Lowe's Walk-in Tubs
Feb 24, 2016
Turning your bathtub into a walk-in tub or roll-in shower is easy and cheap. The prices of conversion kits can run up to $1,000 with enough to spare for other safety enhancements. AmeriGlide, CleanCut, Safety Bath and many other companies offer conversion kits designed to transform your current bathtub or shower into a safe and reliable walk-in tub. This option is popular with homeowners looking for a more affordable alternative to market priced models with the same standard safety features they would have enjoyed from a simple conversion.
For a do-it-yourself guide on converting your current bathtub or shower and the costs associated with such a project, click here.
If you're wary or unsure about the level of safety that a conversion kit can provide, let's consider for a moment the safety features a standard walk-in tub includes in its technology and design.
Click here for a brief and more detailed look at the safety features of most models.
Aside from anti-slip floors and easy-to-reach grab bars, the conversion kit fulfills three standard walk-in tub qualities on its own:
1) the low threshold entrance,
2) wheelchair accessibility,
and 3) the leak-proof door.
Available at AmeriGlide, the bathtub walk-in conversion kit costs $797, and it covers safety features numbers 1 and 3. AmeriGlide's conversion kit has a low step-in that's your current tub's height minus 9" or 12". Safety precaution number 3 (leak-proof door) is met by AmeriGlide's conversion kit by forming a waterproof seal by way of magnets surrounding the opening that immediately attach the door in place.
Another one of AmeriGlide's innovations is the bathtub roll-in conversion kit ($725). This one is a bit more expensive but you get the value of your money back with two of the safety standards covered. The roll-in ramp has a 0" threshold entrance which supports wheelchair-bound users but it does not, however, prevent bathtub leaks. This makes them more ideal for converting shower stalls.
Anti-slip surfaces aren't exclusive to walk-in tubs, you can treat your bathtub with non-slip solutions which can cost up to 90 bucks. Although, SlipDoctors' Bathtub Non-Slip Shower Safety treatment kit ($24.95) is more than enough and, within 10 minutes of treatment, will remain effective for at least two years.
Grab bars are built-in with most bathtubs but they cannot be easily reached by everyone. Wall mounting new ones makes more sense in some situations and they only cost +$30 a piece. Some people resort to portable grab bars but you should avoid these at all costs because they're not very reliable. If you don't want to drill any holes in the walls, it is smart and safe to get an adjustable grab bar safety rail that securely grips the rim of your bathtub. Medline is selling these for $26.94.
Wheelchair-bound users can use one of two things: a custom safety seat/transfer bench which is installed along with a walk-in conversion kit, or a roll-in conversion kit which is added to the shower/bathtub. A transfer bench will require the bather to slide into it from the wheelchair while keeping themselves secured by grab bars within arm’s reach. A roll-in conversion kit eliminates the need to remove yourself from the wheelchair altogether.
For more information on bathtub accessibility enhancements, click here.
Safety Bath's walk-in tub conversion kit includes a package of three items to choose from: the door insert kit, the step-thru shower kit, and the custom safety seat/ transfer bench:
Available in 5 sizes for left or right-handed users, the Door Insert kit is similar to other conversion kits of this kind, only it's slicker in appearance and its door closes shut with a turnable latch.
The Step-Thru shower kit uses the door frame aforementioned as the opening to the tub/shower. Although it does not come with a ramp it is still durable and of high quality.
Also available for left or right-handed users, the foldable Custom Safety Seat can be used as a transfer bench with a weight capacity of 250 lbs.