Walk-In Bathtubs – Pros and Cons
A bath tub or shower is usually a rectangular container for holding hot water where an individual or pet can bathe. Although bathtubs and showers first became popular in the 20th century, they were very costly until recently because they required specialized plumbing equipment, which tended to be extremely expensive. Showers alone cost approximately five hundred dollars. A bath tub, on the other hand, may cost up to one thousand dollars or more. The advent of bath tubs has drastically reduced the price of this necessary bath accessory but has also increased its versatility.
Many new bath tubs are now made from durable thermoform plastic, stainless steel, aluminum, or even fiberglass. A good-quality soaking tub will have a front splashing wall for easy cleaning and a built-in seat and footstool for comfort and ease-of-use. Some bath tubs also come with a seat and showerhead. These are called a soaking tub and shower combination and are becoming increasingly popular with families.
Other bath tubs and showers, especially the so-called walk-in tubs, do not feature grab bars at all. These are sold as standalone pieces. When they are filled, the tub’s filler valve will automatically close and lock. At this time the tub’s temperature control switches can be manually turned off and on, according to your preference. These are the most expensive of the bath tubs, as their prices range from two hundred to three hundred dollars, and range up to six hundred dollars for the most expensive models. These price points reflect their quality, durability, and convenience.
Walk-in bath tubs are usually much wider than their soaking tub counterparts. They are constructed of a solid acrylic frame with a light-weight, metal-like tub that sits upon it. The sides of the tub are rounded to accommodate easy drainage. Most walk-in bath tubs feature a fifteen-inch water line that allows for two to three gallons of water to percolate while you soak.
If you want a tub that looks like it has been dipped in gold or something similar, the best choices are those made out of fiberglass or solid surface metal. Fiberglass bath tubs have the advantage of being very easy to care for, and can oftentimes be cleaned with just a few swabs and a warm cloth. Though they are less expensive than their acrylic counterparts, fiberglass bath tubs do not allow the water to percolate through to the seat, which means that even if you sit in the warm water, your feet will still feel cold.
Walk-in bath tubs are most commonly made out of either metal or fiberglass. Like their acrylic counterparts, these tubs feature a fifteen-inch water line that allows for two to three gallons of water percolating while you soak. Unlike their acrylic counterparts, walk-in bath tubs do not have a protective, perforated liner like the bath tubs with the seat. The reason for this is that walk-in bath tubs do not need to support the entire weight of the entire body when you sit in them.
Drop-in bathtubs, on the other hand, can accommodate the entire body of the person using it, but at the same time, do not offer the insulation that the fiberglass and metal tubs do. These are made with a built-in plastic liner, but because it is molded into the tub, it can be less durable than the fiberglass and metal varieties. Both of these varieties also have built-in seats, but the only thing different between the two is the actual shape and design of the bathtub. Both varieties are available with an interior waterfall and jets, but the fiberglass and metal types are much more popular than the drop-in because they are less expensive to manufacture.
Walk-in bathtubs make great primary bathrooms, especially those that feature a large shower area, like most master bathrooms. If you choose one that is made out of material that can be susceptible to water damage, such as steel, it could be prone to rust and corrosion. While both types of tubs offer a lot of style and functionality, the decision will largely depend on the overall look and finish of your home’s primary bathrooms.