One of the most important questions all good walk in tub shoppers ask is: Should I buy a walk in tub with inward swinging doors or outward swinging doors?
And for good reason.
Deciding on the wrong walk in tub door opens a pandoras box of wellness, safety, and health concerns.
You might be thinking how can the way a door opens cause so much trouble?
Picture yourself enjoying a relaxing soak in your beautiful new tub.
Your aches, pains, and stress evaporate with every warm knead from the powerful jets. You feel happier - healthier even.
Suddenly a loud sharp beep pierces through the air, jerking you back to reality. SHIT! You left the oven on. You frantically pull the lever up but the door won't open!
In your panic you forgot one important detail, walk in tubs with inward swinging doors have to be drained before the door can open.
I know this is an unlikely scenario, but the issue of no emergency exit remains the same.
Now I'm not trying to scare you away from walk in tubs with inward swinging doors, but rather bring up an important issue with walk in tubs that most shoppers don't know about and how to avoid it.
Besides not being able to get out during an emergency, walk in tub owners found themselves trapped inside after slipping off the seat.
It's rather uncomfortable to imagine getting wedged in the footwell behind the door with no way of getting out. But it can happen to any of us.
If you're still not convinced inward swinging doors are potentially dangerous, picture a loved one trapped in the tub for hours because the drain wasn't working.
Similarly, inward swinging doors make it extremely difficult for EMT's to get anyone trapped in the tub out.
One simple and effective way to increase your safety while soaking in the tub is to keep a cell phone at arms length. This way, in case of an emergency, help is a phone call away.
In addition to keeping a cell phone nearby, letting a loved one or a care taker know you're in the tub is an excellent way to have help nearby in case of an emergency or a sudden urge for a drink.
Similarly adding a non-slip adhesive to the walk in tub seat prevents you from slipping off the seat.
The safest option is getting a walk in tub with outward swinging doors. In the case of an emergency you can easily get out of the tub with a firm push.
Of course this means turning your bathroom into a pool, but that's an easy price to pay considering it's an emergency.
Similarly, outward swinging doors are not effected by the water pressure, making it nearly impossible for the door to jam on.
Unfortunately the safer option is also more expensive. Walk in tubs with Outward swinging doors sell, on average for a little over $5,000.
The increased safety coupled with ease of access makes outward swinging doors perfect for anyone looking to buy a tub, care givers included.
So whether you're in a wheelchair or have difficulty walking, the wider doorway and shorter tub threshold make getting into your tub easier than ever.
A huge concern about Outward swinging doors is accidentally opening the door when the tub is full. Although that's a possibility, it's unlikely since the door can't be opened unless you unlock it.
An easy way to avoid a huge mess is to steer clear of the lever. Unless of course there's an emergency and you have to get out.
Another concern that's often neglected is water dripping from the door. Now this might not sound dangerous, but the little puddles pose a huge fall risk. Nothing an old towel or bathmat can't fix.
Aging in place is spending your days in the home you worked so hard to build. It's living in your home comfortably, independently, and safely. But that requires remodeling your home to suit your needs as you mature.
CAPS, CGR, GMB
"Moving to a typical assisted-living facility can cost up to $60,000 annually. The cost to widen the bathroom door, put in safety bars, and add a roll-in shower would typically cost about $6,000 to $8,000, but doing so is a one-time expense, not a yearly drain on your finances."
The last thing you want is an expensive walk in tub preventing you from bathing. That's why it's important to consider features like outward swinging doors and how they'll effect you later.
Whenever we're asked if a walk in tub is worth it, we always have the same response, it depends.
We'll get more into that in another post, but the three most important takeaways are
Your answers to these questions are a clear indication on whether to go ahead and buy or forget about it. You want a walk in tub to make it easier to live independently in your own home, not harder.
Accidents happen. Don't let that scare you from gaining your independence.
Buying a walk in tub shouldn't be taken lightly. Do your research and most importantly make your final decision based on your needs and not what the salesman says.
If you're shopping for a walk in tubs consider buying one with outward swinging doors. The higher price tag is worth it in the end.
A friend of mine once told me "You can't put a price on an emergency exit". I laughed when she said it, but she was right on the money.
By ensuring there's an emergency exit, you can easily escape dangerous situations. Similarly taking necessary measures like keeping a cellphone close means help is a touch screen away.
* Increased safety
* Wider entrance
* Easier access for anyone with mobility issues
* Not effected by tub water pressure
* More expensive
* Takes up more space
* Fewer options to choose from
* Many options to choose from
* Takes up less space
* Potentially dangerous
* Risk of getting trapped
* Tub door can't be opened till the tub is drained
* Narrow entrance
What frustrates you the most about walk in tubs? Is it the price? or maybe it's the health risks? Are you a cat person or a dog person?
Let us know in the comments.