Steel Enamel Bathtub vs. Cast Iron Bathtub
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Steel Enamel Bathtub vs. Cast Iron Bathtub

9/6/2011

Steel Enamel Bathtub vs. Cast Iron Bathtub

Soaking in a hot bath is a great way to rid yourself of the stresses of the day. But what happens when your bathtub is on its last clawed foot? Two of the more popular choices for bathtub installation are cast iron and Steel Enamel Bathtub. Several factors, including cost, ease of installation and durability will affect your choice.

History
The first cast iron tubs were introduced to the United States in the 1870s. These tubs were formed from iron that had been cast into a mold and then covered in enamel. As the manufacture of tubs advanced, other styles came into use. One of these is the steel tub.

Cast Iron Bathtub Advantages
The main advantage to cast iron is that it is resilient. Many tubs that were installed in the early part of the 1900s are still in use today. The enamel coating on these tubs is durable and resistant to chips, cracking and staining.

Steel Enamel Bathtub Advantages
Steel tubs are much lighter than their cast iron counterparts. A recent advance in these types of tubs is Americast. This is a process where the steel is covered with a thick, sprayed-on composite of porcelain, giving it the appearance of cast iron enamel. This backing also serves as an insulator, allowing hot water to stay at the same temperature for a longer than in cast iron. Steel tubs are also much less expensive than their cast iron counterparts, even Americast types.

Cast Iron Bathtub Disadvantages
The major disadvantage to cast iron is its weight. Some of the larger models can weigh up to half a ton. You will need lots of help if you want to install one of these yourself. You may also need to reinforce the floor to support its weight. They're also expensive. Some of the high-end models can cost $5,000 or more.

Steel Tub Disadvantages
Because the steel tubs are lighter and thinner, one of the problems with them is that they can be noisy and prone to squeaks and creaks when under the weight of the average person. This can be remedied by spraying insulating foam around the bottom and inside of the tub during installation.

Considerations
If you have a large budget and want the top of the line, then choose the luxury and durability of cast iron. For a less expensive tub, a steel tub will more than fit your needs.



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