By Michelle Lee

All too often members of the Hawaii community either directly experience or hear of an elderly loved one tripping over a bathtub, causing serious injury, or worse.

To prevent such happenings, Island Bath Works offers walk-through bathtub conversions, an innovative process in which the existing bathtub is modified by removing a portion of the side creating a seamless entrance allowing for safe and easy access.


The need for bathtub conversions

Available on all the islands, Island Bath Works’ bathtub conversion is a popular option for those with limited mobility.


“Many homeowners commit to doing a walk-through bathtub conversion only after having an accident,” said Eric Thompson, CEO and president of Island Bath Works. “Our goal is to help people take the necessary preventative measures before it’s too late.”

With the middle-aged and elderly population in Hawaii increasing, as well as the number of households with multi-generational families living under one roof, there exists a need for bathrooms that can safely accommodate everybody, said Thompson.

Bathtub conversions do not have to be expensive or complex

Oftentimes, the high cost of labor and supplies is the reason why many choose to hold off on bathtub conversions. However, thanks to various proprietary methods and techniques, Island Bath Works is able to maintain a significantly lower price tag than most bathroom renovation companies.

“Traditionally, to get a walk-in shower or sit-in bathtub would involve costly demolition, plumbing and tile setting work which can range anywhere from $12,000 to $15,000 on average,” said Thompson. “Our tub conversion creates a low walkthrough entrance with a high quality and seamless finish that saves homeowners approximately 80 percent compared to doing full scale renovations.”

Unlike most bathroom renovations, the walk-through bathtub conversion does not require major reconstruction or demolition. Labor time is minimal as most conversions can be completed in one day and homeowners can start using the shower the following day.


“Most people think renovating any part of the bathroom is a weighty and complex job that requires not being able to use your bathroom for weeks,” said Thompson. “Since we are converting your existing bathtub and not replacing it altogether, the entire process is quick and burden-free.”


Homeowners can place the entryway on any part of the bathtub in any desired size up to three feet. Additionally, the conversion process is advantageously versatile as it can also be done on any type of bathtub ranging from cast iron to fiber-glass to steel materials. “Most homes in Hawaii were built with high-quality cast iron bathtubs, so for those homes it makes no sense to replace the bathtub completely,” said Thompson.

In addition to the bathtub conversion, customers can also choose to refinish their bathtub. Unlike bathtub replacement, which would involve removing and replacing all components as well as redoing the plumbing configuration, refinishing resurfaces the existing fixtures to achieve a shiny and clean appearance.

“We offer the American standard white or almond for bathtubs,” said Thompson. “For walls, homeowners can choose from a variety of granite-like stone finishes, which give the bathroom a very nice appearance.”

Island Bath Works ensures the durability of all its products by guaranteeing a lifetime warranty on all labor and materials as well as a five-year warranty on any refinishing.

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