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of Bathtubs

The Pros and Cons of Bathtub Materials

Enameled Cast Iron

Pros – Very substantial, timeless look, durable, wide variety of colors, retains heat well, mid-range price.

Cons – VERY heavy – floor may need to be reinforced to support tub, can chip so you see the black cast iron below, fancier (claw foot) more expensive.

Enameled Steel

Pros – More affordable and lighter than cast iron, but with a similar look.

Cons – Can chip easily, limited colors, can be noisy when water hits it, can dent on installation.


Pros – Affordable, lots of styles, lightweight.

Cons – Finish is not as durable as acrylic, doesn’t hold heat well, can scratch and fade, limited colors.


Pros – Wide choice of styles, colors and sizes, more durable than fiberglass, lightweight, holds heat well if insulated.

Cons – More expensive than fiberglass, can scratch and stain (especially with hair dye).

Cast Polymer – Cultured Marble, Granite or Onyx

Pros – Looks like stone, thicker than acrylic, holds heat well.

Cons – Gel-coat finish not as durable as acrylic.


Pros – Retains heat well, good for timeless or contemporary custom look.

Cons – Very expensive, heavy.

Metal – Brass, Copper

Pros – Creates a custom look, thicker gauges resists dents.

Cons – Very expensive, limited sizes and shapes.

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