acrylic or cast iron tub?

elizawhyzaOctober 13, 2011

We're remodeling three baths. For the master we want a stand alone tub, but for 2 others we want combo tub and shower. If we're doing tile around each of these can we use acrylic tubs, or is it better to stick to porcelain? Any opinons about porcelain over steel, versus true cast iron?

We aren't looking for bells and whistles on these 2 tubs, and would like to be in the $600 range for each.


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We got cast iron tubs for our two main bathrooms (and a cast iron shower pan for the guest bathroom). We chose cast iron for its durability and heat retention.

Ours are Toto 1525's. They don't have bells and whistles, they are purely "soaking" tubs (with no slip grips built in). They are comfy (for those all-to-rare, nice long soaks!) and are surprisingly roomy, though had we had more space in the bathrooms, I certainly wouldn't mind longer tubs.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2011 at 3:09PM
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I, too, have a strong bias for cast-iron bathtubs. I replaced the guest/hallway bathroom with a Kohler Mendota, and, after a year of every day use, I'm very happy with it. For the master bath, I'm considering the Kohler Memoirs. I can't remember exactly how much I paid for it, but I believe it was definitely over $600, more in the $700-$800 range. I bought mine from and the delivery was a very good experience.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2011 at 11:59PM
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Thanks very much for the input. You have confirmed my hunch.

One thing I also read is that white acrylic can discolor, but I wonder if that is a thing of the past, or still an issue.

The Kohler Mendota sounds like a possibility for us for the two upstairs baths. I have heard great things about faucet direct, so glad you had a good experience.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2011 at 3:55PM
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Yes, I would also like to know about this discoloring issue.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2011 at 4:49PM
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You're welcome elizawhyza! Good luck on your bathroom projects!

    Bookmark   October 14, 2011 at 11:41PM
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Another confirmed Cast Iron only tub lover here -

your GC/plumber may try convincing you otherwise

Kohler memoirs

But the Kohler Villager is the best buy in town for a hall/childrens bath

    Bookmark   October 15, 2011 at 10:41AM
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I think I will probably go with the villager for upstairs. We had a memoirs tub we probably should have saved, but the whole thing went away when we decided to remodel that bath. We're moving our bedroom from upstairs to downstairs (taking over 2 first floor bedrooms), and the former master bedroom is being made into 3 bedrooms. There is already another bedroom up there, so with 4 bedrooms on that floor, we then thought it was better to have 2 baths, so we are now adding a bath, in addition to remodeling the bath that was already on that floor. The second bath was not anticipated, so we're looking to keep the costs reasonable on the upstairs fixtures. I want them to look nice, of course, but not over the top. I wish there was something a little fancier than the villager, but not as pricey as the memoirs but since there isn't, I'll settle for the villager! Thanks, again, for the input.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2011 at 4:48PM
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Thumbs up to cast iron. Enameled steel (eg. Americast) is tinny and creaks unless you have it installed "better than perfect", so avoid if you can. Of course, installers usually say it'll be fine, etc. etc. but trust me, it's difficult to get it not to creak when you step inside one.

Of course, enameled steel are available because you won't break your back lifting them.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2011 at 4:49AM
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