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Universal Tubs Walk-in Tubs review

Easy to find, easy to buy ADA compliant tubs, though not high quality

Our Verdict

Universal Tubs are exclusively sold through Home Depot, and while they are a popular option, they aren’t very high quality. Every tub is ADA compliant with a wide door and slip-resistant floors.

For

  • ADA compliant
  • Air and water jets available
  • Wheelchair-accessible models
  • 10-year warranty

Against

  • Lower quality
  • Installation not included

Universal Tubs is one of the most popular walk-in tub manufacturers because they're sold through Home Depot. Each tub is ADA compliant, which means they meet safety requirements such as featuring wider doors and slip-resistant floors; Universal Tubs also adds more safety features like handrails and reducing the height of the step-in to reduce trips, slips, and falls. There are also options to add jets and heated seating. 

While these tubs aren’t as high quality as others we've reviewed, being made from fiberglass rather than acrylic, Universal Tubs are still built to meet your needs, whether its for soaking sore muscles, hydrotherapy or wheelchair accessibility. You will have to arrange the installation of your Universal Tub since this isn’t included.

Universal Tubs Walk-in Tubs: What you need to know

  • Decent selection
  • Customizable
  • Lower quality

Universal Tubs has several pages of walk-in tubs to choose from, including wheelchair-accessible units. However, most of these consist of the same model with varying sizes; doors are mostly U-shaped, though you can choose inward and outward swinging. 

Clicking on the tub you want brings you to the product page where you have a few options for adding water or air jets, where the drain is set, and whether you’d prefer a white or beige finish. Some models have heated seats and all have the option of a handheld shower head – you just need to pick out the faucet set you want. These aren’t true customized options since the tubs are already made and ready to ship, and aren’t built based on your individual bathroom size or personal needs.

From the product description page, you can see a 360-degree view using the grab and turn feature. Unfortunately, there are few products that show examples of jets and other accessories added to the tubs. You can see these from the Home Depot product description page along with specs and other information left out of the Universal Tubs product pages.

Once you have the tub chosen, Universal Tubs turns you over to Home Depot for delivery and installation options. There is no way to purchase directly from Universal Tubs and we didn’t find a way to choose a tub from its webpage and be redirected to the product on Home Depot’s website. Instead, we needed to search for the product we wanted directly from the Home Depot website and hope it was available.

Consider this Universal Tubs model

A popular model of walk-in tub offered by Universal Tubs is the Nova. This ADA-compliant tub varies between 37 and 60 inches long and holds up to 70 gallons of water. When seated this tub fills up to 30 inches high, which is a little higher than waist-deep for most people.

The Nova includes a wide, U-shaped door and slip-resistant flooring. It comes standard with heated seating and both air bubble massage jets and 13 adjustable water jets. The controls on this tub are pneumatic buttons, making it easy to press each one, and they’re easy to reach on one side of the tub.

This tub is delivered nearly fully intact. There are some electrical and plumbing components that need to be added, though all the parts you need are included; however, we still recommend hiring a professional to help you just to be safe. 

How much will your Universal Tub cost?

  • Prices only available from Home Depot's website
  • Excellent 10-year warranty

On the Universal Tubs website, you can filter its walk-in tub models based on price, ranging from $1,650 to just under $4,000 – although when using this filter, we didn’t find a tub that was under $1700. Adding heated seats or jets does increase the price. 

Interestingly, Universal doesn’t place individual price tags on any of its products. You can only see absolute prices from the Home Depot website – here the price range is much bigger and it isn’t uncommon to find Universal Tubs priced well over $6,000. 

Universal Tubs doesn’t offer installation, so you will need to hire a professional, which could add an additional thousand dollars or more to the overall price – or you can do it yourself. Home Depot does have installation packages, but these will need to be negotiated directly with them and not Universal Tubs.

All Universal Tubs have a 10-year warranty on the shell, a one-year warranty on the electronic components and a 30-day warranty for labor. This isn’t the best warranty and speaks to the lower quality of these tubs. Safe Step, for example, has a lifetime warranty on all parts of its tubs because of the high-quality materials used in their construction.

What users say about Universal Tubs

  • Biggest complaint tends to be in the quality of the craftsmanship
  • Installation can be more complex than suggested

People who have bought a Universal Tubs unit are happy with the convenience of having a walk-in tub. The biggest complaint tends to be in the quality of the craftsmanship; several customers report problems with the drain or jet controls within a few months of purchase, with more major break downs after the one-year warranty is up. 

The other big complaint is with the difficulty of installing the tub. While Universal Tubs tends to lead consumers to believe it is a simple plug and play process when installing one of their tubs, it often includes a bit of plumbing and electrical work that most people aren’t knowledgable or certified in.

Universal Tubs Walk-in Tubs: Verdict

Universal Tubs has a decent variety of walk-in tubs to choose from with some customizable options available with each model. Some options include a heated seat and both air and water therapy jets. Every tub is ADA compliant, but the overall quality isn’t the same as Ella's Bubbles, our top pick from the walk-in tubs we've reviewed so far. Universal Tubs are exclusively sold through Home Depot and don’t come with installation assistance unless you pay extra for it.