Moved into home with an oversized raised bathtub (like a roman bath) surrounded by ceramic tile.

The only way to get in the tub is to climb up the 2 ceramic tile steps and then climb down into the tub. Impossible and a fall waiting to happen. The tile around the tub matches the floor - I'm wondering if there's a way to remove all the tile surrounding the tub, and then lowering (reposition) the tub closer to the floor like a traditional tub. Nice tub if you can get in or out without getting hurt!

Thanks so much!

q big tub
  15 answers
  • Flipturn Flipturn on Aug 01, 2021

    Is this bathroom on a upper level, or on the main level of a home with a basement? If so, it would not be possible to lower this tub down into the floor, without disturbing what is immediately beneath it.

    I agree that the design and step access to this tub is not safe. If you do not use the tub on a regular basis, it is a waste of space as it is non-functional. My suggestion is to just take the whole structure out completely, and either build, or insert a (much safer!) walk-in shower to entirely replace it.

    • Jill Jill on Aug 01, 2021

      Wasted space indeed! A costly lesson - treat spaces like you would if shopping for a mattress. One of us should've thought to climb in and we would've seen a problem!

  • You probably can't lower the tub. It's designed to 'sit' on the floor and without proper bracing (floor joists) it will be compromised.

  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on Aug 01, 2021

    I agree with you and Flipturn, These are nearly impossible to maneuver in and out of and I am not so sure lowering to floor level will help much, if that is possible. You'll still be placed in a position of climbing in and out.

    As a stop-gap measure you could get some well placed grab bars, not the temporary stick to the surface ones, those are unsafe. These would be the metal ones that are screwed into the studs.

    A quick story, we put in a bath tub with the jets and discovered the walls of the tub were higher than the previous regular tub. It is now difficult to enter and exit and after a few years of it and less and less use as a therapeutic tub. It started as a good idea that became a hassle. We are in the process of a low lip shower in the same space.

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    • Redcatcec Redcatcec on Aug 02, 2021

      Hi Flipturn,

      Many thanks for the w/d idea, I had never thought of it. Wish we did have a second shower!

  • Chloe Crabtree Chloe Crabtree on Aug 01, 2021

    You certainly could have that done, but it may involve having the floor trenched beneath the tub and for the plumbing and the drain. It will likely be quite costly. It might be better to take it out and install a smaller tub.

  • Judy in Canton. Judy in Canton. on Aug 01, 2021

    I had one of these tubs. Difficult to fill, to get in and out of and hard to clean. Since we had another bathroom with a tub we had this one removed and had a full shower installed.

  • Cheryl A Cheryl A on Aug 01, 2021

    you can always put a small step up there to get in and out and add a hand rail to hold onto as well- the expense of lowering the tub and matching your existing is something to consider before going that route- It may be cheaper to replace the tub with something easier to get in and out of

    • Jill Jill on Aug 01, 2021

      There are already two steps built into the base of the tub. It's a problem we know we have to address or take showers!

  • That particular tub doesn't appear to be the type that's fully finished on the outside, meaning it's meant to be in a surround similar to what you've got. You can do all that but it's possible you might need to replace the tub if you're looking for a freestanding type or there could be a reason it's set at this particular height that you're unable to see without opening walls. It's a big job, just FYI!

    • Jill Jill on Aug 01, 2021

      I spoke to a tile guy - his best solution is we'll have to retile the floor, but definitely remove the tub.

  • Deb K Deb K on Aug 01, 2021

    Hello Jill, I understand your concern, the only way to deal with this is to remove it and get a lower tub, it is likely set that high as it is very deep. You can add grip into the bottom with those sticker things, and a railing to assist your in and out. You could even add the grab rails that attach to the walls to assist your entry & exit

  • Tom Stuart Tom Stuart on Aug 01, 2021

    We moved into a house with a tub like this. It’s a great size to relax in. I agree that because it is a big step it can be dangerous. We are elderly and try to eliminate any hazards. We did not have a convient place for grab bars.

    What we do is just put a folded towel on the side of the tub, sit on the towel, swivel and put your feet on the tub mat, and ease yourself into the tub. The tub still looks great and is safe and useful.

    • Jill Jill on Aug 02, 2021

      I'll try the folded towel method - a good option to just not using the tub. Thanks

  • Betsy Betsy on Aug 01, 2021

    Hi Jill: My daughter has one of these. She thought it was just so cool --- for a while. Then, like you, she found it a pain to get in and out of the darn thing. It will cost a bunch of money, and if you try to move it, you will have to rework the plumbing, too, and get permits, etc. She got a $4,500 estimate (the cheapest one) to do what you want to do. What she does is to put a small towel on the edge, put her fanny on it and swing around to the steps and get out. She's thinking of making the steps wider and getting some decorative hand rails for security and some safety strips on the steps. But, this type of tub is waaaaaaaaaaaaaay better than those sunken tubs. Easy to get into, but really hard to get out of them.

    Good luck

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Aug 02, 2021

    Hello there,

    Don't risk doing it yourself, it is a too bigger job! Call in a few Plumbers/Builders to give you a quote and a time scale to do it for you.

    • Jill Jill on Aug 02, 2021

      You're right - A bathroom designer and plumber is the smart way to resolve this.

      Thank you for your thoughrs.

  • Dee Dee on Aug 02, 2021

    I am wondering if those steps and tile are just a facade. I would take those out carefully if you can and investigate what is under the tub. Why try to save the tiles? If the tub is on a wooden pedestal you may be able to lower it and reposition the tiles. It is definitely a dangerous tub. I would not want to get out of it wet. If not I would get a plumber, and put in a walk-in shower. I had that done in my master bathroom, with a nice built in seat, shampoo niche's and I love it.

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    • Dee Dee on Aug 03, 2021

      If you need storage you can put a cover on the top an use the tub for blankets and stuff.

  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Aug 02, 2021

    I have something similar and I sit on the side rather than walking in. I don't think lowering would work because the height is probably dictated by the depth of the tub.

  • Kmdreamer Kmdreamer on Aug 02, 2021

    Get someone to build redwood steps into the tub

  • Chas' Crazy Creations Chas' Crazy Creations on Aug 03, 2021

    I bought some of these to help me get into mine after my hip surgery.