It makes sense for people to downsize at a certain point in their lives. We’ve noticed a trend of seniors moving into mobile and modular homes over the last few years — if you or a loved one has decided to age in place in one of these homes, installing a walk-in bathtub can be a good safety measure.
A walk-in tub has a door on the front that swings open to let the bather enter without stepping over the side. Walk-in tubs also have a seat inside, so a person with limited mobility or balance issues can sit while bathing.
Can a walk-in tub be installed in a mobile home?
Several walk-in tub models are available for installation in mobile homes. Some models are portable and available for DIY installation. Other tub models require professional installation.
Either way, the process isn’t too different from installing a walk-in tub in any other house. You still need to check your measurements and make sure your existing plumbing can supply enough hot water and accommodate any extra drainage. RVs and trailers often don’t have large enough doors to fit a standard walk-in tub, but many mobile, prefabricated and modular homes do. Here are a few major considerations to keep in mind:
- How big is your door? You must have a standard door size (28 by 80 inches); otherwise the tub won’t fit through the opening. Unfortunately, many trailers and campers don’t have wide enough door openings to fit a tub. However, manufactured and prefabricated homes often do.
- Do you own your home and the land it’s on? For professional installation, usually you must own your home and the land it’s on. Renters can still get a walk-in tub if they have their landlord’s permission. If you don’t own the home, your landlord must be present for the consultation and installation.
- Are you married? If you're married, most professional installers also require both spouses be present for the in-home estimate.
Not everyone’s home is an ideal candidate for walk-in tub installation, but there are other ways to make bathrooms safer for seniors. For more information, read our guides on finding the right shower chair or safety grab bars.
Find the best walk-in tubs for mobile homes
When shopping for a walk-in tub, consider safety and comfort features first. Anti-slip surfaces and safety grab bars are important because they provide extra support. Look for a low-step threshold to ease entry and exit, especially if you have mobility challenges or stiff joints.
Most tubs come in standard sizes, though some brands offer custom dimensions to provide a better fit for mobile home bathrooms. A free consultation is a great perk because it gives you an opportunity to understand the installation process before you buy. We also suggest looking for outward-opening doors, heating features and therapy jets:
- Outward opening doors: Outward opening doors make it a little easier to get in and out of the tub without having to step around the door. In a mobile home, the bathroom might not have enough clearance for the door to swing outwards.
- Free consultation: Many companies often offer a free in-home consultation to evaluate the space and ensure the tub will fit. Find out early if your tub requires custom dimensions to fit in a mobile home — this could increase costs.
- Heated seats and headrest: The surfaces of a walk-in tub can get cold, so quality tubs come standard with heating coils to maintain the water temperature. Look for a model with heated seats and headrests to increase comfort, especially while the tub fills and drains. (Look for a quick drain and fill system to lessen the time you spend waiting in the tub.)
- Therapy features: Therapy features can make the walk-in tub experience feel more like a spa. If you have arthritic pain, poor circulation or lower back pain, look for a tub with massaging jets. Those with depression, anxiety and insomnia might benefit from a tub with chromotherapy features, such as underwater LED lights.
Our picks for mobile home walk-in tub installation
The ConsumerAffairs research team wanted to find the top-rated companies that offer walk-in tub installations for mobile homes. To do this, we first ranked all the companies on our walk-in tub guide by overall satisfaction rating. We then analyzed review data and verified the availability of services to confirm which top-rated companies have experience installing their products in mobile homes.
Safe Step Walk-in Tubs
Safe Step offers walk-in tubs, walk-in showers and hybrid tub/shower combos. Each walk-in tub comes with a low step-in threshold, two grab bars, anti-scald technology and anti-slip flooring. Convenience features include a hand-held shower wand and an easy-reach waterproof remote control. Tubs also come with an ozone water cleaning system to prevent bacteria buildup. Custom dimensions are available if one of the three standard sizes doesn't fit in your mobile home. When you get a quote, keep in mind that the price includes installation.
American Standard Walk-in Tubs
Standard safety features are built into each American Standard tub, including an ADA-compliant seat, anti-slip floors, durable grab bars and an ultra-low threshold. Options include quick drain technology, up to 44 air and water jets, built-in aromatherapy systems, a hand-held shower wand and simple touch controls. A representative will come to your mobile home for a free evaluation and quote. Pricing includes professional installation.
Kohler Walk-in Baths
Kohler's walk-in tubs come with standard safety features and a range of optional upgrades. Fast drain technology minimizes waiting time and is activated by an accessible lever. We also like that the hand-held shower wand has three settings. Luxury features include a heated headrest and backrest, hydrotherapy jets and bubble massage jets. Call for a free in-home consultation and quote (includes professional installation in the cost). Financing is available.
Frequently asked questions
- How much does it cost to install a walk-in tub in a mobile home?
- The cost to install a walk-in tub typically ranges from $4,000 to $8,500. Companies that bundle the cost of the tub with installation services start around $10,000. If your mobile home requires a walk-in tub with custom dimensions, expect to pay more.
- Will Medicare help pay for it?
- No, walk-in tubs are not covered by Medicare because they are not considered durable medical equipment. If you have private insurance, check with your provider to find out if they will cover it. In some states, Medicaid programs provide home improvement grants for low-income seniors to age in place, which could help cover the costs of installing a walk-in tub.
- How many gallons does a walk-in tub hold?
- Walk-in tubs hold anywhere from 40 to 80 gallons. They have greater capacity than traditional tubs, which can usually hold up to about 50 gallons or less.
- What size water heater do you need for a walk-in tub?
- You need at least a 50-gallon water heater. Considering most mobile homes are built with smaller water heaters, you might need to replace it before installing a walk-in tub.
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