Lady leaning back in a slipper bath

Acrylic vs Cast Iron Bathtub: Which is Best?

Are you thinking about adding a new bathtub to one of the bathrooms in your home? There are so many different baths on the market today, which can make it very difficult to find the right one.

Two of your best options will be acrylic and cast iron baths. They each have their own distinct pros and cons, which is what makes the acrylic vs cast iron bathtub debate such an interesting one.

If you’re trying to decide between the two, you should look at some of the pros and cons associated with each before settling on either acrylic or cast iron. Take a look at the things you should consider below before making your final decision.

Acrylic is the More Affordable Option

Let’s start the acrylic vs cast iron bathtub discussion by talking about price.

When you decide to go with an acrylic bathtub over a cast iron one, you will most likely save yourself a lot of money.

Linton square acrylic bath
The Linton from Premier available in lots of sizes for less than £200

You can usually find cheap acrylic baths starting at just over £100, with better reinforced or thicker acrylic models upwards of £200. They’re perfect for anyone trying to add a bathtub to their bathroom without blowing their budget.

Cast iron baths, on the other hand, are often more expensive. It’s not uncommon to see cast iron baths going for a thousand pounds or more. In some cases, you might even pay more a few thousand for a customised cast iron bath.

If you can afford a cast iron bath, it’s a great option. But it’s not always going to be in everyone’s budget to go with cast iron over acrylic.

Cast Iron Is Often Considered Timeless

While cast iron bathtubs will cost you substantially more than acrylic baths in most cases, there’s a reason for that.

A cast iron bath that is well maintained will usually last a lot longer than an acrylic bath even if it’s reinforced. It’s not unusual to find cast iron baths in homes that have been around for decades, and they can be refinished over time to bring them back to life.

Cast iron baths will also fit in well with all kinds of different bathroom styles. So even if you decide to completely change the look of your bathroom in 10 or 15 years, you won’t usually have to worry about swapping out your cast iron bath for a new one.

When you purchase a cast iron bathtub, it will force you to make a big financial commitment in most cases. But that commitment will often pay off in the long run.

Acrylic is a Much Lighter Material

One of the big disadvantages of installing a cast iron bath is they are just about always very heavy. There are some large cast iron baths that can exceed 1,000 pounds, or approx 500kg.

When you install one of these baths in your home, you might have to reinforce your flooring so that the bath doesn’t fall through it. This can come at an added expense and could make your cast iron bath even more expensive than it already is.

Acrylic baths, meanwhile, are much lighter than cast iron ones. You can usually install them on any level in your home without adding any reinforcements to your flooring.

While it’s always advisable to hire an experienced plumber for any bath, it won’t be difficult to get an acrylic bath into your home and install it. But a cast iron bath could present some challenges and could force you to bring in a specialist who knows how to put a cast iron bath into place without running into any problems.

Cast Iron is Preferred by Many Interior Designers

One of the biggest arguments made in favour of cast iron baths during the acrylic vs cast iron bathtub debate is that cast iron baths look better and can make a great centre piece for any bathroom.

There are many home designers who prefer cast iron baths over acrylic ones because of the clean and crisp lines that they add to a bathroom. They will improve the overall look of your bathroom space in a way that an acrylic bath simply can’t.

Cast iron baths look especially good in modern bathrooms. Even if you take a minimalistic approach to bathroom design, your cast iron bath will serve as a statement piece that will wow people when they walk into your bathroom space.

Acrylic is Always Warm to the Touch

Phoenix Acrylic double ended slipper bath
Even traditional slipper bath styles can be made from acrylic

Is there anything worse than climbing into a cold bath during the winter months? It’s enough to turn many people off from taking a bath in the first place.

You’ll never have to worry about that when you invest in an acrylic bath. Acrylic is always warm to the touch, which means you won’t freeze when you climb into an acrylic bath this winter.

You also won’t have to worry about the shocks that can sometimes come along with using a cold cast iron bath in the winter. It’ll be a more pleasant experience overall and will allow you to take a bath whenever you want.

Cast Iron Will Retain Warmth Much Longer

Prior to running a warm bath, your cast iron bath will likely be very cold to the touch. It might prevent you from wanting to take a bath.

But the great thing about cast iron is that it will heat up slowly over time and then retain warmth for a lot longer than acrylic will.

That means that, once your bath heats up, it’ll stay warm and keep your bathwater warm for an extended period of time. That makes cast iron baths ideal for those who like to soak in the bath for a long time at the end of a long day.

While you will have to practice some patience while waiting for a cast iron bath to heat up, it will be worth it in the end.

Acrylic Vs Cast Iron Bathtub? The Choice is Yours

The acrylic vs cast iron bathtub debate is one that’s been going on for a long time now. Everyone has their own personal preference. You should choose the one that appeals to you the most before installing a new bath.

Check out our blog to read more about bathtubs, showers, and other parts of a bathroom.

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