Nationwide, the average total cost to buy and install a walk-in tub is $4,000. The price range for just the bathtub (without installation) is $2,500 to $10,000. Bathtub prices and installation costs vary according to the walk-in bathtub's size, features, and any adjustments you need to make to your bathroom.
Walk-in tubs are essential equipment for the elderly or persons with disabilities who want to live at home, and can pay for itself by enabling you or your loved one to stay in your home instead of moving to an assisted living facility. Before you hire a professional to help you install an in-home walk-in tub, get an estimate of how much it will cost.
What's in this cost guide?
- Benefits of a walk-in bathtub
- Walk-in bathtub price factors
- Installation cost factors
- Maintenance costs
- Tips to hire someone to install your walk-in tub
The U.S. Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention says that one in four Americans over the age of 65 falls getting in and out of the tub. Walk-in bathtubs help the elderly and people with dementia, disabilities, or mobility issues get in and out of a tub safely, lessening the risk of a fall.
A walk-in tub, also called a universal tub, is a high-walled bathtub with an outward or inward-opening door on the side to let you get into the bathtub without stepping over the foot-tall wall of a standard, step-in tub. A walk-in bathtub usually has additional safety features like a built-in seat and a grab bar or handrail to help you get in and out easily. Some have therapeutic features like hydrotherapy jets, while others are just for bathing.
How much your tub costs will depend on the type, size, and any add-on features of your walk-in bathtub.
There are seven basic types of tubs, each of which has a different price range. Below is a break down of average tub prices for walk-in bathtubs:
|Type of tub||Features||Price range|
|Standard (also called walk-in soaker tubs)||
||$1,500 to $5,000|
||$2,500 to $6,000|
||$5,000 to $10,000|
||$3,000 to $7,000|
|Wheelchair accessible walk-in tubs||
||$5,000 to $10,000|
|Hydrotherapy walk-in tubs||
||$5,000 to $7,000|
|Air therapy walk-in tubs||
||$5,000 to $9,000|
Regardless of if you opt for a top-of-the-line bariatric tub or a basic walk-in tub, almost all come with the following safety features:
Walk-in tubs have a lower threshold that leads to the tub, just 4 to 7 inches high, compared to a 12-inch tall wall on a standard bathtub. You can get walk-in tubs with a step-up as low as 2.5 inches for even easier access.
Handheld shower head
Most walk-in tubs have handheld shower heads to make bathing and showering easier while sitting. It can be mounted on the side of the tub, with the faucet, or raised above the tub on an adjustable rod.
Walk-in tubs are about 2.5 feet deep, while a standard tub is just more than one foot deep.
Walk-in tubs have shower seats that are around 17 inches high and covered with an anti-slip, textured surface to prevent bathers from falling.
Most tubs have a non-slip floor that's textured to prevent slips and falls.
Most tubs have at least two grab bars for the bather to hold onto while they get in and out of the tub, and while bathing.
Anti-scald valves keep water at a consistent temperature and prevent warm water from suddenly getting too hot when pressure changes in the pipes.
The average nationwide cost for installing a walk-in tub is $700 to $1,500. For example, a Thumbtack pro in Denver, CO charges $1,450 to install a standard walk-in tub on top of the bathtub price. The same company charges $1,900 if you're replacing a standard tub with a walk-in tub of similar size and need help removing the old tub.
Installing a walk-in tub that's larger than the existing tub or has specialty features starts at $1,500 and can go up to $2,500 or more, depending on the complexity of the job.
Your installation and labor costs will depend on whether your bathroom needs additional electrical or plumbing work, or construction to fit a larger-than-standard bathtub in your space. Below are a few factors that can bring your total cost for installation up or down:
Walk-ins are meant to fit into the space of a traditional bathtub, and usually measure around 60 inches in length and up to 30 inches in height. If you opt for a larger tub, like a bariatric, you'll pay more in labor costs to make it fit into your bathroom. Since it won't be a simple replacement of the old tub, you may need to move walls, fixtures, or cabinets to install it.
Walk-in bathtubs with a hydrotherapy or air therapy features have an electric motor to power the jets. You'll need an electrician to hook up or place the motor because it will need a dedicated circuit. Electricians charge about $65 to $85 an hour. The cost of the electrical work may be included in the quote you got from your professional tub installer.
Walk-in bathtubs are deeper and hold more water, so it can take longer to draw and drain bathwater. Upgrading your pipes to ¾-inch diameter will help a walk-in bathtub fill more quickly, but it can cost as much between $350 and $1,800, depending on the complexity of the job.
You also may need to install a bigger water heater, because walk-in tubs hold 50 to 80 gallons of water. A tankless heater that can supply endless amounts of hot water costs a national average of $3,200, while a standard hot water heater that can supply 50 gallons of water costs $600 to $800.
If you're replacing an existing bathtub, you may have to pay an additional fee to have your contractor remove the old tub. Berkeley Remodeling charges $435 to remove the old tub before installing a walk-in tub.
Most tubs with hydrotherapy, air jets, or other mechanical features will require maintenance. You'll need to clean the jets every couple of months with specialty cleaners that cost around $12.
You also may need to hire a plumber or electrician every few years for routine maintenance and repairs because tubs can leak, and jets and motors can fail.
To save money down the line, look for a tub with a warranty on its parts.
Businesses that sell walk-in tubs usually also install them. If you buy from an online seller like Amazon or a big box retailer like Home Depot, you'll need to hire a contractor who specializes in bathroom remodels to install the tub. Bathroom remodeling companies also sell walk-in tubs, and can take care of the entire process for you if you'd like.
Before you hire a professional to install a walk-in tub, be sure to:
- Look at past projects: Make sure the contractor has experience installing walk-in tubs and read reviews to check the quality of their work.
- Ask about what's included in their costs: For example, will the walk-in tub installation company charge you extra to remove the existing tub? Does the quote include the plumbing work that will need to be done to accommodate the new tub or the tile work on the wall around the new tub?
- Get multiple free estimates. When you ask for an estimate for a walk-in bathtub installation, make sure the estimate breaks down what's included in the total cost — especially if the contractor is purchasing a bathtub on your behalf.
Whether you or someone in your family uses a wheelchair or old age is making it more difficult to step in and out of your bathtub, a walk-in can help you create a safe and accessible bathroom at home. If you're ready to replace your bathtub with a walk-in, look for a contractor near you on Thumbtack.