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Acrylic baths v steel baths – Which is right for me?
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Acrylic baths v steel baths – Which is right for me?

Posted by Adam Chard in Buying Guides | 5 years ago 3 min read

When it comes to bathing, as a nation we’ve come a long way since the tin baths our grandparents used to use.

These days there are a wide variety of baths to choose from, from the common straight bath to more luxurious freestanding tubs.

What materials are baths made from?

The two main materials which baths are made from are acrylic (a synthetic plastic) or steel (a hardwearing metal alloy). If you search hard enough, you may also find baths made from tin, cast iron, stone and even wood, but these are very few and far between!

Before choosing which type of bath you want, it is worth considering the merits of each one.

The benefits of acrylic baths

By far and away the more popular of the two, we stock and sell more acrylic baths than steel baths.

Lower price

Acrylic baths typically cost less than steel to produce, meaning they’re great if you’re on a budget.

Choice of designs

Acrylic is easier to form into shapes than steel and therefore the range and variety of different designs is much wider. So it’ll be far easier to find the exact bath you want.

Strength and durability

One popular myth is that steel baths are simply stronger than acrylic baths. Whilst steel does provide a highly sturdy construction, an acrylic bath is just as tough, and usually comes with glass fibre reinforcement and a wood baseboard for added rigidity. With modern manufacturing techniques, gone are the bad old days of acrylic baths flexing in the middle.

Acrylic is also highly resistant to scratches and staining, making it the perfect choice for a family bathroom where your bath is used on a daily basis.

Warm to the touch

Unlike steel baths, acrylic is warm to the touch, ensuring you don’t get any nasty shocks when you climb into your bath during those cold winter months.

Orchard square edge single ended bath

The Orchard square edge single ended bath is one of our most popular acrylic baths

The benefits of steel baths

Despite not being as popular as acrylic, we still stock and sell a large range of steel baths, which have the following benefits.

Designer appeal

As a more traditional material, steel baths look absolutely stunning and feel solid to the touch. As steel is pressed into shape, it can be formed into clean, crisp lines to create striking designs.

Retaining warmth

Whilst steel baths are initially cold to the touch, they do warm up once you have filled your bath with hot water and actually retain heat much longer than their acrylic counterparts. This is especially good if you like a really long soak and means you won’t need to top up the hot water quite as quickly.

Enamel coating

Steel baths are coated with enamel, which gives you a perfectly white finish but also means it’s less resistant to chips or scratched, so more care needs to be taken. But much like a car, with one careful owner, your steel bath will provide you with years of joyful bathing.

Ready to accessorise

Most steel baths come with tap holes pre-drilled, so all you need to do is choose your perfect set of bath taps.

Environmentally friendly

As steel is a natural material, it can be recycled once it comes to the end of its life, meaning you’re doing your bit for the environment.

Kirke single ended steel bath

The Kirke single ended steel bath is perfect for family bathrooms. Find out more about the Kirke bathroom range

In summary…

Acrylic baths

  • Great for families and everyday use
  • Lower price
  • Durable and resistant to scratches and stains
  • Warm to the touch
  • Wider variety of shapes and models

Steel baths

  • Ideal for designer bathrooms and careful owners
  • Clean, crisp lines and edges
  • Solid construction and beautiful bright white enamel coating
  • Cold to touch but retains warmth well
  • Usually come with pre-drilled tap holes

Shop baths

Whichever material you choose, you’ll find a wide range of superb quality baths at

Shop baths

More advice on baths

At, you'll discover loads of expert advice on baths, including buying guides and installation tips. Head to our bathroom advice section or click on any of the links below:

Author, Adam Chard

Posted by Adam Chard in Buying Guides | 5 years ago

A born & raised West Countryman, now living on the Yorkshire Coast, for over 8 years Adam has been bringing home interior ideas to life at Victoria Plum. Adam’s favourite interior styles have been shaped by both urban and natural influences.

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