If you are in the market to buy a slide-in tub and have not already read the Slide-in Tub Buying Guide, then we recommend you start there first to aid you in determining whether a slide-in tub is truly right for your needs or not.
Slide-in tubs are a good consideration for enhancing bathing safety for many seniors and persons with disabilities. It is a big financial investment though and once installed will become a permanent fixture in your home, so it good to do due diligence prior to selecting one. We have provided a list below of some things to take into consideration prior to signing on the dotted line for your new tub.
1. Insist on a quote. We highly recommend you avoid buying a slide-in tub from a seller who refuses to quote you a general price range over the phone. We have observed that the companies who are resistant to quote any prices whatsoever prior to doing an onsite visit tend to engage in high pressure sales tactics, charge over-the-top prices, and have the longest “rap sheets” of customer complaints,
2. Pick a vendor who sells and installs. If possible, we recommend purchasing the tub from a local company who both sells and installs the tubs. Every model has different nuances that will often times require subtle adjustments to make it function optimally, so it is best to have the tub installed by someone familiar with the specific model you wish to have installed.
3. Vet Online Sellers. If you purchase the tub online and have a local contractor install it, it is important to be aware there are different types of online sellers for these tubs.
- You can buy direct from the manufacturer. Not all manufacturers offer this option though.
- You can buy it from a small third-party seller online. This option adds an additional layer in between you and the manufacturer, which can cause unwanted headaches if you need to return the tub or request a replacement part, especially if the company closes and/or shuts down their website.
- Or, you can buy it on a website, such as Amazon, that offers a large public platform for many sellers to post their products. With this last option, it is helpful to know that manufactures themselves will post their products on Amazon and third-party sellers may also post the same products on Amazon. If you see that the tub is being offered by both the manufacturer and a third-party seller on Amazon, we recommend to purchase it through the manufacturer because it is easier to correspond directly with the manufacturer if something needs to be returned or replaced.
4. Measure First! Measure all your doorways and hallways between your front door (or relevant entrance) and the bathroom where the tub will be placed. Confirm that the tub’s dimensions will be able to pass through the narrowest point, prior to ordering the tub.
5. Confirm water heater size is sufficient. Confirm upfront what size water heater is required to run the tub. If your water heater is not large enough, You will need to pay to have a new one installed in order for the tub to work properly.
6. Ask about additional hidden costs. Ask if the tub model selected will require you to install extra drains, modify the plumbing, and/or install additional electrical outlets.
7. Ask about certifications. Ask if the slide-in tub model has received ETL, UL, or CSA Certification. One or more of these marks indicates that a product meets minimum North American safety standards.
8. Use reviews with caution. Due to the overwhelming number of fake review sites on specialized bathtubs (I.e. walk-in tubs, slide-in tubs) present online, we recommend you stick to the more reputable review websites when conducting your research, such as the Better Business Bureau, Yelp, and Angie’s List. The majority of the reviews found on these websites are likely to be legitimate, but even on these sites there can be cases of bogus reviews (thanks to shameless players in their industry trying to skew customers in their favor). So, it is important to never put too much stock in any one review you read.
9. Be Skeptical of “Best of […]” Lists. It is wise to be skeptical of any website or article you come across featuring lists with titles such as “Best Slide-in Tubs” or “Top Slide-in Tubs”. Always make sure you understand who is authoring the content and why, before following the author’s recommendations.
10. Research carefully. We recommend to always perform an online search and check a company’s name in conjunction with the words “scam” and “complaint”, prior to purchasing a tub from anyone.
To learn out about alternative bathing options, visit the following links:
- What You Need to Know Before You Buy a Bath Lift Chair
- Getting in & Out of the Bathtub: Benches, Lifts, and Transfer Chairs
- Sliding Swivel Bath Seats Guide: The Basics
- What is a “Tub Cut?””
- Tips for Picking a Prefab Accessible Shower