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?
Cannot give comparison answer but cultured marble is essentially stone
set in plastic:
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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