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Steel or cast iron bathtub?

I'm going to upgrade my bathroom, going from a one-piece fiberglass tub enclosure to a tub and tile.  Which is best, steel or cast iron tub?
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March 15 2009 - Baltimore
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Answers (6)

Profile picture for BungalowMo
I see you're in Baltimore.  Check Craigslist.  I see cast iron clawfoots on their site often.  A clawfoot tub&some subway tile...you're talking my dream bathroom there, my friend.
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March 18 2009
Profile picture for supercub
Sunnyview, they are damn heavy, but worth it imo. Ryans suggestion as another choice is good as well. I have put in a number of the Americast for clients and they are excellent. Keep in mind when replacing older tubs, you will have to move the drain and faucets to line them up with the center of the new one.
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March 17 2009
Profile picture for sunnyview
I like cast iron. It is reliable and heavy as all get out. When you shower in it, it does not sound "tinny". When you take a bath, it holds heat well and has no flex at all. Disadvantages are how darn heavy it is and the increased expense of the tub itself over steel or other options.
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March 16 2009
I will have to throw in a third option, the tub I prefer to use is an Americast (american standard), this has the qualities to hold in the heat like a cast iron, and the strength of one too, but it is extremely light and easy to install. I have put in nearly 100 of these tubs, including in my own home, and it is my favorite!!! 
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March 16 2009
Steel is lighter and cheaper. Cast iron is heavier and more expensive. Cheap steel tubs can flex, esp if you are a heavier person. Steel is noisier than cast iron (think shower), is more prone to chipping than cast iron and will not hold heat as well (think baths).

If you go the steel route, don't buy the cheapest tub. If you are a tub person, make sure its not the cheap promo tub which hardly holds any water. And make sure the underside is foam insulated.

 Frankly if I was going to the expense of doing tile I would opt for cast iron or a quality acrylic tub (think jacuzzi). 
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March 15 2009
Steel is lighter and probably cheaper to buy.  Can't say that I think there's a big difference otherwise, but someone here will have an opinion.
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March 15 2009
 
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