How To Tell What Your Bathtub Is Made Of: 4 Easy Steps To Identify & Determine The Bathtub Material


From the low-maintenance fiberglass to elegant stone, the bathtubs are very easily available in a wide range of materials and styles in the market. The material of your bathtub determines its functionality, durability, cost, and appearance. Identifying the material that your bathtub is made from is a critical step before you start a small project like cleaning or a large project like remodeling your bathroom. Looks alone are normally not enough to identify your bathtub material, but a few steps can help you narrow down the possibilities.

4 Easy Steps To Identify & Determine The Bathtub Material

If you want to identify the material, then here are some easy steps that will help you in identifying & determining the type of material used for a bathtub:
  1. Firstly, you need to knock or press on the outside wall of your bathtub. Some bathtub materials, like acrylic and fiberglass, are thin as well as flexible. If you knock on the side of your bathtub and the material has a little give then your bathtub is likely fiberglass or acrylic. A deeper sounding thud & no flexing suggests that your tub is enamel-coated steel bathtub.
  2. You need to evaluate the surface of your bathtub for the scratches or chips. Fiberglass and acrylic bathtubs are most prone to cracks, scratches, and other types of surface damage. Chipping is acceptable to occur on a porcelain-coated bathtub if any heavy objects are allowed to fall on it. Spots of the fading along the bottom of your bathtub are also suggested fiberglass. If the chips reveal a material that underneath the outer coating then you need to look for signs of rust because an indicator that the material is acceptable porcelain-coated steel or cast iron.
  3. Examine the flooring around your bathtub. Cast iron type of bathtubs often requires an additional floor reinforcement to withstand the tubs' weight. Though this work is consistently hidden in the subflooring, some bathrooms are specially designed with frames in order to support a heavy tub. If you have access to the area beneath your bathtub from your floor below, then you need to examine the subfloor for the additional joists or oriented strand board, either of which can easily support enough weight of a cast iron tub.
  4. You can also hold a strong magnet to the outside of your bathtub. Both cast iron & steel tubs are magnetic, acrylic, cultured stone, fiberglass, and wood tubs are not. If your magnet sticks then your tub is either steel or cast iron.
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