Everyone who faces a repair in the bathroom, wonders which bath is better - acrylic, steel or cast iron. To date, the market has a huge selection of bathtubs, made of cast iron, steel, acrylic. On request, you can make a bath even from natural stone, wood and the so-called kvarila - a composite material made of acrylic and quartz sand. Each type of these products has its advantages and disadvantages.
The choice of a bath begins with the manufacture of its material, since it will depend on the comfort of the entire room.
The choice of a bath begins with its material, since it depends on its quality and comfort. Let's see what distinguishes these cast-iron, acrylic and steel products.
If the premise of a bathroom has small dimensions, then the best option for it is a standard rectangular bath. The most common are such sizes of cast-iron products: 150x70, 160x70, 170x70, sometimes there are 180x80 and 120x70. They are straight and sedentary. Their depth can be 40-42 cm, but there are also deeper specimens - 45 and 50 cm.
The device of a cast-iron bath.
Cast-iron baths are rectangular and oval in shape. Less common are angular cast-iron specimens. For a small room, in addition to the standard rectangular option, the small corner cast-iron bath can also be optimal.
By the method of installation, cast iron baths are built-in and independently installed fonts. Domestic manufacturers produce only models on legs.
In the assortment of Spanish and French manufacturers of choice more. Baths can be both stand-alone and built-in. There is also a large selection of legs for free-standing fonts.
Cast-iron products are time-tested and have many advantages:
Cast-iron bath имеет долгий срок службы, хорошо держит тепло, прочна, эстетична.
- Long service life. According to this parameter, cast iron baths have no equal. Careful operation and proper maintenance will ensure long-term service of the product from cast iron, and it will not lose its original appearance.
- Cast iron keeps the heat well. Water in a cast-iron bath does not cool down for a long time. It is this characteristic that puts cast iron in the lead. However, manufacturers of acrylic baths, argue that acrylic in this is not inferior to cast iron. But about this below.
- Strength. Cast iron in its structure is very durable and reliable material. With mechanical action, it will not bend or burst. With a strong impact, only enamel can suffer.
- Easy care. Enamel, which covers cast iron, has no pores, and therefore it does not allow the accumulation of dirt on the surface. Cleaning of cast iron can be done by any detergent that does not contain abrasive substances, acid and chlorine.
- Aesthetics. With good care enamel for a long time will please with its noble color and shine.
From the disadvantages of baths made of cast iron can be identified:
The drawbacks of the cast iron bath include the erasure of the enamel, a small choice and a heavy weight.
- In the course of many years of operation, the enamel still gives way to abrasion and becomes rough. On it there are pores in which water remains, when drying it forms a yellow calcareous plaque.
- The resulting cleavage of enamel on its own can not be eliminated. Restoration work is required.
- A very small choice of forms of domestic cast-iron baths, and the price of beautiful imported specimens is very high. However, if you need a regular rectangular bath of standard sizes, then this lack ceases to be so.
- Cast-iron baths are very heavy, they weigh about 100 kg or more, which makes it difficult to repair.
When choosing a bath, carefully inspect the enamel, which should be perfectly smooth, without tubercles and pores. The heavier the cast iron, the more reliable it is. Light weight of cast iron speaks of its porosity and, consequently, of less reliability. Knock on cast iron in different places. The sound should be the same. If somewhere it is sonorous, it means that the cast iron has pores.
Cast-iron baths are also equipped with hydromassage, although this is much more difficult.
Baths made of steel are stamped from steel sheet. After the product is ground, the quartz enamel is applied to it in a special way. The enamel is applied to steel using the same technology as cast iron. Therefore, at first glance, steel products look almost the same as they are made of cast iron. From cast iron baths, steel is distinguished, above all, by a lower weight and a greater variety of shapes.
Many scold steel baths, but they have their advantages:
Advantages стальных ванн: невысокая стоимость, небольшой вес, быстрое прогревание, простота монтажа.
- The main advantage of steel baths is their affordable cost.
- No less important advantage of such baths is their light weight, compared to cast iron, especially if the floor is high. The steel specimen weighs about 30-50 kg.
- The heating of the steel product takes place in a matter of minutes.
- High hygiene. The enamel of steel, like cast iron, has no pores and dirt and water do not accumulate on its surface. Quality enamel itself will never peel off. And with proper care will last for many years.
- Over the years the bath of steel will not lose its shine and color.
- Due to plasticity of steel, designers have the opportunity to create products of unusual shapes. This is a significant advantage of steel baths in front of cast iron. They can be on one or two seats, the sides can have both a low and a high angle of ascent.
- The ease of mounting a bath of steel puts it in a leading position in front of other types of these products.
Among the disadvantages of steel baths can be noted the following:
The steel bath quickly cools down, eventually requires restoration, have a high noise level.
- Steel baths under load are prone to deformation, especially if they are thin-walled. This can lead to cracking and chipping of the enamel. Dents and scratches may form on the product.
- High noise level. When the bath is filled with water, it makes a lot of noise, bumping against its surface. It is almost impossible to get rid of this shortcoming. Many manufacturers try to deal with this disadvantage, they make various soundproofing pads on the sides and under the bottom of the tub. But it only helps in part.
- Bath of steel quickly cools. And the thinner its walls, the faster it happens.
- Steel baths, like cast iron, must be grounded.
- If the steel is formed chipped enamel, will require a professional restoration, which is not cheap.
When choosing a steel bath, pay attention to its thickness. The thicker the wall of the product, the more reliable it is and the warranty period is higher. The thickness of the walls of the bath of steel should be at least 3 mm. Try to move it, if it is very light, about 20 kg, then it means that it has thin walls and it can deform. A good steel bath should weigh 30-50 kg. Thick-walled steel specimens are an order of magnitude higher than thin-walled ones.
If you choose an economical bath for a summer cottage or a summer country house, the option of steel is optimal.
Acrylic bathtubs come in different sizes, shapes and colors. On sale it is possible to meet rectangular, oval, semicircular, angular and asymmetric specimens. Acrylic bath can be equipped with various accessories: handles, headrests, hydro and aeromassage equipment. There are also models of acrylic baths, designed to repair spoiled cast-iron products. They are simply built into an existing bath, like a liner.
The device of an acrylic bath.
For the manufacture of acrylic bathtubs are used different types of materials:
- cast acrylic;
- combined plastic (ABS + PMMA);
- extrusion acrylic.
Optimal version of the manufacture - products made of cast acrylic. They are more resistant to mechanical damage and less susceptible to deformation. Products from combined acrylic have a structure consisting of two layers, of which the top layer is plastic. These baths have the worst waterproofing properties. Extrusion acrylic is inferior to the injection molded by the quality of the molecular linkage. However, despite these drawbacks, baths made of combined plastic and extrusion acrylic, still have considerable demand. These materials allow you to give the product any shape and cost an order of magnitude lower than the cast acrylic.
Acrylic baths have many advantages, due to which they occupy a leading position in relation to other types:
Acrylic bath is strong, has a small weight, a large selection, water retains heat for a long time.
- Bath, acrylic for the manufacture of which is durable and high-quality, will not be damaged by mechanical impact, unlike cast iron.
- When transporting and installing an acrylic bath there are no difficulties, since such products weigh only 30-40 kg.
- Large selection of shapes, sizes and shades of acrylic bathtubs. No other copies can boast of the same. The dye is added to the polymer during its manufacture, and not applied as a surface layer. Accordingly, over time, the acrylic bath will not lose its original shade and it will not become overwhelmed.
- Acrylic does not require specific care, it is easy to clean and not afraid of the effects of household chemicals. It is not exposed to bacteria.
- The water in the acrylic bath, as well as in the cast iron bath, also remains warm for quite a long time. The very acrylic, unlike cast iron, heats up faster.
- Acrylic bath can be equipped with hydromassage equipment and other appliances.
But like other types of baths, acrylics also have their drawbacks:
- Products made of acrylic can easily be scratched. Therefore, if you have a dog in the house, when bathing, you need to put a mat on the bottom. During transportation and installation, the acrylic surface can also be scratched.
- The porous structure of the material promotes darkening. But all the scratches and pores that appear can be polished with their own hands with the help of fine-grained skins or special polishes.
- At first glance it seems that acrylic, compared with cast iron, is not reliable. It easily deforms, but does not break. Baths made of acrylic can withstand weight up to 600 kg.
- Quality acrylic bath has a high price.
When choosing an acrylic bath, you need to pay attention to the thickness of the acrylic layer, rather than the overall thickness of the product. The thicker the acrylic layer, the better the product, more reliable and, accordingly, more expensive.
The recommended thickness of acrylic is 5-6 mm or more.
The reinforcement layers should also be as much as possible. You can see them around the edges of the bathtub.
If the design of your bathroom involves installing a bath of non-standard sizes and shapes, then when asking the question - which is better: cast iron or acrylic - look for this option among acrylic products.