Who knew you had the option of choosing what material your bath will be made of?
Gone are the days of buying a bog-standard white acrylic or porcelain bath!
Today there are so many options when deciding on your bath tub material and each have their advantages and disadvantages.
A variety of materials to choose from allows you to make a statement with finishes, colour and texture.
Some new materials enable you to create different and more contemporary designs with soft, organic shapes.
Always consider your budget before paying for that amazing bath you just spotted in the showroom – some of them are costly.
Be aware that not all bath styles will be available in all materials.
This plastic material is generally the most budget friendly option and is a popular choice for many Aussie households.
Aside from being affordable, acrylic baths are light-weight and have a high sheen finish. They have good heat retention and can sometimes be reinforced with fibreglass-coated timber and steel.
Acrylic is warmer to touch than other materials which makes it a great option for people who like quick baths. Available in a huge range of styles and often less expensive to install than other options.
The downside to acrylic is that it can damage easily, so using gentle cleaning products is important. Anything abrasive can rub off the sheen which will lessen the baths longevity.
Steel baths generally have an enamel or porcelain coating which makes them exceptionally durable.
They are hard-wearing and highly resistant to scratches which makes them hygienic and easy to clean.
Although a steel bath is colder to touch than an acrylic bath, it will keep your bath warmer for longer. There is also a chemical resistant coating which will ensure your bath will not discolour over time.
Enamel coating can chip but if precautions are taken to avoid this then a steel bath can last for decades.
Cast Iron baths
One of the most costly bath materials on the market, cast iron is a timeless classic usually in the shape of a claw-foot bath (vintage or contemporary style).
Cast iron is extremely strong and durable and has fantastic heat retaining properties. No need to constantly top up your bath water!
Older versions of cast irons baths were always made from mined iron ore. But today there are some more eco-friendly and cost-effective options. Did you know that cast iron can be made from scrap metal using things such as old water pipes and car parts?
A thick enamel coating is applied and then fired onto the iron bath moulding to give its durable and high-gloss finish.
The downside to cast iron is its weight. These baths have a hefty weight alone but when combined with water they can be unsuitable for certain spaces. Upstairs bathrooms and apartments are not a good idea, although sometimes it’s possible with necessary structural reinforcements in place.
Stone Composite baths
Baths in this engineered composite material are readily available on the market today in a wide range of colours.
A stone composite bath is made from a mixture of crushed stone (usually quartz or granite) and a polymer resin. This process allows you to have a beautiful natural stone looking bath without the big price tag and installation hurdles.
This material is very durable and due to being lighter weight than a solid stone bath they are easier to transport and install.
Are you aware that most stone baths weigh in excess of 100kgs?! They’re extremely heavy, so unless your house is (professionally) approved to hold this weight you should consider a different option.
However, should you have the budget and the necessary structural support in your house then having a natural stone bath will provide an amazing feature piece.
Real stone can not be moulded like stone composite, so your bath tub will have seams that will need to be sealed. Over time these seals can start to leak and discolour but these issues can easily be rectified.
A stone bath can absorb up to 50% of the heat from the water, so you will need to top up to keep warm.
Any more bath material options?
Yes, there are other options with materials such as concrete, corian and timber being used for the manufacturing of baths. Each material brings with them different styles and designs to suit their form.
So, what material will your bath be made of? At the end of the day, whatever your decision, your final choice should be based on you needs, budget and bathroom style.