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Some Things You Didn’t Know … About the Health Benefits of Walk-in Tubs

Traveling Tubs on the Wagon Trail

By Alan Knight

Photo Credit: www.peachridgeglass.com

It was 1867 in a small mining town called Denver, Colorado. With signs of winter fast approaching, the sun set at 4:30 p.m.and didn’t rise again for nearly 15 hours. With the thought of the long, cold hours that lay ahead, there was only one thing on the miners’ minds — whiskey! The hard-drinking miners knew they didn’t have enough liquid gold to make it through the winter, and this made them grow restless.

Determined not to face the harsh mountain weather without it, they hired a group of Irish Teamsters to transport 40 wagon loads of whiskey through the Colorado plains. To ensure its safe arrival, the US Cavalry was commissioned to escort the load. 

However, when a crusading group of women from the Temperance movementlearned of the shipment, they were furious. They formulated a plan to intercept and destroy the “evil cargo” on its way to Denver. Dressed in their finest Victorian gowns, they packed up their wagons and headed west for the 185-mile journey, singing as they went.
Image courtesy of fotolauncho.com
Knowing it would take at least a month of hard travel through dangerous territory, these ladies of refinement turned their wagons into little mobile homes. They packed every luxury their prairie schooners could hold. There were tables, chairs, linens and silverware, colorful rugs and lamps, even pianos and several bathtubs.
The Temperance ladies were committed to their cause. But they drew the line when it came to traveling without their washtubs.  And these were no ordinary tubs.  We aren’t just talking galvanized buckets. These traveling tubs were Victorian furniture, replete with intricately decorated modesty covers.  All these ladies had to do was slip into the tub while another one poured hot water through an opening at their feet.
Image courtesy of movpins.com
Meanwhile, several other groups became aware of the shipment and decided they, too, wanted a bit of the joy juice. Local Native Americans who were interested in easing the pain of an approaching winter sought to intercept the shipment.  To make matters worse, the Irish Teamsters began to grumble and soon decided to strike. Receiving word their precious cargo was in peril, the miners created a posse that headed eastward, ostensibly to recover their wayward shipment. With so many opposing parties looking to get their hands on the whiskey, the wagon train came to a halt … in the middle of nowhere. Inevitably, the women caught up with the whiskey wagon train as it made its way west, and demanded demolition of the alcoholic “mountain dew.” (BTW: To learn the fate of the whiskey wagon train, you’ll need to rent the movie, “Hallelujah Trail,” made in 1965 starring Burt Lancaster and Lee Remick.)

  

Early Bathtub History

Photo Credit: dreamstime.com

But in 1867, it wasn’t only women that enjoyed the luxury of bathing on the trail. It’s reported that the Bathtubs that existed during the antebellum period before indoor plumbing came into vogue were large but relatively light containers. They were usually hidden away and only pulled out when needed, perfect for on-the-road washing. The typical mid-19th century bathtub was a product of the tinsmith’s craft, commonly made from a shell of sheet copper, or zinc. The use of copper continued into the mid-1900s as a liner for wood-enclosed tubs. Commanders and officers of the US Cavalry also enjoyed some downtime relaxing in traveling tubs.

More commonly, tubs back then were steel-cased. By 1867, tub manufacturers started using cast iron, which had been used for several years for making sinks and toilets. The problem with metal was corrosion. Copper and zinc discolored readily around water and soap, and the seams of sheet metal were hard to keep clean. Iron and steel, of course, rusted eventually, even under the most meticulous coat of paint.  Bathtubs made of lead were only found in more progressive homes equipped with early water-heating devices. As running water became more common in the latter 19th century, bathtubs became more prevalent and less portable.

  
Birth of the Modern Bathtub

Photo Credit: brettcogburn.com

While some members of the US Calvary and the Temperance ladies were enjoying their high society tubs, the miners most often bathed in horse troughs, if at all. Bathing wasn’t considered a necessity by these hard-working men. In fact, personal hygiene was considered something of a nuisance. Over time, as bathing became more fashionable, more tub manufacturers entered the market and began improving designs. Out with the horse trough and in with cast iron bathtubs with porcelain interiors on “Clawfoot”pedestals. These tubs rose to popularity in the 19th century and remain so today.  

To combat the corrosion problem, tub makers began successfully marketing porcelain-enameled, cast iron bathtubs, a process that remains broadly the same to this day. Some modern bathtubs are made of acrylic or fiberglass; occasionally, waterproof finished wood. In addition to the advanced materials used in making today’s modern bathtubs, many new and innovative bathtub designs have entered the market.

Photo Credit: huffingtonpost.com

One such design is the Walk-in tub that is perfect for seniors. These bathtubs provide a great safety advantage to handicapped persons or those with limited mobility. Not only are these tubs highly functional, there is also a range of hydrotherapeutic options available. Walk-in tubs are perfect for everyday bathing needs, but importantly, they also provide personal safety and independence wrapped in therapeutic luxury.

Tub King’s cast iron/porcelain Clawfoot and Pedestal tubs as well as our therapeutic Walk-in Our tubs are made to fit in your bathroom. Or, if you want one for your covered wagon, we can hitch you up with that, too.


In this article, I first gave a brief historical account of the development bathtubs. I highlighted a story made famous by the motion picture, “Hallelujiah Trail,” about a skirmish between whisky-thirsty miners and Temperance-minded women of the Old West. It then goes on to talk about elegant cast iron/porcelian Clawfoot and Pedestal tubs as well as safety-minded Walk-in tubs.

If you found this article useful, please share it with your family, friends and co-workers. If you have a comment related to this article, leave it in the Comment section of this blog. Thanks again for visiting with us.

Tub King Customer Walk-in Tub Testimonial 

If you’d like to receive a FREE Clawfoot Tub Buyers’ Guide, fill out the form below.

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Have a question? Feel free to contact me at the number or email listed at the end of this article and my brother, Alan, who heads up Tub King, will personally get back to you. It’s been my pleasure sharing this information with you.

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Alan Knight has many years of experience in the antique and senior bathtub industries. His companies not only provide superior products, they are also multi-award winners, receiving the “Best of Jacksonville Chamber Award” four years running. If you’d like to contact Tub King, call (800) 409-3375 or (800) 843-4231; or send an email to Alan@tubking.com.


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JoAnne’s Walk-in Tub Success Story

By Alan Knight
Photo Credit: imgkid.com

Here at Tub King, we’ve been creating happy customers for over 14 years.  What makes our customers so satisfied with their Walk-in Tubs?  They really help people … oftentimes in ways that can sometimes be easily take for granted.  But when you’re older, giving up freedom and dignity takes its toll emotionally and can be a challenge physically.  Conversely, gaining freedom and dignity is liberating.   Here’s a true success story about JoAnne, one of our highly satisfied Walk-In tub customers. 

JoAnne purchased a Walk-in Tub from us at the suggestion of her adult children (one of whom is a physician), because they were very concerned about her safety. 
Photo Credit: indiancreekchristian.com

As we’ve discussed before on our blog, there are well-documented statistics about accidental slips and falls occurring in the bathroom, particularly among older adults.  In fact, the CDC once mentioned in its report entitled, “Nonfatal Bathroom Injuries Among Persons Aged ≥15 Years ― United States, 2008”: “Approximately 80% of all bathroom injuries were caused by falls, with the highest injury rates in the oldest age groups … bathrooms commonly are believed to be a particularly hazardous location … All persons, but especially older adults, should be aware of bathroom activities that are associated with a high risk of injury and of environmental modifications that might reduce that risk.” 

The report’s findings were unequivocal: “For all ages, the most hazardous activities were bathing, showering, or getting out of the tub or shower.  Approximately two thirds of all injuries occurred in the tub or shower, and approximately half were precipitated by bathing or showering, slipping, or getting out of the tub or shower.” (See our previous blog, “Shocking CDC Statistics About Bathroom Injuries – and What You Can Do to Prevent Them.”)
Back to our happy customer. JoAnne, probably in her late 60s to early 70s, had purchased a Walk-in Tub from us because she and her children were very concerned about her well-being in-general and safety in the bathroom in particular. “I’ve been extremely happy with it,” she says, while sitting on the sturdy ledge of her handsome Walk-in Tub, which we installed to fit in with her pre-existing, gray textured-tile, cozy bathtub “nook.”
Photo Credit: tubking.com

JoAnne says she loves to take baths, and especially enjoys relaxing in a deep-soaking bathtub. Her Walk-in Tub provides very easy access and egress into and out of the bath due to its very low threshold and water-tight door, which she very much appreciates.

Another reason she’s very happy with her Walk-in Tub is because of its optional hydrotherapeutic features, such as bubble jets, air jets and inline heater, of which her tub has all three. “I have arthritis all through my body, and it’s incredibly soothing to anybody who has arthritis,” she states matter-of-factly.
Several research studies reiterate our customer’s relief of pain from her condition via hydrotherapy. As stated in an article entitled “Hydrotherapy for Arthritis”:“Hydrotherapy can be a beneficial form of treatment for individuals with arthritic conditions. During hydrotherapy, a person is submersed in water, either to soak or to exercise. A hydrotherapist can instruct a patient on the types of movements appropriate for his or her condition. Hydrotherapy can be especially useful to treat the joint pain and stiffness associated with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The painful swelling in the joints that occurs with rheumatoid arthritis has been shown to decrease with hydrotherapy… Hydrotherapy can also be effective in helping those individuals with osteoarthritis (OA).”

Photo Credit: bariortho.com

After having her Walk-in Tub installed, Joanne had to undergo a total hip replacement. This is an in-patient surgical procedure, whereby the diseased cartilage and bone of the hip joint is surgically replaced with artificial materials. Total hip joint replacement involves surgical removal of the diseased ball and socket and replacing them with a metal (or ceramic) ball and stem inserted into the femur (upper leg) bone and an artificial plastic (or ceramic) cup socket. As you may imagine, this can be a very challenging and sometimes painful procedure to recover from, especially for elderly adults who live alone.

Again, here’s where the low-threshold door of the Walk-in Tub proved invaluable. “It saved me probably six hours of painful physical therapy, learning how to get into a regular tub,” she says. 
And depending upon her insurance plan, it may have saved her hundreds, if not thousands of dollars in co-pay for that physical therapy, not to mention the time, hassle and perhaps additional costs (gas, parking, etc.) of having someone drive her to and fro the physical therapy sessions. 
Furthermore, the Walk-in Tub’s non-slip floor and seat functionally provide an additional element of safety while also contributing to our customer’s peace of mind. “I feel totally safe standing up,” she states.

But don’t just take my word about it.  See for yourself why Joanne is totally satisfied with her Walk-in Tub.

JoAnne’s Walk-in Tub Testimonial About Her Tub King Walk-in Tub, Part 1 

                         JoAnne’s Testimonial About Her Walk-in Tub from Tub King, Part 2

In this success story about Walk-in Tubs, I shared with you highlights from one of the many testimonials we’ve received from our customers about them. I included some key findings from a CDC study about injuries sustained from falling in the bathroom, particularly for adults, the benefits of hydrotherapy for people suffering from arthritis, and more.   

If you have a comment, please type it in the Comment section below.  Of course, I encourage you to share this article with your family, friends, and colleagues. 

If you’d like to receive a FREE Walk-in Tub Buyers’ Guide, simply fill out the form below. 

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Have a question?  Feel free to contact me at the number or email listed below and I’ll personally get back to you.  Thanks for reading; it’s been my pleasure to share this information with you. 

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Alan Knight is the owner of Tub King, Inc., and  SeniorBathtub.com  in Jacksonville, Florida. He has many years of experience in the antique and senior bathtub industries. His companies not only provide superior products, they are also award winners, receiving the “Best of Jacksonville Chamber Award” four years running. To contact Tub King directly, call (800)843-4231 or email alan@tubking.com. 

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Related articles

Can Walk-in Tubs Help with Pain?

Something New to Help with Arthritis

Planning Ahead for a Walk-in Tub


By Kerry Knight
Photo Credit: linkedin.com
I’m retiring.  Every time I say that it still sounds strange to me.  “I can’t retire,” I think to myself.  “I’m too young.  I feel great.”  It’s as if I’m speaking of someone else.  Yet, then I realize I am at retirement age, 65-years-old. 

 

Where have all the years gone?  I think back to certain events in my life that were 20 or 30 years ago and it seems like they were just a few years ago.  It can’t be that far back.  But it is.  So, I realize I have to accept it and move on.  
Photo Credit: beatlescollege.wordpress.com
And I now have a Medicare card.  I feel guilty, as if I have something that should belong to an older person.  But I qualify.  When I go to the movies, I qualify for the senior discount.  At first I refused it, then I thought, “Why not enjoy the benefits of retirement?”  In one short year, I’ll qualify for Social Security. 
My wife and I are building a new home.  I don’t plan to ever move again once it’s built, so we’re being careful to include everything that we could possibly want, as long as it’s affordable.  In the master bath, the original plans called for a huge Garden Tub and a separate shower unit.  The tub is beautiful, but here’s the caveat: it’s not right for us at this point in our lives.  It’s designed for someone much younger, someone who doesn’t have to ever worry about falling or stepping over a tall ledge into a deep basin. 
My wife was quick to notice how impractical that tub will be.  “I want to replace it with a Walk-in Tub,” she said.  At first, I was surprised.  Most women would go to their grave before admitting they need a tub designed primarily for seniors with mobility issues.  However, she’s the smart one in our family.  In requesting a Walk-in Tub, she was being pragmatic and realistic.  “The day will come when we’ll need it,” she stated matter-of-factly.  
Photo Credit: sweatlikeapig.com

She’s right.  I can already feel a tinge of arthritis in my hips and back.  It probably won’t get any better.  The day will also come when getting light-headed will be more common when I get up out of bed or stand up from sitting in a chair, so even maintaining balance everyday will be a real challenge.  We both know that day is coming, it’s just a matter of time.

Statistics don’t lie: most fractures among older adults are caused by falls, and the most dangerous and frequent place senior fall is in the bathroom.  Most common are fractures of the hip, forearm, leg, ankle, pelvis, upper arm, and hand.  Furthermore, the risk of slamming one’s head on a hard surface in the bathroom (and there are several of them) is frightening real.  Twenty to 30% of people who fall suffer moderate to severe injuries.  Once experiencing a fracture, it makes it much harder for seniors to get around or live independently, thus increasing the risk of early death.  Many people who fall, even if they aren’t injured, subsequently develop a fear of falling.  This fear may cause them to limit their physical activities, which leads to reduced mobility and loss of physical fitness, thus again increasing the actual risk of falling.  In 2010, over 21,700 older adults died from unintentional fall injuries.
Photo Credit: thenutritionpost.com

My wife and I both eat right and we visit the gym almost daily.  We both know the value of preventative care.  We strive to live a healthy lifestyle, but eventually we will need some type of assistance.  In this regard, a Walk-in Tub can be of tremendous assistance.

My mother is 83 years old.  She now requires around-the-clock care.  She can’t even bathe herself.  In nearly 20 years, when I reach her age, I hope I can still take care of myself.  
The Walk-in Tub could definitely provide a significant advantage in this regard.  The Walk-in Tub is a self-contained unit.  It stands about 40 inches off the floor and will hold about 50 gallons of water.  You enter it by a hinged door on the side of the tub and step in.  The threshold for entering and exiting is only six inches, so raising the legs and causing instability doesn’t happen due to its inherent design.  Once the door is closed and locked, because of its water-tight seal, it doesn’t leak.  Then you sit down in the slip-resistant, molded seat designed into the tub and soak in warm water.  You can easily reach across the tub to the controls and turn on the hot or cold water, empty the drain, and utilize the hand-held shower sprayer with its four-foot, metal-braided hose.  You can also control the water and/or air jets.  There is a convenient grab bar on the inside for assisting with getting up and down.  In other words, even if you were feeble, you could take a bath without the help of anyone.  I like that.  We do have our pride, you know.  Independent bathing is vitally important to seniors.  In requesting that the contractor switch out the Garden Tub to a state-of-the-art Walk-in Tub, my wife had looked forward 20 years and saw the eventual need.
Photo Credit: atlashomeimprovement.com

But that’s not all.  Just like many elderly seniors, my wife and I will probably develop a few aches and pains as we get older.  Age often brings on things like psoriasis, arthritis, eczema, neuropathy, muscular aches, and joint discomfort, just to mention a few.  The Walk-in Tub comes with air jet hydrotherapy where its jet ports fill the tub with thousands of therapeutic bubbles that stimulate the skin and relax the body.  Just the act of sitting in warm water creates buoyancy and takes pressure off the joints, muscles and ligaments.  The Walk-in Tub can also come with a water-jetted massage system with inline heater.  This means you can target certain parts of the body for specific “aquatic massage” treatment.  The jets are adjustable as to force and direction.  It’s like having your own massage therapist around the clock.   

When I was younger, and long before I was part owner in a specialty bathtub company, I dreamed of having my own portable spa in my home, where I could walk in and get the same treatment that I would get from a professional health spa.  Now I can have it, and not a minute too soon.

Photo Credit: myrtlebeachbath.com

It really doesn’t matter if you’re retired or facing retirement, it makes sense to plan ahead.  The Walk-in Tub can be enjoyed at any age.  Many who have medical problems are enjoying it long before retirement.  And some who are presently in very good health, who simply enjoy the pleasure of having their own year-round, private Jacuzzi, have them as well. That’s great, too.  

Getting to our senior years and existing comfortably during those years when we really might need help will provide new challenges for my wife and me.  Sure, having that beautiful Garden Tub in our new master bath might be tempting, but it’s not our best choice in the long term.  The Walk-in Tub might cost a little more, but overall, it will be one of the best investments of our lives.  We don’t want to spend our retirement years fighting pain and ailments when we can install something now that can help us later.  After all, that’s what planning ahead for our golden years is all about.  
In this article, I shared some of my thoughts and issues upon facing imminent retirement. I then went on to discuss how swapping out our new home’s Garden Tub with a safety-featured Walk-in Tub makes much more sense for my wife and I.  Then I shared some of key benefits Walk-in Tubs can provide, such easy access and egress, water-tight door, safety bar, ergonomic controls, water and jet-therapy and more. 


Customer Testimonial for a Walk-in Tub from Tub King
If you found this article useful, please share it with your family, friends and co-workers. If you have a comment related to this article, leave it in the Comment section of this blog. 
Thanks again for visiting with us.
If you’d like to receive a FREE Walk-In Tub Buyers’ Guide, click here.  Or, if you’d like to receive a FREE Clawfoot Tub Buyers’ Guide, click here.   
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Kerry Knight is a former co-owner of Tub King, Inc., and SeniorBathtub.com  in Jacksonville, Florida (now retired). He and his brother, Alan, have many years of experience in the antique and senior bathtub industries. Their companies not only provide superior products, they are also award winners, receiving the “Best of Jacksonville Chamber Award” four years running. If you’d like to contact them, call (800) 843-4231 or send an email to Alan@tubking.com.
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 Related articles

The Weirdest Gifts of All Time


By Kerry Knight
Photo Credit: smashingmagazine.com
You can tell the holidays are in full swing.  You can’t find a parking place anywhere near or in retail shopping areas. People in the malls are shoulder-to- shoulder deep. Gifts are flying off the shelves, and retailers are grinning with holiday cheer and especially at the sound of their cash registers ringing “cha-Ching!” In my perambulations around various indoor and outdoor shopping centers in town, I’ve seen some fairly peculiar presents being gift-wrapped out there.  But when you think about it, people have been sharing some strange gifts for a quite a while now.  Here are a few:  


Fruit Cake.  This has been a running joke since the advent of processed food.  No one seems to want them.  And if you’ve ever tried to eat one, you know why.  Most people just repackage it to save as a gift for next year.  Strangely, these baked products almost never seem to erode… or go away for that matter.  Someone once joked, “There is only one fruit cake that has ever been made, and it just keeps circulating.” 
Photo Credit: rustyzipper.com
Handmade Grandma Sweater.  We’ve all seen one.  They are usually red (for Christmas) and oftentimes have silly features, such as real blinking lights or a protruting, 3D carrot nose. There may also besequins, sparkles and a big snowman, sometimes made out of cotton balls.  It is a poofy, gawdy thing, but it is the thought that counts, right?  After donning this sweater, I’m thinking that we might need to rethink that thought.

A Lump of Coal.    This was always a punitive gift, but it does happen.  It’s supposed to be a representative gift for a boy or girl who has been bad ― that is, has misbehaved ― throughout the year.  My grandpa once told me a story he claims happened to him when he was a boy.  He had always wanted a pony.  But all our family had, was a mule that was used for plowing.  One Christmas morning he awoke all excited, ran to the fireplace and grabbed his stocking from the mantelpiece.  He looked inside to find a piece of horse manure.  His father explained,” We got bought you a pony for Christmas, but I guess it got away.”  No, I never believed that story, but it was funny to hear him tell it.
Here is a short list of some of the weirdest holiday gifts in recent years:
Photo Credit: weirdomatic.com
  • A shrunken head (Believe it or not, Ripley)
  • Facial hair removal kit for women
  • A stuffed deer head with a red nose attached
  • Packaged, flavored larvae
  • A super “Swiss Army” knife with 20+ tools contained therein
  • A chess piece (yes, just one piece)
  • A turquoise leather vest
  • A sandwich bag of coffee (enough for one pot)
  • A tree ornament with the co-worker’s wife’s picture on it
  • A fire extinguisher
  • A bag of chips
  • “Gun of the Day” calendar

Photo Credit: boldsky.com
 The acclaimed American writer, O. Henry (a pen name for William Sydney Porter), once wrote a short story entitled “The Gift of the Magi.”  It’s about a young married couple trying to get through the Christmas season with very little money.  It is a sentimental story with a moral lesson about gift-giving.  It goes like this:

Young Jim and his wife, Della, live in a modest apartment.  Their two prize possessions are Della’s long, flowing hair reaching down her lower back and Jim’s gold watch that belonged to his father and grandfather before him.  The couple only has $1.87 between them, and desperate to find a gift for each other they take extreme means.  Della sells her beautiful long hair to a hairdresser for $20 and proceeds to buy Jim a platinum chain for his pocket watch.  Waiting for Jim to come home from work she begins preparing dinner and hoping that Jim will still find her pretty even without her long tresses.  When Jim enters, she admits to using her hair to buy his Christmas gift, and he then presents her gift.  It was an assortment of combs and hair accessories that he had purchased after selling his prized watch.  It is a touching story of sacrifice and the depth to which some will go to express their love.
Photo Credit: ckhindustries.com
Shouldn’t every gift be an expression of appreciation of love?  When you’re thinking about a gift for your mom or dad, or maybe your grandparents, why not buy something that really expresses how you feel?  We sell a product that does just that. The Walk-in Bathtub is designed to make sure your loved one is safe, can bathe themselves independently, and can see relief from pain.  It allows them to bathe themselves without assistance from anyone, in a tub with a watertight door with a low ingress and egress. It also has non-slip surfaces and a sturdy grab-bar to facilitate access into and exiting from the tub. Your loved ones can soak in warm water and treat themselves to delightful sensations and benefits of hydrotherapeutic jets.  (For more details on our Walk-in Tubs’ numerous benefits, check out some of our previous blogs such as “Does Your Body Need a Walk-in Tub?” and “There’s Never Been a Better Time to Buy a Walk-in Tub.”)
Many of our customers pool their resources with other siblings to a make a purchase for their beloved parents that can truly make a difference.  During this season of gift giving, why not offer something that really carries a message of how you feel about someone special?  A safety-featured Walk-in Tub from Tub King is a gift that will keep on giving, every time it’s used. 
In this article, I shared some of the more unusual gifts that have been given out during the holidays such as fruit cake, a hand-knit sweater with a snowman on the front, and several others. I also talked about one of the best gifts one can give to their parents, a safety-featured Walk-in Tub, and described some of its many features and benefits.
If you found this article useful, please share it with your family, friends and co-workers. If you have a comment related to this article, leave it in the Comment section of this blog. Thanks again for visiting with us.
Walk-in Tub Buyers’ Guide
If you’d like to receive a FREE Walk-In Tub Buyers’ Guide, click here.  Have a question? Feel free to contact me at the number or email listed at the end of this article and I’ll personally get back to you. 
Check Out Our End-of-the-Year Specials on Walk-in Tubs. Click here.
Alan and Kerry Knight are the owners of Tub King, Inc., and SeniorBathtub.com  in Jacksonville, Florida. Together they have many years of experience in the antique and senior bathtub industries. Their companies not only provide superior products, they are also award winners, receiving the “Best of Jacksonville Chamber Award” four years running. If you’d like to contact them, call (800) 409-3375 or (800) 843-4231; or send an email to Alan@tubking.com.
Receive a Free Giftcard. Click here to learn more.
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