Tub cut outs offer a safe and easy way for anyone to enter and exit a bathtub/shower combination. Bathtub conversion can change a steel, porcelain, fiberglass or acrylic bathtub into a shower for a fraction of the cost of installing a new walk-in shower.
The two main reasons a lower curb height is beneficial are safety for seniors and easy accessibility for the handicapped. According the U.S. census figures, the leading accident for Americans over 65 is falls in the bathroom area. Handicap bathtubs make life much safer and easier for a handicapped person and for their caretaker to access the shower. Tub cut outs are a cost effective solution for senior residence facilities and nursing homes where there may be many tubs that need converting.
A bathtub conversion is an upgrade that creates a lower curb height to the side of a bathtub and allows a person to step directly into the tub. This means they do not have to lift their foot over the tub wall causing them to lose their balance and fall. There is only a small step usually 3 to 4 inches in height to walk over. Tub cut outs also make it easier for a person who is sitting to swing their legs into the tub with a transfer bench. A person sits on the transfer bench and slides from the outside of the tub to the inside.
Tub cut outs are installed by a professional who first removes a section of the tub wall and then seals the cut sections. There are two types of seals for the cut out including a cap that is fit over the cuts and a flat surface that is fit within the cut. This type leaves a smooth surface. The removed section can be only four inches deep to as deep as eleven inches. The deeper cut may cost more because of more work involved. Some tub cut outs can be restored to their original condition at a later date.
If easier access is required for a shower, it is much less expensive and faster to install a bathtub cutout. In most cases, the work can be completed in less than one day and sometimes in one hour. Cast iron tubs take a little longer than one hour. There is no impact to existing floors and walls. The professional installers clean as they work, so there is no dust, unpleasant odors or mess. After completion, a simple shower curtain prevents the water from splashing outside the tub. The curtain rod may need to be lowered.
The alternative is to do a complete bathroom remodeling, which is expensive and can disturb the household for weeks. The existing plumbing may need to be redone which can cost hundreds of dollars alone. The cost of tub conversion depends on the type of bathtub. Steel and fiberglass tubs cost approximately $900, and cast iron costs approximately $1200.
Tub conversions restore independence to seniors and handicapped people and give peace of mind to their care takers. A slip-resistant texture is also applied to the new step and bottom of the bathtub for added safety.