When installing or redecorating a new bathroom, choosing between either a steel or acrylic bath can be a difficult decision. Both have positives and the decision really comes down to personal taste. However the steel bath provides fantastic strength and durability, whilst offering a range of both classic and modern styles.
Strength and durability
In general steel baths are stronger than acrylic, but this is not always true. A high quality acrylic bath can be as strong as a steel bath if not stronger, but of course this can cost more. Steel baths are vulnerable to chipping because they are coated in a thick white enamel to give them a glossy finish. If you chip a steel bath it is worth repairing it sooner rather than later. Although this thick white enamel is vulnerable to chipping, it is highly resistant to general wear and tear from cleaning and bath usage. Alternatively after several years of cleaning and general use, an acrylic bath will start to wear and crumble, giving it a rough, abrasive texture which can feel very unpleasant for the user.
Touch and feel
Both steel and acrylic baths have a similar touch and feel on first purchase. But the steel bath will retain the elegant freshness of a new bath far longer than an acrylic bath, as the enamel surface is resistant to degradation from cleaning products. One of the main advantages of a steel bath is that they are renowned for retaining heat very efficiently. This saves a huge amount of energy and ensures that there is no need to keep constantly topping up the bath whilst having a nice long soak.
Both steel and acrylic baths are available in a wide range of colours and styles. One advantage of steel baths is that they can be manufactured to form flat bottomed baths with sharp edges. Generally speaking there is a wide range of steel baths in modern designs and sizes but you might have to shop around a little. Acrylic baths are vacuum pressed and hence there are a lot of designs available, especially in terms of shape and size. However seeing as these are mass produced acrylic baths can often look dull and generic.
When looking for a really classy looking bath steel baths tend to win every time, especially when looking for a deep, classical or vintage looking bathtub. Since the emergence of the steel bath, there has been a far wider range of new luxurious bathtubs. Several companies are manufacturing steel bath tubs in order to look like old style cast iron bathtubs. These retain the benefits of a modern steel bathtub whilst offering a classy and stylish design.
Steel bath tubs look great in a beautifully furnished bathroom and are compatible with contemporary, vintage or up-cycled furniture. When buying any bathtub it is important to think about how furniture and fixtures and fittings can be used to complement the bathroom.