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Fiberglass vs. Acrylic Bathtubs

Fiberglass vs. Acrylic Bathtubs

When it comes to choosing the perfect bathtub for your home, fiberglass tubs and acrylic options are two of the most popular materials on the market. So, which one is the right choice for your needs?

Below, we’ve put together a detailed guide to fiberglass vs. acrylic bathtubs so you can learn the ins and outs of each option. 

What Is a Fiberglass Bathtub?

A popular choice with many local homeowners, a fiberglass tub is made primarily from fiberglass-reinforced plastic. These bathtubs are made by layering fiberglass sheets that have been saturated with polyester resin onto a mold, which is then cured to form a solid, lightweight structure. 

After being made into its final shape, fiberglass tubs have a resin gel coat applied on top, resulting in a glossy finish.

new fiberglass tub

What Are the Pros and Cons of a Fiberglass Bathtub?

Fiberglass bathtubs have several advantages and disadvantages to consider before choosing one for your home. Let’s take a closer look at some of these pros and cons. 


  • Affordability: Fiberglass bathtubs are often more budget-friendly compared to some other materials. 
  • Lightweight: Fiberglass is a lightweight material, making these bathtubs easy to transport and install. 
  • Variety: They come in a wide range of shapes, sizes, and colors, providing options to suit different bathroom layouts and styles. 
  • Low maintenance: Fiberglass is relatively easy to clean and maintain, requiring minimal effort to keep it looking new. 
  • Insulation: Fiberglass retains heat well, allowing for longer, more comfortable baths. 


  • Durability: While fiberglass is durable, it can be prone to scratching, cracking, and fading over time, especially with heavy use. 
  • Staining: Fiberglass surfaces may be susceptible to staining from certain chemicals and abrasive cleaners, requiring careful maintenance. 
  • Limited lifespan: Compared to materials like cast iron or acrylic, fiberglass bathtubs may have a shorter lifespan and may need replacement sooner. 
  • Flexibility: Fiberglass can flex under pressure, which may lead to the bathtub feeling less sturdy or supportive compared to other materials. 
  • Repair challenges: Repairing fiberglass can be more challenging than other materials, requiring specific techniques and materials to fix cracks or damage effectively. 

What Is an Acrylic Bathtub?

Acrylic is a durable and versatile material that’s made by molding sheets of acrylic into the desired shape and size, resulting in a smooth and non-porous surface. These bathtubs are known for their sleek appearance, glossy finish, and excellent heat retention properties. 

Part of what makes acrylic so popular is that the material is lightweight and non-porous, so it’s easy to install and designed to last for years.

acrylic bathtub

What Are the Pros and Cons of an Acrylic Bathtub?

Like fiberglass tubs, there are some key things to keep in mind before choosing an acrylic tub for your home. Consider the following pros and cons. 


  • Durability: Acrylic is a durable material that’s resistant to chipping, scratching, and fading, ensuring the tub maintains its appearance, even after years of use. 
  • Versatility: Acrylic bathtubs come in a wide range of shapes, sizes, and styles, allowing you to customize your tub to suit your unique bathroom layout and design preferences. 
  • Heat retention: Acrylic retains heat well, providing a comfortable bathing experience and allowing for longer, more relaxing soaks. 
  • Lightweight: Acrylic bathtubs are lighter than alternatives like cast iron, making them easier to transport and install. 
  • Easy maintenance: The non-porous surface of acrylic bathtubs makes them easy to clean and maintain, requiring a simple care routine to keep them looking new. 


  • Cost: Acrylic bathtubs may be more expensive than fiberglass options upfront. However, since they are more durable and require fewer repairs over the life of the tub, you may find that you spend less in the long run when you choose an acrylic bathtub. 
  • Sensitivity to abrasive cleaners: While acrylic is durable, it can be prone to scratching if abrasive cleaners or sharp objects are used. Similarly, acrylic surfaces may be susceptible to staining from certain chemicals or dyes, requiring mindful cleaning to prevent discoloration. 
  • Flexibility: Acrylic can flex under pressure, which may cause the bathtub to feel less sturdy compared to other materials like cast iron. However, proper installation can prevent this. 

Fiberglass vs. Acrylic Bathtubs: How Do They Compare to Each Other?

Now that you know more about each of these materials, let’s see how they compare to each other in terms of some of the most important factors to consider. 


While available in a range of colors, fiberglass tubs typically have fewer choices compared to acrylic. Fiberglass tubs often aim to replicate the look of materials like porcelain or stone, in a more cost-effective package, however, they may gradually look less vibrant due to fading over time. 

On the other hand, acrylic tubs have a glossy, smooth finish that adds a touch of luxury to your bathroom. Because they are available in a broader spectrum of colors and styles, acrylic tubs offer more chances for customization to suit your design preferences better. 

Their sleek, contemporary designs enhance the overall ambiance of the space and maintain their appearance with proper maintenance, resisting fading and retaining their glossy finish over the years. Whether you want a custom-made tub, a hydrotherapy option, or a walk-in tub, you can make it happen with acrylic.

The winner in appearance: Acrylic

Care and Cleaningbathtub in the process of being cleaned

Fiberglass tubs are relatively easy to clean, usually requiring only mild soap and water for regular upkeep. However, they can be prone to staining depending on the types of chemicals or cleaners you use, so you’ll need to be mindful when choosing cleaning options. 

Acrylic tubs are also easy to clean, again with mild soap and water. The non-porous surface of acrylic makes it resistant to stains, and it’s less prone to damage compared to fiberglass. Acrylic tubs typically maintain their glossy appearance with minimal effort, as long as you use non-abrasive cleaners. 

The winner in care and cleaning: Acrylic gets the slight edge


In terms of durability, acrylic bathtubs have an edge over fiberglass ones. Acrylic is known for its resilience, offering a sturdy and long-lasting option for bathtubs. Acrylic tubs are resistant to chipping, scratching, and fading, maintaining their appearance well over time with proper care. They also tend to have a more solid feel compared to fiberglass, providing a sense of stability and durability. 

In contrast, fiberglass is more prone to scratching, cracking, and fading with frequent use. While both materials can last for years, acrylic tubs have a reputation for lasting longer and requiring fewer repairs, making them a reliable choice if you’re looking for longevity when planning your bathroom remodel.

The winner in durability: Acrylic


When comparing the cost of fiberglass and acrylic tubs, fiberglass options tend to be more budget-friendly. Fiberglass bathtubs are typically less expensive to manufacture, which translates to lower retail prices for consumers. This affordability makes fiberglass an attractive option for those working within tighter budget constraints. 

Acrylic tubs often come with a higher initial price tag due to their more sophisticated manufacturing process and the versatility of the material. However, thanks to our flexible financing options, you can get the acrylic tub of your dreams for the right price when you work with Inaugural Home Improvement. 

The winner in cost: Fiberglass, though keep in mind that this material is less durable and will need to be repaired or replaced sooner than an acrylic tub


The lightweight nature of fiberglass makes transportation and positioning during installation more manageable, reducing the need for additional support structures. Additionally, fiberglass bathtubs typically come in one-piece or modular designs, simplifying the installation process further. 

Acrylic bathtubs are also lightweight and easy to install. In most cases, we can complete an acrylic tub installation in as little as one day!

The winner in installation: Tie


Fiberglass and acrylic tubs have different repair processes. As mentioned above, fiberglass tubs are susceptible to damage over time. Repairing fiberglass typically involves patching the damaged area with a fiberglass repair kit, which doesn’t always result in a seamless finish. 

While it’s less likely for acrylic tubs to need repairs, if it does, the process involves sanding down the damaged area. After that, the next step is to apply an acrylic repair kit, which can blend seamlessly with the original surface for a nearly invisible fix. 

The winner in repairs: Acrylic

new bathtub made of acrylic

Experience the Acrylic Difference for Yourself

As you can see when it comes to fiberglass vs. acrylic bathtubs, acrylic is the winner. At Inaugural Home Improvement, we only install acrylic tubs because we feel confident this material will best serve our customers. 

Are you interested in experiencing all the benefits of acrylic for yourself? To talk to our experts and request a free quote today, please call 413-628-5177 or contact us online.

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