In addition, walk in bathtubs have unique designs and must be outfitted with a swinging door that has to be watertight. But not to worry, there are plenty of walk in tubs to meet most budgets.
So how much does a walk in tub cost?
Traditional bathtubs cost somewhere in the $300 range and can skyrocket to $3,500 or more on the luxury end. By comparison, basic walk in tubs prices will be in the $1,500 – $3000 range. However, walk in tubs prices can easily catapult to $10,000 or more when you add-on water jets, aromatherapy and all the other bells and whistles. And don’t forget to include installation which can increase costs further if additional plumbing, flooring and wiring are required. Plus the old tub has to be ripped out.
That’s the bad news.
The good news about walk in tubs prices
The good news is that when you’re purchasing a walk in bathtub, you can negotiate with the retailer or manufacturer and many will offer deep price discounts. So don’t just go with their listed price. Like furniture, there is a huge mark-up on walk in tubs prices. If one retailer or manufacturer won’t bend on price, then move on to the next.
In addition, if you’re a military veteran or member of a particular group or association such as AARP, you may be eligible for favorable discounting as well. So be sure to ask the seller.
Another possible way to get the tub at a lower price is to not even bother with talking to the retailer. Just go directly to the manufacturer. Not all them will sell directly to you, but some will.
Having said all this, don’t just scan the various walk in bathtubs prices and base your buying decision solely on that factor. Here’s why. Some walk in tubs are made of low quality fiberglass whereas others are made of much higher quality acrylic. Some tubs may also be reinforced with a strong stainless steel frame and others may not. So if you aren’t diligent, you could end up with an inexpensive tub that’s a heap of junk. Even worse, it could pose a danger.
If you can’t pay for the tub in full upfront, you may be able to get it financed. This is especially true if you purchase it from a large retailer. They will more than likely offer a financing prgram that will allow you to pay for the tub over time.
The USDA Rural Development Program provides loans and grants to low and moderate income families for necessary home improvements. If you live in a rural area, your walk in tub may meet their strict requirements. To learn more and find out if you qualify, visit their web site at http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/recd_map.html
Finally, you may be able to deduct the cost of the walk in tub on your tax return. The federal goverment may allow a tax deduction for certain necessary equipment that is installed in the home for medical reasons. So consult your tax advisor or visit irs.gov
Will medicare or private health insurance cover the walk in tub cost?
– You can check with Medicare, but in all likelihood they won’t cover walk in bathtubs because they aren’t viewed as “durable medical equipment”. Unlike wheelchairs, nebulizers, and catheters, a walk in bathtub can be used by anyone.
– It can’t hurt to ask your private health insurer either, but they too will likely not cover the costs of a walk in tub. The reason is because a walk in tub will be viewed as an expensive (or perhaps unnecessary) alternative to other lower cost methods of accessible bathing. For example, a handicap bathtub lift costs substantially less.
What type of warranties come with walk in bathtubs?
The degree of warranty coverage will vary greatly from one manufactuer to the next. In addition, the warranty on the tub’s shell may differ from the faucets, motors, valves, swithes, frame and other parts. It’s important that you read all of the small print so that you’ll know exactly what you’re getting.
One manufacturer may provide a one year warranty on everything and another may provide a lifetime warranty. Then, there are other manufacturers that will offer something in between.
If, for example, you find that the warranty on the entire handicap tub and it’s components is only good for one year, you should probably perform additional research on that company before making your purchase. See if you can find any complaints online and check with the Better Business Bureau (bbb.com). (Note: You should really perform this type of research for any company whose product you’re thinking of purchasing. After all, this is a substantial investment.)
In summary, here’s what you should do. First, determine the type of walk in bathtub you require. Second, identify the essential features that it must contain. Third, determine if you want to go with a less expensive fiberglass tub or more expensive acrylic tub. Then, compare walk in tubs prices for the models that meet all or most of your requirements.