Fiberglass Tubs Vs Acrylic (What, Why, When To Choose)

Acrylic Tubs are the best option for durability, heat retention, and a wide range of varieties. In opposition, Fiberglass is cheaper and offers easier cleaning and maintenance. 

Bathtubs are the most relaxing place that removes your all day tiredness instantly. But while installing a new tub, there are so many. Among the many bathtub materials, Acrylic and Fiberglass are the two most popular choices that can confuse you about which is better.

Though both bathtubs are lightweight, making them easier to install, they have many considerable dissimilarities when considering longevity, firmness, affordability,  and options for choices.

So in this post, I’ll discuss a head-to-head comparison to determine whether Acrylic or Fiberglass will make your decision and get you the best relaxing tub quickly.

Table of Contents

Fiberglass Tubs Vs Acrylic: Quick Comparison Table

Choosing the right bathtub is important as each material has different pros and cons. The bathtub materials determine how long it might last or whether it’s light enough for your floor. 

So let’s take a quick look at the basic differences between both Acrylic and Fiberglass bathtubs. 

Specifications Acrylic Bathtub Fiberglass Bathtub
Customizability YesNo
Chipping and rusting resistant HighModerate 
Refinish/ Install Liner when oldRefinish or maybe get Liner (depends on the model)Refinishes with a new resin coat
Cracking resistance HighModerate 
Average costHighLower

Overview Of Acrylic Bathtubs

Acrylic Bathtubs

Acrylic tubs are made with colored sheets of clear plastic reinforced with layers of Fiberglass. These materials are durable, lightweight, easy to install, and require very little maintenance. Acrylic tub has a usual lifespan of 10-15 years.

However, Acrylic is most commonly used in the tub to form seats, whirlpool jets, headrests, and other molding details. So due to their complex manufacturing process, Acrylic tubs are slightly more expensive than other types of materials.


  • Retains heat well
  • Mildew and mold resistant 
  • The finish stays glossy for an extended period
  • Wide range of customizable options
  • More durability ensure last longer


  • May scratch easily
  • Expensive than Fiberglass

Overview Of Fiberglass Bathtubs

Fiberglass Bathtubs

Layers of tiny interwoven glass strings are heated together to make Fiberglass reinforced plastic and to fit a desired shape or mold. Afterward, it’s molded and shaped. And finally, it was sprayed with a resin gel coat.

Fiberglass bathtubs are very popular due to their super lightweight design. It’s mostly used in two-story homes as they are very lightweight and don’t require additional support between the bathtub and floor.

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A fiberglass bathtub is also very durable and lasts 10-15 years. It requires low maintenance. On top-notch, this tub is very affordable and easiest to install than other tub materials. 


  • Looks shiny and glazy that enhance your bathroom appearances 
  • Lightweight, easy to install, and clean
  • Affordable price that won’t break your bank 


  • Easy to crack
  • The finish can fade over time

Fiberglass Tubs vs. Acrylic: In-Depth comparison

Fiberglass Tubs Vs Acrylic

Acrylic and Fiberglass bathtubs have many differences. By knowing the difference between the two bathtubs, you will understand which one is better in which aspect.

  1. Formation Process

The formation process is the primary difference between Acrylic and fiberglass tubs.

  • Acrylic

Manufacturers vacuum acrylic and reinforced with Fiberglass. These tubs are crafted by softening up the raw material and then form-fitting it into the final tub form. 

This latter process is more hands-on and less conducive to mass production, which causes a higher price tag and ensures it lasts longer than Fiberglass bathtubs.  

  • Fiberglass

Fiberglass has an easier formation process. In this process, manufacturers don’t include a vacuum and the fiberglass coating is sprayed onto the mold.

Winner: Acrylic

  1. Varieties, Colors, and Textures

Taking a bath in a relaxing bathtub as you desire helps relieve stress instantly. In that case, it would be great to consider its color, and texture. 

  • Acrylic Tub

Acrylic tubs are available in various textures, colors, and fixtures, giving you a choice between many options. There is a lot of flexibility in size, design, shape, and included features in Acrylic tubs, meaning you’re sure to be able to find a tub that fits your desire and style. 

  • Fiberglass

Fiberglass is also available with different shapes, designs, and fixtures but not as wide a variety as Acrylic tubes.

Winner: Acrylic

  1. Durability 

Durability determines the longevity of your bathtub. You definitely don’t want to replace your bathtub any time soon. So let’s check out which type of material is durable enough to give you service for a maximum period. 

  • Acrylic

Acrylic bathtubs are made strong as they don’t crack easily. Yes, the tub can crack, once it gets older but not very soon. Besides, acrylic materials are less likely to chip or fade than Fiberglass. 

These tubs do not tend to crack, fade or chip soon. So if you’re choosing between Acrylic and Fiberglass for longevity and durability, an acrylic bathtub is the right choice.

These materials are also non-porous, which means it will not absorb water, and you won’t need to worry about frequent repair or replacement. 

  • Fiberglass

Though both Acrylic and Fiberglass can crack, fiberglass bathtubs tend to crack more frequently than Acrylic. Also, Fiberglass can lose color over time. In that case, you might restore its shine (Here you can make an internal link on shine to fiberglass shower) to look as gorgeous as before. 

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Winner: Acrylic

  1. Heat Retention

If you want to have longer baths in warm water, you must first be sure that your bathtub materials can retain heat well. Though Acrylic or Fiberglass, none is well-known for heat retention, but thankfully one is better at this job than the other when comparing the two.

  • Acrylic

Though both tubs have plastic components, an Acrylic bathtub is more efficient in keeping the bath water warmer longer than a fiberglass tub. So, an acrylic bathtub is the best choice if you’re fond of enjoying hot water baths.

  • Fiberglass

Fiberglass bathtubs are lousy at conducting heat for an extended period.

Winner: Acrylic

  1. Discoloration 

You must not want your lovely bathtub to fade away soon and refinish it often.

  • Acrylic 

Acrylic is exceptionally durable. You’ll rarely find chipping, cracking, or fading in its material. 

  • Fiberglass

Meanwhile, Fiberglass tubs usually fade soon, but can be white again with little effort. Also, its material often faces cracks and scratches.

Winner: Acrylic

  1. Affordability 

Expectation vs. Costs, in a few cases, you can win over both. However, stunning bathtubs also come with a high price tag. The more features the tub includes, the more expensive it will be. But thankfully, both Acrylic and fiberglass bathtubs are pretty affordable. 

  • Acrylic 

The acrylic tub comes with customization features, and its manufacturing procedure is also quite complicated than Fiberglass, which increases its costs more than Fiberglass. 

  • Fiberglass

Since Fiberglass is less expensive, it also can be repaired with minimal cost. The minimum range of Fiberglass is much cheaper than Acrylic tubs.

Winner: Fiberglass

  1. Cleaning and Maintenance 

Though both types of tubs can be cleaned with a simple cleaning solution, Fiberglass needs more attention. 

  • Acrylic 

Acrylic bathtubs are less likely to stain and require less cleaning than Fiberglass. Although, you should constantly clean the bathtub to prevent staining and buildup of soap scum.

  • Fiberglass

Fiberglass requires thorough cleaning. Otherwise, it quickly absorbs water, creating stains, mold, and mildew. However, though it’s prone to staining more, these materials are easier to clean than an acrylic bathtub. 

Winner: Fiberglass

  1. Ease Of Installation 

You should not risk installing a bathtub yourself if you’re not professional. However, hiring professional plumbing costs some bucks, and how much you pay will depend on the installation process.

  • Acrylic 

Acrylic bathtubs are made with lightweight materials, and it doesn’t require extra floor reinforcement. So the installation process is easy.

  • Fiberglass

Fiberglass bathtubs are also easy to install as Acrylic. Otherwise, the installation costs of Acrylic and fiberglass bathtubs are almost the same. These materials are lightweight, making them easier to install than other materials.

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Winner: Tie

Similarities Between Fiberglass Tub vs. Acrylic Tub

Despite the differences, there are some similarities between Acrylic and Fiberglass. Knowing them will help you to know which benefits you’ll get from both.

  1. Both tubs are fiberglass-based, which makes the tub rigid and gives a shiny finish. 
  1. Contains flexible material to form any shape and customization
  1. Both tubs are very lightweight and less likely to damage your floors.
  1. Acrylic and fiberglass tubs both are easy to install and maintain.
  1. Both materials are affordable to buy within your budget range.
  1. Both bathtubs are easily found in any home improvement store.
  1. You can clean and maintain the acrylic and Fiberglass bathtub with a regular cleaner.
  1. Both materials, unlike the steel or cast iron, are more scratch-resistant than other tubs.


Is my tub fiberglass or acrylic? 

A simple litmus test to identify your tub whether it is fiberglass or acrylic is to touch its surface for a few seconds. If you feel the tub is cold, it may be a fiberglass tub. On the other hand, if you feel the tub is warm or neutral, most probably it is an acrylic tub. 

Are fiberglass tubs better than acrylic?

No, fiberglass tuba aren’t better than acrylic in terms of quality, performance, durability, variety, heat, wear and tear resistance. 

Are kohler tubs fiberglass or acrylic?

Generally, Kohler tubs have a premium fiberglass and gelcoat finish to enhance their longevity. So, there is no black and white answer that Kohler tubs are fiberglass or acrylic. Instead it’s in-between these two. 

Acrylic vs. Fiberglass: Which One Is Better?

Acrylic bathtubs are superior in many ways when compared to Fiberglass. From the similarities of both tubs, you know Acrylic tubs offer most of the advantages of Fiberglass while eliminating a lot of negative aspects. 

If you want a bathtub that will last longer and require fewer repairs, then Acrylic is the best choice as it is more durable, and less prone to breaking. Acrylic tubs resist wear and tear for years on end. Also, it doesn’t fade away or turn yellow as Fiberglass does. 

On top-notch, if you’re quite lazy about cleaning your bathroom, you should go for Acrylic as it requires less cleaning and less maintenance. 

If, however, you prefer shorter baths and heat retention is not a priority for you, pick Fiberglass. Otherwise, if you want something more flexible, Fiberglass is the better option. You can pick it for easier cleaning and maintenance and a lower price.

Final Thought

So we reach the final words of our blog post about Acrylic vs. Fiberglass bathtubs. Which bathtubs will relax you most, is completely up to your preference. Knowing the pros and cons of both tubs and which one performs better for your priority will make your buying decision easier, smarter, and wiser.  Enjoy your refreshing shower. 

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