Choosing the best bathroom: cast iron, acrylic or steel?
Steel baths are made of stainless or structural steel
This detailed guide to the advantages and disadvantages of different bathtubs will help you to avoid being persuaded by salesmen to make the right choice
Cast iron bathtub: pros and cons
A cast-iron bathtub is a bathtub made of an alloy of iron with a small amount of carbon and covered with enamel.
It is a classic in the world of sanitary ware. Cast iron retains heat for a long time and does a good job of absorbing noise, so many people know from childhood: a cast-iron bathtub is forever.
A cast-iron bathtub lasts for 20 years or more.
The steel bathtub: pros and cons
Steel baths are made of stainless or structural steel. They are enamelled. Stainless steel baths are poorly represented on the market, as they are sometimes more expensive than cast iron baths. And yet the main feature of steel baths is budget.
Another advantage is the variety of configurations. Steel is quite light and malleable material. You can easily find steel bathtubs with armrests, headrests and other beautiful curves. But be careful: the more complex the shape, the thinner the metal.
The thickness of steel is the Achilles' heel of steel bathtubs. Under the weight of water and human body the steel bowl with thin walls can bend and deform, and the enamel can crack. The optimal wall thickness for steel baths is 3 mm.
The average lifespan of a steel bath is 15 years.
Provided you give preference to well-proven manufacturers: Kaldewei (Germany), Roca (Spain), Bette (Germany), BLB (Portugal) or Estap (Slovakia). Among Russian producers, products of Verkh-Isetsky metallurgical plant and Lipetsk pipe plant are in demand.
But even high quality steel and good enamel will not get rid of such disadvantages as high heat loss and noisiness. Water in the steel bath gets cold very quickly, and when it is filled, there is noise throughout the flat.
The latter problem can be solved by covering the bottom and outer walls of the basin with foamed material or rubber, or by treating them with assembly foam.
Acrylic bathtub: pros and cons
Acrylic bathtubs are made from polymethyl methacrylate and polymethyl methacrylate with acrylonitrile butadiene styrene. In simple terms, 100% acrylic and plastic with an acrylic top layer.
Pure acrylic bathtubs are reliable, durable, hold heat for a long time. The price tag is adequate. Baths made of ABS/PMMA are more affordable and can also please their owners for a long time. Provided the acrylic layer is at least 6 mm thick.
The average lifespan of an acrylic bath is 10 years.
The variety of shapes, sizes and colours is astounding. In addition, a whirlpool and other additional functions are mostly found in acrylic bathtubs.
The best manufacturers of acrylic baths are Ravak (Czech Republic), Cersanit (Poland), Riho (Holland), PoolSpa (Spain). As for Russian brands, BAS, 1Marka and Triton are in demand.
In care, baths made of acrylic, on the one hand, are unpretentious. To keep them clean, they can be simply rinsed with warm water. On the other hand, acrylic baths should not be treated with alkaline or abrasive detergents. It is better to use special compounds for acrylic.