Acrylic Bathtubs vs Cast Iron

Acrylic bathtubs are usually used in modern homes instead of cast-iron bathtubs. There are actually many more types of materials used in making tubs, but these two are the most popular among consumers. This being said, let’s take a look at the differences of these two types of tubs so you can make an informed decision on which to purchase if ever you would want one.

Fabrication

Cast-iron tubs are basically made by pouring melted iron into different molding designs and are covered in a porcelain coating. They then go through a fire polishing process in order to become smooth and shiny. Acrylic bathtubs on the other hand, are made with acrylic sheets being held together by fiberglass. These types of bathtubs are almost completely scratch and dent resistant and are very resilient, as well.

Cost

Acrylic tubs are generally cheaper than cast iron tubs because of the materials used and the way they are made. Iron is generally more expensive than acrylic and fiberglass. Cast-iron tubs are therefore more expansive than their acrylic counterparts because synthetic materials are cheaper to produce and are readily available in bulk. An acrylic bathtub can even cost just half as much as a cast iron one.

Installation

Due to their weight differences, installation of both types of tubs also varies. Since cast iron is definitely heavier than acrylic, a lot more manpower is needed in order to install this type of tub. The flooring where it will rest also needs to be reinforced due to its weight. This is therefore much costlier than installing an acrylic bathtub, which is much lighter and requires less installation pre-requisites.

Transmitting of Heat

Since cast iron is a very good conductor of either heat or cold, a cast iron tub can therefore transfer heat from the water in it. It can also retain the heat and keep the entire bath warm for a longer period of time. Cast iron starts out cold, but when hot water is poured into the tub, the heat of the water is transferred effectively so it remains longer. Acrylic tubs do not conduct heat very well because of its material. It can also retain the heat of the bath to a certain extent, but not as effectively as its cast-iron counterpart.

Durability

Among the two, cast iron bathtubs are much stronger and sturdier than acrylic bathtubs. Iron is a very strong metal that will not easily break or get deformed due to constant use. Acrylic is a synthetic material that can also withstand a lot of beating, but it will not hold up to the punishment cast iron can take. The cheaper acrylics tubs can actually break if they are not given the proper care.

Maintenance

As mentioned above, cast iron tubs are very durable compared to acrylic bathtubs and can last for several decades. Given the proper care, they can serve a lot of people. They are therefore recommended in bathrooms which have a lot of people using them. An acrylic bathtub is also durable to a certain extent, but requires more upkeep because you need avoid certain chemicals and use non-abrasive cleaners in order to successfully maintain it.