The question of whether to install a walk-in tub and shower is one that anyone living long-term in a home will have to face eventually. The reasons are varied, but all come down to one reality: navigating into traditional tubs and showers requires a dexterity that some no longer possess. That said, the “why” is not as important as the “whether” and here are some guidelines to help you decide if installing shower tub combos is a good idea.
Where the Combo Will Go
If you have a bathroom with a tub, a walk-in bathtub combo will take up about 20% less space. That sounds like a small figure, but it means you will have to do some subfloor and possibly some floor joist work to accommodate the new equipment. That new space, however, can be put to good use in most bathrooms, which tend to be cramped if multiple people use them.
Maybe the room you plan on putting the combo is a guest room, which not only will give you more space, but also allow you to use it as a private bath of sorts while you keep your main bathroom the way it is. Having a separate bathroom with the walk-in combo can be very convenient for guests as well as yourself if you are not fully ready to convert your bathroom to a walk-in-type model.
Is There a Need
Another consideration is whether your existing tub and shower combo really needs to be replaced? Are you or someone using the bathtub with shower struggling to get in it now? Or is this a plan for the future?
If your consideration is part of a remodeling project, acting now might save time and money as opposed to waiting until you need it in the future. If the need is “right now,” looking at and considering walk-in shower tub combos not only makes sense, it might be necessary to maintain your quality of life.
Additionally, because walk-in bathtubs with a shower are trendy, adding one or more to your bathrooms might be a positive in terms of resale. Even if your home is older, having a modern bathroom with a bathtub shower combo might be a main selling point for the right buyer. It does, however, restrict the market your home will be attractive to, if your combo goes into the main bathroom. For some families with smaller children, the traditional tub model is familiar and convenient.
Newer shower heads are highly energy efficient, sometimes saving as much as 10 gallons of water per shower, which over the course of a year can add up. If you and a spouse shower every day, all year, the savings in gallons of water would be over 7,000 gallons of water used just for showering. In and of itself that is financial savings over time and extended over multiple years, it can be quite significant.
The average cost, though, to install any new tub or shower will run you over $5,000, just for the walk-in shower tub combo. That can cause sticker shock, but with multiple surveys showing the majority of homeowners want a shower in their home, it is reasonable to think that a walk-in combo, the ultimate in convenience will significantly add to the home’s resale value.
When considering what to do, you also have to add in the safety factor. Traditional tubs and showers can pose a grave health risk to someone who struggles with mobility. A single hospital visit because of a fall can easily cost as much as the walk-in. With that in mind, unless your heart is set on a traditional model, a walk-in tub and shower is a no-brainer, especially if you’re building new or remodeling.
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Bathing should be a soothing experience, regardless of age or mobility challenges. When it comes to your daily routine, you should never have to choose between comfort, safety, and independence — and now, with Safe Step Walk-In Tubs and Walk-In Showers, you don’t have to.
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