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The Complete Guide to Choosing a Walk-In Bathtub: Everything to Know

The Complete Guide to Choosing a Walk-In Bathtub: Everything to KnowPhoto from Unsplash

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Walk-In Bathtubs – What To Look For

Finding the right walk-in tub to ensure safer bathing requires knowing your options. This guide explains everything to know about choosing a walk-in bathtub.


New PA recent study found that walk-in tubs have a water capacity of up to 80 gallons, almost double that of a standard tub. Walk-in bathtubs have certainly increased in popularity over the years for their safety, comfort, and luxurious therapy options. However, with so many on the market, how do you select the right walk-in bathtub for you?


Don’t worry; with this guide, you can find out! From measuring your body to looking for extra features, you can learn how to choose the right walk-in tub today.


Now, are you ready to get started? Here’s an in-depth look at choosing a walk-in bathtub:


Measure Your Body

Walk-in bathtubs are designed to be sat in; however, to ensure you order the correct size, you must measure your hips, shoulders, and legs in a sitting position. That way, you can sit comfortably while you bathe.


First, you’ll want to measure your hip width to discover your correct seat size. All you have to do is sit in a chair, place one end of a measuring tape on the outside of one hip then pull it to the outside of the other. Then to measure your shoulder width, place one end of the measuring tap on your shoulder blade, then drape it to the other.


For the third and final body measurement, you may need some assistance. Sit down in a chair with a backrest and extend your legs to a comfortable position. Ask whoever is helping you to measure the distance from the backrest to your foot to determine a comfortable length for your bathtub.


Understand Your Bathroom and Home Dimensions

Next, you’ll want to analyze your bathroom where the walk-in bathtub will be installed. Grab a tape measure and get the dimensions of your current tub, including its length, width, and height.


Most standard tubs are about 60 inches long and around 31 inches wide. Most walk-in tubs will be around that size; however, if it happens to be shorter many manufacturers offer a filler panel to provide a clean and neat aesthetic.


Once you’ve measured your bathroom, it’s time to get the dimensions of your house. Measure your front door, any long hallways, or twists and turns to ensure the bathtub will fit into your home and into your bathroom relatively easily.


Now, if the bathtub is too big to get through your front door, the installers can always take your door off its hinges but understand that will likely result in another fee. If you don’t want to pay another fee, your best bet is to purchase a smaller tub or one that’s easily assembled in the bathroom.



Determine Door Shape and Opening Measurements

There are two tub door styles and two opening movements to choose from. First, you have the U-shape door and the L-shape door, then there’s the inward swinging door or the outward swinging door.


Each is constructed for different body types and physical impairments. To understand which one is best for you, we’ve explained them thoroughly below:


U-Shape Doors

U-shaped doors are usually made out of aluminum with a sleek plastic handle on the inside to help as a closing aide. U-shape model doors are recommended for those who can walk unassisted. Now, the door can either swing in or out; however, the popular choice is the inward swinging door.


Since the door can swing inward, you don’t have to worry about it hitting any objects or other objects obstructing its full movement. Now, the inward swinging door is best if your narrowest hip measurement is under 16 inches.


Here’s why: you have to account for the door’s closing radius, which will need to clear your knees before hitting the hinges. You don’t want it to be such a tight squeeze that closing the door is uncomfortable or hard to accomplish.


So if your narrowest hip measurements are over 16 inches, it’s recommended that you purchase an outward swinging door. That way, you can get in and out without trying to squeeze past the door.


L-Shape Doors

L-shaped doors are for those who have oversized body types, need assistance from a walker or a cane, or require the use of a wheelchair. The L-shape door swings out and creates a large entry space to help those who need to transition from a mobility aid to the bathtub seat.


The large door is a whopping 36 inches wide and over 21 inches tall, which means that it will have no trouble clearing any size toilet or tall object.


Understand the 3 Therapeutic Massage Options

The number and the arrangement of massagers depend on how much space is available below the tub to hold the mechanical parts. You see, the larger the tub is, the more space is available to fit the motors and other parts. At a maximum, a walk-in tub can fit three therapeutic massage options.


Now, to understand a bit more about each massage option, we’ve gathered a few more details below:


Air Massage Therapy

An air massage might sound nice, but realistically, it’s a bidet. It aids those with mobility issues in keeping clean, even in hard-to-reach places. That way, bathing is not a hard task to accomplish.


Microbubble Therapy

The microbubble system atomizes air molecules in water, turning the water completely white and allowing these bubbles to penetrate the first layer of skin.


Since the therapy punctures your skin, you may notice the removal of dead skin cells and your skin feeling softer. After all, microbubble therapy helps the skin feel exfoliated, moisturized, and deep cleaned, aiding overall health.


Hydrotherapy and Foot Massager

Hydrotherapy is the best of the best certainly for those who experience a little pain or discomfort in their joints. When engaged, the water heater and the jets automatically turn on; however, you can adjust the intensity by pressing up or down. Depending on what you like, it will either add or decrease the amount of air in the water stream, modifying the strength of the water jets.


In addition to your body, you can use these jets specifically on your feet to get a nice foot massage. It will help decrease the tension in your feet, thereby increasing your mobility and movement range.


Why Choose Therapeutic Add-Ons?

Therapeutic add-on options can benefit those with certain disabilities or diagnoses. For example, those with MS, lupus, diabetes, hip pain, and hypertension will enjoy the types of massage options since it will improve reflexology, mobility challenges, and decrease stress.


Of course, these therapy add-ons will increase the overall price of your walk-in tub, but they make bathing more relaxing and an enjoyable experience. It’s certainly worth the price since you won’t feel as achy or tense. Just consult your doctor before buying or using a walk-in tub to ensure it’s okay for your needs.


Look For These Extra Features

Selecting the right walk-in tub often means looking for the best walk-in tub features. So you’ll want to look for a padded seat; that way, your butt doesn’t hurt when you sit for a long period of time soaking or getting clean.


You should also look for a handheld shower wand. A shower wand is incredibly useful as it allows the user to control the shower head rather than it being in a fixed position.


Shower wands also usually have different settings to increase the luxuriousness of the bath and make it so you can customize your water amount completely. Handheld shower wands are great for those with mobility issues as well as for those that are caregivers.

Another great feature in walk-in bathtubs is grab bars. Grab bars are usually put near the door opening or around the sitting area for enhanced safety and stability. That way, you can get in and out without slipping or being at risk of falling.


Choosing A Walk-in Bathtub Today

Choosing a walk-in bathtub is often a difficult decision, but thankfully you now have a cheat sheet. All you have to do is measure yourself and your home’s dimensions to find the right size bathtub.


Then to make it customizable to you, choose a bathtub with the type of door you want and add therapeutic massage elements to your tub. It’s safe, relaxing, and certainly worth the cost, so why not purchase a walk-in tub today?


For more information about the benefits of walk-in tubs, contact us. We look forward to helping you!

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