Cast Iron Tub Pros and Cons

Before buying please compare cast iron tub pros and cons. These tubs are highly durable and longer lasting however extremely heavy. So, without much research done, you can’t buy them out of the blue.

Products those retain their appeal all along while not losing their effectiveness and popularity with the flow of time are truly amazing. That is to say, cast iron bathtubs are one of those legendary products.

Cast iron tubs have a history as modern day plumbing and its appeal didn’t decrease over time. Moreover, its vintage design and original look is still trendy and increase the bathrooms classy look.

These tubs are heavy and hard to move around. However, people like it for longevity and easy to clean feature. One of my friend still use his great grandfather’s vintage tub still now. Moreover, we know his grandchildren can you this tub also.

What is a Cast Iron Bathtub?

David Buick was the founding father of cast iron tubs. He started using porcelain enamel cover on cast iron. This alloy of iron-carbon melts with the porcelain enamel to make the desired shape.

Usually, cast iron tubs are clawfoot or freestanding design and shape. However, you can find alcove tub made of cast iron too. In addition, these are really sturdy and durable and they last longer than the house it installed on.

Features and Installation

Cast iron bathtubs are heavier with lethal durability. Regular 5 feet long tubs may have a weight 500lb to 1000lb. After filling the whole tub with water the weight can be 1-2 tons. So, you have to consider that before buying.

You will need extra manpower while transporting and installing the bathtub. Moreover, check and consult with expert about whether your current house can accommodate this heavy tub.

Its better and sometime recommended that you have to reinforce the bathroom floor before installing it. In addition, the reinforced floor will keep the floor safe from the extra weight. Installation fees for cast iron bathtubs are 2-3 times more that regular. Please keep that in mind too.

You can always refurbish an old and vintage tub. It will ensure showroom new look for it. Moreover, refurbishment will increase its appeal along with service life.

However, refurbishment isn’t DIY task. Therefore, you need to hire a professional. The cost will depends on the complexity of the task. If only sanding needed then it may cost only $200-$400. However, if new porcelain coating required then extra cost will be added.

Although, the main types of cast iron tubs are freestanding and clawfoot. However, you can also find modern drop-in, pedestal and alcove tubs too. Moreover, you can get slipper, rectangular, oval even circle shape tubs too. In addition, you can add any color you like for it. So, size, shape and color can be customized according to your requirements.

Common Cast Iron Tub Pros and Cons

There are many unique and important pros and cons to consider while looking for a classic cast iron bathtub. Learning about them is useful and help you decide your preferences. Therefore, its important to know and update yourself with them.


  • Vintage, unique and most classic type of bathtub. You will feel better and refreshed while having a bath in it.
  • Highly durable and great longevity. Three or more generation can use the same tub. No need to worry about breaking or rusting away.
  • Requires low to no regular maintenance. However, regular simple 5 minutes maintenance will keep its glossiness and attractiveness for longer period.
  • Ne fear about scratch or chip. Therefore, use it as you see fit.
  • Many colors and shapes available to choose from. Moreover, different design types, designs and sizes are also available.
  • You can easily refurbish or re-paint or refinish your older tub into new look,
  • The most important feature is, cast iron tubs can retain heat many times more than regular fiberglass or acrylic tub.


  • Heavier than you can imagine. With full water, 2-3 times more heavy. Move around or installation will require more manpower.
  • Most bathroom requires reinforced flooring to install this.
  • Extra installation cost.
  • If the enamel chips or cracks then it will rust fast. Usually, don’t happen for thick enamel coating.
  • Most importantly, these tubs are expensive. Cost 2-3 times more than same sized acrylic or fiberglass bathtubs.

Cleaning and Maintenance Tips

  • To avoid any type of soap build up, please clean and wipe after rinsing.
  • Stop the faucet after use. If small dripping runs, then rust buildup will happen sooner than expected.
  • Use regular tub cleaner to clean the whole tub monthly basis. Fill the complete tub with water, mix the cleaner and wait for half an hour. Then drain and wipe the whole tub with soft clothes.
  • While cleaning use, high quality bathtub scrubber to clean all parts of it. You can use Homitt scrubbers also.
  • If there is mark and stain in it, use usual tub cleaning natural remedies to clean them.
  • You can also use specifically produced cast iron stain cleaner to removes the stain.

Cost and Brands

After learning the basic cast iron tub pros and cons, we should know about the cost and available brands. The price can start with $1200 with higher prices can be around $9000. However, you can also find vintage designed top class cast iron bathtubs with prices from $10,000 to $70,000.

Not many newer bathtub manufacturers make and markets this luxury products. Most popular brands have long history of manufacturing high quality cast iron bathtubs. The most popular brands are Barclay, Chevior, Elite Bath Tubs, Herbeau, Lefroy Brooks and Slik Portfolio. However, there are many others reputable cast iron bathtub manufacturers.

End Words

Cast iron tubs are all about luxury and class. In addition, it will ensure your family status with high level bathing experience. They might be heavy and expensive, however, it will surely increase your bathing standard.

We encourage you to consider the cast iron tub pros and cons seriously with your budget and home decoration. That will help you make swift but correct decision. All we are trying to provide helpful information. Even if, one person gets benefit from our effort, we will be satisfied with our effort.