Fiberglass Material Used in Bathtub

Posted by zccyfiberglass on November 16th, 2015

Currently, fiberglass is widely used in bathtubs and spas for many good reasons including flexibility of design, weight saving, lack of corrosion and ease of manufacture. These factors are all interlinked, but ultimately they can all be reduced to lower cost. For example, flexibility of design means more attractive products which capture market share – more sales mean lowered production cost through scale.


Besides fiberglass, there are other materials used for bathtubs:


Cast iron with a porcelain (vitreous enamel) finish. These are complex and expensive to manufacture from molten iron and a baked-on finish. They are heavy too - imagine the difficulties of installing a heavy cast iron bathtub on an upper floor. Handling is a problem, but often the flooring has to be reinforced to take the extra weight which can be almost double that of a fiberglass tub full of water. They are susceptible to chipping and repairs are difficult (though they can be stripped and re-enamelled).


Pressed steel (with an enamel finish) is another material used in bathtubs. They are relatively lightweight but are susceptible to chipping which leads to corrosion – rust – and therefore have shorter lifetimes. Repairs are difficult and rarely worthwhile.


These have many of the advantages of fiberglass but are expensive. They require more careful handling as they are relatively brittle – they do not have the flexibility of fiberglass bathtubs (which has glass mat strengthening), or the strength of steel.


So far, we’ve talked about bathtubs, but when it comes to spas then fiberglass is by far the leading material. The ability to economically produce complex shapes with multiple water jet inlets, seating levels and other features makes it the ideal choice. Hydrotherapy baths are very much like spas in this respect. 


If budget is not an issue, then the alternatives to fiberglass make a better choice for bathtubs. If however you are planning to renovate and sell on an average property then fiberglass would be adequate. For those who run rental properties, the use of fiberglass will mean that earlier replacement will be necessary.


Some people like to have regular makeovers of their bathrooms, as color fashions come and go. Some people like a bathroom makeover every 5-8 years. If that sounds like you, then the lower cost of fiberglass units will make the makeovers less painful.

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