How to Select Between the Acrylic and Fiberglass Walk in Tubs
Most available walk in tubs are made of either acrylic or fiberglass material. Acrylic material is heated to mold and create a continuous membrane which is water proof. The acrylic material is reinforced for stability and insulation by fiberglass material. The material is non-porous and it can retain its finish for long with good maintenance. Acrylic can stand being used and cleaned most of the time. Abrasive cleaning agents destroy the gloss finish and some components of the bathtub might rust.
The acrylic walk in bathtub can be easily and perfectly repaired, it does not lose it color fast and it has a longer life of more than 30 years. The cost of these tubs can be a bit expensive but the tub is strong and can withstand being used for long. The surface has a high gloss which can be easily cleaned which is an advantage for a senior. The acrylic tub is thick and has a wide variety of colors and styles to choose from according to preference.
The acrylic tub gives high value for money and good service. An acrylic tub being solid allows for more water content filling and incase the finish is to wear off the color of the tub is the same all through so it cannot be easily noticed. Since the bathtub is solid throughout the mold there are no hiding places for bacteria which causes the growth of molds and mildew.
Fiberglass also known as the gel coat is a mold where fine glass particles are used for reinforcement. The gel coat is porous is made of colored polyester resin. The fiber glass discolors fast after some time and they are at the risk of breaking if not well supported. Scratches which occur over time cannot be repaired.
The fiberglass tub is lightweight, affordable, easy to install and easy to repair. One needs an epoxy resin repair kit to fill in cracks easily. The fiberglass can be repaired although some cracks and scratches might not be well repaired. The color on these bathtubs tends to discolor very fast so they should be handled with care for durability.
A fiberglass tub can last from 1 year to 8 years depending on how it is handled and cared for. Fiberglass tubs are very affordable or inexpensive but they are fragile so should be handled with care. The tubs are not very thick and the surface finish is matte. They have good colors and moderate variety styles to choose from. The value for money can be described as fair and the tub is not easy to clean thus the reason it discolors very fast and does not last long.
When the coating wears off from the fiberglass tub the exposed fibers and they harbor bacteria which cause the growth of mildew and mold. Also soap scum and other deposits lead to the quality of the tub to degrade very fast.
After comparing tubs made from the two materials it is good to choose what best suits a senior.
How hard is it to install a Walk in Tub?
One of the top concerns of many homeowners who would like to purchase a walk in tub is the installation process. Contrary to popular belief, walk in tubs are designed with very easy-to-install features. The installation process is likely to be similar to that of a standard tub, if not simpler. With some basic plumbing skills, you can have your walk in tub installed immediately after purchasing it. You just need to get a licensed plumber who has experience installing a walk in tub and you’ll be good to go.
We’ll walk you through the process of installing a walk in tub and help you to understand what is involved in this simple procedure.
- Conduct an inspection
Before any installation is done, an inspection must be conducted. The walk in tub should be in proper state, free of any form of damage or defect. In case a walk in tub has been damaged or has a leak then it should never be installed. You are advised to get in touch with the manufacturer or just follow your warranty instructions.
- Remove the old tub
Once it is confirmed that the walk in tub is in proper condition, the next important step is to have your old bathtub removed, assuming you already had a tub in your bathroom space. Removing an old tub is a simple process that any licensed plumber can do. The plumber may have to remove and replace some old pluming and tub fixtures before installing the walk in tub. Plumbing must be correctly positioned before installing the new walk in tub.
- Installing the new tub
Once the old tub is removed and plumbing is perfected, the next thing is to slide the new tub into the existing space. Care must be taken to ensure that the tub is leveled. The good thing with modern walk in tubs is that they come with adjustable feet that help to ensure the tub is leveled during installation. After installing the walk in tub, plumbing and electrical components will be installed as required.
- Installing the necessary fixtures
Walk in tubs come with different features so the installation will depend on the kind of tub you buy. The installation process will depend on the style. There are tubs that come with hydrotherapy features that must be installed properly for them to work. For those walk in tubs that have hydrotherapy features then the plumber will need to work with an electrician who will install the pumps, heaters and motors.
- Run the walk in tub
After completing the installation process, the plumber can now run the water to ensure that there are no leaks. It’s also important for the plumber to check the water pressure and ensure that it is adequate.
If you want to buy a walk in tub that is smaller than your standard tub, you can still have it installed in your bathroom. You just have to invest in an extension kit that can easily fill in the extra space and provide the perfect size of tub for your needs/space.
How Walk In Tubs Make Bath Time a Luxurious Experience
The main reason why homeowners have chosen to invest in a walk in tub is because they turn bath time into a luxury experience. A walk-in bathtub also comes with numerous health benefits. Let’s look at some of these benefits and see why you also need to invest in one.
First of all, walk in tubs come fitted with super strong air jets. These jets emit bursts of water giving you a desired massage that stimulates the deep tissues in your body and enhance blood circulation. The jets are strategically placed inside the tub to give you a targeted and effective massage.
The walk in tub can also be personalized to suit your needs. For instance, you can control the kind of pressure released by the air jets. Most tubs available in the market are vibrant and customizable so you will not be forced into a single product.
The other advantage of a walk in bathtub is that you can easily manage the temperature level. The tubs come with unique controls so that you can stay warm throughout the period of the bath. You can stay in the tub for as long as you wish without temperatures going to extremes.
More Walk In Tubs Health Benefits
Whirlpool jets are known to ease muscle and joint pain and enhance sleep. People who suffer from insomnia or snoring can get a more relaxing sleep after having a bath in a walk-in tub. The whirlpool massage induces sleep because it promotes proper blood circulation.
Modern walk in bathtubs are also safer than the standard tub. They come with easy to access controls and handrails together with slip resistant floors, all of which enhance safety and reduce the risks of slips and falls. Adults who have mobility problems and need a more relaxing bath time can invest in whirlpool bath tubs with such special features.
To conclude, walk-in tubs offer heat, buoyancy and massage which creates a more relaxing and soothing experience during bath time. Buoyancy of water tends to reduce body weight which helps to relieve any pressure on the joints and muscles. The sensation of weightlessness also helps you to relax better.
The heat in a walk in tub raises your body temperature causing the blood vessels to dilate and boost circulation. Endorphins, which are the body’s natural pain killers are released in the process. These are just a few facts that make walk-in bathtubs an investment which boosts the quality of your life.