Walk-in bathtubs and showers continue to increase in popularity as the population ages. According to Tropical Plumbing & Bath President Charlie Beeck, the demand for walk-in tubs and barrier-free showers is especially strong in Hawaii where multigenerational households are common. Tropical sells a variety of models in a wide price range and, as a general contractor, also handles the required plumbing and bathroom alterations.

“When we remodel bathrooms, these installations are often included,” said Beeck, who has been named “Remodeler of the Year” by the Building Industry Association. “They sometimes replace standard tubs and showers or are added for the comfort and convenience of family members with limited mobility.


“Walk-in bathtubs generally include such components as head-rests, grab-bars, massage jets and hand-held showers, which can be placed in a number of positions. The tub can be filled so the occupant can be immersed in the water, much like a furo, or can use the shower in a standing position. These tubs are very versatile. The walk-in showers often replace old fashioned showers which are typically small and narrow.”


Tropical Plumbing & Bath introduced American-made brands of walk-in bathtubs in Hawaii 11 years ago. Today, Beeck noted, the array of special accessories and features has increased to the point where the walk-in tub is comparable to a spa with hydro-therapy and massage capabilities to relieve stiffness and stress. “The bathroom was once the most neglected room in the house. The modern bathroom has become an oasis, a place to relax and unwind. Aesthetics has become important, so we have continued to expand our design services and can offer a complete remodeling package with tile, marble, and other finish options. Selections can be adjusted to accommodate the homeowner’s needs and budget.

“Recently we installed three walk-in bathtubs at the Kuakini Home Residential Care facility for men and women. We were delighted to have an opportunity to work with Kuakini on this installation and were able to fi ll their needs in a timely manner. They were very pleased with the service and quality of the product. The fact that a highly regarded medical and care facility made the decision to add these fixtures for the safety and convenience of their residents demonstrates the increasing acceptance of walk-in tubs … a product we pioneered in Hawaii.” Beeck, made a donation of $500 to the Kuakini Foundation, a non-profi t subsidiary of Kuakini Health System located on the 10-acre Nuuanu/Liliha campus.



To arrange a free in-home consultation for bathroom design alterations, complete remodeling, and installation of walk-in bathtub and shower systems, contact Tropical Plumbing & Bath at 847-0970.

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