Steel or Acrylic Baths – Which Are Better?

When choosing the best bath for your home, it’s important to consider its material.

Modern baths are most commonly made of either acrylic or steel. You can find baths made from different materials such as cast iron or stone, but these aren’t widely available. 

You might find yourself wondering if steel or acrylic baths are better. 

In this article we look at the benefits and disadvantages of both steel and acrylic baths and how to choose the most suitable option. 

What are the Advantages of Acrylic Baths? 

Acrylic is an incredibly versatile material with great durability, which is why it’s used for baths so often. Here are some of the reasons why an acrylic bath might be a good choice. 

  • Lower Price

Acrylic baths are easier to mass produce, which makes them cheaper to buy and a great option for tighter budgets. 

  • Wider Design Choice

Acrylic is easier to mould into shapes , meaning there is a much wider variety of models on the market. Whether you want a traditional single end bath, a functional shower bath or a luxurious freestanding one, you’re more likely to find a model to suit your space and requirements. 

  • Durability and Strength

It’s a common myth that steel baths are stronger than acrylic ones. Whilst steel baths are sturdy, acrylic baths are just as durable. You can also get reinforced acrylic baths such as the Carronite range by Carron. These are even tougher than standard ones with extra finishing layers and an encapsulated baseboard. 

  • Warmer to the Touch

Another great benefit of acrylic bathtubs is that unlike steel, they’re warmer to the touch. This means you can say goodbye to the unpleasant feel of climbing into a cold bath during the winter months. 

  • Easier to Clean

Acrylic baths are non-porous, meaning cleaning and maintenance is effortless. This makes them perfect for families with children. 

What are the Drawbacks of Acrylic Baths?

So what about the downsides? Here is why you might want to think twice before getting an acrylic bath: 

  • Flexing During Installation

Because of the nature of the material, acrylic baths will slightly flex when installed. This is less of a concern with newer models, however, it’s still a point to consider when bath shopping.  

  • Risk of Cracks

Due to this slight flex, there is an increased risk of cracks with acrylic baths. The likelihood of damage also increases with the weight of the user. 

  • Discolouration Over Time 

With exposure to UV light and chemicals in cleaning products, acrylic can become discoloured over time. 

What are the Advantages of Steel Baths? 

Many homeowners choose steel baths for their bathroom and with a good reason. Apart from being durable and stylish, here are some of the benefits of steel baths. 

  • Retaining Warmth

Steel baths are initially cold to the touch, however, once filled with warm water they will retain heat longer than acrylic ones. This comes particularly useful if you enjoy a long soak. 

  • More Luxurious Look

Steel is a more traditional material that feels solid to the touch and offers a more luxurious look. Steel baths are pressed into shape which provides a crisper edge and clean lines for a real designer feel. 

  • Resistance to Impacts

Finished with a durable enamel coating, steel baths can withstand impact and are resistant to chips or cracks. And if damage does occur, the surface of the bath can be sanded down and recoated. 

  • Hygiene Benefits

One more good reason people prefer steel baths is their hygienic properties. Steel baths are more hygienic compared to acrylic once since germs cannot survive on their surface. 

  • Environmentally Friendly

Steel baths are completely recyclable and because of the less intensive manufacturing process they are a more environmentally friendly option. 

What are the Drawbacks of Steel Baths?

There are a few reasons why you might not want to choose a steel bath. Let’s look at some of the main ones: 

  • More Expensive

Steel baths tend to have a higher price point, which means it might be tougher to fit them within your budget. 

  • Colder to the Touch

Steel is a cold to the touch, so you might get a shocking chill when you get into the bath, especially during the winter months. This stands true even when you get into warm water as it takes a while for the bath’s surface to warm up. 

  • Heavy 

One of the major drawbacks of steel baths is their weight. If the bath you’ve chosen is particularly heavy, you might even need to reinforce the floorboards to ensure they can support its weight. 

So Steel or Acrylic Baths – Which One Should You Choose? 

While metal bathtubs have their advantages, the best option for your bathroom will depend on your individual project. If you’re working to a tight budget or need a more durable option for a family bathroom, acrylic might be a better choice. For a more luxurious, designer feel, however, a steel tub would be more suitable. 

Shop Modern Bathtubs from Modern Living

Ready to find the perfect tub for your bathroom? With Modern Living’s extensive range, you certainly won’t be stuck for choice!

Our wide range of modern baths for sale has something to suit every budget, style and size requirement. From compact single ended baths to luxurious spa and wellness baths – we have it all. 

Browse the full range online or visit our showroom for more bathroom inspiration.

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