Unveiling the Pros and Cons of Acrylic vs. Fiberglass

Pros and Cons of Acrylic vs. Fiberglass

When choosing the perfect tub for your bathroom, you’ll often find that you’re deciding between two popular materials: acrylic and fiberglass. Each has its advantages and disadvantages, so it’s essential to understand their differences. Below, you’ll learn more about acrylic vs fiberglass bathtubs, helping you make an informed decision that suits your needs, style, and budget. 

Whether you’re renovating your entire bathroom or simply replacing an old tub, our experts at Coastal Bath Company can answer all your remodeling questions and give you a free, no-pressure quote for your project. To get started, please call us at 302-569-8209 or contact us online.

Modern bathroom with an acrylic bathtub

Acrylic vs Fiberglass Bathtubs: What Makes Them Different?

The manufacturing processes for acrylic and fiberglass bathtubs are distinct, each contributing to their unique characteristics and properties. Let’s take a closer look at the key differences in the makeup of these tub options: 

  1. Material: Acrylic tubs start with acrylic sheets, while fiberglass tubs use layers of fiberglass cloth. 
  2. Molding: Creating an acrylic tub involves vacuum-forming over a mold, whereas fiberglass involves layering on a mold. 
  3. Reinforcement: Acrylic tubs are reinforced with fiberglass and sometimes resin, providing strength and rigidity. Fiberglass tubs are reinforced through the multiple layers of fiberglass used.
  4. Finish: The surface of an acrylic tub is polished, resulting in a smooth, glossy finish, while fiberglass tubs are finished with a gel coat application.

Exploring the Pros and Cons of Fiberglass Bathtubs

Fiberglass tubs are popular with many homeowners because they are cost-effective and easy to install. However, before choosing one for your space, explore their advantages and disadvantages. 

Pros of Fiberglass Tubsfiberglass

  • Affordability: Fiberglass tubs are generally less expensive than acrylic, making them an attractive choice for budget-conscious homeowners. 
  • Lightweight: The lightweight nature of fiberglass makes it easy to handle and install, resulting in a seamless installation process. 
  • Variety: Fiberglass tubs come in various shapes and sizes, so you can create a customized bathing area that fits your needs. 

Cons of Fiberglass Tubs:

  • Durability: Fiberglass tubs are less durable than acrylic. They are more prone to scratching, cracking, and fading, especially with heavy use. 
  • Porosity: Over time, the surface of fiberglass tubs can become porous, leading to staining and making it harder to clean
  • Finish deterioration: The gel coat finish on fiberglass tubs can wear off with frequent use, leading to a dull appearance and making the tub more susceptible to damage.
  • Heat retention: Fiberglass tubs do not retain heat as well as acrylic, meaning your bath water may cool more quickly.

Exploring the Pros and Cons of Acrylic Bathtubs

At Coastal Bath Company, we proudly install high-quality acrylic bathtubs for our customers. Here’s a look at the pros and cons of this popular material to see if it’s right for you. 

Pros of Acrylic Tubswhite acrylic tub

  • Durability: Acrylic tubs are extremely durable and resistant to chipping, cracking, denting, and fading, even using them daily.
  • Aesthetic appeal: Acrylic tubs have a high-gloss finish that provides a sleek and modern look. They are available in various shapes, sizes, and colors, allowing for greater design flexibility. 
  • Heat retention: Acrylic is a non-porous material that retains heat well, keeping bath water warmer for longer periods, and making for a better bathing experience. 
  • Comfort: The material is smooth and warm to the touch, providing a comfortable surface for bathing. 
  • Low maintenance: The non-porous surface of acrylic tubs is resistant to mold, mildew, and stains, making them easy to clean and maintain. 

Cons of Acrylic Tubs

  • Cost: Acrylic tubs tend to be more expensive than fiberglass tubs, so the better durability and aesthetic appeal come at a higher price point. However, remember that acrylic tubs often last longer than fiberglass tubs, without needing repairs, which can save you money in the long run.
  • Flexibility: Some acrylic tubs can flex under heavy weight or pressure, potentially leading to a feeling of less stability compared to more rigid materials. Fortunately, proper installation by an experienced installer like our experts at Coastal Bath Company means your tub will have adequate support so your tub is completely stable.

Trust Coastal Bath Company for Your Acrylic Bathtub Installation

Now that you’ve read this guide to acrylic vs fiberglass bathtubs, you should feel confident moving forward with your decision. If you’re ready to experience all the benefits of an acrylic tub, the next step is to meet with our experts about the details of your project. 

We’d love to tell you more about our acrylic tub options and how our monthly promo can help you save. To request a free estimate, please 302-569-8209 or contact us online.

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