Conversions keep kupuna safe
In 1911, Kohler Co. invented the porcelain-coated cast-iron built-in tub. Considered an engineering marvel and artistic achievement at the time, the company soon made its way into all of Hawaii’s newly built houses by the 1920s. These cast-iron tubs are ubiquitous in all of Hawaii’s original neighborhoods. As manufacturing technologies evolved and new building materials became available, enameled steel and fiberglass composite tubs became the new standard.
Living in Hawaii, almost every house was built with a bathtub due to its practical and economical nature. Baths were enjoyable as a child, but as time marches on, we prefer to take showers instead of soaking baths due to the limited time in our busy days. Further down the road, we start to realize that something that was once easy, like getting in and out of the tub to take a shower, isn’t as easy and fun as it used to be.
Bathtubs have slick, wet surfaces and high entry heights that present safety concerns for many of Hawaii’s seniors, whose houses weren’t built with consideration for aging in place. Island Bath Works specializes in hassle-free, seamless and safety-oriented conversions to make existing bathtubs more accessible. A walk-in tub presents a safe alternative for those who have difficulty getting into their tub. The converted tub functions exactly like a walk-in shower, yet the price is just a fraction of the cost to tear out and build a new shower.
Island Bath Works implements an innovative and cost-effective remodel approach by removing the side of the existing bathtub and making a low entryway that blends in seamlessly. The procedure makes a lot of sense for people who need a safe bathtub, but don’t want to spend extravagant amounts to tear out a functioning bathtub.
“Slips and falls in the bathroom are a serious reality that you may not think about until somebody gets hurt,” says Eric Thompson of Island Bath Works. “Far too often, we do jobs for people while they are in a nursing facility after a bathroom injury.”
Those with limited mobility who have trouble with a standard tub will benefit from the lowered 4-inch-high step-over height a tub conversion creates. Climbing any higher often poses a danger to someone already liable to slip or fall.
Marcy Hamamoto of Kaneohe recently had her tub converted after several close calls while getting out of the tub.
“As I approach 81 years old, my grown children were becoming more concerned about leaving me home alone. A couple times my foot got caught on the front side of the tub, causing me to stumble and lose my balance. I knew something needed to be done,” recalls Hamamoto.
Island Bath Works performed a tub conversion on Hamamoto’s 58-year-old cast-iron tub.
“It is amazing how a simple tub conversion has made such a dramatic difference,” she says. “I no longer feel anxious in the tub.”
Island Bath Works does not impose long-term disruption, and works diligently to keep away the chaos and stay out of your way. Your tub will be ready for use the very next day with no big messes, no dreadful demolitions and no inconvenience.
“Our goal is to provide a painless, cost-effective, and life-changing tub remodel that encourages ease of living and reintroduces independence to those with limited mobility,” says Thompson.
“Island Bath Works is dedicated to making a change in the community, and is on a mission to ensure that bathrooms are safer and accident-free.”
ISLAND BATH WORKS