Pros and Cons of Walk In Tubs: Thoroughly Luxurious or Impractical?

Sunken, walk-in bathtubs are a hallmark of luxury. Just like a swimming pool, a sunken bathtub is integrated into the floor of your bathroom, erasing the barrier between the floor and the water. A thoroughly luxurious addition to a master bathroom, walk-in bathtubs are becoming increasingly fashionable. Creating a more organic bathtime experience, sunken tubs are like slipping into a luxuriant hot spring – however, this experience isn’t without its downsides. Here, find out the pros and cons of walk in tubs, and find out if it’s the right choice for your bathroom.

Pro: Seamless Aesthetics

the pros and cons of walk in tubs

Of all the pros and cons of walk in tubs, their major selling point is the seamless integration between the floor and the bath. A design sensibility commonly applied to swimming pools, it creates a sleek, clean finish. Often, to realize this aesthetic, you’ll be required to install steps down into the bathtub. This can be achieved by commissioning a designer to create a pre-cast concrete tub that includes steps. The possibilities with this material are endless – by ordering a customized pre-cast concrete tub, your bath can be any shape you wish.

Con: Invisible Edges

However, the most appealing design feature of contemporary walk in tubs is probably their biggest failing. When the bathtub is seamlessly integrated into the floor, this creates a safety issue. For example, if someone enters the bathroom in the dark, they may accidentally step into the tub.


However, there are ways to combat this caveat, such as adding a subtle lip to the edge of the bath. A further alternative is to use a different floor texture around the edge of the bathtub. For instance, wooden decking can quietly indicate the presence of the tub, whilst turning it into a focal point of the bathroom.

Pro: Discerning Historical References

pros and cons of walk in tubs

For those who are invested in the history of design and architecture, a sunken bathtub can be an exciting way to reference works by some architectural greats. For example, a sunken bathtub features in the Radius House, a masterwork of Frank Lloyd Wright’s apprentice Daniel Lieberman. Furthermore, for those who draw inspiration from exotic cultures and traditions, a sunken bathtub is the ideal addition to a bathroom which evokes the aesthetic of a Japanese onsen. Teamed with bamboo accessories and wooden cladding, a sunken bath can create all the tranquility of a Zen garden in your home.

Despite the exciting array of looks which can be created using walk in tubs, a downside is that there is one era which is inevitably associated with sunken baths: the 1980s. The stereotypical 1980s bathroom conjures images of gaudy peach or avocado suites with sunken jacuzzi tubs – a style that many hope will never return! Of course, unwittingly evoking the worst of the 1980s can easily be avoided – just make sure your designer chooses sleek, contemporary finishes which are to your liking.

Pro: Future Benefits

pros and cons of walk in tubs

Despite all of the aesthetic benefits of a walk in bathtub, there is one practical benefit – they’re very easy to get in and out of. Therefore, if you are an individual with reduced mobility, or if you are planning to live in your home well into your senior years, installing a walk in bathtub could be an excellent solution for ‘future-proofing’ your home.

In Summary: The Pros and Cons of Walk In Tubs

Overall, when considering the pros and cons of walk in tubs, it depends on the extent to which you are confident the style benefits will outweigh the safety concerns. Despite the caveats – which are easily overcome – walk in bathtubs are sleek, contemporary and romantic, making bathtime feel like an escape to a luxury resort. Therefore, if you’re renovating a bathroom, a walk in tub is perhaps one of the best ways to make your bathroom truly decadent.

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