When you are looking into spending money on a walk in tub, how do you sort through the maze of configurations that are presented to you? At this juncture, there are a number of points to think about. How do you access the walk in bath? How quickly does the tub fill and drain? Do you need padded seating or is it a waste of money? And should you add Jacuzzi or air jets? Let’s look at each one f these questions.
How do you access the walk in bathtub?
Does the opening unlock to the outside or the inside? Inward sweeping doors are convenient for two reasons. 1) You don’t need extra space in the bathroom to accommodate the door. As long as the door opening is in a convenient spot, the tub can be placed almost anywhere it is compatible with the floor plan. 2) The water in the tub presses against the water-tight rubber seal, cutting down on the danger of water seepage.
Doors that swing to the outside can also be safe, but it is vital that the locking mechanism for the door and the sealing system is well designed. You don’t want to open the door accidentally and flood the entire house.
Watch for doors that require you to step around them. This can pose a significant obstruction. The rational behind you are spending money on a walk in tub is to stay away from the dangerous balancing acts your old tub required of you. The best designs allow you to sit, if the door swings into the tub, and close the door from a safe positon.
Then look at the bolting mechanism. How do you bolt and unbolt the entry door closed? Is the procedure ergonomic and simple for arthritic hands?
How quickly does the walk in tub fill and drain?
You need more than beautiful faucets. Your walk in tub needs to fill rapidly. Who wants to sit while waiting for the bath to fill up around you during the chill of winter? It might be a frosty experience! Check for tub faucets that give the rapid capacity flow rates of 9 – 10 gallons per minute. That is twice as much volume as the standard faucet supplies.
Quick emptying is also critical! No individual, especially a senior, wants to sit shuddering in the bath tub while the water dribbles out of the tub. Look for double drains, so that you don’t have to wait long before you can unbolt the entry door and dry off.
Do you need padded seating or is it a waste of money?
It’s a nice feature, but in this writer’s opinion, it’s not worth the extra money. This is a attribute that isn’t as long lasting as the other materials used to build the walk in bath tub. It is better to pay for a bath cushion to sit on if the natural buoyancy of the water isn’t capable to make sitting pleasant for you.
Should you add Jacuzzi or air jets?
Jacuzzi or whirlpool systems aren’t always the best choice for seniors. The vigorous water surges of the Jacuzzi stream can cause conditions to worsen instead of improving them. Air systems deliver a softer kneading experience to the muscles that is beneficial. Walk in tubs that offer both can be a asset, but make sure you can turn off or cut down stream from the jets before paying the extra money to have both.