If you’re in the market for a new bathtub, you’ve probably come across Kohler models and wondered – are Kohler tubs made of fiberglass or acrylic? It’s a common question, and there are some key differences between the materials that you need to understand. Basically, Kohler uses both fiberglass and acrylic to construct their tubs, though acrylic is the more high-end and commonly seen material.
In this article, I’ll give you an overview of the pros and cons of fiberglass and acrylic Kohler tubs. We’ll look at the benefits of acrylic, when Kohler decides to use fiberglass instead, and how to care for whichever material you end up choosing. There’s no definitively “better” option – it comes down to your budget, preferred features, and décor style. Let’s dive in!
Are Kohler Tubs Made of Fiberglass or Acrylic?
Kohler tubs are crafted using a premium fiberglass finish, not acrylic. The process starts with spraying gelcoat material onto a mold to form the shape. Then, it’s combined with a fiberglass-resin mix for added strength.
|Extremely durable and scratch-resistant||Acrylic||Fiberglass|
|Cost||More expensive||Cheaper option|
|Appearance||Glossy, seamless finish||Prone to dulling and losing luster over time|
|Durability||Many colors and patterns are available||Can scratch and degrade more easily|
|Ease of Cleaning||Non-porous, wipes clean easily||More likely to allow dirt and soap scum buildup|
|Style Options||Many colors and patterns available||Limited to basic color options|
|Customization||Can be molded into unique shapes||Typically only standard tub shapes|
|Weight||Heavier than fiberglass||Lightweight|
|Seams||Seamless construction||Possible leaking around seams|
|Repairs||Very difficult to repair damage||Small scratches can be buffed out|
|Lifespan||Lasts for decades with proper care||10-15 years of lifespan|
Here is an overview of materials:
Acrylic is generally considered a high-end material, while fiberglass is more often used for budget-friendly tubs. Acrylic has a beautiful glossy appearance that looks great in any bathroom. It’s also extremely durable – resistant to scratches, stains and cracks. So if you want that seamless, flawless-looking tub, acrylic is the way to go.
Fiberglass is cheaper to manufacture, so Kohler uses it for some of their more affordable tub options. It can mimic the smooth, glossy look of acrylic at first. But over time, fiberglass tends to fade and lose its luster. It also scratches more easily than acrylic. Still, a fiberglass Kohler tub can be a decent pick if you’re on a tight budget or want a simple bathtub without extra frills.
Read more about The Key Differences Between Acrylic and Fiberglass Bathtubs
The Benefits of Acrylic Kohler Bathtubs
If you’ve been bathtub shopping, you’ve seen the message that acrylic is a premium tub material. What makes acrylic such a great choice for a Kohler soaking tub? Here are some of the key benefits:
Acrylic has an extremely hard, glossy surface that resists scratches and scuffs better than just about any other tub material. It maintains that like-new shine for years. Acrylic is also resistant to cracks and leaks thanks to its seamless construction.
You don’t have to labor over cleaning an acrylic Kohler tub! Its non-porous surface prevents dirt, soap scum, and hard water stains from clinging and building up. Just wipe it clean with a soft cloth and mild cleaner.
Kohler acrylic tubs come in tons of different shapes, sizes, and colors. You can find options ranging from classic clawfoot tubs to ultra-modern curved designs. Customize with fun colors or patterns!
Quality acrylic tubs like Kohler’s are designed to stay beautiful for decades. The color won’t fade over time like fiberglass. Just avoid harsh cleaners that can damage the acrylic.
As you can see, acrylic offers a lot of advantages if you want your tub to really be a showpiece. Let’s take a quick look at when Kohler might opt for fiberglass instead.
A related article on How Long Do Fiberglass Bathtubs Last?
When Kohler Uses Fiberglass Bathtub Construction?
Acrylic is Kohler’s material of choice for most of their higher-end tubs. But fiberglass still has its place in their lineup. Here’s an overview of when you’re more likely to find a Kohler fiberglass tub:
Fiberglass is cheaper to work with, so it allows Kohler to offer more budget-friendly tub options. If you just want an affordable and basic bathtub, fiberglass is the way to go.
Kohler uses fiberglass for many standard tub designs that don’t require special molds. It’s easy to create a seamless, watertight shell.
Fiberglass is lighter than acrylic, making Kohler’s fiberglass tubs easier to transport and install. But they’re still durable.
Small scratches and chips can be buffed out of a fiberglass surface. Acrylic is more difficult to patch.
Key Differences Between Acrylic and Fiberglass Tubs
By now you have a general sense of acrylic vs. fiberglass bathtubs. Let’s recap the main differences between these two Kohler tub materials:
- Acrylic maintains its high-gloss, like-new appearance for years. Fiberglass often loses its luster and begins to look dull over time.
- Acrylic is extremely resistant to scratches, scuffs, and stains. It’s much easier to permanently damage a fiberglass surface.
- Fiberglass tub shells are cheaper for Kohler to produce. But acrylic tubs hold up better in the long run.
- With acrylic, you have nearly endless options for colors, patterns, tub shapes, and sizes. Fiberglass is only available in basic colors and standard tub silhouettes.
- Fiberglass can develop cracks or small leaks around seams. Acrylic has seamless, leak-proof construction.
- Repairing scratches and chips in fiberglass is doable. Fixing damage to an acrylic surface is close to impossible.
As you can see, each material has strengths and weaknesses. Acrylic is hands-down better in terms of durability and aesthetics. But fiberglass can make sense when budget is a big factor.
Well, I hope this overview gives you a good sense of the differences between acrylic and fiberglass Kohler tubs. Let me know if you have any other questions! I know the tub material might not be the most exciting decision. But taking the time to understand your options will ensure you end up with no regrets. Happy tub shopping!
William J. Bullock is a licensed plumber with over 15 years of experience installing and repairing bathtubs. He runs his own plumbing company in Greenville and serves residential and commercial clients. William is dedicated to providing honest, transparent advice to help homeowners make informed decisions about their bathroom renovations.
He has established expertise in selecting bathtubs, planning custom installations, diagnosing issues, and completing repairs. William aims to share practical tips and reliable recommendations based on extensive hands-on work. When he isn’t on a job site, William enjoys spending time with his family and volunteering at local community events. He takes pride in delivering quality service and enjoys helping people upgrade their homes.