How KOHLER Uses Human-Centered Design to Create the Best Walk-In Bath
In honor of the KOHLER® Walk-In Bath’s 30th anniversary, we spoke with Kohler Co.’s Human Experience team about how their research with real homeowners inspired the Walk-In Bath’s unique design.
At the Human Experience Lab, our team puts people at the center of the Walk-In Bath development and design process by conducting competitive research, ergonomic testing and in-person focus groups. Our ultimate goal is to continuously advance the design of the Walk-In Bath so it provides the best bathing experience for our customers’ needs.
Take a look inside the Walk-In Bath’s design story and discover the five innovative features that maximize your comfort and safety during every soak.
1. Extra-Deep Seat
The extra-deep seat of the KOHLER Walk-In Bath is up to 30 percent deeper than most walk-in tubs on the market. This was designed after extensive consumer product testing and research in the Lab.
Doug Palmer, Senior Human Experience Researcher, found that homeowners wanted a bath that allowed for full immersion and complete relaxation. “KOHLER engineers designed the bath seat for the ideal reclining position and optimal water depth,” he explains. “As an orthopedic physical therapist for seven years, it’s my favorite feature, offering added comfort while soaking and a safer transition from a seated to standing position.”
2. Built-In Handrail
Homeowners shared with the Human Experience Lab that they wanted a walk-in tub that’s as beautiful as it is safe and functional. Our KOHLER engineers listened when adding the built-in handrail surrounding the entire outer rim of the Walk-In Bath.
The full-length handrail allows you to keep a firm grip at all times during bathing and ensures extra stability as you enter and exit the bath, while its low-profile design creates a clean, modern look. It also provides extra grip that helps installers safely carry the Walk-In Bath into your home, leading to faster installation.
For additional security, another grab bar is installed inside the bath to provide stable transitioning from sitting to standing.
3. Wide, Inward-Swinging Door
How do you design a door that’s wide enough to enter and exit easily, without sacrificing space in the bathroom? The Human Experience team answered this challenge by proposing the unique extra-wide, inward-swinging door of the KOHLER Walk-In Bath.
“An inward-swinging door is especially ideal for small bathrooms because it won’t take up valuable bathroom space and interrupt other bathroom fixtures,” Palmer explains.
Once you are comfortably seated with the door closed, the easy-to-turn handle creates a watertight seal.
4. Fast Drain Times
Many homeowners with a Walk-In Bath ranked quick fill and drain times as a top-priority feature. The KOHLER Walk-In Bath was carefully designed with Fast-Drain Technology so it’ll empty with minimal waiting time. Once your plumbing system and drain are connected, you’ll enjoy speedy and consistent filling and draining.*
The Bask® heated backrest keeps your back, shoulders and neck comfortable and warm from start to finish. The inline heater regulates the temperature of your water while the hydrotherapy jets are running.
*Actual fill and drain times may vary.
5. Safer Drain Lever Position
The position of the bathtub drain lever is a small design detail with a major impact on safety. Most drains require the bather to reach down and twist or pull a drain stopper to open or close it. The Human Experience Team realized they needed to develop a safer, more convenient method.
That’s why the KOHLER Walk-In Bath features a drain with an accessible lever attached near the faucet. This position allows the bather to reach forward while seated and effortlessly operate.
Designing A More Intuitive, Accessible Bath
Since its debut in 1992, the KOHLER Walk-In Bath has offered elegant design while providing a safe, comfortable bathing experience at home. Every advancement has led to the best in form, function and style—and it all starts with learning from our homeowners.
Delight in the details of the Walk-In Bath that enhance your comfort and relaxation.Contact Us