Comparing Chinese and US Walk-In Tubs

Mar 03, 2016

Here you will find four examples, two of which are American and two of which are made in China, with their specifications listed next to each other. We've decided to pick four models within the $900 - $1,600 range so that you could get a better picture of what you get back for your money and what the pros and cons are.

Click here to get a general overview of the prices of walk-in tubs.

One good look at our table below and you will notice a few differences that distinguish American from Chinese models:

  • Chinese products deliver more features per dollar.
  • American companies deliver more quality per dollar.
  • American companies offer better warranty coverage.

More features for less money sounds hard to resist indeed, but there is one thing missing you have to consider before rushing into a purchase you might regret.

The Quality

The quality of a walk-in tub boils down to:

  1. Your Home's Plumbing: American plumbing systems differ from Chinese homes, and you will see problems with the speed of which a Chinese model drains/fills. The water pressure that your home's water lines can deliver largely determines how fast your tub will drain/fill. Most Chinese models within this price range aren't built for quick draining and filling regardless of how operational your plumbing lines are.
  2. The Flange: Chinese models don't contain a flange on the rim. This is a problem because it's very difficult not to have any water leaking into the area between the walls and tub shell. This renders it unhygienic because the water build-up under the tub is the perfect condition for mold and bacterial growth.
    Lacking a flange makes the cleaning of the undermost side of your walk-in bathtub very high-maintenance. Harmful microorganisms can be cleaned but to keep your tub sanitary you have to do this regularly. It gets worse; if the Chinese-made tub has neither a flange or side panels, then the only way to clean the floor underneath it is by completely removing the tub from its spot.
  3. Certifications: The quality of plumbing and safety in a walk-in bathtub depend on quality service. This is only guaranteed when watchdog companies and middlemen between the buyer and seller credit the business in following certain qualitative standards.
    Companies with the good ratings from the Better Business Bureau (BBB), ADA-compliance (for a safe seat height), IAPMO membership (for plumbing quality), UL-listing (tested for safety), and partnerships with medical condition-related foundations are all good indicators for the level of quality that you could expect from a walk-in bathtub of your choice.
    Chinese models, on the other hand, will be certified while meeting certain safety standards that are different from ours.
    Learn more about accreditations and certifications here.
  4. Warranty: Chinese warranties cover very short periods compared to that of American walk-in tubs. American companies are unrivaled when it comes to customer service. Extended warranties are issued for all models of good quality. Most US walk-in tubs include, at least, a lifetime covered door seal.

To avoid missing the crucial details or asking the right questions, visit this section for all the information you need on ensuring quality.

 
  American Standard Homeward Bath Hanse Industrial Hanse Industrial
Brand Name American Standard Homeward Bath Hanse Industrial Hanse Industrial
Model # 3060SH.LW HW205930L HS-B004 HS-1105
Country of Manufacture USA USA China China
Tub Depth (in.) 0.0 18.5 ~ ~
Tub Height (in.) 37 24.5 78 37.4
Tub Length (in.) 60 39.5 63 47
Tub Width (in.) 30 17 37.4 30.7
Color Family White White White White
Color/Finish White White White White
Door Swing N/A Left Hand Left Hand Right Hand
Drain Location Left Left Corner Left
Exterior Bath Shape Rectangle Rectangle Oval in Rectangle Rectangle
Faucet Mount Wall Wall Built-In Built-In
Included No additional components or accessories are included No additional components or accessories are included Door Shower Screen, Water Pipe & Valve Multi-Function Shower Deck
Material Acrylic Acrylic Acrylic Acrylic
Maximum Number of Occupants 1 1 1 1
Product Weight (lb.) 160 213 265 287
Returnable 90-Day 90-Day ~ ~
Tub Features Wheelchair Accessible, Built-In Flange, Slip-Resistant Tub Built-In Flange, Slip-Resistant Tub Combo Massage (Air and Whirlpool), Slip-Resistant Tub, Waterproof Headrest Adjustable Whirlpool Massage, Slip-Resistant Tub
Tub Installation Type Top Mount Apron-Front Apron-Front Freestanding
Water Capacity (gallons) 0 50 60 50
Certifications and Listings 1-UL Listed, ANSI Certified, ASTM Compliant ETL Listed ~ ~
Manufacturer Warranty Limited 10-Year Limited 3-Year ~ ~

 



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