I’m not going to tell you one is better than the other because these are two great services that we offer and will specifically fit the needs and wants of your bathing experience. At anytime, if you’re having doubts between the two it’s best to weigh in on all the options and features… not only that because you may be ordered by your physician to have a walk in tub for therapeutic reasons. To sum up the terms of a tub to shower conversion – I’m using that as a general term whether it’s a walk in shower with curb, low curb shower or a barrier free shower.
Considering that a standard bathtub won’t cut it anymore, you have to look at what’s more comfortable for you. Walk In tubs are much higher but the door will open and lock into place to accept the water. Your seat is in a fixed place and there are plenty of grab bar options as well. A shower unit has a bit more options like building in a seat exactly to specifications, a flip down seat that can be up or down at any given time which may accommodate other users as well. If you’re permanently in a wheelchair you will have to transfer out of it in either situation. Walk in tubs do have wheelchair transfer models where you’re more in a laying position. A roll in shower is best suited when you transfer into a dedicated wheel chair or shower chair.
Walk in tubs can vary depending on the company or manufacturer but most every time the drainage pipes will need to be converted to 2″ or 3″ complete to the main stack. This is due to most existing bathtubs have a 1 1/2″ drain line and the multiple gallons of water will take too long to drain until you’re able to open the door to exit. The models that we install have two drains that tie into the main stack and drain much quicker when bumped up to 3″ PVC. Walk in tubs also require a dedicated circuit from the breaker panel so there has to be room in the box (or make room).
Showers can be a pickle too. It all depends on how many shower heads, body sprays etc… that you’d like to have. When you add up the amount of water you’re using, the shower drain has to be able to flow all of that through. especially when you have a no curb shower with a linear drain.
It’s a must for both and you do have to keep after them. Walk in tubs have an easily wipe-able acrylic or fiberglass surface, however, all the ports and jets will collect dirt so a good attention to detail is where you have to be in that department. Showers are not maintenance free either. Prefabbed units or Solid Surface materials are bonded together at the seams with silicone which can stain or accept mildew over time. Tile will require a bit more elbow grease throughout along with periodic inspections of grout joints.
Just by doing your research online, a good quality walk in tub can range from $5,000 to $12,000 so by the time all other aspects of the project are accounted for, you can get into a higher priced job. Well worth it too because the water jets, heaters etc… will be worth every penny. Same goes for a custom built shower because there can be a lot of labor hours especially when doing tile and installing linear drains.
Need help deciding?
No problem, just get in touch by using a contact form and we can discuss your specific situation and go from there!