Rachele S. needed a modification at her Mililani townhouse. Her husband was temporarily hospitalized and his mobility restrictions demanded a better way to acess the bathtub.

“We needed the work done before he got out of the hospital,” she said. There was no time to find the best solution — Island Bath Works. Instead, Rachele hired a contractor who cut away part of the bathtub wall and installed a plastic insert over the cut.

The insert was wider than the tub’s double wall, and protruded on both sides. The insert was fastened only with caulk. It wasn’t weight-bearing.


That made using the tub difficult. Then the caulk started separating, and Rachele found mildew under the protruding edges.

Rachele and her husband considered removing the tub and replacing it was a walk-in shower, an expensive, time-consuming job.

Then Rachele came across the website for Island Bath Works, islandbathworks.com, and its bathtub conversions. “I saw the pictures on the website, and it looked really nice,” she said.

She sent an email asking for details and was surprised when 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.”


They arranged for the work to be done. 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 caulk. They were done by 3:30 p.m. “They came on time, left early and left absolutely no mess,”‘ said Rachele.

How’s the tub? “To me, it looks like it was manufactured that way, like it’s brand new.” The conversion makes it much easier for her husband. “He 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,” Rachele said.

The Island Bath Works walk-through conversion cost more than the original insert job, “but I think it was worth it, just for the permanency and aesthetics,” she said. “Totally worth it.”


Even her 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,” Rachele said. “She was very happy.”

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