How much would it cost to install a walk-in tub?

Answered by Jeffrey Anderson ~ June 22, 2013 ~ Comments

I want to know about how much it would cost to put bars near a toilet and install a sit down shower for a fall risk elderly woman. My mom recently had a terrible fall and for safety and ability reasons needs these installed.

- Julie

Jeffrey Anderson

Julie, grab bar pricing is usually dependent on size and finish. You can purchase a very nice 24-inch bar in a chrome or brushed nickel finish for about $60. If you shop around or find a sale, perhaps for even a little less. Highly decorative or special finish models can be as much as $100 or more. If you plan on installing the grab bar next to a toilet, an 18- or 24-inch length should suffice.

However, the grab bar itself is only a part of the cost. It also has to be anchored firmly to the wall. Unless you're very lucky, there's a pretty good chance there won't be solid framing behind both ends of the grab bar regardless of its length or where it's positioned.

Toggle bolts are good for many things, but I don't recommend them as grab bar anchors. The last thing you want is for the bar to rip off the wall when being used by someone to pull themselves up off of the toilet.

In my opinion, solid blocking should always be installed behind the sheetrock prior to a grab bar being mounted. If your wall finish is painted sheetrock, this could add a hundred dollars or more to your total cost. However, if there is ceramic tile on the wall, it could even be higher along with the potential headache of having to match a few pieces of new tile.

Walk-in tubs and showers can vary in price based on size and features. Basic models can be found for about $1,500, but larger units with air jets and other options may be over $7,000. Quite a few walk-in tubs come with built-in grab bars, but check to ensure the model you're considering has the safety feature.

Of course, labor cost is also a big part of any walk-in tub installation. You can keep that down by choosing a model that fits into the space the current tub occupies. If you go that route, expect labor to run in the area of $600 - $900. Your local pricing could be a little higher or lower as labor rates can vary by region. This price should include removing the old tub or shower.

Choosing a larger unit that requires significant framing change may run the total project cost as high as a complete bathroom remodel. If you need help finding reputable walk-in tub contractors in your area, complete and return the form on this website. ReliableRemodeler.com works with pre-screened and certified remodeling contractors across the country, all of whom are licensed, bonded, and insured.*

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