Acrylic vs Steel Tubs – Which is Best for Your Bathroom?

Acrylic vs Steel tub

Acrylic vs steel tubs are two of the most popular choices when building a new bathroom, and there are several factors to consider when making the decision between these two options.

This article will give you all the information you need to decide whether an acrylic tub or steel tub will be the best choice for your new bathroom remodel or addition.

At the end of this article, you’ll have all the information you need to make an informed decision about which type of tub will work best in your unique situation!

What is an Acrylic tub?

Vanity Art 59.1 inch Acrylic Bathtub 1
Vanity Art Acrylic Bathtub

Acrylic tubs are made from acrylic plastic and are usually cheaper than other types of bathtubs. The plastic can be molded into any shape and size, including custom designs. The acrylic material is also very durable, so it can withstand daily use by the entire family without showing signs of wear and tear.

The best part about acrylic tubs is that they do not require any special maintenance like other types of bathtubs. You do not need to wax or scrub the tub regularly to keep it looking new.

Related: Best Alcove bathtub

What is a Steel tub?

Rizzon Steel Tub
Rizzon Porcelain Steel Bathtub

A steel tub is a type of bathtub that is made from a sheet of steel and later protected with porcelain enamel. It can be used as a freestanding bathtub or as an in-ground tub. The advantage of using steel tubs is that they are less expensive than porcelain or cast iron tubs. Steel tubs are also easy to clean, so they can be used in both residential and commercial applications.

Related: Hammock Bathtub

Let’s take a look at the comparison between both types of tub.

Acrylic tub vs Steel Comparison Side by Side

Acrylic tubs and steel tubs are both durable and affordable, though each has its own pros and cons that make one or the other better depending on your specific needs. But which bathtub should you choose?

The answer will depend on whether you need it to be watertight, how often you’ll use it, and how important aesthetics are to you when compared with price and durability.

Let’s take a look at both acrylic and steel tubs to see which one is right for your bathroom!


Acrylic bathtubs and steel bathtubs both are affordable.

Compared to an acrylic tub, a steel bathtub can be more affordable. If you’re looking for a long-term investment. However, it’s important to consider whether or not your bathroom will have enough space for a larger steel tub.

Heat Retention

The ability of a bathtub to retain heat is important to many buyers. Acrylic has been known to retain heat longer than steel.

Because of its heat retention properties, an acrylic tub tends to stay warmer than a steel one. This can be especially useful if you’re using it in the winter months!

Related: Acrylic vs Cast iron tub


Because acrylic is a plastic, it tends to be less durable than steel tubs. This means Steel tubs can withstand the wear and tear of daily use over time.

Related: Acrylic vs Porcelain tub


Acrylic is more prone to scratches than steel, but both types of bathtubs will require regular cleaning. If you have small children or pets in your household, then it’s probably best to go with a steel tub because they can be easier to keep clean. However, if you don’t have children or pets, then steel might be a better option because it’s harder to scratch and dent than acrylic.

Chipping or Rusting

Acrylic bathtubs are generally lighter than steel ones, but they’re also more fragile. Acrylic is a hard plastic that can chip and crack when it’s scratched or dented.

Steel baths are stronger than acrylic ones, so they don’t chip or crack easily. They’re also quieter than acrylic baths when water flows through them. However, steel baths are generally more expensive than acrylic ones, and they may require extra maintenance because steel rusts if you don’t treat it properly.

Related: Fiberglass vs Porcelain tub

Noise Making

Both types of bathtubs will make noise when being filled with water or when someone uses them for bathing purposes. However, acrylic baths tend to make more noise when water moves through them.

This can be distracting at times so if noise bothers you then it might be best to choose steel material for your bathroom renovation project altogether!


Steel baths tend to be easier to install than acrylic ones because they’re heavier and don’t need any kind of special tools or skills to get them into place. Acrylic tubs require the help of a professional installer who knows how to work with the material.

Related: Acrylic vs Fiberglass tub

Important note:

Acrylic bathtubs can be installed directly in the wall while steel tubs must be installed with a support structure underneath the tub. This support structure can be the floor or another existing structure


The most notable difference between acrylic bathtubs and steel bathtubs is their weight. Acrylic bathtubs are much lighter than steel tubs, which makes them easier to move around and install. This is especially important when you’re working with a smaller space or if you’re doing your own DIY project at home.

Related: Best Small Bathtubs


Acrylic bathtubs are more appealing to the eye because of their clear color, which makes them look like glass or crystal. On the other hand, steel bathtubs only offer 1 or 2 color options which makes them less attractive than acrylic ones.

Acrylic vs Steel Tub Pros and Cons

Acrylic and steel bathtubs are two different kinds of bathtubs that have their own pros and cons. If you’re in the market to replace your tub with either one, it’s important to know what sets them apart from each other so that you can choose the option that’s best for your bathroom and your budget.

Acrylic Tubs Pros and Cons

Acrylic tubs are constructed using acrylic, which makes them lightweight, low-maintenance, and affordable compared to steel tubs, which can be too heavy and expensive to install in small bathrooms where both types of tubs are often used. That said, there are some drawbacks to acrylic tubs that may make you choose a steel tub instead, or at least opt for other materials in addition to your acrylic tub when possible.


Acrylic tubs are available in many colors and styles, including rounded corners and straight edges, so you can find one that fits your bathroom perfectly.

Does not rust

Since acrylic tubs are made from plastic rather than metal, they don’t rust like older models do when exposed to humidity or water damage over time.


Acrylic tubs are lightweight, which makes them easy to move and install. They also come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors, so you can find the perfect fit for your space.


Acrylic tubs also come with a whirlpool option. The water won’t get too hot, so it’s perfect for relaxing and soaking after a long day. 

Prone to chipping

One thing to keep in mind with acrylic tubs is they tend to chip more easily than other types of bathtubs. This is because they are made out of plastic, which means it’s not as durable as other materials such as cast iron or porcelain.

Steel Tubs Pros and Cons

Steel Bathtubs are one of the most popular types of bathtubs on the market today. Steel tubs offer durability, elegance, and functionality to your bathroom. However, they also have a few drawbacks that you should know before you make your purchase.


Steel tubs are made from high-quality materials that are easily cleanable from water and other chemicals. They also have a long life span and can last for many years without needing replacement.

Easy installation

Steel tubs can be installed quickly and easily in just about any location. Just put them in place and fill them with water!


Because steel tubs are made from high-quality materials and contain no plastics or other synthetic parts, they weigh more than other types of tubs. This means that they will not move around during use, making them safer than some other types of tubs.

Regular Maintenance

Steel tubs are heavy, which means that they may not work well in areas where there’s no flooring or foundation underneath them. They also require regular maintenance, including washing and sealing every few months.

What is an acrylic and steel bathtub made of?

Acrylic bathtubs are made of a plastic polymer called acrylic. It is very durable, low-maintenance, and resists scratches and dents. Steel bathtubs are made from steel alloy, which is a combination of metals that has high tensile strength.

Bottom Line

Acrylic tubs are more affordable than steel tubs, and they can come in many shapes and styles to match the design of your bathroom. However, they’re also not as sturdy or durable as steel tubs, which could lead to problems down the road. On the other hand, steel tubs are sturdier than acrylic ones, which makes them better if you have pets or children who might damage the tub with hard knocks or rough play.

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