Enamel quality on new vs old cast iron bathtubs

Discussion in 'Shower & bathtub Forum & Blog' started by 32pdx, Aug 2, 2014.

  1. 32pdx

    32pdx New Member

    Messages:
    3
    My husband and I are building a new house, and are in the middle of deciding on tubs, sinks, etc. for the bathrooms. I was set on a Kohler Villager tub for the basement bathroom (will be used daily off and on as we will have student interns staying with us for 3-6 months each year) I'm thinking that tub will also have to do light duty as an ad hoc utility tub- washing the dog, fleece and yarn (I spin and weave), misc. art project, honestly in our house there's no telling what all that tub will be used for! We plan to live in the house for at least 20 years and, like everyone, are looking for durability and ease of maintenance.

    However, my salesperson at my plumbing showroom told me that the promise of a durable, not likely to chip finish that attracted me to the cast iron tubs is no longer true for the currently manufactured ones. Reason being that the enamel no longer contains lead, and therefor no longer adheres as smoothly or as securely and is much more prone to chips and cracks than in the old tubs.

    Our current American Standard steel tub (kids bathroom, frequent use) looks terrible after 9 years of use - chips, discoloration on bottom and especially around the drain. I was hoping that the cast iron option would hold up much better, she believes that it would perform about the same as a steel tub.

    Does anyone have any experience with cast iron tubs manufactured since, say, the 80's. Of course technology is always evolving, but I'm wondering how a no- lead enameled cast iron tub holds up over the long haul. In other words, does my helpful sales person know what she's talking about?
  2. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,606
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Well, in the first place there is on comparison between a steel and cast iron tub. They have completely different finishes. I will have to do some checking, but since the lead free, if true, finish would be fairly recent innovation, there is not history to back up her claim. What is she trying to sell you instead?
  3. 32pdx

    32pdx New Member

    Messages:
    3
    The subject actually came when we were talking about a tub for an entirely different room- I was as asking about Zuma and Toto soaking tubs. The Totos are cast iron and are actually more expensive than the Zumas, but she recommend the Less expensive Zuma over the Toto.

    I was in a different showroom today and the man there said the same thing, although he still thinks cast iron is a good, durable choice. I just find it strange that I can't find any information about this online.
  4. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,606
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    The key factor is how are the two tubs going to look in 10 years or so?
Similar Threads: Enamel quality
Forum Title Date
Shower & bathtub Forum & Blog Toto cast iron enameled tubs Mar 26, 2014
Shower & bathtub Forum & Blog Acrylic vs Enameled Steel bathtub Mar 3, 2013
Shower & bathtub Forum & Blog re-porcelainizing OR how do I get my tub re enameled? Jun 11, 2007
Shower & bathtub Forum & Blog how do i glue plastic sheeting to enameled cast iron? Jul 4, 2006
Shower & bathtub Forum & Blog Best Enameled Cast Iron Tub? TOTO? May 29, 2006

Share This Page