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Tub Cut or Walk-In Tub? Which Should You Choose?

Tub Cut or Walk-In Tub? Which Should You Choose?

Jan 19, 2023

Did you know that falls account for 60% of emergency room visits for seniors and 50% of injury-related deaths? Even more startling is that almost 80% of those falls happen in the bathroom! The combination of slick tile floors, water, and potentially having to balance on one leg while transferring in or out of the tub is a recipe for disaster for individuals who have balance issues or limited mobility. That’s why at AIP Mobility Plus, we are committed to helping seniors with Aging In Place by fitting a variety of bathroom safety features to make the bathroom safer.

One of the most common aspects of bathroom safety we deal with is addressing the problem of safely transferring in and out of the tub. There is a range of options available, and AIP Mobility Plus will work with you to decide which is the best option to fit your individual needs. One of the choices that you may need to make is whether you want a tub cut or a walk-in tub. Let’s take a look at some of those differences.

What is a Tub Cut?

A Tub Cut is pretty much exactly what the name suggests. It is a quick and affordable option that converts a standard bathtub into a step-in tub or shower. Part of the sidewall of the existing tub is cut away and capped with a watertight seal. This makes the wall height around 6 inches in that section, making it much easier to step over than a standard bathtub wall. There is also the option to install a door insert to close up the opening allowing the bathtub to function as a standard bath if required. It is a very quick modification that AIP Mobility Plus can complete in a single day and is suitable for use in most bathtubs, including fiberglass, steel, and cast iron.

Is a Tub Cut Suitable For Your Needs?

Tub cuts are popular due to their low cost and efficient installation. However, they may not be suitable for everyone. There are a few potential drawbacks that you should consider. With a tub cut, there is still a 6-inch lip to step over, so they are not particularly suitable for wheelchair users. In addition, if you wish to use the bathtub, you will need to be able to lower yourself down into the bath, which may not be possible if you have restricted mobility. Grab bars, or a mechanical bath lift could be installed to resolve this, but that will add additional cost to the modification. Another point to note is that if using the bathtub rather than the shower, the door insert needs to be sealed before filling the tub, so you do need to be situated in the tub before drawing the bath and remain so until the water is fully drained. However, if you only expect to use the shower, a tub cut can be a cost-effective way to create a walk-in shower.

What is a Walk-In Tub?

So, what makes a walk-in tub different from a tub cut? The most significant difference between the two products is that a walk-in tub completely replaces your bathtub. They usually have a watertight swing door and a built-in seat. There is typically little to no lip, making it much more accessible to those with significant mobility restrictions or who need to transfer from a wheelchair. Most models have built-in grab bars to make them as safe as possible to use. There is also the option of choosing a model that offers additional therapeutic features, such as whirlpool jets which can be helpful for those with arthritis, poor circulation, and general aches and pains! It is not possible to have a tub cut if your existing bathtub has those features.

Which Is The Safer Option?

The bathroom safety option that you choose will very much depend on your own individual needs. When you book a FREE in-home consultation with AIP Mobility Plus, we will discuss all of the options with you. We can help you to make an informed decision about the best products to help you to retain your independence in your own home while also offering your family peace of mind that you are safe. In general terms, walk-in tubs have a more sturdy design and do not require you to lower yourself down to standard tub depth. They also have a lower threshold making it easier for wheelchair users and those with severe mobility restrictions or balance issues. However, if you have a better range of motion and are confident using a lift or grab bars to lower yourself, then a tub cut could be a more affordable option, especially if you want to retain the use of a standard bathtub for other members of the household. Whichever option you decide, you can rest easy knowing that AIP Mobility Plus will do everything we can to make your remodeling experience stress-free. We are here to help those in our community to stay in the community with support for Aging In Place.


Helping You Keep Your Independence at Home

AIP Mobility Plus is a Veteran owned business in Morris County, NJ that is dedicated to providing you with safer mobility at home helping you to keep your independence and stay in your own home for longer. We can provide a range of options to make your home more accessible with stair lifts, ramps, and bathroom safety options.

Call 973-607-3211 or email