High Gloss Acrylic Therapy Walk-In Tubs
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Walk in tubs sales and installation – Serving British Columbia, Vancouver, West Vancouver, North Vancouver, Burnaby, Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Maple Ridge, Mission, Harrison, Richmond, New Westminster, Delta, Surrey, Whiterock, Langley, Aldergrove, Abbostford, Chilliwack – Walk -in tubs, Accessible tiles showers installations, large inventory of walk in tubs in-stock locally, New Westminster, BC.
If you are considering getting a walk-in safety tub for either yourself or a family member it is a good idea to have an in home consultation. This is generally a free service offered by companies that sell and install walk-in tubs offering expert advise. However, if this is not possible you may find the information below helpful.
Walk-in tubs are not stand up showers! A walk-in tub is a freestanding unit and not meant to be built-in like a standard tub. The reason they are placed into existing tub cavities is because in almost every case, its the only practical place for them. Tub/shower conventional tubs are the most commom in homes and can be used for both. They have a flange which is attached directly to the wall studs covered with the shower board & tile which makes them practical for bathing and showering, but they become very difficult for people with mobility challenges to use. Walk-in tubs have limited space when standing because of the molded in seat, but are perfect for people who enjoy primarily bathing and don’t mind rinsing off while they remain in a seated position. People who prefer stand up showering or require care giver assistance may want to look into accessible shower options.
Width ( measuring end to end )
Depth ( measuring side to side)
Height (measuring floor to top of tub)
There is a number of things to keep in mind when choosing the size of a walk-in tub. The most popular sizes in walk-in tubs do not hold any more water than a standard tub, but unlike a standard tub a walk-in tub fills while you are inside of it. This is an important factor in choosing the appropriate size tub. Walk in tubs generally are shorter in width than a standard size tub, but higher to allow the bather to sit down as if in a chair but still get a deep soak. If a tub is too wide, not only will it take longer to fill using more water than is necessary, but drain time will be longer. This has to do with the amount of water the bather’s body will displace. A tub too large can also put a strain on a hot water tank and an upgrade may be required. For a close approximation of water displacement use one gallon for every ten pounds of body weight. For instance, lets say a walk-in tub has the capacity to hold 45 gallons of water. If the bather weights 150 lbs then he or she will displace approximately 15 gallons of water, therefore it would take about 30 gallons of water to fill this tub to have a full soak bath.
Did you know 85% of Walk-in Tub sales and installations will have inward opening doors, and be one of three sizes.
Size is also very important during installation. Most walk-in tubs are installed into existing bathrooms. This requires the existing tub, generally installed during contruction before most of the finishing and possibly some interior framing was completed, to be removed and the walk-in tub to take its place. Walk-in tubs have always been offered in different sizes but some manufactures are starting to increase the width to near standard tub size measurements and they are not practical for retrofitting an existing bathroom. Here is some things to consider concerning the installation of walk-in tubs.
Industry standard size tubs are 30”X 60” but are lighter than walk-in tubs, and easier to maneuver. The height of a standard tub is around 15-16 inches, so although a standard tub is just under 60” in width and 30” in depth it can easily slip through a bathroom door on it’s end and sideways. Walk-in tubs are much heavier and are more difficult to move around. They come in depths starting from 26 inches up to 35 inches, heights starting at 37 inches up to 42 inches, and widths from 47 inches to 60 inches.
Lets consider the depth measurement first. Unless wider doors were installed in a home, the standard interior door is rough framed to a 32” width but can be narrower. Then the door jams, or a pre-hung door is installed and the width is reduced to about 29.5 inches or less. Removing the casings and door jams or a pre-hung door, then replacing them is a simple procedure. However, if removing 2X4’s or steel framing is necessary to allow a tub to pass through, it could mean dry wall repair and painting, or wall paper could be damaged. The moving of electrical switch boxes may be necessary. The bathroom vanity might be in the way and be required to be temporarily removed. The width of a tub can also add to the difficulty of installation. A tub too wide is harder to get through hallways, turn into a door openings, and much more difficult to fit into place and plumb into the existing drain due to lack of work space, particularly when a bathroom is the same or only slightly wider than the tub being installed! Important: If you have to turn a tub end to end inside the bathroom to fit into the tub cavity, you’re bathroom must be wider that the diagonal measurement of the tub or opening up walls will be required. Attempting to install too large of a walk-in tub into an existing bathroom can be very challenging.
Walk-in tubs are designed to offer more bathing room and are like older style standard steel or cast iron tubs in this regard. For instance, an older standard bathtub with an exterior depth measurement of 3o inches will be a full 23 inches inside, and this measurement would continue down to the bottom of the tub giving the bather plenty of room. Newer standard tub designs tend to be narrower and taper in towards the bottom of the tub.
There will be bathers who will require walk-in tubs 32 – 35 inches in depth and 55 – 60 inches in width, but walk-in tubs up to 30 inches or less in depth and 52 inches or less in width will be more than adequate 90% of the time, and if you feel you require more space think about adding height first.
Does a walk in tub effect the resale of your home? This question is asked occasionally but rarely is it asked by someone who really needs a walk-in tub!
Most of us wouldn’t wake up one morning, see an advertisement for a walk-in tub and go out and buy one, but it might get you thinking about it! Have you ever taken a slight slip in the tub or tripped on a stair and kept yourself from falling and possibly being injured? Young or old we’ve all experienced this, but the older we get the risk of injury greatly increases because of slowing reflexes and weakening stabilization muscles.
Maybe a slight mishap happens during one’s daily bathing routine or the news of friend falling and being injured starts one to thinking about a safer bathing alternative as well as other changes that may be needed. Hopefully these early warning signs won’t be ignored and measures will be taken towards preventing avoidable unnecessary accidents that could permanently change a person’s lifestyle.
Walk-in tubs help people stay safe and offer them a higher level of independence and comfort. The question on whether a walk-in tub will affect the re-sale of a person’s home is largely a matter of opinion. It could be argued that because there is a growing aging population a walk-in tub could be seen to be a selling advantage but it very unlikely it would affect the value or resale of one’s property. In Vancouver and the surrounding areas home prices are very high as they can be in many places throughout the province and country.
If you were to look at your last tax assessment you’ll see the assessed value of the land in relation to the assessed value of the buildings are probably separated by a very wide margin. It’s doubtful a walk-in tub would make any measurable difference.
It’s your home, the one you want to remain safe in for as long as possible, and ultimately it’s your decision!
Walk-In Tub Jets
Walk-in tubs come as soaker models, air jet therapy models, or hydrotherapy jet (water jets.) models they also come with a combination of air and water jets.
Soakers are just like a regular tub that doesn’t have jets, you simply fill the tub to the desired depth and bathe.
Walk-in tubs with air jets are tubs equipped with a small electric motor that blows air drawing only about 3.6 amp. This blower delivers air through small air hoses to as many as 16 small jets placed throughout the tub. When the air passes through the jet it is broken up into smaller air streams creating smaller bubbles. This is called Air Jet Therapy or Hyrovescent Therapy.
The air is released into the tub and agitates the water assisting in cleaning. It’s like being in a washing machine for the body and can lend a helping hand to a person who is mobility challenged and perhaps has difficulty reaching hard to get body parts. This blower motor is not a heater and will not maintain water temperature. The benefits of air jets make them worth having and they are also offered in combination with Hydrotherapy water massage jets and in-line heaters.
Water jets or Hydrotherapy Jets, as they are referred to, take bathing to the next level! Today’s whisper quiet electric water pumps draw about 8 to 9 amp. They take the water from the bottom of the tub circulating it through a separate stainless steel in-Line Heater which draws about 13.5 amp effectively maintaining bath water temperature.
A separate stainless steel in-line heater is the only way to maintain bath water temperature for as long as required! Heated water is directed out massage jets located in areas of the tub where they offer the most benefit, focusing on the lower back, legs and feet. Each jet’s water flow is adjustable from 0 – 100% flow and can be directed to pinpoint just the right spot. These jets also have an aerator (mixing air with the water) which gives a soothing relaxing sensation and helps increase circulation.
The health benefits of hydrotherapy are undisputed and is used regularly by physiotherapists. When a individual becomes less mobile, circulation becomes an issue. Being able to relax, stretch, and have your muscles massaged in a warm heated bath offers many health benefits…read more. Air jet therapy, sometimes referred to as hydrovescent therapy, was the first jet option offered on walk-in tubs, but today almost all manufactures have reinvested and retooled so they can they meet the growing demand for the optional hydrotherapy whirlpool water massage jets for walk-in tub applications.
Whirlpool baths have been on the market since the 1960′s and have been sold worldwide by leading bath and sanitary manufacturers. By following a simple maintenance schedule, hydrotherapy water jets are very easy to maintain. See cleaning and maintenance.
If a walk-in tub has electrical components, you will require GFI’s (ground fault interrupters) to be installed. If the tub only has a small blower motor used for air jet therapy (referred to as hydrovescent therapy) it can be plugged into a GFI receptacle, and because the blower motor doesn’t draw much power, this circuit can usually be borrowed from an existing circuit in the bathroom. If the tub has a water pump or in addition has a separate in-line heater, then one or two GFI’s will need to be installed into your electrical panel. You’re not saving labor costs to install one GFI as opposed to installing two GFI’s because the time it takes to fish one or two lengths of wire to the electrical panel is the same. The additional costs would only be the second GFI and the wire. Most existing electrical panels will have room for a couple more breakers, but if they are all used up then a small sub panel will need to be installed for them.
Always consult and employ a licensed electrician when installing a jetted walk-in bathtub.