What's the difference and why you should care

It’s important when making purchasing decisions for your new home or remodeling project that you know all the pros and cons of using different materials. After all, this is a major investment of time and money that will affect you long after the project is completed. You want to love walking into your new bath every day for years; the last thing you want is a constant reminder of a bad decision.

Here’s a list of questions you should ask your homebuilder, architect, or designer about selecting the proper bathware materials:

What are the pros and cons of different bathware materials?

100% Cast Acrylic is one of the most durable bath and shower materials on the market. Acrylic bathware is thermoformed from a single sheet of color-through acrylic and then sprayed on the back with a mixture of polyester resin and chopped fiberglass giving the product rigidity and strength.

With its strong cast acrylic surface and fiberglass backing material, it’s resistant to the rigors of everyday life including cracks and chips. The maintenance is easy and cost-effective -- simply wash with soap and water, and your high-gloss colours are rich for life. No scrubbing grout or replacing tub liners.

Other Materials?

Steel Bathtub is the least expensive. It is limited to a few standard sizes and typically only available for an alcove installation. Colours and sizes are limited. The finish is a sprayed-on porcelain enamel that is hardened by high heat. Since it is sprayed on, the finish thickness may not be consistent. If a scratch goes through the finish, the steel will rust. Most are made from a thin gauge of metal that can flex when used by a larger person.

Stamp steel is cheapest, has the worst surface finish, has good impact resistance, but can chip and rust.

Gel-Coat (also known as Fiberglass) is made by spraying a ”gel coating” paint (for color) onto a mould. Resin and chopped fiberglass is then sprayed on. The product cures and is then removed from the mould. The thickness of the finish may not be consistent and the colour does not go the whole way through. Over a period of time the finish tends to wear and stain (yellow). Once it is stained, it is difficult to clean.

Co-Extruded Acrylic Veneer, is made by sandwiching two thin layers of acrylic onto an ABS core. Also known as Engineered Veneer it has good impact resistance and a good surface finish, but poor chemical resistance due to the thin acrylic surface. The thickness of the finish may not be consistent and the colours do not go the whole way through the product. Over a period of time the finish tends to wear and stain. Once it is stained, it is difficult to clean. If a scratch goes through the finish (thin acrylic surface), the core is a different colour and is susceptible to mould and mildew build-up, and is not easily repairable.

Which material will be the easiest to install in my bathroom?

Longevity Acrylics tubs and showers come in one, two or three piece units. Two or three piece units are easy to take apart, making them easier to install for easy remodeling. The pieces are easily maneuvered through doorways, around other fixtures and within small spaces. Longevity Acrylics two or three piece modular units incorporate the industries only Silicone Free Leakproof Joint System:

  • No caulking is required – because no caulking is required there is less of a chance of mould and mildew build-up in the joints of the unit
  • The seams are smooth acrylic on acrylic joints
  • Units are shipped assembled and are easy to take apart and put back together
  • All the hardware is stainless steel
  • Guaranteed not to leak

Learn more about Silicone Free Leakproof Joint System

Which material will look like new the longest?

The reason that cast acrylic colours are so lustrous is because they’re solid -- the color extends all the way through the thickness of the material. Compared to the sprayed-on surface color of fiberglass you’ll see how tubs and showers made from cast acrylic maintain their shine and their colour, year after year. Your colours will always look as rich and as deep as the day your bathroom was finished.

Which material will be easiest to for me to maintain?

100% acrylic tubs and showers are low-maintenance. Cast acrylic is a non-porous material, meaning that it’s resistant to mould, mildew and grime. A small amount of maintenance with soap and water is all that’s required to keep it looking new like the day it was installed. You want to spend your time enjoying your new tub, not scrubbing it. Eliminate the once-dreaded household chore of grout cleaning from your to-do list – choose 100% Acrylic Longevity Bathware.

What is this going to cost me now? In the long run?

Acrylic tubs and showers are the better long-term investment. Cast acrylic is the most durable bath and shower material on the market. Because the color goes through the material (it’s not just sprayed on top), it doesn’t chip or lose its luster. The new tub will still look like new years later. Beauty, durability, and convenience – more and more home buyers understand the value of 100% cast acrylic. The unmistakable shine of cast acrylic will make your entire bathroom sparkle.

  • Steel Tub Steel Tub
  • Fiberglass Base Fiberglass Base
  • Fiberglass Tubshower Fiberglass Tubshower