What Is a Garden Tub? Everything You Should Know

by Cora Gold | Updated: Feb 4, 2021

Interior design trends come and go, but the garden tub has remained a constant fixture in bathroom design. It can transform any powder room into a more relaxing environment, and as a result, has become popular rental unit features.

Below is everything you should know about the garden tub. Read on to learn if it’s a feature you’d like to enjoy in your next rental or if one would be strategic to add to your rental property.

What is a garden tub in a bathroom? 

Most bathrooms have a standard sized tub with a shower head attached. These are great for young kids who take baths, but they tend to not have enough room for older kids or adults to enjoy as well. Garden tubs provide a deeper soaking space so older kids and adults can enjoy baths, too. They’re a great way to help relieve stress and muscle tension and can help attract potential tenants looking for the next closest thing to a hot tub.

Why is it called a garden tub?

Interior view of soaking tub in greenhouse

The name for this deep tub comes from the French elite in the 18th century. The upper class, composed of wealthy aristocrats and courtiers, installed them outside within their beautifully curated gardens to admire the scenery while they bathed. Eventually, the tubs were placed inside near windows overlooking the garden or property, still giving people the luxury of admiring beautiful scenery while they soaked.

What is the difference between a garden tub and a regular tub?  

Vintage garden, soaking tub in exposed brick room.

The main difference between these tubs is their appearances. Traditional tubs have a boxy, bland look because they just catch shower water. Garden tubs have more of a rounded shape since they’re intended for soaking and therefore are built considerably deeper. They come in a variety of shapes but are most commonly oval as this is the best shape for large water depth. 

Traditional tubs generally can’t hold enough water for truly soaking as the typical size is 50 to 60 inches long, 30 inches wide and 19 inches deep. The standard size for a garden tub is 60 inches long, 42 inches wide and 24 inches deep, but many are even larger. As a result, if you’re thinking about installing one in your rental property, you’ll need to make sure you have enough room in the bathroom for it to fit.

Since garden tubs are designed for soaking, they often aren’t equipped with spa jets and other features like regular tubs. However, there are some garden tub models that do offer these features. Unlike regular tubs, garden tubs also are freestanding, meaning they aren’t attached to a wall, and they also don’t come with a shower-head attachment. 

Pros and cons of having a garden tub

Like anything, garden tubs come with both pros and cons. The pros include:

  • The deep space that accommodates people of various sizes
  • The tub’s customizable nature with its size and shape 
  • The beautiful appearance of your bathroom post-installation

You should also think about the following cons:

  • They tend to not have jacuzzi jets
  • Filling the deep tub often could increase your monthly water bill
  • A garden tub could become a tripping hazard due to the height of the tub

While a deep tub might be perfect for people who enjoy hot water soaks, it’s not practical for those on tight budgets due to the amount of water required. This feature may also not be in the best interest of older renters since they can be a slip and fall hazard.

How much does it cost to install a garden tub? 

Modern bathroom with freestanding garden bathtub. Walls made of bricks and big window.

Now that you know what a garden tub is, if you’re a landlord, you can decide if installing one fits into your budget. The cost of installation depends on the design, size, what it’s made of and who you select to install it. Averaging at $1,000, the price can range between $600-$13,000

Consider your options

Landlords may notice an increase in prospective tenant leads after installing and advertising that their unit or home has a garden tub in addition to a regular tub with a showerhead. They elevate the living standard, and some renters likely won’t mind paying a few extra dollars in monthly rent to enjoy one.

Categories: Landlords, Renters

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