If you have a bathroom that needs the shower replaced or are remodeling and want to find a like shower, you should be aware what material the shower is constructed with. Knowing which construction material the shower is will help you in choosing another type of shower. The most similar material to fiberglass is acrylic because it has the same appearance, while tile has visible joints or grout lines. Fiberglass and acrylic have some basic differences.
Look for dulling of the color. Fiberglass shower color fades over time. Look in different areas of the shower for inconsistency in color. In addition, if the shower surface is cold to the touch even in a heated bathroom, it is likely fiberglass, as acrylic is warm.
Inspect the shower for breaks and nicks. Fiberglass is more fragile than acrylic, and consequently is more prone to break and crack. In addition, fiberglass is easy to repair with resin compounds. If your shower has breaks or nicks, apply a resin compound. If the compound fixes to the surface, it is likely fiberglass.
Attempt to clean stains from the shower. Fiberglass is a porous substance and once a stain sets in, stains remain regardless of cleaning.
Check the integrity of the shower. Fiberglass only has a useful life for about eight years. After that time, fiberglass will greatly deteriorate, and cracks, stains, bacteria and mold will penetrate the surface. Look for any one or a combination of these defects.