I have to replace my bathtub, which was installed right before I bought the home by the seller. It was his mother-in-laws house who was in a nursing home & was never used. A month or so after moving in, hairline cracks developed. I found out it is an Aqua Glass polystyrene tub and cannot be repaired. So I am in the position of having to chose a new tub (definitely NOT an Aqua Glass) I am extremely frustrated as to all the research I have done on the different materials and mixed reviews. My tub size can only be 60 x 30 so I am also limited. It is an alcove tub & I would be tiling the walls. The current tub is 60 x 30 x 18 and is a nice soaker.
I thought about the cast iron Bellwether, but it is so heavy and not very good for soaking (only 14 inches high). Next I looked at the Americast tubs but read some very bad reviews about them chipping and people receiving defective tubs so they had to reorder. Finally, I thought of an acrylic tub. I am not sure if they last long or are easily damaged. I think I would go with that if I knew it would almost outlive me (I'm 42) but have no clue on what brand to even look at. As I stated, 30 inches wide is difficult to find..especially if it is higher than 14 inches.
I know most people would say cast iron, but I sat in one at a showroom and the new anti-slip bottom was filthy and I heard it was horrible to keep clean. It also seemed very small since it is not very high. My contractor would also charge an extra fee due to the weight. I have nowhere I can look at an Americast tub at all. It also has the same anti-slip bottom. I saw several acrylic tubs, but not in the size I need. One style was by Kohler but it arched in the side to make more tub space and that took it from 30 inches on the ends to 34 inches in the center. I cannot have that.
Can anyone help me with 1) type of material I should go with that will last 2) a style or model that will fit my existing area 3) experiences with any of these type of tubs and problems / positive thoughts.
Some other things that may factor in is that I have no basement..just a slab and my bathroom is extremely small.