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Cast Iron vs. Acrylic Tub – Important Things to Know

Cast Iron vs. Acrylic Tub – Important Things to Know in 2023

Cast Iron vs. Acrylic Tub – Important Things to Know

If you are in the market for a bathtub, you may have many expectations, such as a unique look, great color, the best material, and last but not least, the right price point. Many factors help you determine the best bathtub for your family. One of them is material. Which is the best material for your bathtub that has the ability to give you the longest life possible? Let's face it, bathtubs are expensive, and it is natural to expect excellent life from your purchase. Various material-based bathtubs are available in the market, but the most popular ones are cast iron and acrylic. There are good reasons as to why these materials are popular among people. If you have doubts about the best material for your bathtubs, fret not. You are in the right place. In the upcoming sections, we will take a deeper look into cast iron and acrylic materials to enable you to take an informed decision of the winner of “cast iron vs. acrylic tub”

Cast Iron Bathtub – What Is It?

As the name suggests, the cast iron bathtub is made of cast iron. People may think the bathtub is purely based on a single material, but that is not the case. Cast iron bathtubs are made of a composite of iron and porcelain. This is the main reason cast iron bathtubs have a shiny outlook instead of lumps of iron having a rustic look. Once the composite is cast into the necessary shape, the bathtub undergoes maintenance. Here, enamel coatings are coated all over the tub's surface to protect it from chipping and other surface imperfections down the line. 

The following image will give you an idea of what a cast iron bathtub looks like:

Why Are Cast Iron Bathtubs so Popular

Why Are Cast Iron Bathtubs so Popular? – Three Important Reasons:

The first reason is that cast iron bathtubs naturally resist small cracks and scratches. This can be one of the most important reasons because it is directly linked to the reliability of the material. As said, the bathtub is an investment, and you need to make sure that the bathtub yor choose gives you the best life expectancy possible and also makes sure that the maintenance cost (which we will see in detail in the upcoming sections) does not put heavy stress on your wallet. Resistance to small cracks (which can lead to bigger cracks and may ultimately break the tub into two) is a great and necessary feature for your bathtub.

 

The second reason would be durability. Cast iron tubs are extremely durable and resistant to fall damage, but it is important to note that this ability comes with the great cost of losing lightness. Cast iron tubs are extremely heavy, which makes the installation a little difficult compared to other materials, except for stone-based tubs. 

 

The third reason would be heat retention. Even though copper and soapstone are better in this category, cast iron bathtubs retain heat for longer compared to other bathtub materials, giving the bather a warm feeling. Also, retaining heat for longer periods can help you to save money on your electricity bills since you don't have to keep the heater on while you are bathing.

Acrylic Bathtub – What Is It?

As the name interprets, an acrylic bathtub is made of acrylic sheets, usually vacuumed-formed acrylic sheets, and reinforced with fiberglass in between them. Unlike cast iron, there are no dedicated processes to cast the material into the required shape. Among other materials, the process of manufacturing an acrylic bathtub is simple and easy. The following image shows a generic acrylic bathtub:

Why Are Acrylic Bathtubs so Popular

Why Are Acrylic Bathtubs so Popular? Three Important Reasons

The first reason would be the cost of the bathtub. The most affordable bathtub material is acrylic. This can entice a huge group of people to go for the acrylic bathtub. You can get the same bathing experience as the other material, so why is it necessary to go for expensive materials? The main reason is that acrylic is not as durable as other materials. Even though it can withstand small external shocks, it does not have the ability to withstand stress like cast iron or other materials. 

 

The second reason is the style. Acrylic bathtubs are available in huge varieties of shapes and sizes. The bathtub consists of 50% bathing experience and 50% style. Style is a major part of any bathtub. It is the sole factor that can elevate your bathroom aesthetics. A huge collection of various styles and shapes gives people many options to choose from and can be a great deciding factor. 

 

The third reason is easy maintenance. Compared to other materials, maintenance in acrylic bathtubs is simple and does not require special steps, like copper and cast iron. This appeals to a buyer who doesn't want to spend much time maintaining their bathtub. Also, if damages occur, you can easily fix them with the help of a repair kit available both online and at local hardware stores.

Related Read: How to Install a Freestanding Bathtub?- A DIY Method With 6 Steps

 

Now that you better understand cast iron bathtubs and acrylic bathtubs, let's compare both of these materials and select the winner from “cast iron vs. acrylic tub”

Cast Iron vs. Acrylic Tub – Which Is the Better Option?

Both these materials possess a considerable amount of potential to be a winner in our situation as cast iron bathtubs possess great heat retention, which helps you to save money on the electricity bill. Acrylic is much more affordable and has simple maintenance steps. The following table summarizes all the advantages and disadvantages of both materials by grading them as: Great, good, fair, and poor. 

 

Properties

Cast Iron

Acrylic Tub

Durability

Great

Good

Weight

Heavy (Fair)

Light (Great)

Heat Retention

Great

Great

Style 

Good

Great

Shape

Good

Great

Cost

$$$

$

Maintenance

Extra steps needed (Fair)

Minimal (Good)

Life

Great

Great

*$$$- Expensive, $- Affordable

 

Based on the table above, it is safe to say that acrylic is the winner in our “cast iron vs. acrylic tub” situation. It is much more affordable, has various styles and shapes, and the maintenance cost is considerably low compared to cast-iron bathtubs. 

 

Related Read: 7 Best Large Freestanding Tubs in 2022

FAQs:

  • Which is better, cast iron vs. acrylic tub?
  • Acrylic is the best affordable choice. Comparatively it is cheap, comes in various styles and shapes, and the maintenance cost is lower than cast iron. So, if you are looking for a stylish bathtub at a low cost, then an acrylic tub is the best choice. 

  • Can you install an acrylic bathtub easily?
  • Yes, you can easily install an acrylic bathtub in your bathroom. Acrylic bathtubs are light-weighted. You can place the tub anywhere in your bathroom. The main thing to look for is the drain line, which must align properly with the tub’s drain. 

  • Which is more expensive, cast iron or acrylic tub?
  • The cast iron bathtub is more expensive than an acrylic tub since the manufacturing process involves extra steps than acrylic tubs. The tub manufacturing material is more expensive than the acrylic sheets and fiberglass.

    Final Thoughts:

    Taking a nice warm bath in a bathtub is a great way to relieve all your stress. We live in a fast-paced world, and we are running at an incredible speed, meaning there are a lot of tasks to be done in a single day (work-wise). This has put a lot of stress on our system, and we need to relieve all that stress to face another hard day. Using medicinal items in your bath can greatly improve your body health, as well as mental health, such as great blood circulation and rebuilding your muscle fibers. Magnus Home products offer great varieties of freestanding and clawfoot tubs for acrylic and cast iron material at an affordable price.

     

    This article hopes to give you enough information to decide the better material in cast iron vs. acrylic tubs.

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