Steel Tub Versus Acrylic

 
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Old 06-22-2010, 10:53 AM   #1
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Steel Tub Versus Acrylic


Anyone have a preference installing one or the other? I've talked to one plumber and GC who hate acrylic tubs and will only install steel. The GC claims that silicone caulk won't properly adhere to the acrylic and will eventually fail. I have installed both and found the steel tub had a more solid feel to it while the one acrylic tub I've installed did not sit properly (followed instructions to the letter) and had a very flimsy and bouncy feel to it. The acrylic tub was purchased by the client and I suspect they got the cheapest tub they could find. Maybe a case of you get what you pay for?

Can anyone ring in on which they prefer and the pros and cons?

Thanks
Rob in Ontario
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Old 06-22-2010, 10:59 AM   #2
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Re: Steel Tub Versus Acrylic


My vote is for cast iron.

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Old 06-22-2010, 08:56 PM   #3
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Re: Steel Tub Versus Acrylic


Taking a shower in a tin tub sounds like you are rolling down a hill in a metal garbage can.

If you don't want to deal with installing a cast iron tub then acrylic is an upgrade over tin, it has a more durable finish and better sound deadening properties.
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Old 06-22-2010, 10:13 PM   #4
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Re: Steel Tub Versus Acrylic


The good quality steel tubs I have seen have had sound Mat either stuck or sprayed onto the tub. This does 2 things. Keeps the noise down and also slows the heat loss. That's one reason I don't like cast iron tubs. The water cools a lot faster than acrylic. I would choose acrylic or stone resin over metal tubs.
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Old 06-23-2010, 07:15 AM   #5
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Re: Steel Tub Versus Acrylic


We always set acrylic tubs and shower bases in structolite. Even good quality tubs and bases are made even better.
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Old 06-23-2010, 09:19 AM   #6
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Re: Steel Tub Versus Acrylic


Quote:
Originally Posted by go dart View Post
We always set acrylic tubs and shower bases in structolite. Even good quality tubs and bases are made even better.
What is the reason for using a product that tells you not to use it in any moisture type enviroment..





1. Not recommended over metal lath when a smooth trowel finish is required.
2. Not recommended for machine application when vertical lift exceeds 30 ft. or hose length is over 150 ft.
3. Requires a lime-gauging finish plaster containing a fine aggregate to control surface cracking.
4. Over interior monolithic concrete, USG™ Plaster Bonder must be applied before plastering.
5. Application on masonry or concrete walls, or ceilings that have been coated with bituminous compounds or
other waterproofing agents, is not recommended. The interior surface of exterior walls should be furred and
lathed prior to plastering to prevent seepage and condensation.
6. Basecoat plasters must not die or stop against a hollow metal doorframe return. Provision must be made to
dampen the trim return vibration by grouting, and by the use of special anchors. The grout must be raked out
to allow lath and plaster to be inserted into the frame.
7. Gypsum plasters cannot be used in exterior applications or where they will come into contact with water or
excessive moisture.
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Old 06-23-2010, 06:16 PM   #7
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Re: Steel Tub Versus Acrylic


I'll stick my 2 cents in here- I will vote 100% fiberglass based or acrylic over any steel or cast iron tub because of the heat factor. Which do you like to step in??? Enough said- but go for the good ones & don't go cheap !!
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Old 06-23-2010, 07:47 PM   #8
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Re: Steel Tub Versus Acrylic


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Originally Posted by mrmike View Post
I'll stick my 2 cents in here- I will vote 100% fiberglass based or acrylic over any steel or cast iron tub because of the heat factor. Which do you like to step in??? Enough said- but go for the good ones & don't go cheap !!
Cast Iron tubs retain heat better than acrylic or fiberglass tubs.
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Old 06-23-2010, 08:05 PM   #9
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Re: Steel Tub Versus Acrylic


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Originally Posted by bwalley View Post
Cast Iron tubs retain heat better than acrylic or fiberglass tubs.
How do you figure that? Been the opposite of what I have found over the last 100+ bathtubs I have fitted. It was maybe the most common reason for people to change to an insulated cast iron version. Do a test for your self. Fill a cast iron bath with 60c water and then do the same for an fiberglass/acrylic/stone resin and you watch that temp fall fast. The cast iron acts like a heat sink. I ain't seen insulated cast iron tubs since I been over here so I'm sure it's not a option to choose from anyway. It's an easy upgrade that can be done your self though. Unless it's a roll top cast iron tub. I have even fitted Hansgrohe acrylic insulated bathtubs. They would stay super warm for ages and the insulation was also used as support for the bathtub.
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Old 06-23-2010, 08:29 PM   #10
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Re: Steel Tub Versus Acrylic


First off who the hell is using a bathtub anymore?
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Old 06-23-2010, 09:04 PM   #11
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Re: Steel Tub Versus Acrylic


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Finley View Post
First off who the hell is using a bathtub anymore?
My sentiments exactly, but my neighbors (and wife) complained when I hosed the kid down in the driveway....


........in February.....
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Old 06-23-2010, 09:07 PM   #12
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Re: Steel Tub Versus Acrylic


Quote:
Originally Posted by MAULEMALL View Post
What is the reason for using a product that tells you not to use it in any moisture type enviroment..
There should never be any moisture under a tub unless there are some other serious problems involved, I have been setting tubs and shower bases in structo lite for many years with 0 problems.
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Old 06-23-2010, 09:09 PM   #13
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Re: Steel Tub Versus Acrylic


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Finley View Post
First off who the hell is using a bathtub anymore?
Bathing should be done in cold water, outdoors, rivers work better than streams unless you find a pool in the stream.
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Old 06-23-2010, 09:28 PM   #14
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Re: Steel Tub Versus Acrylic


pool or pond...
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Old 06-24-2010, 07:00 AM   #15
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Re: Steel Tub Versus Acrylic


Quote:
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Cast Iron tubs retain heat better than acrylic or fiberglass tubs.
As Mike Finley stated "who uses tubs anymore". What I am talking about is getting into a tub/shower unit-which many people have & most use just the shower part of it.......... so which do you want to step into ? Is the Cast or steel going to be warmer or colder than the acrylic or fiberglass?
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Old 06-24-2010, 09:26 AM   #16
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Re: Steel Tub Versus Acrylic


Neither is going to matter if you turn the water on before you get in.
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Old 04-14-2011, 04:47 PM   #17
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Re: Steel Tub Versus Acrylic


well this thread has been inactive for quite a while. anyway...

i am planning on re-doing both my bathrooms soon. i want to replace the old tubs with new ones, not that we actually sit in them. but cant bring myself to spend 300$ on a 300 lb cast iron tub. and it seems everyone likes the arcrilyc tubs. my main concern is the finish. how does it hold up? i saw 100$ steel tub a the home depot. should i stay away from that?
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Old 04-15-2011, 08:32 PM   #18
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Re: Steel Tub Versus Acrylic


Quote:
Originally Posted by TileWizard
well this thread has been inactive for quite a while. anyway...

i am planning on re-doing both my bathrooms soon. i want to replace the old tubs with new ones, not that we actually sit in them. but cant bring myself to spend 300$ on a 300 lb cast iron tub. and it seems everyone likes the arcrilyc tubs. my main concern is the finish. how does it hold up? i saw 100$ steel tub a the home depot. should i stay away from that?
Acrylic tubs are much, much better than steel...especially the ones you can get for $100.00- might last 5 years. Acrylic tubs can be repaired and restored, steel...you'd be reglazing, which also won't last.
Just remember to make sure the acrylic tub base is solid
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Old 04-15-2011, 09:35 PM   #19
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Re: Steel Tub Versus Acrylic


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Acrylic tubs are much, much better than steel...especially the ones you can get for $100.00- might last 5 years. Acrylic tubs can be repaired and restored, steel...you'd be reglazing, which also won't last.
Just remember to make sure the acrylic tub base is solid
Tin tubs are painted, not glazed, cast iron tubs are porcelain coated and then heat glazed in a process that modern powder coating is based on.

Acrylic is made in sheets that are roughly 1/16 of an inch thick, which makes minor scratches virtually invisible, the acrylic sheet is vacuum formed over a fiberglass shell, which makes up the structure to the vessel. Acrylic will discolor with time, and is susceptible to some dyes and detergents, cast iron is impervious to most chemicals and the color only changes based on cleanliness, and if not cared for age.
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Old 04-16-2011, 10:18 PM   #20
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Re: Steel Tub Versus Acrylic


As with many things,

"They don't make them like them like they used to"

and

" You get what you pay for"

Steel tubs are made from a much lighter gauge of steel then before. The thinner metal does not support the somewhat fragile porcelain finish as well as the older models did. This results in a much shorter life cycle, often less then ten years.

Acrylic tub manufacturers will use less expensive softer extruded acrylics to produce cheaper tubs. They will use less resin and fiber to support it. They also take few pains to pinch roll the fiber and resins to remove the air pockets resulting in weaker tubs.

Better acrylic tubs use DuPont Lucite XL which is an cast acrylic with better wear properties. Better acrylic tubs have more resin and fiber to support the acrylic finish. Better acrylic tubs have had the matte of fiber and resin pinch rolled to remove the air pockets. Better acrylic tubs have a support structure to transfer the load of the tub to the floor (usually a wood platform with legs). Look at the shipping weights, better made tubs weight more. Better acrylic tubs cost more than steel or poorly made acrylic tubs. Guess what we insist on installing?

MikeA

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