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American Standard Walk-In Tubs Review11 minute read
11 minute read|
Updated for December, 2018
American Standard is a household name when it comes to bathrooms and kitchens. They’re also a leading manufacturer of walk-in tubs. And they stand out among their competition for two reasons. First, their Gelcoat Entry model is one of the most affordable basic tubs offered by any major brand, even though it comes standard with accessories that other manufacturers only offer as options. Second, their pricing is a lot more transparent than their competitors’, allowing consumers to make a fully informed choice about the models and packages that will suit them best. Here’s a look at American Standard’s most accessible offerings, along with some information on how shoppers and customers view their products.
At a Glance
A checklist of standard walk-in tub features.
|Models||Gelcoat Entry||Gelcoat Value||Gelcoat Premium||Acrylic Luxury|
|Price*||Starting at $3355||Starting at $4750||Starting at $5529||Starting $6653|
|Low Entry Threshhold||standard||standard||standard||standard|
|Push Button Controls||standard||standard||standard||standard|
|Built-In Safety Bars||standard||standard||standard||standard|
|Textured Bath Surfaces||standard||standard||standard||standard|
|Chromatherapy||comes w/ whirlpool||comes w/ whirlpool|
American Standard Models
American Standard offers four lines of walk-in tubs, each with a different price point and set of standard features. We’ll look at the least expensive tubs first and work our way up to the higher-end models. But before we do, let’s talk about construction, because American Standard tubs come in two varieties of material reinforced by a steel frame.
Gelcoat tubs are made of fiberglass with a durable resin finish bonded to the top. The finish is dyed to produce the color of the tub, but that color will hold up under superficial scratches. It is a slightly more porous surface than acrylic, however, meaning that it is susceptible to staining over time.
Acrylic tubs are made of a solid acrylic body which is pigmented all the way through, making scratches less of an issue. Acrylic also forms a non-porous surface, making it far more resistant to the sorts of stains that ordinary tubs are susceptible to.
Now for a look at American Standard’s lines of walk-in tubs.
Starting at $3355
While the name makes the Gelcoat Entry sound like it’s a fully stripped-down version of American Standard’s other models, it actually comes standard with handsome chrome taps and a hand-held shower wand (features that are optional in the higher price ranges). For around $500 extra, you can get the optional air massage system, with 21 bubble jets and a heated blower; for about $1000 extra, you can get the jet massage feature, which uses forced water to provide a relaxing spa experience.
The Entry series doesn’t offer some features that you can get with more expensive models: American Standard’s air spa system—with 26 jets and a variable speed blower that allows you to control the amount of bubbles—isn’t available, and Entry tubs only come with doors that open inward, which makes them a bad choice for those whose mobility issues require them to use a wheelchair or bath bench. Finally, Gelcoat Entry models aren’t available from American Standard directly—instead, they’re distributed through local vendors and through online retailers like Amazon. Still, if you’re hoping to find an attractive, economical walk-in tub with some nice optional features, the Gelcoat Entry is a great value, and could be exactly what you’re looking for.
Starting at $4750
Similar to the Gelcoat Entry line, the Gelcoat Value models are priced for those looking for a less expensive tub. It offers the same Gelcoat-over-steel construction as the Entry line, and, like the Entry, it also comes with standard chrome faucets and a handheld showerhead. Where it differs from the Entry line is in increased accessibility: the Gelcoat Value offers an outward-opening door, which allows entry for those in wheelchairs or those who need to be seated before entering the bath. Even more significantly, the Gelcoat Value line includes the QuickDrain feature, which uses a pump to empty the bathtub in two minutes or less—a highly desirable feature in a walk-in tub, where you can’t open the door until the water has drained. By packing these important features into a solid mid-range tub, American Standard once again offers its customers a good, solid value.
“We love our walk-in bath. It is so relaxing to sit and let the jets massage your body. The medical benefits of this bath are many. After taking a bath you feel revitalized and feel better in general. We would highly recommend this walk in bath to anyone who wants a safer bathtub plus a relaxing experience when bathing.”(via Trustpilot)
Starting at $5529
American Standard walk-in tubs start moving toward the higher end with the Gelcoat Premium model. These attractive tubs can come stripped of features, and you will have to pay about $400 extra for fast-fill tub faucets and a handheld showerhead. But this tub does offer some great options that aren’t available on other lines. First, the QuickDrain function comes standard, as does a cushioned neck rest. For about a thousand dollars above the base price, you can get American Standard’s Air Spa system (with its auto-purge function, which keeps the system clean): this improves on the Air Massage system in the Value and Entry lines by giving the user a variable-speed blower and 26 powerful jets. What’s more, the Premium line can also come with a whirlpool system (with its own self-cleaning function)—and a chromatherapy option which puts on a soothing light show in the water. Finally, for those with mobility issues, the Gelcoat Premium can be bought with an outward-opening door, making it the perfect luxury bath for people of all abilities. Especially if you’ve got mobility issues and a condition—like arthritis, circulatory problems, or diabetes—that could be helped by a soothing air bath or therapeutic whirlpool, you should think about contacting a dealer or retailer, or contacting American Standard directly, to find out more about the Gelcoat Premium line.
Starting at $6653
If you’re after durable, high-quality construction as well as all the great features of a luxury tub, you’ll want to consider the Acrylic Luxury line. Acrylic is the best possible construction for any kind of bathtub, (a fact reflected in the generous warranties on this model) and Acrylic Luxury tubs come standard with a padded neck rest and the QuickDrain function. And while fast-fill tub faucets and a hand-held shower wand are optional, the Acrylic Luxury does offer all the options of the Gelcoat Premium—including the self-cleaning Air Spa system with its variable speed bubbles, the self-cleaning whirlpool, and a chromatherapy function. The Acrylic Luxury is missing one option, however: it doesn’t offer any models with an outward opening door, so it might not be the best choice for those with mobility issues. Still, even at this high price it offers all the attractive durability of an acrylic tub with some important therapeutic functions, a combination that very few other tubs can match.
“I bought my walk in tub approximately one month ago. I love the tub with its many features.”(via Lowes.com)
A Features Rundown
American Standard is one of the few manufacturers to offer multiple lines of walk-in tubs. This variety of offerings is a great thing for the consumer, but it can also get bewildering. Here’s a brief rundown on the features that are and are not available in American Standard models.
|Feature||Gelcoat Entry||Gelcoat Value||Gelcoat Premium||Acrylic Luxury|
|Easy-touch push-button controls||standard||standard||standard||standard|
|Handheld shower wand and fast-fill tub faucet||standard||standard||optional||optional|
|Cushioned neck rest||optional||optional||standard||standard|
|Air massage system (21 jets, heated blower)||optional||optional|
|Air spa system (26 jets, var. speed heated blower)||optional||optional|
|Water jet massage system with self-cleaning function||optional||optional|
|Whirlpool with self-cleaning function||optional||optional|
|Available sizes (approximate) 28” x 48”, 30” x 51”, 30” x 60”|
Word on the Street
Regardless of the model, consumers were extremely happy with their American Standard walk-in tubs. The company also stood out for its customer service, with many reviewers mentioning how happy they were with the company’s salespeople and service representatives, and saying that when problems arose they felt that their frustrations were heard and handled by the company.
More significantly, there were relatively few complaints about the company’s installation professionals, which makes American Standard especially noteworthy, since installation woes are a common theme among reviewers of walk-in tubs. Finally, too, reviews expressed appreciation for the tub itself, as the relative lack of problems seemed to allow more consumers to enjoy the tub for all the reasons they bought one in the first place.
These reviews, combined with American Standard’s reputation for quality products, have led us to select American Standard as the most reliable producer of walk-in tubs, adding value to every one of its models on the market.
“Sales presentation and installation crew were fantastic. Elderly parents were the customers and both sides of the sale catered to their needs and questions / concerns. They are very, very happy with the tub. It is absolutely ‘as advertised’!”(via Trustpilot)
Price and Warranty
If you buy your American Standard walk-in tub via a local retailer, they’ll come out and give you an estimate on how much it will cost to install; if you contact American Standard directly, or buy via an online retailer, they’ll recommend a local contractor who will do the same. It’s also often a wise move to contact an independent contractor and have them give you an estimate for how much they’d charge to install the tub, but whatever happens, you can count on paying more than just the price of the unit to put a walk-in tub in your home.
Still, it always helps to have an idea of how much the unit itself will cost so you can compare it to other models on the market. As noted above, American Standard tubs have a wide range of price points, with the Entry models coming in about the mid-range among its competitors, with other American Standard models also priced appropriately—though possibly above average—for the features offered. In addition, if you shop for an American Standard tub through retailers like Home Depot, or Amazon, you might be able to find some models for lower prices.
Price should only be one factor in your decision, however. A walk-in tub is a significant investment, and you’ll want a manufacturer that stands behind their product.
While we should note that some companies do offer more complete lifetime warranties, American Standard’s guarantees are very much in line with the company’s competitors, and, notably, apply to all models regardless of price. These warranties add up to a fairly robust commitment to the company’s product, and In this respect, American Standard offers significant value.
|Product||Gelcoat Entry||Gelcoat Value||Gelcoat Premium||Acrylic Luxury|
|Price*||Starting at $3355||Starting at $4750||Starting at $5529||Starting $6653|
|Door Seal Warranty||Lifetime||Lifetime||Lifetime||Lifetime|
|Tub Shell Warranty||10 years||10 years||10 years||15 years|
|Warranty on All Other Components||5 years||5 years||5 years||10 years|
“I was told that American Standard was the best, and their representative was well-informed and patient in explaining so that my husband could understand. We were real impressed with him. The installation took two days, one to remove everything and prepare and the other day for the installation itself. The techs worked and were determined to make sure that everything was just like before when they left. They were very professional.”—Las Cruces, NM (via consumeraffairs.com)
American Standard has a solid reputation for offering quality bathroom and kitchen furnishings, and they continue to offer quality with their walk-in tub product lines. With a range of pricing and features, and a track record of satisfied customers and trouble-free installation that extends even to their most economical models, American Standard’s accessible tub lines stand out in a crowded field.