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How Do Walk In Baths Work & How Much Do They Cost? | More Ability

31 May 2019

How Do Walk-In Baths Work?

There are several different types of walk in baths, but they all work in a very similar way. Essentially, the user enters the bath tub whilst it’s empty, stepping over a low step to get in. You then close the watertight door behind you and fill it with water. When finished bathing, you wait for the bath to finish draining before opening the door and safely stepping out.

As mentioned, there are several different types of walk in bath available. Although some have a lower entry threshold, they do all have a step-up entry requirement, and all require the user to enter the bath, fill it up, drain it and then get out.

How long does it take for a walk in bath to fill up?

Once people understand you have to be in a walk-in bath before it’s full of water, typically the next question we’re asked is “how long will it take for a walk-in bath to fill up?”. Depending on the type of water system in your house, a walk in bath tub will take on average between ten and fifteen minutes to fill up.

Because most walk-in baths, whether full length or tub type (something we will go into detail later) hold on average the same amount of water as a standard bath (25 gallons), how long it’ll take for a walk-in bath to fill up depends on your water system and its delivery, which is typically split into three systems:

  • Combination Boiler
  • Tank and Storage Cylinder
  • Pressurised Cylinder

All three options deliver water at different speeds and flow rates which will inevitably dictate the length of time a walk-in bath will take to fill up.

A combination boiler will take approximately 15 minutes to fill a 25 gallon walk-in bath, the same as a tank and storage cylinder system. Whereas a pressurised cylinder will fill a 25 gallon walk-in bath in a record breaking 10 minutes.

Due to the requirement of having to be in a walk-in bath while it fills, it’s strongly recommended that the system is thermostatically controlled. Regulating the temperature of the hot water, a thermostatically controlled system allows both warm and cold to run at the same time, as it blends the temperatures together and offers a consistent flow.

Unfortunately, the downfall of a thermostatically controlled system is that it slows everything down. Regardless of what system you have to deliver your water, whether combi-boiler or pressurised cylinder, you’d be looking at adding up to five minutes onto the total time it takes for a walk-in bath to fill up.


How long does it take for a walk in bath to drain?

Again, this depends on your drainage system. Unlike the above, these are pretty standard and for an average sized bath (1700 mm x 700 mm) holding approximately 25 gallons of water, it’ll take approximately 5-8 minutes for a walk-in bath to drain.

How much does a walk in bath cost?

With so many options available, the cost of a walk in bath depends on the type of bath you choose. However, to give you a general idea of costs, compact walk in baths start at around £1575. Full length walk in baths start at £1500 and can go up to £5000 for a top of the range bath packed full of extra features.

With that basic information out of the way, let’s take a more detailed look at the different types available, and how they can help with different requirements.


Types of Walk-In Baths

When it comes to walk-in baths you typically have the following options:

  • Full length walk-in bath
  • Maxi walk-in baths
  • Midi walk-in baths
  • Compact walk-in baths

Full Length Walk-In Baths

The full length walk-in bath comes in five variations:

  1. Full length walk-in bath
  2. Full length walk-in bath with integrated powered seat
  3. Full length walk-in shower bath with integrated powered seat
  4. Easy riser walk-in bath with integrated reclining powered seat

Full Length Walk-In Baths

Covering a standard bath footprint, the full length walk-in bath is one of the most simple and elegant walk-in bath options available to you. As it’s the length of a normal bath, it’s the ideal choice for most bathrooms.

In terms of how a full length walk-in bath works, it’s been specifically designed with low-level access in mind, but for those who can sit and stand unaided.

Featuring a watertight, sealed hinged door with lever mechanism, you’re required to enter the bath and lock the door before filling the bath with water. Similarly, you have to drain the water and completely empty the bath before getting out, in order to ensure the water doesn’t escape.

Full Length Walk-In Bath with Powered Seat

Similar to the full length walk-in bath, the full length walk-in shower bath with powered seat works in exactly the same manner, but also features a removable powered seat that comes with a battery backup facility.

This is designed for those that need a little extra help when laying down to bathe, and then standing back up to exit. The full length walk-in bath with powered seat requires you to:

  • Raise the seat to its highest level using the built in controls on the bath side
  • Enter the bath and close and lock the sealed hinged door
  • Start to run the water via the taps
  • Sit on the raised seat and wait for the water to reach a half filled level
  • Turn the taps off
  • Return to the seat and lower into the water using the built in controls on the bath side
  • Enjoy your soak
  • Reverse the steps above when exiting ensuring all water has drained before opening the door

To try before you buy, we have a fully functioning display model of the full length walk-in bath with integrated powered seat in our Leeds Mobility Bathroom Showroom.


Full Length Walk-In Shower Bath with Powered Seat

The full length walk-in shower bath with powered seat offers the best of both worlds with regards to an easily accessible showering or bathing experience.

With a ‘P-shaped footprint’ the walk-in shower bath offers plenty of space to lie-down - and ample room for showering. With the added integrated powered seat, this type of bath is ideal for those who find lowering themselves into a conventional tub difficult.

To find out a bit more, we have the full length walk-in shower bath with integrated powered seat on display in our Harrogate Accessible Bathroom Showroom.


Easy Riser Walk-In Bath with Integrated Reclining Powered Seat

The easy riser walk-in bath with integrated reclining powered seat has been designed to cover a standard bath footprint, making it ideal for most bathrooms. Uniquely supportive, the reclining seat is ideal for those who find sitting back up a struggle, as the backrest gently lifts you back into a seated position.

Built with comfort and safety in mind, the easy riser features an ergonomic backrest built into the seat which allows the user to recline smoothly into a relaxing position.

Using the seat is exactly the same, with built in controls situated on the side of the bath that will rise, lower and tilt the seat as required by the user.

In terms of costs, standard full length walk in baths start at £1500, whereas an all-singing, all dancing easy riser will get up to around £5800. Full length walk-in shower baths can range from £2,000 up to £3,900 depending on the optional extras and upgrades you choose i.e. whether you opt for an integrated powered seat.


Maxi Walk-In Bath

With plenty of internal space and a deep, shoulder height soak due to being sat upright, the maxi walk-in bath typically comes in two variations:

  1. Tall and wide maxi walk-in bath with built in static seat - a slightly deeper bath
  2. Big and bold maxi walk-in bath with built in static seat - slightly longer and wider than the tall and wide

All variations of the maxi walk in bath are more compact than full-length baths, and built with an upright tub type appeal. This offers extra breadth and legroom for a relaxed, seated bathing experience.

Both maxi walk-in baths require the user to enter the bath and get seated, closing and locking the sealed hinged door upon entry prior to starting to run the water to fill the bath.

Ranging from £1,900 for the tall and wide maxi walk-in bath to £2,100 for the big and bold option, there’s very little difference in price when it comes to how much a maxi walk-in bath costs. This’ll have cheaper installation costs too, as a direct result of no electrical requirements due to the seat being static.


Midi Walk-In Bath

There are four options in the midi walk-in bath range, the main difference between which is the variations in length, width and height of both the bath and the step threshold. All featuring a static seat, these midi sized walk-in baths still offer plenty of bathing space and are perfect for medium-sized spaces.

Your size options and midi walk-in bath cost are as follows:

  • 1245mm (L) x 660mm (W) x 950 mm (H) Midi Walk-In Bath Costs £1,495
  • 1195mm (L) x 715mm (W) x 1015 mm (H) Midi Walk-In Bath Costs £1,675
  • 1270mm (L) x 760mm (W) x 975 mm (H) Midi Walk-In Bath Costs £1,775 (lower entry threshold)
  • 1225mm (L) x 660mm (W) x 950 mm (H) Midi Walk-In Bath Costs £1,835 (low entry threshold)

Compact Walk-In Bath

If you have limited space, the compact walk in bath is half the size of a conventional tub, with two length variations. Fitting almost anywhere, even a small en-suite that you thought wouldn’t even fit a shower, the compact walk-in bath offers a chest-deep relaxing bathing experience.

A choice of front or side entry allows this neat walk-in bath to be installed in the smallest alcove, making the greatest use of the most awkward space.

The cost of compact walk in baths depends on the length and access requirements. There are two very similar designs, and very little variation in how much a compact walk-in bath costs.

  1. 950mm in length, 660mm in width and 930mm in height, the outward opening side panel access compact walk-in bath costs £1,575.
  2. Or for larger spaces, the 980mm in length, 660mm in width and 930mm in height, the inward opening end panel access compact walk-in bath costs £1,625.

As great as they are, walk-in baths are not suitable for all, so we would always strongly encourage you visit a showroom to gain further insight, knowledge and try before you buy. We have two showrooms in the Yorkshire region, both of which feature a walk-in bath for you to try.

More Ability, part of the Passmore Group, is Yorkshire’s only 5* rated bathroom adaptation company. Specialising in accessible, mobility and disabled bathroom solutions we are extremely proud of the exceptional service we continuously deliver from design right through to installation and after care. Whether you want a future proofed solution or require a more specialist adaptation in order to remain independent at home More Ability can help create a safe space to bathe for you or your loved ones.

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