Choosing the “right” material

tubs

A whirlpool bath, like any other, can be made of almost any material: acrylic and quarry, steel, cast iron, marble, stone. Each of the materials we have named has its strengths and weaknesses. When choosing a bath, proceed only from personal preference, since user reviews about the same material can be opposed.

Below you can find information about commonly recommended materials for making whirlpool tubs:

Cast iron – the traditional solution 

Due to its high heat capacity, cast iron is still the classic option for making bathtubs,  therefore, many are in no hurry to part with it.  

Conservative admirers of this material will tell you a whole list of its positive aspects:

  • low noise level
  • a high degree of wear resistance
  • durability
  • easy maintenance

Excellent cast iron models with hydromassage are produced by Spanish French companies with many years of experience and an impeccable reputation. The cost of these baths is above average. In addition to the high cost, there is another significant drawback. Difficulties may arise with the transportation and installation of equipment due to its heavyweight – this is the heaviest plumbing material of all.

But the main argument in favor of a cast-iron bowl is the low cooling rate of hot water.  

Steel – a budget option 

Traditionally, steel is considered a relatively inexpensive material, although products with a hydromassage system will still cost a considerable amount.

There are not so many models on the modern market, but they are willingly bought due to some advantages: 

  • standard shapes, mostly rectangular
  • lighter than cast iron weight
  • average heat capacity of the material

Previously, users’ dissatisfaction was caused by the noises that steel produces when water is supplied, but with the latest modifications, this drawback has been eliminated. If you like an inexpensive and easy-to-use classic, choose a steel model.  

In choosing a steel bath, it is better to give preference to thick-walled models.  For additional heat preservation during the procedures and noise reduction during installation, polyurethane foam is used, the back of the bowl is treated with it.  

Acrylic-safe polymer 

With the advent of light, plastic acrylic, plumbing equipment manufacturers quickly switched to new technologies, and now the lion’s share of the market is represented by acrylic bathtubs.  The service life of plumbing is at least 10 years, but it does not apply to nickel-plated parts and flexible elements.

Of course, the material isn’t perfect.  He is just as afraid of mechanical and chemical damage, can deform under the influence of hot water, “walk” under the weight of the body.  

However, this is more true of economical, inexpensive luxury offerings that are much more durable. 

One of the glamorous advantages of acrylic is considered to be ease, because transportation and installation take place without problems.  

The surface of the material can be easily cleaned with a simple soapy solution or mild detergent. If you use abrasive powders or aggressive chemical solutions, the structure of the material can also be damaged and color. 

If necessary, minor damages and micro-scratches can be repaired using a special repair kit. Manufacturers love acrylic for its plasticity, thanks to which plumbing bowls can be given any shape. It is easier to work with soft material, therefore, it is also easier to install a hydromassage system.

Let’s summarize the article with the most common materials:

Option № 1 – acrylic

Pros:

  • affordable price;
  • relatively lightweight;
  • variability of shapes and colors;
  • easy to restore if scratches and abrasions appear;
  • ease of use.
  • Cons of acrylic: short service life. Manufacturers usually give a 10-year warranty on acrylic models. It is unlikely that it will serve you for more than 15 years.

Kvaril is a material that is just becoming popular. The combination of quartz and acrylic has its advantages. Firstly, a quarrel bathtub weighs much more than an acrylic bathtub, it is more resistant to various kinds of damage, which means its service life will be longer.

Cons: price and weight. The installation of such a bathtub will be more laborious, and the cost is higher than that of an acrylic one.

Option № 2 – cast iron

The cast iron whirlpool tub has the biggest drawback – it is heavy. Such a bath is hardly worth installing in a country house or a small wooden country house. This material is very capricious to care for.

The advantage of a cast iron bath can be considered its durability. A cast iron bath will not be damaged by an accidentally dropped object, while a scratch or abrasion may remain on the acrylic surface. With proper care, manufacturers promise a lifespan of about 50 years.

Option № 3 – steel

The most inexpensive type of material is steel. The steel bathtub is as light as it is noisy. Even your neighbors will be aware of the timing of your water treatments. The water in the steel bathroom practically does not retain heat. Such a bathtub can be installed in the country – it is easily transported and easy to clean.

Option № 4 – marble

Recently, hot tubs made of natural and artificial marble have become popular. They fit beautifully into an expensive interior, are very durable, retain heat well, and do not create a noise effect.

Their disadvantage is a lot of weight. Installing such a bath will require a lot of effort and financial investment. The price of a marble whirlpool bathtub is much higher than a model made of the same acrylic or steel.

Option № 5 – material combination

Lately, manufacturers have been trying to combine different materials to make the most of their strengths. Therefore, you can find in the store and a bath made of several materials at the same time.

There is no fundamental difference between the various models since they all provide the massage process.  However, the material can affect the service life of the product, appearance, and cost.  

Try to avoid knowingly low-quality economy class products, for example, plastic.  The polymer wears out quickly, loses its attractiveness and functionality.  We recommend models made of more resistant materials, which we will talk about in more detail. 

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