The Advantages and Disadvantages of Acrylic Bathtubs

Hallie Engel

Bathtubs can be made of many materials, such as porcelain, cast iron, fiberglass or even wood. Acrylic baths are a common sight in many modern homes, and have many advantages.

Decorating buffs will also love acrylic tubs, thanks to the many colors and shapes they come in, allowing homeowners to select an ideal shade for their bathroom decor. Also, acrylic baths are made of solid-colored materials, so the color won't rub off or fade.

Nice and Warm

Cast-iron bathtubs and those made from porcelain-coated steel are cold to the touch. This also affects the temperature of the water inside them, causing it to lose its heat faster, making a long soak difficult. Acrylic baths, however, don't get as cold as tubs made of metal. They also keep water toastier for longer, according to Laurel Mountain Whirlpools, making it easier to enjoy a long, relaxing bath before the water gets too chilly.

Easy to Clean

Tubs made of acrylic are easy to clean. Cast acrylic is nonporous, meaning dirt, grime and mildew don't sink into the material and become difficult, if not impossible, to wash away. Fiberglass, however, is a very porous material, and once dirty, making it look like new again is no easy task. An acrylic tub, on the other hand, needs just a spritz of cleaner and a few wipes from a rag. Avoid using products that are corrosive to plastic, though, such as acetone.

Staying in Good Condition

Acrylic bathtubs are tough and durable, and if they do suffer minor damage, they're often easier to repair than tubs made from other materials. Parents with roughhousing kids will appreciate acrylic's resistance to peeling, cracking and chipping. If an acrylic tub gets a scratch, it can be treated, much like a car, by buffing the mark with a liquid polisher, according to Signature Hardware. Scratches can also be treated by rubbing gently with wet, 1500-grit sandpaper, followed by a thorough polishing.


Though they have many benefits, there are also some downsides to acrylic bathtubs. Compared to porcelain and steel models, which can last for decades, acrylic tubs aren't as durable. Acrylic tubs also are not fireproof, unlike their metal-made counterparts, and are a bit more expensive than bathtubs made from fiberglass. If an acrylic tub consists of several pieces held together with caulk, there's also a risk of leaks at the seams.