Walk-in bathtubs are designed to make bathing easier and safer for seniors and others with mobility issues. They range from basic “soaker” models to luxury units with spa-like features.
All walk-in tubs aren’t created equal—and the same goes for the overall cost of the bath. After all, there’s more to the total walk-in tub’s cost than the price of the tub. You must also consider installation costs, including necessary bathroom renovations and plumbing adjustments.
The Cost of the Walk-In Tub Itself
The prices of walk-in tubs range from about $2,000 for a basic soaker to as much as $20,000 for a two-person tub offering a spa-like experience. Walk-in tub cost is determined mainly by features and materials. For example, many lower-priced soaker walk-in tubs are made with fiberglass that’s sprayed with a gel coating.
Meanwhile, more expensive walk-in tubs are typically made with acrylic, a material that holds up better over time. Lower-end models are also likely to have inward-swinging doors that can inhibit maneuvering inside. And if you want a spa-like experience or a roomier tub, you’ll pay more for those features.
As for where to buy your tub, you can purchase it directly from the manufacturer. But you can also purchase from a walk-in tub dealer, home improvement store or even online. You may even be able to purchase your walk-in tub from the contractor or home remodeling company you hire to install. Check our guide to pick the best walk-in tub for you.
How Much Does It Cost to Install a Walk-In Tub?
Walk-in tub installation generally ranges from $2,000 to $10,000, according to TubToday, a general contractor in Chicago, Illinois who has installed dozens of walk-in tubs. Installation costs depend on a number of factors, –for example, most walk-in tubs have a 60-gallon capacity, yet most traditional water heaters are only 50 gallons.
So, costs could include upgrading to a tankless water heater, which has an average cost (including installation) from around $1,400 to over $2,000, according to HomeGuide, a homeowner resource. The cost for additional installation labor varies greatly, depending on how much work is needed. According to Garrett, here are factors that can bump up installation cost:
- Clearing drain blockage or replacing inadequate drain piping so water drains faster—many walk-in tubs come with a fast-drain feature but clogs or faulty piping can still slow drainage ($250 to $2,500)
- Replacing or moving water supply hardware ($500 to $2,500)
- New tile or drywall installed to replace wall damage caused when accessing water supply lines ($1,000 to $5,000)
- New flooring or tile due to walk-in tub dimensions that are different from the old tub ($500 to $3,500)
- Widening the bathroom door or other renovations to accommodate installing a walk-in tub, which averages around 28 to 32 inches in width and 3½ feet high ($1,500 to $3,500)
Walk-in tub features that raise the price are generally those that make the bathing experience more comfortable, safer or add luxury elements. Those features may include:
- Custom grab bars or textured floor
- Fast filling and draining
- Outward-swinging door
- Handheld shower head
- Larger, deeper tubs
- Heated backrest
- Water jets and/or air jets
- Chromatherapy (light therapy)
- Foot massager