Why choose an acrylic bathtub?
Acrylic is one of the most popular materials on the market today. This is mostly because it is a high-quality product, with a price that puts it more in the middle of the road as far as bathtub materials go. It is more expensive than fiberglass, but not as expensive as other materials such as porcelain and cast iron. As with any material, there are several pros and cons to consider for an acrylic bathtub. Luckily, the pros heavily outweigh the cons.
- Low Cost
- Interior and exterior colors match; easier to hide scratches
- Easy to install
- Easy to clean
- A wide range of sizes available
- Widely available
- Not as durable as porcelain or cast iron
In this section of our buying guide, we’ll cover all of the ins and outs of finding the right acrylic bathtub. That way, you’ll be able to find the perfect tub for your household and family.
As you have seen throughout your life, every bathroom is unique. This also applies to the tubs in those bathrooms. As such, there are several different bathtub types that you need to consider to make sure you get the one that works for your bathroom.
- Drop-in – Drop-in tubs can give your bathroom an upscale look. These versatile tubs can be used in many different bathrooms, making them a popular choice. They feature a self-rimming edge and are dropped into a platform during installation, hence their name.
- Freestanding – As you would guess from the name of this tub type, freestanding tubs are stand-alone pieces that work best for larger bathrooms.
- Alcove – Alcove bathtubs are the most popular tub type. They are designed to give you as much space as possible, and can easily be paired with a shower. They are also easier to keep clean than a drop-in since they do not need a platform built around them.
- Corner – A corner tub is an alcove bathtub that has been specially designed to fit into the corner of a room. This makes it ideal for someone with a smaller bathroom since it doesn’t take up a ton of space.
Something else aside from the aesthetic look of your bathroom that will help to determine the type of tub style you need is how you intend to use it. For instance, if you are only the occasional bath taker, you wouldn’t want to get a stand-alone or corner tub, since you will also be taking showers.
This also holds true if you have kids, who tend to make a bit of a mess when they bathe. For that kind of situation, you would want to use an alcove tub for sure, since they are easier to keep clean.
The size of your tub is dependent on two things. The first is, of course, the size of your bathroom and where your tub needs to fit. If you have a larger bathroom, then this isn’t too big of a deal. If, however, your bathroom is overly small, you’ll need to get a tub to match.
The other consideration for tub size is who will be using it. If you are only going to be using this tub to bathe your children, for instance, then a smaller tub won’t be that big of a deal. On the other hand, if you intend to stretch out and take a nice long relaxing soak, you’ll want a tub that allows you to do so.
The beautiful think about an acrylic bathtub is that they are relatively easy to install, though some types are more difficult than others. By far, the easiest is the stand alone tub, since you only need to attach it to the water and drain and you are good to go.
The next easiest install is the corner or alcove tub. Once these tubs are put in place, they need to be sealed with silicone around their joints and connected to the water and drain. By far the most difficult install is the drop-in tub. For it to be installed correctly, you need to build a frame for it to be placed into. It then needs to be sealed and connected to the water and drain. Some other form of waterproofing should also be done around this tub type since it won’t cover any of the surrounding areas.
Make sure that you take these different installation concerns into account before you purchase your tub. Otherwise, you will end up either having a difficult install for yourself or an over-budget install for your contractor.
Depending on the size of the tub you choose, the weight may vary greatly. If, for instance, you select a larger tub with tons of extra features, then it will be heavier than bare bones, smaller size tub. The weight of tub that you can handle is largely dependent on where you live and what floor of your home you want your tub on.
If your home is solidly built, and you have help to install your bathtub, then the size and weight are of no concern. If, however, you have a smaller residence and you need to install your tub on your own, you might want to aim for a lighter model. Acrylic tubs, on the whole, are not heavy, especially when compared to porcelain or cast iron tubs. It is still something to take into consideration, however.
The type of floor that you get in your tub is again, dependent on who is going to be using it. If all you intend to do with your tub is take peaceful soaks, then a smooth-floored tub should do fine.
Conversely, however, if you have young children or individuals with bad balance, you might want to look for a tub that has a textured floor. While you might think that you can just get bath math to save a bit of money, they tend to lose suction and slip after a while. A textured floor will provide the necessary amount of grip to make sure that no one takes a spill in the tub.
Again, depending on what type of bathing experience you are looking for, there are several different extra features that you can choose from. This includes textured floors, different depths to provide seating, grooves to support your neck and back while you recline, and, of course, everyone’s favorite, jets.
These extra features will add a bit to the price of your tub, so make sure you keep your budget close in your mind when you are looking through them. You also should be honest with yourself and only get features that you truly need, rather than getting things that sound great, but won’t really get used.
Possibly the greatest reason to get an acrylic tub is their durability, as acrylic tubs do not scratch or mar very easily.
If you do happen to accidentally scratch or ding your acrylic tub, it isn’t actually all that big of a deal. Since the interior and exterior of the tub are the same color, you will have to try really hard to notice any imperfections.
The thin layer of acrylic itself lacks the strength that is needed to bear the expected weight. So acrylic bathtubs usually are reinforced with such materials as fiberglass to increase their durability. It adds to their weight, though.
Even though acrylic tubs are extremely durable, that doesn’t mean that something won’t go wrong with them. That is why it is good to look for tubs that come with some sort of warranty. That way, if some unforeseeable damage occurs for your tub, you will be able to get it fixed or replaced with no additional cost to you.