Considering a bath renovation? Need a new tub to replace your shower? Want a tub that’ll last? It may be time to look at installing an acrylic bath. Over the past few years, the benefits of an acrylic bath have become more widely known, and homeowners couldn’t be happier.
Beyond their affordability (which can be the most significant factor of all!), they’re versatile, they’re attractive, and they’re built to last.
After the work you’ll put into renovating or remodeling your bathroom, you’ll also appreciate just how low-maintenance and comfortable an acrylic bath can be. Knowing how easy they are to upkeep will only help make your bath the relaxing spot you deserve.
We certainly think you’ll agree, and that’s why we’re sharing all the best parts and the benefits of acrylic baths.
What Is An Acrylic Bath?
Before we can dive into what is an acrylic bath, let’s start with what acrylic is. Acrylic is a transparent plastic material known for its strength, stiffness, and weathering properties. Those qualities make it ideal as a bathtub material.
Now, acrylic baths are made of sheets of acrylic. For additional durability, these sheets can be reinforced with fiberglass. This combination is also ideal for its flexibility during construction, as it can be molded well into different shapes.
In comparison to tubs made of stone, acrylic is extremely lightweight, making it easy to install in multi-level homes. Its lightweight nature doesn’t compromise its durability, though, as it is also damage-resistant.
What Are The Advantages Of An Acrylic Bath?
When you’re looking for the benefits of an acrylic bath, know that the list is long.
Homeowners often choose acrylic baths for the following reasons:
- Acrylic baths are affordable
- They are crack- and chip-resistant
- They are easily repaired
- The smooth, nonporous surface make them easier to clean
- Their heat-retention quality – even when dry – makes them more comfortable
- They are highly variable in terms of color, size, and setup
- Acrylic baths are lightweight
- They can be made even more durable when reinforced with fiberglass
- Acrylics baths are easy to clean and maintain
… And The Disadvantages Of An Acrylic Bath?
Of course, no tub material is perfect. Acrylic baths may also have some cons that, depending on your taste, keep them from being the right material for your family.
These are a few of the reasons homeowners may stay away from acrylic baths:
- Acrylic tubs show scratches more easily than other tubs, though repairs are easy
- They can stain and discolor a bit faster
- They may feel hollow or less solid than comparable, heavier tubs
How Do Acrylic Baths Compare With Cast Iron Baths?
An average acrylic tub tends to weigh around 75 pounds, while a comparable cast iron tub can weigh over 300 pounds.
Beyond the discomfort in moving a heavier tub, there are also structural concerns that accompany cast iron tubs in multi story homes. Be sure to check with your contractor to make sure the floor can support the extra weight.
While acrylic tubs can mimic different tub materials, even the look of a cast iron bath, they don’t look quite the same.
Because of this, homeowners that are interested in a more authentic, timeless look may opt for cast iron.
One of the benefits of an acrylic bath is its durability.
This is true in function of its weight – they are surprisingly durable. However, cast iron baths will easily last for decades, a feat that acrylic may have trouble matching.
We can think of bath maintenance as both light repairs and more serious maintenance.
Cleaning-wise, a mild, non-abrasive cleaning agent works fine for both. An acrylic tub may tend toward showing its scratches more, but fixing them is cheap and simple. Cast iron tubs, on the other hand, can be susceptible to chipping over time, and those repairs are notably more complicated.
Heat retention is an important part of choosing a bathtub material because it indicates how long the surface will stay warm.
Cast iron is well-known for being able to retain heat. And though it may surprise some, acrylic is also able to hold its own. If you enjoy a long bath, both of these tubs are good options.
From the initial outlay, an acrylic tub will be much more affordable. Its lifespan will be shorter, but even still that likely wouldn’t suggest a breakeven point.
How Durable Are Acrylic Baths?
Acrylic baths are durable on their own, and can be made even more durable by being reinforced with fiberglass.
These baths have no problem lasting for years. The only note is that they may show a scratch or two, which can be fixed easily.
Do Acrylic Baths Come In Different Shapes And Sizes?
One of the benefits of an acrylic bath is that they can be customized to fit your specific needs.
From a simple bath update to a corner tub that makes more space, acrylic baths are a malleable, versatile option.
They are also a common choice to use for soaking because they are easily combined with water jets, air jets, or a combination of the two.
How Easy Are Acrylic Baths To Maintain?
Another point in favor of acrylic baths is how low-maintenance they are.
With that said, it’s important to use the right products, or you can risk damaging the tub. We’ll also take a look at common questions about acrylic bath upkeep.
The right way to clean an acrylic bath
Fortunately, cleaning acrylic baths doesn’t require fancy, expensive soaps. Just keep in mind to use a mild, non-abrasive cleaning agent and soft materials (to avoid scratches). It can even be as simple as filling the bath with warm water, dish detergent, and then rinsing.
You can also use an all-purpose cleaner. Don’t forget to wipe down the tub’s exterior, too.
Over the longer term, an automotive wax applied a few times each year will help keep the bath shining, water-resistant, and easy-to-clean.
What should I avoid when cleaning an acrylic bath?
The use of an acetone-based cleaner can actually damage your tub, so avoid using them. If some gets in your acrylic bath by accident, be sure to clean it out.
Can I use baking soda with my acrylic bath?
Yes, baking soda is fine to use with an acrylic bath and can be good for attacking stubborn stains.
To use, make sure the sides of your tub are wet, add a dusting of baking soda, add more water, then let it sit. After letting the baking soda work for a few minutes, scrub the bath with a soft cloth or the soft side of a sponge.
How can I remove scratches from an acrylic bath?
Start by making sure the tub is clean.
Then take a piece of fine-grit sandpaper to smooth out the scratches. Follow this using car wax to buff out the area around the scratch. If the scratch is even more mild, try first applying toothpaste and rubbing it with a damp cloth.
Can I resurface or paint my acrylic bath?
Reglazing or relining an acrylic bath can be done professionally, though many home improvement stores will have a DIY kit you can do yourself.
As for changing the color of your acrylic bath, a two-part epoxy paint will do the trick. Like with other paint projects, you’ll want to be sure to cover up any of the surrounding areas, including tiles and other furnishing.
Can I put tile in an acrylic bath?
This isn’t recommended. Because tiles can’t bond securely to acrylic tubs, they’ll fall off and you could end up voiding the warranty. If you’re looking to add a splash of tile to your bathroom, consider a bath wall which could be installed around the bath itself.
Finding An Acrylic Bath Installer In Maryland
Are you looking to have an acrylic bath installed in your home? At Winstar, we are Bath Planet-certified bathroom remodelers and have been helping Maryland homeowners since 1994. For your free consultation, contact Winstar today.