If you are in the market for a walk-in tub and have not already read the following articles, then we strongly recommend you begin by reading them first.
If after reading these articles you feel you still need to purchase a walk-in style bathtub, then our last bit of advice to you is the following:
Insist on a quote. We highly recommend you avoid buying a walk-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,
Use specialists only. We recommend to purchase a walk-in-tub from a seller who specializes in the sale of multiple brands and styles of walk-in tubs because they will know best which models are good and which ones are known to have issues and can help you select the right one for your needs.
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 them function optimally, so it is best to have the tub installed by someone familiar with the specific model you wish to have installed.
Vet Online Sellers. If you purchase the tub online, it is important to be aware that there are different places you can do so.
- You can buy direct from the manufacturer. Not all manufacturers offer this option, but if they do, it is always best to deal with them directly.
- 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 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 (so you are buying from them directly in some cases) and third-party sellers may also post the same products on Amazon. “If” the tub is being offered by both the manufacturer and a third-party seller on Amazon, we recommend to go with the manufacturer.
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.
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.
Confirm “Made in the USA” claims: A company does not need approval from the Federal Trade Commission to mark their product as Made in the USA. They must be able to substantiate this claim in some manner, but this can be extremely loosely interpreted by walk-in tub manufacturers. To learn more about this topic and see a list of walk-in tubs made in part, or in full, in the USA, click here.
Ask about additional hidden costs. Ask if the tub model selected will require you to install extra drains and/or modify the plumbing. To learn about more potential hidden costs you should be aware of, click here.
Ask about certifications. Ask if the walk-in tub model has received ETL, UL, or CSA Certification. Make sure to clarify that the entire tub has been certified and not merely a few parts. One or more of these marks is proof that a product meets North American safety standards.
Use reviews with caution. Due to the overwhelming number of fake walk-in tub reviews sites 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). It is important to never put too much stock in any one review you read.
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 Walk-in Tubs” or “Top Walk-in Tubs”. Always make sure you understand who is authoring the content and why.
Research carefully. While walk-in tubs certainly are not our favorite product no matter what the brand is, there are some decent companies selling them. In order to help determine whether a company is good or not, we recommend you always perform an online search and check out a company’s name in conjunction with the words “scam” and “complaint”. However, note that due to the rebranding tactics outlined in the article “Walk-in Tubs: Homeability Uncovers Scams and Shady Practices“, not finding complaints in relation to a certain tub might just mean that you are looking at a tub model whose name has recently changed, so use this strategy with caution. To learn about more details to take into consideration if you opt to get a walk-in tub, read: Walk-in Tubs: Get The Facts
To learn out about alternative bathing options, visit the following links: