Acrylic Bathtub Pros and Cons Explained (What You Need to Know!)

You will greatly benefit from adding an acrylic bathtub to your home, considering they come in different prices, sizes, shapes, and styles. They are also low maintenance, so you don’t have to spend precious time frequently cleaning your tub.

However, don’t expect them to be perfect, so keep reading to learn about acrylic bathtub pros and cons.

The pros of acrylic bathtubs include durability, affordability, heat retention, and resistance to impact. Additionally, they are lightweight and easy to maintain. However, acrylic tubs are not flawless since they stain and scratch easily.

With the pros and cons of acrylic bathtubs, you can determine if they suit you. This post also examines the durability of these tubs and compares them to porcelain and fiberglass bathtubs.  

Without much ado, let’s get started.

What are the cons of an acrylic tub?

What Are the Pros of Acrylic Bathtubs?

An acrylic bathtub can be a stunning addition to your bathroom because of the following advantages:

1. Affordability

Acrylic is among the most cost-effective bathtub materials, going for anywhere between $500 and $1,000, meaning most homeowners find it less expensive. While they are more costly than their fiberglass counterparts, acrylics are now one of the most budget-friendly bathtub products on the market.

In reality, manufacturers reinforce acrylic tubs with fiberglass. The acrylic substance is vacuum-sealed atop fiberglass layers to lend rigidity and water-resistant characteristics.

Interestingly, integrating these materials still doesn’t make it more expensive than porcelain, ceramic, or cast iron. As a result, an acrylic tub won’t rip your wallet when renovating an old bathtub or upgrading your bathroom.

2. Heat Retention

When choosing a tub material, keep heat retention in mind; nobody likes to soak in water that goes lukewarm after just a few minutes. Fortunately, acrylic bathtubs retain heat adequately due to the inclusion of non-porous materials.

Acrylic also maintains its warmth to the skin since it is neither a metal nor a form of hardened clay. As a result, it is always a lot more comfortable.

3. Lightweight

Acrylic tubs are less difficult to set up than heavier materials; a standard acrylic bathtub weighs about 75 pounds, but a cast-iron one could weigh up to 300 pounds. This trait makes acrylic tubs easy to install and replace, apart from giving long-term comfort to your restroom and joists.

Flooring that handles a lot of weight for a long time tends to sink and separate from the wall, resulting in significant damage. Luckily, acrylic tubs don’t need additional floor reinforcement, and you can install them at any level in the house.

4. Customization

Since acrylic is a flexible material, these tubs are available in a broad range of sizes, colors, shapes, and designs. Notwithstanding your bathroom design, you will find an acrylic bathtub to match it.

Furthermore, these units won’t disappoint in setting up a stand-alone structure. Check that they will fit in your restroom and ensure you have water connections.

5. Easy to Repair and Maintain

Acrylic tubs are simple to repair and maintain, provided you use proper cleaning materials and procedures. Although they are not immune to all types of damage, they are simple to fix if they sustain damage.

You can easily polish out or fill in scratches on the tub-a quality that makes them stand out among bathtubs.

6. Durable

Acrylic tubs outlast many other bathtubs within their price range, and their hues do not deteriorate within a short time like their fiberglass counterparts. Additionally, they are more robust than other tubs.

However, they are prone to discoloration from hair and garment dyes.

Do acrylic tubs turn yellow?

Cons Of Acrylic Bathtubs

Having looked at the merits of acrylic tubs, let’s discuss their shortcomings:

1. Stains Easily

Although acrylic tubs are chip-resistant and easy to repair, they are more susceptible to stains if you fail to clean and maintain them according to the manufacturer’s guidelines. Cast iron bathtubs last longer than acrylic ones, which start to exhibit symptoms of soap stains, rust, or human filth, after 5-10 years.

It’s particularly challenging because many stain-removing treatments are too abrasive for acrylic bathtubs and experts caution you against using them.

2. Easy to Scratch

One characteristic you’d love about acrylic is it embodies a soft material that makes it lightweight and moldable. However, this is a disadvantage since it implies you can scratch the surface easily.

Any material tougher than acrylic will bite into the bathtub and leave an unsightly dent behind. On the flip side, you will have an easier time repairing acrylic tubs than other materials.

Additionally, use a sponge or soft cloth when cleaning acrylic bathtubs to prevent scratching.

3. Acrylic Feels Cheap and More Sensible

If you’re searching for the most luxurious tub, acrylic may not be the best choice because it’s less durable than other varieties of tubs. Homeowners frequently describe these units as “empty” and hollow-sounding.

Despite their fiberglass backing, they are not as strong as porcelain, ceramic, or cast iron. Acrylic tubs come in a broad range of designs and patterns and attempt to match some high-end demands, but they still come short compared to materials like cast iron.

4. Sensitive to Some Cleaning Products

Some cleaning chemicals are overly abrasive and can scrape or damage acrylic bathtubs. Before using a regular bathroom disinfectant on an acrylic tub, be mindful of the components or risk having small patches on the bathtub where your acrylic has peeled away.

Experts recommend using dishwashing soap and other non-abrasive cleaners.

Acrylic Bathtub Vs. Fiberglass

Fiberglass is manufactured by heating layers of tiny strings of interlaced glass together. The piece is molded, sculpted, and coated with a resin gel finish.

Fiberglass is also affordable and easy to install. You will find it employed in two-story houses since it eliminates the need for extra support between the floor and the bathtub. In addition, it can serve you for 10-15 years.

On the other hand, acrylic boasts colorful sheets of transparent plastic backed with layers of fiberglass that make it last 10-15 years. Due to the production process, acrylic tubs cost more than fiberglass bathtubs. In addition, they are lightweight, long-lasting, and demand less care than other materials.

Acrylic units outclass fiberglass ones in heat retention and customizability. Acrylic also has a low chipping and rusting potential than fiberglass tubs.

However, fiberglass is cheaper than acrylic because of its construction mode.

Acrylic Bathtub Vs. Porcelain

Acrylic bathtubs incorporate acrylic and fiberglass with polymers containing acrylic acid. The acrylic component is on the tub’s surface, and manufacturers bolster it with fiberglass.

On the other hand, porcelain tubs come in two varieties: cast iron bathtubs coated in enameled porcelain and steel tubs coated in enameled porcelain. Porcelain enamel is a glassy or ceramic substance burned onto the metal tub core to create an opaque finish.

Acrylic bathtubs beat their porcelain counterparts hands down in terms of affordability, customizability, heat retention, and ease of installation. However, porcelain compensates for that by being better at durability, scratch and stain resistance, and ease of cleaning and maintaining.

Are Acrylic Bathtubs Good Quality?

Acrylic tubs are lightweight, durable, versatile and give you excellent heat retention. However, they are susceptible to stains and scratches and sensitive to abrasive washing chemicals.

How Long Do Acrylic Tubs Last?

A regular acrylic bathtub should endure 10-15 years, which is a reasonable lifespan, given the price of the bathtub and installation. After 15 years, you will notice scratches, stains, and other defects.

When a scratch emerges, repair it as soon as possible so that it does not spread and water does not leak beneath the acrylic cover. The good thing is that compared to other tub varieties, acrylic tubs are less prone to fracture over time.

The tub will only need replacing after 10-15 for aesthetic reasons.

Which is better a porcelain tub or an acrylic tub?

Do Acrylic Bathtubs Crack?

Since acrylic is non-porous, it does not soak water, resulting in a longer lifespan. It is also more resistant to vicious blows and will not crack with proper maintenance.

Nonetheless, continual weight strain paired with inadequate support might cause cracks. Small divots emerge when you dump heavy things in the unit, resulting in damages.

Moreover, overly abrasive cleansers like bleach can corrode your tub. They ruin your tub’s sheen and shine, allowing water to infiltrate the acrylic and cause cracks.

Do Acrylic Tubs Feel Cheap?

Some homeowners feel acrylic tubs are cheap because they cost way less than other tubs (like cast iron). These tubs are less robust and feel hollow.

Even though manufacturers feel acrylic can serve high-end needs, they cannot match the standards offered by porcelain, ceramic, and cast iron. It makes them feel cheap.

Is Acrylic Bathtub Toxic?

Acrylic tubs are not hazardous; despite being plastic, acrylic does not generate toxins, gases, or fumes. Therefore, acrylic bathtubs are user-friendly, unlike other plastics.

Final Remarks on Acrylic Bathtub Pros and Cons

Acrylic bathtubs are lightweight, affordable, retain heat, and are available in diverse shapes and designs. They are also easy to maintain besides offering you comfort.

However, they are prone to scratching and staining, sensitive to abrasive cleaners, and feel cheap and hollow. Therefore, if you are seeking a low-cost tub and are ready to compromise some robustness and longevity, consider an acrylic bathtub.

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