Bathtubs: Acrylic Vs. Cast-Iron
A tub is often the centerpiece of any modern bathroom. The perfect tub can reinvigorate your bathroom space, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere.
For some, a bathroom is not just a place where you can clean yourself. It is a place where you can relax, soak in a warm tub, and wash all your worries away.
Choosing your ideal bathtub is not a simple decision.
Since a high-quality bathtub can be an expensive purchase, you must be sure that the bathtub you buy will suit not just your needs, but the needs of your family members as well.
Bathtubs are made of different materials and come in a variety of styles, colors and sizes.
In fact, the material used in a bathtub affects its appearance and durability. So, it is definitely an important factor to consider when choosing your perfect bathtub.
Acrylic and cast iron are two of the most popular bathtub materials often selected by homeowners.
It’s worth mentioning that these materials have gained huge popularity due to their long-lasting qualities and the unique ability to improve each bathroom space, adding more style and luxury to it.
But how do you know which tub would be the right choice for you?
Keep in mind that both tubs have advantages and disadvantages. Let’s dig deeper to understand the pros and cons of each type.
Hopefully, this information will help you find your perfect tub and turn your bathroom into a more comfortable space ideal for rest and relaxation.
What is an Acrylic Tub?
An acrylic bathtub is made of vacuum-formed sheets of acrylic reinforced with fiberglass for more durability. Acrylic tubs come in a wide variety of shapes, designs, sizes and even colors.
They are also affordable, easy to maintain and easy to repair if any damage occurs. An acrylic bathtub can complement any bathroom design, adding more elegance and romance.
With an acrylic tub, your bathroom will get a fresh new look and become a truly beautiful place in your home.
What is a Cast Iron Tub?
Cast iron tubs are known for their high quality and exceptional durability. These tubs are made with porcelain, fused with iron, and coated with enamel.
Cast iron tubs are a perfect choice for uniquely designed bathrooms. The tub provides a vintage look, making your bathroom an ideal environment to relax in after a hard-working day.
The Advantages of Acrylic Bathtubs
For a full in-depth article about the advantages of acrylic bathtubs, check out our article about the 7 key advantages of acrylic bathtubs here.
The perfect look, smoothness, durability, versatility and an affordable price tag make an acrylic tub a perfect choice for people who want to turn their bathrooms into a modern and functional space.
The average price of an acrylic tub is about $700-$1000.
Acrylic bathtubs are lightweight. They can be easily installed and do not require extra floor support. The average weight of an acrylic tub is about 75-100 pounds.
Acrylic bathtubs are very easy to clean due to their smooth and nonporous surface. However, you should constantly keep in mind that not all cleaning products can be used to clean the tub.
Abrasive cleaners can scratch the soft surface of the tub. Choose non-abrasive cleaning agents and soft sponges to make your acrylic tub beautiful and shiny.
If you are searching for a new bathtub, you should consider its heat retention properties.
The good news is that an acrylic bathtub provides good heat retention, keeping the water much warmer for extended periods of time compared with some other bathtub materials.
Acrylic material is much easier to mold than other materials. That’s why these tubs can be found in different shapes and sizes.
That means that you will be able to find the bathtub that perfectly suits your bathroom design.
A wide selection of acrylic bathtub shapes can really make your head spin. In fact, it doesn’t matter which shape of acrylic tub you choose – rectangular, boat-like, oval, square, corner or even round – you will still be able to make your bathroom look perfect.
Rectangular tubs are the most common tubs that can adapt to any bathroom layout. Oval tubs are striking as well. They also suit every style.
In order to get a truly fantastic bathing experience, think about getting a square acrylic tub or a corner tub. A round tub can add more style and romance to your bathroom space.
Have you ever thought about buying a red or a blue tub? Or do you prefer a more elegant matte black bathtub? When it comes to choosing an acrylic bathtub, remember that you can select the color just to your liking.
But make sure that the color you choose suits your bathroom style and design.
Remember that the color of your tub can drastically change the way your bathroom looks. It can influence your mood and change your bathing experience as well.
No doubt, bright and warm colors make you feel happier. However, dark and deep colors make your bathroom look more expensive, adding richness and personality to it.
No doubt, an acrylic bathtub is a great choice for any home. But this tub still has some disadvantages. Let’s find out what they are.
The Disadvantages of Acrylic Bathtubs
Despite the fact that acrylic bathtubs are durable and long lasting, they are prone to scratching and discoloration.
These tubs are very delicate. Items such as acetone, wire sponges or chlorine can significantly damage your acrylic bathtub.
Without proper maintenance, your acrylic bathtub can quickly lose its attractive look and become dull.
Hard water, rust, grime, and soap residue contribute significantly to the acrylic tub discoloration. So, you will have to clean the bathtub on a regular basis to preserve its fresh look.
The Advantages of Cast Iron Tubs
For many years, a cast iron bathtub has been the tub of choice for its durability and beauty. These tubs are timeless and classic. A cast iron tub will become a great addition to any bathroom, creating a magnificent atmosphere ideal for relaxation.
No doubt, these tubs have been built to last a lifetime. Cast iron is definitely the most durable material a bathtub can be made of. The tubs are immensely strong.
They are also resistant to chipping and scratching. Cast iron tubs can also be re-glazed from time to time. This procedure helps preserve their brilliant look and shine.
Cast iron tubs are also known for their ability to retain heat. The tub is thick and deep. As a result, the water in it stays warmer much longer compared with other bathtubs.
Do you like to soak in warm water, relaxing your body and mind? You can be sure that a cast iron tub will give such an opportunity.
It will provide you with the most fascinating bathing experience. In this tub, the water stays warm for as long as possible.
Cast iron tubs are really fabulous. Freestanding cast iron tubs have a sophisticated look. They add elegance and glamour to any bathroom space creating a majestic atmosphere.
Due to modern technology, some changes have been made in construction of cast iron tubs. That’s why, the number of styles and features have expanded significantly.
Today you can find cast iron tubs that are made as recessed tubs and corner units. They can be seen in drop-in units as well.
That means that you will be able to choose the cast iron tub that perfectly suits your bathroom design and your lifestyle.
There is another reason why some homeowners give preference to a cast iron tub. It does not require too much time and effort to look fresh and shiny.
You will only need a gentle cleaner and soft cloth to clean the tub.
Even though cast iron tubs are very strong and thick, you still should use the right chemicals to reduce the risk of scratching the enamel.
If you still think that cast iron tubs can only come in a white color, you will be surprised to know that today, these tubs come in different colors.
Cast iron tubs are manufactured in various shades of white, beige and sand tones.
You can also find red and black cast-iron bathtubs.
If you prefer to buy a traditional clawfoot cast iron tub, you will get a splendid opportunity to choose a finish for the feet.
Keep in mind that the feet of your clawfoot cast iron tub can become a nice accent to your bathroom space.
The finishes available include brushed nickel, polished chrome and gold, matte oil rubbed bronze, glossy white or matte black.
Cast iron tubs give you longevity and beautiful elegance. But just like acrylic tubs, they have some drawbacks that you should consider before buying the tub.
Disadvantages of Cast Iron Tubs
The most significant drawback that cast iron tubs have is their weight. The average weight is about 300 pounds. However, the weight of a cast iron tub can reach 500 pounds.
The tub becomes extremely heavy when it is filled with water. In most cases, a floor requires additional support when installing a cast iron tub.
That is the main reason why these tubs are recommended for ground floor bathrooms.
The cost is another major disadvantage of cast iron tubs. Cast iron is one of the most expensive bathtub materials.
These tubs are two or even four times more expensive than acrylic bathtubs.
Cast iron tubs are large in size. So, getting them into small bathrooms can be challenging indeed.
Unlike acrylic bathtubs that are always warm to the touch, cast iron tubs are cold. However, the good news is that your cast iron tub will heat up slowly and will retain heat longer than the acrylic tub.
Cast iron tubs usually come in fewer shapes, styles, and options in comparison with acrylic bathtubs.
Which Bathtub is Right for You?
No doubt, choosing a bathtub is a serious decision. As you can see, both acrylic and cast-iron tubs have pros and cons that you should analyze carefully to make the final choice.
If you choose between these tubs, make sure that you know exactly what you expect from the tub.
Obviously, the cost of the tub is one of the major factors that can influence your choice. If your budget is tight, an acrylic tub would be a better option.
When you are planning a bathroom renovation, it is extremely important to consider not just the cost of the tub, but also how long you are going to live in your home.
If you are planning to move within a short period of time, buying an expensive cast iron tub doesn’t really make much sense unless you take the bathtub with you.
But if you are not planning to move and have a lot of family members who will be using the tub, saving up for a cast iron tub seems reasonable indeed.
If you really like soaking in hot water every evening, you should also remember that the larger the tub, the more water it requires to fill.
In fact, your choice should be based on your personal preferences.
Both acrylic and cast iron are high-quality tubs that will become a great addition to your bathroom making it look elegant and stylish.
Choose the tub that meets your needs and you will get immense satisfaction from using it.
If you would like to read more about acrylic and cast iron bathtubs, check out the below links:
Cast Iron Bathtubs: A Homeowner’s Bathroom Guide
Acrylic vs. Cast Iron Bathtubs: Which is Best for my Bathroom?