’ different purposes. The tubs’ individual features are as follows:

Sanctuary Walk-In Model

  • Marine grade fiberglass shell
  • Inward swinging door
  • ADA Compliant seat (17” tall)
  • 6.5” step

The Hydrotherapy Model

  • Marine grade fiberglass shell
  • Inward swinging door
  • 6 water jets (includes heater)
  • 15 air jets (includes heater)
  • Aromatherapy
  • ADA compliant seat (17” tall)
  • 6” step

The Shower Enclosure Model

  • Industrial grade acrylic shell
  • Outward swinging door
  • 15” tall seat
  • 6.5” step

The Wheelchair Accessible Model

  • Marine grade gel coat shell
  • Outward swinging door
  • ADA compliant seat (17” tall)
  • 7” step

Safety Features

All models include:

  • Anti-slip floor
  • A grab bar

The wheelchair accessible model includes an additional grab bar that can be mounted on the wall near the tub.

Upgrades and Accessories

The Hydrotherapy Model is already loaded with what would normally be considered upgrades for most tub models. The only way to improve this tub is to purchase the “Auto Drain” ($299), which drains the tub in less than a minute. This drain can also be added to most other Sanctuary walk-in tubs.

Hydrotherapy jets, air jets, or dual hydrotherapy and air therapy systems can be added to the Sanctuary Walk-In Tub, the Wheelchair Accessible Tub, and the Shower Enclosure Tub. Adding either system to the Wheelchair Accessible tub or the Sanctuary Walk-In Tub will increase its cost by $570. The Shower Enclosure system is built differently, so a hydrotherapy upgrade increases its cost by $286 but an air therapy upgrade increases its cost by $715.

In all four cases, adding a dual system (air and hydrotherapy) costs about $10 less than the combined cost of the hydrotherapy and air jet system for that tub. Included heaters maintain water temperature during operation for both the air and hydrotherapy systems in all Ameriglide tubs.

One or two end panels can also be purchased for tubs that aren’t going to be enclosed on three sides by bathroom walls. End panels are $149 apiece.  

How to Purchase

Tub Pricing

Ameriglide lists its pricing on its website, including the price of each accessory and upgrade. Tubs can be bought directly through the website or through a local dealer. Shipping costs for these tubs may vary but will most likely cost close to $400.

Prices (pre-installation, including shipping) :

  • Sanctuary Walk-In Tub: $4,655.00
  • Wheelchair Accessible Tub Fully Loaded: $5,329.00
  • Shower enclosure (Small) Fully Loaded: $5,376.86
  • Hydrotherapy Tub Fully Loaded: $4,249.00

Installation

Homeowners may choose to use an Ameriglide Authorized Contractor to install their tubs if they wish. Installation costs vary. Ameriglide lists contractors by state and province on its website. Scroll to the very bottom of any Ameriglide page and click on “Authorized Ameriglide Contractors” to access the list.

Financing

Customers who would like to spread the cost of their Ameriglide tubs out over an extended period of time can look into the financing options that Ameriglide offers. Ameriglide is one of the only walk-in tub companies that offers two forms of financing. Monthly payments are required for both of these options.

The first form of financing Ameriglide offers is available to those 62 and over. This option is offered through FirstBank, and there is an approval process that includes the requirement that the purchaser owns their own home.

The other financing option that Ameriglide offers uses PayPal Credit. To be eligible for this option you must first set up a PayPal account and be approved for its credit program, which can be used at other online retailers as well. Terms may vary, but some PayPal credit purchases are interest-free for the first six months. After that six month period, interest is charged.

Warranty

Ameriglide offers a limited warranty that has some exceptions and special conditions. Different parts of Ameriglide Sanctuary Walk-In Tubs are warrantied for different time periods.

Warranty coverage:

  • Shell, frame, and finish: Lifetime
  • Parts for the rest of the tub: 1 year
  • Door seal: 25 years

The warranty always excludes excessive wear and environmental or cleaning damage to the surface. The warranty also does not include any problems related to installation, misuse, or neglect of the tub. Even during the one year period that covers parts, the customer may be partially charged for shipping and other costs at the company’s discretion.

For most Ameriglide warranty claims, the installation of the replacement parts will be the responsibility of the tub owner. Labor will not be covered under Ameriglide’s walk-in tub warranty.  

Additional Models to Choose From

As mentioned earlier, Ameriglide offers many different models. The lists below can give you an idea of the other versatile options this company sells.

Fiberglass:

  • Deluxe Walk-In Tub: A roomy tub with an extra wide door
  • Front Loading: The least expensive small tub, with an outward swinging door and cube-like proportions
  • Deep Water: a tub that’s ideal for those with long torsos who want a deep soak
  • King Size: the largest of the fiberglass tubs

Acrylic:

  • Medium and Large Duratub: tubs sized for a standard tub space, with and without extension panels
  • Petite and Small Easy Soak: walk-in tubs in cube-like proportions for small spaces
  • Super Size Walk-In Tub: The largest tub offered by this company, which measures at 36″ W x 60″ L x 38″

Spirit Walk-In Tubs Review

Best for Safest Step Height

Spirit Walk-In Tubs is a small but mighty champion of the American-made sector of the industry. It impresses in several categories, including customer service (you may just speak with the owner of the company, Ron, when you call!) and reasonable cost. The company’s willingness to discuss pricing in detail over the phone is refreshing.

More than anything else, though, what sets Spirit apart from its competitors is that the step into all of its tubs is between 0-2.5” tall. A step height of even 2.5” is practically unheard of in the industry.  Most competitors tubs have more than a 6” step, so Spirit Walk-In Tubs is a great choice for those whose top priority for their tub is low step height.

Spirit does not provide detailed charts of its fourteen different walk-in tub models online. Instead, the company focuses on speaking with clients and tailoring each tub selection to the needs of the homeowner. Talking to a Spirit Walk-In Tubs staff member is a necessary and helpful step in the purchasing process.
Seniors looking for more information on the quality construction of Spirit Walk-In Tubs may call the company or look directly at the manufacturer’s website (BOCA Walk-In Tubs).

Spirit Walk-In Tubs
Style Walk-In
Size 40”x 30″ x 50″ – 60″
Materials Marine grade gel coat fiberglass
Door Inward swinging
Safety Features 0-2.5” step, grab bars, easy to use locks, ADA compliant seat height, anti-slip floor and seat
Price Range Typically $6,000-$10,500
Hydrotherapy Yes
Air Jets Yes
Chromotherapy No
Aromatherapy No
Shower Wand Yes
Heated Seat Yes
Installation Facilitated by Company Yes
Warranty 100% Lifetime
Made in the USA Yes

Spirit Walk-In Tubs

Tub Features

Spirit Walk-In Tubs are highly customizable, but in general, they will measure somewhere in this range: 40”x 30″ x 50″ – 60″. Spirit does carry most or all of the tub styles and add on features that their manufacturer BOCA makes, so while Spirit doesn’t advertise all of these options online, a glance at the BOCA website can let you know what you might be able to get from Spirit.

Examples of tub styles that BOCA makes are extra wide models, extra deep soaking models, petite models, and two person models.

Standard Equipment

All Spirit Walk-In Tubs are crafted from a seven-layer marine gel coat fiberglass. The same durable, buffable finish is used on ocean-going boats. These tub shells are sure to hold up well to daily wear and tear.

The tubs are made without internal frames but are quite stable. Unlike tubs with frames, these sit directly on the floor, enabling them all to have a 2.5” or lower step. Compared to steps of 3 – 9” in other walk-in tubs, with 3” being extremely rare and 6” being the most common, Spirit Tubs’ step height is very low, and therefore very safe.

All Spirit tubs are designed without hard-to-reach areas that promote mold growth. Door locks on Spirit tubs are easy for gentle hands to use, but they are secure.

Safety Features

  • 0-2.5” steps
  • Anti-slip surfaces on the floor and seat
  • Grab bars
  • ADA compliant seat height (17”)

Upgrades and Accessories

Customers may choose to add air and water jets (plus associated heaters) and heated seats to their Spirit Walk-In Tub. Choosing all of these options will most likely put a Spirit Walk-In Tub in the $10,000 range, all installation and other costs included.  

Other available features include aromatherapy, bidets, chromatherapy, an ozonator for sanitation purposes, and extra or custom grab bars and fill panels.

Since each tub is customizable and made to order, you’ll have many options with any tub style you choose.

How to Purchase

Tub Pricing

Tub pricing can vary substantially depending on the exact features you select. Online and over the phone, Spirit says that many of its tub installations cost between $6,000-$10,500. This may be as much as half the cost of comparable tubs from some leading brands, making the company a great low- to mid-range option for buyers hoping to stick to a budget.  

Spirit Walk-In Tubs does not offer itemized pricing or a detailed gallery of different models online, but representatives are willing to go over pricing details on the phone. By talking to the owner or a Spirit representative, you can obtain a fairly accurate idea of a price before deciding if they want an installer to enter your home and start measuring and evaluating. An in-home visit will be necessary at some point, but obtaining an idea of the price beforehand gives you the power.

It is important to note that freight for the tub affects the overall cost. Freight may be as much as $300 or $400 but is often less. Still, it’s a good idea to factor that into the overall price.

Installation

Spirit Walk-In Tubs are installed by a network of about seven installers who work closely with the owner of the company. Its range of service is West Coast, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida, Georgia, Missouri, Illinois, and East Coast. Installers may travel considerable distances to reach a client’s home. The owner himself, Ron Rohlfing, handles installations in Missouri and Illinois. In most cases, Spirit offers one-day removal and installation.

If you live outside the stated service areas of but are still interested in a product from Spirit Walk-In Tubs, you may want to call to see if the company will make an exception or if its service area is set to expand to your region. If you are interested in the features of the BOCA tubs that Spirit Walk-In Tubs sells but live outside of its service area, you may still be able to get BOCA Tubs through other dealers.

Financing

Spirit Walk-In Tubs does not offer financing plans for its walk-in tub installations. If you’d like to get a Spirit tub installed, but you can’t afford to pay for the whole project out-of-pocket, there are options available to you.

A personal loan such as FHA Title 1 Loan can be enough to cover the cost of a Spirit tub installation. An FHA Title 1 loan is designed for home improvement purposes and may sometimes have more borrower-friendly terms than a regular personal loan.

If a loan is not a financially viable choice for you, there are some grants and even tax deductions that can make the purchase of a walk-in tub less of a financial strain. Grants offered through Medicaid and related programs vary by region, so be sure to find out if your state or county offers any help for seniors who are trying to make their homes safer.   

Warranty

Spirit Walk-In Tubs offers a full lifetime warranty on all tubs, motors, and faucet sets. This warranty includes labor and has few, if any, exceptions. This excellent warranty can help you keep costs low over time and gives you peace of mind that you will be able to enjoy your tub for years to come.

With Spirit, if your tub has a problem, the company will work directly with you to solve it in a timely manner. To file warranty claims, customers simply need to call the company and the nearest technician will be sent out to your home as promptly as possible to assess the situation and get any necessary repairs started.

Hydro Dimensions Walk-In Tubs Review

Best for Affordable Therapy Options

Hydro Dimensions, an innovator in the walk-in tub industry since the early 1990s, offers sixteen different walk-in tubs in two different product lines: the HD Series Line and the Specialty Line. We’ve reviewed a tub from each line so that you can get an idea of what’s offered. In general, the tubs in the specialty line are larger than average or are built for those with limited mobility.   

In addition to carrying so many tub models, Hydro Dimensions can customize your tub with a great range of therapy and comfort items. There are six distinct levels of jet upgrades plus some add-on features like lights and heaters.

Even with upgrades, Hydro Dimensions tubs remain in the mid-range of walk-in tub pricing. Hydro Dimensions truly brings value to the walk-in tub market and makes top-quality therapy options accessible for those who do not wish to venture into the higher end of walk-in tub pricing.

HD Series 2645 HD Specialty Series 3555 Plus Size
Style Walk-In Tub Bariatric Walk-In Tub
Size 45″ x 26″ x 39.5” 55″ x 35.75″ x 40”
Materials Gelcoat over fiberglass Gelcoat over fiberglass
Door Inward swinging Inward swinging
Safety Features Anti-slip floor, grab bars Anti-slip floor, grab bar
Price Range Tub plus installation: $8,000-$12,000. Tub plus installation: $8,000-$12,000.
Hydrotherapy Yes Yes
Air Jets Yes Yes
Chromotherapy Yes Yes
Aromatherapy No No
Shower Wand Yes Yes
Heated Seat/Surfaces Yes Yes
Installation Facilitated by Company Yes Yes
Warranty Lifetime Warranty Lifetime Warranty
Made in the USA Yes Yes

Measuring 45″ x 26″ x 39.5”, this walk-in tub fits a standard bathtub space. An inward swinging door helps keep the tub from intruding too much on the rest of the bathroom. This model can be purchased as a soaker model for bathing only, or it can be upgraded with many different therapeutic features.

This tub measures at a generous 55″ x 35.75″ x 40” and is designed with the comfort of bariatric bathers in mind. Like the 2645 model, it features an inward swinging door and can be upgraded in numerous ways to meet the differing needs of all buyers.

Tub Features

Standard Equipment

  • Handheld shower
  • Chrome faucet set
  • Gelcoat fiberglass shell
  • Right or left hinged doors

Safety Features

  • Anti-slip floor
  • Grab bar

Upgrades and Accessories

Both of these models offer six levels of enhancement for an added cost.

Available Enhancement Levels:

  1. Hydro Massage: 5 water jets, automatic purge cycle, electronic control panel
  2. Air Massage: 20 air jets, electronic control panel
  3. Dual Massage: A combination of the first two packages
  4. Dual Jetted Massage Therapy: First hydro massage package plus 10 additional jets and a water level safety sensor
  5. Dual Jetted Air Massage Therapy: Dual massage package plus 10 extra water jets
  6. PureBubbles Skin Therapy: Releases microbubbles for therapy and relaxation

Along with enhancement options, buyers may also add the following additional features for even more customizability and comfort:

  • Extra grab bars
  • Heated backrest
  • Safe-T drain for quicker draining times
  • UV sanitation
  • Ozone sanitation
  • Aromatherapy
  • Chromatherapy
  • Headrests
  • Curtains
  • Wall kits
  • Shower slide bars
  • Custom color matching

Note that every add-on feature may not be available for every tub model. It’s important to discuss which features you’re interested in with a Hydro Dimensions employee to ensure your chosen tub will tick all of your boxes.

Hydro Dimension’s wall kits are “sampled” from natural stone but are mostly comprised of an engineered material that is less expensive than purchasing an actual slab of stone. The available colors are standard white, Botticino Cream, Breccia Paradiso, and Mocha Travertine. The last two colors are both marbled browns.

How to Purchase

Tub Pricing

Tub pricing from Hydro Dimensions is entirely dependant on which features the customer chooses. Hydro Dimensions does not list itemized feature prices online. The company also does not ever sell directly to customers. Instead, customers buy from approved Hydro Dimensions Dealers.

To start your purchase process, you can call Hydro Dimensions directly. Over the phone, a customer service representative can walk you through options and give you an idea of the price range you’re looking at. After you’ve talked about what you’re looking for, the customer service representative will connect you with a dealer who can give you a firmer price after an in-home consultation.

Representatives from Hydro Dimensions informed us that a tub with some basic extra features typically will run between $5,000-$8,000 before installation. Hydro Dimensions never sells tubs without an installation package.

Installation

Installation of Hydro Dimensions tubs is always handled by Hydro Dimensions’ experienced, professional dealers. For a tub plus installation, the homeowner can expect to spend between $8,000 and $12,000 at minimum, and the number could be higher if the tub is loaded with extra features.

Financing

Hydro Dimensions does not offer payment plans for its tubs. If you need help paying for your walk-in tub project, there are options for assistance, such as grants.

Some options that may be used to reduce the burden of paying for a walk-in tub include local Medicaid program grants, a grant from Veterans Affairs (such as the HISA grant, though it may only apply in limited cases), or even a Single Family Housing Repair Loans & Grants (offered through the US Department of Agriculture and Rural Development).

Grants from all of these programs tend to have strict requirements of income or evidence of need, so not everyone will qualify for them.

Warranty

In 2016, Hydro Dimensions increased the scope of its warranty. It now offers a Lifetime Warranty for the original purchaser. Parts and labor are included for the first year, and after the first year, the warranty changes to cover parts only. Surface blemishes due to misuse, abuse, or “normal wear” are not considered covered by the warranty.

If a part  (such as a faucet, for example) breaks during the first year of your walk-in tub ownership, you can call Hydro Dimensions and they will send someone to fix the problem for you at no cost.

If the same thing were to happen in the second year or later, though, you will either be billed for the Hydro Dimension dealer or employee’s labor when they replace the part for you, or else you will just receive the part in the mail and have to arrange for someone of your choice to install the new part at your cost. For more information on the particulars of this warranty, you can contact Hydro Dimensions at (888) 818-7111.

Additional Models to Choose From

All the models offered by Hydro Dimensions are just named with four digit numbers (and letters), so you may find this quick guide helpful to figure out which other models might be good choices for your bathroom and needs.

Models in the HD Series:

All of the walk-in tubs in this line are pretty similar. Some are slightly deeper or wider than average, and some are shorter than average. If there’s something unique about the tub we’ve noted that, otherwise we’ve just listed its dimensions.

  • 2645: A walk-in tub smaller than standard for bathrooms with limited space. It has a bi-fold inward swinging door. 45″ x 26″ x 39½”
  • 2653: The original Hydro Dimensions walk-in tub model, this fits through doors and most standard tub spaces. 53″ x 26″ x 36″
  • 2851: The deepest of the standard walk-in tubs that Hydro Dimensions offers. 51″ x 28.25″ x 41”
  • 3048: 47 3/4″ x 29″ x 38 1/2″
  • 3052: 51 1/2″ x 29 3/4″ x 40″
  • 3055: A tub designed for wall-to-wall installation. 54¼” x 29½” x 38″.
  • 3060: One of the longest tubs that Hydro Dimensions offers. 60″ x 30″ x 37.25”
  • 3060L: Not technically a walk-in tub since it is low to the ground and requires reclining, which is not as safe as a true walk-in tub design. 60″ x 30″ x 22”.
  • 3137: A small, cube-like tub with three finished sides so that the tub can be installed almost anywhere. 37 1/4″ x 31 1/2″ x 38 1/2″.
  • 3153: A tub with a low height that can accommodate a challenging bathroom window placement. 53¾” x 31¼” x 35¾”.
  • 3260: A tub that’s best for new construction (probably will not fit through finished doors). 60″ x 32″ x 36″.

Models in the HD Specialty Series:

All of the tubs in this line are designed for special needs.

  • 3052W: A slide-in model, with an outward swinging door that’s extra wide and makes getting to the seat easy. The W in the name stands for wheelchair accessible. The company says this model is a top seller.
  • 3252W: This model is almost the same as the 3052W except it’s roughly 2” wider than that model.
  • 3155D: The D in this model name stands for Deep Soaker. The company says this model is perfect for those over six feet tall.  

3260D: a version of the 3155D that’s about 5” longer than that model. This model features the same 39” of soaking depth that’s perfect for tall bathers.

American Standard Walk-in Tub Review

Best for Transparent Pricing

With over 140 years of industry experience, mergers, and growth, American Standard is a leader in the world of bathroom and kitchen fixtures. The name of American Standard has changed a few times over the years, but its core value of innovation has remained.

Now American Standard helps consumers with the next wave of home improvement- making homes accessible to the elderly and differently-abled. This company offers a large selection of walk-in tubs at a variety of price points and styles. Since the cost of every tub and its upgrades are clearly labeled online, American Standard takes the guesswork out of comparison shopping and makes life that much easier for buyers.

Since American standard offers so many tub models, we’ve chosen to review just two tubs, one that represents a wheelchair accessible choice from the Value Series walk-in tub line, and one that represents a choice from the Luxury Series walk-in tub line.

Value Series 32×52 inch Soaking tub (3252OD.709.SL.W) Luxury Series 28×48-inch Combination Massage Walk-In Tub (2848115CL.W)
Style Slide-In Walk-In Tub
Size 32” x 52” x 40” 37.5” x 48” x 28″
Materials Gelcoat Acrylic
Door Outward Swinging Inward Swinging
Safety Features Anti-slip floor, grab bars Anti-slip floor, grab bars
Price $6185 pre-installation $9645 pre-installation
Hydrotherapy No Yes
Air Jets No Yes
Chromotherapy No No
Aromatherapy No No
Heated Surfaces No No
Shower Wand Yes Yes
Installation Facilitated by Company Yes (optional) Yes (optional)
Warranty Limited Warranty or Lifetime Warranty Limited Warranty or Lifetime Warranty
Made in the USA Yes Yes

Limited-mobility bathers, such as those in wheelchairs, will find this 32” x 52” x 40” tub a convenient choice. As a slide-in soaking tub, this model is ideal for a warm, safe, no-frills bathing experience. Built with an outward swinging, L-shaped door that allows for direct access to the seat, the soaking tub accommodates those who are unable to maneuver around a door and tub wall to get to the seat.

This Combination Massage Walk-In Tub is one of the more luxurious models offered by American Standard. It’s dimensions are 37.5”  x 48” x 28″. It features an inward swinging door, and it comes standard with three forms of therapy.

Tub Features

Standard Equipment

Both tubs feature:

  • Quick Drain technology (relies on a pump rather pipe sizes)
  • ADA compliant seat (17” tall)
  • Handheld shower

The Soaking Tub Standard Features:

  • Gelcoat shell
  • Outward swinging door
  • Quick drain pump

The Massage Walk-In Tub Standard Features:

  • Acrylic shell
  • Hydrotherapy (13 jets)
  • Air spa system (26 jets)
  • Inline heaters for jetting systems
  • Automatic purge cycle
  • Self-cleaning sanitation
  • Cushioned neck rest

Safety Features

Both models include:

  • Anti-slip floor
  • Grab bar

Upgrades and Accessories

In both tubs, an optional chrome slide bar for the handheld shower is available for an extra $133. An additional 24” chrome grab bar costs $92.

The Soaking Walk-In Tub can be further accessorized with a cushioned neck rest for an additional $54. This feature comes standard in the Massage Walk-In Tub.

How to Purchase

Tub Pricing

Tub and upgrade prices are readily available on the American Standard website, in showrooms, and through other retailers such as Lowes and The Home Depot. The soaker model we have listed costs $6,185 pre-installation, and the massage tub costs $9,645 pre-installation.

Currently, on American Standard’s own website the most costly walk-in tub (pre-installation) is $11,410 and its least costly is $4,845. In some cases, a similar American Standard tub from a third party can be a couple of thousand dollars cheaper. The disadvantage to buying from another retailer is that you’ll need to find your own installer and the warranty will cover less.

Installation

Homeowners can buy American Standard tubs without an installation package, or they can choose to receive a free installation estimate. An online form on American Standard’s website can be used to schedule an in-home visit from an American Standard Safety Specialist.

Financing

American Standard offers financing to qualified individuals who choose to have their walk-in tub installed by the company. Safety specialists can provide information on financing during an in-home visit.

Financing plans from American Standard will include monthly payments and interest, but the actual amount of the payments, the length of the loan, and the rate of interest may vary based on the customer’s credit score or other factors. In most cases, when a company offers financing, they will want to see that the one who’s receiving the loan owns the home.

Seniors who aren’t sure about financing through the company can also look into getting grants or loans through other venues such as through local Medicaid programs or through an FHA Title 1 loan, which is a loan specifically designed for home improvement projects. There are many financing and aid options available to seniors.

Warranty

American Standard offers two distinct walk-in tub warranties. If you opt to have one of American Standard’s factory trained specialists install your tub, then your tub will have a complete lifetime warranty that includes installation and labor. This is one of the best warranties available of all of the companies we reviewed.

American Standard offers a limited warranty for its walk-in tubs that are not installed by one of its specialists. In this case, the coverage for acrylic tubs is better than the coverage for high-gloss gelcoat tubs.

Acrylic Warranty

  • Tub shell: 15 years
  • Components: 10 years
  • Door seal: Lifetime

Gelcoat Warranty

  • Tub shell: 10 years
  • Components: 5 years
  • Door seal: Lifetime

Additional Models to Choose From

Because American standard lists over 200 different model numbers on their website, it can be difficult to locate the model that you need. The thing to realize about American Standard tubs, though, is there are really only three different walk-in tub shapes. These shapes don’t have distinctive names, but are listed by their measurements, the product line(s) they are made in, the way that the door swings, and the type of therapy included.

The Straight, Inward Swinging Door Walk-In Tub

One tub offered by American Standard has very square lines and an inward swinging door. It comes in the Gelcoat Premium Series, The Entry Series, and the Acrylic Luxury Series. It comes in 28×48, 30×60, 32×60, 30×51, and possibly other sizes. We can refer to it as the “standard tub.”

The Curvy, Inward Swinging Door Walk-In tub

There’s a tub that’s very similar to the standard, except that it has a curvy door opening. The door swings inward. It comes in both the Gelcoat Premium and Value series and comes in two sizes: 30”x 52” and 30”x 60”. We will call this model the curved door model.

The Wheelchair Accessible (Outward Swinging Door) Walk-In Tub

There’s also a walk-in tub model that comes with an outward swinging door that is shaped like two steps in a staircase. This model is what would normally be called a slide-in, transfer, or wheelchair accessible tub. It comes in both the Gelcoat Premium and Value series. It’s sizes are 30×52 and 32×52.

Independent Home Walk-In Tub Review

Best for Variety of Sizes, Spaces, and Abilities

Independent Home has been bringing gel coat walk-in tubs into seniors’ homes for over fifteen years. A small family-owned business, Independent Home only makes walk-in tubs. All of its resources are focused on supplying you with the best of this industry niche.

The number of models Independent Home carries isn’t overwhelmingly large, yet it manages to have options for many different body types and abilities, as well as for many different home space requirements. Some of Independent Home’s options are a slide-in tub, a shower-tub hybrid, a tub with a sling, a bariatric tub, and a cube-like tub that works well in small bathrooms.

We’ve chosen to review the Supreme Walk-In bathtub and the Cube Walk-In Bathtub because these two tubs are on opposite ends of the size spectrum for walk-in tubs.

Supreme Walk-In Bathtub Cube Walk-In Bathtub

Style Bariatric Walk-In Tub Compact Walk-In Tub
Size 33” x 55” x 40” 26” x 37”x 36” or 31” x 35” x 40”
Materials Gelcoat fiberglass Gelcoat fiberglass
Door Inward swinging Outward swinging
Safety Features Grab bars, anti-slip floor Grab bars, anti-slip floor and seat
Price Range Pricing information available after an in-home consultation Pricing information available after an in-home consultation
Hydrotherapy Yes Yes
Air Jets Yes Yes
Chromotherapy No No
Shower Wand Yes Yes
Installation Facilitated by Company Yes Yes
Warranty Full Lifetime Warranty Full Lifetime Warranty
Made in the USA Yes Yes

This walk-in tub model is considered a bariatric tub and is ideal for those who like or need an extra roomy bath. Generous proportions of 33″ x 55” x 40” ensure comfort. This tub also features an inward swinging door, which is the preferred kind of door to prevent leaks and is useful in cramped spaces.

Independent Home’s Cube Walk-In Tub comes in two sizes in cube-like proportions. The available sizes are 26” x 37” x 36” and 31” x 35” x 40”. This tub is unique because it fits in a typical small shower stall space, whereas the majority of walk-in tubs fit in a traditional bathtub space. The Cube has an outward swinging door since the interior of the tub is compact.

Tub Features

Standard Equipment

  • Gelcoat fiberglass shell
  • Internal steel frame
  • Adjustable leveling feet on the internal frame
  • Right or left hinging on doors
  • Handheld showers

The gel coat on the Supreme tub has three layers, while the Cube has seven layers of gel coat. The cube’s finish is considered “marine grade” (good enough to be used on ocean-going vessels).

Safety Features

Both tubs feature anti-slip floors and two grab bars for the safety of users. The seat on the Supreme tub is an ADA compliant height of 17”. In addition to anti-slip flooring, the Cube tub also features anti-slip texture on its seat.

Upgrades and Accessories

For an added relaxation factor, both tubs may be built with hydrotherapy jets and air jets that will pump streams of water and bubbles onto the bather for an additional cost. The customer can choose one or both of these options. Both tubs’ hydrotherapy and air therapy systems include heaters and variable speeds.

How to Purchase

Tub Pricing

Independent Home is one of several walk-in tub suppliers that does not provide any pricing unless one of its representatives visits the customer in-home. In-home consultations are always free and will answer any of the prospective customers’ questions about cost. These tubs are sold with installation included in their prices.

The exact cost of installation is difficult to determine, but the total cost of a tub plus installation from similar companies often runs around $10,000 or $12 000. Note that this number may not reflect Independent Home’s actual pricing. A $1,500 off installation coupon is available on Independent Home’s website.

Installation

Installation can often be completed in just one or two days by Independent Home installers. Prior to an installation, a representative from the company walks homeowners through pictures and videos of similar installation projects so that homeowners know just what to expect, taking some of the stress out of the process.

Financing

Independent Home offers financing to those with approved credit. Like most other companies that offer financing on their own products, Independent Home will require you to make monthly payments if you sign up for one of their loans. Your individual loan terms may vary according to your credit and financial means.

Warranty

Independent Home offers a “no-nonsense” full lifetime warranty on all its tubs. The warranty is one of the few in the industry that is an added cost. While no one wants to add more to the price of this already significant purchase, adding a warranty can be a smart move.

Full lifetime warranties that don’t list a huge amount of exceptions and special circumstances are somewhat rare, and Independent Home’s warranty is one of them. This warranty will offer better coverage than many free warranties on the market. If something breaks or stops working correctly, Independent Home technicians will come to your home and repair or replace what’s broken without charging you for parts or for labor. This warranty may even extend to complete replacement of a tub if that step is warranted.

Additional Models to Choose From

Model Style Dimensions Features
Life Walk-In Walk-In Therapy 32”x 52”x 40” Air bath
Dignity Dual Massage Walk-In Walk-In Therapy Comes in 4 sizes:
  • 32”x 52”x 40”
  • 28”x 48”x 40”
  • 30”x 52”x 40”
  • 28”x5 2”x 40”
Dual air and hydrotherapy
Celebrity Walk-In Walk-In Comes in 6 sizes:
  • 31”x 50”x 38”
  • 30”x 60”x 38”
  • 30”x 55”x 47”
  • 30“x 54”x 38”
  • 28”x 48”x 40”
  • 26”x 53”x 36”


Optional upgrades to gold tone fixtures and hydrotherapy, air therapy,or dual therapy
Access Walk-In Slide-In Soaker 32” x 54” x 40” Wheelchair accessible, tall seat

Freedom Bathtubs by Accessibility Professionals Inc. Walk-In Tub Review

Best for Slide-in Tub

Accessibility Professionals is on a mission to bring safety, relaxation, and independence to all seniors. The company’s line of Freedom Bathtubs offers just two models: a walk-in tub model and a slide-in model, both of which are simple and practical.

Accessibility Professionals sells one of the best wheelchair accessible tubs on the market. Built with a low step height (6”) compared to many other slide-in tubs, this slide-in option offers increased safety for those with mobility challenges. It also has a heated seat for extra comfort and comes at a very competitive price, especially for tubs with a heated seat.

Walk-In Bathtub, Swing In Door (Model: APWHY1323R) Walk-In Bathtub, Swing Out Door (Modle: APWHY1341XL)
Style Walk-In Tub Slide-In Tub
Size 51” x 29.5” x 41” 51.25” x 29.5” x 40.25”
Materials Acrylic Acrylic
Door Inward swinging Outward swinging door
Safety Features anti-slip floor, bars, low step anti-slip floor, bars, low step, wheelchair accessible seat
Price Range $3,178.00-$4,248.00 pre-installation $3,398.00-$4,798.00 pre-installation
Hydrotherapy Yes Yes
Air Jets Yes Yes
Chromotherapy No No
Aromatherapy No No
Shower Wand Yes Yes
Heated Seat/Surfaces Yes, but restrictions apply Yes, but restrictions apply
Installation Facilitated by Company Yes (through referrals) Yes (through referrals)
Warranty Limited Warranty Limited Warranty
Made in the USA Yes Yes

Freedom Bathtubs walk-in model measures 51” x 29.5” x 41”.  It’s 22.5” extra-wide seat makes the bath comfortable for those who like elbow room. This model’s door swings inward. This walk-in can be upgraded with a few different therapy options.

This slide-in tub measures 51.25” x 29.5” x 40.25”. Its outward swinging door is L-shaped and gives bathers who have trouble standing, such as those in wheelchairs, very direct access to the seat. Along with these standard features, there are available upgrade options.

Tub Features

Standard Equipment

  • Acrylic and fiberglass shell
  • Handheld shower with a 5’ hose
  • ¾” entry pipe filler for better fill speed

Safety Features

Both tubs have anti-slip flooring. The walk-in model sports two chrome grab bars for safety, and the wheelchair accessible model has acrylic grab bars that match the tub’s shell.

Upgrades and Accessories

A soaker tub is a tub that has no jet features. Both of these tubs come standard as soakers, but can be upgraded to include a heated shell or hydrotherapy and air jets. With this company, it is not possible to add the heated shell option to the jetted versions of these tubs.

Upgrade costs:

  • Adding a heated shell increases the tubs’ cost by about $200.
  • Adding hydrotherapy or air jets increases the cost of these tubs by $500-$1,100.

How to Purchase

Tub Pricing

Freedom Bathtubs by Accessibility Professionals makes its pricing as available and transparent as possible online. When consumers make a product selection and click “add to cart,” they’ll be prompted to fill in some information and click a button that will generate a quote. Quotes are valid for 30 days.

Both of the Freedom Bathtubs options we have reviewed fall in the price range of roughly $3,000-$5,000 dollars, depending on features selected by the homeowner. This price does not include installation.

Installation

Accessibility Professionals does not handle installations itself, but it can make the installation process easier for you by referring you to a dealer. You may also choose to find your own contractors.

Financing

No financing is offered for Accessibility Professionals tubs. These are, however, some of the most affordable tubs on the market. By the time you add installation costs to these tubs, the whole project will most likely cost around $5,000-$7,000 dollars.

If you interested in finding ways to purchase and install one of these tubs without paying for all of it out of pocket right away, options you can consider are personal loans, financing through a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC), and applying for grants or loans that are designed by the government to help seniors age in place (your local version of Medicaid or a local Area Agency on Aging may be able to connect you to these).

Warranty

Accessibility Professionals walk-in tub warranties cover different parts of the tub for different periods of time. The warranty applies to defects in workmanship or material, and it does not cover labor costs.

This means that if, for example, the hydrotherapy pump on your walk-in tub stopped working two years after you got the tub, the company would supply you with a new pump, but they would either charge you for the labor costs of removing the old one and installing the new one, or else they would simply expect you to find your own repair person and pay them to remove and replace the part.

You can see more complete coverage details below:

  • Door seal: Limited lifetime  
  • Water and air pumps: 5 years
  • Structural components excluding glass and mirrors: 10 years
  • Spare parts purchased separately: 1 year
  • Miscellaneous: 10 years

Ariel Bath Walk-In Tubs Review

Best for Low Tub Cost

Ariel connects seniors to designer-style bathroom fixtures without the designer price tag. Through Ariel, walk-in tubs become accessible to those that otherwise may not have room in their budgets for such a significant purchase.

Some of Ariel’s tubs sell for less than $2,000 (pre-installation), an uncommonly low price in the industry. It’s most economical models are its “soaker” tubs (tubs without jetting and therapy options). Choosing an Ariel soaker model is a great way to move away from the dangers of using a reclining tub. Despite the low cost of Ariel’s soaker models, these tubs are functional, attractive, and equipped with hand showers and faucets.

Ariel has many walk-in tub listing on their website, but they essentially only have one walk-tub shape (standard walk-in with an inward swinging door). It comes in five slightly different sizes, and three levels of therapy. Each tub also comes with the option of having the door on the right or left side. All of these options, paired in different ways, account for all of the listed Ariel models.

We’ve selected one of the least expensive soaker tubs and one of the most expensive dual therapy tubs in very similar sizes to compare to each other. Comparing these two models will give you an idea of the price and feature ranges that Ariel carries.

WALKIN 3054 ( R ) DUAL WALKIN 3052 ( R ) SOAKER
Style Walk-In Tub Walk-In Tub
Size 37.8” x 29.2” x 53.5” 39.5” x 30” x 52”
Materials Fiberglass reinforced acrylic with gelcoat Fiberglass reinforced acrylic with gelcoat
Door Inward swinging Inward swinging
Safety Features Grab bar, anti-slip floor Grab bar, anti-slip floor
Price $4,620.00 $1,999.00
Hydrotherapy Yes No
Air Jets Yes No
Chromotherapy No No
Aromatherapy No No
Shower Wand Yes Yes
Heated Seat No No
Installation Facilitated by Company No No
Warranty Limited Warranty Limited Warranty
Made in the USA No No

The Ariel Walk-In 3052 Soaker measures 37.5” x 30” x 52.” This model is an affordable option for someone who wants a comfortable, warm bath without having to deal with a high step or the discomfort of fully reclining in a traditional tub.

The Walk-In 3054 Dual tub is a more luxurious option than the 3052 Soaker model. The Dual Tub measures a similar 37.8” x 29.2” x 53.5”, but it comes standard with dual air and water jets for a therapeutic bath. Air bubbles and streams of water massage and soothe.

Tub Features

Standard Equipment

Both tubs are constructed from fiberglass reinforced acrylic with a triple gel coat. The inward swinging door on both models can be hinged on the right or left side, so buyers can choose whichever option best suits their space.

Safety Features

  • Anti-slip floor texture
  • Grab bars

Upgrades and Accessories

Ariel does not offer any accessories or add-on features for these tubs.

How to Purchase

Tub Pricing

Pricing for these models varies depending on which supplier the customer purchases them from. On Ariel’s website, the soaker model lists for $1,999, and the message model lists for $4,620.

As an added perk, Ariel offers free shipping on all of its products. Shipping cost for tubs can be hundreds of dollars with other manufacturers, making Ariel’s already-low prices even more affordable.

Installation

Installation of all Ariel tubs is the responsibility of the homeowner. Pricing will vary depending on the plumber and the state of the bathroom.

Financing

Ariel does not offer financing for its tubs. Since these walk-in tubs start at such a low prices for the soaker models, though, this company is a good option for those who are uncomfortable with debt but who can’t afford to purchase a higher-end tub with cash.

Ariel can become even more affordable for you if you explore some other financial options. Some purchasers, for example, may be able to write most or all of the purchase off as a medical expense at the end of the year. Always consult with you trusted tax expert about whether or not your purchase meets the IRS guidelines.

You may also be able to get a loan or grant through Medicaid, Veterans Affairs, or even through the US Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development Program. Getting approved for any of these loans and grants usually depends on your income and several other factors.

Warranty

Ariel’s limited warranty covers defects in the bathtub and its components for one year. Labor and installation costs are never covered by the warranty, and neither is damage done to surrounding materials due to defects in the tub.

There are circumstances that can void the warranty, such as if the tub is installed differently than its instructions specify, so be sure to check the specific details of the policy prior to installation.

This warranty is one of the most limited of the companies we’ve reviewed. Part of how Ariel keeps their tub costs so low is by not offering a more expansive warranty, since warranties are a liability to the company that offers them. At such a low price, an Ariel tub may still be a great choice for you despite the shortness of its warranty.

Additional Models to Choose From

As mentioned earlier, Ariel’s model choices are fairly basic. Rather than listing individual model names for you to investigate, of which there are over 20, we will list the basic options. If you figure out the combination you want, you’re fairly likely to be able to find it as a product listing.

First choose:

  • Right or Left Door and Drain?
  • Soaker, Air Therapy, or Dual Therapy (water and air jets)?

Then choose your size from the following list:

  • 3060: 59.8″ x 29.9″ x 37.7″
  • 3054: 53.5″  x 29.2″ x 37.8″
  • 3052: 30″ x 52″ x 40″
  • 3048: 30″ x 48″  x 38″
  • 2651: 26″  x 51″ x 36″

Some of these walk-in tub sizes are more available than others, but for the most part you’ll find what you need. If a size you want is not available through the Ariel website at the moment, a quick call to their customer support line at (800) 509-5070 can let you know if it will be restocked soon. You can also try looking at other Ariel retailers like the Home Depot or Wayfair for the size you want.

Jacuzzi Walk-In Tubs Review

Best for Industry Experience

The Jacuzzi family brand brought hydrotherapy into homes in the 1950s. The original immersible Jacuzzi hydrotherapy pump, which predates all home hot tubs and walk-in tubs, was made for the benefit of a rheumatic member of the Jacuzzi family. While the walk-in tub itself is a fairly recent chapter in the company’s history, the brand has demonstrated time and again that it knows hydrotherapy.

The Jacuzzi brand now makes some of the most luxurious walk-in tubs on the market. Hydrotherapy and air therapy options make these walk-in tubs just as relaxing as the Jacuzzi hot tubs many of us have already experienced, but with the added benefits of safer design and indoor use.  

We’ve reviewed three of the four Finestra Line walk-in tubs that Jacuzzi sells. These three tubs represent a good range of the features that Jacuzzi offers. While we haven’t covered its fourth style of tub, the Pure Air Model, in great detail, you can learn a little about the model below and learn more on the Jacuzzi website.

Finestra Soaking Bathtub The Finestra Whirlpool Bathtub Finestra Salon Spa Bathtub
Style Walk-In Walk-In Walk-In
Size
  • 38.”5 x 60” x 36”
  • 52” x 30” x 38.5”
  • 38.5” x 60” x 36”
  • 52” x 30” x 38.5”
  • 38.5” x 60” x 36”
  • 52” x 30” x 38.5”
Materials High gloss acrylic High gloss acrylic High gloss acrylic
Door Inward swinging Inward swinging Inward swinging
Safety Features Grab bars, low step, anti-slip floor, wide door Grab bars, low step, anti-slip floor, wide door Grab bars, low step, anti-slip floor, wide door
Price Range $6,867.00+ pre-installation $7,702.53+ pre-installation $,8,914.00+ pre-installation
Hydrotherapy No Yes Yes
Air Jets No No Yes

The soaking tub is Jacuzzi’s most basic model, designed for bathers who enjoy a simple and comfortable bath experience with the benefit of a safe seat and door. This tub comes in two sizes: 38.5” x 60” x 36” or 52” x 30” x 38.5”.

The whirlpool model of the Jacuzzi Finestra line comes standard with 6 or more jets that produce strong, massaging streams of warm water. This tub comes in the same sizes as the Soaker Model.

Jacuzzi’s Salon Spa walk-in tub comes in the same sizes and with all the features of the Whirlpool Model, but it also has Jacuzzi’s Pure Air bubble system. This luxurious combination of hydrotherapy and air therapy can help ease pain and promote relaxation.

Tub Features

Standard Equipment

All Jacuzzi Finestra tub models are made of ergonomically designed acrylic in white, almond, or oyster color. They also all feature the same low step and an inward swinging door. You may choose whether your tub door is hinged on the right or left side.

Safety Features

  • Anti-slip floor
  • Chrome grab bars

Upgrades and Accessories

In the case of all three models, whether a feature is considered “included” or an “optional upgrade” depends on where one purchases the Jacuzzi walk-in tub.

In many cases, the following features will be considered optional upgrades:

  • In-line water heater (keeps water warm as it circulates through jets)
  • Seat heater
  • Fast fill faucet
  • Chromatherapy

A neck rest may also be available through some retailers.

How to Purchase

Tub Pricing

Though Jacuzzi does not discuss its prices over the phone, large suppliers such as Lowes provide pricing online. These listed prices do not reflect the costs of upgrades, additional hardware, and installation. You may find that pricing and available features vary even for the same model depending on the retailer

The prices below were obtained through Lowes and can be considered a starting point of pricing for these models.

Soaking: $6,867.00+

Whirlpool: $7,702.53+

Salon Spa: $,8,914.00+

Pricing and a complete explanation of features may also be obtained at an official Jacuzzi showroom, of which there are fourteen throughout the United States.

Installation

Homeowners are responsible for finding their own installers when they buy Finestra tubs.

Jacuzzi does offer a full-service installation option on a similar line of walk-in tubs, but pricing is not readily available. To explore this route, homeowners may request a quote online or over the phone. They should also check if they live within the service area for installation, as the range is limited. If the buyer lives within the service area, Jacuzzi specialists will conduct an in-home visit to generate a free quote.

Financing

Jacuzzi does not offer payment plans for its Finestra walk-in tubs. If you would like help paying for a Jacuzzi tub, a personal loan such as an FHA Title 1 loan could help you to spread the cost out over time.

Warranty

Jacuzzi offers a limited lifetime warranty on:

  • Bathtub shells
  • Factory installed pumps
  • Jets
  • Controls
  • Blowers

Jacuzzi also provide a 2-year warranty on labor if one of its specialists install your tub. Heater options for these tubs appear to have a 1-year warranty that does not include labor.

Because Jacuzzi offers walk-in tubs with and without installation included, warranty details from this company can get a little confusing. If it’s unclear to you what your Jacuzzi warranty would cover, you can always call the company’s customer help line at 1-800-288-4002, option 1. (Mon-Fri, 8AM-5PM Central) for more details.

Additional Models to Choose From

The Jacuzzi Finestra line has one model that we didn’t review: The Pure Air Walk-In Tub. This tub is essentially the same as the other three listed, but its therapy feature is the continuous release of tiny, gently massaging bubbles that come from jets on every side of the tub. The air is heated for extra comfort.

In addition to the Finestra Line of walk-in tubs, Jacuzzi also offers a similar line of walk-in tubs that they install. Customers who are interested in getting the full service Jacuzzi experience can follow this link to learn more.  

Ella’s Bubbles Walk-In Tubs Review

Best for Two-Person Walk-In Tubs

Ella’s Bubbles makes its tubs in America with a dedication to beauty and design that’s unparalleled. These walk-in tubs share in common a high gloss shell finish, chrome accessories, and frosted tempered glass doors.

We’ve reviewed a slide in tub, a petite tub, and a two-person tub from Ella’s Bubbles in this article because those tubs address three unique needs that seniors may have. Ella’s offers several other amazing tubs, including a front-loading tub, several standard sized tubs, large tubs, and even a recently released line of tubs that have a decorative, patterned surface on the exterior tub walls.

Perhaps the best tubs that Ella’s Bubbles offers are it two-person tubs. Ella’s Bubbles has three of these in its inventory, while most other walk-in tub companies do not offer any.  For couples who are aging in place together, the Tub4Two or one of the other two-person models can be an ideal home improvement option.

Transfer Walk-In Tub Tub4Two Walk-In Tub Petite Walk-In Tub

Style Slide-In Tub Two-person Walk-In Tub Walk-In Tub
Size 29″ x 52″ x 42″ 30.25” x 60” x 37” 27.5”x 52.25″
Materials Acrylic Acrylic Acrylic
Door Outward swinging Outward swinging Inward swinging
Safety Features anti-slip floor, grab bars Anti-slip floor, grab bars Anti-slip floor, grab bars
Price Range $5,348.00 pre-installation $5,589.33 pre-installation $5,460.00 pre-installation
Hydrotherapy Yes Yes Yes
Air Jets Yes Yes Yes
Chromotherapy No Yes No
Aromatherapy No No No
Shower Wand Yes Yes Yes
Heated Seat Yes Yes Yes
Installation Facilitated by Company Yes (optional) Yes (optional) Yes (optional)
Warranty Limited Lifetime Limited Lifetime Limited Lifetime
Made in the USA Yes Yes Yes

The transfer tub features an L-shaped door that is perfect for those in wheelchairs to slide into with minimal effort. Hydrotherapy massage jets and in-line heaters for the comfort of the bather come standard in this model. The Transfer Tub’s proportions are 29″ x 52″ x 42″.

The Tub4Two Walk-In Tub features two seats that face each other. It is a perfect option for couples. With many therapy choices available, this tub can help consumers with their aches and pains. The Tub4Two measures31.75″ x 60″ x 42″. Its attractive stainless steel and tempered glass door swings outward.

Ella’s Petite walk-in tub features an inward swinging door and slim proportions (27.5″ wide x 52.25″ long) designed to fit into tight spaces. Tempered glass and stainless steel make the door look sleek and modern. This tub can include comfort features such as a heated seat. A proprietary detachable swivel tray makes it easy to keep a glass of water or other personal items handy.

Tub Features

Standard Equipment

When looking at Ella’s Bubbles tubs on the official company website, consumers will notice that each tub has over twenty different model numbers that signify different features packages. The flexibility of the packages makes it difficult to define what comes truly “standard” in a given design. For the sake of this review, we base our standard listings on models that are offered through the Home Depot.

All three models feature:

  • Acrylic shell
  • Fast fill faucets
  • Handheld showers
  • Heated seats
  • Dual drains
  • Chrome finish hardware
  • A step between 6.5 and 9” (adjustable)

The Transfer Tub and the Tub4Two both are often sold with whirlpool jets or air jets included. In both of these tubs, some of the jets are adjustable and some are fixed.

Safety Features

  • Anti-slip floor
  • ADA compliant grab bars

Upgrades and Accessories

Accessories and upgrade options are numerous, especially when buying directly through the Ella’s Bubbles website. You may add jetting and heating options that don’t already come with your tub of choice, or you can purchase headrests, seat cushions, or extra grab bars for your bathroom walls. Shower screens are also available to make their tub even more enjoyable. One upgrade especially worth adding if it doesn’t come standard is the heated backrest option.

How to Purchase

The lowest end of the price range for Ella’s Bubbles tubs is around $3,000 and the highest is around $8,000, pre-installation. A tub on the lower end will likely not come with heated seats, jetting options, and other therapeutic features.

When ordering directly from Ella’s Bubbles, a phone call or email is the perfect way to start discussing tubs and their features.

Third parties that sell Ella’s Bubbles walk-in tubs (The Home Depot, for example) will have many different listings of essentially the same tub that just have slightly different combinations of features. Consumers will want to read carefully to find their ideal features packages. Prices are listed clearly by third-party sellers.

Installation

Consumers may buy an Ella’s Bubbles tub apart from an installation package. However, the company does have a large network of experienced installers at its disposal. Call Ella’s Bubbles for more information. Installation prices vary greatly. An Ella’s Bubbles representative told us that, including installation, walk-in tub projects can sometimes cost up to $53,000, though most will not cost that much.

Financing

Ella’s Bubbles facilitates financing through its approved dealers for up to a $50,000 walk-in tub projects. Financing may be as low as $99 a month, depending on the size of the loan and other conditions. Any financing plan from Ella’s Bubbles will require monthly paying and will involve interest.

For more information on how to be approved for an Ella’s Bubbles Financing plan, you can call (800) 480-6850 from M-F from 8-5 Central Time.

Warranty

Ella’s Bubble’s manufacturer’s limited lifetime warranty covers:

  • Shell
  • Frame
  • Door seal
  • Finish

Every other piece of “supporting equipment” on the tub is covered by a limited 5-year warranty under normal use and conditions.

Warranties from Ella’s Bubbles never cover the cost of labor. This means that if something on your tub breaks while under warranty, Ella’s Bubbles will ship a replacement part to you, but they will not send anyone out to perform the necessary service on the tub, nor will they reimburse your cost of hiring someone to install the new part.

The warranty applies to the original owner at the original address. Some circumstances can void the warranty, such as excessive sun exposure or improper installation or cleaning techniques.

Additional Models to Choose From

Ella’s Bubbles is a company that’s great about providing many different size options for its walk-in tubs. Below we’ve listed some models and sizes that you can consider. Tubs in italics are the ones that we’ve reviewed above. You can see in these lists how their sizes compare to other tub models from Ella’s Bubbles.

Wheelchair Accessible Walk-In Tubs:
Transfer – 30″W x 52″L
Transfer32 – 32″W x 52″L
Transfer26 – 26″W x 52″L
Transfer60 – 30″W x 60″L
TransferXXXL – 36″W x 55″L

Two Person Walk-In Tubs:
Big4Two – 36″W x 80″L
Tub4Two – 32″W x 60″L
Companion – 30″W x 60″L

Inward Swinging Door Walk-In Tubs:
Elite – 30″W x 52″L
Royal – 32″W x 52″L
Petite – 28″W x 52″L
Deluxe – 30″W x 55″L
Ultimate – 30″W x 60″L

Outward Swinging Door Walk In Tubs:
Malibu & Zen – 30″W x 52″L
Monaco & Chi – 32″W x 52″L
Lounger – 27″W x 60″L
Mobile – 26″W x 45″L
Front Entry – 32″W x 40″L

Safe Step Walk-In Tub Review

Best Warranty

Safe Step is one of the most high-end walk-in tub companies on the market in terms of price, product, and service. While it only carries two walk-in models, the models it does carry are customizable and come standard with many luxuries that other companies deem upgrades.

Safe Step has also crafted one of the most generous lifetime warranties in the industry. The company’s warranty covers the costs of labor as well as the repair or replacement of parts. The majority of walk-in tub warranties exclude the costs of labor, or only cover it for a limited time such as one year. Safe Step, in contrast, truly recognizes that covering labor costs makes a big difference for tub owners.

Walk-In Tub The Hybrid Tub
Style Walk-In Tub Walk-In Tub and Shower Hybrid
Size Four sizes available ranging from 4-5’ feet long Four sizes available ranging from 4-5’ long
Material Acrylic and gelcoat Acrylic and gelcoat
Door Inward swinging Inward swinging
Safety Features Anti-slip surfaces, grab bars, low 4” step Anti-slip surfaces, grab bars, low 4” step
Price Range Company does not share pricing except during in-home consultations Company does not share pricing except during in-home consultations
Hydrotherapy Yes Yes
Air Jets Yes Yes
Chromotherapy Yes Yes
Aromatherapy Yes Yes
Shower Wand Yes Yes
Heated Seat Yes Yes
Installation Facilitated by Company Yes Yes
Warranty Lifetime including labor, excluding caulking Lifetime including labor, excluding caulking
Made in the USA Yes Yes

Safe Step Tub Models

Safe Step walk-in tubs are fully customizable. These tubs can be manufactured with the exact sizing that the customer needs (restrictions may apply). Typically between 4-5’ long, Safe Step tubs feature a low step and an inward swinging door.

The Hybrid tub resembles Safe Step’s regular walk-in tubs in size options and therapeutic features, but the hybrid model has the added benefit of a shower head positioned above the bather just like in a traditional shower. In this walk-in tub, a bather can soak in the filled tub while also enjoying a shower from above.

Tub Features

Standard Equipment

  • Acrylic shell
  • Antimicrobial gelcoat finish
  • Inward swinging doors
  • Handheld shower
  • Easy to unlatch doors
  • External towel bar

Safety Features

Safe Step safety features include:

  • Grab bars
  • Anti-slip flooring
  • Anti-scald technology

In addition to these safety features, Safe Step tubs have a 4” step height, which is one of the lowest, and safest, in the industry.

Upgrades and Accessories

For both of these models, you may choose exactly which therapeutic and comfort features you would like to include. Upgrades may affect the tub’s overall price.

Upgrade options include:

  • Air bubble therapy
  • Hydrotherapy
  • Chromatherapy
  • Aromatherapy
  • Heated seats

The shower hybrid model can also have a sleek glass door installed above the tub to reduce splashing.

How to Purchase

Pricing

Pricing on these tubs varies, and prices are not easily obtained unless one schedules a free in-home consultation with one of Safe Step’s specialists. Safe Step does not share any pricing information over the phone.

Safe Step’s competitors suggest that a Safe Step tub with most or all of the optional features plus installation will cost about $20,000. However, such numbers are difficult to verify.

Safe Step offers some discounts for those who demonstrate financial need or who are veterans.

Installations

Safe Step’s certified, fully-insured dealers and contractors handle all installations. Installation is included in the quoted cost of the tub, and most installation projects are completed in one or two days.

Financing

Customized monthly payment plans from SafeStep are available to those with approved credit. When one of Safe Step’s walk-in tub specialists visits you to take measurements and give you a no-obligation quote, you can ask about financing. Your monthly payments will most likely depend upon your financial history and the cost of your tub installation project.

You may also want to compare the cost of financing through Safe Step with the cost of other personal loans, and it never hurts to look into grants from your local Medicaid services to see if you might qualify for any assistance.

Warranty

Safe Step tubs have a lifetime warranty on everything except for the caulking. Caulking is covered by the warranty for two years, but labor is included under the lifetime warranty.

Many walk-in tub warranties include labor for one to two years, or not at all, so Safe Step’s unlimited inclusion of labor is a significant improvement over many other warranties. If anything on your Safe Step tub (aside from the caulking) were to stop working or to start showing defects, Safe Step would send someone out to look at the problem and to fix it at no charge to you.

Kohler Walk-In Tub Review

Best for Design Options

The Kohler brand, founded in 1873, brings timeless bathroom design options to the walk-in tub market. Since the company also sells sinks, toilets, and specialty wall surfaces that compliment its walk-in tubs, those who want to overhaul their bathrooms will find this brand an attractive choice.

Kohler only offers one walk-in tub model, called the Belay Walk-In Bath, but this model comes standard with many luxury features. This tub is a great choice for anyone looking for a durable, attractive tub with a low step and multiple therapy features.

To pair with their Belay Walk-In Bath, Kohler makes “LuxeStone” bath walls that surround the tub with contrasting texture, color, and pattern while eliminating the need for wall tile. While always optional, these walls do put the finishing touch on a walk-in tub installation. Kohler offers seniors not only a quality tub but also the chance to create a stylish bathroom.

Kohler Co. Belay Walk-In Bath
Style Walk-In Tub
Size Variable: 52-60” long, 28-32” wide
Materials Gelcoat fiberglass
Door Inward swinging
Safety Features Anti-slip flooring, grab bars, low 3” step
Price Range Pricing available after a free in-home quote
Hydrotherapy Yes
Air Jets Yes
Chromotherapy No
Aromatherapy No
Shower Wand Yes
Heated Seat Yes
Installation Facilitated by Company Yes
Warranty Lifetime Limited Warranty
Made in the USA Yes

Belay Walk-In Bath

The Belay Walk-In Bath has variable proportions: between 52-60” long and between 28-32” wide. Like many walk-in tubs, this one has an inward swinging door and a safe, ADA compliant 17” tall seat. This tub is remarkable for its many comfort-enhancing features such as heaters and air and water jets that come standard.

Tub Features

Standard Equipment

Kohler Belay Walk-In:

  • Gelcoat fiberglass shell
  • 17” tall and 21 ½” wide seats
  • 10 massaging water jets
  • Air jets
  • “Bask” heated surfaces
  • Handheld shower with three settings
  • Fast fill and fast drain

Safety Features

  • Low step (3”)
  • Exterior handrail
  • Interior chrome grab bar
  • Anti-slip floor
  • Easy-turn handles

Upgrades and Accessories

Homeowners who wish to further improve the appearance of their bathrooms may choose to have “LuxeStone” Bath Walls installed along with their new tub. This advanced wall surface is engineered from stone and fibers to be attractive and durable.

LuxeStone walls complete the tub area, beautify the bathroom, and add value to the home. Style options include sleek white and biscuit colors, a marbled white and black option, and a raw-looking horizontally veined “stone” in sandy and white hues.

How to Purchase

Price

Kohler offers a free in-home quote to all its potential customers. Customers can schedule an appointment with a specialist online or over the phone. Specialists use a thirty-five point inspection list to determine prices, so it is always specifically based on the buyer’s space and their preferences for their tub. Kohler stands by its quotes for an entire year, regardless of how costs of materials or labor may rise in the meantime.

Kohler employees will never provide pricing information over the phone or online. While it’s hard to get an idea on pricing without getting a free quote, Kohler walk-in tubs with hydrotherapy options and installation may cost a homeowner around $10,000. This number is difficult to confirm.

When considering purchasing, you should ask about promotions, as Kohler offers limited-time deals on specific aspects of its tubs.

Installation

Installation is always included in the cost of a Kohler Walk-In Bath. This can save customers thousands of dollars when compared to the installation costs from some other companies, helping reduce the tub’s overall cost.  

Financing

Kohler Specialists can give qualifying homeowners a quote for monthly payments if financing seems like the right choice. Since pricing of Kohler tubs is variable depending on the size and the home, payment amounts are variable too.

Homeowners looking for different kinds of help with payment for their walk-in tubs can consider the possibility of getting a personal loan from a different source, utilizing their home equity to fund their project, or looking into Medicaid grants. Sometimes walk-in tub installations are even tax deductible. It’s always a good idea to discuss these options with family or the appropriate financial advisor.

Warranty

Kohler’s warranty applies if the tub is installed by Kohler specialists, and it is good for the lifetime of the original purchaser of the tub. Both parts and labor are covered under the warranty, and the warranty is good in both the USA and Canada.

In some circumstances, problems with the tub that are specifically related to how the tub was installed may only be covered for three years, rather than for the lifetime of the tub owner.

Manufacturing defects in the bath are covered under a limited lifetime warranty. This warranty covers but is not necessarily limited to:

  • Pumps
  • Motors
  • Jets
  • BubbleMassage components
  • Seat heater
  • Door seal
  • Faucets
  • Handheld shower

Walk in Tubs Basics

Walk-in Tubs Allow Seniors to Bathe Safely in Their Own Homes

Walk-in tubs decrease your risk of falling and injuring yourself while bathing. Unlike traditional tubs, walk-in tubs always feature a door, a low step threshold, and a built-in seat. Almost all walk-in tubs also include a handheld shower and safety features such as grab bars and anti-slip surfaces.

To use a walk-in tub, you open the door, walk in, sit down, seal the door securely, and then fill the tub. After you’re done, you will need to wait until all the water has drained before you can open the door again.

Walk-In Tubs Are Available in Several Different Styles

There are several styles of walk-in tubs, and the same style often goes by multiple names. To simplify things, we’ve listed all the styles and their descriptions below.

  • Standard: A walk-in tub that has an inward swinging door and fits into a typical bathtub space
  • Therapy: Any walk-in tub style that includes therapeutic features such as water or air jets, lights, or aromatherapy
  • Bariatric/Plus Size/Supreme: A walk-in tub designed with the comfort of larger bathers in mind
  • Deep Soaker: A tub that provides an especially deep soaking depth, ideal for those with longer torsos
  • Two-Seater/Companion: A walk-in tub designed for use by two people, with seats that face each other
  • Slide-in/Transfer/Wheelchair Accessible: A walk-in tub that has an outward swinging L-shaped door for easy access to the seat
  • Petite: Any walk-in tub that is narrower or smaller than a traditional bathtub
  • Cube/Front Loader: A special kind of petite walk-in tub that is built in cube-like proportions and often fits in a shower stall space  
  • Shower Hybrid: A walk-in tub setup that included an overhead shower and a full or partial enclosure

Understanding Walk-In Tub Upgrades and Additional Features

There are numerous upgrades available for walk-in tubs. Below you’ll find explanations of some of the most popular ones so you can determine which ones best suit your preferences and needs.

Therapy Options

Hydrotherapy

With hydrotherapy, water jets throughout the tub produce a massage-like effect for the bather, creating an experience similar to relaxing in a hot tub. Hydrotherapy systems offer an in-line heater and sanitizer. Other names for hydrotherapy are whirlpool (which means the water from the jets swirls), hydromassage, water massage, and water therapy.

The main benefit of at-home hydrotherapy is muscle relaxation and mood improvement (see “Nervous System” section for research). Manufacturers often suggest that hydrotherapy also helps with circulation and muscle or joint pain, and many consumers agree.

Scientific data on hydrotherapy health claims is limited because hydrotherapy, in the medical sense, can mean more than just what a walk-in tub offers. You can always discuss with your doctor the medical merits of an at-home hydrotherapy system for your particular ailments to find out if hydrotherapy will benefit you. Even if you or your loved one does not have a medical condition, you may choose a tub with hydrotherapy simply for the relaxing experience.

Air Therapy

Air therapy or bubble massage systems are other popular upgrades that can be found in hot tubs as well as in walk-in tubs. Air jets in the tub mix tiny bubbles into the water, often at the same time that a hydrotherapy system circulates warm water.

Air therapy has not been extensively studied and is not so much intended for medical benefits, but more for the calming physical sensation it produces. The tiny bubbles create a gentle massage-like effect on your skin. They can augment the effect of hydrotherapy, or you can enjoy them on their own.  

Chromatherapy

Chromatherapy, the practice of using colored lights in bath water, has roots in ancient beliefs about how color affects mood and health. For an example of chromatherapy theory, you can check out this chart which claims that red light increases the pulse and stimulates circulation, while blue light “helps address stress.” New scholarly research cautiously supports some ancient claims about how color and light impact us.

Chromatherapy packages for tubs consist of small LED lights built into the walls of the tub. Most light systems are controlled by buttons, a digital panel, or a remote. If you’re interested in alternative and traditional health ideas, or if you’d simply like to light your tub with something more pleasant than your overhead fluorescents, look into adding a chromatherapy package to your walk-in tub.

Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy – the use of essential oils to improve health- has enjoyed tremendous popularity recently.

Some walk-in tub aromatherapy systems rely on scent beads or a cartridge, which likely use artificial fragrances that lack the benefits of essential oils. If you are interested in using aromatherapy, try to find a walk-in tub with a steam diffuser that allows you to add your own essential oils. Bathing Solutions’ aromatherapy kit is a great example of a diffuser system that gives you control.

People who use aromatherapy report improvements in immune system function, pain management, mood, and more. Scientifically, the effects of aromatherapy have been studied on infants, seniors and other groups with positive results, as this study on managing pain in elderly patients notes. Many people find that the smell of essential oils simply makes them feel calm and relaxed, and adding aromatherapy to your walk-in tub can be a nice way to enhance the spa-like aspects of your bathing experience.

Other Add-ons

Heated Surface

Heated seats may be the most important upgrade you can choose for your tub. With a heated seat or backrest, your risk of getting chilled while your tub fills or drains drastically decreases, making your bathing experience much more comfortable.

Headrests

Headrests are a good option if you have concerns about neck pain or fatigue. Jacuzzi, Ella’s Bubbles, and Hydro Dimensions all offer this helpful add-on. Hydro Dimensions sells a functional foam headrest, Ella’s Bubbles sells a pillow-style headrest, and Jacuzzi sells a lighted neck massaging waterfall headrest. Consider ease of cleaning and durability when choosing which headrest you’d like to add to your tub.

Extenders and End Panels

If your bathroom lacks a nook to enclose your tub on three sides, or if your tub is slightly smaller than the existing nook, then purchasing factory-made end panels or extenders may be necessary. These add-ons look like they are part of the tub, and they cover its internal structure. These pieces may cost around $200.

Wall Kits

Walk-in tub installations can cause problems with the aesthetics or water-tightness of existing tub or shower tile. Brands like Kohler and Hydro Dimensions can remove existing title or other wall surfaces and install their attractive stone-like wall kits. These kits tend to be more economical than buying actual stone pieces, but they provide the same versatile, clean look.

Fast Fill and Fast Drain Features

Many companies offer fast fill and drain features, but some work better than others. These features often rely on special pipes or valves. Fast drains might use pumps, which are very effective and can reduce drain times to about 2 minutes.  

Homeowners should ask questions about “fast” features that rely on extra wide ¾” diameter plumbing. Many homes have existing ½” pipes that are not compatible. A tub with nonstandard plumbing could require home renovation, or it might simply fail to live up to its speed claims. To avoid disappointment, be sure to ask for details before signing on for one of these upgrades.

Cleaning Systems

Ozone Generators:  Walk-in tubs that come with air therapy may also have an ozone generator included or as an upgrade. An ozone generator splits oxygen atoms to create ozone, and then it pumps that ozone through the air jets to kill bacteria. The ozone later converts back to oxygen on its own. This system is both effective and natural.

UV Sanitizers: UV Sanitizers in some walk-in tubs kill bacteria by forcing them to mutate. In a walk-in tub, the water that flows through a jet system passes by a UV light. The sterilizer is working for the duration of the bath. Not all companies offer these sanitizers, and even with a sanitizer, your tub’s jet system may need an occasional cleansing cycle using a chemical agent.     

Purge Cycles: Often called “automatic purge cycles,” these systems begin their work when you exit your bath. You will hear a noise as a pump turns on and draws all the extra water out of the tub’s pipes, ensuring that standing water won’t linger to mold or grow bacteria.

Who Should Consider Walk-In Tubs

Walk-in tubs can be useful to a diverse group of seniors. Below you’ll find a list of those who find walk-in tubs especially convenient or beneficial.

Seniors Who Are Planning for the Future

Contrary to popular belief, repeated falls are not an inevitable part of life as a senior, but instead, are preventable. One of the five ways that the National Council on Aging (NCOA) recommends for preventing falls is improving the safety of the home.

Even if you are a relatively young senior in perfect health right now, if you’re planning on aging in place then you should start considering how to make your home safer before there’s a crisis. Minimizing fall risks before you ever fall can save you money and health complications in the future.

If you’re a senior who’s looking to upgrade your bathtub as a preventive measure, here are some features you should look for.

  • Lowest Possible Step Height: While you’re healthy you don’t know exactly what challenges your future will bring, but it’s safe to assume stepping over ledges will become harder as you age. Finding a tub with an extra low step can make all the difference.
  • A Quality Warranty: If you’re upgrading your bathroom before health challenges present themselves, then chances are you’re going to be enjoying your walk-in tub for many years. Focus on finding a tub with a full lifetime warranty, since you may well be putting more years of wear on this tub than is typical.

Seniors Who’ve Experienced a Fall in Their Home or Bathroom

If you’ve already experienced a fall in your home or bathroom, chances are you’ve become very aware of how your environment can affect your balance. It may be time for you to remove a traditional bathtub or shower that you used to enjoy.

Studies show that seniors who experience a fall tend to limit their activities out of fear. Having a tub that’s built with your needs in mind can give you the confidence to actively and consistently care for your personal needs, even if you’ve experienced a painful bathroom or home fall in the past.

Below are some features to look for in a walk-in tub if staying on your feet is a challenge for you.

  • Extra grab bars: Virtually every walk-in tub on the market comes with at least one grab bar. If you’re especially fall-prone, you should consider tubs that have two bars, or consider installing a grab bar on a wall near the tub. Think about how you will transition from one area to another, and make sure there’s something stable to hold on to in any given spot.
  • Anti-slip textures: Most walk-in tubs include anti-slip texture on the floor, but some also have it on the seat. With all the water and soap in a tub, seats can become slippery, too. Anti-slip surface on the seat can give you added peace of mind.
  • ADA compliance: Seats between 17”-19” are considered ADA compliant. ADA compliance means that these seats won’t require you to lower yourself down too far, making them the easiest kind of seat to get in and out of.
  • An outward swinging door: Outward swinging doors aren’t quite as common as inward swinging ones, but they might be a good choice for you. An outward swinging door is out of the way when it’s open, providing easier access to the seat. Outward swinging doors are most commonly found in slide-in tubs and compact tubs (“petite,” “front-loading,” or “cube”).

Seniors Who Have Disabilities or Mobility Issues

If you’re a senior who has serious disabilities or mobility issues, there are walk-in tub options for you, too. Getting a tub that doesn’t require much vertical and horizontal movement can reduce the likelihood of you or your caregiver being injured while you transfer to your bath.

In addition to safety features like low step height, grab bars, and anti-slip texture, look for the following designs in a walk-in tub:

  • An L-shaped door that swings outward: A tub with this door design is usually called “slide-in” or “wheelchair accessible,” though some companies (like American Standard and Accessibility Professionals) don’t give it such an obvious name. The placement of seat and door in this style of tub guarantees that the door won’t get in the way of the bather getting to the seat.
  • Easy to reach control panels and faucets: Control panels and faucets should be easy to use. When shopping, pay attention to how far you’ll have to reach to use a control panel or turn a faucet. You may find you like models that have remotes. If possible, look at a sample tub in a showroom and test these features.

Seniors Who are Too Large to Bathe Safely in a Traditional Tub

Research suggests that obesity in seniors increases their risk of falling because it interferes with balance and the ability to regain lost footing. Obesity can also cause joint problems. If you’re medically considered obese, or if you’re just larger than the average senior, you may find average-sized tubs unsafe. You may even fear getting stuck in a tub that’s unsuitable for you.

A bariatric walk-in tub (bariatric means “relating to the treatment of obesity”) can help reduce your risk of bathroom falls, address your space problems, and help you with managing joint pain with its soothing warm water.

Even if you’re working with a doctor to lose weight, investing in a large walk-in tub now could be a smart choice. After weight loss, you’ll still be able to enjoy the safe, comfortable features of your tub for many years.

Below you’ll find a list of what to look for in a tub if you’re larger than average.

Tub models labeled “bariatric”: These tubs may be as much as 10” wider than standard walk-in tubs. Bariatric tubs are also sometimes called “plus size” or “supreme.” Most bariatric tubs have a seat width of about 30”.

Tubs that have wide enough doors: Before making a purchase, you’ll want to obtain the dimensions of the walk-in tubs door and make sure that it is large enough to accommodate your body comfortably.

Hydrotherapy Jets: If you’re experiencing joint problems related to your size, a walk-in tub with hydrotherapy jets might provide extra relief.

Seniors Who Live With Chronic Conditions

While the various therapy upgrades available in walk-in tubs will never cure chronic conditions like arthritis, poor circulation due to diabetes, or injured muscles and joints, there is some evidence that the available therapies can alleviate symptoms. These therapies can help seniors manage their pains or improve their sense of well-being during difficult times.

In addition to therapeutic benefits, seniors with chronic pains and conditions will benefit from the safe, user-friendly designs of walk-in tubs.

Below are some features to consider for your walk-in tub if you live with a chronic condition:

  • Easy to turn handles: If muscle loss, joint pain, or nerve pain are part of your condition, you’ll want to look for a tub with handles that are easy for you to turn. Companies might advertise such handles as “no-strength handles” or “for gentle hands”.
  • Hydrotherapy: Many people find that using hydrotherapy jets in their walk-in tub helps them manage muscle and joint pain, and some claim it improves poor circulation. If you’ve found soaking in a hot tub with jets to bring you relief in the past, consider finding a walk-in tub with hydrotherapy so that you can enjoy that relief any time.

Aromatherapy: Medical evidence on the benefits of essential oils is growing. Oils like lavender, peppermint, or chamomile can reduce stress levels or aid respiration, for instance. If you’d like to try aromatherapy to improve the therapeutic effects of your bath, look for a tub with a built-in diffuser and research which oils are best for your symptoms.

Buyers Guide: How to Choose and Purchase a Walk-In Tub

Decide Which Type of Walk-In Tub Is the Best Fit

Which tub style you should choose is determined in part by preference and in part by need.

  • Limited Space: If bathroom space is tight, you may be limited to choosing a petite, cube, or shower hybrid model.
  • Prefer Showers: If you love traditional showers, a shower hybrid model gives you the best features of a shower and a walk-in tub.
  • Large Bath Seat: If you need or want a tub with an extra roomy seat and door, you should consider a bariatric tub.
  • Deep Soaking:  If you have a long torso, you may want to look into a deep soaker tub so that as much of you as possible can enjoy the warm water.
  • Limited Mobility: If you have limited mobility, especially if you are in a wheelchair, a slide-in model is your best option.
  • Spa Experience: If you want a spa-like bath experience or if you are interested in traditional and alternative health improvement, you should look for a tub of any size or style that includes therapy options.
  • Couples’ Option: If you’re aging in place with a spouse, you might consider a two-person model.

Aside from the size and shape of the tub model you need, secondary considerations include which side the tub’s door is hinged on and whether the door swings inward or outward. Most companies let the buyer choose which side the door hinges on. Doors that swing inward are ideal for bathrooms with limited space.

Determine Your Walk-In Tub Size Requirements

Use these three steps to make sure you’re searching for a tub that’s realistic for your space.

  • Measure the Existing Bathtub or Shower Stall: A standard bathtub size is about 60” long and 30”-32” wide, and that’s what most walk-in tubs are designed to fit. If your space is smaller than standard, you could need a petite or cube-style walk-in tub. Consider how much free space surrounds the tub, too. You don’t want to install something that will leave no room for you to move.
  • Measure Exterior and Interior Doors on the Path to the Bathroom: If you have your door measurements on hand, you can compare them to the tub models you research. Most tubs are made to fit through doors, but an unusual door or tub size could pose problems. Installers can temporarily remove door trims in order to gain a few inches to work with.
  • Don’t Forget Your Personal Size Preferences: As mentioned earlier, how much space you like or need should influence your choice of walk-in tub. Bariatric tubs offer the most space overall, deepsoakers offer the greatest soaking depth, and petite and cube tubs may have less seat and legroom than average.

Clarify Your Financial Limitations

Having a range of what you’d ideally like to spend on this project can help you narrow your search. Decide early on the maximum amount you can pay out of pocket and think about whether or not it’s financially smart for you to pursue a grant or loan to supplement your funds.  

Many walk-in tubs cost between $6,000-$12,000 including installation, but there are also more and less expensive options on the market.

Compare Walk-In Tubs Across Several Reputable Companies

Once you’ve got some information on what kind of tub you need and what kind of money you’d like to spend, you can start looking into different companies.

When looking at companies, consider the following:

  • Pricing system: Does the company treat the cost of its products and services more like “open” or “closed” information? Are you okay with working with either kind of company?
  • Service level: Does the company handle installation always, never, or according to your preference?
  • Customer service: Are the phone representatives helpful and easy to work with from the start?

No matter what kind of tub you want, you’ll benefit from comparing the costs, service, and features of tubs from at least three different companies. If at any point a company strikes you as dishonest or manipulative, feel free to walk away, knowing that you have other options.

Looking up companies online is informative since you can view pictures, videos, and blueprints. Sometimes websites have incomplete or outdated information, though. Calling and taking notes is the most certain way to learn about a product.

Understand the Two Basic Types of Walk-In Tub Companies

As you begin your walk-in tub search, it’s important to understand that there are two basic kinds of walk-in tub companies when it comes to pricing: those that are willing to tell you their price range early in the sales process and those that won’t disclose any pricing information until they visit you in your home.

Early Cost Disclosure

A company that’s fairly open about their costs will either list tub prices online (on their own websites or through other retailers), speak about costs over the phone when you ask, or maybe even email you pricing information when you request it.

You probably can’t get an exact price on installation until after someone has looked at your home, but you’ll at least be able to get a “ballpark” figure. After discussing details with you, a customer service representative may say something like, “this could change depending on your installation needs, but I expect this project to cost you between $6,000-$8,000.”

Late Cost Disclosure

Companies that aren’t as open about pricing will only discuss it with you when they visit your home. Over the phone, sales representatives may say something like, “we believe it’s unethical to talk about pricing now because there are too many factors that affect the price. When can I schedule a no-obligation in-home consultation? It’s always free and your quote will be good for a year.”

Some of the most well-known walk-in tub brands (like Kohler and Safe Step) operate on a “closed” pricing policy. It’s difficult to say anything definite about the affordability of any of these companies.

Is one pricing system better than the other?

In our review section, we’ve included companies that disclose costs early and late in the sales process because both kinds of companies make excellent walk-in tubs.

Which kind of company you should explore comes down to preference. If you’re frustrated by the thought of having to let someone into your home before you can get any idea of the company’s price range, then you may want to explore companies with more transparent pricing.

A reputable company of either style will not charge you for a quote or try to force you to decide under pressure if you’re going to buy from them.

Base Your Decision on Several Important Factors

Tub Style

Decide on a tub style that you’re confident will meet your needs. Don’t try to settle for a tub that doesn’t have the right safety features or size. Chances are if the tub style you need is too expensive through one brand, you’ll be able to find a comparable model at a lower cost from a different company.

Safety

Finding a tub with as many safety features as possible can help your tub keep up with your evolving needs throughout the years. One grab bar, anti-slip floor, and a 9” or lower step is the unwritten industry standard for safety in walk-in tubs, but looking for even better safety is a smart move. An ADA compliant seat, additional grab bars, a super low step, or an outward swinging door are all safety features to consider.

Optional Features

Consider creating a list of which optional features you consider essential, which you’re interested in for the right price, and which you don’t care about at all. Refer to our “Optional Features” section to see what’s generally available.

Companies differ widely on what they consider “optional” versus “standard.” It’s always worthwhile to read the fine print on a model so you really know what you’re getting.

Warranty

If you want the absolute best warranty available, look for a lifetime warranty that covers labor as well as parts. If a warranty isn’t a concern to you, you will find that walk-in tubs with limited warranties are often the most economical, at least in the short term. Not having a quality warranty may leave you on the hook for repair costs down the road, though.

Cost

A walk-in tub is a significant purchase, comparable to the cost of buying a car. In our research, the lowest walk-in tub cost that we’ve seen was just shy of $2,000, pre-installation. The highest pre-installation prices we have encountered have been around $11,000.

Sometimes a tub that seems inexpensive may only be so because it has few features. Also, some inexpensive walk-in tubs are built in another country, which may not suit your preference.  

Walk-in tub + installation project cost cheat sheet :
Uncommonly Low: $3,000-$4,000
Typical Range: $6,000-$12,000
High: $20,000
Uncommonly High: $50,000

If a walk-in tub quote (installation included) exceeds about $10,000-$12,000, you should look critically at why that might be. Buying a tub that’s more or less expensive than the typical range isn’t necessarily a bad choice, but it merits asking extra questions before you make a commitment.

For information on getting help with these costs, view “Walk-In Tub Financing and Payment Assistance for Low-Income Seniors” below.

Caregiver Opinions

Don’t Make This Decision Alone

If you’re researching a walk-in tub for someone else

If you’re a caregiver researching walk-in tubs for a loved one, make sure the two of you are on the same page. Listen to what your loved one values. If he or she is very unhappy with the final purchase, it may end up being a wasted investment.

Remember that as a caregiver, you are uniquely positioned to speak up if a tub’s design or its cost seem like they will be problems for your loved one.

For those with limited mobility, it’s also wise to reach out to an occupational therapist who can help seniors avoid the costly mistake of purchasing the wrong style of walk-in tub. These professionals can also assist seniors by educating them on how best to maintain mobility and independence overall, thereby making a walk-in tub a worthy investment.

If you’re researching a walk-in tub for yourself

If you have a caregiver or relative in your home, talking with this person about your walk-in tub choice can open your eyes to problems or options that you haven’t yet considered.

Maybe your caregiver will have concerns that certain tub designs will limit his or her ability to help you if you do fall. A caregiver might also have great ideas on which features will benefit you the most. Someone who regularly sees how you live and what you struggle with can help you make the most informed decision possible.

Determine Who Will Install Your Tub

A crucial choice to make when purchasing a walk-in tub is who to have install it.

Installation Options

Some walk-in tub companies always handle installations for the tub they sell you, some never handle installations, and some companies give you the option of handling it for you or letting you find your own installer. Many companies maintain a list of “dealers” or “approved installers,” that, while not technically part of the company, are experienced with the company’s products.

  • Choosing your own installer: You might like this option because it lets you hire someone from your community. In this case, you’ll be working with a general contractor or a plumber, and possibly also an electrician. The downside to hiring someone yourself is it may be his or her first time installing a walk-in tub. The learning curve involved can lead to mistakes and extra billed hours.
  • Choosing an installer from or recommended by the company: This option is appealing because you don’t need to go to the trouble of finding an installer yourself. Also, installers the company recommends are probably going to be extremely experienced in and efficient at walk-in tub installation, since it’s likely all they do.

Ultimately, an installer from the walk-in tub company may be the most economical choice.

Note: It’s wise to use the services of a CAPS-certified contractor (Certified Aging in Place Specialist) who can not only install the tub, but also evaluate and retrofit the accessibility of the bathroom overall.

“Often I see people put in a walk-in tub, only to find that 6 months later the vanity/sink area is no longer working for them as their mobility continues to change,” says Heather Suri, Caring.com aging expert. “Having a ‘big picture’ viewpoint can save money and frustration in the long run!”


Installation Costs

While costs may sometimes be lower, especially if you buy a “soaker” (no jet features) walk-in tub, it is safe for you to consider $2,000 or $3,000 a minimum cost of installation.

Installation costs may even reach $5,000 or much more if significant electrical work, a new water heater, and plumbing upgrades are in the works. In such an unlikely case, homeowners may spend more on installation than they do on the tub itself.

Risk factors for high installation costs include:

  • Choosing a tub with a fill volume that doesn’t match the capacity of your home’s water heater
  • Choosing a tub with ¾” pipe fittings when your home has ½” pipes
  • Choosing a tub that has so many pumps and motors that it requires a dedicated circuit

If an installer is telling you that you need major home alterations, you may want to confirm that with a second opinion or consider a tub that’s more compatible with your home as it is.

Keep in mind that labor costs vary geographically.

Look into Permits

Inquire about city work permits before beginning a walk-in tub installation. Some walk-in tub dealers refuse as a policy to pull permits. In cases like this, you will need to arrange for permits yourself if your city requires them.

Register Your Warranty

Many warranties need to be “activated” or “registered” before they are considered valid. You can register your warranty after your tub is installed. Filling out a short form online or mailing a form to the manufacturer is likely all that you need to do.

Tips For Caregivers

Recognize how the fear of falling may be impacting your loved one.

If you’re caring for an elderly parent or loved one, and you notice that they don’t seem to be bathing as often as they used to, you may want to find out if fear of falling has altered their self-care routines. Fear of falling can greatly reduce his or her quality of life and make your loved ones avoid or delay bathing.

Start the bathroom improvement conversation.

Broaching the topic of personal care and the possibility of bathroom alterations with your loved one may be difficult. Be aware that in your area there may be resources to help with paying for a walk-in tub. If you and your loved one decide a walk-in tub is necessary, you won’t be alone.

Walk your loved one through the buying process.

Many walk-in tub companies use in-home visits as part of their sales plan. During these visits, specialists take measurements and give a quote.

In-home visits sometimes make seniors feel pressure to decide quickly because the salesperson has been kind and spent time with them. Seniors may especially feel this way if they are alone during the visits. You can help your loved one by being present during estimates and phone calls and by encouraging comparison shopping.

Walk-In Tub Financing and Payment Assistance for Low-Income Seniors

Walk-in tubs are a worthwhile purchase, but they are expensive. Including installation, most walk-in tub projects will fall into the $6,000-$12,000 range. Costs can go as high as $50,000, but such costs are unlikely and avoidable.

Whatever walk-in tub price point you’re looking at, and whatever income level you fall into, there are payment options available. With government assistance or financing, almost all seniors can find a way to pay for a walk in tub that will allow them to age independently, gracefully, and safely.

Government Assistance for Walk-in Tubs

Medicare

Medicare rarely if ever covers walk-in tubs, although in recent years coverage rules have changed and may be growing more inclusive.

Generally speaking, walk-in tubs do not meet the Medicare definition of “durable medical equipment,” and therefore do not qualify for reimbursement. Even if Medicare does decide to cover the cost of a walk-in tub in your case, you’ll still need to provide the cash for the purchase upfront.

Medicaid

As the senior population in the United States grows, state governments and their affiliated Medicaid programs want to help seniors age in place so that institutions don’t become overcrowded. This policy of supporting aging in place is good news for seniors because it means state governments are making funds available for age and accessibility related home improvement projects.

Medicaid programs are different from state to state, and some are broad enough to cover walk-in tub purchase and installation. You can browse this list for financial assistance options by state or this list of Medicare Waivers for the elderly to see if your state has a program that can help you pay for your walk-in tub. Look for programs related to home improvement, aging-in-place, disabilities, and “community transitions” (transitioning seniors from nursing homes to in-home care).

Veteran’s Benefits

Some walk-in tub companies claim that their tubs are covered by veterans benefits. This is sometimes true, but restrictions apply.

Typically, TRICARE and CHAMPVA (veterans’ insurance) follow Medicare guideline and do not pay for the installation of walk-in tubs. VA Grants may be more helpful than insurance. The government offers three VA Grants for home accessibility improvement purposes. The Home Improvements and Structural Alterations (HISA) Grant offers up to $2,000 for certain home improvement projects to Veterans without service-related disabilities, and more funds are available to those with service-related disabilities.

The HISA grant specifically excludes “purchase or installation of spa/ hot tubs/ Jacuzzi type tubs,” but specifically includes alterations that enable “use of essential lavatory and sanitary facilities (e.g. roll in showers).” This language puts walk-in tubs in a gray area.

If you can demonstrate that the walk-in tub you’ve chosen has the sole purpose of accessible bathing and lacks “spa” features, then you may be able to secure this grant to help with the cost of your tub. You can view the grant’s terms for yourself here, and contact a local VA office if you believe your project is eligible.  

Single Family Housing Repair Loans & Grants

Low-income seniors in rural areas (population fewer than 35,000) should look into Single Family Housing and Repair Grants and Loans. Grants are limited to the removal of health and safety hazards from the home, and loans may be used for that and for repairing, improving, and modernizing the home.

While these $7,500 grants are designed for seniors, they are likely inapplicable to the purchase of a tub, but a loan of up to $20,000 likely is applicable. Loans and grants can be combined. If you need to tear out multiple hazards in your home, a grant might cover that cost, and the loan could kick in to cover the installation of safer options, including your walk-in tub.

With an interest rate of 1%, these loans can be a great option for seniors who otherwise cannot afford any financing options. Check out this fact sheet and this USDA web page to learn more about restrictions and risks.

Tax Deductions

Seniors who are not dependants might be able to deduct the cost of their walk-in tub installation as a medical expense. Medical expense deduction must always be itemized and must meet Internal Revenue Service guidelines.

If you are a caregiver and are considering installing a walk-in tub in your own home for an elderly relative that lives with you, you may be able to deduct some or all of that expense when you file your taxes.

Tax deduction eligibility can be complicated, so be sure to discuss these possibilities with your own tax preparer.

Financing Options for Walk-in Tubs

There are multiple financing options available to aid with the purchase of a walk-in tub. All of the financing options we’ve listed below require the ability to make monthly payments, and they do involve financial risks.

Financing through walk-in tub companies

A few walk-in tub companies offer financing to customers with approved credit. Five of the companies we reviewed have financing packages: American Standard, Independent Home, Ella’s Bubbles, Safe Step, and Kohler.

Some companies advertise monthly payments “as low as $99,” but your actual payment could be higher. You can get details on payment plans when you receive an in-home visit and quote from the company. In online reviews, consumers tend to say that interest rates on these loans are steep.

Financing through Personal Loans

It’s fairly common to seek out personal loans from banks or credit unions to improve homes. The advantage to personal loans is that they don’t always require the home to be collateral. The main drawback here is the interest rate, which may be over 30%, depending on your credit.

Financing through FHA Title 1 Loans

FHA Title 1 loans are a kind of personal loan designed exclusively for home improvement projects. These loans may benefit some seniors who are trying to pay for bathroom modifications. Often considered lower risk than HELOC’s and reverse mortgages, they may involve fewer fees for the borrower.

Financing through a Home Equity Line of Credit

Tapping into a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) requires home equity and a favorable credit score. HELOC interest rates are variable but tend to be low.

HELOC’s are similar to credit cards, in that the line of credit available to you allows you to borrow, use, repay, and start all over. The risk of this option is that the home becomes collateral and the renewable nature of the available funds may tempt you to overuse them. It’s possible to be foreclosed on when you have a HELOC.

Using a  HELOC to pay for a walk-in tub installation makes the most sense if you already need to use a HELOC for a comprehensive aging-in-place remodel or an unavoidable necessity like reroofing. HELOCs are considered best for relatively short term financial needs. Sometimes a portion of your HELOC can be tax deductible.

Financing through a Reverse Mortgage

Reverse mortgages are only available to seniors 62 and older who have significant equity in their homes. Some seniors use reverse mortgages to supplement their retirements, paying for in-home care and other needs. If you already have a reverse mortgage or are planning to get one soon, you can use part of it to pay for a walk-in tub installation.

Reverse mortgages remain controversial despite recently enhanced regulations on them. Those who get a reverse mortgage are very unlikely to pass their home on to their estate when they are gone. With a reverse mortgage, there’s also risk of your surviving spouse or other co-habitants being foreclosed on while they are still living. If you’d like to learn more about reverse mortgages, take a look at this HUD article, and beware of scams.

If you’d like to read a more detailed comparison of HELOC’s and Reverse Mortgages, you may find this article helpful.

Other Financial Resources

Financial Resource Locator Tool

Paying For Senior Care’s Eldercare Financial Assistance Locator can help you find a financial program that meets your individual needs. Fill out all the required information, check the box for “Home safety and accessibility modifications,” and then when given the option be sure to check the “Walk-in bathtubs” box.

Area Agencies on Aging

Throughout America, states designate privately and publicly run Area Agencies on Aging (AAA’s) that can help you with a variety of independent living needs. AAA’s may be able to connect you to the appropriate financial resources that you need to get your walk-in tub project started.
To find an Area Agency on Aging in your community, enter your zip code into this government website’s search tool.

To find out more about other assistive devices and safety-enhancing technology, read our guides to these topics: