Fiberglass Reinforced Plastic
Fiberglass tubs are the most time and cost effective option for a bathroom remodel. They are usually easy to install and they can be refinished.
The down side is that these tubs don’t really last long compared to the other tub materials. They don’t hold heat very well. They can be flimsy, sometimes easy to break, and often do fade their finish prematurely.
- Low-End Tub Cost: $250-$499
- Mid-Range Tub Cost: $500-$999
- High-End Tub Cost: $1000++*
- Other, more elaborate fiberglass tub styles can go as high as $5,000
Porcelain on Steel (enameled steel)
Enameled steel is also cost effective, but much more durable than fiberglass tubs. The enamel coating allows for easy cleaning and a long-lasting “like new” shine.
Some of the downfalls of buying an enameled steel tub is that it’s much heavier than fiberglass, sometimes taking a little longer to install. It is also prone to rust after the enameled seal is broken and size options are very limited.
- Low-End Tub Cost: $100-$399
- Mid-Range Tub Cost: $400-$599
- High-End Tub Cost: $600-$1000
Like fiberglass, acrylic tub installations usually go smoothly. Unlike fiberglass, acrylic tubs are more expensive, they weigh more, and they tend to keep their shine noticeably longer than fiberglass tubs.
- Low-End Tub Cost: $200-$999
- Mid-Range Tub Cost: $1000-$4999
- High-End Tub Cost: $5000-$13000+
Cast iron tubs last for a really, really long time. They are super-resistant to damage, fading, and wear. They come in a wide variety of options. And they are the king of holding heat.
As you might have guessed, cast iron tubs are crazy heavy. So much so that they demand extra help to be on the job site and often require additional floor reinforcement.
- Low-End Tub Cost: $400-$1999
- Mid-Range Tub Cost: $2000-$7999
- High-End Tub Cost: $8,000-$10,000+
Cultured marble tubs are easy to install, the surface is smooth, so they’re easy to clean. The downside to a cultured marble tub is that your options on things like color and shape are very limited, and it leaves a terrible mark if the finish gets damaged.
- Low-End Tub Cost: $500-$999
- Mid-Range Tub Cost: $1000-$1499
- High-End Tub Cost: $1500-$2000
Ceramic tile is the most versatile out of all of the tub materials. It does not limit the size, shape, style, or shade of your ideal tub. As with everything in life, with pleasure comes work.
The downside to having a ceramic tile bath tub is that the grout between the tiles have to be replaced or it will crumble and deteriorate and ruin the tub.
*Ceramic tub costs fluctuate significantly according to size, shape, quality of tile, and many other factors.
Stone tubs are similar to cast iron tubs. They come available in a wide variety of shapes, shades, and sizes. They are amazing at retaining heat and they repair easily.
Stone tubs are expensive and extremely heavy. Therefore, like cast iron, they often require additional floor reinforcement and labor to install.
- Low-End Tub Cost: $1700
- Mid-Range Tub Cost: $3000-$8999
- High-End Tub Cost: $9000-$13000++