Most of people around the world, when planning to renovate the bathroom or make a decision to replace the old bathtub with a new one, are considering buying sanitaryware from the popular material today – acrylic. After reading the contradictory reviews of customers on the Internet, listening to the “sweet” speeches of consultants in sanitary ware shops, many of the homeowners become even more preconceived about the newfangled material than at the beginning of their studies. Many are lost when a large range of models, variations on the theme of shapes and sizes are found. The price range also fluctuates in a large spectrum – domestic and foreign manufacturers offer products with so different prices that there are doubts about the identity of the material for manufacturing modern models of bathtubs. Let’s try to review the popular now acrylic bathtub as the highlight of modern bathroom interior together.
Features of products made of acrylic
Acrylic baths have gained their popularity not by chance. After all, these products have many advantages:
- Excellent acrylic plasticity makes it possible to create products of a wide variety of shapes. Acrylic raw materials are used for realization of any design ideas. Each buyer can be sure that he or she will be able to find a model of a bath that will not only fit into the interior of the room in size, but also decorate his or her bathroom with its design;
- The low weight of finished products (from 15 to 30 kg) creates all the conditions for simple transportation and installation. Acrylic bath can be transported and installed alone. The installed product creates the least burden on floors in apartment buildings;
- the minimum porosity of the material ensures functioning with the least surface contamination, absorption of odors and cleaning agents;
- ecological safety and hygiene: bacteria will not multiply on the surfaces of the acrylic bath (harmful microorganisms) when antibacterial coating is present;
- Due to the low thermal conductivity of the material, the bathroom is able to store the temperature of hot water for a long time (much longer than cast-iron products);
- acrylic has high soundproof properties – the water pouring in the bowl is not accompanied by loud sounds (which can not be said for steel baths);
- ease of care: cleaning of the acrylic bath with abrasive agents is prohibited. But if you use special gels and sprays for products made of acrylic, then the cleaning of surfaces will pass quickly and rarely;
- minor damage to the surface can be eliminated independently by grinding, polishing, using special tools for acrylic products.
But, like any material, acrylic has its drawbacks and for many buyers they can become the determining factors in the choice of sanitary ware for the bathroom:
- it is externally difficult to determine is it a bath made of quality acrylic or not reinforced material that has not passed quality control (such a product will lose its shine in the first year of operation, the surface will turn yellow, and in 3-4 years the bathtub will have to be changed at all);
- the need to use a metal frame – plasticity of the material in this case does not play into the hands of buyers;
- in an acrylic bath, it is impossible to pour very hot water – the material can be deformed (the melting point of acrylic is about 160 degrees of Celsius);
- falling heavy objects can lead not only to deformation of the surface, but also a breach (though such a malfunction can be eliminated on your own or with the help of specialists – depending on the level of damage).
Still, the acrylic bath has many more advantages than cons. If you decide to purchase the bathtub made of acrylic, then follow simple recommendations of specialists and your purchase will be successful:
- when choosing acrylic plumbing, carefully consider all surfaces – study it for gaps, thinner places, tuberosity, unevenness of the layer (the presence of any of the imperfections is the reason for refusing to purchase this particular item);
- study the side cut – it must contain a layer of resin in addition to acrylic (otherwise you probably buy cheap plastic, which will not last even for 3 years);
- ask the consultant about the use of the material for reinforcing the bath (high-quality products use fiberglass);
- the thickness of the walls of the bathtub can say a lot about the strength of the structure (quite expensive, but strong models have a wall thickness of 4 to 8 mm, cheaper – from 2 to 4 mm);
- you need to clearly know the size of the model you need – the overall range of acrylic bathtubs is very diverse, the concept of the standard does not practically exist, each manufacturer adheres to its criteria for producing sanitary ware of various sizes);
- when buying an acrylic bath, experts advise to immediately purchase cleansers for it (you will need to forget about powders and chemicals forever – acrylic requires careful care as one of the main criteria for extending the life of the product).
If we talk about the price quality of acrylic products, experts say that the cheapest options can be found among Russian, Chinese and Turkish manufacturers. But in pursuit of cheapness it is important to understand that such products can lose their sparkle and snow-white appearance in couple of years, because these countries use low-quality polymers as a rule.
The best solution for choosing an acrylic bath is a European brand. Baths manufactured in Germany, Italy, the Czech Republic and the Netherlands represent the best combination of strength and performance characteristics, a longer period of use. But not always the most expensive means the best. Among domestic manufacturers, you can find plumbing of sufficiently high quality, which easily fits into the budget of the average buyer.
Variety of Forms and Variations of Design
Peculiar properties of the production of sanitary ware from acrylic make it possible to create a wide variety of shapes and sizes, to implement the most daring imaginations of designers. That’s why you can choose a bath that is ideal for your utilitarian premises in terms of size, style and form. The advantage of this modern material is that the bathtubs from it are manufactured in a wide price range. The owner of a room of modest size decorated in a modern style will be able to find his special option as well as the buyer with a spacious bathroom, furnished in classical style.
Corner models of acrylic baths became very popular among Europeans and Americans. It is not surprising that the bathtubs in the form of the circle sector are acquired by owners of both small and medium-sized rooms for taking water procedures. Compactly fitting into the corner of the bathroom, the acrylic bath meanwhile provides an opportunity to enjoy a fairly capacious useful volume of the font. And this model looks worthy, decorating the interior of utilitarian space.
For even more rational use of the space of small bathrooms, experts recommend using square and rectangular forms of fonts. When using a rectangular bath, you get the maximum possible useful capacity of the bowl with minimal room space.
Rectangular shapes with rounded corners slightly reduce the useful capacity of the bathing bowl itself, but at the same time look original and minimize the possible collision with the corners of sanitary ware, which is an important criterion for choosing a bathtub and other plumbing devices for many homeowners.
Acrylic tubs of a trapezoidal shape, having an expansion of the bowl from the base to the top, look original. Such models will require more useful area of the bathroom than rectangular products. But the original appearance and convenient location inside the bathing place recoup the need for large room dimensions.
Round or oval acrylic bathtub will look organic in the interior, where smooth lines and shapes have already been used in other elements of design – the execution of sanitary ware, storage systems or finishing elements. Harmonious combination of rounded forms will create a truly unique bathroom interior.
Cylindrical shape of acrylic bath, outwardly a bit like a large snow-white barrel, will become an original element of the interior of your room for bathing. But such models have rather high bows and are not suitable for use by elderly people and small children. Otherwise, you will need to equip such a sanitary equipment with a safe step.
Acrylic bathtub of the original form is able to become not just a key element of the interior, but to enhance the uniqueness of the design of the entire bathroom. Round, oval, in the form of an egg, a trapezoid or asymmetric modifications – an average and large bathroom will suit for unusual bath designs. And not only because in premises of modest sizes it is difficult to integrate rounded forms and at the same time to preserve the feeling of spaciousness, but because scope is necessary for viewing of original sanitary ware – for correct visual perception of objects.
Acrylic bath is not only about modern style and unusual constructive solutions. Buying sanitary equipment from acrylic in the classical style or even the style of Baroque will not be difficult. A traditional-shaped bathtub on beautiful carved legs (the material can imitate copper, gilding or silver plating) will decorate the utilitarian space, decorated in a classical style or one of its varieties.
Original bath tub made of acrylic in the form of a gravy bowl – one of the edges of the product is strongly extended, like a spout of teapot. In such a bath it is convenient to lie reclining, as there is a sufficiently large surface for the back and cervical part. Well, it’s not necessary to talk about bringing originality to the bathroom interior with such bathtub models as the unusual form is obvious.
You can buy an acrylic bath of any modification and stylistic execution for custom order. At your request, the manufacturer can artificially age the façade (or decorative screen) of acrylic sanitary ware, so that your bath organically blends into the style of the Shabby Chic or Vintage.
The frame, the base of the bath can be executed in a rectangular or square shape, in which a circle or an oval is inscribed. Such models will require the large area of the bathroom, but its appearance, of course, will bring originality and charm to the interior of utilitarian space.
We are all accustomed to the snow-white execution of plumbing devices. And there are important reasons for that. No other color is able to cause such persistent associations with cleanliness, freshness and lightness, like a white tone. But the façade of the bathtub can be made in any color. For example, to create an original design of the entire utilitarian premises, you can use a bath with a dark base. In a light interior, such a dark element of the bath façade will look contrasting and act as a color accent (most likely the only one).
Ways to Integrate an Acrylic Bath into the Interior
Acrylic bath tub of the original form does not need any decoration. Round shapes, flowing lines, unusual design solutions and original design are not accepted behind the screen and facing. You do not want to hide the sanitary ware that can become a key element of the interior.
In order to make your original acrylic bath look the most advantageous in the interior of the bathroom, use contrasting combinations. Snow-white plumbing on the dark flooring looks incredibly expressive.
But in some cases, the decoration of the bath façade is necessary or desirable. In such situations, it is easiest to resort to facing with ceramic tiles or mosaic. For simple and clear shapes (rectangle, square, polyhedron), you can use ceramic tiles from the main material of the finish. If your bath has rounded forms, then there is no better way of facing the facade than using a mosaic.
Facing an acrylic bath plays a role of not only the facade decorator, composing a harmonious combination of all elements of the interior, but also carries a very serious functional load. With the help of ceramic tiles, you can strengthen the entire frame of the plumbing. After all, even high-quality acrylic products are inferior in strength to cast iron and steel baths.
Experts advise to design the facade of the bath in such a way that in the future you have the opportunity to access the bottom of the product, its base and verify the operation of engineering systems. A viewing window or a door of small dimensions will be enough to repair, replace or otherwise manipulate the water and sewerage elements, if necessary.