Sentrel bath systems triton bathtub/shower combo

Acrylic Tubs vs Porcelain

7 minutes

Both acrylic and porcelain tubs are popular for bathrooms and many people find themselves debating which one is a better choice for their bathtub remodel. We will be taking a closer look at the advantages and disadvantages of each of these tub materials to help you make the best decision for your home. First, let us discuss what each material is and how they are manufactured into the tubs you see on the market today.

How are Acrylic Tubs Made?

Acrylic tubs are made of a sheet of acrylic that is molded and heated over a fiberglass frame for extra durability until it is shaped according to the specifications of the manufacturer. This process allows for the tub to be molded into a variety of shapes and sizes, which makes it an excellent choice for any bathroom. The acrylic also provides additional insulation, making it a wonderful choice for those who want to conserve energy when taking a hot bath. In addition, acrylic is non-porous, meaning it will not absorb moisture from bathing or from the air, which helps reduce the risk of mold and mildew growth

How are Porcelain Tubs Made?

Porcelain tubs, which are also known as enameled steel, are made of steel with a layer of porcelain enamel that is applied to the surface of the metal. This ensures the tub is water resistant and prevents corrosion and rusting with metal materials. Porcelain is also exceptionally durable, so it can stand up to the wear and tear of daily use. In terms of aesthetics, porcelain tubs provide a classic look that many homeowners prefer. They also come in assorted colors, allowing you to choose one that best fits the style of your bathroom.  

Key Differences Between Acrylic tubs and Porcelain Tubs

When trying to decide between an acrylic and porcelain tub, it is important to consider what matters most to you. You must consider what features and design elements are important for your next bath remodel. Doing this will help you make your final decision easier and will help in making an informed decision. This can be especially helpful if you are on a budget and are deciding between two different materials like acrylic and porcelain. Some things to consider when choosing a material and a contractor include, Cost, cost of installation, durability, cleaning and maintenance and heat retention. 

Below we will discuss some of the key differences between these tub materials, that will help you with making your final decision on your next bathtub or shower replacement.

Acrylic Bathtubs vs Porcelain Heat Retention 

A crucial factor to consider when choosing a material for your bathtub is the heat retention of the material. Acrylic will retain the heat longer than porcelain, which helps to conserve energy and saves you from having to refill your tub. Acrylic will retain its heat for a longer period of time than porcelain, making it a great choice for those who enjoy long hot baths. 


A Porcelain bathtub is constructed by starting with a base material, that is often metal. This is then coated with porcelain enamel, which is applied in layers and heated with a torch. This process leaves porcelain exceptionally durable and resistant to wear and tear from daily use. Porcelain tubs also typically come in various colors, allowing the user to customize their bath to match the desired look of their bathroom. 

Acrylic Tubs are usually more cost effective than porcelain tubs and can be installed more quickly. They are made from a single sheet of acrylic which is molded and then heated over a fiberglass frame. This makes them lightweight and durable and can give your bathroom a unique and modern look. They are also available in a wide variety of shapes and sizes and can be built to the exact specifications of your bathroom more easily.  

Cleaning & Maintenance 

Cleaning acrylic and porcelain tubs require the same type of care and attention. They both should be cleaned at least once a week to prevent the buildup of dirt and grime. This should be done with nonabrasive cleaners that are safe for porcelain and acrylic tubs. We created an article on how to clean acrylic tubs with both store-bought cleaners as well as homemade solutions that will not scratch or damage the surface of your new tub.  

Environmentally friendliness 

Porcelain products have been known to be not as environmentally friendly as acrylic products. Porcelain products are known to be a contributor to the environmental exposure to lead. This is because lead is used in the glazing and firing of the material, which can be hazardous to the environment. Acrylic, on the other hand, is a petroleum-based material that can be recycled and reused if it reaches the end of its lifecycle. This makes it a much more sustainable option for those who are concerned with their environmental impact.  

Weight Difference 

Another factor to consider when deciding between an acrylic and porcelain tub is the weight difference between them. Porcelain can be much heavier than acrylic, and this can be a huge factor in determining how easy it will be to install your new bathtub. For this reason, installation costs can be much higher for porcelain tubs.  

Cost Difference of Materials & Installation 

When deciding between acrylic and porcelain tubs, it is important to consider your budget and the overall look you want for your bathroom. Acrylic is usually the more affordable option, with an easier and shorter installation because of its lightweight frame. Porcelain on the other hand, has a larger cost to manufacture and takes a longer time to install leading to a higher overall cost.  


Although porcelain and acrylic are both extraordinarily strong materials, acrylic is usually more durable than porcelain. This is because porcelain can be easily scratched and chipped while acrylic is more resistant to these types of damage. Furthermore, because acrylic is more malleable than porcelain, it is often easier to repair any surface imperfections. Acrylic is also less likely to discolor or fade over time. For these reasons, an acrylic tub may be the better choice for those looking for a durable and long-lasting bathtub. 


When it comes to restoration, acrylic tubs have a distinct advantage over porcelain. Porcelain is more prone to cracking and chipping, which can be difficult and expensive to repair. Acrylic tubs, on the other hand, can be easily repaired with a resurfacing kit and some basic tools. This makes acrylic an ideal material for those who want to restore an old tub and make it look new again. Although restoration kits can be applied by just about anyone, it is advisable to consult a professional to ensure that the tub is properly restored. 

Return on Investment 

When looking at the return on investment, acrylic tubs tend to be much more cost-effective than porcelain. Maintenance costs are much lower, and they require less repairs over time. Furthermore, they are more durable and can often be restored with a resurfacing kit, allowing them to have a longer lifespan. Porcelain tubs, on the other hand, require more maintenance and more repairs over time and may not be able to be restored as easily as acrylic resulting in buyers finding porcelain less attractive than acrylic. 

Stain Removal Differences 

Another crucial factor to consider when choosing between an acrylic and porcelain bathtub is the difference in stain removal. Acrylic tubs are usually easier to clean with basic cleaners, while porcelain tubs may require harsher chemicals. Additionally, porcelain can be harder to clean due to its porous nature and can also be scratched and chipped with the wrong cleaning materials. Here at DaBella our Sentrel bath’s acrylic surface is non-porous and can be cleaned with gentle cleaning agents with ease.  

Are you Ready to Transform Your Bathroom into The Luxurious Oasis You’ve Always Wanted? 

DaBella and our partners at Sentrel Bath Systems are here to help you create the bathroom of your dreams. We offer a wide selection of acrylic tubs in a variety of colors and styles, as well as a variety of accessories that can help you customize your bathroom to your exact specifications. With our selection of quality bathtubs, showers, and accessories, you can be sure that your bathroom will be beautiful and comfortable for years to come. Contact us today at 844-DaBella and transform your bathroom into the luxurious oasis that you have always wanted. 


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Steven Shortridge

District Manager

Portland, OR

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