Acrylic or Cast Iron Freestanding Tub?

LizSeptember 28, 2011

I am building a new home and having a hard time choosing between two tubs. The first tub is the Kohler 5.5ft Reve freestanding tub which is a cast iron. The other tub is caml-tomlin Element 68F32 acrylic tub. Is acrylic or cast iron better? What about aesthetics? Is it worth it to spend the extra money to get the cast iron? Any recommendations?

Thanks!

http://www.camltomlin.com/store/show/149

Here is a link that might be useful: Kohler Tub

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graceshan

We are planning to go with acrylic mainly due to cost and because I just want the bathtub to look nice and give me a good bath. Beyond that, I'm not too concerned with whether it is cast iron or not. I'll be reading your thread to see comments though!

    Bookmark   September 29, 2011 at 1:00AM
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michoumonster

i have been reading up on the pros and cons of this also and i have chosen to go the cast iron route. there are lots of old posts from the bathroom forum, btw.. from what i gather, the cast iron is better in that it retains heat better, so you can soak longer. also, acrylic can potentially discolor over time. the good thing about acrylic is that it is light, so if you are putting it in an older home you don't have to worry about the weight and supports, etc.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2011 at 1:53AM
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sierraeast

If you go acrylic, you want to make sure the base/bottom is supported. Some acrylics eventually get cracks from stepping in and out weakens the bottom of the tub. We set ours in a base of foam when we set it. Some plumbers throw in batts insulation under it, anything somewhat resilient but supportive. High end or low end, most acrylic tubs need the extra support.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2011 at 9:54AM
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chisue

Freestanding? Cast iron only, with a high quality porcelain finish.

Built-in airjet tub with built in heater? Acrylic is fine.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2011 at 12:10PM
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Liz

Thanks for the opinions. I think I will for the cast iron one. We are trying to stay on budget but I think it is worth splurging on.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2011 at 7:19PM
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tinycastles

I did an acrylic clawfoot slipper tub with airjets. To the best of my knowledge, an individual cannot get a cast iron jetted tub. It's white with bronze feet and 5 1/2 feet in length. I could have purchased an iron tub (almost any other brand except Kohler) for same price or less but I really wanted an airtub. Most of the Kohler tubs had feet which were required but not included in price. Also very expensive, definitely more than I wanted to pay. My tub may not be 'historically accurate' but it sure makes for a nice bath, and it keeps the water warm too:)

    Bookmark   September 29, 2011 at 10:07PM
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sierraeast

My comment on supporting acrylics doesn't apply to the op's freestanding tub, only to deck and wall mounted. Time to get the eyeballs checked!

    Bookmark   September 30, 2011 at 10:40AM
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mgabriel

We were building a new/old house and ended up going with freestanding Cast Iron tub in each bathroom. Personally, I like the feel of Cast Iron and supposedly it does retain heat better.

Here is a link that might be useful: Cast Iron tub and sink

    Bookmark   October 27, 2011 at 5:18PM
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archson

Have you looked at the free standing tubs from Victoria + Albert?

We went with the Ios... they are made from a combination of Volcanic lime stone and Resin and hold heat very well.

http://www.vandabaths.com/usa/index.php

    Bookmark   October 31, 2011 at 10:44AM
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montanapacnw

Like archson, we also chose a Victoria + Albert tub, the Asia. It hasn't been installed yet, so I can't give any true feedback but the feel of it seems different than other acrylic tubs - more substantial.

In doing research I found that while cast iron has a reputation of retaining heat better, it sucks heat out of the water initially because it starts out as a colder material. You have to get it warm before it can retain that heat. Some people claim that their acrylic tubs lost water temperature very fast, others didn't. It may be a wash (bad pun, sorry), so try to figure out how long you stay in the tub, how often you will actually use it, find one you like and go from there.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2011 at 3:10PM
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brickeyee

"if you are putting it in an older home you don't have to worry about the weight and supports, etc.

Water weights over 8 pounds per gallon, plus the wight of the occupant means ANY tub is a large load.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2011 at 4:14PM
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mjtx2

What's the cost of the V&A tubs? How do they compare with cast iron or acrylic?

    Bookmark   November 5, 2011 at 3:17AM
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archson

I think ours was about 3k if I remember correctly.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2011 at 7:55AM
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landngarage

Curious if anyone knows of a larger version of something like this "traditional" free-standing tub? It's a 64"....

Here is a link that might be useful: 64

    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 5:39AM
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bevangel_i_h8_h0uzz

landngarage - check out Signature Hardware's Clawfoot tubs. They have cast iron and acrylic (including air tubs) and hammered copper in all sorts of styles (slipper, double slipper, rolltop) and sizes ranging up to 72". And I found them to be a GREAT company to work with.

Here is a link that might be useful: Signature Hardware's clawfoot tubs

    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 7:14AM
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kamkar2006

Whichever brand you use I would say cast iron. I love the look and feel. I think when you look at the difference the cast iron looks so pretty. We did a elizabethan classic cast iron claw foot in cast iron and it was relatively inexpensive on the whole cast iron spectrum.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 8:16AM
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pbx2_gw

Posted by landngarage (My Page) on Tue, Jul 17, 12 at 5:39:
Curious if anyone knows of a larger version of something like this "traditional" free-standing tub? It's a 64"....

We worked with these folks (Bath of Distinction) & they were wonderful to deal with.
Prices are very competitive.
We were lucky enough to visit their warehouse near Tampa & got a first hand touch & feel tour of each of the bathtubs we were interested in.

Includes Faucet, Drain & Supply Lines also which a lot of other places charge you $500+ in addition to the tub.
Free delivery & great warranty & customer service.

Check out the link below for a 67" single slipper resembling your request. There is also a 59" & 73" sizes also.

Also check out the size chart link for how it would look inside the tub @ various sizes.
(http://www.bathsofdistinction.com/size_chart_s/143.htm)

Here is a link that might be useful: Baths of Distinction 67 Single Slipper

    Bookmark   July 19, 2012 at 10:20AM
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landngarage

Thank you Bevangel and pbx2. A large slipper tub would fit just perfect into my plan's big window shed dormer.

But it may have to be a "watch this space" proposition!

    Bookmark   July 19, 2012 at 1:57PM
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