Key comparisons when selecting an acrylic tub/shower unit are durabilty, especially the strength of the unit's bottom, the availability of color and finish options, and ease of installation. Most manufacturers add a backing to enhance the strength of the acrylic and some experts suggest that mechanical application of the backing results in greater structural stability. There are also different acrylic composites used in manufacturing these tub/shower units to reduce fading and maintain shine, which can be another comparison point.
Another consideration when comparing tub and shower units is the availability of accessories such as soap shelves, grab bars and handheld shower heads. The pros and cons of a seamless one-piece unit or a three-wall sectional unit also require consideration. While experts vary in their evaluation of seamless and sectional units, considerations include the size of the space where the unit is to be installed and whether it is new construction or a remodel. The three-wall sectional may work better in small spaces and remodels. Often the walls in a space are not square. Using a seamless unit in such a space can actually involve more pieces and fillers for proper installation than a sectional unit. Durability, stability and design options tend to increase the cost, but also the longevity, of the acrylic tub/shower unit.