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Cast Iron Tub Pros and Cons Explained! (What You Need to Know)

Cast Iron Tub Pros and Cons Explained! (What You Need to Know)


If you are looking for a bathtub that combines heat retention, durability, and elegance in a bathroom, you won’t go wrong with cast iron bathtubs. As with other models, this tub would be an ideal pick for some but not perfect for others; that’s why you should know the cast iron tub pros and cons.

The pros of cast iron tubs include durability, aesthetic appeal, excellent heat retention, and less maintenance. They are also resistant to wear and tear and can fit with a wide range of bathroom decors. However, cast iron tubs also have downsides, like being heavy and expensive to buy and install.

Do cast iron tub pros outweigh its cons? Find out here and determine if it’s worth keeping a cast iron tub or refinishing it. Furthermore, find out its average weight, the cost of removing it, and if these tubs are generally good.

What are the cons of a cast iron tub?

What Are the Pros of Cast Iron Tubs?

A cast iron tub could be a remarkable addition to your restroom because of the following benefits:

1. Durable

Cast iron cemented its place as one of the most durable materials around. The iron ore construction and thick enamel finish contribute massively to its resistance to scratching, denting, chipping, and abrasive chemicals.

In addition, cast iron tubs are built to endure wear and tear, which is why it’s no surprise that they can last 70 years.

2. Super Heat Retention

The pros of cast iron tubs extend further than durability alone; their heat retention capacity doesn’t go unnoticed. Cast iron bathtubs embody iron ore, a good conductor of heat, and the thick, deep design comes in handy for keeping water warm for an extended period.

The cast iron bathtub will most likely be quite chilly before running a heated bath, and if patience is not in your DNA, you may skip your bath. But the best part about cast iron is that it heats up gradually and retains heat for far longer than other bathtub materials.

Once the tub heats up, it will retain heat and keep the bathwater heated for a long time. As a result, cast iron bathtubs are great for individuals who enjoy taking long baths at the culmination of a long day.

Even though a cast iron tub requires extra patience, “the end will justify the means.”

3. Aesthetic Appeal

Many interior designers like cast iron bathtubs because of the elegant and sharp lines they add to a restroom. They enhance the overall appearance of your bathroom area in ways other materials cannot.

Cast iron bathtubs look super stunning in contemporary bathrooms. Even if you adopt a basic approach to bathroom design, a cast iron bathtub will be a conversation piece when guests use your bathroom.

4. Less Maintenance

Apart from aesthetic appeal, heat retention, and durability, cast iron tubs demand minimal maintenance. The materials used in their construction don’t stain, scratch, or chip easily.

You only need to clean them regularly using a gentle cleaner and soft cloth. In addition, cast iron can withstand harsh chemicals without compromising the elegance of the thick enamel.

5. Built to Last and Pass the Test of Time

Cast iron bathtubs last for generations. As bathroom decor trends change, you can refinish your tub to bring it back to life and match updated bathroom designs.

Cast iron bathtubs will also complement a wide range of bathroom themes. So, if you choose to redesign your restroom in 10 or 15 years, you will not have to fret about replacing your cast iron tub.

Cons of Cast Iron Tubs

Cast iron tubs are not flawless since they have the following drawbacks:

1. They Are Heavy

The cast iron tub weight is probably the most notable demerit of this high-end fixture, with an average tub weighing about 300 pounds. A combination of the tub’s weight, that of the water, and that of the bather pose a significant risk to your bathroom floor, especially if you have it on a higher floor.

The restroom floor would need reinforcement before installing cast iron tubs; before fixing a cast iron bathtub, get a professional to inspect your flooring and ceilings. It will guarantee that the floor can support the weight of the tub, taking into account the water and the bather using it.

2. Expensive to Buy and Install

Cast iron tubs are usually more costly than their counterparts. The normal cost ranges from $500 to $2,000 without factoring in transportation and installation, which are also significant because of weight.

3. Susceptible to Rust

These tubs feature iron at the bottom, which is susceptible to rust when exposed to moisture and heat.

4. Costly to Repair

Even though cast iron tubs promise durability, avoid chipping the enamel finish at all costs. You don’t want to spend $200 correcting a chip on this high-end fixture.

Is a cast iron tub worth it?

Are Cast Iron Tubs Good?

While the longevity of all tubs varies, cast iron bathtubs are touted for their durability, heat retention, and other benefits discussed above. They are exceptionally robust; however, their weight sometimes necessitates additional floor support.

It is ideal for homeowners who want high-end additions and long baths and don’t mind paying fortunes for the benefits.

Is Cast Iron Good for Bathtubs?

Cast iron is ideal for bathtubs, thanks to its iconic and elegant appearance, remarkable durability, and heat retention abilities. It is also scratch and chip-resistant and offers a nearly permanent installation without ruining your bathroom.

Besides that, cast iron complements multiple bathroom decors and can stand the test of time. That’s not all; cast iron tubs also require minimal maintenance, unlike other materials (such as acrylic).

However, experts advise you to consider their capacities to get the best out of cast iron bathtubs. Cast iron tubs can weigh more than 500 pounds when filled with water and occupied by a bather.

Therefore, ascertain that your bathroom floor can support such enormous weight. As a matter of fact, the cast iron tub weight makes some homeowners shy away from them.

Is a Cast Iron Tub Worth Keeping?

A cast iron bathtub is worth keeping if it is in good condition. They are magnificent, not only because of their longevity but also because of their unmatched heat retention ability if you would like to soak.

Furthermore, their resilience against scratching and chipping is an advantage, something you won’t say about acrylic tubs. Despite a few challenges like cast iron tub weight, the merits far outweigh the negatives.

It’s also worth mentioning that these tubs stand the test of time because they keep up with changing bathroom trends.

Is It Worth Refinishing a Cast Iron Tub?

The cost of cast iron tub refinishing ranges between $300 and $500 and differs from state to state. For this price, reputable refinishers can make your old cast iron tub look new rather than break your bank to install a new bathtub.

The standard price for a built-in regular-size cast iron tub is between $200 and $350, while a clawfoot tub costs between $400 and $750 if done both inside and outside. Other factors influencing the price include excessive wear, considerable wear, and multiple scratches or chips that demand fixing.

How Much Does a Cast Iron Tub Weigh?

Depending on the specifications, cast iron tubs weigh between 200 to more than 400 pounds without a load. When laden with water and occupied by a user, it may weigh up to 500 pounds or more.

The actual weight, however, is determined by the size and nature of the cast iron bathtub. Alcove cast iron tubs, for example, are typically 60 inches long, accommodate 30 gallons of water, and can weigh up to 300 pounds.

Freestanding cast iron tubs measure 60-75 inches long, can carry up to 80 gallons of water, and weigh 385 pounds when occupied by a bather. Additionally, petite freestanding cast iron tubs measure 40-55 inches long, can contain 32 gallons of water, and weigh up to 250 pounds when occupied by a user.

Therefore, before selecting this long-lasting, vintage-inspired model, figure out how much weight your bathroom flooring can handle. The size and design of cast iron make it more challenging to install than other materials, such as steel, acrylic, or fiberglass.

Which is better a cast iron tub or an acrylic tub?

How Much Does It Cost to Remove a Cast Iron Tub?

You may expect to pay between $255 and $395 to have a typical cast iron bathtub removed because these units are heavy, hence challenging to move from one spot to another. So, irrespective of which trash removal business you pick, how you set up the cast iron bathtub will undoubtedly affect how much you’ll pay to uninstall it.

In some cases, expect to pay more than $400 based on where you placed it. A cast iron tub installed on, say, the fourth floor in a house with a narrow staircase will cost more than that on the first or ground floor.

Final Remarks on Cast Iron Tub Pros and Cons

Cast iron tubs are ideal if you want a luxury tub that can last for decades while providing better heat retention and aesthetic appeal. However, be prepared to pay a premium because they don’t come cheap.

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