Don't spend a penny on a Walk-in
bath until you are sure you have the facts
Buying a walk in bath should be a fairly
simple operation, or so you'd think. But buying a walk-in bath can
prove to be a bit of a minefield if you're not familiar with the
product, how they're made or the antics some salespeople get up to
when trying to sell them!
We hope this useful guide to buying a
walk-in bath will put an end to some of the shameful behaviour to
which certain individuals will stoop and help you to make an
informed decision when the time comes to choose.
Armed with the right knowledge, buying a walk
in bath is simple. Here are a few helpful tips to
Firstly, BEWARE DOOR TO DOOR
Do you remember those annoying people who used to
call at your home trying to sell double glazing? Did you ever wonder
what happened to them? Many now sit in homes throughout the country
for hours on end applying gentle pressure on people to sign up for a
bathroom make-over to include a walk in bath. Our advice is simple -
DON'T INVITE THEM IN. The fact you are reading this guide proves you
have a mind of your own and do not need to be 'sold' on the idea.
DO NOT spend a
fortune on a walk in bath
Don't let anybody kid
you into spending a small fortune. YOU DON'T NEED TO. At
the end of the day a walk-in bath is still only a bath. It might be a
little more expensive to make but it surely isn't more expensive to
install. Beware of anybody who tells you otherwise. Installing a
walk-in bath is within the remit of a competent DIY'er so your
average plumber should have no difficulties whatsoever. You do not
need specialist skills (with the possible exception where the bath
has a lift and requires an electrical supply) and because access to the plumbing is so
accessible it could be argued that these baths are actually easier to
install than a standard bath. In short, all the clever stuff should
have gone into the construction, leaving a simple process of
installation. If not, leave well alone.
Don't believe some of the
Some companies who sell walk-in baths (you know, the types that
visit your home and brow beat you into a purchase) get rather cross
discover the same bath can be bought from us at a much lower
price. So beware of a less than warm reaction if you choose to
mention such a fact.
We are aware of several excuses
these rascals have put forward to justify their outrageous prices
including - "Baths on the internet are reconditioned or second
hand". "Baths on the internet are seconds",
"Baths on the internet are of an inferior quality". The best one is
"you get no guarantee on the internet'". This is all absolute
rubbish! These are just desperate tactics used by equally
desperate sales people
who wish to scare you into buying from them - there and then! Their
motivation is simply greed.
DON'T BE BULLIED! Don't be afraid to say NO!
For your peace of
mind and to put the record straight
All the products purchased in the UK
carry a guarantee. This is the law. The internet is just a
convenient way to access the High Street. Whether you purchase on the
internet, at your door or in a showroom your purchase is protected
by The Sale of Goods Act and you most certainly do get a guarantee.
Furthermore, many components carry a lifetime warranty!
All products found on this website are
brand new straight from the factory,
selected for their superior quality, unused, of first quality
(not seconds) and carry exactly the same guarantee you will get anywhere
else. The ONLY thing different will be the price.
So why are we cheaper? The answer is
simple - you are buying
from the same source as the trade does. We are delighted to help you
save a considerable sum of money on your purchase (plus exemption
from VAT if you are eligible).
If you have any
questions you would like to ask please don't hesitate to
call us for
a no-obligation chat.
More things you
Not all walk in baths are the same.
Just because it looks like a walk in bath does not mean it will function well as
one. We are very choosy about which products we'll deal with. Each and every walk in bath you will find here is the
product of meticulous design, careful construction and has been
subjected to rigorous testing. What's more, we even vet the manufacturer
to ensure they can deliver the quality we demand and provide willing and
helpful after sales backup. Anybody falling short of our exacting
standards is dropped.
Because of our specialist involvement with
these products over many years we have forged exceptional relationships
with manufacturers and as a consequence are delighted to be able to
offer you premium quality products at prices that can only be described
as outstanding. You are welcome to call us for a chat about any aspect
of walk-in bathing - whether it be on a technical level, for advice or
simply to explore feasibility. (Click
here for our contact information)
A walk in bath is the ideal solution
mobility causes difficulty when bathing a walk in bath is an excellent
solution. But, throughout the years
manufacturers have experimented with different styles and designs of
bath - some of them with catastrophic results! What you find with the
products we sell are
the refined results of many years of development.
Materials play an important part
Whether the bath will function as required
depends on construction. For example, if the
bath flexes when it's filled with water or when the occupant moves it is
likely that the seal around the door will leak. This is a particular
problem. It is therefore important that the construction of the bath
provides rigidity or you might find water running where you least of all
Do not however confuse flex with give. A bath that flexes
actually distorts, effectively changing shape. A material
particularly well suited to the manufacture of a bath is GRP (also known
as glass reinforced plastic, or fibre glass). To illustrate this one
only need examine most modern boats - all of which have hulls made from
GRP. The process for manufacturing in GRP involves building layer upon
layer of glass strand matting which is bonded by an epoxy resin. The
finished product is extremely strong, maintains a shiny lustre, is
resilient to impact damage and can be repaired should the unthinkable
occur. The process for manufacture in GRP is lengthy and labour
intensive which is why a GRP bath is slightly dearer than the cheaper
contemporaries made from acrylic.
The process of manufacturing in acrylic is
quite different to GRP. With this type, a large sheet of plastic is
heated and sucked into a mould. When released, the plastic sheet
maintains the shape of the mould. Quick and simple, but not as strong or
durable. Acrylic baths need to have a strong substructure (like a metal
frame) to minimise their flimsiness. Sometimes, acrylic baths undergo a
secondary treatment where GRP is applied to the back of the moulded
shape it enhance stiffness.
Acrylic does not maintain its lustre
particularly well in comparison to the 'Gel Coat' finish of its GRP
counterpart. Furthermore, should you damage the surface of an acrylic
bath there is no real way to repair it invisibly - like you can with GRP.
In short, acrylic baths are cheaper to
manufacture and less rigid. Special attention must be paid to
construction in order to ensure door seals don't leak.
A major issue - which way the door
should open on a walk in bath?
Inward or outward? You might be surprised to discover
how heavy water is. A cubic metre of water weighs 1 metric tonne! That
is 1000 kg. Just imagine how catastrophic the problem is when an
outward opening door mechanism fails!!! The bath literally empties there
in front of your eyes.... all over the place. For this reason and after
much development this is why the inward opening door is by far the
preferred method nowadays. The weight of water in the bath when full
presses against an inwardly opening door and actually improves the
action of the door seal. The bath still has to be manufactured to resist
flexing for this to work OK, but you can probably see the advantage.
Having said this, an inward opening door
may prove awkward to negotiate if the bather is of a larger build. If
this is the case then an outward opener may be the only solution. Just
make sure your choice of bath has a well designed door locking
Ease of use makes a
walk in bath more
pleasurable - aiding safety
It also reduces the need for assistance
thereby enhancing privacy and independence for those who would normally require
higher levels of aid because of reduced mobility.
The advantage of an upright model
walk in bath
There are many upright models from which
to choose, but taking The
KANSAS for an example you can appreciate how the shorter upright
design takes up
less space than a conventional bath giving you back useable floor space. The higher
'tub' style offers convenient support when
entering and exiting. Furthermore, the higher seating position makes sitting down
and standing up less of an effort. In all, this shape of bath makes for
safe and comfortable bathing, lending itself perfectly for purpose.
Don't buy a walk in bath just because it looks
similar to what you already have. There are several sound reasons for
this advice. The whole point of your immanent investment will be to make bath time
more pleasurable, or indeed possible. Of course it should look nice but it is not
a fashion accessory. Consider the practicalities carefully before deciding
on a shape.
The advantages of a 'tub style' bath have
been mentioned. So let's have a look at the standard low level shape of
walk in bath.
Traditional shapes of
walk in bath
While a low level 'standard shape' bath
might fit into the traditional aesthetics of your bathroom, ask yourself will it offer you the
help you desire for bathing?
Consider, you might get a traditional low level bath
with a side door - this may solve your problem of stepping over the rim
of a standard bath. BUT, now you are in, you have to (1) sit down and then
(2) stand back up to get out. Are you happy in the knowledge this will
Early walk in bath designers looked for a
way to incorporate a seat within the structure of a traditionally shaped
bath. An attempt was made at raising the floor of the bath at the
sitting end to provide a raised perch upon which the bather could sit,
reducing the distance the occupant would have to descend or rise when
sitting or standing.
HOWEVER, the raised bottom, the bump, the perch (whatever you wish to
call it) was quickly considered a bit of a nonsense as its immovable
presence permanently raised the bather out of the very water in which
they wished to bathe. Put
another way, you could not properly submerge in such a bath - or fully
recline to the bottom. Although this bath attempted to address a valid
issue the design proved unpopular and impractical, especially if other
more ambulant members of the family planned to share it. Eventually
nick-named 'the glorified foot bath' the design was branded pointless
and annoying and eventually disappeared from production with reputable
That is until recently. One manufacturer
has decided to re-invent the wheel and has reintroduced the design.
Unfortunately, more unwary purchasers will need to go through the
discovery process before they realise the product's shortcomings. If you
are considering such a product think carefully!
Evolution saw this 'glorified footbath'
morph into the tub style bath. By shortening its length and increasing
its depth a fairly useless design underwent a metamorphosis into
something entirely practical. The tub style bath provides a moulded
seat, but at a useful and sensible level, and the increased overall
height facilitates deeper fill and decent immersion.
What about a lift?
Alternative thinking has come up with
various mechanical devices to lift the user in and out of a standard
looking bath - generically known as bath lifts. Bath lifts can however
be bulky, unsightly and/or impractical. So consider carefully before
The thinking behind bath lift design
varies. Some are unnecessarily bulky and obtrusive with external pillars
and posts. Some utilise a belt system, but beware as some are better
than others. Some lifts are integral to the bath and disappear as neatly
as possible when not in use. Let us look at each:
Bath lifts utilising a
In principle a belt is not a bad idea. A
belt has a thin cross-section which when deployed allows the bather to
lower right to the bottom of the bath. However, the method by which the
belt is raised and lowered makes a huge difference to how practical they
are. There is essentially three ways a belt can be utilised:
A single motorised roller
(sometimes fitted to the wall adjacent to the bath) feeds the
belt in and out to raise or lower. This type has a couple of
serious drawbacks. As the belt pays out while lowering, the
seated person gets tipped to one side as the belt does not lower
evenly from both sides. As the belt lifts it tips the user the
other way. The rider therefore must reposition themselves
several times during each operation. Another consideration is
one of hygiene. A wet belt rolled back into its housing is
likely to become grimy and grubby and will eventually start
smelling of mildew as it sits unventilated and unable to dry
properly. By its nature, the belt moves quite slowly, so you are
likely to become reluctant to deploy it purely for the purpose
of drying/airing. Extreme caution should be exercised when
fixing such a device to a wall. When in use the lift will
undergo serious stress (which will vary accordingly with the
weight of the user). Severe injury could result if the lifting
mechanism becomes detached from its fixing point during use.
Then there is the 'twin motor'
type. These commonly form an integral part of the bath with a
motor mounted on either side of the bather. This type addresses
the issue of tipping the rider over as the design deploys the
belt evenly. However, by fixing one issue another has been
created as the motor/winding housings can be bulky, unsightly
and obtrusive. The issue of an unventilated housing storing a
wet belt and the associated hygiene issues remain.
Another method of utilising a belt
can be seen on the MONTANA walk in bath. This model cleverly
conceals the lift within the side walls of the bath on either
side of the bather. When configured to use a belt (rather than a
moulded seat - which is an alternative option on this model)
which is suspended between the lifting posts on either side
raises or lowers the bather accordingly. At no time is the belt
rolled up and will dry easily when not in use. What's more, the
lifting posts offer supporting sides for the user unlike the
'roller type lift' that offer no side support whatsoever.
Belt Lift vs Moulded
The answer to the question "Which one
should I choose?" is very much down to aesthetic preference and logic.
A moulded seat will probably offer
the user the feeling of a more solid platform on which to sit.
A well designed moulded seat might
be considered 'attractive' in its own peculiar way.
A moulded seat is by nature
'rigid'. This of course means there is a physical limit to the
size of the user (by which of course we mean the posterior
size). The thin cross-section and flexibility of a belt might
prove somewhat more flexible for the larger derrière.
A moulded seat has a thicker
cross-section. When in its lowest position the profile of the
seat will hold the seated bather away from the bottom of the
bath accordingly. A belt, having a much thinner cross-section,
is negligible when fully lowered therefore the user effectively
sits on the bottom of the bath.
It is arguably easier to recline
fully when a belt lift is used. The profile of a moulded seat by
comparison leaves an obstacle.
The simplicity of the tub style walk in
bath addresses all these issues - deeper immersion in the bath water
(the taller design permits deeper fill), no mechanical devices needed to
lift or lower user (seat is at an easier height).
Hydro Massage systems
These represent the
height of luxury and provide the ultimate bathing experience. Jets of
water and/or air bubbles massage your skin while you relax in a
soothing bath of warm water. The effect is believed to enhance
circulation and most certainly adds to the whole pleasurable experience.
What could be nicer than a gentle massage while you relax?
Check which type of system is being
offered. There are essentially two types of 'hydromassage' system
available. One (which is sometimes referred to as 'whirlpool' system)
pumps a combination of water
and air through jets around the bath that massages your limbs. The other
simply jets air bubbles through the water. The latter is generally
regarded as a 'softer' experience. A Whirlpool system is generally more
expensive but can be adjusted to provide quite an invigorating
Installing a walk-in bath
Installing a walk in bath presents no
special requirements. As mentioned, it is still only a bath! With
additional space available for access to plumbing on models such as
The KANSAS, installation often proves easier than
fitting a conventional bath. Hydrotherapy systems will require an RCCD
protected power supply which must be installed in accordance with IEE Regulations
(providing the user with total security and protection from the
electrical supply). This is not a complicated task but should be
carried out by a competent person.
VAT Exemption on walk
Exemption from VAT is often available when
purchasing a product of this nature. If you believe you qualify or would
like further information about VAT Exemption please don't hesitate to
contact us for further assistance. For more info check
Whether you need the easy access or simply
want to enhance the bathing experience, a walk in bath will add a new
dimension to bath time.