Easy path to bathtub safety
A few years ago, Island Bath Works customer Rachele S. needed an urgent modification at her Mililani townhouse. Her husband was temporarily hospitalized and, once home, his mobility restrictions would demand a better way to get in and out of their bathtub.
“We needed the work done before he got out of the hospital,” Rachele said. This meant there was no time for research to find the best solution — which Rachele would have found to be Island Bath Works. Instead, she hired a different contractor, who cut away part of the bathtub wall and installed a plastic insert over the cut. The result was unsightly and weak.
“Initially, it served its purpose, but I was a little disappointed,” mentioned Rachele. The insert was wider than the tub’s double wall, protruded on both sides, and was fastened only with caulk. Plus, they were told not to step on the protrusion because it wasn’t weight-bearing.
That made getting in and out of the tub awkward and clumsy. After a while, the caulking started separating, and Rachele found mildew under the protruding edges that required constant cleaning.
In no time, the couple began looking for an alternative. They considered removing the tub altogether and replacing it with a walk-in shower, a job that would have cost thousands of dollars, and taken at least a week. Then, Rachele came across the website for Island Bath Works, islandbathworks.com, and its walk-through bathtub conversions. “I saw the pictures on the website, and it looked really nice,” she said.
After sending an email asking for details they were pleasantly surprised when Island Bath Works owner Eric Thompson responded promptly. “A lot of times these companies have websites saying contact us, and you send an email and never hear from them. He called me the very next business day, and I was impressed by that,” she explained.
The planning process kick-started within their first contact and Thompson arranged for the work to be done with the family. The two-man crew showed up at 9 a.m. as scheduled, removed the insert and covered the exposed cut, then refinished the entire tub and replaced the caulking. They were done by 3:30 p.m., which was earlier than scheduled, and left the work area spotless and mess-free.
How’s the tub? “To me, it looks like it was manufactured that way, like it’s brand new,” Rachele shared. “(My husband) doesn’t have to worry about knocking over the insert anymore.”
Thompson also installed a non-slip textured surface on the tub floor. “Now I don’t have to worry about mildewing rubber mats slipping when he’s trying to get out of the tub,” she said.
The Island Bath Works’ walk-through conversion cost was more than the original insert job, “But I think it was worth it, just for the permanency and aesthetics,” mentioned Rachele.
Even the couple’s dog enjoys the improvement. Previously, the Labrador Retriever would try to hide in the bathtub from the sound of holiday fireworks, but the insert made the bathtub off limits. “This past New Year’s, she got to go in the tub,” shared Rachele. “She was very happy.”