Selecting the right bathtub for your home can be a daunting process. After all, bathtub materials affect the appearance, feel, weight, heat retention, durability and price. Once installed, bathtubs are not easy to replace so it is important to know what you are buying. Here are some common bathtub materials and the pros and cons of each.
Common bathtub materials
What is it? Fibreglass is a kind of reinforced plastic which is formed into layers and moulded into a bathtub shape. Besides this, fibreglass bathtubs are a more affordable material. However, in comparison to other bathtub materials, fibreglass is less durable. Some of the more notable benefits of fibreglass are that low cost, lightweight, ease of installation and a finish that can be repaired. On the negative side, fibreglass bathtubs don’t have a stable feel and they are not very durable. Moreover, the finish of fibreglass bathtubs is prone to fading, scratching and cracking.
Porcelain bathtubs are sometimes called enamelled steel bathtubs. These are inexpensive and very common bathtub options. The tub is stamped from a thin sheet of steel, then finished with a layer of porcelain enamel. The benefits of porcelain bathtubs include durability and resistance to most chemicals. In addition, enamelled steel bathtubs retain their gloss for a long time. On the downside, these bathtubs are heavier than fibreglass or acrylic tubs. Besides this, the surface of porcelain bathtubs can rust and chip under impact.
Acrylic bathtubs are a very popular option due to their versatility, durability, wide range of options and low cost. This type of bathtub is made from vacuum-formed acrylic sheets that are reinforced with fibreglass. To start with, acrylic is a non-porous material that will not absorb any excess water. On top of which, acrylic will also retain heat from the temperature of your water. Like fibreglass, acrylic bathtubs will also flex, making them less stable.
The manufacturing process of ceramic bathtubs includes forming numerous ceramic tiles together. This material contains the most options for bathtub size, shape and general style. You have more design options with this material than any other. This is primarily because ceramic is easy to mould and place in your home. However, ceramic bathtubs come with added maintenance. Moreover, due to the makeup of ceramic, your bathtub will feel uneven.
It is possible to custom order a bathtub from a variety of natural stone materials. Some of these materials include granite, marble, sandstone and other materials. Keep in mind that stone bathtubs are heavy and therefore require special structural framing to support their weight. While natural stone bathtubs are extremely appealing, they come with a high price tag.