What would you do with this walk in tub? Hold your horses...UPDATED!

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In our newly bought house,We have a walk in tub..I don't even know What they are called. But here is a partial picture. My question is,what would you do? Take it out and put in a good sized shower? Leave it and cover it somehow? And if so,all I can think of is a bigger curtain. Also..how fast do these drain if they are intended for an older person to sit in...so when getting out one doesn't get cold. Because it looks to me that you can't get out until the water level is below the door level. I am totally unfamiliar with these,is there anything else I should know about them? Update number 1,,,,,,the other UPDATE BELOW.. ......edited... I am very grateful for the information shared. The link is very helpful , lots to think about that I didn't know. So that being said...does anyone have an idea of what is involved in removing it, can it be salvaged and sold?
ok THE UPDATE IS. 2..............drum roll! ,!........hubs was hurting so bad after moving the truck load of "stuff" in that he decided to take a soothing hot bath and jet massage in this tub. All of a sudden I hear this screaming... BERNICE...BERNICE...!! Rushing to save my beloved from drowning from being too relaxed...I find his naked self..a prisoner in the tub and water gushing out of the door and about 2 inches of water on the floor! Of course he can't get out because there is still water in the tub! So...I rush to get 17 towels and throw them on the floor to sop up the water...and his highness is still sitting in the tub shivering ,waiting until the water level gets below the door! So....the demise of the tub is down the road! Not a pretty picture!  @miriam! EDIT...UPDATE....WE TOOK TUB OUT....WILL POST PICTURES SOON. no floor damage-handle was loose-screwdriver did the fix.


e walkin bathtub help, bathroom ideas
  42 answers
  • Swan Road Designs Swan Road Designs on Dec 31, 2016
    As far as how to use one, draining it, etc., I'd contact a company that makes and installs such things and ask those questions. Once those questions are answered, I'd try it out a time or two to see if I'd take it out or not. Your age may come into play, too, when you consider removing it. Age is not the only factor for using one of these. Physical disability could be a reason one is needed.

    • Bernice H Bernice H on Jan 04, 2017
      I am thinking I may not need the tub itself,but it has a seat,and hand held shower..so that might come in handy. a similar shower came in handy when I had heart surgery. So this is not looking so ugly and big now. I can camouflage it I guess. We will be moving into the home soon,and it is a 55 plus housing area. Surely down the road....someone buying this will think it a wonderful idea? ๐Ÿค“

  • Frances Frances on Dec 31, 2016
    These are not cheap! Only take is out if you can not stand it after a while. Donate it if no family member wants it. I would!ove one

  • B. Enne B. Enne on Dec 31, 2016
    They are quite expensive to install. If there is a chance you may need it some day, I would just put a larger curtain in front of it. Yes they take time to fill/drain. These links may help you decide whether to keep it or not. http://homeability.com/a-walk-in-bathtub-your... https://www.angieslist.com/articles/pros-and-... http://www.grandmagazine.com/2014/04/walk-in-...

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    • Linda Johnson Linda Johnson on Mar 12, 2017
      We live in a single wide mobile home out in the country. We're retired. We replaced our tub with a 48" shower in our main bathroom, with a shower curtain. My husband also took the garden tub out of our bedroom, that we didn't use, and put in a pantry. That's been a blessing, too!

  • William William on Dec 31, 2016
    I totally agree with Swan!

  • Denise Shattuck Denise Shattuck on Jan 01, 2017
    I have one and we love it! Ours has 2 drains, drains quickly and yes it has to be below door level, We use a bathroom heater. Ours has jets and whirlpool effects, with aromatherapy. We use the jets, and whirlpool effect. Do not like the aromatherapy on ours, we dont use it, if you want to relax or like a hot tub, it is great. You can by the shower rail for shower curtains that are curved and dress it up. I have a plant on corner(small), I have seen people do colored water bottles like wine, with colored pebbles, and I have seen people do actual wine, with a wine glass to dress it up! also people do colored water with colored stones, and even real wine with stemware, look at pinterest, google it etc. for ideas

    • Bernice H Bernice H on Jan 04, 2017
      Thank you...it has been such a long drawn out affair just getting to closing on this house,that now some things are not bothering me as they did! I just want in! This vagabond life is not fun any more! So,I am not going to worry about it for quite a while..just accept it and not see it! ๐Ÿ˜œ

  • Jlp16623674 Jlp16623674 on Jan 01, 2017
    I would replace it with a walk -in shower that takes the whole space. But one important thing: make the shower with a very wide door that opens out, NO STEP OR THRESHOLD that you have to step over to get in. several grab bars, and a shower heaad that also has a hand-held sprayer. , and plenty of lighting. You want to make it very accessible for when you get older, or are injured, or might have to help someone take a shower.

    • Bernice H Bernice H on Jan 04, 2017
      Yes that was my initial thought..thank you. For now I am going to ignore it,and use it as a shower. Thank you.

  • Marrianne Rudy Marrianne Rudy on Jan 02, 2017
    Like a few, I wish I had one! I have a bone degenerative disease and could really use this. If you see the need in the future using it, I would keep it. They are very expensive to replace.

    • Bernice H Bernice H on Jan 04, 2017
      Thank you..that is what I am hearing....so it will be disguised...thankfully we have another bathroom. And there is a shower head on this one,handheld.๐Ÿ˜š

  • Mary Mary on Jan 02, 2017
    I would use the tub for a month or more before deciding on whether to remove it, and if you do remove it, do as someone else said, and that is to donate it, as these cost anywhere from $5,000 to $7,000 or more dependent on the plumber & electricians costs. Most of these types have a hand held shower, and if yours doesn't, you could pick one up for less than $30. If you want to mainly use showers versus baths, then buy a portable shower head with hose and mount it to a wall, then buy a curtain rod and hang that with a shower curtain. Amazon sells numerous types of shower curtain rods: straight type/L shaped/rectangle ceiling types/ curved in/curved out and many more types of rods... look at those to also help you decide.

    • Bernice H Bernice H on Jan 04, 2017
      Yup...thank you...we will just use the shower part when we need to. I am getting the idea it is not just the tub but also the plumbing and drain that is a concern. Too many other projects....๐Ÿ˜œ

  • Mary Insana Mary Insana on Jan 02, 2017
    Since you also have a shower head in this set up I would keep the walk in tub and use it as a shower. As everyone has said these are expensive to put in and probably expensive to remove and reconfigure the area into just a shower. You never know when you may want to relax in there and take a nice relaxing tub bath sitting up. I know id love to have that option. Our master bath only has a shower and our main bathroom is used by our kids and its their job to keep it clean so I don't even attempt to take a nice relaxing tub bath in there lol. I'd be wiping the walls down instead of relaxing. Hahaha

    • Bernice H Bernice H on Jan 04, 2017
      That's true...I can see this getting dusty and needing cleaning,no one has mentioned how difficult that could be. Yup,it will be just a shower now,unless hubs gets curious or desperate....and wants to try it out. But we have to check out the drain first,inspector says it seems to be draining slowly. Thanks for the encouragement! ๐Ÿ˜

  • Pat Pat on Jan 02, 2017
    I wanted one of these since my and hubby are older,,,contacted the company and for the smallest, cheapest one it was $12,000!!! so could not have one.,.they are great for elderly people or people with disabilities.....

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    • B. Enne B. Enne on Jan 04, 2017
      Just remove the shower head from its hose and put the hose end in the jets to flush them out once in a while. Alternatively, fill the tub with warm bleach water OR water with a DW pod, run the jets for a bit to flush them out. That it was I do with my jetted tub to keep mould at bay.

  • Jeannie.mcquaid Jeannie.mcquaid on Jan 02, 2017
    Keep it. As others have mentioned, they are very expensive tubs. I imagine you'd be into major reno to remove it. Contact the company that makes the tub or a local plumbing place that installs them and ask them for decorating/enclosing ideas for shower usage. For now, just get yourself a glass of wine, get in, fill it with nice warm water, sit back and relax. I'm sure a good idea will come to you.

    • Bernice H Bernice H on Jan 04, 2017
      Good idea on contacting someone on how to camouflage it! Thanks....

  • Jill Jill on Jan 02, 2017
    Unless I'm missing something, you have to sit in the darned thing, naked, freezing your bum off until it's full of water, and do the same until you can get out. Dumbest thing I ever heard of. You couldn't give me one. I'd try to sell it on Craig's list.

  • Toc15434384 Toc15434384 on Jan 04, 2017
    I agree keep it you will be getting older each day

  • I would leave it also but maybe do a faux/stone or tile finish on or in front of it to give it a warmer feeling..also you could have a shower door installedto help keep warmth in... tile the walls around it and install shower head.

    • Bernice H Bernice H on Jan 04, 2017
      Thank you...I have been advised it is costly to remove ....drain pipes etc...so I guess a big shower curtain and maybe some hanging plants. Too many other projects more meaningful to be done. ๐Ÿค“

  • Cindy A Gill Cindy A Gill on Jan 04, 2017
    My elderly mother had one installed a few years ago, and by the time the tile work was done, and removal of the old tub, it ran over 10K. She loves it, and really it's a god send for us kids knowing she has a safe bath. I would remove the wallpaper and have a nice tile installed in the surround. It can also be used as a tub shower, if you have a shower head installed at the right height. If you do not like the looks of it, I would simply add an attractive outside shower curtain, or cloth curtain of some sort that could be pulled across when the tub is not in use.

  • Susie Susie on Jan 04, 2017
    These tubs are soooo expensive! I would try it out first to see if you might like it. I understand they empty very fast. They will fill up fast too but you need to turn up your hot water heater to do this. I have an elderly friend who was hoodwinked into installing one of these tubs for $18,000 and her hot water tank could not fill it without running out of hot water! But see if it works for you.

    • Bernice H Bernice H on Jan 04, 2017
      oh wow! I don't know anything about this. When we get in I will talk to the previous owners to see what their experience was!

  • Jacky Jacky on Jan 04, 2017
    You have a VERY expensive item there -- albeit ugly. New, with installation, $8-15K. If you really hate it, you might want to contact a contractor who is a Certified Aging in Place Specialist (NAHB.org/capsdirectory) in your state. S/he MIGHT be able to help find a new home for it. (But you should use them for any rebuild, just sayin'.) If you think you can live with it, and the rest of the home is "elder-friendly" (meaning single-level, 36" min on the doorways, etc.) because the "Boomers" are only getting older. It's hard to sell a home (2-story, "Colonial", you get my drift here) with a outdoor ramp, and a stair-lift. It is certainly not an appropriate tub for a house with children. You haven't told us: is this your first home? Do you plan to move? What's the neighborhood like? Is this your "forever" home? BTW: they drain quickly IF you are not on a well and have an older home with galvanized waste-water piping. Best of luck to you.

    • Bernice H Bernice H on Jan 15, 2017
      hi,getting back to your questions...by the way..did you read my UPDATE above? Fun....NOT! We are laughing about it now,but it wasn't funny then. No this is our now forever home,55 plus community,a rancher. There are about 1500 of us, no little grandchildren visiting. I can see that would be a good hide and seek spot! We are stuck with it,will use as a shower.

  • Connie Broussard Richard Connie Broussard Richard on Jan 04, 2017
    Poor baby! You have something everyone wants and can't afford! I would try it out before you ditch it. It really is a great tub, ugly but great. Shower curtains can do a great job of camouflage until you make up your mind.

  • Dixie Dixie on Jan 04, 2017
    I have to agree with everyone else. I put one in a few years ago & it cost me over $13,000. They told me that if I ever moved, it was considered an appliance so they could move it for me. Well, we moved last summer & when I checked to see how much it would be, I was horrified to learn it would cost me $7,500! I decided that I didn't love the tub that much so my DIL is now enjoying the tub as they bought the house.
    Don't be concerned about getting cold while the tub drains. They are made to drain quite quickly. If my bathroom was cold, like in the worse part of winter, I'd just drape a towel around my shoulders.

    • Bernice H Bernice H on Jan 05, 2017
      Ha..thanks....well it sure didn't help the appraisal much! Probably wasn't even considered. But it is staying..camouflaged! I don't know why I didn't learn about them before we offered on the house. Oh well,......

  • Sharon Mccoey Sharon Mccoey on Jan 04, 2017
    Hang a shower curtain you love on the outside of tub and keep it closed. It will look like a normal tub. Cheaper than renovating.

  • Lil15807344 Lil15807344 on Jan 04, 2017
    Wow! I'd have one if I could afford it.When you are older this would be great to stay independent even so I'd keep it &yes I'd use it each day.Love these tubs its a God send working in healthcare you can appreciate there use & @home as well.

    • Bernice H Bernice H on Jan 04, 2017
      I appreciate your input..concern about the links Info on.....bacteria etc. but we shall use it as shower at least!

  • None None on Jan 05, 2017
    Yeow! My husband I and saw a commercial on TV last night about these. We both said we'd love one but then that "save up to $1500" made us think they must be really expensive! I never thought about having to wait to fill and empty one so that just made the decision a no brainer. It's a big fat o! Lol

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    • Bernice H Bernice H on Jan 15, 2017
      Oh my..good to know. Yes I saw the invoice for this house.....yikes! After the "big leak",meaning the door latches i guess,we haven't even tried to use it as a shower.yet.

  • Karen Dunnam Karen Dunnam on Jan 05, 2017
    Since your new address is visible, I Zillow-stalked the rest of the place. Envious of the garage storage. Those fussy wallpaper borders and the deer head have to go.

    Seriously, just bring in an updated shower curtain and hang a new rod on the outside of the tub. Modern towels and accessories, maybe flip that bathroom vanity using Hometalk's favorite product Unicorn SPiT.

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    • Bernice H Bernice H on Jan 15, 2017
      did you check my UPDATE..with the tub"experience"? We are laughing now but it wasn't funny then! We still have the moose paper and floral paper..Too many other things to do. This unpacking seems to go on forever. ''Tis a small house!

  • ROS13118216 ROS13118216 on Jan 05, 2017
    Wish I had one! When your in the 70's or some younger the Knees start getting bad,that would eliminate the problems that cause seniors to fall. As far as keeping warm install a heat lamp. Turn the heat lamb on close the door let it warm up before bathing. No matter what you have your going to experience a little chill or have the towel close by and while it drains start drying in the tub.

    • Bernice H Bernice H on Jan 05, 2017
      Yes I am 73...I know what you mean about knees-losing your balance etc. a heat lamp is a good idea! Thanks!

  • Janetm Janetm on Jan 05, 2017
    There is an added bonus to these tubs: I filled mine with straight hot water (we have a 60 gallon water heater) and added washing soda. I then put all the cushion covers from 2 sofas and 12 chairs into to soak, covering the entire tub with plywood to prevent splashing the bathroom walls. The tub has jets and in pipe heaters which keep the water hot as it circulates, so I turned the jets on for 15 minutes of every hour. By the end of the day those covers were WAY cleaner than spending $200.00 on dry cleaning - without the toxic chemical residues!
    Just saying, think outside the box; it can provide delightful results.

    • Bernice H Bernice H on Jan 05, 2017
      Ha! I thought you were going to say you washed your blinds in the tub! Thanks for the suggestion and for thinking outside "the tub"๐Ÿ˜Š

  • Karen Dunnam Karen Dunnam on Jan 05, 2017
    I see your moose, and raise you to wolves. (Now gone!)

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    • Bernice H Bernice H on Jan 16, 2017
      hey karen did you read my update up there? Initial post? Just to keep you in the loop. Not so funny then..but a good laugh now! Moose are still on the wall....this place is a mess! And I am sooo tired-nothing ever gets DONE,

  • ROS13118216 ROS13118216 on Jan 05, 2017
    Your very welcome!

  • Pamela McGee Pamela McGee on Jan 05, 2017
    Believe it or not it's the best thing for planting potatoes....and it would make a good flower garden....

    • Bernice H Bernice H on Jan 05, 2017
      Well,I suppose so..if you were so rich you could just afford to do something like that? But it's not attractive like a claw foot tub or even a regular tub...would be,with flowers or potatoes!๐Ÿ˜š Thanks for tuning in!

  • Susie Susie on Jan 06, 2017
    Have loved all the comments about this tub! Bernice, try it out, and use a shower curtain. It will keep the heat in while bathing. Good luck and let us know if you try it out!

  • Rhonda S Rhonda S on Jan 06, 2017
    I am perfectly mobile, young at heart, and I would love a tub like that! Just own it! Decorate as your style dictates, but I would not remove it unless it is not functional.

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    • Rhonda S Rhonda S on Jan 15, 2017
      Well,Bernice, that answers the functional question. Too bad!

  • BrokeCrazyLady BrokeCrazyLady on Jan 07, 2017
    I would love to have a tub like that. I rely on an outdoor hot tub to remain mobile. Between my back and knee problems, if I miss my nightly dip, I can't walk the next day (Fortunately, I live in the desert where the temps rarely hit freezing.) If that puppy has jets and is functional, get in and use it. I bet after just a few nice soaks you'll be sold and will be looking for a way to design a dry desk so you can sit in the tub and work on your laptop!

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    • BrokeCrazyLady BrokeCrazyLady on Jan 15, 2017
      Egad! Yeah, I guess that one would be gone... unless the repair was really inexpensive. Good luck with whatever decision you end up making.

  • Bronxgirlcl Bronxgirlcl on Jan 07, 2017
    One man's wolf is another man's moose. Would love a tub like that because at a certain age you aren't going down in a tub coz once you ARE down, ya ain't gittin up. I like moose I like wolves not necessarily in the bathroom or on the walls but it's what makes you happy and that my friends is what decorating is about. My house is what you may call eclectic. Lots of all kinds of stuff.

  • Elaine Wilson Elaine Wilson on Jan 07, 2017
    Ok, loved reading this one. It seems to me that your biggest problem is heat loss not privacy. So can I suggest a little DIY. If you go to a "recycle" type store. Many thrift stores as well as HFH will have shower doors that others have taken down. Use these glass panels to frame out around the tub on the "box" enclosure at the top and bottom of your tub. Leave the door area and equal distance past your door open and then hang a shower curtain in front of this area that you can pull back and forth. If this is beyond your ability a handy man should be able to do it for you inexpensively. Really it's like making framed windows screwing them together and to the bottom. A little work with great impact.

    Another ideas is to find some nice curtains to hang from the ceiling around the outside edge of the tub. Hang a show curtain inside across the door area and a hurricane candle inside with you and there you go a peaceful quiet soak!

    Good Luck

    • Bernice H Bernice H on Jan 15, 2017
      thanks,but all I am investing in is a rod and curtain. Our leak,flooding problem,noted above in my initial post,is enough to worry about! We are laughing now,but it was not fun that night!

  • Heather Karakas Heather Karakas on Jan 10, 2017
    these tubs cost 3000 to 7000 call one of the companies and have a tech look at it..the doors are supposed to seal and the water should stay hot for at least 30 min

    • Bernice H Bernice H on Feb 16, 2017
      Actually this one was 14000 around 2004...... will be posting new bathroom in a couple of days,when vanity hardware is back on.

  • Jan5781566 Jan5781566 on Jan 15, 2017
    What about installing a heat lamp/light fixture in the ceiling above the tub, if you decide to keep the tub?

  • Bernice H Bernice H on Jan 15, 2017
    Thanks...but too many other things that really need attention. Who knows what else needs fixing on it besides the door that flooded..see initial post with update! ๐Ÿ˜ณNo more of this excitement for me! I appreciated the link a reader sent...lots to think about .

  • Eroque022810 Eroque022810 on Jan 15, 2017
    Get the tub out of there get a nice large tub and remove flooring because no doubt if 2 inches of water some has to gotten through. Sorry to hear that these people would not diclose this can't your attorney get them to pay for replacement since they didn't disclose this to you. Or if house has warranty maybe they can remove and replace but getting it fixed somehow you just know it's going to leak again.

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    • Bernice H Bernice H on Feb 15, 2017
      The handle to the tub was loose..no damage to the floor.

  • Pat Brinkley Spencer Pat Brinkley Spencer on Jan 15, 2017
    I just got an estimate to have one of these, American Standard Brand, installed in anticipation of my 93 year old mother possibly living with me. You never know when you might need one, my hubby broke his hip and could not lift leg over the side of the regular tub. If you think you might need it some day, please call the manufacturer and inquire how much for a check and repair, may just need new gasket or something. BTW my estimate was, hold you socks on, $18,000.00, which included widening the bathroom door, they said it was a really good price. Can't imagine paying that for one unless you have unlimited funds. Anyway, look in to getting a repair estimate, may even be under warranty. Good luck in what ever you decide. ps they did not charge for the estimate, maybe they wouldn't for a repair estimate either.

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    • Bernice H Bernice H on Feb 15, 2017
      actually the leak was due to the handle not being tight enough..screw driver did the trick. No damage to floor...tub bought in 2004.

  • Pat Brinkley Spencer Pat Brinkley Spencer on Feb 15, 2017
    They actually discounted it down to $14,000, took several offers and I just kept saying no. I did not buy nor did I check other vendors. Guess I am in the wrong Century, thought it might be couple of thousand, if they had given me a ball park figure, would have saved them and me a long 2 hours!. I knew none would bet down to my price so got the existing tub refinished instead. There was no immediate need for the walk in and I will get a tub transfer seat if necessary. I'm happy and my friend is happy who told me the one I have is a French soaking tub and much in demand, not sure where. Ya'll have a great day, I am looking forward to Spring, it's breaking out here.

    • Bernice H Bernice H on Feb 15, 2017
      Nice to hear you bypassed that expensive option. We tore the tub out, sold it for 100$....and put in a pretty bathroom..will post pictures soon. For all the good an elder tub does..a person could have a big shower with a chair in it. Or in your case...a transfer seat! Both our experiences were not comfortable,especially hubs sitting..getting cold while waiting for fill up and emptying. And if we needed help in the tub...no room for someone to get in and help a helpless person. What do you do with the water if a person faints or becomes helpless..wait for the tub to empty? I don't know what a French soaking tub is....but good for you,imho...good decision.

  • Pat Brinkley Spencer Pat Brinkley Spencer on Feb 15, 2017
    Sounds like you made a great decision, a pretty bathroom makes me feel good every time I walk in it. My house was built in 1966 and I'm pretty certain I have the original tub. It's a little longer with sloped back and a little design on the side, nothing impressive to me but sure nice to take a soak!

    • Bernice H Bernice H on Feb 16, 2017
      Yup..posting soon..bright white bathroom! โ˜บ๏ธ I agree,has to be a feel good place.

  • Danielle Odin Danielle Odin on Mar 11, 2017
    I am a renter and I live in Las Vegas where they have Roman tubs??. I am handicap and elderly so I cannot use the tub which is in the master bath. So I rented a 2 bedroom because the second bath has a stall shower. It had a glass door which was a hindrance so I had that removed and I have a little stool and a shower curtain. Works perfect for me.

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    • Linda Johnson Linda Johnson on Mar 12, 2017
      We had a tub that needed to be replaced in our single wide mobile home. Since we're older and retired we replaced our tub with a large 48" shower. We love our shower and don't have to worry about hurting ourselves getting in and out of the tub. Like you, we have a shower curtain, which is easy to keep clean.

  • Jkn3889743 Jkn3889743 on Mar 12, 2017
    I plan on a walk in shower with a seat for our next bath redo. If a person needs help bathing or getting in and out you don't have to worry about opening a door to get to them etc. I also think they would be easier to clean by just wiping down the walls after shower and not needing to climb in to clean them. If you like the jets you can have them installed in a shower also. Just sayin'

    • Bernice H Bernice H on Mar 12, 2017
      Good thinking! I am not loving having to wipe this big enclosure downso am avoiding using it! Kaching. .$. Out the window!