ABS Vs. Fiberglass Bathtub: In-depth Differences And Features

Picture this; you are on the cliff of a mountain in your RV taking a nice warm bath! It feels like nothing else even when I’m thinking; I wonder how it would feel in real.

If you own an RV, you only need a nice bathtub to have this remarkable experience.

If you are looking for a bathtub for an RV, mobile home, or commercial, you should choose between ABS and Fiberglass bathtubs.

But which one will give you maximum benefit? You’ll learn exactly that from this article. So, stay with me.

A Quick Comparison Between The Two Bathtubs

Here is a quick comparison table between ABS and Fiberglass bathtubs:

AspectsABS BathtubFiberglass Bathtub
Bathtub TypeNonporous BathtubPorous Bathtub
MaterialsAcrylonitrile Butadiene StyreneFiberglass
Special FeatureCome With Anti-Microbial TreatmentFlexible And Lightweight
DurabilityMore DurableLess Durable
MaintenanceEasy MaintenanceNot Very Easy
Costing$280 to $680$250 to $500

In-Depth Comparison Between Fiberglass And ABS Bathtubs

The above table has given you some ideas about their differences. But more details will help you pick up the right one.

So, here are some key differences between ABS and Fiberglass bathtubs.

  • Bathtub Type
ABS Bathtub
ABS Bathtub

ABS bathtubs are made from a particular type of plastic.

It is a cheap option for bathtubs generally used in RVs, mobile homes, and commercial places. T

These bathtubs are slick and nonporous. So, you won’t be able to paint on them. Besides, they are not very glossy and have lower chemical resistance.

On the other hand, Fiberglass bathtubs are also a particular type of plastic bathtub.

These bathtubs have Gelcoat resin that protects them from scratches and other light impacts.

 It’s also a cheaper and lighter option for bathtubs in the market. But they are porous, and you can paint over them.

  • Materials

Although both ABS and Fiberglass are special types of bathtubs, they are different from each other. The complete form of ABS is Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene.

It is a very tough plastic used to make bathtubs and shower walls. Apart from the ABS, these bathtubs also use Gelcoat and other materials.

In contrast to ABS, Fiberglass is made of reinforced plastic. This plastic is molded and formed into bathtub shapes.

Then a layer of Gelcoat resin is used to make it smooth and protect it from scratches. Because of the material and build quality, these bathtubs are lightweight and flexible.

  • Features
Fiberglass Bathtub
Fiberglass Bathtub

ABS bathtubs are nonporous, so they will not absorb water or moisture.

However, you won’t be able to repaint them. But some unique kinds of paint will give better results.

These bathtubs come with anti-microbial treatment, and they also have pretty good scratch resistance. Most importantly, they won’t deform.

On the contrary, Fiberglass bathtubs are flexible and lightweight. But they are porous. So, you will have to deal with water or moisture.

These bathtubs are aesthetically lacking in appearance. However, they are very cheap and affordable. They are widely available as well.

  • Durability

Durability is crucial for bathtubs. You are not going to change them every other day.

So, you must choose one that’s durable and will last longer. Because of the tight plastic material, ABS fiberglass bathtubs are very durable.

In contrast, Fiberglass material is not very tough. As a result, fiberglass bathtubs are not very durable. They cannot take heavy impacts.

So, you will have to use them very carefully. They are also porous and moisture-prone. Nonetheless, these bathtubs are flexible, and you can fit them in a small space.

  • Maintenance

Both bathtubs come with Gelcoat to resist scratches and light impacts. ABS bathtubs are nonporous.

So, they are not very susceptive to water and moisture. That’s why maintenance is comparatively easier. 

But Fiberglass bathtubs are porous. They are prone to water and moisture buildup. So, you will have to make sure you dry your bathtub fast after using; otherwise, you’ll have warps and deterioration in your tub.

  • Costing

Costing is vital in purchasing a bathtub, whether you use it in your mobile home, RV, or commercial. The price of ABS and Fiberglass bathtubs varies because of the differences in the material.

The Price of ABS bathtubs varies between $280 and $680 depending on size and design. On the other hand, Fiberglass bathtubs are a cheaper option compared to ABS.

Based on the size and design, you will have to spend from $250 to $500 for Fiberglass bathtubs.

Which Bathtub Will Be Best For You?

Now it’s time to decide which bathtub you should purchase. Since you are looking for something durable yet lightweight, long-lasting, and easily maintainable, you should choose ABS bathtubs.

They are nonporous, sturdier than Fiberglass, and require less maintenance. Although you will have to spend a little extra money, it will be totally worth it. So, go for ABS bathtubs.

But before you do that, watch this comparison video first.

Frequently Asked Question (FAQ)

Which is better fiberglass or acrylic tubs?

Acrylic is a more robust material than Fiberglass. So, acrylic tubs are robust and can effectively resist wear and tear compared to fiberglass tubs. On the contrary, fiberglass tubs are not durable and prone to cracks.

What type of material is best for tubs?

You will find bathtubs that are made from various materials. Among all the materials, acrylic is the most popular material right now. They are lightweight, durable, less maintenance, and less expensive.

What is ABS bathtub?

ABS is a very tough plastic whose complete form is Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene. This lightweight material is used for making bathtubs and shower walls. ABS bathtubs are nonporous, lightweight, and durable.

Is Fiberglass a good material for a bathtub?

Fiberglass is a lightweight material. Fiberglass bathtubs are flexible and can fit into smaller spaces, but they are porous and not very durable.

Final Thoughts

Choosing the right bathtub can be challenging at times. But after knowing all the differences between ABS vs. fiberglass bathtubs, your choice is pretty clear. You most definitely should purchase ABS bathtubs.

But you don’t have to believe my word. Go and talk to experts; they will tell you the same. I have done my part, and now it’s your turn to do the right thing.

Clyde Mitchell

I run a hardware store nearby Court Anaheim, CA. Over the last 7 years, I have been blogging about home improvement and yes, I own ReliefInBath.com From me and this website, you can expect some useful tips on great ideas for a modern bathroom.

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