Discover your home's full potential with the best accessibility solutions!

    Discover your home's full potential with the best accessibility solutions!

      Tub Cuts 101: Eliminate A Major Fall Risk In Your Bathroom

      If you or a loved one has decreased mobility due to advanced age, illness, or a post-operative condition- a bathtub cut out or tub to walk-in shower conversion is one of the most economical and practical ways to increase bathtub accessibility and safety.

      Here is why eliminating the need to step over a high tub wall should be a priority for you: 

      Stepping over the high walls of the bathtub is a major contributing factor in severe falls among seniors in Canada.

      More than half of all Canadians hospitalized for injuries in 2018 were seniors, while almost two-thirds of those were older women.

      According to data from the Canadian Institute for Health Information, falls cause 4 out of every five injury hospitalizations for seniors. The highest rise in senior hospitalizations over the previous three years was a nine percent increase, or approximately 8,900 people, in hospitalizations related to injuries due to unintentional falls.

      Stepping in and out of the bathtub can also put an uncomfortable strain on your knee or hip joints- this might not sound as serious as a fall, but in worst cases, this can lead to permanent damage or tears in the ligaments.

      Know everything you need to know about tub cuts

      1. First things you need to know:

      • What is a tub cut? 
      • How much does it cost? 
      • How long does installation take?

      A tub cut removes a portion of your tub’s wall and replaces it with a reduced step, thereby creating an accessible “doorway” on the sidewall of the tub to make stepping in and out significantly safer. It can be installed in private households and retirement communities and is helpful for anyone with fluctuating mobility needs.

      The tub cuts are available for bathtubs of all types and materials, including whirlpools, deck-mounted tubs, tiled tubs, and tubs made of the following materials: cast iron, porcelain, steel, acrylic, fiberglass, and fiberglass. If you have a tub with a unique shape or material, please consult a tub cut contractor to check if a tub cut is a good option for your bathtub.

      Installation of fiberglass or acrylic tubs takes the least amount of time, while steel and cast iron tubs take the longest. In addition to the difficulty of cutting steel and cast iron tubs, it is necessary to carefully tape off the entire bathroom to prevent any splintered iron or steel fragments from embedding in the walls and causing rust. 

      It takes less than half a day to install tub cuts, while the re-surfacing materials typically need around 48 hours to dry after the tub cut is done- which means that you can start using your bathtub again after 48 hours.

      PRICE RANGE: Home2stay’s price for tub cuts, including installation services, typically ranges from $950 to $1400, depending on the type of tub cut you want to install.

      BATHROOM DOWNTIME*: Installation time ranging from 2 to 4 hours + waiting time of 48 hours to allow the adhesive to dry completely = you can use your bathtub again after two and a half days.

      *Water test (if applicable): Convertible tub cuts will be tested 48 hours after cutting to check for leaks and ensure the door/plug center is placed correctly.

      2. How to measure your tub’s dimensions

      The next step is measuring your tub’s dimensions- Have these details ready when you visit or call your potential tub cut supplier/contractor, so they can help you choose the best tub cut for you. 

      • Length of the entire tub – Using measuring tape, start at one end of your tub and work your way to the other end. Ensure that your measuring tape extends past the tub’s exterior edges and not just along its inner curvature.
      • Height of tub: inside and outside – The exterior height is your bathtub’s measurement from the floor to its highest edge. For the inner depth measurement, the measuring tape must rest in the deepest section of the tub,  extending to the point where the bathtub overflows. 
      • Width of the rail – It is the thickness of the tub wall where you want the tub cut to be done.

      3. What kind of tub cut should you get?

      There are two main types of tub cuts to suit your specific lifestyle needs and preferences:

      • Walk-In Shower – This allows you to step safely in and out of your tub to take a shower. This type is ideal if you prefer showers over baths.

          Home2stay offers two products under the walk-in shower tub cut: the      CleanCut Step Tub and the CleanCut Ultra-Low.

          Both items include a non-skid step to lessen the risk of falls when            entering and exiting your bathtub and can be conveniently installed in      your acrylic, fiberglass, steel, or cast iron bathtub in a matter of                hours. 

      • Walk-In Bath/Shower or Convertible – Lets you enjoy the best of both worlds, as you can choose to use it as a step-in bathtub (place the door/plug center when you’re safely inside the tub) or a shower.

          A convertible tub cut is ideal for a household with multiple family              members with varying abilities and bathing preferences. A convertible      cut out can easily be transformed from a step-in shower to a full bath,       if one housemate has mobility issues and another enjoys baths.

           Home2stay has three products under this subcategory: the CleanCut       Door, the CleanCut Convertible, and the Full Convertible Tub Cut Kit.

      4. Which way to go: DIY or have a professional do it?

      You can have a tub cut completed in less than a day, versus several weeks for a more comprehensive bathroom remodel.

      What are the pros and cons of doing it yourself versus getting the services of a contractor? 

      • Do-it-yourself

      You might choose to do your tub cut because it’s cheaper than hiring a professional to do it for you. 

      The installation fee for tubs made of standard materials usually starts at $300 in Vancouver and the Lower Mainland area. The rate goes up, depending on the material of your bathtub and how complex the project is- tub cut installation for a tile-front or cast iron tub can cost $1,000 or more.  

      Home2stay offers the innovative quick tub kit which provides you and your loved ones with all the materials you need to turn your existing bathtub into a step-in shower while maintaining a fully functional bathtub. 

      If you are the DIY-type of person who enjoys building things with your hands, and your tub is simple enough, going this route should be easy for you: 

      • Get the tub clean to start the process.
      • Mark out the tub with the provided template.
      • Cut the tub.
      • Install a stiffener or wood underneath the tub.
      • Cut the “insert” to match the profile of the tub.
      • Install the “insert: and use the adhesive to seal it in place.

      However, there are also drawbacks to doing this project yourself. Precise measurement and cutting are required to achieve the ideal fit- and if you’re not an expert, utilizing power tools could seriously injure you. Mistakes can prove costly, and you could end up with a leaky bathtub.

      Note: This is not professional advice- It’s best to consult with your local contractor/installer on the best way to DIY your tub cut. Please refer to the manufacturer’s installation instructions.

      • Get a professional to do your tub cut

      To make sure that the job is done well, we recommend getting the services of a professional contractor. A company specializing in home accessibility or bathroom safety, such as Home2stay, has technicians trained to use the right tools and techniques to cut through other harder-to-handle bathtub materials, such as acrylic, cast iron, and fiberglass.

      A professional installer will also come back after 48 hours to conduct the water leak test, to make sure that the door/plug center is installed properly. 

      Leaving the installation to professionals can save you a lot of time, headache, and trouble- and possibly, keep you from incurring additional expenses. 

      5. Other useful things to know when getting a tub cut

      • Preparation – Ensure your tub is clean and dry before you begin the installation process so that all materials, especially the adhesives, can be applied properly.
      • Position of the tub cut opening – The ideal location for the opening on your tub wall is where a person can easily step in and out without any hindrance or clutter.The usual position of the tub cut is in the middle of the tub wall or off-center to one side or the other.

        It is typically advisable that the tub cut out be placed as far away from the faucet side of the tub as possible to make it simpler to hold on to the wall (and grab bars and safety poles) for support.

      • Use of mobility aids – If you have mobility aids such as a transfer bench or a portable bath chair, they should be placed in front of the tub cut’s opening to make it easy for the user to transfer from the seat to the tub (and vice versa). 
      • The structural integrity of the tub’s wall – When deciding on the ideal placement for your tub cut, your tub wall’s structural soundness must also be taken into account.

           For a fiberglass bathtub, it is normally not advisable to remove more         than 2 feet of the wall section to protect the structural integrity of the       bathtub. (Don’t worry, a 2-feet wide opening is usually plenty enough         space for most people to step in and out of.)

           If your tub is made of fiberglass or acrylic, it is preferable to avoid             cutting the opening in the curved area on either end of the tub wall to       preserve its structural integrity.

           The tub wall’s shape and thickness, and the tub’s contour are also             major factors to consider when determining how deep the cut out             may be. 


      Bathtubs can present challenging and dangerous situations for persons with limited mobility. One of the simplest and most cost-effective ways to maintain bathroom independence is with tub cuts. 

      You can use tub cuts to keep your existing bathtub, and at the same time, convert it into a secure and functional walk-in shower or bath.

      A tub cut is a great way to prevent falls in the bathroom, and it requires minimal monetary expenses, downtime, and disruption in your daily routine and space. If you have any questions about tub cuts, please do not hesitate to contact Home2stay and we’ll be happy to answer them all!



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