What is the difference between Ella Acrylic and Gel Coat Walk-in Tubs (Acrylic vs GelCoat)?

What is the difference between Ella Acrylic and Gel Coat Walk-in Tubs (Acrylic vs GelCoat)?

Acrylic walk in tubs and gel coat walk in tubs are two popular options for home improvement and bathroom renovations.

Acrylic walk-in bathtubs are formed from a solid Acrylic / ABS sheet. This results in a glossy white nonporous finish, impermeable to mold, and easy to maintain. Acrylic offers a smooth surface and a strong resistance to chipping, cracking, and fading. Once the acrylic walk-in bathtub shell is removed from the mold, it is reinforced with gel coated fiberglass, and placed on a stainless-steel rustproof frame. Following this process, additional layers of gel coat fiberglass are added which bond the shell and frame into one solid structure.

Gel coat walk in tubs tubs are derived from spray-resin gel coat layers, reinforced with fiberglass.

One of the main differences between acrylic and gel coat walk in tubs is their resistance to fading. Acrylic tubs are less likely to fade over time in comparison to gel coat tubs due to color being dispersed throughout the material. In contrast, the color of gel coat tubs is only on the surface. Acrylic walk in tubs are a preferred option for those who prefer a long lasting glossy white finish.

Gelcoat walk in tubs consist of a gelcoat layer sprayed on a mold and a layer of fiberglass over that to reinforce it. Then it is backed with wood and more fiberglass for extra versatility and durability.

With Acrylic walk in tubs we heat the acrylic sheet and vacuum form it over a mold. Then we spray and roll a layer of fiberglass over it for extra durability and insulation. This process is a little more complicated but it creates one smooth seamless surface that results in a gloss shine. This surface is nonporous which makes it resistant to fading and it makes it easier to clean. The nonporous material also makes it more resistant to mold and mildew. The Gloss Acrylic option gives you a smooth, white gloss finish whereas the Textured Acrylic gives you a textured, off white finish. Both have the benefits that Acrylic material offers, but each has their own aesthetic.

Gelcoat is a porous material, however it is very important to understand that the quality of the gelcoat walk in baths depends on craftsmanship, experience, and the quality of materials used. Be cautious about cheaper gelcoat walk in bathtubs available on the market as they may not have plenty of layers of gelcoat sprayed on and polished to perfection to achieve the long lasting, easy to clean surface. Gelcoat does have more versatile options and sizes that cannot be achieved with acrylic because of the nature of the material and the process of making it. Whichever material you choose from Ella’s Bubbles you will get a long lasting, durable walk-in bathtub that is backed with a warranty.

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