A long soak in the bath can take care of any problem. If it’s not the actual solution, it will definitely make things seem just a little bit brighter. Relaxing and soothing, it’s a great way to unwind after a long day at work, give your muscles a well-deserved rest after a hard workout, or just reward yourself and allow some “me” time. Light some candles, add a drop or two of essential oil, play some quiet music and you’re in for a ride you won’t want to hop out of.
Now, when it comes to baths like these, we always prefer to stay in longer rather than cut the enjoyment short because of any reason whatsoever. Believe it or not, your bathtub has absolutely everything to do with this issue.
Think of your bathtub as the walls of your house. If your walls aren’t well-protected, quality materials aren’t used, and there’s no insulation in them your house is bound to get cold when the temperature outside drops. It’s the same with your bathtub. The material it’s made out of plays a huge role in how long the water will stay warm, how difficult upkeep will be, what it will look like after some time and usage, and so on.
Today I’d like to look over two types of bathtubs with you. Both are popular choices, but when it comes to performance, they’re wildly different. I’m talking about solid surface bathtubs and acrylic bathtubs.
Even though they are popular, solid surface or natural stone baths might be a bit hard to find, unlike acrylic bathtubs. Acrylic baths can easily be found in all bathware shops. Let’s go over some key features and see what the differences are between the two and hopefully we’ll be able to make an educated decision as to which one is better than the other in the end.
As I said, think of your bathtub as the walls of your house. The better the walls are equipped to not let coldness penetrate the longer, better, and more efficient the warming method you use will be.
When it comes to bathtubs, for this feature, we look at the material they’re made of. Acrylic tubs are basically made out of clear sheets of plastic that have been coloured and reinforced with layers of fibreglass.
We know that fibreglass is one of the main components of insulation used in houses, which would make this bathtub great at retaining heat and keeping water warm for longer.
However, this isn’t exactly the case. When compared to a stone bath, the acrylic one falls a bit short. Solid surface baths are made out of a blend of natural minerals and resin, either synthetic or plant-based.
Within the name itself lies the clue of how they’re made. The compound I mentioned above is poured into a mould and left to set, producing the tub once dry. These bathtubs aren’t assembled, they’re coming out of the mould as a single surface, readymade product.
Because of this and their composition, stone baths have higher thermal energy storage. The whole surface gets warm, unlike acrylic or steel baths which are usually cold to the touch even when warm water is poured. With this, the solid surface bath provides you with a much higher level of comfort and a much longer time period in which you can soak and relax.
We already explored the ways the material these tubs are made out of affects their energy retention. We’re now moving away from the material and are going to look at how their manufacturing process affects the usable space each bath can offer.
Both of these bathtub types have a similar manufacturing process, but there are still great differences in the space department. When we look at stone bathtubs we see loads of usable space without any interruption whatsoever. The bath space just flows. Because of its solid, thin wall construction, it offers more usable space in which you can just sit back and relax without it affecting its weight or size. With a stone bath what you see is what you get.
On the other hand, acrylic baths, as we said, are made of a sheet of plastic which is then reinforced with layers of fibreglass mixed with resin to add thermal efficiency. Because of this, you get a bathtub that’s heavier and bigger, but without more space you can actually use for bathing. The bath’s size only expands on the outside, leaving you with a more massive piece but the same or lesser amount of space than a solid surface bath can provide.
The final thing I’d like to discuss is maintenance, upkeep, and the overall look your tub is going to have after it’s been through a couple of years.
Solid stone baths are known to be treated with special finishes and polishes to make them rust-resistant. Because of their single surface build, they’re very unlikely to crack or chip. Since crevices are scarce, they’re easy to clean and maintain, and because of the finishes I mentioned earlier and their overall composition, they’ll end up looking brand new for far longer than a regular steel tub, for example.
On the other hand, acrylic baths are known to be prone to rust and water damage and because of their build, they’re not as resistant to the tooth of time. Although they will give you proper performance and durability, they still fall a bit short when compared to solid surface baths.
Either way, you’ll be making an investment that’s going to last for the next 10 years, even more. Still, the thermoregulation purposes and the build type and components do make a difference.
Consider a natural stone bath next time you’re redoing your bathroom or you’re building an ideal new one. In the long run, they will save you money, time, and a bunch of effort and they’ll still look as if you bought them just today.