Choosing the ideal bathtub is an extremely challenging, but at the same time interesting and rewarding experience. There are a lot of things you should know to get the tub that perfectly fits your budget, space and your lifestyle. You should analyze different bathtubs to choose the best option for your home.
Soaking in hot water can make you feel fresh and rejuvenated. It’s really fantastic to enjoy your bath after a long and stressful day leaving all your worries and fears behind. But can your tub provide the level of comfort you need so much? In fact, it largely depends on the type of material the tub is made of. Explore the options you have prior to making the final choice.
There is a huge variety of bathtubs available on the market today. The most common bathtub materials include fiberglass, acrylic, cast iron, copper, stone resin, cultured marble and even wood. Each material differs in terms of price, comfort and appearance. Acrylic is rapidly gaining popularity due to the benefits it has to offer.
Planning to add an acrylic tub to your bathroom, but still know little or nothing about it? There is no need to worry. We will provide you with the essential information on the acrylic tubs. In this article, you will learn the following:
- What is acrylic?
- The pros and cons of acrylic bathtubs
- Different types of acrylic bathtubs
- Shapes and sizes
- Cleaning and maintenance
- Refinishing and reglazing
So, let’s get started.
What is acrylic?
Acrylic is known to be an engineered plastic material that has unique properties such as stiffness, strength and optical clarity. Acrylic is transparent, but in can be dyed a huge variety of colors. Acrylic is also called plexiglass. Due to the fact that acrylic offers unique durability, versatility and elegant appearance, it has become one of the most popular bathtub materials.
As you have probably guessed, an acrylic tub is made of acrylic sheets. The sheets are usually heated, vacuum-formed and then reinforced by fiberglass for even higher durability and better performance. An acrylic tub has a fascinating glossy look. It can completely transform your bathroom space adding more style and glamour to it. If you want to create a warm and relaxing atmosphere in your bathroom, getting an acrylic tub is exactly what you need.
The Pros and Cons of Acrylic Bathtubs
Just like any other material, acrylic has its own pros and cons. You should really get acquainted with this information before getting the tub. It will help you understand what to expect from an acrylic tub and whether it can meet your family needs.
The Pros of Acrylic Bathtubs
When it comes to considering the advantages acrylic tubs provide, affordability is probably the first thing we should discuss. Despite the fact that acrylic tubs tend to be more expensive than fiberglass bathtubs, they are still one of the most affordable options available on the market today. Whether you are renovating your bathroom or just want to replace an old bathtub, an acrylic tub has all chances to fit your budget.
2. Heat Retention
You will definitely agree that soaking in water that rapidly cools down cannot bring much pleasure and satisfaction. But if you choose to install an acrylic tub, you will not have to worry about it. Acrylic is a non-porous material that retains heat very well. Your acrylic tub remains warm to the touch even without hot water. The acrylic tub will take your bath experience to the next level providing you with utmost comfort and unbelievable emotions.
Acrylic is a malleable material that can be molded much easier in comparison with the other bathtub materials. That’s why, you can find the acrylic tubs that come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes and colors.
There is an acrylic tub for any bathroom. You will be able to choose the tub that complements your bathroom design adding more elegance and style. With a high-quality acrylic tub, you will easily refresh your bathroom breathing new life into it.
Light weight is another advantage that makes acrylic tubs so popular among homeowners. The average weight of an acrylic bathtub that is not filled with water is about 75 pounds. It makes the tub easy to install and replace.
Acrylic tubs are reinforced by fiberglass. This process makes the tubs really strong and durable. If maintained properly, an acrylic tub can last for many years without causing any problems. As you already know, acrylic is a non-porous material that does not absorb water. Due to this characteristic, the tub can last even longer.
6. Easy to maintain and repair
If you are looking for a bathtub that does not require too much cleaning and maintenance, an acrylic bathtub is the best option for you. The tub can be cleaned with some household products. If minor scratches appear on the surface of your bathtub, they can be easily polished out. An acrylic tub is one of the easiest tubs to clean and repair.
The Cons of Acrylic Bathtubs
1. Staining, scratching and discoloration
If not maintained properly, acrylic tubs are prone to scratching, staining and discoloration. Without regular cleaning, your acrylic tub will lose its previous beauty and attractiveness. The tub may also turn yellow becoming unpleasant to soak in and making your bathroom look messy.
2. Sensitive to some aggressive cleaners
Some cleaning agents can be too aggressive for acrylic tubs. They can seriously damage the surface of the tub. In some cases, the damage can be so huge that you won’t be able to repair it. You must be very careful when choosing the cleaning product for your acrylic tub. Keep in mind that stainless steel sponges are not an option as well. Prefer soft sponges instead.
3. Feels hollow
An acrylic tub is a beautiful and functional tub. However, some homeowners say that the tub sounds and feels hollow. Despite the fact that an acrylic tub is reinforced by fiberglass, it’s still not as heavy as cast iron or any other bathtub material.
Different types of Acrylic bathtubs
There is a wide range of acrylic tubs you can choose from. Let’s consider the most popular tubs often preferred by homeowners.
1. Acrylic drop in tubs
This acrylic tub is put into a frame or structure. The structure of the tub can be constructed from almost any material. You can select tile, natural stone or even wood to add a nice touch to your bathroom.
2. Acrylic alcove tubs
An alcove tub is the tub surrounded by walls on three sides. Some homeowners believe that drop in and alcove tubs are the same. But in fact they are two absolutely different bathtub types. Acrylic alcove bathtubs are smaller than drop in tubs, but they truly provide the highest level of comfort and relaxation.
3. Acrylic freestanding tubs
An acrylic freestanding tub has an elegant and sophisticated look. This tub can become a great addition to any bathroom making it an ideal place for rest and relaxation. A freestanding tub can be installed anywhere in your bathroom. It will become a focal point of this room attracting the attention of every family member and guest.
4. Acrylic clawfoot tubs
An acrylic clawfoot tub is a freestanding tub that stands on four feet. The tub has an elegant and timeless look. It will never go out of style. This tub will provide you with long, luxurious baths making you feel happy and relaxed.
5. Acrylic corner tubs
An acrylic corner tub is the tub with two sides surrounded by walls. These tubs are usually large enough and can even accommodate two bathers. A corner tub is really eye-catching. It can revamp your bathroom look adding more style and character to it.
6. Acrylic whirlpool tubs
An acrylic whirlpool tub is the tub with water jets that massage your muscles and help you relax washing all your troubles away. The vast majority of whirlpool tubs have 6 or even 8 water jets installed throughout the tub. With an acrylic whirlpool tub you will turn your bathroom into a fabulous spa that provides beauty, therapeutic and relaxing treatment at home.
Shapes and Sizes of Acrylic Tubs
Due to the softness and malleability of acrylic, the tubs made of this material come in almost any shape and size. Alcove tubs are one of the most popular types of bathtubs. These acrylic tubs are usually square or oval in shape. Alcove tubs are inexpensive. They are also the perfect choice if you want to combine a tub with a shower. The tubs do not require too much space. It makes them the best option for smaller bathrooms. The average size of an acrylic alcove tub is 60 inches long, 32 inches wide and 18 inches deep. You can also find smaller tubs that are 48-55 inches in length.
If you want to add a touch of style and elegance to your bathroom, think about getting an acrylic drop in tub. These tubs are usually rectangular. However, they may come in almost any shape. Buy an oval or hourglass tub in order to create a striking visual effect and the most romantic atmosphere in your bathroom. A square and a round drop in tub will provide you with more bathing space. Depending on the shape of the acrylic drop in tubs, they vary in size significantly. The length ranges from 35 inches and up to 86 inches. The width starts from 20 inches. And the depth of a drop in tub ranges between 12-41 inches. An acrylic drop in tub is a fantastic choice for any bathroom. You can select the tub with the size that ideally fits your bathroom.
Acrylic freestanding tubs come in various shapes as well. However, the most popular shapes include oval and rectangular. Some of these tubs are installed on a pedestal. You may also choose a round freestanding tub for a better and deeper soaking.
The standard size of an acrylic freestanding tub is 55-72 inches in length, 27-32 inches in widths and 25-20 inches in height. Freestanding tubs need a lot of space. That’s why, they are a better choice for spacious bathrooms. You will not be able to enjoy the beauty and elegance of the tub if you put it in a small bathroom.
Acrylic clawfoot tubs are amazingly beautiful. The tub will definitely add charm and glamour to your bathroom. Classic clawfoot tubs are usually oval. However, you may also find rectangular, hourglass, slipper and double slipper clawfoot tubs. Clawfoot tubs are deep and large. They are designed to provide you with the most fascinating bath experience. You really must make sure that your bathroom can accommodate such a tub. The length of acrylic clawfoot tubs ranges between 54 and 72 inches. The most popular length is about 59 inches. The width is about 30-40 inches or even more. The average width often preferred by homeowners is 32 inches. The depth of a clawfoot tub can be 24-30 inches.
Acrylic corner tubs are thought to be one of the most luxurious and fabulous bathtub options. The corner tub is usually triangular. If you have a spacious bathroom, this tub can become an amazing choice for you. The most common dimensions a corner tub may have are 4 ft х 4 ft and 5 ft х 5 ft.
Acrylic whirlpool tubs come in a huge variety of shapes and sizes as well. The most common tubs are triangular, oval, round or rectangular. You may also prefer L-shaped or P-shaped whirlpool tubs. These tubs combine beauty and functionality offering the most fantastic bath experience. On average, whirlpool bathtubs are 60 inches long, 32-36 inches wide and 18-24 inches deep. There are also acrylic whirlpool bathtubs designed for smaller bathrooms.
Cleaning and Maintaining Your Acrylic Bathtub
Acrylic bathtubs have a smooth surface that is pleasant to the touch. These tubs are one of the easiest tubs to maintain. Along with that, the surface of your acrylic tub can be easily damaged if you choose the wrong cleaning agents. Make sure that you apply only safe cleaning products that can help your tub restore its beauty and prolong its life.
The good news is that no special cleaners are needed to make your acrylic tub look sparkling and shiny again. You can use the products that most homeowners usually have at hand. In fact, cleaning the tub is not a tough process. Just apply non-abrasive cleaners and sponges on a regular basis. Dishwashing liquid, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, vinegar and lemon juice are the best household products that can effectively clean your acrylic tub without damaging its surface.
If you notice that your acrylic tub is dirty and requires cleaning, fill it with hot water and add two cups of vinegar. Let it work for 15 minutes approximately. The acid found in vinegar will remove dirt quickly and effectively. Baking soda is another product you should use. While your acrylic tub is still wet, sprinkle some baking soda all over it. Let it sit for several minutes. Baking soda will not scratch the surface of your tub. It will gently remove soap scum, mold and mildew without damaging the tub.
Lemon juice can help you get rid of hard water stains. You can make a mixture of baking soda, dishwashing liquid and lemon juice. Mix the solution until it gets foamy. After that, pour the solution on the surface of the tub. Let it sit for 30 minutes and then rinse the tub. You will see how beautiful and glossy your acrylic tub can really be.
For stubborn stains, you may also use a mixture of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. It would be enough to take one part of hydrogen peroxide and two parts of baking soda. Put the paste on the stains and leave it for about an hour. Then, rinse the surface of the tub thoroughly. The acrylic tub will always please your eyes with its elegancy and brilliant look if you know how to clean it properly.
Refinishing and Reglazing Your Acrylic Tub
If your acrylic tub gets dull and unattractive, there is an effective way to make it shine again. The tub can be reglazed and return its previous beauty. Reglazing is a bathtub renovation option that helps restore your acrylic bathtub. It consists of several stages including sanding down the surface of the tub, filling in the chipped areas, painting and finally, buffing.
If your acrylic tub has no serious issues, you can apply this technique instead of getting a new tub. However, you should keep in mind that reglazing does not always save the tub. If something goes wrong and the tub starts peeling, you should really think about the other renovation options. Probably, it’s time to replace your old acrylic tub.
If you have never had an acrylic tub in your home, you should definitely give it a try. The tub will impress you with its beauty, diversity, durability, and most importantly, price. Transform your bathroom with an amazing acrylic tub.