NEVER buy a walk‐in bath without taps fitted. Special fast‐fill taps are needed, even for the smallest walk‐in bath. They are not available in tap shops, they are custom made.
The taps used on Windsor Baths are made in the UK to the highest standards, to ensure every component of the tapware is designed to fill your bath as quickly as possible.
A user of a walk‐in bath with standard taps found it took 18 minutes to fill the bath. Fast fill taps deliver 30 to 40 litres a minute [more with ¾” inlets], standard taps deliver 5 to 15 litres a minute.
The worlds’ major vendors use custom made fast‐fill taps for a good reason, most commonly made in the UK, US or Australia.
Some walk‐in baths come with a low quality, one piece, ribbed hose of around 35mm diameter. This results in a long wait for the bath to drain.
Better walk‐in baths come with a complete drainage kit with a 40mm Hepflex hose which is smooth lined inside. This prevents the pipe getting waste matter caught in its internal ribbing at the lowest point, which happens with normal drains with internal ribs. The extra diameter increases the pipe by one third of extra area, to drain the water that much quicker
We use only body‐temperature heated air‐spas to prevent bruising to delicate skin that a water spa can cause.
Our air‐spa system is made for hydrotherapy applications by the worlds’ leading provider in Canada. The system automatically self‐purges 20 minutes after usage, to help prevent passing on infections the next time it is used.
The spa jets are designed to prevent skin bruising that can happen with normal spa jets. The 16 jets are roughly the size of a 10 cent coin with 6 outlets on the RIM of each jet. This creates a flower pattern of vigorous massage instead of a centralised blast.
Others use standard water/air systems used in pools and standard spas which cost less than a quarter of the price.
You can turn on a heated‐air spa before you enter the bath to heat the bath shell, you can’t do this with a water spa.
While a door may help you get into the conventional lay‐in type bath, the big risk is getting stuck on the floor of the bath, unable to rise.
This is why lay‐down type baths aren’t fitted into aged care environments in Australia. As a general rule, if you can’t step into a bath, you are in the high risk category for being unable to get up and out of a lay‐in type of bath. The larger water capacity of lay‐in type baths means you are standing [or laying] in the bath for a longer period while it fills.
Can you reach the taps at the foot of the bath?
Because of the weight of a metal flexi hose and shower head that go into the bath body, these are clumsy and difficult to use. Sliding a 1 to 1.5 metre metal hose into the hole in the bath is difficult and clumsy. This type of shower rarely has a WELS rating as required by Australian Standards. To overcome the weight issue, some suppliers use low weight [and quality] metal‐looking plastic hoses and plastic showers. You are better to use a vertical Australian external grab bar above the bath, with an attached, sliding, removable shower head on a flexi hose as shown here. Your plumber can supply these for about $300 [at BUNNINGS]. They are easy to fit, as the flexi‐hose screws into the existing shower outlet. Again, the worlds’ major walk‐in bath supplier, Premier Baths use this method, as it is far better, safer and easier to use.
A standard door is 2’8″ wide [81cm] less the door jambs giving you about 31″ [79 cm]. If the smallest dimension of a bath you are looking at is over 30″ [76cm] you may not get it through your doors; check this.
These look good in theory, but many people find they feel insecure with these and find the transition from a seated to laying position, and the reverse, very awkward. Many people also find it difficult to reach the taps quickly, this makes scalding more likely. We looked at introducing a bath with a lift seat, but our testing group found them extremely harsh on backs. When the seat took them from a seating position, to a legs‐out position, all testers noted back strain.
Overall, like a plastic shower chair, a very second rate solution.
This is a key issue as it is largely about user safety.
Having Australian sourced plumbing fittings is a key factor here. Ask also where the spa systems come from, and are they installed in Australia to Australian Standards.
Here are questions to ask before buying.
Failure of a single thermostat model can have tragic results [think of a kettle].
These standards are about giving you a bath that is safe and will give years of trouble free ownership. Don’t compromise your safety and security.