How to Choose the Right Bathtub: Fiberglass or Cast Iron Bathtubs?

How to choose the right bathtub

Remodeling a bathroom
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How to Choose the Right Bathtub?

Start by deciding on much space you have, the drain type and how frequently it will be used. Depending on whether you are installing a new bathtub or replacing one, there are multiple options to choose from. Standard tubs have inside measurements around 60 inches long, 30" wide and 14" to 16" high.

So which are the favorite ones? Porcelain and fiberglass bathtub.  It’s difficult to choose a winner, but fiberglass bathtub is trending among contractors because they offer multiple advantaged over cast iron or porcelain bathtubs.

Fiberglass bathtub could offer plenty of shapes that could satisfy the most demanding homeowner and interior designer. In addition to that, fiberglass bathtubs are generally less expensive than other bathtub types.

Cast Iron and Fiberglass Bathtub Pricing

Fiberglass bathtubs are normally less expensive than any other bathtub type. Other important factors that make fiberglass so cheap is because of their lightness and manufacturing process, allowing them to be produced and managed faster than all other bathtubs. However, important factors such as space limitations, sizing, and bathtub uses, could affect your bathtub price ranges. In addition, you must determine whether you are looking for tubs that will last longer, or you would love to install a small bathtub. Larger bathtubs are ideal for sitting and soaking while smaller tubs are good for quick cleanup in smaller bathrooms. These are the following price ranges for different bathtub materials:

  • Acrylic and fiberglass bathtubs can range between $300 and $1,500
  • Cast iron bathtubs can be acquired between $400 and $1,300
  • Copper bathtubs are just eccentric and will cost over $4,000.

Factors to Consider for A Tub Installation

A bathtub can require a lot of work, coordination, and materials to install.

So in addition to determining the sizing, space limitations, you must also consider how easy will be to install the chosen bathtub. Before you decide which bathtub will form part of your project:

  • Be sure to check and verify hallway and door openings so the new tub can be moved all the way up to the bathroom.
  • Porcelain bathtubs are really heavy and could require removing all other bathroom fixtures to install them.
  • Fiberglass bathtubs can be lifted over fixtures and require less workforce during their installation.
  • Standard tubs usually have inside measurements around 5' long, 30" wide and 14" to 16" high and exterior measurements between 5' and 6' long and 32" to 60" wide.
  • Figerglass bathtubs can be repaired by sanding the surface and using a filler product.
  • Cast irn bathtubs will set and maintain their position for more time than fiberglass bathtubs.

Cast Iron Bathtubs

These are heavy, expensive and will always show scratches once they occur. These bathtubs are normally 5 feet or shorter, and not engineered to be turned into whirlpools. Cast irons are durable and solids and could be found in a wide variety of colors. Porcelain bathtubs retain heat well and have excellent soundproofing characteristics; however, be aware that if you are planning to install one of these, you might require providing additional structural reinforcement in the place where this bathtub will be installed.

Fiberglass Bathtub

Fiberglass bathtubs can be fabricated faster than any other, thus the pricing is so affordable. As added value, fiberglass bathtubs can be found on just any shape and color. This type of bathtubs can be manufactured almost five times thicker than other bathtubs providing excellent oxidizing protection, and will not discolor through the years. If you are planning a remodeling job in places where you might find space limitations or condos with lots of stairs and hallways, they could be the best alternative to using because they are not as heav​y as other bathtubs. However, fiberglass bathtubs will not retain heat as well as other bathtubs.

How to Take Care of Porcelain and Fiberglass Bathtubs

An important factor to consider when choosing a bathtub is the care and cleaning process.

Bathtubs should be treated with special care, especially fiberglass bathtubs that should be cleaned with only recommended products that will not damage the surface. There is a large list of chemical products that are not allowed to be used over fiberglass surfaces. Porcelain bathtubs could be clean using almost every chemical without risk of stripping the porcelain. In addition, porcelain bathtubs should be kept dry in the underside of the tub, to maintain a rust free bathtub.