The Pros and Cons of Walk In Tubs & Showers

Jul 30, 2020

The Pros and Cons of walk in tubs and barrier free showers

Home sweet home should be a comfortable place, but the standard bathroom design in many homes can be inconvenient or unsafe for family members dealing with mobility issues. Traditional bathrooms can present challenges like:

» TIGHT SPACES that make it difficult for users to move around, especially if they’re using wheelchairs or other mobility aids. 

» BATHTUB DANGERS with slippery bases and tall sides that can cause trips, slipss and dangerous falls, especially for older adults.

» AWKWARD SHOWER DOORS that narrow the space for getting in and out of the shower, making it difficult for caregivers to help with bathing. 

» TRIP-AND-FALL HAZARDS from shower base curbs and shower door tracks that create more obstacles while bathing.

If you or your loved ones are dealing with any of these bathroom accessibility issues, it’s time to consider options that will make bathing easier and more enjoyable. Two accessible bath choices to consider are walk-in tubs and barrier-free showers. Read on for an explanation of each, and pros and cons to consider.

Pros and cons of walk in tubs and barrier free showers

Pros and Cons of Walk In Tubs

Designed to fit in the footprint of your existing bathtub, walk-in tubs have numerous features that make bathing safer and more convenient. They do have drawbacks, however. Some users mention that bathers must wait inside the tub while it fills, and again after bathing while the tub drains. Thankfully, manufacturers have worked to resolve these issues with tubs that fill and draing quickly for less wait time. Here’s a closer look at the pros and cons of walk-in tubs:

PROS

  • Wide-swinging door and low threshold elimiante the need to climb in and out of the tub
  • Suitable for any body type, size, and mobility needs to maintain independence
  • Built-in seat eliminates the need to stand in the shower
  • Full-immersion soaking depth for hydrotherapy benefits
  • Easy for caregivers to reach bathers without getting wet themselves
  • Integrated hand-showers and optional overhead showers for easy hair washing and rinsing
  • Integrated grab bars
  • Optional hydrotherapy jets
  • Wide range of sizes and configurations that usually fit in the same footprint as existing tub

CONS

  • Fill and drain time while users wait in the bathing space
  • Full soaking depth may use more water than traditional bathtubs
  • More expensive than traditional bathtubs
  • Not suitable for small children
bath to shower conversions are our specialty for barrier free showers and bathrom accessibility

Pros and Cons of Barrier Free Showers

To make the most of accessible bathing options, barrier free or walk-in showers eliminate obstacles like shower doors in favor of more beneficial features for users of all abilities. Accessible showers begin with low-threshold or curbless bases that let users easily step or roll in with complete independence. From there, shower seatsgrab bars, hand-held showers and other features let you customize the bathing space to your needs and style. Some bathers will find the lack of a door takes some getting used to. Here’s a look at the pros and cons of barrier free showers

PROS

  • Suitable for any body type, size, and mobility needs to maintain independence
  • Low-threshold or curbless/no-threshold shower bases for safer access, even with mobility aids
  • Completely customizable for style, color, and storage options
  • Wide range of safe bathing features including seats, hand showers, and grab bars
  • Uses less water than a bathtub or walk-in tub
  • Caregivers can enter the bathing space to offer assistance
  • Easy to clean

CONS

  • Usually uses a shower curtain instead of a door, which may offer less privacy and allow more heat to escape than with a traditional shower enclosure
  • Water can splash outside the shower, so safe, non-slip flooring is an important consideration
  • Inconvenient for small children
  • If part of a tub-to-shower conversion, this project will eliminate a bathtub from the house. 

Help is available to weigh the pros and cons of walk in tubs and barrier free showers

If you’re considering a walk-in tub or barrier-free shower for your home or a loved one, reach out to ImproveIt today! Our knowledgeable team will be happy to connect with you to explain your options and answer all your questions.

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