What’s the difference between acrylic and fiberglass tubs

Acrylic vs Fiberglass Tub: What’s the Difference?

It’s been a long day at work, and all you want to do is relax. You head home to draw a bath and hopefully wash away all the stress of the day. However, when you get back, you remember you are remodeling your bathroom and still haven’t chosen a tub. You find that acrylic and fiberglass tubs fit your budget and you want an American Standard Walk-In Tub, but you don’t know which material is best for you. Below is a list of some pros and cons that will help you make your decision and get you in a nice, relaxing tub quickly.
 Town Square Freestanding Acrylic Tub American Standard

Acrylic Bathtubs

Acrylic tubs are colored sheets of clear plastic reinforced with layers of fiberglass. Acrylic tubs are slightly more expensive due to the manufacturing process. They’re also lightweight, very durable, and require less maintenance, unlike other materials. Acrylic is most commonly used to form seats, headrests, whirlpool jets and other molding details for tubs. Acrylic bathtubs are very easy to install and has a lifespan of 10-15 years. American Standard is proud to offer acrylic bathtubs for our customers because we believe in their quality and durability.

Fiberglass Bathtubs

FRP, or fiberglass reinforced plastic, is made of layers of tiny interwoven glass strings heated together to fit a desired shape or mold.  Then, it’s molded, shaped and sprayed with a resin gelcoat. It’s one of the most affordable materials for tubs and one of the easiest to install. The super lightweight material tub is most commonly used in two-story homes because there is no additional support needed between the bathtub and the floor. Fiberglass tubs have a life span of 10-15 years.

Fiberglass Tub Source: doityourself.com

Similarities Between Acrylic and Fiberglass Tubs

Here is a list of the few similarities between acrylic and fiberglass tubs:

  • Both are fiberglass-based with a shiny finish.
  • Both tubs are easy to install due to their lightweight materials.
  • Both materials are inexpensive and won’t break your budget.
  • They both can be commonly found at any home improvement store.
  • Simple cleaner can be used to clean and maintain both acrylic and fiberglass.

Differences Between Acrylic and Fiberglass Tubs

Even though they’re similar, there are some differences between acrylic and fiberglass. Here are some key differences between the two:

  • When choosing an acrylic tub, you can choose between a variety of textures, colors or fixtures.
  • Due to all the customization features and the way acrylic is manufactured, it can make these tubs more expensive than fiberglass. Acrylic material is heated plastic stretched over a mold. Fiberglass is sprayed with a gelcoat mixture over a mold. This means that the acrylic process is more hands on and not as manufactured.
  • Acrylic is exceptionally durable and the likelihood of this material chipping, cracking or fading is rare. Fiberglass tubs can quickly fade and cracks and scratch happen often.
  • Both can be cleaned with simple cleaning solutions. However, if fiberglass is not cleaned well, the tub will stain, absorb water, and create mold or mildew.

American Standard Gelcoat Value Series Walk-In Bathtub

Which Should You Buy?

After reviewing all this information, you may still want some help to choose which is best for you and American Standard is here to help.  As one of the most trusted brands in the industry with over 140 years of experience in creating innovative products, you’re sure to find the tub you need at American Standard.  

Schedule Your FREE Walk-In Tub Evaluation Today