Steel, styrene, fiberglass or acrylic ... which is best for replacement tub?

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by Honest Bill, Nov 5, 2007.

  1. Honest Bill

    Honest Bill New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    Arkansas
    We have both of our baths torn down to the studs and we're trying to decide what kind of tubs to put back. We want tub/shower combos in each bath. Most of what you find are porcelain on steel, styrene, fiberglass or acrylic tubs, in order of least expensive to most expensive? Besides cost, what are the pros and cons of each? Are there other material choices we should consider? What about brand recommendations?

    One that we really like the look of is the Aqua Glass Eleganza ... both the tub and the surround. Apparently it is made of styrene, which we know nothing about.

    Thanks in advance for any light you can shed on this dilemma.
  2. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,048
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    tub

    Absolutely no steel tubs. Styrene is usually very light and thin. Fiberglass or acrylic are better. Or a composite such as American Standard.
  3. Honest Bill

    Honest Bill New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    Arkansas
    Vikrell?

    What about Vikrell by Sterling? Seems to be better than fiberglass or gelcoat, though maybe not up to acryclic standards (but it costs less than acrylic).
  4. whattodo

    whattodo New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Sterling Vikrell

    I have a shower stall that is 6 years old and the finish wore off the floor and it looks dirty all the time. If I had to do it over again, I'd tile the whole thing, even though it costs more
  5. chassis

    chassis Engineer

    Messages:
    339
    Location:
    SE Pennsylvania
    I recently installed a Kohler acrylic tub; it has fiberglass reinforcing in it. I think it is the "Portrait" model. You can see this from the underside. It looks great, and is very solid. I set the base in a pile of concrete, so the base of the tub is fully and evenly supported. I expect it will provide many years of service.
  6. fortop

    fortop New Member

    Messages:
    28
    Location:
    Tucson
    One piece fiberglass tub/shower combo for me. I think LASCO is fine and cheap ($280-$320 around here at the big box stores). If you pour concrete under the base as previously stated they should not crack. If they do crack they are repairable. Or, better yet, make your door big enough to accommodate a 30" tub/shower and you can easily remove/replace the unit for another one if you have to in the future.

    I will never deal with endless cleaning of tile grout and associated mold again.

    Good Luck.
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