Thanks to the latest developments in the modern sanitary market, new products have appeared – acrylic baths. The advantages and disadvantages of these products in comparison with their predecessors from steel and cast iron speak about the quality of a product that is gaining more and more popularity. They have become a worthy replacement for their heavy brothers in price and quality characteristics.
What are good acrylic baths? Advantages and disadvantages
Acrylic baths have high strength and are not inferior in this parameter to cast iron or metal products. They have significantly less weight, so you can install them without help. For their manufacture using a unique method of vacuum forming sheet acrylic. After this stage, the baths are reinforced with glass mat or special resin. At large sizes, the bottom of the structure is reinforced with chipboard panels and fixed to a metal frame, treated with compounds that reduce corrosion.
Bathroom design: photo of the bath with various finishes. The organization of space in the bathroom, regardless of its size. Safe lighting in the bathroom and its features.
The service life of acrylic products is directly dependent on the number of molding layers used in the molding, the quality of reinforcement. Manufacturers do not limit the life of such baths 10-year limit. With proper care, they will last a long time.
It is a rubber-like polymer of artificial origin with a sticky structure. In the process of heating the acrylic sheet becomes soft, plastic, so you can form products of any configuration from it. The strength of the finished product is directly affected by its thickness, used in the manufacture of sheets. Baths made of acrylic plates with a thickness of 0.5 cm are considered to be the strongest and most durable. Cheaper options are made from thin sheets and can break even under insignificant loads.
Typically, for the production of baths used cast acrylic, which by some properties resembles glass and can break. Co-extruded acrylic products have much greater strength. This new generation material has been used in the manufacture of baths not so long ago, it retains its shape for a long time and meets the basic quality standards.
Helpful advice! Products of too complex shapes are made only from thin sheets, since they are easier to mold. You should not choose such structures for long-term operation.
Knowing the benefits of the product, it is easy to figure out which bath is better acrylic or steel. The positive qualities of acrylic baths can be listed indefinitely. In addition to the aesthetic appearance, they are pleasant to the touch, completely non-slip, and maintain the desired temperature longer. Here are a few of their merits:
- do not turn yellow from bad water;
- light resistant;
- made in any shapes and colors;
- have excellent sound insulation performance;
- do not provoke the growth of colonies of fungi and mold;
- easy to clean, resistant to detergents.
The main positive feature is the ability to repair baths from acrylic. To eliminate small chips, scratches on the surface using a special paste for polishing. Repair damaged upper layer easily with your own hands.
What parameters need to pay attention to when choosing an acrylic bath? The pros and cons of the product put the consumer before a significant choice. On the one hand – a lot of positive properties, on the other a huge minus – the high price.
If the high cost is not a problem and the choice fell on the option of acrylic, then first it is worth considering the sides of the bath in the light. Products made from thin sheets can shine through and should not be purchased. To do this, you can use an ordinary flashlight. A quality product cannot be less than 0.5 cm thick.
The stiffness of the product is checked by simply pressing in the middle of the bottom or wall. If dents appear that return to the place afterwards, the quality of the product leaves much to be desired. You can additionally check the number of reinforcing layers, the more of them, the better the product.
Unscrupulous manufacturers can supply plastic products for high-grade acrylic baths. The use of such material significantly reduces the cost of the manufacturing process and the final result. You can determine it yourself, just by examining the edge of the bath. The combined version consists of a thick layer of cheap plastic, a thin acrylic coating and a reinforcing layer. Such a “cake” should cost significantly less than its counterpart from homogeneous acrylic.
Unpleasant smell also indicates poor quality of the materials used. If there are any defects on the bath surface: bumps, scratches or even dents, and the color of the product is uneven, then the product is defective.
Gradually passing into the past, the domestic production of bathtubs made of steel and cast iron had a small size range. Products of standard lengths of 150, 170 and 175 cm were made. The width was also not diverse, the standard size was 70-80 cm. With such a poor model range, the realization of interesting designer fantasies was not possible.
The dimensions of acrylic baths of standard construction reach a length of up to two meters. Larger options can be called mini-pools. Their width varies 70-120 cm or more, if necessary. There are also various forms of the form. Asymmetric angular acrylic baths are in rather great demand among plumbing customers. Their dimensions can be 160×110, 150×90, 140×140. You can purchase products and large sizes.
The ideal size is one in which the bath without obstacles is placed in the washing room. It should also be comfortable for each family member. In particular, this applies to asymmetric angular acrylic baths. Installation of full-size rectangular products in conditions of small apartments is practically impossible.
Helpful advice! When an adult is fully immersed in a bath, his head should be above the water on a special rim. This becomes possible when selecting products with a depth of 45-50 cm.
Due to the low weight of such products, the installation process is greatly facilitated. Special difficulties in the installation and connection of the acrylic bath should not arise. Here are the main stages of work carried out when installing an acrylic bath with your own hands:
- To begin with, the bath is placed upside down and a frame is assembled according to the enclosed instructions.
- The assembled design is installed on the legs and is height adjustable. If it is planned to additionally install the screen, then the height from the side of the bathroom to the floor should be about 60 cm.
- The finished product is installed on the prepared place, using the level, check the horizontal.
- Next, install the siphon, connect the pipes to the sewer system and check the tightness of all joints.
- Now you can fix the bath and handle the joints and gaps near the walls with silicone sealant.
Fix the bath can be firmly attached to the wall. For these purposes, manufacturers have provided a special installation kit that comes with the bathroom. So, to install an acrylic bath with your own hands and fix it to the wall, you need:
- attach the mounting brackets to the wall and mark up the places where the holes will be drilled;
- after drilling, the corners are fixed parallel to the side of the bathroom, so that the lower edge of it lies on them;
- holes for mounting studs are also drilled;
- fixing occurs by fastening the brackets on the studs with the help of nuts.
It is necessary to pay attention to the fact that acrylic is easily damaged by metal objects. In the baths of this material is not recommended to wash the dishes, bathe animals, wash clothes with metal parts. Detergents used for care should not contain acids, chlorine, abrasive elements. Usually a special repair kit is sold with the bathroom. If scratches still appear, they are filled with acrylic, then pass with sandpaper and polish the entire bath.
Helpful advice! When rubbing the surface, emery paper No. 0 is used, and for polishing – liquid polish.
Knowing all the subtleties of the production of acrylic baths, their model range, having familiarized themselves with their advantages and rules of care, you can easily make a choice. To answer the question: which bath is better than acrylic or steel, is now quite simple. However, you should not save on its quality.