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Thread: Acrylic vs Enameled Steel bathtub

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  1. #1
    DIY Member piezomot's Avatar
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    Default Acrylic vs Enameled Steel bathtub

    My old Enameled Steel bathtub is very shallow 17 inches and is only 60 inches long. It looks like I have more space for new 66x32 inches Acrylic bathtub.

    I am looking currently into this inexpensive product-
    http://www.homedepot.ca/product/pro-...32-inch/812455


    But I am just wondering if there is any guide how to select proper bathtub. There are such types: Acrylic, Cast Polymer, Cast Iron and Enameled Steel bathtubs.

    Could it be that Acrylic bathtub is less durable then Cast Iron bathtub I currently have? Аlso what is the lifetime of a typical Acrylic bathtub? Some people would say steel lasts forever while acrylic gets scratched very easy ...

    Also I am just wondering what is the material this bathtub is made from, they say - Americast is our proprietary, revolutionary alternative to cast iron:

    http://www.americanstandard-us.com/b...-foot-bathtub/

    Thank you!
    Last edited by Terry; 03-03-2013 at 12:58 PM.

  2. #2
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    Americast is a good product for bathtubs.

    I haven't seen the HD tub before.

  3. #3
    In the Trades mtcummins's Avatar
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    Default

    I think the choice between the two is primarily preference. The enameled steel, if properly taken care of, will almost certainly outlast the acrylic. But its also more rust prone, heavy and difficult to install, etc.

    Personally, I tend to stick with acrylic, but its mostly a handling consideration. They're also not as cold when you lay in them, which is kind of nice.

    The most important thing to longevity of an acrylic is that you have a proper solid subfloor (3/4" plywood is good), and that you set the entire bottom of the tub into some sort of support. I tend to use thinset, but there are many different opinions on this. Set it into something like that, then stay out of the tub for a few days to ensure a nice solid support. If you stand in the tub right after install, you'll overcompress the bedding, and create a weaker point.
    -mike-

  4. #4
    DIY Member piezomot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terry View Post
    Americast is a good product for bathtubs.

    I haven't seen the HD tub before.
    Thank you Terry, but what is the difference in quality between these two made from Acrylic material:

    KOHLER Mariposa 5.5 ft. Bathtub with Right-Hand Drain in Biscuit
    http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1...5#.UTP06yB9XFg

    American Standard Colony 5 Feet Right Drain Bathtub in White
    http://www.homedepot.ca/product/colo...n-white/954070

  5. #5
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    Americast is a layered product...resin substrate with a thin steel layer sandwiched in...and the ultimate finish is a porcelain enamel, just like a cast iron tub. Porcelain...whether on cast iron, a pressed steel tub, or the Americast type....is a very long lasting finish. Overall durability, cast iron will outlast pressed steel by as much 10 to 20 years. Americast has been around for only about 12ish years...so who knows.
    With all the tubs, there is a lot of variability depending on how is is cared for.

  6. #6
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    A CI tub will normally last the longest since the structure is stronger. A steel tub isn't anywhere near as thick (the metal part) as a CI tub, so it is more prone to cracking the finish if you drop something on it or if it isn't supported properly and flexes. Once you crack the finish on a steel tub, it rusts and fails fairly quickly. Cracking the finish on a CI tub can happen too, but while it may not look great, could still last a very long time.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  7. #7
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    quote; .and the ultimate finish is a porcelain enamel, just like a cast iron tub

    Not really. It is a "matte" material. It will get scuff marks and if it is damaged, it takes a different procedure to repair the finish. But, even given that, it would be my second choice for a tub, cast iron being the first one. Enameled steel tubs are so far down on my order of preference that they do not even show up.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

  8. #8
    DIY Senior Member asktom's Avatar
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    Cast iron is the best. Pressed steel is one step below a galvanized steel stock tank. All else is inbetween, in my opinion.

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