Walk Out Tubs A Good Idea?

by Patti Freymuth, Owner of Inside The Box Design


I have been in the design industry for 23+ years, and I recognize these tubs have become popular. Recommended by many and understood by few.

My personal opinion is that where they may have a place or a unique situation where they are needed a valid they have draw backs that are too important to not address. Yes our 90 year old parent or Grandparent used tubs, the idea and feel of a shower is upsetting, or unplesant by their standards, so for them it could be helpful, yet if they live alone, I still frown on it.

Here is why, baths feel great after a good round of snow shoveling or football, and we get the water running until it is nice and warm, pull the stopper and while its filling run a grab a robe, a book or snack, get our towels ready, and then sink in. Now picture needing to sit in the cool tub, naked, waiting for it to fill......now picture being done and instead of getting out, you must now sit naked again waiting for it to drain all the way before you can exit the tub. Doesn't sound so wonderful anymore?

Now consider your aging parent sitting in there,  you run to answer the door or phone, and in an attempt to reach something or reposition they loose their footing and slide down in and have difficulty getting back up alone. The water is deeper because most have a raised seat. Again, a struggling parent with little upper body strength is not a good match for this without help nearby at all times.

Please, before being talked into products like these, think through the functionality and if it really will suit your needs or if a thoughtfully designed shower with a nice seat could be more feasible.


5 Bathroom Remodeling Design Trends & Ideas for 2013 


An accessible shower exemplifies 2013 bathroom remodeling trends

A cool looking accessible shower exemplifies 2013 bathroom remodeling trends

If you’re looking for a way to ring in the new year in style an excellent way would be to remodel your bathroom. It’s important to thoughtfully design this space and use the right materials to make it not only be stylish for today – but to most importantly work for your family in the years to come. Learn 5 top bathrooms trends for 2013 below:


Trend 1 – Showers that are made to last – Ditch the old soaking/Jacuzzi tub – nothing screams 80’s styling as much as the big monster tubs that are barely used. 2013 is about the larger shower (that takes the place of the old tub + smaller stand up shower that used to be in the bathroom). When designing consider making it anaccessible shower by using a barrier free entry and slip resistant tiles. To add more function, safety and comfort add a hand held shower, rain shower and corner bench seat.


Trend 2 – Low maintenance bath countertops using Quartz – While granite is still being used a lot low maintenance quartz composites are growing very fast. They require minimal effort to keep up (which is excellent for a wet space) and look great.


Trend 3 – Incorporate the hot colors of 2013 – One popular color for 2013 will be charcoal. This color blends well when used with chocolate, gray and a bit of green. In addition deep emerald greens are taking off in popularity – and they don’t have to be limited to the runways. According to Leatrice Eiseman Pantone’s color specialist “Emerald is just fusty enough to feel retro fresh when Angelina Jolie, Mila Kunis and Catherine Zeta Jones all wore emerald gowns for the Golden Globes award.”


Trend 4 – Staying put – Baby boomers want to stay in their homes in longer. This has changed bathroom design greatly. There are now Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS) who can guide owners on how to make a cool bathroom space that will also serve them over the long run (safe bathrooms do not have to look like hospital rooms any more with products like full body driers, decorative grab bars and well designed roll under sinks. Universal design (baths designed to be used by anyone) will become a buzzword known by many.


Trend 5 – Healthy Homes & Healthy Living – Sustainability is not just a cool word anymore – homeowners are looking for the use of low VOC materials to improve air quality and to create an environment free of toxins and harsh chemicals (more care will be taken to ensure that projects are done responsibly with long lasting safe materials).



The Need for Accessibility and Universal Design May Come From an Injury, A Visiting Relative, or Just the Tolls of Aging

  1. Anti scald tub/ shower valves
  2. Lever handles instead of door knobs
  3. Motion sensor light controls
  4. Wider doorways at 36”
  5. Widen hallways when possible
  6. Level door thresholds and curbless showers
  7. Plan for electric near stairs for future lift (or elevator) if space permits
  8. Main Floor Bathroom
  9. Main Floor Bedroom
  10. Non skid floors
  11. Enhanced lighting
  12. Good Acoustics
  13. Varied Countertop heights
  14. Comfort Height Toilets
  15. Balance bars
  16. Adjustable storage in bedrooms, pantry, garage, bathroom
  17. Low maintenance finishes
  18. Higher Seats heights (includes Living Room, Kitchen, and shower seat)