Steel Vs Cast Iron Tub: Select The Better One For You

The tub is essential for every home; we want to have the best tubs that are durable, beautiful, and cost-effective. When looking for tubs for the bathroom, you have many material choices, but steel and cast iron tubs are the two most recommended.

Steel iron tubs are durable, versatile, lightweight, and have a good lifespan, while cast iron tubs are more expensive than steel tubs but offer excellent durability, performance, and a longer lifespan than steel tubs.

In this article, you will be guided by comparing steel vs cast iron tubs that may help you select the better one for you.

Steel Vs Cast Iron Tub: Basics You Should Know

When it comes to choosing a tub for your bathroom, it’s important to understand the basics of steel and cast iron tubs. Here are some key points to consider when comparing the two:

1. Steel Tubs:

Steel tubs are made of stamped steel shells; these are also called porcelain or enameled steel tubs. These tubs are usually harder than acrylic tubs. Steel tubs are durable and offer good corrosion resistance against abrasion and acid. The surface of steel tubs is easy to clean and maintain but needs a lot of care in choosing the cleaning products.

Comparing the steel tub with the cast iron tub, these are lightweight tubs like the acrylic and fiberglass tubs. Steel tubs can be the best choice for the bathroom because they are durable in cost. It is unpleasant that these are cold in touch, unlike acrylic tubs.

2. Cast Iron Tubs:

A cast iron tub is made from iron fused with porcelain material. Like the steel tub, cast iron tubs are also coated with enamel. Cast iron tubs are durable and resistant to most chemicals, scratching, and chippings. These are deep and thick materials and keep the water hot for a longer time.

Cast iron tubs are available in limited sizes, shapes, and colors than steel tubs. Cast iron tubs are heavy and also large. These required additional floor and labor to install. Unlike steel tubs, cast iron tubs are easy to clean and maintain.

Steel vs Cast Iron Tub: What are the Differences

There is a big battle between steel and cast iron tub features and performances, but you may understand in a better way after reading the comparison below.

1. Durability:

Steel and cast iron tubs are durable and recommended for the bathroom, but when comparing them with each other, it is controversial.

Some people think steel is better and more durable than cast iron, while others think cast iron is durable. But the reality is that cast iron tubs are thicker and more robust, while steel has more tensile features, making cast iron better in durability.

2. Corrosion Resistance:

Both are corrosion resistance to chemicals, scratching, and chipping. But cast iron has a better resistance against corrosion than steel. 

It does not mean it is corrosion-free; if you use it carelessly, left unprotected, both materials will oxidize with moisture, but steel oxidizes more quickly than cast iron.

3. Lifespan:

Steel and cast iron tubs are widely used for bathrooms, but cast iron tubs are the better choice in the sense of lifespan. 

The average lifespan of a cast iron tub could be between 70 to 100 years, but you cannot use a steel tub for more than 20 years, even with good maintenance. Generally, the average life of a steel tub is 10 to 15 years.

4. Maintenance:

You need cleaning and maintenance for both tubs; you need to clean with care when having steel tubs. You should use a soft cloth, mild soap, and clean water; if you need scorching, you should use light pressure with green scotch bright pads. 

But cast iron tubs are easier; you can rinse with hot water and use hard chemicals and pads without worrying about damage.

5. Cost:

We found cast iron tubs are more expensive than steel tubs in the cost comparison. The average cost for a cast standard size cast iron tub could be between 500$ 2000$, but you can find a standard-size steel tub in less range from 300$ to 2000$.

6. Versatility:

You can get more designs in beautiful styles when looking for steel tubs, but cast iron tubs are available in fewer designs because of solid and thick material; they are hard to shape.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Are Cast Iron Tubs Worth Buying?

Yes, cast iron tubs are one of the perfect bathtubs to buy because they offer greater durability, a long lifespan, easy maintenance, and high resistance against corrosion and other damages.

Could a Steel Tub be a Good Bathtub for me?

Of course, yes, steel tubs come with excellent features such as durability, versatile designs, lightweight, and good lifespan that could be a better choice than many others.

Which is Better to Keep the Water Warmer, Cast Iron Tub or Steel Tub for a Longer time?

As you know, cast iron is thicker than steel and may have more ability to keep water warm for a longer time than steel bathtubs

Final Thoughts

Cast iron and steel bathtubs are two of the best tubs for a bathroom that meet your requirements finely. When we compare cast iron tubs with steel tubs, cast iron tubs are better because they are more durable, easy to maintain, and highly resistant to corrosion but are expensive and offer fewer design choices. 

On the other hand, steel bathtubs are perfect when you have a low budget and look for a beautiful design; they also ensure 15 to 20 years lifespan and durability and are lightweight.


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