You might be surprised that bathtubs come in a variety of materials, but acrylic is the most popular material used to make bathtubs today. That’s because acrylic tubs are durable, lightweight, and easy to install. They are also relatively inexpensive and come in such a wide variety of colors that it will be easy to find the perfect shade for your bathroom. Acrylic is a popular choice of material for use in whirlpools, air baths, and combo massage systems.
In acrylic bathtubs, fiberglass is used as a reinforcement material to vacuum-formed acrylic sheets. This is what makes the bathtub so lightweight. Acrylic tubs usually weigh in at 75 pounds or less, compared to cast iron tubs, which are usually in excess of 350 pounds or more. One consideration resulting from their lightweight quality, however, is that to some users, the tub can feel “hollow” when stepping in.
Acrylic bathtubs are more durable than others in the same price range, and will stand up to much use and abuse. Washing kids? Pets? No problem. An added bonus is that it is resistant to cracking and chipping.
Many people find acrylic bathtubs more comfortable for bathing because they are not cold to the touch as a cast iron tub is. Acrylic is a poor heat conductor, so that means the surface will be warmer to sit in or lie against while bathing.
Another feature that is well-liked is that high-quality acrylics have UV protection built right in. This gives the tub a deeper, richer color that won’t fade and will last for years. One drawback to acrylic tubs, however, is that they can be more susceptible to staining, especially from hair dyes. And while the smooth, shiny surface of an acrylic bathtub is resistant to scratching, if they are damaged, they are relatively easy to repair. Scratches or stains in your acrylic tub can be sanded using fine sandpaper, and, once buffed, will look brand new again.
For ease of cleaning, acrylic can’t be beat. The smooth surface is easily cleaned by wiping with mild household cleaner. Be sure you aren’t using abrasive cleansers and scrubbers, however, because they can scratch your acrylic tub’s surface.