Walk in Tub, Accessible Shower or Tub Cutaway?


A Walk-in tub?

Walk-in tubs work out really well for those who enjoy taking a bath for both personal hygiene and therapy and do not want to give this up when it becomes increasing more difficult get themselves back up from a standard bathing position due to age, an injury or illness. They have helped thousands of people retain their bathing independence and also return this pleasure back to so many more. Its helpful for those considering a walk in tub see one up close if possible for size and fit.  Our company stocks a large supply of different size tubs with various jetting options and they can be viewed by making an appointment.




The fill time on a walk-in tub is totally dependent on water pressure. A fireman with his hose could fill a walk-in tub in seconds, however a homes water pressure can vary depending on what the water main regulator is set at. Want to know how long it will take to fill? Fill you’re standard tub to the overflow and time how long it takes to do this, it will be about the same for a walk in tub, or run the water from the tub spout as much as you can while maintaining a bath water temperature, slide a five gallon pale under it and time how long it takes to fill, then do the math. The average size walk in tub holds about 45 – 65 US gallons, but you’ll take up room, so subtract a gallon for approximately every ten pounds below the water line about 65 – 70% of your total body weight.


Draining takes the same amount of time as a standard bathroom tub. So this is real easy to figure out. Fill a regular tub up to the overflow and time how long it takes to drain. A walk-in tub’s drain simply connects to the existing one.  A full tub with a properly functioning  drain should drain in about 3 minutes or less.  We do not recommend quick drain pumps ...read more.

For those who don’t mind waiting while a tub fills and drains, perhaps using this time to wash their hair or rinse themselves off, then walk in tubs are recommended for bathers.

Or Accessible Shower?

Replacing an existing standard bathtub with a fully accessible safety shower is recommended for those who prefer showering over bathing. It is also recommend for those who require caregiver assistance to help with daily hygiene.  It is easier and takes less time for a care giver to lend assistance with an accessible shower. Glass shower doors are attractive but can greatly restrict accessibility to lend assistance. It is recommended fully accessible showers be fitted with shower curtains not glass, especially when caregivers are needed.  Accessible shower bases have a large flat stable platform so users have more room and feel far more secure while sitting in shower chairs, opposed to having the chair legs teetering on a bathtubs narrow radius bottom corners.

Built-in wall niches for soap and bottles allows more room and less clutter. Our custom built accessible tiled showers will add beauty and style to you’re bathroom.

Some of our customers prefer glass shower doors. 













Plastic or Tile? 

Tub to shower plastic retrofits kits come in 4 to 5 pieces.  One piece plastic shower stalls are way to large to maneuver through a finished home and fit into and existing tub cavity. These acrylic or FRP(fiberglass reinforced plastic) kits are very popular with bathroom retrofit companies because the installations are quick and require far less skill, labor and materials compared to building a much stronger quality custom tiled shower from the floor up. These products when installed show reasonably well, but they have some major leak risks!

These two photos are of a brand new five piece shower kit that replaced a standard size tub. The shower back has two pieces, there are two end pieces and then the base. It was installed as well as to be expected by the contractor. 


A major fault of tub to shower kits are the corners where silicone is used for waterproofing. This photo shows the faucet end of the shower where the end piece and back piece come together in the corner. Pushing only slightly flexes the plastic enough to break the silicone sealant in the corner and now the shower is sure to leak. The opposite end was the same. 

















Special Projects Using Tile – Floor level Wheelchair shower retrofits.



















Plastic sheets over old tile:

Workers Compensation and government rules regarding the disposal of older drywall has added additional expense to home owners and contractors for simple bathroom renovations. So some bathroom renovation companies simply fasten thin sheets of plastic over old tile and wall board to avoid the expense of removing it. The concealed old plumbing fixtures are left in place and easily repaired problems are never fixed. The sales pitch is your saving money and its sparing you from a lengthy messy bathroom renovation, but it can still cost close to $8,000.00 for just hundreds of dollars in material and a days labor.

This is what was found in a couples home when removing a steel tub. They were recently quoted on the work referred to above but luckily avoided having thin acrylic plastic sheets glued right over the existing tile hiding this mold and aging plumbing. This was caused by the installation of drywall directly over a concrete support wall during new construction instead of using a water proof concrete backer board as a moisture block.


When renovating bathrooms and replacing a tub with an accessible shower the demolition in most cases involves the removal of a tiled tub surround. Even after decades of use the tile is in good condition and except for perhaps the color or style being dated it looks like new! We can’t say the same for the plastic showers we’ve ripped out, there faded, scratched and tired looking.


Contact us for more information on our custom built, safe, accessible tiled showers.








A Tub Cutaway?

A tub cutaway is just that. A section of a tub that has a portion of the front removed to lower the threshold. Companies selling these products focus on just one thing, the money you won’t have to spend on a bathroom renovation.  However this is likely what will be need to be done when the property goes up for sale or an allowance made for the work, unless of course the residence is a tear down. Tub cutaways don’t show well, there no longer a functioning tub and are destined for the landfill.  A proper shower base not only increases the surface and room in the shower substantially but it is a secure stable surface for adjustable shower chairs to sit on compared to a tubs narrow bottom and radius corners. 

In addition it would be wise to speak with you’re insurance broker before paying someone to cut up your tub! Unlike CSA or UPC certified tubs with waste overflows these products do not have any certifications nor is the installation certified, unlike a licensed certified plumber installing a new tub in your home.The kits are not sold at plumbing supply stores or large home improvement stores because of the liability. Some cutaway products offer removable doors you can drop in place so the tub can still fill, but these doors also have no certification and if they failed property damage could be in the thousands of dollars.  



My Walk-In Tub Purchase: By Howard Stearns

There comes a time when many senior citizens realize just how dangerous it is getting in and out of a standard bathtub, and we often hear about their accidents. That situation arose for me lately and I started to investigate the whole walk in tub business. It seems that every time you turn the television or radio on you see ads for them. I began a research program and found some vast differences in quality and price. Read more..

About Limited Lifetime Warranties on Walk-in tubs

About Limited Lifetime Warranties on Walk-in tubs
The standard manufacture warranty on a walk-in tub is one or two years for residential use. However, certain items like pumps, door seals or the tub structure may be extended past this period. Over the past number of years to justify higher pricing and remain competitive some companies are pushing Limited Lifetime Warranties ….(What is a Limited Lifetime Warranty? …click to read more)Read more..

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