A Consumer's Perspective
Some examples* (websites are listed below) of misleading language that made me think I would have an immersed hydrotherapy experience: Independent Living USA - "...let your aches, pains, tensions and stress be therapeutically massaged away with the magic of thousands of warm bubbles....jets are positioned to give the body maximum coverage, so your entire body benefits..." Independent Living USA "...many of our Walk In Tubs are over 3 feet tall, so you get a complete soak all the way up to your shoulders." AR Wholesale -"Arthritis and joint discomfort respond very favorably to the soothing, therapeutic effect of heat from a warm, deep bath." AR Wholesale -"You can fully immerse yourself while sitting for a luxurious bathing experience." NW Bathing Solutions - "The hydrotherapy jets are positioned in such a way as to give the body maximum coverage, thereby ensuring complete benefit". Comfort Bath Walk-in Tubs -"...relief from the stiffness of muscular tightness, aches from rheumatism, pains from arthritis, and even a day’s worth of stress and tension can all be massaged and comforted. The hydrotherapy jets are positioned in such a way as to give the body maximum coverage, thereby ensuring complete benefit....." Safety Tubs - "A deep warm soak or therapeutic massage is great for arthritis pain, rheumatism, back pain and other common ailments. Imagine how good you will feel! " NOTE: I have downloaded these pages, so if websites have changed since my download and eliminated these claims -- good.
Non-skid options: Independent Living USA - "...non-skid floor and seat..."
And, what about the depth of the tubs: AR Wholesale -"And since Safety Tubs are nearly twice as deep as regular bathtubs, there is more room to soak." NW Bathing Solutions- "Walk-In bathtub is nearly twice the depth of regular tubs for true soaking comfort." Check out: Home Living Solutions. DC Enterprises - "Relax and soak – the Walk In Tub is twice as deep as a regular tub"
Remember the only depth that may matter to you is "how high does the water go on my upper chest" : See The Math
And, despite all the "depth" issues, I still enjoy my Walk-in tub.
After reading all the stuff above, and wanting to believe it was true, when I saw the initial images below, I believed in "Maximum Coverage" and couldn't wait for my tub. One I got my walk-in tub, I realized the reality of the second set -- which I basically never really looked at.. Personally, I don't think you will be sorry that you bought one of the many Walk-in Tubs on the market. Just don't elevate your hopes or believe the hype. You will be able to figure out several different ways to achieve maximum relaxation -- if not coverage. Buying a spa pillow and seat cushion won't hurt either.
Below are images from the Walk-In Tub websites.
Click on any image to go to the actual website -- although some websites may have changed. Also, note that images on one website are often repeated on other websites, so don't assume the link associated with the image is the only site where the image appears. The comments under the images are mine.
Footnote: I have been able to hyper-fill my walk-in tub by covering the overflow opening. When I slide down to get as low as possible - trying to emulate the center image in the first line, there is a floating effect that takes place that, for me, relieved pressure on my back. However, if I turn the hydrotherapy on, the higher sprays do tend to jump over the low side of the tub
|The Reality of My Tub -- So You Can Check Yours|
|DC Enterprises Supplies Walk-In Bathtubs, the DCE Bathlifter, the Concept 2000 Bath, and the Ameriwall System|
|My Walk-in tub - Model 30||Look at this person relaxing. I don't know the dimension of this tub or how high the water was or what his dimensions are. But I tried getting down as low as he is in mine and it was impossible. This image appears on several websites.||Another image of someone apparently immersed in the tranquil waters of her bath. In my tub, the water could never go this high. And as comfortable as she looks, there is no water "on" her. Can't do this in my tub.|
|How deep are these bubbles? Be sure to check with the company, which in this case operates out of England.||This looks like a comfortable bubble spa moment, with total body coverage. Look closer. The bubbles add to the height of the water but really, as low as she is, the water is not covering her chest.||Looks pretty high to me. -- but it is bubbling so the hydrotherapy system is on. Could have more force and a higher outtake/overflow than mine. Have not listed the critical dimensions so check it out for yourself.|
|Moral of this story is: Don't believe everything you see. Stick with dimensions & get the facts.|
|This is a true image||This is pretty much how it is. The angle even makes the water look a bit higher than it is. So the hydrotheraphy may reach the small of your back in the tub and you'd have to augment with the hand-held shower. Not what I expected.||Now this person appears to be immersed. Don't let the bubbles fool you. In fact, if you see anyone in bubbles, figure the actual water is 4 to six inches lower.|
|Hand-Held shower on a vertical rod. This works for both sit-down and stand-up showering. I bought this as it didn't come with my tub.||Inside of a tub. Again, it is one thing to see the image and another to get the dimensions. Note that this hand-held shower rests on the tub. So unless there is more, you will only be able to use the shower while holding it.||This was one of the most comprehensive informational sites in that it give a whole installation and maintenance guide -- which will give you a pretty good idea of what to expect. I did not go with this product because it had smaller dimensions than the tub I purchased. However, I did not know at that point to find out the differential between the seat height and the overflow position.|
Another tub version with a fixed position holder for the shower,
|Another tub version with a vertical bar holder for the shower,||Tubs can have doors on either side.|
Creative Soaking: At this point, it is pretty clear that having the water massaging your whole body is, pretty much, not going to happen. So, at your own risk, what can one do?
References (Not a complete reference for Walk-in Tubs):