Walk-in Baths: Practical & Pleasurable
If you’re considering installing a walk-in bath in your home, you’ve come to the right place. Whether you or a family member has reduced mobility, or you’re simply looking to enhance your everyday quality of life, walk-in baths makes bathing easy, safe and enjoyable.
What is a Walk-in Bath?
Walk-in baths comprise a bath with a built-in door, allowing easy access to the bathtub. They’re a wonderful way to reduce the physical effort required for bathing, especially for people with restricted mobility or movement issues. Walk-in baths can be low and long like a traditional bath tub, or taller and similar to a shower enclosure.
The Benefits of a Walk-in Bath
A walk-in bath offers many advantages when it comes to addressing the needs of users who are less mobile. The first (and perhaps most obvious) benefit is the built-in door. Opening outwards or inwards, depending on which model you select, this feature allows effort-free access to the bathtub. Walk-in bathtub design has improved dramatically in recent years, with large levers and ugly seals a thing of the past, so you can enjoy the practical benefits without compromising on style.
Taller walk-in baths are an optimum height to offer hand support when stepping into (and out of) the bath itself, as opposed to ordinary, low bath tubs where leaning is involved for any means of support. If falling is a concern, this is certainly an attractive feature.
As well as simple safety features such as a non-slip surface, most walk-in baths have stools or seats built in to increase the user’s comfort and feeling of security. Some models include seats which can be raised and lowered at the touch of a button, for the perfect way to enjoy bathing without the effort.
Reduces the physical effort required for bathing
Built-in door, allowing easy access to the bathtub
Add an element of luxury to your everyday bathing experience
The Different Models of Walk-in Baths
When it comes to selecting your walk-in bath, there are various styles available. Which one is right for you depends very much on your physical needs, personal taste and also the space available in your bathroom. Upright baths have a smaller footprint and therefore take up far less floor space, which is ideal if your bathroom is on the small side.
A choice of inward- and outward-opening doors is available, too. The inward-facing option is generally considered the most effective, as the seal is enhanced by the weight of the water. With an outward-opening door, the water puts far more strain on the seal.
Most models feature fully-supported seats which allow the user to sit in comfort as they bathe. Taller walk-in baths are particularly beneficial here, as the water level reaches higher up the body.
Walk-in Bath vs Level Access Tray
It’s understandable if at first, you struggle to justify the expense of a walk-in bath. After all, the cost is significant. When it comes to exploring alternatives, you’ll likely consider a shower with a level access tray. Level access trays, where the shower tray itself is level with the floor, mean there’s no step up into the shower cubicle so physical exertion is kept to a minimum.
However, you’ll also need to stand for the duration of your shower or purchase a stool or chair which, even with safety features, can be awkward to use. Sticking with a shower also means you can’t lie down and be fully immersed in warm water, which is one of the most pleasurable aspects of bathing.
Additional Features: Safety First
When getting older, many of us experience reduced sensitivity in the skin, particularly around the feet and hands. Therefore when dealing with hot running water, safety is the ultimate concern. The simple addition of a thermostatic mixing valve (TMV) to your walk-in bath taps avoids any danger of scalding the skin. This device can be set to your preferred temperature for worry-free bathing.
Giving You a Lift
Lifting equipment is another popular feature that many consider when choosing a walk-in bath. Usually, this comprises a seat and an electronic mechanism which lowers the user gently down into the water. Alongside the practical advantages of not having to negotiate a slippery floor, a seat which moves up and down can also provide that delicious feeling of sinking into soothing warm water. With an ordinary walk-in bath, one sits as the tub fills with water.
Your Personal At-Home Spa
With most models of walk-in bath, it’s possible to add features such as an airpool or whirlpool. These release jets of water to bring physical comfort and relief to aching muscles and joints. Not only that, it offers mental relaxation, too. It’s the perfect way to add an element of luxury to your everyday bathing experience and enhance your overall quality of life.