Skip to Content

Acrylic Shower Vs Fiberglass: Which Should You Choose?

It’s finally time to upgrade your bathroom and install a new shower! Homeowners everywhere dream of this day, but what they don’t dream about is how many decisions they have to make, such as opting for an acrylic shower or a fiberglass shower. If you’re sitting there with no idea what the difference is between the two materials, we promise you’ll be an expert by the end of this article. 

Acrylic and fiberglass are often chosen as more affordable alternatives to pricy stone or ceramic showers. However, apart from this, these two materials differ widely in:

  • Material makeup
  • Durability
  • Versatility
  • Cost

Because of these differences, each material has its pros and cons renovators must consider before choosing one or the other.

In this article, we’ll discuss the most significant differences between acrylic and fiberglass showers, so you can make an informed decision as to which you prefer. Afterward, we’ll detail some of the most significant benefits of both materials that lead many homeowners and installers to sing their praises.

Differences Between Acrylic and Fiberglass Showers

If you’re pinning acrylic showers versus fiberglass showers, you’ll want to know the most significant differences between the two so you can make a decision between them and move on with your shower renovation. Therefore, to help expedite the process, we’ve done just that below for you. 

Ultimately, acrylic showers are more durable and easier to clean than fiberglass showers, but they tend to be pricier and much more difficult to repair.

If that wasn’t enough to end the debate for you, we invite you to read on as we delve a little deeper into what sets these shower materials apart. 

Material Makeup

The material makeup of acrylic and fiberglass showers sets the foundation for the majority of their other differences, especially cost and durability. 

Acrylic showers are made of an entirely synthetic material heated and drawn into a mold by a vacuum forming process until it creates a sheet of the ideal shape. Most synthetic material is plastic-based, but acrylic showers are also reinforced with glass fibers and resin for additional durability.

Fiberglass showers are made from a polyester resin mixed with woven glass fibers before it is sprayed or poured into a mold to create the ideal shape. Both materials rely on molds to create large sheets for shower installation, but the material used differs widely.

Durability

This is the factor that probably contributes most to the acrylic versus fiberglass shower debate. Because of their material makeup, acrylic showers are by far the more durable choice of the two. 

It is much more difficult to scratch, shatter, or puncture acrylic showers than fiberglass, effectively increasing their longevity. Additionally, many owners find that acrylic showers maintain their color and quality longer than fiberglass showers, prone to color loss.

Because acrylic showers are much more durable than fiberglass showers, you can expect an acrylic shower to last a decent while longer without needing repairs. However, the counter-argument here is that acrylic showers are much harder to repair than fiberglass shows once they are damaged. 

Versatility

One of the best parts of renovating a shower is choosing a material that gives you substantial design and pattern choices. 

While neither acrylic nor fiberglass is the most versatile of materials in this regard compared to other shower materials, if you want the most versatile of the two, it’s going to be acrylic showers. 

Acrylic showers tend to come in a wider range of colors and design options for more customization than they would have with fiberglass. However, since both are installed in large sheets, you won’t find either in the same intricate patterns you can have with tiles or stone.

Cost

Apart from cost, this is the factor that will decide between acrylic and fiberglass showers most for renovators or homeowners. 

Since acrylic showers are much more durable and diverse in their designs, it’s no surprise they tend to be the pricier option of the two. 

While many of you might be ready to go for fiberglass showers after hearing this, remember that because acrylic showers are more durable, you’re less likely to spend money repairing them versus fiberglass showers. Therefore, you’ll have to decide which cost you value most: initial cost or long-term cost. 

Benefits of Acrylic and Fiberglass Showers

Now that we’ve covered the main differences between acrylic and fiberglass showers let’s briefly cover the characteristics they share and why people will choose these materials over nicer alternatives with more character.

Most renovators or homeowners will opt for acrylic or fiberglass showers because they are two of the most affordable shower materials that are still decently durable and visually appealing. They are also easy to install and maintain, two qualities many pricy materials don’t have. 

When it comes to the overall cost, it isn’t uncommon to acquire a stall fiberglass shower for $300-$600 or an acrylic shower for $300-$1000. While this might seem costly at a glance, it’s nothing compared to tiles which could cost $1.25-$100 per square foot, or stones of $40-$400 per square foot. Marble showers might be stunning, but owners easily spend $100-$300 per square foot when they can get a whole shower for a fraction of the cost. 

In addition to being budget-friendly, your acrylic or fiberglass showers tend to be much easier to clean and require less maintenance than other materials since they are mold-resistant. Acrylic showers specifically are non-porous so that you won’t find soap scum or hard water build-up here. All you need to do use scrub them lightly with a soft brush and rinse them off versus using an abrasive sponge and harsh chemicals. 

The last benefit of acrylic and fiberglass showers is how easy they are to install. These materials come in large slabs, which is why many professionals enjoy them. Instead of installing stone by stone or tile by tile and then grouting the whole shower, they can pop in the slabs and move on. 

Not only is this great for the installers, but it also benefits the owners since the job can be done quickly, which usually means at minimal cost if the company charges by the hour. 

Final Thoughts

If you’re ready to spruce up your shower, we highly recommend investing in a new one made of either acrylic or fiberglass. Between the two, we believe acrylic is the better choice for its durability, versatility, and resistance to more harmful substances. 

However, if you truly can’t afford an acrylic shower, fiberglass is the next best thing, especially if your cost alternative is a tacky single-sheet plastic. Either way, you can’t go wrong with acrylic or fiberglass if you choose one that suits your preferred aesthetic and have it professionally installed.

Next, you can learn about how to clean your bathtub and showers, or how to organize your dresser here.

Sharing is caring!