cultured marble tubs

I am doing some research for a bathroom renovation.There is a business in town that will install a cultured marble whirlpool bathtub at a very competative price compared to an acrylic tub. Anyone familiar with cultured marble products and their pros and cons? Thanks Brent
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brent wrote:

Cannot give comparison answer but cultured marble is essentially stone set in plastic:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cultured_marble
In a tub, I would imagine acrylic might have better long term stability since polyester resins used in cultured marble are not as hydrolytically stable. I have a couple of filled polyester sinks that have become pitted over time where exposure to soap and water, like a sponge lying there, have most severe damage.
OTOH with these modern tubs with all the fancy jets and plumbing, I would imagine that that is where the high maintenance is.
Frank
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Cultured marble may look dated in your area, but I would choose using it over acrylic any day. The gelcoat finish on an acrylic tub will wear over time, and is less resistant to cleaners.
On my last house I had an acrylic shower pan and a cultured marble tub. After 14 years, the shower pan looked horrible (even after refinishing) and the tub looked like new.
I've not seen cultured mable jetted tubs though. You might want to double check that. Most of them tend to be acrylic. You might also consider the value of the jetted tub over time. Most people think they're really cool until they actually get one. Then they find out they get used once a year or less!
-- "Tell me what I should do, Annie." "Stay. Here. Forever." - Life On Mars
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wrote:

The surface finish is a polymer. It attracts a layer of dull dirt and needs frequent cleaning. The polymer also gets easily scratched when you use tougher cleaning agents. I would think the material is too heavy for a tub.
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PaPaPeng wrote:

Right. I was essentially trying to point out that "cultured marble" is a misnomer as it is not all marble but is marble filled resin. Most of the solid surface materials have filler and polymers vary. Most acrylic tubs are made by thermoforming sheets but can be mold cast. I once saw a cast Corian bathtub.
The polyester resins are all cast. Polyester resins are cheaper but manufacturing cost is more.
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I had one in Florida. Scratches very easily but the good news is that it can easily be buffed out with compound. I didn't use any household cleaners on it. Bed Bath and Beyond sells a cleaner and polish for cultured marble that makes it look and feel like new.
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I have an entire bathroom filled with cultured marble, as wainscoting on some walls and completely covering the entire shower and bath area on the remaining walls as well as on a large vanity sink and integral bowl. This was installed in 1975 and has had 32 years of service, including raising kids who used it daily.
The only real signs of wear have been in the sink and vanity top, and those were scratches and gouges which were totally repairable with polishing and filler available on the Internet and in stores. The surfaces still look essentially like brand new.
I have NOT had any experience with a cultured marble tub, however, so this may present some unique issues I have not dealt with. I will say however that this stuff has worn extremely, extremely well, and I would use it again with no hesitation whatsoever.
Smarty

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