Among older adults, falls are a leading cause of injuries and deaths. At home, falls can occur entering or leaving the bathtub. Walk-in tubs are a potential solution. Common features include slip-resistant flooring, stabilization bars and low-height steps. Our partners at ConsumerAffairs researched the best walk-in tub companies in Cleveland to make your bathing experience safer.
Over 1 in 10 residents in Cleveland are 65 or older, with 40 percent living alone and 47 percent having a disability, according to the city. Ward 5, which includes MidTown, Central, Kinsman and parts of downtown, has the highest concentration of seniors living alone. While seniors live across Cleveland, a large number live in the eastern part of the city in older homes with fewer accommodations for safety.
Walk-in tubs offer easier and safer access for those with reduced mobility and disabilities. Standard features include shower seats, a textured, slip-resistant floor and hand stabilization bars. Some have water heaters and regulators that prevent scalding. Most have short entry steps, hand-held shower heads and higher water depth for soaking.
Suppliers will visit your home to assess your space and provide price quotes. Here are choices for walk-in tubs in Cleveland:
Type of tub
Basic model with shower seat, grab bars, leak-proof entry door and fast draining
Has water jets similar to hot tubs or spas; heaters maintain tub water temperature
Uses whirlpool-style air jets to aid breathing and clear sinuses
Whirlpool-style water jets soothe joint or muscle pain, may stimulate circulatory and immune systems.
Accommodates obese individuals with wider entryway and larger tub and seat
Entry door swings outward, allowing easy movement from wheelchair to shower seat
Has both air and water jets
The cost of buying and installing varies widely based on the type of walk-in tub, its features, whether removal of an existing unit is necessary and any modifications. Costs in Cleveland range from $1,700 to over $30,000, with basic models costing $1,800 to $2,500. Suppliers may offer financing options and buyers may consider a home equity loan for costly tubs.
Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance provide coverage only in rare circumstances. Medicare, in rare circumstances, will reimburse the purchaser if the tub is considered a medical necessity. Medicaid has similar requirements governing coverage of walk-in tubs.
Tubs should be professionally installed. One-day installation is possible for basic projects. Any separation or cracks along the edges should be serviced promptly. Basic cleaning involves regularly using a liquid cleaning agent to wipe down surfaces and rinsing thoroughly. Any major issues should be covered by a lifetime warranty, but be certain to ask about any exceptions.
Walk-in tubs from Safe Step are customizable and manufactured in the U.S. Each tub is subjected to a “14-Point Quality Control Inspection” to ensure it meets high standards. An extensive lifetime warranty gives consumers peace of mind. Customer reviews suggest that the company appeals to those seeking higher-end quality rather than low prices.
Designed with comfort and safety, Kohler Walk-In Bath features a wide door and ultra-low step-in to make bath entry easy. Hydrotherapy jets target the legs, feet and spine while neck, shoulder and back surfaces are heated for warmth and comfort. Customer reviews say that sales reps are professional and installation went smoothly.
Offering a line of more than 60 models costing between $4,500 and $10,000, American Standard brings customers a wide selection of quality walk-in tubs with whirlpool, quick drain and light therapy options. Customers in Cleveland love the walk-in tubs’ massage features, saying they make for a relaxing soak, but some people report issues in homes with older water heaters.