fiberglass good enough?

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by cabriggs, Aug 27, 2008.

  1. cabriggs

    cabriggs New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2004
    I'm looking for a tub/shower to add to a half-bath and make it a full bath. I'd been looking mainly at acrylic units but had a hard time finding any I liked that met my criteria and my budget. My plumber asked me what I have against fiberglass and I didn't have a concrete answer for him. I'm under the impressions that fiberglass is less durable and prone to stain, and that acrylic is more durable and longer-lasting, and since the color goes all the way through, small scratches aren't a problem. He told me he's installed lots of tub/showers from Lasco and not had any problems with them and that their Lascoat gelcoat coating does a good job protecting it from scratches and stains.

    So I ask you, how does fiberglass in general, and Lascoat in particular, rate in terms of:
    - overall durability
    - resistance to scratches
    - resistance to stains
    - maintainability
    - repairability

    Any comments are appreciated. Thanks.

    -cb
     
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Occupation:
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    Location:
    New England
    The issue with fiberglass is flex. If it is installed with a firm base so it doesn't flex, it will last for a fair amount of time. You need to be careful and only use non-abrasive cleaners. If you lean on the wall, it also may flex. Flex will cause crazing (small surface cracks). Once those start, staining and discoloration will start to occur. The glass fibers only flex so far before they break.
     
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  4. geniescience

    geniescience Homeowner

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2005
    Occupation:
    ditto
    Location:
    humid summers hot, humid winters cold
    "Acrylic tub" means fiberglas structure under an acrylic topping, if I'm not mistaken. So you and he may be talking about the same thing with different words. I don't have time to go look at that company (its web site) you mentioned above. Other tub manufacturers mention how thick the acrylic is on top of their fiberglass tub body.

    -David
     
  5. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Occupation:
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    Location:
    New England
    The gell coat on fiberglass isn't as thick as the acrylic, nor does it provide any structural strength where the acrylic at least provides some (and isn't as likely to craze).
     
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