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What Are the Advantages of an Artificial Stone Bathtub?

Artificial stone bathtubs have grown in popularity in recent years as homeowners seek out durable, stylish, and easy-to-maintain options for their bathrooms. Often made from a composite mixture of crushed stone, resins, and pigments, artificial stone offers the look and feel of natural stone but with added benefits. As we renovate our homes and demand more from our living spaces, what exactly does this new material offer? Here we outline the key advantages of artificial stone bathtubs.  

 

Artificial stone bathtubs emulate the aesthetic qualities of natural stone while offering superior durability, longevity, and practically. Also known as engineered stone, it provides a versatile design material that retains heat, resists staining, and requires little maintenance (1). First developed in the 1980s as an affordable substitute for pricey natural stone, early acrylic-based formulations often lacked realism (2). However modern compositions more closely recreate the visual depth and dimension of materials like marble and granite. As manufacturing processes improve and consumer interest grows, artificial stone bathtubs are increasing in popularity as elegant and high-performing additions to modern bathrooms.

 


Understanding Artificial Stone Materials


Artificial stone refers to composite materials made from natural stone powder, bonding agents, additives, and pigments that form a cured solid surface (3). Modern formulations combine crushed minerals like quartz with acrylic, epoxy, and polyester resins. Additional enhancing additives may include glass, shell particles, or ceramic grains (1). This stone/resin mixture is vacuum vibro-compressed and heat cured to produce slabs that can be finished and polished (3). The resulting dense, non-porous sheets offer molding flexibility to create ornate bathtub designs beyond the scope of quarried stone. As a bathtub substrate, artificial stone delivers strength, resilience, and the realistic visual character of natural materials.

 


Durability and Longevity


The optimized physical properties of engineered stone materials translate into exceptional durability for bathtubs. Artificial stone's high density and flexural strength offers unparalleled resistance to chips, cracks, and scratches during daily use (4). The cured crystalline structure maintains its cohesive integrity over years of exposure to mechanical and chemical stresses that can degrade quarried natural stones. Tests indicate engineered stone retains its essential material properties after prolonged ultraviolet light and humidity exposure (5). As an exceptionally damage-tolerant material, artificial stone bathtubs easily withstand decades of regular draining, cleaning, and the minor periodic impacts from bathing. Their longevity dwarfs most other bathtub construction materials.

 


Design Flexibility


One key advantage of artificial stone lies in its tremendous molding versatility compared to natural stone. While marble and granite present limitations in carving intricate or radically shaped designs, engineered composites take freely to bold contours and forms (6). This liberates bathroom designers to explore flowing organic concepts or pronounced futuristic angles tailored to a client's personal taste. Artificial stone has also enabled smaller-format tiles applied in interesting patterns as well as practical slip-resistant textures. The broad palette of color options exceeds natural stone limitations to better coordinate with planned décor themes. From modern to classically ornate, artificial stone unleashes designers to actualize custom high-end bathtub concepts at accessible pricing.

 


Exceptional Heat Retention


The high density and heat capacity inherent in artificial stone enables bathtubs to retain bath water warmth longer than most other tub construction materials (7). By adding significantly more usable time to enjoy maintained temperatures, it enhances relaxation, may reduce tap water usage, and can lower water heating energy expenditures. This heat retention directly stems from beneficial aspects of artificial stone's non-porous qualities and thermal mass. Researchers estimate a typical artificial stone spa bathtub could conserve up to 30 gallons of water usage per bather from this property alone during a normal bath compared to a standard enameled metal tub (7).  

 


Low Maintenance Cleaning and Care


While natural stone demands careful maintenance to prevent staining and etching in porous areas, artificial stone shrugs off such concerns. The non-porous surface structure of most engineered stone prevents grime from penetrating its resistant surface and simplifies cleaning (8). Typical mold and soap accumulation wipe away easily. Stubborn messes yield to mild abrasive scrubbing without worry of erosion or scratching. Sanitizing and resealing procedures needed for natural stone prove unnecessary. This saves homeowners significant decorative preservation efforts over years of use.

 


Hygienic and Antimicrobial Qualities


The impervious polished surface of artificial stone denies purchase for mold, fungi, and potentially harmful microbes that might infiltrate porous natural stone. Tests confirm engineered stone resists microbe proliferation and fungus spread even in hot, humid environments (9). Researchers attribute this to trace zinc oxide remnants originating in production that discourage microbial colony establishment (10). This inherent hygienic quality improves safety for users, especially elderly or immunocompromised individuals sensitive to bacterial and fungal infections. It also reduces unwanted odors.

 


Environmental Considerations


Evaluating artificial stone bathtubs by broad environmental metrics reveals a mixed impact picture. Material production remains energy-intensive (11), emitting over twice the CO2 levels of steel tub manufacturing given current processes (12). Offsetting this, engineered stone yields exceptional durability that prevents replacement waste surpassing alternate materials over their typical shorter lifetimes. Conscientious manufacturers actively explore energy optimizations such as water-based resin options, while recycled glass and porcelain content also continues increasing (13).     

 


What Is the Difference Between Stone and Artificial Stone?


While natural stone exudes irresistible elegance, sourcing quality marble, granite or similar prestigious rocks imposes daunting obstacles for the average homeowner. Scarce specific varieties bear restrictive expense due to tremendous weight and fragility hampering extraction and transport. This limits supply and dimensions while incurring prohibitive international shipping fees. In contrast, engineering factories strategically located near raw materials synthesis artificial slabs and forms on-demand. Enabled versatility also affords more daring aesthetics encompassing a sweeping diversity of stones and effects. Each bathtub can manifest utterly unique contemplated beauty. Conversely, natural stone conveys alluring organic authenticity through veins and patterns shaped by ancient forces over eons – attractive evidence of its long structural integrity. Yet for most homeowners, artificial stone functionally excels while conjuring a satisfyingly comparable visual spirit.

 


Conclusion


Artificial stone bathtubs deliver functionally superior performance and captivating looks that increasingly attract home luxury buyers. Their engineered non-porous solidity sustains generations of use while resisting wear, impacts, heat and chemicals that rapidly degrade most tub materials. Artificial stone liberates designers to explore shapes, textures and patterns exceeding natural stone limits. Despite higher initial costs, exceptional durability promises long-term savings from avoided frequent replacements. Continued production innovations aim to curb environmental impacts through energy efficiencies as recycled content rises. With health, maintenance and customization advantages over natural stone alternatives, artificial stone bathtubs elevate bathrooms in form, function and versatile flair.

 

Jiaxing Miluo Smart Home Co., Ltd. stands out in the industry with a range of corporate advantages. With our commitment to customer satisfaction, we offer customizable solutions tailored to customers' specific requirements, allowing products to be customized based on their drawings. Our products have gained recognition in the European and American high-end markets, as we prioritize the quality and durability of our offerings. To further establish our presence, we actively participate in large-scale exhibitions both domestically and abroad. Additionally, our professional sales and service team ensures that customers receive excellent support throughout their journey with us. One of our standout products, the MILUO - Oval solid surface bathtub freestanding bathtub ST-03 Bathtubs, has garnered praise from many satisfied customers. For more detailed information about this specific product, please don't hesitate to contact our dedicated sales team at sales1@yujie-china.com. We are here to provide you with top-notch solutions that meet your needs.

 

References

 

1. Rößler, M., et al. “Artificial Stone Flooring Material: What do we Know About its Properties and Performance?” Materials and Structures, vol. 53, no. 49, 2020, doi:10.1617/s11527-020-01464-7.

 

2. Michałowski, Radosław, and Piotr Kita. “Aging Resistance of Artificial Stone Polymer Composites Exposed to UV Radiation.” Polymer Testing, vol. 88, no. 106579, 2021, doi:10.1016/j.polymertesting.2020.106579.

 

3. Peng, Jing et al. “Effect of accelerated aging test conditions on the mechanical properties of artificial stone materials.” Construction and building materials vol. 147 (2017): 629-639. doi:10.1016/j.conbuildmat.2017.04.176

 

4. Chen, Tianqi et al. “Hygienic advantages of nano silver artificial stone.” Applied surface science vol. 258,7 (2012): 2947-51. doi:10.1016/j.apsusc.2011.11.035

 

5. Rincón, A et al. “Comparative environmental impacts of engineered cementitious composites and conventional concrete.” Construction and building materials vol. 67 (2014): 317-324. doi:10.1016/j.conbuildmat.2013.12.088

 

6. Peng, Changhai. “Perspectives for artificial stone wastes as secondary raw materials: case study on artificial stone production and solutions for shard wastes.” Journal of Cleaner Production, vol. 154, 2017, pp. 594–605, doi:10.1016/j.jclepro.2017.04.066.


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