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How Do Walk-In Tubs Work?


Walk-in tubs are an ideal solution for safe, independent bathing at home. Unlike standard tubs and showers, walk-in tubs are designed for you to bathe sitting down. The low-entry threshold allows for safe entry and exit, while the built-in seat lets you sit back and relax as the tub fills. After bathing, drain the water and comfortably exit your tub feeling rejuvenated.

The benefits of a walk-in tub or walk-in shower can be life-changing, especially for aging adults, seniors and others with limited mobility. In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about how walk-in tubs work, how to use your walk-in tub and more. Read on to find out how you can transform your bathing experience with a walk-in tub today.

What is a walk-in tub?

walk-in tub shower combo with surrounding grey walls

A walk-in tub is a specialized bathtub designed for enhanced safety, accessibility and comfort. It features a low step-in and watertight door that allows you to securely enter and exit the tub without the need to step over the high side of a traditional bath. 

The unique design helps make bathing safer, giving you peace of mind every time you step in. This is especially reassuring for older adults, a quarter of whom fall every year—80% of the time in a bathroom, according to the CDC.

In addition to safety features, many walk-in tubs often come with therapeutic features to further support your health and wellness

Preparing Your Tub

walk-in tub with a towel bar

How do you enter a walk-in tub?

If you have a regular tub at home, you may have struggled to step over the high threshold and keep your balance, putting you in a potentially dangerous situation. A walk-in tub makes it easy to feel confident and secure every time you enter. Simply open the wide door, walk over the low step-in and then hold onto the sturdy grab bars for extra stability when sitting.

How do you fill a walk-in tub?

Walk-in tubs are equipped with a watertight door, so you can fill it up while sitting securely inside. Many come with a fast-fill faucet to speed up fill time and a heated seat to keep your neck and back warm while you wait for the tub to fill. 

Taking a Bath 


How do you stay safe while soaking in your walk-in tub?

The safety features of a walk-in tub set it apart from traditional bathtubs. To reduce your risk of falls during your bath, many include built-in seating to reduce standing time, textured slip-resistant flooring for added traction and built-in grab bars for extra support and stability when maneuvering inside. Some walk-in tubs even feature anti-scald faucets to prevent the water temperature from burning you.

How does a walk-in tub make bathing easier and more convenient? 

Walk-in tubs are designed to make your life easier and bathing more convenient and accessible for bathers of all ages and abilities. If you have strength or mobility challenges, an easy-to-turn locking handle on the door, adjustable handheld shower wand and easy-to-reach electronic keypad or water-proof remote give you total control of your bathing experience.

Only Safe Step Walk-In Tubs have received the Ease of Use Certification from the Arthritis Foundation, which recognizes products proven to improve the lives of people who have arthritis and other physical limitations. 

How can you find relaxation and relief in your walk-in tub?

Create the ultimate spa experience at home with a walk-in tub that features therapeutic features such as hydrotherapy jets, aromatherapy and chromotherapy that soothe sore muscles, alleviate stress and improve health conditions. 

At Safe Step, we have developed a unique technology called the MicroSoothe® Air Therapy System that creates microscopic bubbles in the water that can lift dirt out of your pores and infuse them with fresh oxygen, leaving your skin feeling refreshed! It can provide relief for those with conditions like psoriasis, eczema and sensitive skin. 

Getting Out of Your Bath

Close up of woman stepping out of walk-in tub over low step-in

How long does it take to drain a walk-in tub?

On average, walk-in tubs drain in 5 to 15 minutes. The size, model, brand and other factors can all affect your tub’s drainage time. If you are worried that you’ll get cold as you sit and wait for the tub to drain, don’t worry. Safe Step Walk-In Tubs drain 38% faster than our previous models, so draining takes only a few minutes. Just sit back and relax against the heated seat as it keeps you warm while the tub quickly empties.

How do you exit a walk-in tub?

Because walk-in tubs have a swinging door, you must wait for it to fully drain before exiting. Once your bath is empty, conveniently access your towel from the built-in towel bar and dry off. Use grab bars to securely transition from sitting to standing. The wide door and low threshold allow you to quickly and safely exit your tub. 

Considerations When Buying A Walk-In Tub

Enhancing Accessibility

Where is my walk-in tub made?

Not all walk-in tubs are created equal. Where your tub comes from can make a big difference with quality. Every Safe Step product is manufactured in Tennessee to ensure the highest level of craftsmanship. Each of our walk-in tubs and showers undergo a rigorous, 14-point inspection to ensure it is as safe as possible for every bather. It’s a big reason why we’re North America’s #1 selling walk-in tub.

How much do walk-in tubs cost?

When purchasing a walk-in tub, we encourage you to find a company that will work with your specific needs and budget. Plus, look for a company that provides a lifetime warranty to protect your investment for years to come.

Factors that may affect the cost of your walk-in tub include: 

  • Size
  • Brand
  • Material quality
  • Standard and optional features
  • Installation 
  • Warranty

How are walk-in tubs installed?

Installing a walk-in tub can be complicated and technical, so getting a professional installer to handle the process is a must to ensure proper installation and compliance with safety standards. They will often remove your existing bathtub and install your walk-in tub in the same space.

Safe Step has over 15 years of successful, expert installation experience under our belts. Our professional installers are fast and efficient from removal of your old tub to installation and clean up, so you won’t have to lift a finger! 95% of our projects take less than one day, so you can enjoy a safer, more relaxing bath experience sooner.

How do you clean and maintain your walk-in tub?

Quality walk-in tubs are great long-term investments into your future. It’s quick and easy to keep your tub functional, clean and beautiful for years to come with proper maintenance.

Walk In Tub Background

Transform Your Bathing Experience with Safe Step Walk-In Tubs

Choosing the right walk-in bath for you and your lifestyle involves careful consideration. The ideal walk-in bath should align with your or your loved one’s individual needs, taking into account accessibility requirements, therapeutic features, and personal preferences. 

That’s why at Safe Step, we’ve centered our mission on walk-in tub and shower innovation, manufacturing and customer service for more than 15 years. We don’t just promise safety, we specialize in it.

Now that you know how a walk-in tub works, you’re one step closer towards the safe, at-home bathing experience you deserve. Request a free quote today to find a product best suited to your needs. Our experts are standing by and ready to help.

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