Which Is Better: A Fiberglass or Acrylic Bathtub?
If you’re gearing up for a bathtub replacement project, you might have noticed that there are plenty of acrylic and fiberglass options available. These materials are popular for the same reason—both are attractive and budget-friendly. But how do they differ, and which is best for you? The bathroom remodeling experts at BathWraps have put together the following general information to help you decide:
Fiberglass tubs are made by forming layers of fiberglass-reinforced plastic into a tub shape, which is then finished with a gel-coat resin. This hardy coating is comprised of multiple sheets of interwoven glass strings. After being heated to a certain temperature, the glass takes on a gel-like consistency that can be evenly spread over the tub mold. Because fiberglass is exceptionally lightweight, there is no need to install extra support between the tub and the floor, making it a good option for a second-floor bathroom.
Most fiberglass tubs are single-color units—typically white, off-white, or ivory—without any textures, patterns, or customization options, such as shelves, seating, and grab bars. Although a fiberglass bathtub may initially look shiny and attractive, it will gradually lose its luster over its 10-15 year lifespan. Why? Fiberglass is not resistant to ultraviolet (UV) light, which means its color tends to fade, chalk, and yellow. And because the gel-coat is porous, it is susceptible to mildew growth, which is less than ideal for a bathtub. Plus, it can become cracked, chipped, and scratched, eventually allowing water to seep through the tub and into the underlying walls and flooring, where it can create an ideal breeding ground for mold.
Acrylic tubs are constructed of a single sheet of nonporous, fiberglass-reinforced plastic, which is seamless, lightweight, and durable. After being heated to a certain temperature, the softened plastic is precisely stretched over a custom tub mold. After the plastic cures, it is pulled out of the mold.
Acrylic can be manufactured in a wide variety of colors and textures, and because the color extends all the way through the product (unlike the gel-coated surface of fiberglass tubs), acrylic tubs are highly resistant to cracking, chipping, scratching, and fading. Acrylic can also be infused with an effective anti-microbial agent, making it impervious to mold and mildew growth and easy to keep clean.
Go With a Premium-Quality Acrylic Bathtub from BathWraps
If you’re leaning toward acrylic for your bathtub replacement, you’re about to make a very good choice. Why not make it even better by choosing a BathWraps acrylic tub?
A respected industry veteran, BathWraps has been leading the pack in technical innovation since 1991. Since then, we’ve grown to be one of the fastest-growing acrylic manufacturers in the world. And ours is not just any old acrylic. We custom-craft our tubs and showers from top-quality, 100% American-made acrylic that boasts exceptional durability. In fact, we’re so confident in the caliber of our acrylic bathtubs and other bathing solutions that we will guarantee your new tub for as long as you own your current home.
And when it comes to customization, the sky’s the limit with BathWraps. Whether you want a soaker tub surrounded by subway tile or a low-threshold shower with simulated-granite walls, you can personalize your BathWraps space. You can even add accessories such as soap dishes, corner caddies, bench seating, and grab bars for heightened convenience and safety.
To learn more about BathWraps products, click here to find an authorized BathWraps dealer near you. We can have you relaxing in your new acrylic bathtub sooner than you may think—our outstanding bathroom remodelers can complete a tub installation in as little as one day.