Walk-in tub statistics 2023

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    walk-in tub

    A walk-in tub is a bathtub that has an entry door with a seat inside. Walk-in tubs are a great option for those who want to improve accessibility and comfort when bathing. Understanding the facts about walk-in tubs will help you make the best decision about whether this type of bathtub is best for you.

    Key walk-in-tub statistics

    • Walk-in tub prices can ultimately span anywhere from $2,000 to $20,000.
    • A DIY installation can save around $700 to $3,000 in labor.
    • Falls at home and at work caused 42,114 deaths in 2020.
    • 88% of older adults between ages 50 and 80 said it is important to them that they live in their homes as long as possible.

    Walk-in tub statistics

    The walk-in tub market in the United States is growing due to increased demand for technologically advanced bath therapies in hospitality, healthcare, spas and wellness centers, as well as for personal use in homes. The market is also growing significantly due to an aging population and higher rates of obesity

    The U.S. walk-in bathtub market was valued at $757.26 million in 2022 and is anticipated to grow to $941.61 million by 2028, which makes for a compound annual growth rate of 3.7%.

    • It is projected that the number of Americans ages 65 and older will more than double over the next 40 years, reaching 80 million in 2040.
    • The number of adults ages 85 and older is expected to nearly quadruple between 2000 and 2040.
    • Given these aging trends, there will be a growing number of adults who desire to “age in place” by continuing to live out their lives at home and modifying their homes to fit their needs.

    According to a study by the University of Michigan, 88% of older adults between ages 50 and 80 said it is important to them that they live in their homes as long as possible, and 48% of older adults who live alone said they don’t have someone in their lives to help them with personal care such as bathing and dressing if needed.

    As the average cost of a private room in a nursing home can reach well over $100,000, aging in place is a more cost-effective approach for many seniors.

    Many home updates typically need to be made for aging in place to be a viable living situation for seniors, including safety modifications to entryways and hallways, changing the placement of cabinets and seating in kitchens and making bathrooms more accessible with additions like walk-in tubs and showers.

    It’s estimated that the aging-in-place and home care markets are worth approximately $151 billion per year, with the aging-in-place sector making up $60 billion of that estimate.

    Types of walk-in tubs

    There are a few different types of walk-in tubs. The type of walk-in tub you select will be based on your budget, space, mobility/accessibility needs and personal preference.

    • The traditional soaker is a standard walk-in bathtub design. Its main features include mobility aids like grab bars and safety features like a low-step threshold and textured, non-slip surfaces. Traditional soakers may also include showerheads placed near the faucets that are handheld or raised with adjustable rods. It may not have additional features like water or air jets.
    • Combination walk-in tubs are tubs combined with a full shower. These tubs offer the option to bathe or shower while standing or seated.
    • Hydrotherapy/aerotherapy tubs provide water jets (hydro) or air jets (aero) that add a massage-like feeling to baths. There are walk-in tubs that provide one, the other or both.
    • Two-seater tubs are designed for two people to use at the same time. These tubs are ideal for older adults who desire more tub space to bathe, couples who bathe together and those with limited mobility who need active assistance with bathing.
    • Bariatric tubs are designed for larger individuals. These tubs have wider entry doors and seats.
    • Wheelchair-accessible tubs have wide door openings and grab bars for easy transition from the wheelchair to the seated tub.

    Most popular features

    Some of the most popular features of walk-in tubs include:

    • Safety features: Many walk-in tubs follow the accessibility standards outlined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Handrails, grab bars, non-slip surfaces, anti-scald valves, low step-in entry and easy control panels can aid mobility and accessibility, reducing the risk of falls and injury.
    • Therapeutic features: Water and air jets provide a massage-like sensation that can relieve muscle and joint pain and improve circulation. Heated seats can also provide relief for achy muscles and promote relaxation. Finally, chromotherapy lighting (multicolor LED lights) can help reduce stress and improve mood.
    • Fill/drainage features: Walk-in tubs can take up to eight minutes to fill and 15 minutes to drain, increasing the time spent in the tub waiting for water to fill or recede. However, many walk-in tub models offer quick-fill and quick-drain features that reduce fill and drain times to a few minutes or less.
    • Shower features: Handheld or adjustable showerheads, as well as walk-in tubs that offer a full shower, can provide different options for bathing preferences, promote ease of bathing and encourage relaxation.
    • Size features: Bariatric and wheelchair-accessible tubs have wider door openings for easy accessibility, and bariatric tubs have wider seats as well.

    Cost statistics

    Walk-in tub prices can ultimately span anywhere from $2,000 to $20,000, depending on the type of tub you buy, the added features you want and whether you use professional installation services or handle the installation yourself. Installation costs can range from $700 to $3,000, with an average cost of around $1,500.

    Some additional costs to potentially factor in are:

    • Plumbing upgrades may include the cost of materials and up to $200 per hour for labor, resulting in an additional $600 to $1600 in expenses.
    • Electrical work may include the purchase of motors, electrical upgrades and a water heater, along with a cost of up to $100 per hour for labor.
    • Bathroom remodeling costs, including drywall repair, tile replacement and flooring upgrades, may range anywhere from roughly $6,600 to nearly $17,000.

    Installation statistics

    Installation of a walk-in tub can get expensive, so it can be tempting to cut installation costs by installing it yourself. A DIY installation can save around $700 to $3,000 in labor and keep expenses down to just the costs of the walk-in tub itself and needed materials, which can range from around $2,000 to $10,000.

    However, installing a walk-in tub can be a detailed, tedious job that may require work permits, along with considerations of demolition and removal of an old tub, flooring reinforcements to support the new tub, properly setting and positioning the new tub into place, plumbing needs, electrical updates and other renovation costs.

    Though the potential savings associated with a DIY installation may be attractive, having a contractor or professional walk-in tub installer can ensure that the walk-in tub is installed properly without installation mistakes, which can be of particular concern for installations in older homes.

    Who are walk-in tubs for?

    Walk-in tubs are particularly suitable for older adults and individuals with disabilities. Seated tub options accommodate mobility and accessibility needs, allow for independent bathing and reduce the risk of falls or injury. These tubs are also a good fit for anyone who might benefit from therapeutic or luxury bathing features.

    Fall risk statistics

    Falls are the second most common cause of unintentional, injury-related death among all adults. Falls may cause head injuries, broken bones and hip fractures, and they can lead to hospitalization.

    • Falls at home and at work caused 42,114 deaths in 2020.
    • Nearly seven million people were treated in emergency rooms for fall injuries in 2020, and three million of those people were older adults.
    • About 800,000 people are hospitalized annually for fall-related injuries, and 300,000 older adults are hospitalized annually for hip fractures.
    • Falls are easily preventable, and their likelihood can be reduced with equipment like a walk-in tub. Many walk-in tubs are fitted with multiple ADA-compliant features to reduce fall risk. These features may include handrails, grab bars, non-slip surfaces, low step-in entries and built-in seating.

    Differences between walk-in tubs and walk-in showers

    Walk-in tubs and walk-in showers are safe options for anyone who needs support with mobility or increased accessibility when bathing. The choice of a walk-in tub or walk-in shower is based on personal needs and preferences, but understanding the costs and benefits of each can be helpful in making the best decision for your home.

    Walk-in tubsWalk-in showers
    Price range $2,000 to $20,000 $800 to $15,000
    Accessibility Seated Seated or standing option, depending on the model
    Space requirements About 12 square feet About 15 square feet
    Professional installation cost $700 to $17,000, depending on installation needs, size and features $750 to $20,000, depending on type of installation, size and features
  • Accessible features like built-in doors and low-step entries
  • Variety of walk-in tub options available
  • Seated bathing
  • Safety features like non-slip flooring and grab bars
  • More depth for bathing
  • Easy to clean
  • Offers safety features like non-slip flooring and grab bars
  • Many options for customization and design
  • Trendy and a good selling point for homes
  • Benefits of walk-in-tubs and walk-in-showers

    Although safety features stand as the primary motivation for the installation of walk-in tubs, these tubs and showers also offer a variety of benefits that can be incorporated to be tailored to the user's preferences.

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      How much does a walk-in tub cost?

      The cost of walk-in tubs can range from $2,000 to $20,000. The amount you’ll spend on a walk-in tub varies by tub type, features and whether you choose to install the tub yourself or have it professionally installed.

      How much is walk-in tub installation?

      The cost of walk-in tub installation can range from $700 to $3,000, and it averages around $1,500. Additional plumbing, electrical and home renovation costs associated with walk-in tub installation can range from roughly $6,600 to nearly $17,000.

      Who are walk-in tubs for?

      Walk-in tubs are for older adults and individuals with disabilities who desire a seated tub option to match their mobility and accessibility needs, reduce the need for bathing assistance and mitigate the risk of falls or injury. These tubs are also worth considering for anyone interested in luxury or therapeutic bath features.

      What are the benefits of a walk-in tub?

      Walk-in tubs have accessibility features like built-in doors and low-step entries. They allow for seated bathing and often include other safety features like non-slip flooring and grab bars.

      How can walk-in tubs reduce fall risk?

      Many walk-in tubs are fitted with ADA-compliant features that can reduce the risk of falling and other bathing-related injuries. These features might include grab bars, handrails, non-slip surfaces, low step-in entry, anti-scald valves and built-in seating.

      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. Arizton Advisory & Intelligence. “US Walk-in Bathtubs Market - Focused Insights 2023-2028.” Global Information. Evaluated Oct. 29, 2023.
      2. Fryar CD, Carroll MD, Afful J. “Prevalence of Overweight, Obesity, and Severe Obesity Among Adults Aged 20 and Over: United States, 1960–1962 Through 2017–2018 .” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Evaluated Oct. 29, 2023.
      3. Urban Institute. “The US Population Is Aging .” Urban Institute. Evaluated Nov. 1, 2023.
      4. Hollenhorst M. “Why ‘aging in place’ is a growth industry .” Marketplace. Evaluated Nov. 1, 2023.
      5. Gavin K. “Most older adults want to ‘age in place’ but many haven’t taken steps to help them do so .” University of Michigan. Evaluated Nov. 1, 2023.
      6. TheGerontechnologist. “Key Takeaways From the $648B Care Economy Report and What They Could Mean for Age Tech .” Evaluated Nov. 1, 2023.
      7. Lutz A. “How Much Does a Walk-In Tub Shower Combo Cost? (2023 Guide) .” Architectural Digest. Evaluated Oct. 29, 2023.
      8. Lovely L, Auer E. “How Much Does a Walk-In Tub Cost? .” Bob Vila. Evaluated Oct. 29, 2023.
      9. Safe Step. “6 Easy Steps for Installing a Walk-In Tub .” Safe Step. Evaluated Oct. 29, 2023.
      10. National Safety Council. “Make Fall Safety a Top Priority .” National Safety Council. Evaluated Oct. 29, 2023.
      11. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Facts About Falls .” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Evaluated Oct. 29, 2023.
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