While porcelain-enamel coated bathtubs are the most common, they are not the only material available for residential or commercial applications. There are a wide range of bathtub materials from high-tech resin to natural and composite stone. Let us run you through some of the most popular options and weigh the pros and cons to know the best one for your needs.
6 Common Bathtub Materials
Natural Stone Baths
Natural stone is quarried in one piece. Its beauty lies in its uniqueness. No two natural stones are alike in colour and veining making it more expensive. Natural stone has an earthy, attractive finish but it is not as durable as you may assume. It can chip easily through force or sharp temperature fluctuations, and is heavier than composite stone, requiring additional structural framing for support. It can scratch and stain easily with rough use too. Natural stone has a raw porous texture which is hard to clean, making it less hygienic than other bathtub materials such as composite stone.
Composite Stone Baths
Composite stone is more durable as it is strengthened with 60% natural aluminum mineral and resin for long lasting looks and durability. The non-porous surface makes it easy to clean, more hygienic, hard to scratch and stain resistant. It outlasts most other materials and retains water-heat for long hours of luxurious soaking. Composite stone bathtubs are available in a wide range of stunning designs that add a beautiful statement to your bathroom.
Porcelain is most commonly used as a finish over steel, reglazed or cast-iron baths to add aesthetic appeal. It is durable, easy to maintain and cost-effective. The material is heavier than acrylic. It chips easily under force, exposing steel that can lead to rust. The variety in this material is rather limited. High-tech enamel coating leaves a high gloss finish that offers unmatched smoothness and density. It is easy to clean, retains shine for years and has excellent heat retention.
High-quality acrylic is lightweight, durable, functional and easy to clean offering excellent value for the money. The high gloss finish prevents bacteria accumulation, and retains its shiny look for years to come whether you choose a freestanding bathtub or built-in. They are easy to install and available in a wide range of colours and styles. Some acrylic bathtubs are strengthened with layers of stronger materials such as fibreglass to reinforce the structure.
Commonly known as FRP or fibreglass-reinforced plastic, this is the most economical because of the lightweight material that is easy to install. On the flipside, fibreglass tubs are thinner so they scratch and crack easily. Fibreglass is easy to repair but that brings down the value and aesthetic appeal. The lightweight material also means the tubs shift easily, providing an unstable base. The colour can fade time unlike tubs of higher grade materials.
Cast Iron Bathtubs
For maximum durability, cast iron is a good option. They are made by pouring iron into a mould and coated with a thick layer of enamel. It is resistant to scratches, chipping and denting, retains water heat and has a rich appeal. But the heavy weight makes it difficult to install. Cast iron is expensive but if you are looking for a material that will last longer than any other, this is it!
Aqua Bath Safety Bathtubs and Showers
The choice to consider the best bathtub material for your home really depends on your wishlist. Stone composite baths are luxurious while acrylic and fibreglass offer value for money. Porcelain tubs are cost-effective and durable while natural stone gives a unique look that is unmatched and long lasting. You can also custom-build your bathtub from other materials such as teak wood for one-of-a-kind pieces too.
Aqua Bath specializes in state-of-the-art custom baths and shower units that meet your specific goals. Our experience allows us the flexibility to change the location of the drain, soap dish or seat, customize the width and depth to the specific area. We supply to hospitals, nursing homes, hotels, motels and residential applications among others. Check out our products online or visit our store at Edmonton to pick the right style for you. Contact us for more information. If you are in the Calgary area and are looking for a new bathtub, visit our new showroom in Calgary today!