Joe and Betty Kuroda weren’t convinced they needed to change the bathtub in the Pearl City home they have lived in since 1955.

Their son, however, learned about Island Bath Works and its innovative bathtub conversions at a trade show and convinced his parents to have their bathtub redone.

The Kurodas contacted Island Bath Works president and CEO Eric Thompson.

“What he did was cut a low entrance into my bathtub, which makes it easy for my wife and me to go into the tub without going over a foot and a half height,” said Joe, a former state senator who is 86 years old. “At the same time, he refinished the tub and put a grab rail on the side and installed a hose type of shower head.”


The work took 10 hours, and the Kurodas both say they are pleased with the job.

“What I originally planned to do was take out the bathtub and just make it flat to put in a wheelchair,” the former senator recalled. Neither he nor his wife uses a wheelchair, but he wasn’t aware of any alternative until the couple’s son informed him about the company’s unique solution.

Betty recalled, “I kept saying I don’t need it, but my son insisted. I’m very glad he did because my arthritic knee started getting worse and worse.”


Without the Island Bath Works conversion, stepping in and out of the tub would have been difficult, said Betty. “Getting over the 4 inches is much easier.”

That’s the step-over height of the tub entry after Island Bath Works removes a section of the side of the bathtub; the entrance can be up to 3 feet wide. Island Bath Works consults with homeowners to determine where the new tub entry will work best for the homeowners’ needs.


Whether the tub is fiberglass, cast iron or steel, Island Bath Works can also refinish it, leaving a tub that looks new, is far more accessible and is ready to use by the next day.

The conversion does not require plumbing alterations, demolition or major reconstruction. Because of that, an Island Bath Works tub conversion costs only a fraction of the nearly $15,000 that installation of a shower stall or new bathtub or other major renovation would require. In addition, an Island Bath Works conversion usually takes a single day, which minimizes downtime and disruption to the household.

Betty and Joe Kuroda said they are absolutely satisfied with the Island Bath Works conversion and recommend it highly to others. “We’re very happy with the way it turned out,” said Betty.

Thompson said, “I get a lot of satisfaction from improving the safety in our customers’ lives. Getting in and out of your bathtub shouldn’t be a risky adventure.”

Island Bath Works provides a 10-year 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

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