Your Guide To Buying A Walk-In Bath

We hope our guide to buying a walk-in bath provides you with some helpful advice on what to consider when looking for an easy to access tub. Of course, there is a lot that could be covered here, but we’ve given in-depth answers to the most popular topics that seem to come up when we talk to our customers.

Should you have any questions that aren’t answered below a member of our friendly team would be more than happy to help. Please feel free to call us on 0800 2922 110 for help and advice.

Walk-in bath costs

For a walk-in bath supplied, fully fitted and installed in your bathroom, you're looking at a good few thousand pounds.

If you choose to add optional extras like an air spa, chromotherapy lights or a walk-in bath with a power lifting seat, the cost will go up to reflect the additional items and installation work required.

Walk-in baths are a tiny part of the bathroom industry, so the scale of production is very small compared to mass produced standard baths available from B&Q type places.

The construction of the bath is also to a much higher standard than a regular bath, due to having a door in the side of the bath which weakens the overall structure. The construction of the bath needs to compensate for this to ensure the bath will last a lifetime.

Extra layers of GRP material are used in the construction of the bath shell to provide a tough surface.  The frame underneath the bath is also of extra sturdy construction to support the additional weight.

These extra materials and low production volumes are what give a walk-in bath its slightly higher price tag.

Choosing a walk-in bath

When choosing a walk-in bath you have three options:

1. A full-length walk-in bath

Which is the same as a standard bath, with the addition of a door for easy step in access. Some of these baths come with a power lift seat to help you get up and down in the bath.

Typical sizes vary from walk-in bath to walk-in bath. Full length walk-in baths are 1500mm long or 1700mm long, which are the sizes of standard full-length baths, so you can get a like for like swap.

2. A short length, sit in tub

Which is shorter than the standard bath length of 1500-1700mm and allows the bather to sit upright.  This makes it easier for the bather to get up and down, without the added expense of a power lift seat.

The short length walk-in baths vary from 900mm long (see our Maestro walk-in bath) to 1220mm long (see our Classic walk-in bath as an example). The shorter length makes it easier to fit into a smaller space, but take care with the really short length tubs as the baths have reduced knee space suiting people who are shorter in height. The 1220mm size will suit tall as well as shorter people.

3.  A walk-in shower bath

Which is the standard bath size but with the ability to have a shower.

As a rough guide if you have difficulty getting up and down in the  bath, consider a short length tub, such as our Affinity.  To continue to enjoy a traditional, standard sized bath, consider a full length walk-in bath with a power lift seat, such as our Aventis, to provide assistance getting up and down in the bath.

It varies from bath to bath, but typically the step height of a walk-in bath is 8-9 inches (200-230mm). A plastic, waterproof step can be placed outside the bath to help reduce the step height, just be sure that you can still manage the entry to the bath and place grab rails to assist if required.

As a rough guide if the steps on the stairs are too difficult to manage you will not be able to get along with the step height on a walk-in bath. Instead you would be better off with a walk in shower or wet room.

A textured anti-slip surface on the bath floor helps prevent slips and falls within the bath. For additional support getting up and down in the bath, or entering and exiting the bath, we recommend that grab rails are placed in good positions for required support.

It is also recommended that all walk-in baths are fitted with a thermostatic valve (TMV), which regulates the hot water temperature at 40 degrees. As you must sit inside a walk-in bath whilst it fills, the TMV is an important safety feature to prevent scalds and burns from hot water.

Outside the bath anti-slip flooring is recommended to provide additional safety when using the walk-in bath.

Your walk-in bath can be enhanced with the addition of an air spa, which provides the pleasurable massaging effect of fine bubbles. Different speeds provide a different intensity of spa experience. Many people find a bath spa provides relief from arthritis and rheumatic pain, although it should be noted there is no hard-scientific proof to support this, and results vary from person to person.

Adding chromotherapy can help improve mood and restore well being. The coloured lights may promote stress relief, aid relaxation and even help with a good night's sleep. Like an air spa there is no hard evidence it works, but a lot of people have found it useful enough for it to now be offered as an option on many baths.

For help getting up and down in the bath, consider a full-length walk-in bath with a power lifting seat. The power seat is not available on every model of walk-in bath, so when making enquiries be sure to ask or check the website for which baths come with this.

The walk-in bath can be fitted with a choice of either bath filler mixer (BFM) taps or bath shower mixer (BSM) taps. The main advantage of the bath shower mixer is that it will not only fill your bath but also offers a shower attachment on a hose, which makes washing your hair easier as well as cleaning out the bath afterwards.

Installing a walk-in bath

To install a walk-in bath you need a good fitter who understands the different requirements. For example, a walk-in bath needs to be fitted totally level on a solid surface.

Problems with leaking can result if these vital fitting details are ignored. Which is why bringing a specialist fitter, such as Absolute Mobility, on board will ensure your walk-in bath is fitted correctly and does not leak.

Absolute Mobility are accessible bathing experts with over ten years experience installing walk-in baths, so you can be assured your investment will be in safe hands.

To remove the old bath:

  • a line of tiles above the bath will have to be removed
  • the bath panel will come off to provide access to the plumbing
  • the water feed to the taps are disconnected and capped off
  • the old bath is removed and disposed.

The new walk-in bath is then fitted with the taps at the same end as the old bath. Or, if obstructions such as basins or wc's at one end of the bath need avoiding, the bath can be configured the other way. Plumbing work will be involved to fit the taps at the other end, as well as ensuring the waste outlet is connected properly.

Once the bath is installed and connected the bathroom will need finishing to make the row of removed tiles more presentable. This is done by either re-tiling the whole wall or choosing some other finishing option.

In cases where the new bath does not match the exact foot print of the tub that has been removed, the flooring will need replacing to tidy the appearance up. Of course, some people choose to have the whole bathroom refurbished, to ensure everything is tidied up and matching.

Where a short length, sit in tub is fitted, the height will be higher than a standard bath and the length shorter than a standard bath. The wall exposed by the shorter length, can be either tiled and the flooring covered or the exposed area can be covered by box work. Some baths have matching optional infill panels to extend the length of the bath into the void left by a full-length walk-in bath.

The new walk-in bath will need to be fitted to a level surface, so work is also required to ensure the floor is totally level.  The bath is then connected to the existing water feed and waste outlet, sometimes with a bit of work required to ensure the bath connections correctly meet the existing plumbing.

The work required to install a walk-in bath can be done in a day or two. If more work is required in the bathroom, such as replacing a WC and basin, flooring, tiling or cladding walls etc, the work can take longer. A new walk-in bath as part of a bathroom refurbishment can take a week or two.

Absolute Mobility offer a fitting and installation service, which means your new walk-in bath is installed by competent experts in the field. With over ten years experience with walk-in baths, we know exactly what to do when installing a walk-in bath so you can be assured it will be fitted without any problems.  What’s more all backed up by a 12 months installation guarantee.

We also offer a supply only service on our walk-in baths, so you can order a bath direct and arrange your own fitting with a plumber of your choice. If you decide to do this, you will be responsible for all aspects of the project including assuring yourself that a walk-in bath meets your mobility needs. When choosing a plumber, make sure you pick a good, competent plumber, who understands walk-in baths and will take care to install it correctly, ensuring it is totally level and fitted with a thermostatic valve (TMV) - your plumber will need to check you water system is compatible with a TMV.

Enquire about a walk-in bath

If you're interested in a walk-in bath, please feel free to get in touch with Absolute Mobility today on 0800 2922 110 or by sending us an enquiry.

At Absolute Mobility we have been trading for 10 years, installing walk-in baths, easy access showers and wet rooms so whatever you decide to do with your bathroom, we can design, supply and install it for you.

Walk In Baths

Easy access and guaranteed leak-proof doors, plus all our disabled baths come with thermostatic temperature control.

walk in baths

Walk In Showers

Affordable and luxurious bathing facilities in all kinds of homes, designed and fitted to your requirements.

Stylish Walk In Shower

Wet Rooms

We create and install beautiful bathrooms for people of all mobility levels.  A wet room is a wonderful addition to any home.

accessible wet room with shower seat

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“Very pleased all round, the Luxor walk in bath has proved very easy to use and I have found having the additional shower makes washing my hair mush easier so thank you for your suggestion. My wife is happy with the colour match to our old bathroom suite which was her only concern. All in all we have been very pleased with the service you have offered.”

Mr Roberts – Barnstaple

Chris Brown