Additional information on Bathroom Remodeling
In order to make the acrylic bathtub resistant to cracking and chipping, the manufacturers use fiberglass as a reinforcement material when vacuum forming the acrylic sheets. Acrylic is an cost effective material, allows for ease of mass production and it is light weight.
The most costly tubs manufactured in quantity are made of cast iron. As the name implies, a form is created and then molten iron is poured into the mold. The biggest advantages to cast iron are that most chemicals will not damage the surface and they stand up to abuse as it is almost impossible to scratch or dent a cast iron bathtub.
Copper is a very expensive material to use for a bathtub. It requires true craftsman to create a finished product. A few manufactures have created standard copper bathtub products made of copper.
Gel-coated fiberglass, known in the industry as FRP, is one of the least expensive bathtub materials. To create FRP the manufacture builds up layers of fiberglass over a form. The surface finish of the fiberglass bathtub has a polyester resin sprayed on. There are different qualities of FRP which is primarily based on the number of layers of fiberglass and the number of coats of polyester resin.
Although not a common material, because of it is a high labor cost, concrete is used to create bathtubs. Concrete can be either molded on site or created in a factory with the finished product being delivered and placed in position. The concrete can be colored and have unique textures applied. Almost any shape and color is conceivable with the material.
Ceramic or Porcelain Tile Bathtubs
Each ceramic or porcelain bathtub is unique as it must be custom crafted in place in your home. The most common construction is to produce a wood form that is covered in concrete board. A slight slope is required to ensure correct drainage. The tile is then glued to the concrete board using a water proof adhesive and grout is applied to seal the cracks. Tile bathtubs can be a problem as small cracks in the grout, due to shifting of the form or the whole house, can cause leaks to occur.
Cultured Marble Bathtubs
To create cultured marble, limestone with a polyester resin are mixed together and that is then coated with a gel. There is absolutely no marble in
cultured marble. The term comes from the finished products appearance, it has the look and feel of real marble. In price, cultured marble comes in less expensive than cast iron but substantially more than porcelain on steel.
Granite is a very expensive material not only in the cost of the material, but in labor as it requires a craftsman and in the cost of installation due to its weight. The basic granite bathtub is carved out of a single piece of granite rock.