How and which bath is best to choose: an overview of options and recommendations for choosing

Nikolay Fedorenko
Checked by a specialist: Nikolay Fedorenko
Author: Tair Glebovich
Last update: March 2019

How to choose a bath so that it best meets personal requirements and interior parameters is a fairly common question. Indeed, the design of the room and the comfort of all users will depend on a rational decision.

Not so long ago, to find the perfect option in the store was not an easy task, and in some cases - unrealistic. But the modern market provides a magnificent assortment of bathtubs for the most finicky tastes.

In this material we will tell you what to look for when choosing a bath, what rules should be followed.

The main criteria when choosing a bath

There are not so many decisive landmarks when choosing a bath: there are only three. This set of characteristics includes the shape of the product, the material from which the bowl will be made, its color and size.

We could not leave the current issue unattended, and decided to devote the most detailed article to it.

Choosing a comfortable and functional bathtub
A bath is a place for relaxation, relaxation and getting a charge of energy, which means that it should be very comfortable and functional

Before proceeding with the inspection of the range, you need to clearly determine what you have to give an advantage. So what do modern manufacturers offer us on the market and which bath to choose?

Criterion One - Material

The main feature underlying the classification of bathtubs is the material from which the product is made. This is what is meant by professionals and specialists when they are asked about the types.

Many people who need a new bath often find it difficult to choose. Which bath will be better, and which will last longer, will not lose its appearance - this is what information interests us.

Popular bath materials
The design, color, availability of additional functional equipment, room design and the financial possibilities of the owner largely affect the choice of a sanitary product

First of all, you need to consider the advantages and disadvantages of the bowls of each type of material, find out how products meet specific personal requirements. How this bathtub will fit into the existing interior.

Cast Iron Bathroom - Overview and Features

Not much time has passed since each dwelling began to be equipped with a bathroom and the product installed in it was made of an alloy of iron with carbon. The cast-iron bathtub is very strong and durable. It has a high level of heat capacity.

Cast-iron bathtub with legs in the form of a lion
The metal legs of the cast-iron bathtub can be additionally covered with artificial patina, and the lion paws will give the product an additional charm of Art Nouveau or Baroque style.

Enamel is resistant to numerous hygienic and sanitary procedures, to the regular effects of household cleaners. However, it is able to lose its original appearance relatively quickly, of course, with improper use and care. The heavy weight complicates the process of transporting the bath to the floor.

First cast iron bathtubs appeared a long time ago, but today they remain one of the most reliable and durable products. Thanks to the application of enamel on the inner surface of the bowl, the bathtub began to look even more aesthetically pleasing.

Enamel is applied in several layers, thanks to which the plumbing bowl with a glossy and matte finish lasts a long time and looks excellent.

Modern manufacturers have tried to add silver ions to the enamel structure. This contributes to the purification of water during its accumulation. There is no doubt that the cast-iron bath material has several advantages and disadvantages. We will meet them a little later, in the appropriate section.

Steel Tub - Short Description

Products from this material are considered as affordable as possible due to the relatively low cost. Steel bathtubs are easy to transport, raising it to the floor is much simpler and easier. It differs from the cast-iron product in lower heat capacity, unpleasant noise emitted during water intake.

Read about the features of choosing steel bathtubs in this stuff.

Additional steel bath treatment
If during installation of a steel bath, pouring its bottom with foam, you can significantly increase the heat capacity, strength and reduce noise

Acrylic bathtub - consumer qualities

Caring for an acrylic bath is a snap. Such products are characterized by excellent heat engineering, low weight and a wide selection of shapes.

If the manufacturer carries out processing using state-of-the-art technologies and tries to save on raw materials, the bath will emit a repulsive chemical smell. Such a product should not be used for washing pets, as it quickly scratches.

Acrylic bathtubs went on sale recently. But in such a short period, they managed to earn the trust of many buyers and quickly gained popularity. Products made of such material are distinguished by an enormous variety of forms, which cannot be said about cast iron. The quality of the bowl of polymer plumbing directly depends on the number and characteristics of the acrylic layers.

Custom acrylic bathtub shapes
Although acrylic is very plastic, but high quality material will not bend more than expected, so do not bend with the intricacy of forms

Injected or extruded polymethyl methacrylate is the foundation of every acrylic bath. To obtain the desired shape, it is required to achieve a certain plasticity of the material. And this is possible if the preform sheet is heated to a suitable temperature and exposed to vacuum. This is how the process of obtaining the required form proceeds.

Interestingly, at the end of giving the material a clear shape, the sheet becomes too thin in the stretched areas. This is a must-fix. Manufacturers, to strengthen such places, use various methods and modern technologies.

But most often, fiberglass layers bonded with epoxy are applied to the walls of the product.

A metal frame usually provides stability to the bottom of a light and flexible bowl. The frame must be included in the packaging of the products of the responsible manufacturer.

If the product has to experience high loads, it is better to supplement the standard frame with brick supports or wooden beams under the bottom, and install a decorative or functional screen on the sides.

It cannot be argued that in the manufacture of acrylic plumbing dubious campaigns apply only acrylic itself. Without an established production cycle, it is too expensive.

Unscrupulous manufacturers simply add synthetic components to the polymer compound that have very good ductility, which also allows you to give the product the desired shape.

The cost of the modified compound is much lower than acrylic, which means that such baths will cost significantly less, although they are still called acrylic.

We also recommend that you read our other article, where we talked about how to choose a good one. acrylic bath.

Stone, wooden and copper bathtubs

Modern products are made from various materials. Some of them are more familiar, while the rest have appeared relatively recently. We are talking about wood, stone, glass, as well as copper.

Stone, copper and wooden bathtubs
Assessing the variety of materials is not at all difficult, just come to the nearest plumbing store and look at the range

Stone is considered an expensive and very heavy material for the production of bathtubs. Natural products are often considered a luxury item. At the same time, a stone bowl will be distinguished by simply huge weight and “unbearable” price for most.

Before choosing a natural stone, you should definitely check the quality of the floors and their ability to hold such a quantity of hundreds of kg. A stone bath will provide its owner with individuality, luxury and incredible beauty, as well as environmental safety.

Wood, surprisingly, is great for making a bathtub or bathtub font. Wood guarantees good thermal insulation. A teak wood product will saturate the procedure with aromatic accompaniment.

The main advantage of such a bath is its resistance to corrosion. But a bowl of this material needs careful care, care with hot water and boiling water, as well as significant financial costs. If you are a jack of all trades, you can try to make a bath of wood yourself, but you can read about what you need to do here.

A copper bath is included in the list of the most expensive options when choosing such products. Copper has anticorrosive properties, and is also characterized by the ability to secrete specific bactericidal acids.

Such material does not require additional enamel coating. Metal has exquisite properties, gives originality and style. Considering the elite options for bathtubs, copper will become a real decoration of any room.

The second criterion is size and shape

The plumbing market offers various levels of width, product length and depth. Based on such parameters, you need to approach the choice of the bath as responsibly as possible. After all, its use can cause various inconveniences and discomfort.

The main sizes of bathtubs
Five main forms of bathtubs are considered popular among users: rectangular, angular, round, oval and non-standard, as well as for 1, 2 and 3 people

Products come in lengths of 150, 170 and 180 centimeters. If desired, on the market you can find a custom size bathtub, for example, 200 centimeters or more. Before proceeding with the purchase, you first need to measure your height, as well as the distance in the room.

You can determine the width of the product based on the complex of people who will use it. Most often, bathtubs are from 75 to 100 cm wide.

The depth of the bowl in many cases is 65 centimeters, there are always exceptions.Now manufacturers offer less deep baths and vice versa. To determine the ideal depth, you should measure the parameters of the body, namely the growth of each user. After all, if knees stick out of it in the process of taking a bath, this is not pleasant.

For more information on standard bath sizes, see this article.

Criterion Three - Extra Comfort

Safety and convenience are the priority factors for manufacturers of such products.

For example, some cast-iron bathtubs have an additional coating on top of the main layer of enamel. This provides protection against slipping and eliminates injuries that are relevant for children and adults.

The surface inside the bath may also have an antibacterial coating that contains a small fraction of silver ions. Imported manufacturers make models with armrests, auxiliary support for the back, handles on the left and right side, as well as original pillows under the head.

Sample cast iron bathtub with hydromassage
Cast iron bathtub with hydromassage system, which consists of jets and nozzles mounted on the walls of the bathtub, as well as a water pump, pipes and an air compressor

A hydromassage bathtub is a wonderful invention, giving incredible sensations, relieving fatigue. If you prefer an acrylic bathtub, but still cannot decide which one to choose - a product with hydromassage system will bring many benefits.

For example, it will affect the circulation of lymph, promote good relaxation of the body, replenish vitality and increase the energy charge of the body.

Each person decides which product suits him best. But before purchasing, you should consider the material, value and reputation of the company.

Key Benefits and Major Disadvantages

If you are stuck on choosing the best bath and have not decided which one to choose, it is best to weigh all the "pros" and "cons". Because the cases are all individual and each buyer has his own requirements, wishes, preferences and financial opportunities.

The main advantages of a cast-iron bathtub

Products made of cast iron:

  • They are the most “silent”, and with a normal impact do not give an echo. The pouring water is barely audible, sometimes even silent.
  • Bathtubs made of this material have low thermal conductivity, which allows water to cool not so quickly.
  • Ease of maintenance is very characteristic of cast iron. The product with glossy enamel is easy to clean. No dirt builds up on the surface of the bath.
  • Durability and durability are the main factors that have made cast iron bathtubs so popular. And it's not a habit at all.

The product with enamel coating has a pleasant shine. What acrylic does not have.

Cast iron bath disadvantages

Impressive weight. A bathtub made of such material is almost unbearable. This will provide additional troubles associated with the transportation and installation of the product.

Table of sizes and weights of bathtubs
The dimensions and weight of cast-iron plumbing are not the last factor of choice. Before buying, you must consider the size of the room, choose the best option for transportation, installation and connection. Another very important landmark is the combination of future users

Enamel is vulnerable, it can impressively suffer from an unexpected fall of a foreign object. No matter how high-quality it is, if you drop a metal part inside or just a heavy thing, a piece of enamel may break off or cracks will appear.

But such an object must also be either very massive, or have a strange shape in order to damage the surface. One way or another, the restoration of a cast-iron bathtub is a common practice.

The form. The choice is very small. The bulk of the cast-iron bathtubs are made in the shape of a rectangle and there are practically no alternatives to this.

The price of cast-iron bathtubs varies greatly depending on the manufacturer, the availability of additional features and, of course, size.

The most significant benefits of an acrylic bath

One of the very first advantages of an acrylic bath is the ease of installation. When compared with a cast-iron bath, the weight of our product will be significantly less. This means that transporting and installing an acrylic bathtub will be less problematic.

Acrylic bathtub is of absolutely any shape, as well as a variety of colors. You can choose only your favorite color for yourself. The interesting thing is that all colors are very persistent. Even after many years of continuous operation, the color will remain the same, since it is set at the stage of formation of the product shape.

Acrylic bathtubs are characterized by low thermal conductivity, which allows water to cool by only 1 degree for every 30 minutes.

Any minor damage can easily be hidden. To do this, you just need to use one of the repair kits that construction shops offer in assortment.

Acrylic Bath Damage
Cracks, chips and scratches can also be repaired using polish and other repair compounds directly upon damage.

This type of product, although smooth to the touch, is not slippery at all.

Most acrylic bathtubs have several fiberglass reinforcing layers. If, after much deliberation, the choice fell on an acrylic product, be sure that the option will last a long time.

Cons acrylic bathtubs

The acrylic product has a set of minuses, like other bathtubs, even though this type is very common and convenient:

  • Still, there is a chance that acrylic is able to change color. It is better to try not to drain the water after washing, especially from colored clothes. Using bad water from the water supply is likely to cause the bath material to turn yellow. Not immediately, but gradually.
  • The walls of the bath are constantly scratched inside. Damage to the surface of an acrylic bath appears much faster than, for example, in a cast iron bath. As mentioned above, such scratches can be easily fixed.

High-quality acrylic bathtubs cost several times more than cast iron products, but manufacturers of acrylic plumbing on average guarantee 10-12 years of operation.

Find out how to choose the best!

Of course, you can turn to professionals, plumbers with great experience, so as not to be mistaken.

But you also need to consider the recommendations that will make the right choice.

We list the most important of them:

  1. The choice of bath should be determined by the level of comfort and the characteristics of its functionality.
  2. Before purchasing, you need to make sure that the water supply system is fully consistent with the selected product.
  3. Find out if the siphon is included with the bath or if you need to purchase it separately.
  4. Check that it fits the hole.
  5. If the bath does not have an overflow protection system, you should completely abandon the purchase. Additional flexible hoses made of plastic are connected to the sewer.
  6. If the bath has cracks, chips or other damage, its cost will be significantly less. Acquiring this option is also undesirable.
  7. It is better to buy a faucet immediately with the product, so that it fully matches the style of the bath.

And the last, one of the most significant recommendations - when buying cast iron, acrylic or other types of products, it is best to do this from well-known manufacturers. In this case, you can fully count on the warranty and after-sales service of the equipment.

Conclusions and useful video on the topic

Expert opinions: acrylic or cast iron, what to choose:

A brief overview of the main differences between the bathtubs:

How and which of the existing bathtubs is better to choose:

How to insulate a bath with foam:

If you still have not decided on the choice of a bathtub, take cast-iron or acrylic, here are some more tips. The first is more suitable for modern people who are striving for new achievements. She still justifies herself when the bath needs to be dragged to the last floors. Cast iron is more suitable for lovers of durable and environmentally friendly products.

Regardless of the choice, any of the baths described will last for a long time with proper care. Whatever model you choose, the product should bring only harmony to your home.

Can you talk about how to choose a bath and what guided this? Please share your experience with our readers in the block below.

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Visitors Comments
  1. Karina

    We have a 4 sqm bathroom, where there was an ordinary cast-iron bowl. We decided to install a small one so that there was a place for a laundry basket, etc. As a result, they bought enamelled steel on 1.2 m, very satisfied. Bathroom amenities remain, but it’s easier to wash. We are not lovers of temptation, so the size does not interfere. I did not notice any sound radically different from the cast-iron one.

  2. Olesya

    My husband and I argued for a long time about what kind of bath to put. The old cast-iron has already become obsolete, I wanted acrylic: it is both lighter and modern material, and does not require special care. The husband insisted on a new cast-iron, they say, they have long established themselves, and the next one will last 100 years. They chose acrylic, as they listened to the experts, and they assured that it was easier to install, and in terms of durability it was the same as cast iron, you just need to clean it carefully with special tools, do not rub it hard.

  3. Vladimir

    If the bath, then only cast iron. There are no problems with them and never will be. The most durable and indestructible option, and all these newfangled acrylics are not for me for sure.

  4. Anton

    Cast iron, of course, is not killed, but why do these baths constantly yellowness in a few years appears? The trouble is even modern bathtubs. How to deal with it?

    • Maria Govorukhina

      Hello. Not cast iron turns yellow, but its coating due to poor-quality water, improperly selected care products, poor-quality coating. Recommendations for cleaning a specific coating, regular cleaning of the bathroom and its drying, after each washing in it, water filters, will help to avoid.

      • Maria Govorukhina

        There are options with cast iron oxide, but for this there should be either an uneven protective coating or mechanical damage.

    • Expert
      Nikolay Fedorenko

      Hello. It is necessary to carry out preventive bath cleanings with special products every six months at least. Since over time, even on a cast-iron bath, even on acrylic, a coating of dirt and fat deposits forms, which cannot be washed off with plain water. Lime deposits may also form on the surface of the bathtubs. The worse the quality of the water, the more actively limescale will form.

      To remove body fat, I recommend using Ravak Ceaner (cost about $ 8). To remove limescale or even rust, it is better to use an inexpensive, but practical Sarma Anti-Rust tool (cost 1-1.5 dollars).

      As for yellowness, it is not cast iron that turns yellow, but its coating due to poor-quality water, improperly selected care products, and poor-quality coating. Recommendations for cleaning a specific coating, regular cleaning of the bathroom and its drying, after each washing in it, water filters, will help to avoid. There are options with cast iron oxide, but for this there should be either an uneven protective coating or mechanical damage.

      Attached photos: