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Walk-in tubs are made of either acrylic, fiberglass, or a combination of the two. Although both materials are strong and reliable, acrylic is the stronger and low-maintenance choice. Fiberglass does not always live up to acrylic's qualities but it is much cheaper, and that has key benefits just on its own.
Acrylic is a polymer material that is easy to mold, extremely durable and low maintenance, making it the cost-effective material of choice to manufacture. Acrylic walk-in tubs or bathtub units, in general, usually come with built-in shelves because they’re so easy to mold during construction. By stretching large volumes of acrylic over a body of any shape and size, the acrylic is then covered with a layer of resin and glass fibers in a pressure vacuum to make it stronger and to give it a glossy finish. Acrylic is more expensive than other materials but it pays off because it is nonporous, doesn’t develop scratches, maintains its glossy look and lasts longer than other materials.
Rundown of benefits:
Fiberglass is a polyester material that is also easy to mold, and cheaper than acrylic to purchase and manufacture. Fiberglass walk-in tubs are cheaper, which means that you could get the same specifications, sizes, and features by a fraction of the price just by switching to fiberglass. The main drawback with fiberglass bathtubs, generally speaking, is that they are prone to stains and scratches more than acrylic, although they are easy to clean and softer on the skin. Fiberglass has a smooth, shiny, strong surface but it doesn’t always last the life of a bathtub even with proper cleaning and maintenance as it is more prone to stains and scratches. A walk-in tub could still last more than a decade since its use is more safety oriented than regular bathtubs. Its users are mainly up to two seniors who are more careful and are always in a seated position, making the chances of scratches and disfigurements very unlikely.
Rundown of benefits:
Both acrylic and fiberglass walk-in tubs are easy to clean, although you should avoid abrasive chemicals and use soft cloths to maintain a glossy surface.
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