Freestanding tubs have become one of the most popular bathroom features. That's because freestanding tubs are attractive, comfortable, and work well in a variety of bathroom layouts. Freestanding tubs are constructed out of various types of materials and feature different finishes and designs to help you achieve the look you desire in your main or guest bathroom.
There is really no one-size-fits all answer to the question: What is the best material for a freestanding bathtub? Popular freestanding tub materials include acrylic, cast iron, copper, and solid surface stone. Each material has its own pros and cons. The best type of freestanding tub for your bathroom will depend on which features (like durability and bacteria resistance) are the most important to you as well as the look you are trying to achieve.
While the bestmaterial for freestanding tubs may be subjective, the most popular freestanding tub material is, without a doubt, acrylic. According to the 2021 U.S. Houzz Bathroom Trends Study, “Freestanding acrylic soaking tubs are by far the most popular bathtub style, material and type.”
Freestanding bathtubs made from acrylic material are so popular because they are lightweight and easy to maintain. Acrylic is a versatile plastic that can be molded into different shapes without losing its structural integrity. The surface of acrylic is smooth and non-porous, which provides resistance to mold, mildew, and other bacteria – and makes it easy to clean. Non-porous acrylic is also resistant to chipping, cracking, and warping. When combined with fiberglass reinforcement, acrylic freestanding tubs can be quite durable.
Many homeowners also choose acrylic freestanding tubs because they are affordable and relatively easy to install. Because they are so lightweight compared to most other bathtub materials, acrylic freestanding bathtubs can usually be installed directly on top of floor joists without additional reinforcement or subfloor work. This makes acrylic a good choice for DIYers who want to install their own bathtub.
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Cast iron is another extremely popular freestanding tub material, prized for its classic, luxurious look. Cast iron is by far the heaviest freestanding tub material. Cast iron freestanding tubs are made from an iron-carbon alloy coated in porcelain or enamel to prevent chipping and provide a smooth, aesthetically pleasing surface that’s easy to clean.
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Copper is another popular freestanding tub material because of its high-end yet rustic aesthetic. Copper has natural anti-bacterial properties and will last for decades with proper maintenance and care. The surface of a copper freestanding tub can be either smooth or hammered (which makes it easier to hide small imperfections like scratches that may accrue over time). Some copper tub designs incorporate additional materials like nickel. While copper is still a low-maintenance freestanding bathtub material, it does require more care than other materials like acrylic.
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Another popular material for freestanding tub materials is solid surface stone. A solid surface freestanding tub is constructed out of a mix of all-natural minerals and man-made synthetic materials like epoxy or polyester resins. Easily moldable, solid surface stone tubs are available in a variety of different shapes, sizes, and styles. A non-porous and low-maintenance material, solid surface stone has an attractive, smooth finish. This non-porous surface is water-resistant and bacteria resistant. Scratching is rare and easy to repair.
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Cons for Solid Surface Tubs:
If you are looking for the type of freestanding bathtub that will last the longest, consider a bathtub constructed from ultra-durable materials like copper, cast iron, or solid surface stone.
If you want to avoid minor imperfections like scratches accruing over time, try looking for a solid surface freestanding tub which has a highly scratch-resistant surface that can be easily repaired by sanding and polishing.
If you are looking for a great value, consider purchasing an acrylic freestanding tub which offers many features important to most homeowners like heat retention and ease of installation at an excellent price.
Or contact our Customer Service team for a one-on-one consultation to find out which type of freestanding bathtub will best fit your lifestyle and complete your bathroom remodel.