Acrylic vs steel tub

Acrylic vs Steel Tub: What’s the Difference

The bathroom is, without a doubt, one of the most significant rooms in the home. It makes sense then to have its décor be up to the highest standards.

When it comes to decorating bathrooms, we have a lot of choices nowadays. There are those who prefer elegance and class, while others are more interested in saving space and going for something more budget-friendly.

Whatever your choice maybe, you’ll need to choose intelligently because not all bathroom materials can withstand water exposure on a daily basis. The two main materials used for bathrooms nowadays are Acrylic and Steel, both offering various advantages.

We’ll compare the main differences between an Acrylic vs steel tub. We’ll look at some of the pros and cons of each so you can determine which is going to be best for your bathroom.

Acrylic vs steel tub Which one should I Select?

It can be difficult deciding which tub is right for you especially since there is a vast array of choices available.

We’ve put up a useful guide that goes through the benefits and drawbacks of the steel and acrylic models that are now popular all across the world.

Here at ThankYouHome, we believe choosing a bathtub solely based on price could lead to potential buyers missing important information about designs and features which might greatly affect their overall enjoyment during those relaxing moments you deserve to yourself this holiday season.

Acrylic Bathtubs:

Acrylic is a material that is very different from steel. Acrylic is shiny, which means people will often get the impression of a more luxurious product than that of metal.

Plastic acrylic tubs look like marble and can create feelings of grandeur or comfort because of their visibility and ease of maintenance, but metal tubs tend to give off the impression of being sturdier while also providing privacy.

The durability varies with acrylic as opposed to steel. Acrylic is reinforced with fiberglass and plastic around it which helps delay damages against blunter objects and scratches that can occur more often in an unlikelier event compared to metal ones.

Acrylic tubs are generally easier to repair if there are any fading or discoloration issues. They also can be polished with ease, not requiring heavy sanding.

However, acrylic is softer than steel and because of its flexibility, the chance of cracking is higher compared to steel tubs.

Acrylic bathtubs:

  • Ideal for everyday usage by families.
  • Reduced cost
  • It’s scratch- and stain-resistant and lasts a long time.
  • To the touch, it is warm
  • A greater number of shapes and models are available.

Acrylic bathtubs designs options:

Acrylic bathtubs are versatile, durable, and available in all different shapes and sizes. Besides how to install an acrylic bathtub, you can choose the perfect tub for your bathroom ranging from a conventional rectangle, square, or even octagon shape.

Acrylic has a higher diversity in design as compared to steel tubs. Acrylic bathtubs can be shaped into unique geometrical shapes.

The bathroom tub is largely based on the shape, size, and finish of the bathtub. For example- triangular, oval, square, and classic claw-foot tubs are available in acrylic. This is why you have a variety of options, which match the decor of your bathroom.

Acrylic tub heat retention:

Acrylic bathtubs are the best for keeping water warmer longer, which makes filling tubs less of an expensive chore and allows users to bathe without having to spend time and money heating up warm water to regulate the temperature in their baths.

You can also have relaxing warm baths without refilling the tub with warm water to regulate the temperature of the water on days when you have work early in the morning but still want to take a relaxing bath before going to bed.

Method of manufacture:

Acrylic bathtubs are constructed from a layer of 4 to 8-millimeter thick acrylic sheets that are supported from below with wooden or steel frames.

They are built on top of a wood or metal base to keep themselves sturdy and strong. Then their interiors are strengthened using fiberglass while the outside is strengthened using plastic that comes in many different colors like white, gray, yellow, and blue amongst others.

Steel bathtub:

Steel is also the most popular bathtub material nowadays. There are many benefits to both, which make these two materials close contenders.

However, if you’re choosing between steel and acrylic, it’s important to know their differences in order to take advantage of each material’s unique characteristics.

Steel is a much more durable material than acrylic. Steel bathtubs are also generally very rigid, meaning that they make the ideal choice for a family bathroom.

The construction of steel tubs can easily withstand the test of time, which often helps reflect in generous warranty periods offered with certain brands.

Tubs constructed out of steel are less prone to staining than those made from acrylic. There is also some porcelain-enamel coating that comes with certain products, but proper maintenance will make sure this does not chip away quickly.

The construction of the steel tub makes it more ideal for families as it can withstand the test of time.

Steel bathtubs:

  • Ideal for discerning homeowners with high-end bathrooms.
  • Lines and edges that are crisp and clean
  • Solid construction with a stunning bright white enamel finish
  • It feels cold to the touch, yet it holds heat nicely.
  • Typically, tap holes are pre-drilled.

Steel tub designs options:

Steel tubs are limited in their design and shape. Tub shapes are generally oval, square or rectangular with some curvature to their outer edge.

The tubs are generally finished smooth with the exception of a few small areas for stability.

Heat retentions of Steel tub:

Since steel conducts heat rather well, it does a great job of quickly bringing cold bathwater to the same temperature as the rest of the bathroom in half a minute,

But since it owns some traits as a good conductor of heat, it does not retain warmth for very long so if you are planning on taking a hot bath, you may want to fill the tub up with warm water.

Steel bathtub comfort?

Steel baths are cold. Even when you’re in your bath, feeling the sides of the bath or rubbing your hands against the side of it may feel quite chilly.

However, steel baths are great conductors and will help to heat up your water more effectively so you won’t have to top up the hot tap as often.

Acrylic vs steel tub bathtubs Corrosion and porosity properties:

As an inert material, acrylic doesn’t allow bacteria to form and grow inside it. This means that the surface of your bathtub is less likely to become stained or damaged over time by germs and mildew.

Steel also won’t suffer from this problem, but it can be prone to developing rust as a result of water leakage. Most commonly, this happens when chips appear in areas where enamel has chipped off.


Price is perhaps the most significant comparison in terms of the acrylic and steel bathtubs. Both are affordable compared to other tub materials such as stone, marble, and iron.

However, the comparison of price is complicated by their differences in cost depending on their respective model, if it’s premium or otherwise, among various other conditions.

Acrylic Vs Steel  Bathtubs the Most Affordable?

If you have a low budget but need a bathtub that does the job, acrylic is the best choice for your buck. Acrylic is affordable and lightweight, and it offers heat retention, low corrosion, and many design options to choose from to match the bathroom vanities already installed in your home.

If money’s no object and you want something sturdy that can withstand regular use over three or four decades, metal is worth considering. However, opting for durable acrylic may be a better idea if you don’t like the idea of using heavy-duty steel with extra weight to lug back out after bathing.

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