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Accessible bathtub

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Accessible Bathtub
Accessible Bathtub

Accessible bathtubs are bathtubs that can be used by people with limited mobility or the disabled. A bathtub can be made accessible for some people by the addition of grab bars or hand grips, or through the use of lifts that lower and raise the bather in the water.[1] Other bathtubs have been specially designed for accessibility. These may include walk-in bathtubs,[1] tubs with built-in transfer benches,[2] or, more recently, tubs with raised beds and sliding doors to allow for a seated transfer.[3]

Many accessible bathtubs are available with hydrotherapy or whirlpool features, internal grab bars, anti-slip floors and seats, and handheld showerheads that, in some cases, can also be wall mounted to enable a person to take a standing shower.

Walk-In Bathtubs

Walk-In Bathtub
Walk-In Bathtub

Walk-in bathtubs have either an inward-opening or outward-opening door that is self-sealing.[1] Most walk-in bathtubs also have a chair-height seat, but some, which are the same basic configuration as a standard bathtub, do not have any seat. In some instances an inward-opening door may be considered a disadvantage because emergency access is impossible, since the pressure of the water on the door is holding it closed. However, the advantage is that an inward opening door is "self-sealing" due to the pressure of the water inside the bath assisting in maintaining a water-tight seal. Outward-swinging doors are equipped with a special seal so that they will not leak. Other tubs have side walls that raise and lower.[4]

Some bathtubs categorized as "walk-in" actually require a low step-in, as they have higher seats and outward-opening doors that enable a person to simply sit on the seat and pivot and swing his or her legs into the tub. This type of walk-in bathtub can be helpful to those confined to wheelchairs and to others with mobility challenges.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2
    • {{{last}}}, {{{first}}} and {{{coauthors}}}. housing by design—Bathrooms. {{{date}}}. {{{work}}}. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. Accessed on 2010-03-06
    • {{{last}}}, {{{first}}} and {{{coauthors}}}. [1]. 1 February 2004. {{{publisher}}}. Accessed on 2010-03-06
    • {{{last}}}, {{{first}}} and {{{coauthors}}}. Tub You Can Really Get Into. 2 December 2008. {{{work}}}. British Columbia Institute of Technology. Accessed on 2010-03-06
  2. Karp, Gary (2008). Life on Wheels: The A to Z Guide to Living Fully with Mobility Issues. Demos Medical Publishing, 400. ISBN 9781932603330.