When you start out on the quest to find the perfect new bathtub, you're confronted with a number of choices: Which bathtub style is right for your space, which tub is the right size, and where in your bathroom should you install your new tub? While these choices might take some time to make if you want to choose properly, picking the right bathtub material is easy. Lucite is a strong, light, and safe bathtub material that has made some significant advancements in recent years, and here are the things you should know about lucite as you pick out the tub that's perfect for your bathroom.
What Is Lucite?
Lucite is an acrylic, which means that it is a type of plastic. The DuPont Corporation developed this material in 1931, and because the first forms of lucite were almost completely transparent, many aircraft manufacturers incorporated this material into the windows of planes. This material is even somewhat bullet-resistant, which made it a prime choice for the windows of military aircraft in World War II.
While many plane windows still incorporate lucite, many other industries now incorporate lucite as well. Lucite is technically a type of plastic, but it is much heavier and harder than traditional plastic, which makes it ideal in applications in which it will be carrying a good deal of weight. Over time, a variety of home products manufacturers realized that lucite could be a great alternative to porcelain for bathtubs. While porcelain is soft, smooth, and beautiful, a single crack can ruin an entire porcelain tub, and this material is also expensive to make. Manufacturers have made tubs from lucite for decades, but the lucite tubs that are on the market today are nothing like those you once found in your mother's or grandmother's bathroom.
What Other Bathtub Materials Are There?
The other type of material that bathtub manufacturers commonly use in their tubs is stainless steel. While stainless steel is very durable, it will rust if the chromium in this alloy wears down. Steel is also easy to chip if you hit it with a metal or stone object, and it conducts heat and cold a little bit too well, which means that the heat of the water in your steel bath will dissipate out into the rest of your bathroom on cold winter days. In some cases, modern bath manufacturers may also make their bathtubs from porcelain, but it's more common to find this material in vintage tubs.
What Are the Advantages of Lucite Bathtubs?
Lucite tubs come with many different advantages. As you continue your search for the perfect tub, you should keep these incredible benefits in mind:
Lucite is cheap to manufacture, which means that bathtubs made from this substance are usually cheap as well. If you want to save as much money as possible to put toward other bathroom features, a lucite tub is the right choice for you. Another factor contributing to the low price of lucite tubs is the fact that these bathtubs are mass-produced while tubs made from other materials are often unique or handmade.
While lucite tubs that you tried out in the past may have been somewhat flimsy, these tubs have undergone a number of improvements in recent years. Pretty much every lucite tub is supported with a wooden frame, and most tubs also have layers of fiberglass that help them retain their shape and resist most types of pressure. If you want to make sure that you get the most durable lucite tub on the market, ask about the thickness of the tub in millimeters.
Since lucite doesn't conduct much heat, the heat of your bath remains where it's supposed to be: in the tub. This feature also makes it easier to get your bath warm when you need it, and touching your tub when you haven't filled it with water is much more comfortable when you have a lucite tub.
Easy to Clean
Lucite tubs are non-porous, which means that they don't have any tiny holes where bacteria or other nasty things can grow. This design also makes it easy to clean your tub, and if you notice any dings, scrapes, or scratches in the surface of your tub, it's usually easy to remove them because lucite is relatively malleable. If it comes right down to it, you can even use a power sander to buff out any serious scrapes.
Tons of Design Choices
Lucite is easy to mold during the manufacturing process, which means that you can make tons of different tub shapes from this material. Whether you want a tub that's round, square, oval, or an eclectic shape that will fit your body perfectly, it's much easier to find a shape that you like when you're searching for lucite tubs. For instance, if you want a tub that's square, steel tubs are much more expensive than lucite tubs.
Lucite Bathtubs: The Bottom Line
When it comes right down to it, lucite is the best material to use for your bathtub. In comparison to other materials, lucite is simply more durable, affordable, and flexible in terms of design options, and it's also lighter, which can be a consideration if you're planning to have your tub shipped to you. Your lucite tub will likely last you the rest of your life, and if you ever sell your house, keep in mind that your tub will add a little bit to your home's resale value. So, when it comes time to sink into a warm bath this winter, keep in mind that lucite is the right choice to make from both the perspective of your wallet and the perspective of your frozen toes.