Cool Tool & Product Review: Ella’s Bubbles Royal Walk-in Tub
We’ve been in the building trades for more than forty years – about 35 of them spent in the home remodeling business. During that time we’ve seen trends and fads come and go.
Large whirlpool tubs were the rage in the ‘80s and ‘90s. Today, we’re making a great living removing those tubs because homeowners, like us, are aging baby boomers who find it increasingly difficult – even dangerous – to get into and out of the tub. Some opt to replace the tub with an accessible “curbless” shower, a “walk-in” bathtub or both.
Recently, former remodeling clients invited us to have a look at their old bathroom and to explore their idea for a remodel plan that would allow them to remain in their home now – in their early days of retirement – and as they approach their golden years.
We provide design and product selection as part of our full “remodeling service.” Turns out that they didn’t need much of either. They had spent a good amount of time researching “high boy” toilets that are easier to navigate, arthritic-friendly faucets with paddle handles, and a bathing solution that would still allow them to enjoy the therapeutic experience of a whirlpool tub without having to crawl over the Great Wall of China!
After comparing several models, they chose the Royal model walk in tub from Ella’s Bubbles due to its superior design, features and engineering. There were several factors that sealed the deal for them.
- Wider than normal seat: Our client is a former college football player and, as you might imagine, needs plenty of elbowroom. The seat in the Royal model is a bigger-than-average 23+ inches wide.
- Access & Therapy: Old football injuries not only make it difficult to get into a normal tub, the therapy provided by the 10 air and 14 hydro jets on dual massage units offer much-needed comfort combined with easy access.
- Quick In & Out: The idea of being stuck in a tub while waiting for it to fill and drain wasn’t an option. So, they went with Ella’s fast fill faucet and quick drain system, which gets them in and out of the tub in less time than it takes for a conventional jetted tub to fill and drain.
- Comfort: A heated seat, inline water heater and a multi-color LED chromatherapy light makes an already great bathing experience even better and adds to the therapeutic benefits. Plus the patented 360-degree swivel tray is the perfect location for their favorite “while bathing” beverage.
- Safety: An attractive and easy-to-open door, two built-in grab bars and a slip-resistant floor provide added safety and an extra level of comfort when getting into and out of the tub.
- Maintenance: The tub has and attractive and durable, easy-to-clean acrylic finish and an ozone sterilization system that keeps the bathing system fresh and clean.
We had not previously installed a walk-in tub and were completely blown away at how installation-friendly the experience was. Although our project was a “full gut job,” the Ella’s tub could have easily been retrofit into an existing bathroom with little disruption. The optional extension panels provide attractive and easy space fillers.
Our concern about extensive water and waste plumbing alterations were quickly allayed when we learned that all we had to do was replace the old shower valve with a couple of quarter turn ball valves that deliver hot and cold water directly to the tub via a couple of 4-foot braided stainless steel water supplies. And modifying the drain line was a piece of cake. Ella provides two 2” gravity drains and dual overflows that allow the tub to be connected to either an existing 2” shower drain or an 1-1/2” tub drain. The dual overflows provide the needed air displacement for proper drain and venting. An attractive toe kick access panel allows for easy access to all electrical, plumbing lines and pumps.
One of the biggest advantages for both the consumer and those of us that make our living in the construction business is Ella’s quick turnaround. We received our unit in less than a week from the time we placed the order. According to Ella, their walk in tubs typically leave their Chicago warehouse within three business days of receiving an order.
Our client’s finished bathroom with the Ella Royal walk in tub looks spectacular and they are delighted with their product choice and our work. Looks like this experience has earned us a major kitchen remodel later this year. There simply is no substitute for quality product and installation along with top-of-the-line customer service.
For product and pricing information, or to become an Ella’s Bubbles dealer or installer, visit ellasbubbles.com or call 800-480-6850.