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Recommended Step In Bathtub Features

You can really go hog wild with all the bells and whistles that can be added to a step in bathtub, also known as a walk in bathtub or handicap bathtub. But some features are more critical than others.


Below you’ll find a list of the most important features you should order for your step in bathtub as well as some fun options that would turn your tub into an oasis that would make even the best spas blush:

Essential Step In Tub Features

Easy walk-in access – make sure that the door panel is wide enough so that you can easily walk in and out of the tub.

Locking airtight door panel – this will ensure there are no water leaks. The manufacturer should offer a lifetime warranty on the door seals.

Power seat – essential if you’re using a wheelchair. It can be raised and lowered for convenience. Get one that swivels as well.

Anti-slip contoured seating – you’ll want to be as comfortable as possible when bathing and not float out of the seat. This will also make it easier for you to hold yourself upright.

Grab bars – you’ll need them to help you keep your balance and to prevent you from falling. Add extra grab bars, if needed. Also, don’t make the mistake of installing those crappy grab bars that attach by using suction cups. What idiot thought of that?!

Handheld sprayer – this will allow you to wet your head, shoulders and upper body.

Thermostatic temperature control – this will ensure that the water won’t get scalding hot. It’ll also allow you to keep the water at a steady comfortable temperature. Many manufacturers of step in tubs add this control to the handheld sprayer for convenience.

Anti-slip floors – water will make the inside of the walk in tub slippery. So check with the manufacturer to ensure that the bathtub floor is made of skid-resistant material.

Strong support frame – if the step in bathtub shell doesn’t have a support frame, it will eventually buckle and crack over time. The best frames are made of stainless steel. The worst case is no frame, followed closely by one that is made of untreated plywood.


Strongly Recommended Step In Bathtub Options

Emergency entrance/exit switch – if the bather gets ill while sitting in a full tub of water, there needs to be a fast way to get them out in the event of an emergency. Having a switch that would release the door would be a huge plus. This may not be a big deal if the door opens outward. But doors that open inward are at a disadvantage because the pressure from the water is helping to keep the door sealed.

Custom access door – the step in bathtub door should be as easy to operate as possible. To help with this, manufacturers can hang the door to accommodate a left or right handed user.

Nice To Have Handicap Bathtub Accessories

Hydrotherapy system – this means that air and water jets are used to circulate the water and help in the healing process. Doctors have been known to prescribe hydrotherapy to treat a host or traumas and pains. But the massaging and whirlpool power of it will make just about anyone feel pretty darn good.

Aromatherapy system – some people enjoy being surrounded by the scents from essential healing oils. It’s a popular thing in fancy spas.

Chromotherapy system – some people swear that color and light can heal. I don’t know. It’s another option for taking your bathing experience to a whole new level.

Shower – all step in bathtubs have handheld sprayers, but many designs also have the option of adding a shower curtain and elevated showerhead. Better step in bathtubs with shower models even have separate controls for the bathtub faucet and the shower (or sprayer), and each can have a different water temperature. This would be a nice feature because the head and face are a bit more sensitive to hot water.

Secondary door drain – this a drain that is located just outside the door panel. So when you open the door outward, any excess water will drip into this drain rather than onto your floor. In can also serve as an emergency drain. 

So now you have an idea of how you can accessorize your walk in tub. No doubt, there are probably more features and options available. Just ask the step In bathtub seller or manufacturer.