For most homeowners, choosing the right bathtub (acrylic bathtub or porcelain bathtub) for their space can be really challenging. If you are planning a bathroom renovation, getting the ideal tub is an essential step. The tub can completely change the way your bathroom looks and feels. A beautiful and elegant bathtub complements your bathroom design turning it into the most fascinating place in your home. With the perfect tub, you will create a warm and cozy atmosphere in your bathroom ideal for rest and relaxation.
While choosing your best tub, you definitely want to get the one that lasts for many years without causing any problems. No doubt, the life expectancy of your bathtub largely depends on the material it is made of. The way you clean and maintain your bathtub plays a major role as well. In fact, you should choose the material that is not just best on the market, but the material that is best for you and your family.
Acrylic and porcelain are two popular bathtub materials often preferred by homeowners. Acrylic bathtubs are known to be cheaper and easier to install. Porcelain bathtubs are more expensive and harder to install. If you are choosing between the two bathtubs, you should know as much as possible information about each material to make the choice you will never regret. So, let’s dig deeper to find out what these materials have to offer. Hopefully, it will help you get the tub that beautifies your bathroom and transforms your life.
What is an Acrylic Bathtub?
Acrylic bathtubs are sheets of plastic reinforced with fiberglass to add more strength and durability. The material is really soft. That’s why, acrylic tubs come in a huge variety of shapes and sizes.
Manufacturing process usually has several steps including acrylic sheet thermoforming, enhancing with resin and fiberglass, edge cutting, grinding as well as bracket assembling and packing.
What is a Porcelain Tub?
Porcelain tubs are constructed from cast iron or stamped steel and coated with a layer of porcelain enamel. As a result, we get a bathtub that is very strong and durable.
If you are still not sure which bathtub to select, let’s compare the two materials in terms of cost, weight, heat retention, installation, durability, maintenance and restoration.
Which Bathtub is More Affordable?
If you are planning a bathroom renovation and cannot afford to spend too much money on this project, getting a cheaper tub may be a better option for you. But if you just want to replace your old tub, the cost can be of less importance in this case.
In fact, it doesn’t matter, what your situation really is. You should know for sure how much you can spend on your new bathtub. The cost of the tub depends not just on the material it is made of, but on the shape and size of the tub as well. So, the average price of an acrylic tub is about $700 – $1,000. However, some luxurious models may cost up to $14,000 or even more.
The average price of a porcelain-enameled steel bathtub is $200 – $1,000. But if you want to buy a porcelain-enameled cast iron tub for your home, get ready to spend $1,300 on average. As you can see, acrylic and porcelain-enameled steel bathtubs are less expensive in comparison with porcelain-enameled cast iron tubs.
How Much Do Bathtubs Weigh?
The weight of a bathtub you are planning to install is one of the most important factors to consider. You must make sure that the floor in your bathroom can withstand the weight of a bathtub you want to buy. Otherwise, you will have to reinforce the floor or choose another tub.
The average weight of an acrylic bathtub ranges between 50 and 100 pounds. When it comes to porcelain bathtubs, keep in mind that porcelain-enameled steel bathtubs weigh 150-200 pounds. Porcelain-enameled cast iron tubs are extremely heavy with the average weight of 300 or even 500 pounds. Obviously, an acrylic bathtub is the most lightweight option.
Which Bathtub Material is Best for Heat Retention?
Soaking in warm water can bring you so much pleasure and satisfaction. If you cannot imagine your life without this relaxing procedure, heat retention is definitely a critical characteristic you should consider before getting the tub.
Porcelain-enameled cast iron tub is the best tub in term of heat retention. Despite the fact that this tub is cold to the touch, it quickly gets warm when you fill it with hot water. The tub also keeps the water warm for a long period of time. An acrylic bathtub has a non-porous surface that can also retain heat well enough. However, the water in an acrylic tub cools down faster in comparison with a porcelain-enameled cast iron tub.
Unfortunately, a porcelain-enameled steel tub has lost this battle. It retains heat poorly and is not the best choice for people who really like soaking in warm water after a long day at work.
Acrylic is a lightweight material. This factor makes the tub very easy to install and replace. Porcelain tubs are much heavier. That’s why they are more difficult to install. But if you still want to add a porcelain tub to your bathroom, there is no need to worry. A professional will help you install the tub within a short period of time.
Which Bathtub is More Durable?
In fact, porcelain bathtubs are more durable. However, acrylic bathtubs can also last for many years if cleaned and maintained properly. Acrylic tubs do not rust or chip easily. Porcelain-enameled cast iron tubs are chip-resistant as well. Porcelain-enameled steel bathtubs, on the contrary, are prone to chipping and rust. Scratches appear much easier on the surface of acrylic tubs.
Maintenance and Restoration
Both acrylic and porcelain tubs require regular cleaning and maintenance to preserve their brilliant look. Without proper maintenance, even the best tub material can quickly become dull and unattractive making your bathroom look messy and ruining the whole atmosphere.
To clean the two bathtub materials you should use homemade cleaners. It will help you avoid damaging the surface of the tub. In term of restoration, an acrylic tub is a better option. But porcelain tubs can also be fantastically restored and repaired. Just make sure to hire a professional who can do a great job for you.
Obviously, acrylic and porcelain bathtubs have pros and cons. Analyze your needs and choose the tub that not just meets, but even exceeds your expectations. Make yourself happy with an amazing tub that really inspires.