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Q: My husband and I are planning a master-bathroom renovation. The issue is with the bathtub.

I want an old-fashioned look, complete with a vintage-style cast-iron tub.

My husband is all for a more modern look, and wants to install an acrylic tub. What can you suggest, other than building separate bathrooms?

A: Cast iron and acrylic are good material choices for a bathtub.

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Enameled cast iron comes in a variety of color choices and is known for its strength and durability.

Also, since it is made in part with reclaimed and recycled materials, it’s considered a green-building product. So, even though it’s been around for many decades, cast iron has kept up with current building trends.

Acrylic is a lighter-weight material, but pound for pound it’s very strong. It has a smooth finish and is easy to clean. Some acrylic bathtubs even have built-in heating elements to keep the bather nice and warm.

What do you do when you have two good choices, but you need to agree on one type of bathtub material?

I suggest you look into some of the new “solid-surface” bathtubs on the market that can combine features of cast iron and acrylic.

Solid-surface bathtubs are heavy and strong, yet smooth, warm and comfortable against the body. With plenty of style choices as well, a solid-surface bathtub just may get your marriage out of hot water.

Master contractor/plumber Ed Del Grande is known internationally as the author of the book “Ed Del Grande’s House Call,” the host of TV and Internet shows, and a LEED green associate. For more information, visit

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