Are you thinking of buying a walk-in tub or a low-threshold shower, and remodeling your bathroom to accommodate your changing needs?
Then it’s important to consider which type of installation is the right one for your unique requirements.
The right installation will depend on a few simple factors, for example, who will be using the walk-in tub or shower, your bathroom size, and how big you plan your remodel project to be.
The four main types of tub installations are:
- Freestanding installation
- Apron front installation
- Tile-in installation
- Top mount installation
Table Of Contents
- 1 Freestanding & Portable Walk-in Tubs
- 2 Apron Front Installations
- 3 Tile-In or Corner Walk-in Tubs
- 4 Top Mount Installation
Freestanding & Portable Walk-in Tubs
A freestanding or portable walk-in bathtub can be moved anywhere in the bathroom, or other rooms in the house, as long as it’s near the water lines.
A freestanding is also a great space-saver for many homes. If you live in a family home with members of various mobility levels, this is a good choice of installation as it means you don’t have to replace the family’s standard bathtub.
Portable tub models can fit anywhere in your home as long as a water hookup is present. And best of all? You don’t have to undergo a messy bathroom remodel!
Advantages of freestanding walk-in tubs
These tubs are very affordable as they only need to be connected to the water lines. Installation fees for a hydrotherapy tub can often cost you upwards of $1,500, so a freestanding tub will save on this expense.
Some of the tub models come with a host of luxury features, so you won’t miss out on the spa-like experience you want with a freestanding installation.
Moving house? This tub will come right along with you, and no bathroom remodeling required in the new home.
Apron Front Installations
This type of tub installation has one side of the tub against the bathroom wall, with the other three tub sides exposed. The space between the walk-in tub and the wall is sealed and waterproofed, so water won’t leak through the cracks and offer a comfortable home for mold and bacteria!
An apron front installation will suit you if you want to replace your current standard bathtub within recessing bathroom walls.
Advantages of apron front installations
You’ll be able to fit your walk-in tub into the space your traditional bathtub was removed from. Extension panels are often used to fill in the remainder of the space, as walk-in tubs are shorter than standard tubs.
Walk-in tub companies like Re-Bath and Kohler supply wall surrounds and other decorative options of different styles, along with your new tub. This gives you the option to re-do your décor and upgrade your bathroom at the same time as your new tub installation.
Tile-In or Corner Walk-in Tubs
Tile-in installations are a corner walk-in tub setup, where three sides of the tub sit against the bathroom wall. If you have a smaller bathroom, a tile-in installation makes the most of your available space.
You’ll also be able to put a smaller tub in your corner installation, which saves you on costs, as smaller tubs are more affordable. This type of corner walk-in tub installation will raise the selling value of your property, as you’re adding value by utilizing previously unused bathroom space. So not only are you saving money with this installation, you’ll make money from it if you ever want to sell!
This option won’t work too well for people who need a bariatric or wheelchair-access tub, because entering and exiting the bathtub will be difficult when it’s in a corner position.
Advantages of tile-in or corner walk-in tubs
Empty bathroom corners with a walk-in tub installed to turn the space into a versatile soaking and hydrotherapy area for seniors. Plus it increases the value of your property.
Top Mount Installation
Top mount installations involve putting a slip-resistant seat and floor system into an existing shower stall, or any space that can be used for sit-down showering.
This requires discarding some bathroom floor tiles, and sinking the shower stall into the space. Then, the gap between the shower, floor, and walls are closed with a waterproof sealant.
A senior will be able to step safely into these low-threshold showers and sit, without having to lift their leg over a high step, or stand while they shower. Wheelchair-bound people will be able to slide with ease onto the seat.
Advantages of top-mount style installations
These can easily fit into an existing shower stall without too much messy remodeling. Seniors and the disabled will be able to use these safe showers with little to no help. The importance of independent bathing for seniors and disabled people to enhance quality of life, can’t be overstressed!