Advantages that Set Acrylic Showers Apart from Fiberglass

Choosing Acrylic or Fiberglass for your Shower

Is it time to replace your old and outdated shower? There are plenty of decisions you’ll need to make leading up to your remodeling project, but one of the most important ones is what kind of shower to choose. Acrylic showers and fiberglass showers are two of the most popular options on the market. But, which one is right for you? We’re here to help. 

Below, you’ll find an overview of both materials and what gives acrylic the edge over fiberglass. Are you interested in talking to the leading bathroom remodeling contractor in the Delmarva Peninsula? Our experts at Coastal Bath Company are here to answer all of your questions. To request a free estimate for your shower remodeling project, please call us at 302-569-8209 or contact us online today. 

Advantages like durability and cleanliness that set acrylic showers apart from fiberglass

What Is a Fiberglass Shower?

Made from layers of glass strings that are heated and then molded into the shape of a shower, fiberglass-reinforced plastic is a popular shower material with many local homeowners. After the molding process, fiberglass showers are finished with a resin coat gel, which gives it a glossy sheen.

old fiberglass shower

Common Issues With Fiberglass Showers

Unfortunately, many homeowners quickly realize that choosing a fiberglass shower comes with several downsides. Let’s take a closer look at some of the disadvantages of this material option. 

Cleaning Woes

Cleaning a fiberglass shower can pose several challenges due to the material’s susceptibility to scratches, stains, and build-up. Due to the porous nature of the material, fiberglass showers are more susceptible to staining from hard water, soap scum, and mineral deposits. Removing these stains requires gentle cleaning methods to avoid damaging the surface since fiberglass is more prone to scratching as well. 

Beyond that, mold and mildew can easily develop in the corners and crevices of a fiberglass shower, requiring more maintenance over time. 

Short-Term Warranty Coverage

While fiberglass showers are known for their low upfront cost and easy installation, their warranties often provide only temporary protection against defects or damage. These short-term warranties leave you will limited recourse if issues arise after the warranty period expires. This is a concern for homeowners who want peace of mind that they’re choosing a durable shower enclosure backed by protection if something goes wrong. 

Unlike other materials, which may come with longer warranties, fiberglass showers may require more frequent replacements or repairs, potentially leading to higher maintenance costs over time. 

Lack of Customization Options

Do you have a specific idea of how you want your shower to look? In that case, choosing a fiberglass shower probably isn’t the best option for you. Fiberglass shower units typically come in standard configurations with pre-molded features like shelves, seats, and soap dishes, with no room for changes. 

Additionally, the surface of fiberglass showers is usually not conducive to alterations or modifications, so you are limited in the options you can choose for your bathing area. 

Non-Durable Finish

As we’ve touched on above, fiberglass is more prone to surface damage compared to other materials. With frequent use and exposure to water and cleaning products, the finish of fiberglass showers can become prone to scratches, cracks, and fading. This lack of durability may result in a worn or aged appearance, requiring more frequent maintenance and repairs to restore its original condition. 

Additionally, the non-porous surface of fiberglass may be susceptible to discoloration, which can make your shower area look dirty, no matter how much you clean it. 

You Get What You Pay For

While the affordability of fiberglass showers is often viewed as an advantage, unfortunately, the cheapest option on the market is not always the best choice. Fiberglass is a lower-quality material, which results in a less durable and less aesthetically pleasing shower area that will show signs of wear and tear faster than other materials. 

While it’s understandable that cost-effectiveness is appealing for budget-conscious homeowners, it’s important to consider the potential trade-offs in terms of durability, aesthetics, and long-term value when choosing a shower material. 

What Is an Acrylic Shower?

So, what is a good alternative to fiberglass? Our experts at Coastal Bath Company believe acrylic is the best option. Acrylic showers are made from vacuum-formed sheets made of acrylic which are then reinforced with fiberglass. The result is a durable, beautiful material that’s designed to look great for years to come.

Bathroom with a modern design after a shower replacement

What Makes Acrylic a Better Option Than Fiberglass?

Acrylic is one of the most popular shower materials on the market and with good reason. Learn more about the advantages of this material below and what gives it the edge over fiberglass showers. 

It Is Easy to Clean

Acrylic surfaces are smooth and non-porous (unlike fiberglass), making them resistant to stains, mold, and mildew buildup. A quick wipe with a mild soap and water solution is usually all it takes to keep acrylic clean. Beyond that, acrylic surfaces are less prone to scratching and chipping than other materials, ensuring that they retain their smooth and glossy appearance over time. 

With their low-maintenance cleaning requirements, acrylic showers offer a level of convenience that you simply won’t have with a fiberglass shower. 

It Has a Durable Finish

Along those same lines, the durable finish of an acrylic wall system helps to set it apart from fiberglass. Acrylic surfaces are known for their strength and resilience, able to withstand daily wear and tear without showing signs of damage or deterioration. Unlike fiberglass, which may chip, crack, or discolor over time, acrylic showers maintain their smooth and glossy appearance for years. 

This durable finish not only ensures that the shower retains its aesthetic appeal but also reduces the need for costly repairs or replacements down the line. With proper care and maintenance, an acrylic shower will stand the test of time. 

It Comes in a Variety of Shapes and Sizes

While your options with fiberglass are limited, acrylic shower units come in a variety of shapes and sizes to suit various bathroom layouts and dimensions. Whether you have a small bathroom or a spacious owner’s suite, there’s an acrylic shower option that will fit your space perfectly. 

Beyond that, acrylic showers can be customized to accommodate your specific needs and preferences, such as convenient corner units. With the availability of different size options and the help of Coastal Bath Company, you can easily find an acrylic shower that meets your requirements while maximizing functionality and style. 

It Has Plenty of Customization Options

Do you have specific design ideas in mind for your upgraded shower? You’ll love that acrylic showers come in a wide range of colors, patterns, and textures, allowing for virtually limitless design possibilities. Whether you prefer a sleek and modern look or a more traditional style, there’s an acrylic shower option to match your vision. 

Additionally, acrylic showers can be customized with various accessories and features like built-in shelves and niche storage to enhance the functionality and convenience of your bathing area. 

It’s a Cost-Effective Option

With acrylic, you get the best of both worlds: it’s a cost-effective material, especially compared to something like tile, but it’s a higher quality option compared to fiberglass, which is cheaper. Not only are the initial purchase and installation prices of acrylic affordable, but this material requires minimal maintenance over time, reducing long-term expenses associated with repairs and upkeep. 

With their durable construction and resistance to staining, chipping, and discoloration, acrylic showers offer excellent value, providing you with a reliable and long-lasting bathing option without breaking the bank. 

It Has Better Warranty Coverage

Unlike fiberglass, which typically comes with a short-term warranty, acrylic showers often come with extended warranty periods, depending on the specific manufacturer and product you choose. This coverage typically includes protection against defects in materials and workmanship, as well as the structural integrity and performance of the shower. 

What’s more, is that Coastal Bath Company is so confident in the quality of the acrylic showers we install that we offer the leading warranties available so you don’t have to worry about chipping, fading, or leaks. 

It’s Compatible With Safety Features

If you have mobility limitations or plan to age in place, you’ll love that acrylic showers can easily accommodate the installation of grab bars, shower seats, and non-slip surfaces to meet the needs of every family member. These safety features can be strategically positioned within the shower enclosure to provide stability and support, so you can feel independent and confident while bathing. 

By choosing an acrylic shower, you can create a functional, accessible, and secure bathing area that perfectly meets your unique needs and preferences. 

Modern walk-in acrylic shower

Ready for your Acrylic Shower Install?

After reading this guide, you should have a better idea of whether acrylic is the best choice for your upcoming shower remodel. When you’re ready to take the next step in planning your project, finding the right contractor is key.

At Coastal Bath Company, we are your local expert in acrylic showers and bathtubs, we can install these beautiful showers in as little as a day or two. To request a free estimate for your installation, please call 302-569-8209 or contact us online today.

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