Take the first step to shower safety

By Hawaii Renovation Posted in: BathInterior
September 22, 2013

For people with impaired agility, stepping into a bathtub can be a dangerous challenge. Island Bath Works has a practical, affordable solution. Some people simply aren’t steady or strong enough to safely step over a typical 14-inch bathtub wall to get into or out of their bathtub. The difficulty might stem from age or injury.

One solution might be replacing your bathtub with a shower stall, a project that can easily cost $12,000 or more and take a week to complete.

Island Bath Works has a better alternative for a much lower cost: a walk-in bathtub conversion. The Honolulu firm will remove a section of the bathtub wall, leaving a curb that is 4 inches high, while the rest of the tub — and its associated plumbing and wall covering — remains undisturbed.

Bathtubs are commonly made of cast iron, fiberglass or steel. Island Bath Works has extensive experience modifying all of them. A portion of the tub wall up to three feet wide is removed. The remaining edges are covered with matching material and are refinished, leaving a seamless surface that looks as good as new. Island Bath Works can also refinish the entire tub if needed. Grab rails and non-skid surfaces can be installed to complete the safety improvements to your bath.

Island Bath Works can accomplish all of this for a fraction of the cost of tub replacements, and a lot quicker.

“We want to minimize disruption to the household,” said Eric Thompson, chief executive officer and owner of Island Bath Works. “Most of our jobs take a single day and the tub is ready to use the following night.”

Thompson, a Kaimuki native, noted that many Island households include several generations of family members. “It is unfortunate that many homeowners only consider a walk-in bathtub conversion after Grandma or Grandpa has an accident,” said Thompson. “Our goal is to help people take the necessary preventive measure before then.”

Michael Oh of Kaneohe did just that, when his octogenarian mother’s mobility was limited by illness. He read about Island Bath Works and contacted Thompson.

Island Bath Works performed the cut and refinished the 50-year-old tub, installing grab bars at strategic locations as well. Thompson did the work in a day.

“He did an absolutely outstanding job,” said Oh. “I’ve recommended him to everybody I know that has anyone in their family who is mobility-challenged.”

Oh said his friends and family were impressed by the quality of the work and added, “What I liked the best is the care Eric took, like keeping the dust out of the rest of the house.” He also noted that Thompson is easy to work with and very responsive.

“There’s definitely a market for his service,” said Oh. “I couldn’t recommend him more highly.”

Island Bath Works provides a lifetime warranty on labor and materials and a five-year warranty on refinishing. The firm can convert bathtubs not only on Oahu but also the Neighbor Islands.

For more information, call Island Bath Works at 927-9228 or visit www.IslandBathWorks.com.

Photos: Rachel Breit

contact // 927-9228
web // www.IslandBathWorks.com