When most people look at a fiberglass or acrylic tub it may be hard at first glance to tell the difference between the two – or to know which one may be the better choice for a bath remodeling project. In the article below you’ll get a brief description of how both tub types are made and the advantages and disadvantages of both product types.
Fiberglass Tub – A fiberglass gelcoat tub is polyester resin that is sprayed into a mold and then reinforced with fine glass particles. The material is then hardened to the desired shape.
- Low price – since fiberglass tubs are made in large quantities with relatively low cost materials they are usually the cheapest priced tubs available.
- Easy to clean.
- Lightweight material makes them easier to install.
- Widely available.
- If the top gelcoat is damaged the fibers of the fiberglass can show through.
- This type of tub doesn’t last as long as acrylic and its removal can lead to an expensive bathroom remodeling project.
- Since this material is porous it can absorb moisture, grime and lead to mildew problems.
- Since the topcoat finish doesn’t last as long the tub can discolor and turn yellow.
Acrylic tub – These tubs are created by heating and molding (vacuum forming) sheets of acrylic which are reinforced underneath with fiberglass.
- Since the material is non-porous it will not allow mold and mildew to build up.
- Color is solid through the acrylic so it won’t yellow like a fiberglass bathtub.
- This long lasting material will minimize the need for frequent replacements.
- Acrylic retains its gloss and shine over the life span of the material.
- The material is warm to the touch.
- More expensive than a fiberglass tub.
- You can’t use abrasive cleaner on the bathtub because they will cause scratches.
- Tubs can bend or flex if not properly installed.
After looking at the advantages and disadvantages of both of these products they both have their uses. Which of these 2 options do you think is best? Do you have any experience with either a fiberglass or acrylic bathtub you’d like to share?
If you’re looking for more information or a free consultation for a tub or a bath remodeling project call the Bath Doctor of Columbus (614-252-7294) Cleveland Design & Remodeling (216-658-1270) and Cincinnati Design and Remodeling (513-744-2184) – divisions of Innovate Building Solutions.