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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    43

    Default Advise on buying new tub?

    We're remodeling our bathroom and I thought I'd ask you experts about the tub.

    What tub material would you recommend that keeps the water warmest longest and what material would look the wear the best over the long term?

    We'd also like to have an undermount tub with a granite deck surround. What should we know when in comes to monitoring the installation/fabricating the surround to prevent overflow leaks?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Houston Texas
    Posts
    3,201

    Default Re: Advise on buying new tub?

    Acrylic / fiberglass tubs are wonderful for keeping water from losing much heat. Bain Ultra has a line of tubs that will heat the water with warm air so there is no need to add more hot water.

    Setting the tub in foam instead of a ceement bed will help, but some tub manufacturers will not specify that mode of installation.

    As far as the undermount situation, if there is no shower involved, waterproofing will be much easier. The fine folks at the John Bridge Tile Forum can help you with that portion of the project.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    8,065

    Default Re: Advise on buying new tub?

    You will get the best wear out of a steel or cast iron tub. An acrylic or fiberglass tub will be warmer and not wick heat out of bath water as readily. Steel/cast iron is virtually maintenance free, while A/F tubs will require regular polishing/sealing to keep them clean and the surface sealed to prevent staining.
    Come to Hidden Content for all your DIY needs

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: Advise on buying new tub?

    Quote Originally Posted by A. Spruce View Post
    You will get the best wear out of a steel or cast iron tub. An acrylic or fiberglass tub will be warmer and not wick heat out of bath water as readily. Steel/cast iron is virtually maintenance free, while A/F tubs will require regular polishing/sealing to keep them clean and the surface sealed to prevent staining.
    Are the cast iron tubs similar, or the same, as the tubs from way back in my grandfather's day? The ones with the claw feet and the white enamel that sometimes chipped if you dropped something heavy into it? I loved the old tub my grandfather had and wished we had taken it out, and replaced it with a new one, when we sold the house. I would have kept it for my house.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Houston Texas
    Posts
    3,201

    Default Re: Advise on buying new tub?

    Yes they are made the same way with porcelain over cast iron. Some have feet, some have aprons, some are drop in and come with a guide on how to adjust your truss after install.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    43

    Default Re: Advise on buying new tub?

    Are there different "grades" of acrylic tubs? I'm seeing some that look the same but one is $900, another is
    $1400, yet another is $2500. The sales associate couldn't satisfactorily explain the difference.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: Advise on buying new tub?

    Enameled steel is very good option but you can go for Cast iron also as it is very durable and they don't chip as easily as steel because enamel coating is very thicker. You can choose any beautiful design according to your taste though if i were in your shoes I would have gone for white timberframe.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    8,065

    Default Re: Advise on buying new tub?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rootoo View Post
    Are the cast iron tubs similar, or the same, as the tubs from way back in my grandfather's day? The ones with the claw feet and the white enamel that sometimes chipped if you dropped something heavy into it? I loved the old tub my grandfather had and wished we had taken it out, and replaced it with a new one, when we sold the house. I would have kept it for my house.
    Yes, they are made the same way as olden days, but likely with time and financial scrutiny, not as good as your grandfather's tub. That is not to say that today's enameled tubs are bad, only that maybe the cast iron or steel isn't quite as thick, and the enamel isn't quite as thick, which makes it a little more susceptible to thermal dynamics. Still, enamel is a far more durable surface than acrylic or fiberglass gel coat.
    Come to Hidden Content for all your DIY needs

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    7,760

    Default Re: Advise on buying new tub?

    Cast iron and Acrylic tubs hold heat pretty well. Keep in mind that you have a lot of heat loss from the surface of the water in the tub. That's why, for long baths, you need to add hot water from time to time.

    If I had to choose, I'd go with Cast Iron. Heavier than Acrylic, Cast Iron will last longer barring unfortunate accidents, and be a little pricier to install.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    2,737

    Default Re: Advise on buying new tub?

    If heavy steel or cast iron doesn't suit you, then go with the best acrylic or fiberglass you can afford. The cheap stuff these days is just that- cheap and not durable.

    My solution to cold metal tubs isn't energy efficient but it works. Run the water too hot, let it sit and warm the metal tub, then when the water temp settles down to what you want jump in and the metal will be warm too.

    Phil

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