A walk-in tub has doors and gets installed in alcoves that allows you to avoid stepping up and over a ledge when you get in, and it doesn’t have a fixed barrier like traditional tubs. You may have to install plumbing and remodel your bathroom before you can have this type of tub, and this leads many people to wonder about a walk in tub cost. Once you get in, you’ll either have a seat or sit on the floor of the tub, and the door seals to allow you to fill it with as much water as you need. They’re very popular for elderly people who are afraid of falling when they get in and out of the tub, and they’re nice for people who have disabilities or movement disorders that make them more prone to falling.
Anyone can benefit from having this type of tub, and it can take a lot of strain off caregivers if they have difficulty getting the person they care for in and out of a traditional tub. The walk in tub cost will depend on a huge range of factors, and this is why it has such a broad price range that usually starts around $3,000 and can easily go upwards of $8,500 for the tub itself, plumbing, and labor costs. However, you can help offset the walk in tub cost by the value it adds to your home and the peace of mind it can give you.
There are several different types of walk in tubs available, and you can pay anywhere from $2,000 to $7,500 for the tub alone. For example, say you want a standard 60-inch tub. On average, you’ll pay $4,000 for it. Then, you’ll have to add in other factors like whether you need electrical and plumbing work, whether you can fit it in your current space without a huge remodel, and if you want to keep your current tub or replace it with this new one. All of these things will influence your walk in tub cost.
Luckily, we want to make this as easy as possible for you, so we’re going to outline the biggest factors that influence a walk in tub cost, and you can see which ones apply to your situation. This way, you can get a rough estimate regarding your walk in tub cost, and you can decide whether or not this project is something you can afford to tackle right now.
Your walk in tub cost is something you have to think about carefully because it can easily go into the thousands of dollars with the tub itself and the installation costs. The type of tub is one of the biggest factors, followed by your bathroom size. Walk-in tub by gemteck1 / CC BY 2.0
What is a Walk In Tub?
For a basic walk in tub, it usually sits into an alcove-style installation, and there is very little retrofitting needed for the rest of your bathroom. The tub typically measures around 60-inches long by 30-inches wide. The tub’s depth can vary from style to style, but most come deep enough to allow you to soak. The average depth ranges from 36 to 40-inches. Some deeper tubs go up to 46-inches deep.
The side of the tub features a door that will swing outward into your bathroom. There are models available with doors that swing inward if you have a smaller space and you don’t want to take on a huge remodel project. This design also makes it easier to clean your bathtub. The door will form a complete seal when you shut it, and you can’t open it again until you drain all the water to avoid accidental floods, water damage, and spills. On average, the door will measure 15-inches across, but you can get tubs with different opening widths.
How Type Influences Walk In Tub Costs
One of the very first things you have to do to find out your walk in tub cost is to settle on a type. There are several available, and picking one type from the start will help you narrow down your project while making it flow smoothly from start to finish.
Bariatric or Handicap-Accessible
This type of tub is generally wider than your standard walk in tubs, and this will influence your walk in tub cost. It’s one of the more expensive options available, but it’s a must-have for people who are too large to fit into regular tubs or people who need special equipment to come into the bath with them. To get this tub, you can expect to pay between $5,000 and $10,000.
Unlike traditional tubs that can be long enough for you to lay down or stretch out, most walk in models sacrifice length for depth. If you want a longer tub, you’ll pay between $3,000 and $7,000. Additionally, the need for a bathroom remodel to fit this longer tub will influence your final walk in tub cost.
Maybe you want a luxurious and modern bathroom. If so, adding a luxury tub is one way to go. This style will typically give you curved backrests to increase your comfort levels, adjustable water jets, or chromatherapy lights. Many of these tubs have a chic contemporary look, and they’ll usually be deeper and larger than standard models. A luxury style will boost your walk in tub cost byt $15,000 to $20,000.
Do you want to get massages when you’re in the bath? If so, a hydrotherapy-style tub comes equipped with water jets that are very powerful. Most of them have several pressure options you can set, and they’re great for chronic muscle aches. You’ll spend between $5,000 and $7,000 for this tub, and they can also add to your walk in tub cost because they require more ongoing maintenance. The jets have to be routinely cleaned to prevent clogging.
Soaker-style tubs are very deep, and they come designed to allow you to bath comfortably. They usually don’t have jets, but they’re comfortable enough for you to sit for a considerable amount of time and soak. This is a slightly lower-cost option at $2,000 to $5,000.
The most basic unit that can help you control your overall walk in tub cost more effectively is the standard unit. It looks very similar to a normal bathtub, but it comes with a smaller door on the side to allow you to enter and exit without having to step over a ledge. It will cost between $1,500 and $5,000 to get and install.
Tub and Shower Combination
For $2,000 to $6,000, you can combine your walk in tub with a shower. A lot of the products will come with a shower head that you can move around. Having a combination unit lets you stand up and shower while still having the ease of getting in and out without a ledge. It can be difficult for people with limited mobility to use because you’ll have to stand up and sit back down several times over the course of your bath or shower.
This bigger option has enough space for two people to get in and bathe at the same time. You may have space issues with smaller bathrooms with it, and you should expect to pay for water usage and labor costs with this option. It’ll increase your walk in tub cost by $3,000 and $7,000.
Whirlpool Air Jet
For people who want to increase the blood circulation to their extremities, this option can help because it uses air instead of water jets. The pressure is slightly lower than you’d get with jets, and it’s more expensive. For this tub style, it can easily cost between $5,000 and $9,000.
Whirlpool Hot Tub
Maybe you don’t have the space in your backyard for a hot tub and enclosure. If this is the case, you can bring it indoors. You will have to decide whether or not a spa-style tub is worth the walk in tub cost. Additionally, there is a lot more ongoing maintenance to consider. You’ll pay between $7,000 and $18,000 for this option, and this includes labor and the tub itself.
Ideally, your new tub will fit into your existing space without needing a full overhaul. If not, you’ll have to add remodeling costs to your walk in tub costs, and this can quickly get very expensive. Master Bathtub Installed by chaim zvi / CC BY-NC 2.0
Labor Costs and Installation Considerations
The installation process is generally straightforward, but it still adds to your walk in tub cost. The contractor will come in and remove your old tub. They may also strip out a row of tile at this time that adheres your tub to the wall. You will most likely need to replace the walls or retile the area around the tub since the dimensions for a walk in model are so different from a traditional tub.
You can usually compare this cost to a traditional tub installation, and it can take an average of six to eight hours from start to finish. The average cost per hour for your labor is $85.00. Generally speaking, you want to set aside at least $1,000 for a standard installation for your walk in tub cost. If you get a hot tub or whirlpool model, your walk in tub cost can go up significantly to between $1,500 and $2,000. They’ll have to run electricity and place the motor.
The good news is that most walk in tubs will retrofit in your current tub’s space, and this means that you can avoid huge remodeling bills. You will have to consider a few points though, including:
If your new tub has jets and a drain pump, you’ll need electrical work. These things have to be on their own dedicated circuit that is at least 15-amps. They also require a GFCI grounding because you’re using it in the bathroom around wet conditions. On average, electricians will charge between $60 and $90 per hour, and upgrading your electrical circuit will cost between $1,000 and $3,000 if they deem it necessary.
Maybe you want a fancier walk-in tub that has mechanical features like whirlpool jets. If so, you’ll spend between $1,000 and $3,000 more for the installation process, and you’ll have ongoing maintenance to budget for. Any mechanical features you want should be part of the tub, and you shouldn’t buy a basic model and try to upgrade it later.
If you want the tub to fill up more quickly, you’ll want to upgrade your existing pipes to ¾-inches in diameter. However, this can be expensive. It can add to your walk in tub cost between $4,000 and $6,000. You might also find yourself adding a new hot water heater since these walk in tubs can easily hold between 50 and 80 gallons of water per fill. A standard water heater can give you right around 50 gallons of water and cost you up to $800. If you want a tankless water heater, you’ll get an endless supply of hot water. However, this can cost upwards of $3,500.
Size and Space
If your new walk in tub doesn’t fit into your existing space, your walk in tub cost will go up. You may need to change your bathroom’s layout or adjust the ceiling height. Remodeling your bathroom to fit your new tub will cost between $6,000 and $13,000 from start to finish. If you run into problems, the cost will go up.
We touched on how you may need to retile parts of your bathroom to accommodate the different shape of the tub, and there are factors that will influence your walk in tub cost. If you want to add porcelain or ceramic tile around your tub, expect to add between $900 and $2,600.
Adding tiling around your new walk in tub can easily increase how modern and contemporary your bathroom looks when you finish the installation process. You do want to make sure that everything is watertight to prevent mold or damage. Contemporary Master Bath by Nancy Hugo, CKD / CC BY-ND 2.0
Cost to Convert a Shower to a Tub
Maybe you already have a shower in your bathroom and you’re wondering what the cost would be to add a walk in tub. This can be a huge project because the bathtub sizes can vary. You’ll end up paying for a custom installation, and the price tag starts at $5,000 and goes up to $15,000.
If that’s out of your price range, you could try to make your shower more accessible by doing things like adding handlebars. These generally cost around $200 for parts and labor. Another option is to add a barrier-free door to your shower for between $500 to $1,500 for the door and the installation costs.
With the standard walk in tubs, there isn’t that much to do for ongoing maintenance, and this can help to keep your walk in tub cost low. If you have one with jets, you’ll have to run them with a specialized cleaning solution to keep them from debris, dirt, and clogs. You should also make a point to regularly clean the surface and areas of your tub to prevent mold or mildew growth. It’s also a good idea to schedule a yearly maintenance check by a professional.
Most manufacturers will offer you a few year warranty that covers cleaning and maintenance at least once a year. However, this can vary from brand to brand. You want to check out the warranty to find out which one gives you the most comprehensive coverage. Some offer a lifetime warranty against defects or damage on the door seal, and this is important because the seal can start to leak over time.
It’s essential that you consider ongoing maintenance costs when you create an estimate for your walk in tub cost. This will ensure that you can afford to keep your tub in good shape for years. Second Bathtub by NatalieMaynor / CC BY 2.0
Popular Brand Walk In Tub Cost Comparison
When you’re trying to figure out the walk-in tub cost, it’s important that you take the time to comparison shop from a few different brands. Not only will this help ensure that you’re getting a good deal, but you can take time to compare warranties to see which ones give you the best deal. The biggest brands are:
- American Standard – This brand has every type of walk in tub available with prices that start at $5,000 and go up to $10,000. They have water jets and air baths in different sizes, and they offer a limited warranty on the tub for 15 years. For parts, you’ll get a 10-year warranty.
- Ella – Ella is a mid-range company in terms of walk in tub costs, and they’re a company that offers an inward swinging door that is great for people who don’t have the room and don’t want to remodel. You’ll pay between $4,000 and $7,000 for this tub.
- Kohler – Kohler tubs have a small step that is three-inches from the floor to help reduce tripping hazards. They have a fast-drain option with a lifetime warranty on their products, but they’re expensive. Kohler will increase your walk in tub cost by $4,000 to $9,000, but this includes removing the old tub and installing the new.
- Premier Care – Although this company has its base in the United Kingdom, it sells walk in tubs in the United States. They offer custom features like warmed seats and seat lifts, but the shipping and tub costs can go up.
- Safe Step – Safe Step focuses on people with limited mobility and handicaps, and the walk in tub cost ranges between $2,500 and $8,000. They offer a lifetime warranty, and they also have hydrotherapy units available.
- Universal – Universal’s tubs are ADA compliant and wheelchair accessible, and they’re great for senior citizens. They offer aromatherapy, water jets, and air jets. The price ranges between $2,000 and $7,000.
Benefits and Drawbacks of Walk In Tubs
Just like everything else you buy, there are benefits and drawbacks with this tub. Since this can be just as expensive as a kitchen remodel, you want to weigh your options before you decide to go ahead and spend the money. The last thing you want to do is spend all of this money and find out that this walk in tub doesn’t fit your lifestyle.
One of the biggest benefits is the accessibility factor that comes with this tub. For people with mobility issues or seniors where safety is a concern, it’s easy to justify the walk in tub cost. The doorway ensures that you don’t have to step up and over a wall, and this reduces your chances of tripping and falling. You can also get things like handlebars and textured flooring and seats to increase the safety features.
Another benefit is that it can boost your home’s value. This is especially true if your home is in an elderly community because many people start looking for homes with these tubs as they get older and want to downsize. There are therapeutic options available you can check into as well like water jets or air jets to help you relax and help with circulation.
However, these tubs do have drawbacks associated with this. First up is the walk in tub cost. The initial installation and labor costs can easily total thousands over a traditional tub. There are also ongoing maintenance and hidden installation costs to contend with. If you have to bring in an electrician or plumber for the more luxurious models, this will increase your overall prices too.
Since this tub is much deeper, it can take a decent amount of time to fill up. You have to sit inside and let it fill up. Also, you can’t get back out until the water drains to prevent it from flooding or leaking, and this gives you time to get cold. The tub dimensions vary too, and this means that you may have to invest in tile and hire a tiler to put your bathroom back together at the end of the install.
Potential Improvement Prices
Once you get your tub, there are several improvements you can opt to have to make your bath more pleasurable and relaxing. These are all optional, but it’s nice to know how they’ll impact your walk in tub cost if you choose to have them.
- Flanges – If you want to tile your tub directly into the surroundings, ask to include a tile flange. The flange will give you a watertight installation between the tub and tile, and this reduces mold and mildew growth. Depending on the placement and type, they can cost between $100 and $500.
- Neck Rest – Neck rests allow you to lean back and have adequate neck support as you relax during your bath. Some tubs offer them as a nice add-on feature, and the cost starts right around $100.
- Surround – A surround lets you convert your walk in tub to a shower/tub combination setup. This is more expensive as a whole, and it starts at $1,000 and goes up.
Where to Find a Walk In Tub Contractor
Looking for a professional tub contractor? Use this resource to find one near you:
Frequently Asked Questions
The more luxurious your tub is, the more it’ll increase your walk in tub cost. Make sure to get at least three estimates when you start to call around for it, and be thorough with exactly what you want to get the closest price estimates. Pentagonal bathtub at Sydney Marriott by Jim Ellwanger / CC BY-NC 2.0
1. Does Medicare cover walk in tub costs?
Unfortunately, Medicare doesn’t currently list walk in tubs as durable medical equipment. This means that it won’t help pay for the tub or any installation or maintenance costs. You’ll have to pay for everything out of your own pocket.
2. How many gallons with this style of tub hold?
The number of gallons it holds will ultimately depend on the type and size of tub you get. However, most standard models will hold an average of 50 gallons per fill.
3. How much will you pay to repair or replace your walk in tub?
If you want to replace your current walk in tub with one that is around the same shape and size, you’ll spend between $1,500 and $2,500. Any features you choose to add in your new model will boost your walk in tub cost. As for repairs, the costs depend on your problem. To refinish the tub, it costs between $200 and $900. Plumbing costs range between $150 and $450.
4. How long does installation take for this type of tub?
The labor costs factor heavily to your walk in tub cost. Generally speaking, it usually takes between one and three days from start to finish of the installation process. How you want to finish your surrounding walls and floors and the type of installation process will impact your price.
5. How long does it take to drain or fill this tub style?
Your home’s water pressure will dictate the filling time, but the average is between six to eight minutes. You have to be seated in the tub during this time. A tub with a fast drain will draw the water out in two to three minutes. If you have a larger basin or a slower drain, it can take up to fifteen minutes.
As you can see, your walk in tub cost will depend on a large range of factors, and not all of these factors will apply to your unique situation. Take a look at the guide and see if you can get a rough estimate on your walk in tub cost. Chances are, you’ll have everything you need to hash out an estimate before you start calling local contractors.
Jen is a master gardener, interior designer and home improvement expert. She has completed many home improvement, decor and remodeling projects with her family over the past 10 years on their 4,500 sf Victorian house. She is also a passionate farmer who keeps goats, chickens, turkeys cows and pigs on her farm, and an instructor for her community’s Organic and Sustainable Farming project.