There was a time when shower pan acrylic tended toward being easily scratched and not easily cleaned. Modern shower pan acrylic is made durable and tough, with tight pores that keep it from getting yellowed and cracked over the years. It also has many properties that make it easier and more durable than many other materials used to make shower pans and shower floors.
There is a wide variety of materials that are used in shower pans today, as well as many different colors, styles and designs. The shower pan acrylic used most often is inexpensive when compared to tile, marble or other stone, and is much longer lasting than fiberglass. It also wears much better than tile shower floors and needs far less maintenance, and does not have the same potential for water leaks.
Taking Care of an Acrylic Pan
Shower pan acrylic has a high-gloss surface that makes it easy to clean, and the color is generally molded straight through the material, making scratches or dings less noticeable. And as a result, it is relatively easy to buff out any scratches or damaged areas.
It is also possible to polish the acrylic. There are a few polishing compounds on the market that can polish the surface, but most of the polishing methods are best performed by a professional.
Flame plastic polishing of shower pan acrylic is using a hot flame against the surface of the shower pan. Vapor plastic polishing is using a chemical vapor in the same way. Both of these methods are best done by a professional with a lot of experience in treating and repairing acrylic. Both are used often on outside acrylic, but can be applied to your inside acrylic surfaces as well.
Until your shower pan acrylic gets several years old, it generally needs very little maintenance to keep it looking just like new. The tight pores of this material make it difficult for mold or mildew to grow or for stains to take hold, so the best cleaning method is often just a simple wash with a mild soap and a rinse. This should be done as described in the manufacturers instructions.
Shower pan acrylic comes in a wide variety of styles and textures. It is common for the acrylic to be made to look like ceramic or mosaic tile. It is also possible to get acrylic that looks like marble or granite. The color may be white, or it can be another solid color, or it can have color swirls in it. As a man-made material, the options for designs are practically limitless. They can be molded to any shape, and can be made to accommodate wheelchair access as well.
These traits, as well as the ease of maintenance and durability of shower pan acrylic, have made these shower pans very popular in the bathroom remodeling industry in recent years. Shower pan fitters are also a part of this trend- they are custom shower pans that have been made to fit over the existing shower floor without the need to replace or remodel the shower walls, floors or tile. These pan fitters can be installed by professionals in just hours and can be made to match the decor that is already present in the shower.