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How to Tell if my Shower is Fiberglass or Acrylic?

Have you ever wanted to find out; if your shower is made from acrylic or fiberglass? Knowing the difference between these two materials can help you make an informed decision when it comes to maintenance and repairs. Acrylic and fiberglass showers have different characteristics and benefits that can help you decide which is right for your home. 

This blog post will provide you with a helpful guide on how to tell whether your shower is made of acrylic or fiberglass shower, and some tips on maintaining your shower regardless of its type.

Definition of Acrylic and Fiberglass Showers

Acrylic showers are made of a synthetic plastic material that is injected with gas or air to make them durable and lightweight. Fiberglasses are also often added to strengthen and increase the durability of the material.

They are generally more affordable than fiberglass showers and are known for their easy installation, low maintenance, and resistance to fading and cracking.

Fiberglass showers are from a combination of glass fibers and resin. They are known for their glossy, shiny finish and resistance to bacteria, mold, and mildew. They are also more durable than acrylic showers and are less likely to crack or fade over time.

Benefits of Each Type of Shower

Acrylic showers are a good choice for those looking for a lightweight, low-maintenance option. They are also easy to clean and maintain and are generally less expensive than fiberglass showers. 

Fiberglass showers are an excellent option for those looking for a more durable, long-lasting shower. They are also more resistant to cracking and fading, making them the best choice for high-traffic showers.

Differentiating Acrylic and Fiberglass Shower

Acrylic and fiberglass are two materials commonly in use to manufacture shower stalls and bathtubs. Both materials have unique properties and characteristics, making one more suitable for a particular application than the other.

Acrylic is a type of plastic that is known for its durability and versatility. It is a lightweight and flexible material that can be molded into various shapes and sizes.

Acrylic showers and bathtubs are easy to install and can be molded to fit into tight spaces, making them a popular choice for small bathrooms. Acrylic is also resistant to bacteria and mold, making it easy to clean and maintain.

Fiberglass, on the other hand, is a composite material made from strands of glass fiber reinforced with a plastic resin. It is a strong and durable material that is resistant to cracking and chipping.

Fiberglass showers and bathtubs are also lightweight and easy to install, but they may not be as flexible as acrylic in terms of fitting into tight spaces. They are also more prone to scratching and may require more maintenance to keep them looking new.

Overall, the choice between acrylic and fiberglass will depend on your personal preference and the specific needs of your bathroom. Acrylic may be a better choice if you want a lightweight and easy-to-install material that is easy to clean and maintain, while fiberglass may be a better choice if you want a stronger and more durable material that can withstand heavy use.

How to Identify an Acrylic Shower

There are a few ways to identify an acrylic shower:

  1. Look for the manufacturer’s label or markings: Many acrylic showers will have a label or markings indicating that they are made of acrylic. This label may be located on the inside or outside of the shower.
  2. Check the surface: Acrylic showers usually have a matte, non-glossy finish that is easy to clean and maintain. The surface of an acrylic shower will also feel smooth and cool to the touch.
  3. Examine the material: Acrylic is a type of plastic that is known for its transparency, flexibility, and durability. If you can see through the material or it flexes slightly when pressed, it is likely made of acrylic.
  4. Look for cracks or chips: Acrylic is a durable material that is resistant to cracking and chipping. If you notice any cracks or chips in the shower, it is likely not made of acrylic.
  5. Check for Signs of Fading or Discoloration: Acrylic showers are known for their resistance to fading and discoloration. If you notice any signs of fading or discoloration, you likely have an acrylic shower.

How to Identify a Fiberglass Shower

There are also several ways to tell if your shower is acrylic or fiberglass. Here are some key indicators:

  1. Look for the manufacturer’s label or markings: Many fiberglass showers will have a label or markings indicating that they are made of fiberglass. This label may be located on the inside or outside of the shower.
  2. Check the surface: Fiberglass showers have a smooth, glossy finish that is easy to clean and maintain. The surface of a fiberglass shower may feel slightly rougher than an acrylic shower, but it should still be smooth to the touch.
  3. Examine the material: Fiberglass is a composite material made from strands of glass fiber reinforced with a plastic resin. If you notice small fibers or a slightly rough texture on the surface of the shower, it is likely made of fiberglass.
  4. Look for cracks or chips: Fiberglass is a durable material that is resistant to cracking and chipping. However, it may be more prone to scratching than acrylic. If you notice any cracks or chips in the shower, it is likely made of fiberglass.

Maintenance and Care of Acrylic and Fiberglass Shower

 Here are some tips for maintaining and caring for your acrylic or fiberglass shower:

  1. Clean regularly: To keep your shower looking fresh and clean, it’s important to clean it regularly. Use a mild soap or a shower cleaner specifically designed for acrylic or fiberglass surfaces. Avoid using abrasive cleaners or scouring pads, as these can scratch the surface.
  2. Remove soap scum: Soap scum can build up on the surface of an acrylic or fiberglass shower over time, especially if you use bar soap. To remove soap scum, you can use a commercial soap scum remover or a mixture of vinegar and water. Simply spray the solution on the affected area and let it sit for a few minutes before scrubbing with a soft cloth or sponge. Rinse thoroughly with water.
  3. Use a squeegee: After each shower, use a squeegee to wipe down the walls and door of your shower. This will help prevent soap scum and hard water stains from forming.
  4. Repair chips or cracks: If you notice any chips or cracks in your acrylic or fiberglass shower, it’s essential to repair them as soon as possible. Small chips or cracks can be repaired with an acrylic or fiberglass repair kit, which can be purchased at a home improvement store.
  5. Avoid harsh chemicals: Some chemicals, such as bleach and drain cleaners, can damage acrylic and fiberglass surfaces. It’s best to avoid using these types of products in your shower.

By following these tips, you can help keep your acrylic or fiberglass shower looking clean and well-maintained.

Installation and Repair 

If you need to install or repair an acrylic or fiberglass shower, here are some tips to consider:

  1. Install a shower base: When installing an acrylic or fiberglass shower, you’ll need to start by installing a shower base. This can be done by setting the base in place and using silicone caulk to seal it to the floor. Make sure the base is level and properly supported before proceeding.
  2. Install the walls: Once the base is installed, you can attach the walls to the base and each other using adhesive or screws. Make sure the walls are level and properly aligned before securing them in place.
  3. Install the fixtures: Once the walls are installed, you can add the fixtures, such as the showerhead and handles. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for installation and use the plumber’s tape to ensure a secure and leak-free connection.
  4. Repair chips or cracks: If you notice any chips or cracks in your acrylic or fiberglass shower, you can repair them using an acrylic or fiberglass repair kit. These kits typically include a resin and hardener that you mix and apply to the damaged area. Once the resin has cured, you can sand it smoothly and refinish the surface if needed.
  5. Hire a professional: If you’re not comfortable installing or repairing an acrylic or fiberglass shower on your own, it is best to hire a professional plumber or contractor to do the job. They have the knowledge and experience to ensure the job is done safely and correctly.

By following these tips, you can install or repair an acrylic or fiberglass shower with confidence.

Conclusion

Now that you know how to tell if your shower is acrylic or fiberglass, you can make an informed decision about which type of shower is best for your bathroom.

Acrylic showers are great for those looking for an affordable, low-maintenance option, while fiberglass showers are ideal for those looking for a durable, long-lasting option.

Regardless of the type of shower you choose, it is important to make sure that it is properly maintained to ensure its longevity.