Ask a plumber

A marital clash of bath tub styles

 
 
A solid-surface bath tub might be the perfect compromise between old-fashioned cast iron and modern styles. Shown here is a Kohler Abrazo solid-surface bath tub.
A solid-surface bath tub might be the perfect compromise between old-fashioned cast iron and modern styles. Shown here is a Kohler Abrazo solid-surface bath tub.
Kohler / MCT

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

Q: My husband and I both enjoy your column especially since we are planning a master bathroom renovation. The issue is with the bath tub. I want an old fashioned look complete with a new vintage-style cast iron tub. My husband is all for a more modern look and wants to install a new acrylic bath tub. What can you suggest that we do, other than building separate bathrooms?

Jill, Idaho

A: Cast iron and acrylic are good material choices for a bath tub. Today’s enameled cast iron comes in a variety of color choices and is known for its strength and durability. Also, since it is made in part with reclaimed and recycled materials, it’s now considered to be a green-type building product. So, even though it’s been around for many decades, cast iron has kept up with current building trends.

Acrylic on the other hand is a lighter weight material, but pound for pound is very strong. It has a smooth finish and is easy to clean. Some acrylic bath tubs even have built-in heating elements to keep the bather nice and warm.

Now, what do you do when you have two good choices and you want to agree on one type of bath tub material? I suggest you look into some of the new “solid-surface” bath tubs on the market that can combine features of cast iron and acrylic. Solid-surface bath tubs are heavy and strong, yet smooth, warm and comfortable against the body. With plenty of style choices as well, a solid surface bath tub just may get your marriage out of hot water.

Master contractor and plumber Ed Del Grande is the author of the book “Ed Del Grande’s House Call” and the host of TV and Internet shows. For questions, Visit eddelgrande.com or write eadelgcs.com.

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