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Deciding Between Cast Iron and Acrylic Clawfoot Bathtubs

When shopping for Clawfoot Bathtubs, consumers quickly learn these products can be purchased in cast iron or acrylic models. They’ll want to understand the advantages and disadvantages of each type before deciding which to have installed in their home. Either material provides a vintage or antique look to a master bath or another bathroom in the home. The tubs are large, creating a comfortable and relaxing bathing experience.


Cast iron tubs, which are lined with porcelain, cost more than acrylic models. The materials used are more expensive, and more labor is required during manufacturing. In contrast, acrylic tubs are more affordable, which is important for homeowners with a restricted budget.


A cast iron tub is much heavier than other bathtubs and more than twice as heavy as an acrylic tub of similar dimensions. The homeowners must make sure the floor where it will be installed can support that weight when considering the added weight of water and at least one person. All told, this could amount to about 1,000 lbs.


The porcelain layer in a cast iron tub is more resistant to staining than acrylic is. That means an acrylic tub must be cleaned more frequently to prevent stains from setting. Both should be cleaned with nonabrasive cleansers to avoid scratching the material. Accumulation of stubborn soap scum on porcelain can be tackled with a mild abrasive cleanser.

Porcelain, however, is vulnerable to cracking. Everyone must be careful never to drop any hard object onto the lining of the tub or it might need to be reglazed. This is not a concern with acrylic unless the object has sharp edges. Typically, these types of damage only occur when kids are playing with metal toys in the bathtub.


Homeowners may not feel too concerned about whether any of their bathroom fixtures will last for more than 100 years. Nevertheless, it’s worth mentioning that a cast iron bathtub easily has a lifespan of that range and even longer. Generations from now, someone might buy this house and keep the bathtub because it looks exactly the same as it did when first installed.