Walk-In Tubs: A Quick Installation Guide To Make Your Elderly Parent's Bathroom Safe

Construction & Contractors Blog

As your elderly parents age, you'll want to make sure that they stay as safe as possible in their home as their physical abilities decline. One area of the home that is particularly dangerous is the bathroom. Eliminating this risk involves removing the old tub and replacing it with a walk-in tub. A walk-in tub allows the elderly to open a door and step into the tub instead of climbing over the side of an old bathtub. Here is how you can install a walk-in tub in your parent's bathroom.

You Will Need:

  • Walk-in Tub Assembly Kit
  • Drill
  • Self-Tapping Screws
  • Level
  • Measuring Tape
  • Plumber's Tape
  • Caulk Gun
  • Caulk

Tub Framing

After you remove the old tub, you need to make sure the vacated space is prepared for the walk-in tub. You want to place stringers (2x4s strips of wood work well) along the wall for the walk-in tub's decking to sit on to keep the tub from rocking while it is in use.

Piping

You need to make sure the existing drain and water pipes will match up with the new tub. In some cases, you may have to add new piping to make sure the tub's faucet and drain works properly.

Installing Tub

  1. Take the walk-in tub and carefully place in the spot for the old tub. You should get someone to help you as the tubs are bulky and difficult to handle in tight spaces.
  2. Place a level on the tub floor to make sure the water will move toward the drain. If the tub is not level, you will need to adjust the legs on the underbelly of tubs until the bottom of the tub is slightly sloped toward the drain.
  3. Use self-tapping screws to secure the sides of the tub to the stringers and the studs in the wall.
  4. Install the drain. Make sure to use a liberal amount of plumber's tape to seal the connections between pipes and flanges. 
  5. Install faucet on the tub by screwing the faucet into the top of the tub. Connect the cold and hot water lines to the faucet.
  6. Caulk the seams between the walk-in tub and the wall to prevent water from leaking down the walls and damaging the subfloor underneath the tub.

Test the Tub

Make sure the door opens and closes like it should (if the tub is not leveled properly, the door won't work right and you'll have to adjust the legs some more). Fill the tub with water and check for leaks. 

For more information, contact a bathroom remodeling specialist like Albrecht & Son LLC.

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13 October 2015

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