If you’ve been struggling to get in and out of your standard tub, you’ve probably started wondering if you need to upgrade to a walk-in bathtub. You typically have two main options for making the switch: install a brand new walk-in tub, or add a door to your existing tub. This article will tell you the pros and cons of each option.
If you’ve already looked and compared these two options, you probably know that the conversion kit is drastically cheaper than a full-sized walk-in tub. A walk-in bathtub will cost you several thousand dollars, while a conversion kit will probably only cost you a few hundred. But before you jump on that price difference, take a closer look at the other comparison points in this list.
Typically, a walk-in tub includes installation, so all you have to do is stand aside and let the professionals handle the job for you. A conversion kit is a DIY job. You’ll have to cut the correct size opening into your bathtub and follow the included instructions to install the door. It’s incredibly vital that you follow the instructions and measure your cuts precisely. Otherwise, the door won’t fit properly.
Speaking of the door fitting correctly, this is essential to prevent leaks in your walk-in tub. Because a conversion kit is a DIY job, there’s no guarantee that your new door will be completely leak-proof. But walk-in tubs are carefully designed and tested to be waterproof. You’re much less likely to have any leak issues with a walk-in bathtub or shower than you are with a converted tub.
When you use a conversion kit, a door is the only feature added to your existing tub. This might be just fine if your only mobility issue is climbing over the side of the tub. However, if you struggle sitting down or standing up from the bottom of the tub, then a conversion kit won’t fix this problem for you.
A walk-in tub, however, comes with tons of added accessibility and convenience features. You’ll get a comfortable, upright seat that’s easy to get in and out of. There will be built-in safety bars and grab handles, a handheld shower wand, and you can even add luxury features like jets and heating to your seat to make your bathing experience even more enjoyable.
While a walk-in bathtub may cost you significantly more upfront, it’s a much better option than a conversion kit for most people. Not only do you get many added features to improve your tub’s accessibility and comfort, but you’ll also avoid the headaches that come with DIY installation and the possibility of developing leaks. So, if mobility is a concern for you, it’s probably a good idea to invest in a complete replacement of your tub instead of buying a conversion kit.