Acrylic tubs - Kohler vs Mansfield vs Laurel Mountain

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by miamicanes, Jun 11, 2009.

  1. miamicanes

    miamicanes New Member

    Messages:
    103
    Location:
    Pembroke Pines, FL
    Are the acrylic bathtubs (not whirlpools, just passive bathtubs) made by Kohler (specifically, the Windward/1115-R-*), Mansfield (Pro-Fit 4872, #6533 and Pro-Fit 4272, #6527), and Laurel Mountain (the "Trade" series and "Colony" series sold by Lowes) all roughly equal in quality, or are some acrylic bathtubs more equal than others in ways that aren't necessarily obvious from the spec sheets?

    At the moment, I'm leaning towards the Laurel Mountain 4872LTT528 ($617.05 at Lowes) and 4272ET528 ($713.71 at Lowes), depending upon what the answer is to my question about 48 vs 42 inch tubs ends up being, but might consider the two Mansfield tubs mentioned above if the price ends up being right, or the (ick) Kohler 1115-R-* if the consensus is that Laurel Mountain and/or Mansfield are significantly worse than Kohler (I don't like the fact that the Windward series, though 42" wide, has only 23.25" of standing width for showering... personally, I think it's obscene that their best model for showering -- the K-1137 -- isn't actually available in any configuration besides drop-in).

    It's literally crunch-time (I HAVE to put in the order today to get it in time to put in the new tub and install the wall tile before the 30-day window for returning extra tiles ends), so I definitely appreciate any comments anyone can give about the tubs :)
  2. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    Sorry I can't tell you about the Mansfield, Laurel, etc.
    The quality of the Kohler acrylics has had a good reputation . I did like the Vikrell by Sterling/Kohler. It is a step above the others. Is your Kohler model a Vikrell acrylic?

    Now, in general, I do not favor acrylic for a tub that would be used a lot. It requires careful, CONSTANT, cleaning to avoid mineral and soap scum buildups, which essentially are not removable without compromising the finish..

    In general, I think of a bathroom as having a life expectancy of 20 to 30 years. A good cast iron tub will easily match that. Fibreglass or acrylic will only match that if meticulously maintained.

    On the other hand, from a design standpoint, you cant get cast iron, or even the "americast" types, in all those garden and soaking tub models. So I would opt for quality. No offense, but it is hard to imagine the model from lowes really equaling the Kohler. This is an area where you get what you pay for.
  3. miamicanes

    miamicanes New Member

    Messages:
    103
    Location:
    Pembroke Pines, FL
    How does the durability and abuse-resistance of acrylic compare to the durability and abuse-resistance of cultured marble? If I get the tub in 'biscuit' color, can I safely use chlorine bleach (and products containing it) to clean it? I did it all the time with my cultured marble tub, but this is my first encounter (as a tub owner) with acrylic.

    To tell the truth, right now I'm heavily leaning towards the Laurel Mountain Everett (oval with square deck, 72x42, with optional integral tile flange). At ~$810 (picked up at store) with sales tax and the integrated nailing flange option, it's about $100 more than the Kohler K-1115-R, but it's almost as big (shower standing area) as my current tub -- 28", vs the Kohler tub's 23". Just to confirm the value of those added 5", this morning while taking a shower, I stopped at one point, looked straight down, and noted where my feet were & measured the distance. They were 27" apart. If nothing else, with my current favored stance, the 23" Kohler would have forced me to stand with my feet at least 4" closer together, so I'm going to say those 5 inches are fairly important.

    For now, it looks like the Mansfield tubs are out of the equation due to their long lead times. When I stopped at Lowes on the way to work, the lead time was showing up in the computer as "June 11" -- obviously someone stuffed zeros or nulls into that column of the database. When he called, they said 3-4 weeks -- way, WAY too long to wait (and subject my poor asthmatic kitty to the mold living under the tub, since the tub is the one thing I can't remove until I'm literally ready to replace it the same or following day).
  4. Western

    Western New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Western PA
    Same Acrylic

    The Acrylic used by most US acrylic tub manufacturers is made by Lucite. While the parts may very the surface will be the same.


  5. jm66208

    jm66208 Member

    Messages:
    99
    Location:
    KC
    It would be nice to see some more proof to substantiate this statement. I have always recommended & used C/I tubs, but with the numerous choices that acrylic gives you, and the difficulty getting #500 tubs up the stairs, I would like to start using acrylic tubs.
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