Acrylic vs. Gel Coat for Bathroom Remodeling

fiberglass shower refinishing

Remodeling your bathroom is a big task.  Various aspects need careful consideration.  One of the major issues  with a bathroom remodel is your tub and shower.  You will be using your shower/tub daily, and it takes up a significant portion of many bathrooms.  Having the perfect fixture will help to make your bathroom appear aesthetically balanced.

For many people, appearance is where the bathroom remodel planning stops though.  They don’t consider the material used in the tub and shower.  Do you want acrylic or gel coat for the finish?

Both types of finish (gel coat and acrylic) have their advantages.  Considering price, bathing experience, and appearance is just some of the factors you should consider.


  • Acrylic coating is well known for being durable and resistant to everyday use.  It is doubtful that it will crack or chip.  The composite backing used for acrylic fixtures helps to ensure the strength of the material.
  • Cleaning an acrylic tub or shower is relatively easy.  The fact that it is non-porous means that nothing will get stuck inside the nooks or crannies of the tub.
  • The coloring for acrylic material goes throughout the thickness of the material.  Even if the material gets scratched or chipped, the color will remain the same.  Fading of the material over extended periods of time will even leave the color looking fabulous.  In other words, acrylic is great at retaining color.
  • Acrylic tubs have better temperature management.  The tub will help to keep your bath water warm for longer.  If the room it is in is warm, the tub itself will also be warm.
  • Crafting an acrylic tub or shower can take a little longer, and the process is more in depth, because of this, these tubs and showers tend to cost more.  If you are creating a custom fixture for your bathroom remodel, it can also take longer to get a finished product.

Gel Coat Fiberglass

  • Gel coat is the finishing layer applied on top of fiberglass.  It gives the fiberglass a smooth finish and comes in various colors.
  • In a gel coat fixture, the fiberglass underneath is what gives the bath or shower strength and durability.
  • Gel coat fixtures are lighter than many other baths or showers.  You can easily transport one.
  • Careful use of your gel coat fiberglass tub or shower allows the color, and durability of the coating to last for a long time.  Proper cleaning and upkeep are important because the material is porous and can stain if not kept clean.
  • Due to the ease of working with gel coating and the reduced cost of the materials, it is a very affordable yet durable and brilliant option.

Contact us at 919-747-4800 when planning a bathroom remodel.