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What you need to know about installing walk-in tubs.

There are several options out there, so before you begin, start by thinking about these issues:

  • Do you want the Jacuzzi-type jets?
  • Do you want air bubbles?
  • Do you need an extra heater to keep the water warm?
  • Are you just going to replace the existing tub, or is this new construction?

If you’re doing a new construction, then you just need to decide on the type of tub you want, then design the new bathroom around it.  For most, however, new construction is way too much money.  If you’re going to do a replacement tub, then you need to know how big the tub can be. 

  • First measure the existing tub.  Most are roughly 2 1/2’ by 5’.  The height of the tub doesn’t matter.
  • Next, you need to figure out how big of a walk-in tub can you get into your bathroom.  In other words, a 36” wide tub is not going to fit through your front door if your front door is only 32” wide.  You’ll also have to think about getting up any stairs, down hallways and through the bathroom door itself.  Some door jambs can be removed and replaced easily, so think about that as well.
  • If you want a larger walk-in tub than can fit through your house, then be prepared to pay someone to tear out and replace walls.
  • You need to know is the drain on the left or the right.
  • If you’re thinking of getting electric devices on your walk-in tub – such as air blowers, water jets, or in-line heaters, then you need to think about the cost of hiring an electrician to run electricity to the walk-in tub.

The walk-in tub installation process is pretty involved.  The contractor (or yourself) will need to remove the existing tub.  This means removing tiles or walls that surround the tub, some of the dry-wall, and perhaps some of the floor in front of the tub.  The plumbing will need to be moved or extended in some cases.  The faucets and drains may not align just right with the new tub.  Again, electricity may need to be run to the new tub as well.

Once the new tub is installed, the floor will need to be fixed to meet the bottom of the new walk-in tub, the walls around the tub will need to be replaced, the drywall will need to be repaired and the repaired walls will need painting.

Most handy-men have replaced bath tub before, so finding a contractor to do all the work I’ve listed above shouldn’t be an issue.  Expect to pay anywhere from $1500 to $3000 to the contractor. I would recommend buying the walk-in tub at either US Medical, or Active and Forever. I trust both of these companies and they will usually have one of the lowest prices.

 

Information for your Walk-in Tub research:

Click here to see US Medical’s Walk-In Tubs.

Click here to see Active and Forever's Walk-In Tubs.

Information about some of the larger distributors of Walk-in Tubs:

Click here to learn more about US Medical.

Click here to learn more about Premier.

Click here to learn more about First Street.

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