As we get older, many of us start to ask questions like: what will it take to allow me to age in place in my own home, where I can keep my independence for as long as possible? That question might also be on your mind if you have a disability that affects your mobility or if you have been diagnosed with a medical condition that will eventually require you to have a more accessible home. There are many solutions to that question of home accessibility. One of the most valuable of those is a walk-in tub for your bathroom.
A walk-in tub is an investment in your safety, security, and independence. It is also an investment in your health, as it allows you to maintain proper hygiene even if you struggle with mobility. In addition, it might improve your home’s resale value.
As you budget for a walk-in tub, there are several factors to consider. It starts with the cost of a walk-in tub. But it is also important to consider installation, and whether you will need to remodel your bathroom in order to add in the walk-in tub. In addition, the tub itself can vary in cost, depending upon the type, size and features you choose. Let’s take a deeper dive into what you can expect for the price of a walk-in tub.
How Much Does a Walk-In Tub Cost?
The cost of a walk-in tub depends mostly on the size, type, features, and brand. A basic walk-in tub can cost anywhere from $2,000 to $5,000. If you are looking for a walk-in tub with special features, such as a wheelchair accessible tub or tub with whirlpool jets, you can expect the cost to rise to between $5,000 and $10,000.
A good way to start getting a sense for walk-in tub prices is to compare top walk-in tub brands and their offerings. Know that there are financing options for walk-in tubs if you do not want to, or cannot, pay in full out of pocket.
Below you will find the most common types of walk-in tubs, along with their costs and what features you can expect them to come with.
Bariatric Walk-In Tubs
Designed to accommodate larger individuals, these tubs are longer and wider than the typical walk-in tub. They also come with larger doors and seats. The bariatric tub is built for those who weigh 300 to 600 pounds. As a basis of comparison, the typical walk-in tub supports up to 300 pounds.
Bariatric Walk-in Tubs
Bariatric walk-in tubs have higher weight capacities than traditional walk-in tubs and are designed for larger bathers.
Weight capacity up to 600 lbs.
Wider seats and doors
Luxury add-ons (such as jacuzzi jets) optional
Most bariatric tubs come equipped with low-entry thresholds, grab bars, anti-slip floors, quick drain technology, and easy locking handles built in. Keep in mind that a bariatric tub may be 50% larger than a traditional walk-in tub. They also use more water. Though most walk-in tubs are designed in a size that fits the space for a typical tub, bariatric tubs can be big enough to require some remodeling or construction in your bathroom during installation.
Bariatric tubs are also more costly than your traditional walk-in tub models. The cost of a bariatric walk-in tub can run anywhere from $4,200 to $6,500, on average. The cost can go up from there depending on the brand and additional features.
Wheelchair Accessible Walk-in Tubs
Wheelchair accessible walk-in tubs, also known as roll-in tubs or safe step walk-in tubs, offer safer bathtub access for those in wheelchairs. The entryway of the tub is wide enough and flat enough to allow for a standard wheelchair to easily roll into the bath. These tubs also have wider outward facing doors and lower tub seats. This works well for those who use a wheelchair designed for the shower, or those who can transfer from a wheelchair to a shower bench.
Wheelchair Accessible Walk-in Tubs
Wheelchair-accessible walk-in tubs have lower seat heights and entry thresholds to allow wheelchair users to safely enter the tub
17 inch seat height or lower
Extra-wide door openings
Equipped with grab bars
You can also expect safety features like grab bars and anti-slip flooring with these types of tubs. Some wheelchair-accessible tubs feature lifts and other safety features to make it even easier for those who are wheelchair-bound to enjoy a good soak without worry about injury.
The cost of a wheelchair accessible tub can range widely, depending upon the features chosen, but a good rule of thumb is between $4,000 and $6,000.
Soaker Walk-in Tubs
Though the typical walk-in tub is deeper than an average bathtub, soaker walk-in tubs are even taller, hold more water, and can allow someone to submerge comfortably all the way to their shoulders. This can be wonderful for those who need hydrotherapy or enjoy the feeling of near-weightlessness they can obtain in water that deep.
Soaker Walk-in Tubs
Soaker walk-in tubs are standard models with deep soaking areas and are friendly for the whole family
Equipped with grab bars
Still bath water
These tubs come with grab bars, anti-slip floors, a raised seat, temperature protection, and other basics that you would expect from a simple model with all the bells and whistles. Soaker tubs are great for those who live in a family home, with several generations using the same tub. It works well for not only the elderly, but can be great for children, too.
You can expect a soaker walk-in tub to cost approximately $2,000 to $6,000.
Lay-Down Walk-in Tubs
These types of walk-in tubs are longer than most and usually have an optional detachable seat. This can allow the user to lie back and relax if and when you would like. The lay-down walk-in tub can be especially helpful if you have a condition that makes it tough to sit upright. At the same time, it still has all the safety features and offers additional options, like adjustable head or arm rests.
Lay-down Walk-in Tubs
Lay-down walk-in tubs are longer in length allowing bathers to lay down horizontally inside the tub
At least 60 inch. length
Resemble traditional alcove tubs
Luxury options available
Keep in mind, however, that these might not fit in the space where your previous tub did, which could mean more in installation costs. You can expect a lay-down walk-in tub to measure approximately 60″ x 30″ L x 21″ H. They can be made to resemble your traditional alcove bathtub with white porcelain. Different brands will offer different door and finishing options.
The cost of the lay-down walk-in tub itself ranges from $3,000 to $7,000 on average.
Massage Walk-in Tubs
These walk-in tubs might also be called hydrotherapy or whirlpool tubs. They work much like a traditional massage tub, with jets that work by forcing either water or air through them for a massage experience. Massage walk-in tubs can be wonderful for relaxation, but they also improve circulation and potentially target particular areas of the body, such as the back muscles to help those with chronic back pain.
Hydrotherapy Walk-in Tubs
Hydrotherapy walk-in tubs are designed for relaxation or muscle therapy and feature jacuzzi-style jets
Hypertension and cardiovascular benefits
Great for relaxation
This type of walk-in tub can come with standard jets in various positions, or it can be customized. As you might imagine, the cost of these tubs is higher than others, at anywhere from $5,000 to $9,000.
Walk-in Tub/Shower Combo
This is exactly what it sounds like – a walk-in tub with the addition of a shower. It looks very much like a typical bathroom’s tub/shower combo, only with the added bonus of the walk-in function. The walk-in tub and shower combo will be deeper and have a safe step low threshold entryway to support the elderly or mobility challenged.
Walk-in Tub/Shower Combo
Walk-in tub and shower combos allow for seniors or mobility challenged to either shower or take a bath depending on preferences
Your choice of showerhead
Grab bars and non-slip floors included
The shower often uses a curtain, though there are some models that can use clear acrylic walls as the shower surround. You may have to custom-build your walk-in tub/shower combo, depending on your needs and the tub brand you choose. Your contractor will also need to consider the configuration of your bathroom and what you want the shower and tub combination to look like in order to give you an exact price.
All things considered, the cost of these combos can run from $2,500 to $6,000. Keep in mind that if you want a larger tub/shower combo or a 2-seater to accommodate a couple, this can cost extra.
Popular Walk-in Tub Features and Costs
Basic features of a walk-in tub include grab bars, anti-slip flooring, and low thresholds. But your walk-in tub might need more than the basic features. In that case, you can expect to see the total installation price go up a bit. Here’s what to expect from each of these potential features and what they should cost.
Handheld shower wand
In this case, you are opting for the tub/shower combination walk-in tub. The handheld shower wand can cost anywhere from $50 to $200 or more, depending upon the complexity.
These jets, either powered by water or air, can add a few thousand dollars to the cost of a typical walk-in tub. If you choose to customize the jets to suit certain target areas of the body, you might be looking at a bit higher cost.
Installation will also need to include electrical work to run the jets, which can range from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand, depending upon how much work is required to bring the bathroom up to code.
Your walk-in tub should come equipped with at least one set of grab bars, but what if you need more? Basic, strong, sturdy grab bars cost an average of $50 each. These should be professionally installed, as they must be solidly attached to studs to provide adequate protection to catch someone who is falling. More modern models can cost a bit more.
Quick draining technology
In most cases, this comes standard with the tub. If it doesn’t, expect to add about $250 to the cost of the tub. The installation cost can go up because of this feature, as you might need to widen the pipes to accommodate it. Depending upon the configuration of your bathroom and what needs to be done to make it work, you might look at a cost between $350 and $1,800. However, we recommend being on the lookout for this technology when comparing walk-in tub brands.
Some walk-in tubs are molded with a headrest. You can also purchase a separate headrest that you can customize to fit however you please. Count on about $250, on average, for either option.
Aromatherapy or chromatherapy
The use of colors or scents to make the bath a more pleasurable experience – as well as provide therapeutic benefits – is a great way to enhance your walk-in tub. Expect to add $200 to $300 to the final cost.
Custom seat or bench
Adding a custom seat to your tub, including those that warm up and keep the tub cozy while you use it, can add to the bottom line. That seat might run about $500, on average.
Other Factors that Influence Walk-in Tub Costs
The additions you might choose for your walk-in tub are not the only considerations for the final walk-in tub costs. There are other factors as well, most pertaining to installation that might change the bottom line.
- Size of the tub. Most walk-in tubs will easily fit into the same space necessary for a typical bathtub. However, some larger or longer tubs might need additional construction in the bathroom to fit.
- Material of the tub. The most common materials for walk-in tubs are acrylic, fiberglass, and enameled steel. Acrylic tends to be the most expensive and the most durable. Fiberglass is much cheaper but porous, so even deep cleaning might not keep mildew away over time. Enameled steel can easily be chipped or cracked, and thus is the other low-cost option.
- New water heater. A walk-in tub is deeper than a typical tub, so it might need more hot water than your water heater can currently produce. If that is the case, a new water heater might be necessary. Water heaters can range from $600 to $3,000, depending upon how big it is and whether you choose a tank heater or on-demand heater.
- Plumbing or electrical changes. You might need electrical changes in your bathroom to accommodate a jetted tub or quick-drain and quick-fill functions. These changes might run from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand, depending upon the complexity.
- Demolition and removal of old shower or tub. This cost is often just a few hundred dollars. Demolition is usually rolled into the labor and installation quote you will receive from your contractor.
- Local labor and Installation costs. These costs will vary widely depending upon what needs to be done to install the tub and what the local labor costs tend to run in your area.
Finding a Walk-in Tub Contractor
Choosing a local contractor to install your walk-in tub can seem almost as daunting as choosing the tub itself. You want to find a contractor who has a history of being reliable, performing excellent work on time and on budget (or even under budget), and has strong knowledge of what you will need to make your walk-in tub sturdy, safe, and an otherwise fantastic addition to your bathroom.
Modernize can connect you with contractors in your local area who can give you estimates on what it will cost and how long it will take to install your walk-in tub. Use our network of highly qualified walk-in tub professionals and start the process of making your bathroom safer and more accessible.