With the many dealers selling walk-in tubs, it is hard for anyone to know what type of walk-in tub will work in their home or what type of tub to purchase for institutional healthcare settings.
With the Rane Tub line, I found that they have the largest selection of tubs that fit into many bathroom/facility settings. From the RM3 "Superior", which is a tub made for easy access and has the ability to fit into smaller areas and clear a close commode, to the "Lambo" RR7 II tub that makes you want to jump in the moment you see it.
With some research it became abundantly clear that you have three choices; a cheaper tub that often is manufactured out of the U.S.A. and comes with virtually no customer service or very poor customer service at best; an overpriced tub that dealers are purchasing from manufacturer or other tub lines and adding a HUGE mark-up in greed, taking advantage of those that truly require a walk-in tub ----or the third choice; the Rane Tub, a tub that is not only sturdy, durable, made of high quality in Sparta, Tennessee in the U.S. of A.
The Rane Tub comes with a limited five year warranty and lifetime on the tub's seals and more, but the nicest part it would be rare you would need to even use the warranty the tubs are made with such precision and workmanship, produced one by one, by hardworking employees that take pride in each tub that leaves the plant.
Besides quality, the customer service is absolutely one of the most important issues I have found when researching the difference, as if you have a problem at any time with your tub and you don't have someone that can service that tub, you are stuck paying a lot of money for a tub that you basically have to service yourself.
I cannot say enough about the differences I found when looking at the walk-in tubs and healthcare tubs --Rane Tub line came out ahead every time. Selling into the residential markets, Rane gives you the upfront confidence because their tubs have been trusted to go into institutional healthcare buildings such as life care facilities, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, assisted living, DDSO, DME, homes for the mentally challenged, hospitals, health care management companies, health care purchasing groups, and many other healthcare centers, providing years of service and satisfied users. The Insitutional models come with thermostatic valves and disinfectant systems that allow the centers to have the necessary control of water temperature and assurance in cleaning. Some residential models offer the same convenience. Many come with the options of Whirlpool jets and/or Air Spa jets.
Some tubs allow lifts to be used and all allow easy transfer accessibility. With the residential models: RH4, RM3, RN5, RH6 and RN9 and the institutional models: RS8, RA8, RR7II, and the RK12, Rane Tubs has met the needs of most every situation and prides itself in listening to the user's.
All I can add is this: don't settle! Don't go for elaborate tubs made of low quality materials that try to lure you in with fancy extras that are there compromising the true workmanship of the tub --don't go for the high price tag hoping you are paying for a tub that seems to offer you the best as so many of us have it in our heads that if it "costs THAT much, it has to be good" --as Rane Tubs can give you high quality, durable, comfortable, reasonably priced tub WITH customer service to back you up should you ever have a need or a question. The tubs are made here in the U.S.A. and produced with the user in mind. When in doubt, check it out yourself, call a dealer and ask them who will service your tub should you purchase one with them, ask them who will install your tub, for a walk-in tub does not go in like a standard tub and if they do not offer a certified installer who can assure that your tubs doors align and water does not leak out, then you could buy a tub that a non-certified installer can damage and that is not covered under any of the tub manufacturers warranties and you may end up paying for a replacement tub or high dollar parts if you bought a high dollar tub.
Don't let the many websites fool you into thinking a walk-in tub is an easy buy, it is something you should research for yourself or someone you love to ensure years of a comfortable bathing experience.
You can find Rane Tubs at: www.ranetubs.net
Update On Dec 17, 2009: Dealing with Rane can be difficult and expensive from a dealers standpoint, and with the many new companies out there that are manufacturing walk in tubs now, it would be best to do your homework and review each, as some offer some wonderful competitive features and price savings giving Rane a run for their money and giving dealers, institutes and residential customers much more of a choice now in well manufactured, quality tub.