Porcelain Freestanding Tub – Important Things to Know in 2023
The freestanding tub is one of the most popular bathroom accessories in today’s market. The bathtub market is expected to reach the mark of about 15.1 billion USD by 2029. This fact is cemented by the massive amount of sales of bathtubs after COVID-19. So, why are freestanding tubs so popular?
Back in the day, clawfoot tubs were synonymous with bathtubs. Doctors prescribe to patients take a clawfoot bath in warm water to soothe the pain caused by skin-related issues.
The functionality was the main focus when it came to the bathtub. Fast forward to today’s world, if you take anything from a small appliance or tool, like a screwdriver, to big appliances, such as a bathtub, it is 50-50 functionality and aesthetics.
This is where the freestanding tubs are getting popular, thanks to their varieties of styles and good functionality.
The aesthetics of a freestanding tub is purely related to the bathtub material, and one of the most popular materials is porcelain.
In this article, we will discuss the porcelain freestanding tub and its benefits, so that you can choose whether it is the right choice for your home.
Porcelain Freestanding Tub – What Is It?
The porcelain freestanding tub is not actually made of porcelain. It is a very brittle material, not able to withstand the small external pressure. Ultimately, it is not a good choice for a bathtub. So why it is called a porcelain freestanding tub?
The porcelain freestanding bathtub is either made of iron or steel or even sometimes glass (chances are very slim). The iron or steel is molded into the desired shape and size. With that heat before dissipating into the surrounding, the porcelain enamel layer is coated. This is done to improve the effectiveness of the coating and ensure that the bathtub is durable.
One of the main reasons for porcelain enamel coating is to have a good bathtub for a long time. Steel or iron do have a good life, but are prone to many structural defects, such as rust and corrosion.
It is difficult to prevent such defects in steel or iron. If you have an approach to eliminate such defects, then you have a good bathtub that lasts longer than most bathtubs.
And that approach is the porcelain coating. This coating's sole purpose is to eliminate corrosion and other structural defects (rust, and algae formation) and improve the overall durability of the bathtub. The process also improves the appearance of the bathtub. So, the objective 50-50 (functionality and aesthetics) is achieved here with the porcelain freestanding tub.
Porcelain is a Tricky Material
Now, as said, steel or iron bathtubs are usually coated for improved functionality and aesthetics. But, in the market, there are two types of coating. The first is porcelain coating and the second one is the enamel coating. But, this is the tricky part, both coatings involve the enamel coating. Both materials provide almost the same result in terms of functionality and one-to-one copy when it comes to appearance.
So, how do you find out if the coating on your bathtub is either enamel or porcelain? The simple method is to use a magnet. If the magnet attracts to the surface of the bathtub, then it assured that the bathtub is made of steel or iron with enamel coating. If the magnet is not attracted, it means it is another material with a porcelain coating.
But, this method is flawed. It is known that both enamel and porcelain are used to coat steel or iron bathtub. Even if the magnet attracts to the surface of the bathtub, it may not clearly tell you what type of coating is layered on the surface of your tub.
Is Porcelain the Same as Acrylic?
The answer is no. Appearances can be deceiving. Both materials have a white glossy finish, which can make it quite challenging to identify them with just a look. But, it can be done with the help of notable differences in the functionality of the bathtub.
First is heat retention. Acrylic is better than porcelain when it comes to retaining heat for a long time. You might think that, with the right insulation, porcelain can retain. That is not true. Acrylic bathtubs still retain a good amount of heat for a long time.
Second, is the durability of the bathtub. In this comparison, porcelain takes the cake. Simply being the harder material and resistant to scratches, porcelain is better when it comes to durability. But, note that porcelain is highly prone to surface damage if heavy objects impact the surface. But, overall, acrylic is inferior to porcelain in the durability department.
Third is the maintenance. In general, a softer material is perfect for easy maintenance. Acrylic being the softer material, compared to porcelain, can withstand (to a certain degree) chemical reactions and cleaning agents for maintaining the bathtub. But, try not to use any abrasive cleaning agent to remove dirt from your bathtub.
So, which is better? Porcelain or Acrylic? Even though two out of three factors say that acrylic is the better material. The decision is also affected (hugely) by another factor: price.
An Average Cost of a Porcelain Freestanding Tub
Now, the cost mostly depends on two or three factors, size, shape, and installation. Most manufacturers may not include the installation charges with the MSRP (Maximum Selling Retail Price). But estimate, a porcelain freestanding tub can range anywhere from $500-$2000, depending on the size of the bathtub. The price can vary depending on manufacturers as well. But you can be assured that porcelain is one the cheapest bathtub materials on the market and even the largest bathtub can cost $1500, whereas other materials can cost $3000 or even $10,000 (i.e., natural wood)
How To Maintain a Porcelain Freestanding Tub
Maintaining a freestanding bathtub is comparatively easier. But, the maintenance steps are drastically changed based on the type of bathtub materials. When it comes to porcelain freestanding tubs, the following steps can get the job done with good results.
STEP #1: Wash the bathtub with clean, warm water. This can clear the large dirt debris. Use a paper towel to wash the bathtub to ensure that there can be no scratches on the surface of the bathtub.
STEP #2: In most cases, in order to remove dirt and water, an all-green cleaning solution gets the job done. Mix the cleaning agent in a 1:2 ratio with water and clean the surface using a paper towel or a non-abrasive cleaning sponge. Ensure that you cover the entire surface of the bathtub with the cleaning mixture.
STEP #3: Now wash the bathtub with warm water and wipe it down with a paper towel. Make sure there is no moisture present on the surface of the tub.
This gets the job done, if there are no heavy stains or rust on the bathtub. Now, how to take care of your bathtub if it is affected by stains or rust.
STEP #1: Again first wash the bathtub with water and clean it with paper towels.
STEP #2: Mix the warm water with baking soda in a ratio of 2:1, respectively, and apply gently on the affected area with a non-abrasive sponge. Tip: Use a clockwise motion to apply the soda water mixture, this helps to evenly cover more surface area.
STEP #3: Let the mixture cure for 10 minutes.
STEP #4: Now wash the area with clean water, and check if the stain’s intensity is reduced. Repeat the process until you the stain completely disappears from the surface.
STEP #5: For a much harder stain, add the hydrogen peroxide solution, along with the baking soda solution, and repeat the process. This should help you to remove any heavy stains on your bathtub.
STEP #6: Now, for rust, the process is similar instead of using baking soda or hydrogen peroxide, it is recommended to use the industrial-grade rust remover, which is available in local hardware stores, or even online stores. Repeat the cleaning process until the rust is removed. After that, ensure there is no moisture present on the surface of the bathtub. Close if there are any openings in the bathtub or surrounding area.
Two (maintenance and heat retention) out of three factors (durability, heat retention, and maintenance) say that acrylic is the better material compared to porcelain bathtubs.
With proper maintenance, it is safe to say that porcelain freestanding bathtubs can last anywhere between 15-20 years. Once the threshold reaches, you can see the change in color and loss of its functionality, which can be irreversible.
Yes, even though it is a harder material, porcelain is prone to cracks and chips if external pressure is applied.
Freestanding bathtubs are a sight to behold. The aesthetics that it brings to your bathroom are unique thanks to its floating-like appearance. Also, after a long day at work, coming home and taking a dip in your bathtub is a feeling that helps not only to destress your body but your mind as well and ultimately gives you a good night's sleep. If you are looking for a freestanding bathtub, you are in the right place. Magnus Home products provide you with various collections which you can access here.
This article hopes to provide you with enough information on porcelain freestanding tubs and their functionalities so that you can choose whether the porcelain is the right one for your home!