Nowadays, when people are planning the replacement of an old bath by a new one, they are more often considering the purchase of the bathtub made of popular now material – acrylic. Having read conflicting reviews of customers on the Internet, listening to “sweet” speeches of consultants in plumbing stores, many of the homeowners become even more doubtful about the newfangled material than at the beginning of their research. Many people can be lost in a large assortment of models, variations of shapes and sizes. The price range also varies in a large range – domestic and foreign manufacturers offer products with so drastically different prices so that there is a doubt in the identity of the material for modern bath models manufacturing. So, acrylic tub design photos, description, purchasing advice is very in demand right now. Let’s try to deal with the now popular sanitary device.
Features of acrylic tubs
Acrylic bathtubs have gained their popularity not by accident. After all, such products have a lot of advantages:
- excellent ductility of acrylic allows creating a wide variety of product forms. Acrylic materials are used to implement custom design ideas. Every customer can be sure that he can find a bath model which would fit not only into the size of the room interior, but also decorate his/her bathroom;
- low weight of finished products (from 15 to 30 kg) creates all conditions for easy transport and installation. Acrylic bath can be transported and set by yourself alone. Installed product generates the lowest pressure on flooring overlaps in apartment buildings;
- minimum porosity of the material allows the operation with the least pollution of the surface. It does not soak smells and cleaning agents;
- environmental safety and hygiene – in the presence of an antimicrobial coating. Bacteria (harmful microorganisms) will not breed on the surfaces of acrylic baths;
- such bathroom is capable to save the temperature of hot water for a long time (much longer than iron products) due to the low thermal conductivity of the material;
- Acrylic has a high sound insulating properties – pouring the water into the bowl is not accompanied by loud sounds (what cannot be said about steel baths);
- easy to clean. You can`t clean acrylic bath using abrasives. But if you are using special gels and sprays for the products of acrylic, the cleaning of surfaces will occur rarely and quickly enough;
- You can eliminate minor damage of the surface on your own by grinding, polishing, the use of special treats for acrylic products.
But, like any material, acrylic has its own drawbacks. And for many buyers they can be a determining factor when choosing plumbing for the bathroom:
- It is difficult to define by bare eye – is the bathtub made of high quality acrylic or hardened material which is not subject to quality control (such a product will lose luster in the first year of operation, surface can grow yellow, and you`ll have to change the bath in 3-4 years);
- the need for use a metal frame – plasticity of the material does not play for customers in this case;
- in acrylic bath can not pour very hot water – the material can be deformed (the melting point of acrylic is about 160⁰C);
- the fall of heavy objects can lead not only to the deformation of the surface, but also to a breach (though such problems can be resolved by your own or with the help of experts – depending on the level of damage).
Yet the acrylic bath has much more advantages in front of disadvantages. If you decide to purchase acrylic sanitary ware, following to the simple recommendations of experts will turn your purchase successful:
- closely examine all surfaces when selecting an acrylic sanitary ware – examine it for gaps, finer (thinner) places, tuberosity, the uneven layer (the presence of any of the imperfections is a reason for rejection of the acquisition of such model);
- study the board cut – it must contain (besides the acrylic) resin layer (otherwise you are risking to buy cheap plastic, which will not last and for 3 years);
- ask your consultant about using material for bath reinforcement (high-quality products contain fiberglass);
- bath wall thickness can “tell” much about the strength of the structure (relatively expensive, but the solid models have a wall thickness of 4 to 8 mm, cheaper – 2 to 4 mm);
- you need to clearly know the dimensions of the desired model – overall number of acrylic baths is very diverse, the concept of standard virtually does not exist, each manufacturer adheres to its criteria for the production of sanitary ware of various sizes;
- when buying acrylic bath experts advise to purchase the cleaning agents for it simultaneously (you will have to forget about the powders and chemicals – acrylic requires careful maintenance, as one of the main criteria for extending the life of the product).
If we talk about price qualities of acrylic bathtubs, the experts say that the most expensive options can be found in Russian, Chinese and Turkish manufacturers. But in the pursuit of low prices it is important to understand that such products can lose its luster and snow-white appearance within a few years of operation, because these countries use low-quality polymers mostly.
The best solution to choose acrylic bathtub will become a European brand. Baths made in Germany, Italy, the Czech Republic (RAVAK) and the Netherlands are combining the best blend of durability and performance, longer duration of use. But not always the most expensive product is the best. It also can be found sufficient quality ware that easily fits into the budget of the average buyer among domestic manufacturers.