Best walk-in shower-tub combos

Our favorite shower-tub hybrids are practical solutions for many homeowners

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walk-in shower-tub combination

If you’re a senior living at home and have mobility concerns, you might consider installing a walk-in bathtub. However, if you still want the option of a stand-up shower or if you live with family members who don’t need the accessibility of a walk-in tub, then consider a hybrid model. A combo model can pair the ease and convenience of a shower with the safety and security of a walk-in bathtub.

There are several walk-in bathtubs on the market, but we’ve highlighted two companies, Kohler and Safe Step, that we think have the best shower-tub combos.

Our picks for walk-in shower-tub combos

Compare our top 2 picks

Highlights
Gooseneck shower arm, frameless bath screen, custom finish options
Dimensions
52 to 60 inches long by 28 to 32 inches wide by 39 inches tall; custom sizes available
Starting cost
$2,500-$15,000

Kohler is a well-known kitchen and bath company and has been in the bathtub design business since 1873. Its tubs are designed and engineered in the U.S., and in 2021 the company began offering a shower package that can be added to any of its existing walk-in bathtub models.

This Hybrid model pairs a traditional soaking tub with a standing shower option featuring a gooseneck shower arm and clear bath screen. Kohler walk-in tubs have one of the lowest threshold heights in the industry, at 3 inches, and all units come with Kohler LuxStone walls with customizable color and texture.

The walk-in bath and shower combo also includes a hand-held shower wand, and for an extra cost, you can add features like grab bars, niche shelving or a corner shelf for storing bath products.

Because the showerhead and screen are fixed to the shower wall and not the tub, they can be used with any unit, ensuring you’ll find an option to fit your space. However, the shower add-on is only available for new installations. If you already have a Kohler walk-in bathtub, you won’t be able to retrofit it with a shower, since all plumbing and electrical work must be done at the same time.

Many Kohler reviewers on our site report high-quality luxury products and loyalty to the brand. “I’ve used Kohler products for decades. They have such great products, and I've never had an issue with them,” James from Michigan said in a review on our site. “When I bought a walk-in bath, the sales reps were really informative. After I told them what I wanted, they knew exactly what it was and offered me a bunch of options that I didn't even know were available.”

Highlights
Rainfall and handheld showerheads can be used at the same time
Dimensions
60 inches long by 32 inches wide by 38 inches tall
Starting cost
In-home consultation is required for a price quote

Safe Step is a domestic manufacturer that was established in 2008 and is headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee. The company specializes in walk-in tubs, showers and accessories and serves customers in the U.S. and Canada.

Safe Step’s Hybrid tub can be ordered with custom features like quick draining, an anti-slip floor and seat, a 4-inch threshold height, wide entry doors and a rapid-fill faucet. The Hybrid model features a rainfall showerhead that can be used at the same time as the hand-held showerhead without compromising water pressure, so you don’t have to choose between the two when bathing.

The showerhead is connected directly to the tub faucet on the walk-in tub and can be added to any of Safe Step’s soaking tub models. However, it does not come with an installed shower screen, so you’ll need to use a traditional curtain to keep the water contained when using the shower.

Reviewers on our site love Safe Step for the convenience and safety features as well as the therapeutic effects. A reviewer on our site, Carrie from Colorado, got a walk-in tub combo. “My experience with them went very well. My favorite feature is the tub itself, being able to sit in there with the jets. The installers did a fantastic job too. I would highly recommend it,” she said.

Walk-in shower-tub combo costs

A shower-tub combo is slightly more expensive than a standard walk-in tub due to the additional hardware and plumbing requirements. Neither Kohler nor Safe Step offer quotes online or over the phone, and you’ll need an in-home consultation to receive an estimate.

During your free consultation, a technician will take measurements to see what models will fit into your existing space and determine your installation needs, which vary from home to home. Kohler guarantees the price you receive at your consultation will be the exact price you pay after installation. Safe Step guarantees its quotes for up to one year.

Walk-in shower-tub combo sizes

An average-sized walk-in tub measures 60 inches long by 32 inches wide, but both companies can install the shower upgrade to a soaking tub of any size. The main difference between the two is that the Kohler showerhead and screen are installed directly onto the shower wall, while the Safe Step showerhead is fixed to the tub spout and then extends up.

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FAQ

How much does installation cost for a walk-in shower-tub combo?

Installation costs for a walk-in tub compared with a walk-in shower-tub combo won’t differ too much, but neither company will provide an estimate on this without an in-home consultation. Several factors will influence your total installation costs, like whether you need to reroute plumbing and update electrical systems, revise the layout of your bathroom, relocate the drain or install new flooring and tiles.

Do walk-in shower-tub combos increase the value of your home?

This answer depends on a few factors. For instance, if you only have one bathroom in your home, a walk-in tub may be a drawback to buyers. However, adding a standing shower option could help a potential buyer overlook the disadvantages of this tub.

On the other hand, if you live in a community that’s popular with seniors, a feature like a walk-in shower-tub combo could actually be a selling point and may help you find a buyer. As with any home remodel, you’ll want to carefully weigh the costs and benefits of installing a walk-in tub before making a decision.

What are some alternatives to walk-in shower-tub combos?

If you have the space in your bathroom, you could install both a walk-in tub and a separate shower. Or, if you have two bathrooms, you can put in a standard walk-in tub in one and a shower or walk-in shower in the other. If you’re on a tight budget and buying a new walk-in tub isn’t an option, you could try an alternative, like using a shower chair or bench or installing grab bars.

Bottom line

More and more, seniors want to spend their leisure years in the comfort of their own homes, and installing a walk-in tub gives many the freedom to do just that. However, for those who still want the option to shower or those who live with someone who doesn't need the safety features of a walk-in tub, a shower-walk-in tub combo can be the perfect solution.


Article sources

ConsumerAffairs writers primarily rely on government data, industry experts and original research from other reputable publications to inform their work. Specific sources for this article include:

  1. Kohler, “Common Types of Walk-In Tubs.” Accessed May 14, 2024.
  2. Kohler, “Walk-In Bathtub Dimensions.” Accessed May 14, 2024.
  3. Safe Step Walk-In Tub, “Walk-In Tub Dimensions.” Accessed May 14, 2024.
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