Important Considerations When Installing a Walk-In Tub

Rohan Mathew

Updated on:

Upgrading your bathroom with a walk-in tub can be an excellent way to improve accessibility so that you can continue to age in the comfort of your own home and maintain independence with your hygiene needs. If you’re looking at walk-in tubs, there are many important factors to consider, from pricing to features and more. But don’t forget to think about the installation process for that new tub as well. Here are a few important considerations to keep in mind while you’re shopping.

Tub Size

The size of your tub is important, especially if you want it to fit in the exact location as your standard tub. Luckily, most walk-in tubs are made to fit in standard tub cutouts. Even if the tub is a little smaller than the current space, filler panels can be put into place to create a seamless look still. However, if the tub is more significant than the cutout, you’ll need to do some remodeling to get it to fit.

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Door Swing

Most walk-in tubs have an inward-swinging door. It ensures a better seal to prevent leaks. However, if you’re looking at a tub with an outward swinging door, you need to keep the swing space in mind for installation purposes. If you have a counter or other bathroom fixture close to the tub, make sure the door has enough room to open fully.

Floor Support

Walk-in tubs are typically heavier than standard tubs. And, because they have much higher walls, they hold more water. It means that when the tub is filled, and there’s a person in it, it’s going to be significantly heavier than your old tub. You’ll want to have a professional inspect your flooring to ensure that it can support the weight of your new tub. If not, they may have to reinforce the flooring before installation.

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Drain and Plumbing

Finally, you’ll need to take a look at your current plumbing situation on your tub. Where are the connections and the drain located? Make sure you’re purchasing a tub that has those openings and connections in the same location. A drain cannot be moved without significant plumbing work, which is likely something you don’t want to deal with. 

If the model you’re looking at has the drain on the wrong side, ask if they have the same model with a mirrored orientation for the plumbing. Most manufacturers will make different variations of their tubs with the drains and plumbing connections on both sides to fit into any existing setup. 

When you keep these factors in mind, installing walk-in tubs is usually a very quick and simple process. Make sure to work with installers you trust and have experience with handling walk-in tubs in particular. The company providing your tub may even be able to provide installation or give you a recommendation for a local business. You can typically expect installation only to take a few hours. Then, you can enjoy your new, accessible tub by taking a nice, long bath.