Tub and Spa Material Options
We all know that a long, hot bath is one of the best ways to unwind, soothe aching muscles, or just plain relax. HousePro’s bath team is trained to help you choose from the many types and styles of tubs, including soakers, whirlpools, or that nostalgic claw-foot. Choose an acrylic tub for beauty and style, or enameled cast iron for the best in durability. Whether your priority is budget, appearance, or durability, we can help you reach your remodeling goal.
These tubs are constructed by forming layers of glass cloth and resin together into a design mold and then coating it with a Gel coat (polyester resin color top-coat). These tubs are offered in many sizes, colors and configurations, including spa versions. They are economical and light-weight, hence easy to install. They can be touched up and repaired as well. The negative factors are that they are thin and not very durable. The finish is prone to fading and scratching and the tub itself may crack over time. This tub must be set in a bed of mortar to ensure stability. This reduces the flex in the tub and also helps prevent cracking of the tub in the future.
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Constructed from a single sheet of acrylic, heated and vacuum-formed into a mold, these tubs are very popular today. Fiberglass sheets with resin are added under the acrylic for stability. The benefits are similar to fiberglass tubs with the exception they have many more style and finish options. Acrylic tubs are typically more expensive than the fiberglass tub options. The downside is they also scratch easily and some can discolor over time. They also are not perceived as a high-end finish, although if you are looking for a spa or jetted option you will have the most design options with a fiberglass or acrylic solution. These tubs must also be set in a bed of mortar for a professional install, which will minimize flexing and possible cracking and leaking in the future.
Porcelain on Steel Tubs
Porcelain on Steel tubs, also referred to as enameled steel tubs or stamped steel tubs, are constructed from a sheet of thin steel formed by pressing it into a mold by stamping. It is then coated with a thin layer of porcelain enamel and baked on. Much more durable than the acrylic and fiberglass tub options, the porcelain is easy to clean and will maintain a brilliant luster for many years. These tubs are a great choice when using tile. The downside is that the tub can rust and chip if impacted by a heavy object.
Cast Iron Tubs
These tubs are one of the most durable, long-lasting solutions on the market. The tub is made by casting hot iron into a mold, top-coating it with a thick layer of porcelain enamel and baking it on. These tubs will resist scratching and chipping as well as maintain a brilliant luster for a lifetime. They are also resistant to most household chemicals. Numerous styles are available, including contemporary under-mount versions, when adding a marble or granite slab top surface, the very popular free-standing versions with ornate contemporary bases or more traditional ball and claw foot options. The tubs also maintain the temperature of the bath water better as the metal retains the heat. The negative of these tubs is the obvious weight issues making it difficult for installation in both labor and construction methods to support the weight. They are also the priciest of the typical choices for tubs.