Bathtubs: Vikrell vs Americast vs Acrylic vs ???

Discussion in 'Shower & bathtub Forum & Blog' started by SmallSea, Feb 28, 2006.

  1. SmallSea

    SmallSea New Member

    Messages:
    14
    Hi. My husband and I have been lurking on this site a while - great advice. We're renovating our 1957 split level home, and are working on the bathroom now. We've succesfully smashed up the nasty old cast iron tub, and are ready to install a new bathtub.

    Our tub alcove measures 30.625 inches wide. Based on what we've read here, we wanted an acrylic tub (better than fiberglass and steel in our opinions, and not as good as cast iron but much easier to carry.) However, it seems that all the acrylic tubs all have a nailing flange that measures about 1.25 inches wide, actually making a 30-inch tub measure 31.25 inches wide (the flange extends perpindicular from the floor up along the side of the tub to the top of the tub ledge.) We've been researching online and it appears we have 3 choices:

    1. Use an acrylic tub (a Lucite tub by Lasco) and extend the wall out another 1.5 inches. This would require moving a heating vent and we could have a problem with the trim around our doorway.

    2. Use a 29-inch wide tub that measures 30.25 inches... but we can't find a 29-inch acrylic tub. We found one by Sterling (Kohler) in the Vikrell material which appears to be a type of fiberglass.

    3. It appears that there might be a 30-inch tub by American Standard (Americast) that doesn't have a nailing flange. Neither the spec sheet nor the installation instructions show the flange extending past the edge of the tub, so this 30-inch tub might actually be 30-inches... we'd have to check.

    So: Acrylic and move a wall, Vikrell by Kohler, or Americast by American Standard. Given those choices, which would you do and why? What are the pros and cons? Is there a 4th choice we haven't considered?

    Thanks everyone. I look forward to your replies!
  2. Clayton

    Clayton Plumber

    Messages:
    124
    American Standard has a tub available in thier Colony series that is acrylic, 30" wide, with no flange along the front edge of the apron. (whirlpool or tub)

    Sterlings Performa series tub is 29"

    I've installed several americast and endurocast tubs and have yet to see one without at least a small blemish or defect.

    Of course I would recommend cast iron as the first choice for your replacement, but if that is not an option I would choose between the acrylic and the Vikrell tubs. You may also check to see if the Swanstone Veritek tub would fit your installation (it is similar to the Sterling). I THINK it is 30" without a flange.

    For appearance (higher gloss), more options or models to choose from, go with the acrylic tub. (very thin acrylic layer reinforced with a fiberglass backing that can be easily scratched or chipped)

    For a little more durability and probably a longer warranty possibly at a lower price, go with the Vikrell or Veritek tub. (Thin fiberglass material and does flex but seems to be very strong and has the color through the entire thickness of material in case of scratches.)

    You could also use a drop-in acrylic tub or whirlpool with an optional tile flange and removable apron or construct your own apron with tile, granite, marble, solid surface material....

    Be sure to follow the installation instructions and install your tub in a mortar bed if required and also note how to attach the tub to the wall via the nail flange and or ledger boards. Acrylic nail flanges usually are not nailed through, instead just overlap the head of the nail or screw over the edge of the flange.
  3. the vickrell is best

    the sterling unit is the absolute best.....

    Only the CAst is better, and even the cast iron
    tub can chip too......


    short of wanting to vandalize the vickrel unit
    you reallly cant damage one......


    install it in a bed of moartor and it will feel like
    the base is harder than the cast iron one.....
  4. SmallSea

    SmallSea New Member

    Messages:
    14
    Thanks so much for these detailed replies. This is exactly the type of info I was hoping to get. :)

    We are going to go with the Sterling Vikrell tub. My husband didn't think fiberglass would be a good choice but these posts convinced him otherwise. I'll post again after it's installed and we're using it to let everyone know how we like it.
  5. Bob H

    Bob H New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    NY
    Vikrell vs Americast vs Acrylic??

    I am now whwere you were. The question of which tubs are best. Which tub and model did you use and have you been happy with it? Please advise. Bob
  6. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,806
    Location:
    New England
    This thread is 3-years old...the poster is unlikely to be monitoring it.
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