Garden Tub Vs Standard Tub: Which One Is Right for You?


Garden Tub Vs Standard Tub

Comparing ‘Garden Tub Vs Standard Tub‘: Discover the distinct features, benefits, and ideal scenarios for each to determine the perfect choice for your bathroom renovation.

Are you planning to remodel your bathroom or install a new tub after a long day? With so many options available, it can be overwhelming to choose the right one. Two of the most popular types of tubs are garden and standard bathtubs. While both serve the same purpose, they differ in several aspects, such as size, shape, and material.

Let’s review the basics of these tubs, their historical significance, and a comparative analysis of their fundamental differences. We will also discuss why you should opt for space considerations, water usage, and the cost factors involved, including the impact of indoor plumbing.

Understanding the Basics of Tubs

Tubs come in different types, such as garden tubs and standard tubs. Both provide a relaxing bathing experience. The choice depends on personal preference and available space. Consider factors like size, shape, and material while selecting a tub. Understanding the differences can help make an informed decision.

What is a Garden Tub?

A garden tub is a type of bathtub that is freestanding, oval-shaped, and deep enough to allow you to soak your whole body in water. It is a more luxurious and spacious option than a standard tub, and it can create a relaxing and spa-like atmosphere in your bathroom with its touch of luxury. A garden tub is perfect for a relaxing soak after a long day at work or a strenuous workout.

Garden tubs, including freestanding tubs, are usually made of enameled cast iron or acrylic and have different features, such as jets, curves, or handles. The name garden tub comes from the historical practice of placing these tubs in or near the gardens of wealthy people in Europe in the 18th century. Some garden tubs also have a whirlpool feature, providing a relaxing and therapeutic experience.

What is a Standard Tub?

A standard garden tub is designed to fit most small or standard-sized bathrooms. It is usually installed in an alcove bounded by three walls. A common garden tub typically has external measurements of about 60 inches long, 30 inches wide, and 14 to 16 inches high, with an apron at the front.

A standard tub can hold around 80 gallons of water and takes 5 to 7 minutes to fill. Traditional tubs made of natural materials are versatile, affordable, and easy to maintain. They are also compatible with shower combinations and various faucet fixtures, making them a cost-effective option for homeowners looking to minimize installation expenses.

Standard Tub
Standard Tub

Tracing the Historical Significance

Garden tubs have a rich history rooted in European bathing traditions. Initially popular among the upper class, these tubs have evolved to meet homeowners’ changing needs and preferences.

With their deep and comprehensive design, garden tubs offer a spa-like experience that can help you relax and unwind after a long day. Always consult a professional plumber to ensure proper installation and maintenance of your garden tub.

Advancements in plumbing and manufacturing techniques have influenced the design of standard tubs. Understanding the historical significance of gardens and traditional tubs provides insights into their development and usage.

Origin and Popularity of Garden Tubs in Europe

Garden tubs, including oversized bathtubs, are a luxurious addition to any bathroom. These large, oval-shaped, freestanding bathtubs allow users to soak their bodies in water. They are considered an elegant option for providing relaxation and comfort.

The name “garden tub” comes from their historical origin in 18th-century France, where they were placed in or above the gardens of the aristocracy and elite.

The bathers could enjoy the scenery while bathing, and the water was reused to irrigate the plants. The English adopted this idea and started to install garden tubs near windows or other scenic spots in their modern homes, which provided excellent heat retention.

Garden tubs became popular in Europe because of their aesthetic appeal and soothing benefits. Today the best ways to enjoy garden tubs with stand-alone designs are available in various materials, sizes, shapes, and prices, but they still require much space and water to accommodate them.

Evolution of Standard BathTubs

Standard tubs have a long history, dating back to ancient civilizations. In the past, they were made from materials like copper and stone. However, advancements in manufacturing techniques have made standard tubs more accessible and affordable for homeowners looking to upgrade their modern bathrooms.

Today, standard tubs come in various shapes, sizes, and materials, offering multiple options to suit different bathroom designs and preferences, including different forms. The evolution of traditional tubs has resulted in their widespread availability and versatility.

The Nitty-Gritty of Garden Tubs vs Standard Tubs

Garden tubs and standard tubs differ in size, shape, and features. Garden tubs offer a more immersive bathing experience with their more extensive and deeper design. Traditional tubs, on the other hand, are practical and space-efficient.

The choice between the two depends on personal preferences and bathroom space. When deciding, consider factors like water depth, water jets, and overall comfort. Soaking tubs and garden bathtubs are popular options to enhance your bathing experience.

Critical Differences Between Garden Tubs and Standard Tubs

Garden tubs and standard tubs are two types of bathtubs that have different features and benefits. Garden tubs are more extensive, deeper, and more luxurious than traditional ones. They can accommodate more water, people, and accessories like jets, lights, or aromatherapy.

Garden tubs are often installed in master bathrooms or outdoor spaces, where they can create a relaxing and spa-like atmosphere. Standard tubs are more petite, shallower, and more practical than garden ones. They are designed to fit in standard-sized bathrooms and to conserve water and space.

Standard tubs are suitable for daily bathing, cleaning, and showering. They are easier to install, maintain, and access than garden tubs.

Comparative Analysis: Size, Shape, and Material

Both types of tubs can be made of various materials, such as acrylic, fiberglass, cast iron, or porcelain. The material affects the tub’s durability, weight, cost, and maintenance.

Acrylic and fiberglass are lightweight, affordable, and easy to clean but can scratch or crack over time. Cast iron and porcelain are heavy, expensive, and hard to install, but they are more damage-resistant and retain heat better.

Why Opt for a Garden Tub?

Garden tubs are ideal for soaking, hydrotherapy, or romantic moments. They can also add value and style to your home. Here are some reasons you might want to opt for a garden tub.

A garden tub can help you relieve stress and tension

The warm water and the spacious design can soothe your muscles and calm your mind. You can also add aromatherapy oils, bath salts, or bubbles to enhance the experience.

A garden tub can make your bathroom more luxurious and elegant

Garden tubs come in various shapes, sizes, and materials to suit your preferences and budget. You can choose from acrylic, porcelain, cast iron, copper, or stone tubs. You can also accessorize your garden tub with jets, faucets, lights, or speakers.

A garden tub soaking can improve your health and wellness.

Soaking in a garden tub can lower blood pressure, improve circulation, and boost your immune system. It can also help you sleep better, detoxify your body, and moisturize your skin.

Popular Types of Garden Tubs

Here are some popular types of garden tubs you might want to consider:

  • Clawfoot tubs: Classic tubs with four ornamental feet that support the basin. They have a vintage charm and can create a focal point in your bathroom. Clawfoot tubs are usually cast iron or acrylic and can be painted to match your decor.
  • Soaking tubs: These deep tubs allow you to immerse your entire body in water. They are ideal for relieving stress and soothing sore muscles. Soaking tubs can be oval, rectangular, or round, often made of porcelain, stone, or copper.
  • Jetted tubs: Provide jets of water or air that massage your body as you soak. They can provide therapeutic benefits and enhance your bathing experience. Jetted tubs can be installed indoors or outdoors and are usually made of fiberglass or acrylic.
  • Slipper tubs: Having one or both ends raised to provide a comfortable backrest. They are perfect for lounging and reading a book while you bathe. Slipper tubs can be single or double and are typically made of cast iron or acrylic.

Why Choose a Standard Tub?

  • A standard tub is more affordable and more accessible to install than a garden tub. A garden tub requires more plumbing, space, and materials, which can increase the cost and complexity of the installation.
  • A conventional tub is more water-efficient and eco-friendly than a garden tub. A garden tub can hold up to 100 gallons of water, while a standard tub holds about 50 gallons. This means a garden tub uses more water and energy to fill and heat, impacting your utility bills and the environment.
  • This tub is more practical and versatile than a garden tub. A garden tub is designed for soaking and relaxing but might not be suitable for other purposes, such as bathing children or pets or showering.
  • A standard tub can accommodate different needs and preferences, as it can be used for soaking and showering.

Cost Factor: Garden Tub vs Standard Tub

One of the factors that homeowners need to consider when choosing between a garden tub and a standard tub is the cost. A garden tub is a large, deep, and often freestanding bathtub that can accommodate more than one person.

A standard tub is a smaller, shallower, and usually built-in bathtub that fits one person. The cost of installing a garden or a traditional tub depends on several factors, such as the size, material, style, plumbing, and tub accessories.

Generally speaking, a garden tub is more expensive than a standard tub because it requires more space, water, and materials. However, the exact cost difference may vary depending on the specific features and quality of the tubs.

Therefore, homeowners should compare different options and get quotes from contractors before making a final decision.

Installation and Maintenance Costs of Garden Tubs

Garden tubs are large bathtubs that can accommodate more than one person and are often installed in master bathrooms. They can add a luxurious and relaxing touch to your home, but they also come with installation and maintenance costs that you should consider before buying one.

Some of the installation costs of garden tubs include:

  • Plumbing: You may need to upgrade your plumbing system to handle a garden tub’s increased water pressure and volume. This can involve installing new pipes, valves, faucets, drains, and fixtures. Depending on the project’s complexity, this can cost anywhere from $500 to $5,000.
  • Electrical: You may also need to upgrade your electrical system to power the jets, heaters, lights, or other features of your garden tub. This can involve installing new wiring, outlets, switches, circuit breakers, and GFCI protection. Depending on the project’s complexity, this can cost anywhere from $300 to $3,000.
  • Structural: You may also need to reinforce your floor and walls to support the weight of a garden tub, especially if it is filled with water. This can involve adding joists, beams, studs, drywall, and insulation. Depending on the project’s complexity, this can cost anywhere from $200 to $2,000.

Some of the maintenance costs of garden tubs include:

Cleaning: You will need to clean your garden tub regularly to prevent mold, mildew, bacteria, and mineral deposits from building up. This can involve using special cleaners, brushes, and hoses to scrub and rinse the tub and its components. Depending on the frequency and intensity of cleaning, this can cost anywhere from $10 to $100 or more per month.

Repairing: You will also need to improve your garden tub occasionally if it develops leaks, cracks, chips, scratches, or other damages. This can involve replacing or fixing parts such as jets, heaters, lights, faucets, drains, or seals. Depending on the severity and frequency of repairs, this can cost anywhere from $50 to $500 or more annually.

Replacing: You must renew your garden tub if it becomes outdated, worn out, or broken. This can involve removing the old tub and installing a new one with similar or different features. Depending on the quality and style of the new tub, this can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000 or more.

As you can see, garden tubs are not cheap to install or maintain. However, they can also provide many benefits, such as comfort, relaxation, aesthetics, and value to your home. Therefore, you should weigh the pros and cons of garden tubs carefully before deciding whether they are worth your investment.

Expenses Involved in Standard Tubs

Standard tubs are generally more affordable to purchase and install. Maintenance costs are typically lower, requiring basic cleaning supplies and occasional repairs. Consider any additional accessories or upgrades you may want to add, such as showerheads or faucets.

Keep in mind any potential costs associated with replacing parts or fixtures in the future. Overall, standard tubs offer a cost-effective bathing solution.

Dealing with the Water Demand

Garden tubs typically have a larger water capacity than standard tubs, so it’s essential to consider your water usage and availability when choosing between the two. Remember that garden tubs with water jets may require additional plumbing and a larger water heater.

On the other hand, standard tubs generally require less water to fill compared to garden tubs. Evaluating your water usage needs and resources is crucial before deciding on the type of tub that is right for you and your home.

Water Usage in Garden Tubs

Garden tubs provide a more immersive bathing experience with their deeper water depth. However, their larger size and depth result in higher water usage than standard tubs. This increased water capacity may require longer heating time and should be considered regarding environmental impact. Garden tubs offer a luxurious bathing experience with ample water depth despite the higher water usage.

How Much Water Does a Standard Tub Use?

Standard tubs are a more water-efficient option for homeowners, using less water than garden tubs. The water usage of a traditional tub depends on its size and dimensions, so consider the gallons per minute (GPM) flow rate of your water source. Opting for a standard tub can help conserve water without compromising functionality.

Making the Right Choice

Consider your preferences, bathing habits, and available bathroom space when choosing between the garden and standard tubs. Evaluate the required water usage, capacity, and factors like budget, maintenance, and installation requirements.

Make a decision that aligns with your needs and enhances your bathing experience. Remember to choose wisely and create a soothing oasis in your bathroom.

Factors to Consider While Choosing Between Garden Tub and Standard Tub

When deciding between a garden tub and a standard tub, there are several factors to consider. First, evaluate the available space in your bathroom to determine which tub will fit best. Next, view your water usage and availability. Garden tubs generally require more water than standard ones, so ensure you have enough supply.

Additionally, think about the desired water depth and immersion level. Some people prefer deep soaking tubs, while others may select shallower options. It’s also essential to assess your budget, as garden tubs can be more expensive to install and maintain. Finally, choose a tub type that suits your preferences and bathing habits.

How to Enhance Your Bathing Experience?

Enhance your bathing experience by incorporating accessories and add-ons to your garden tub. Consider water jets for a spa-like sensation, indulge in bath salts, oils, and bubble bath products for added relaxation, install adjustable water temperature controls for personalized comfort, and create a soothing ambiance with appropriate lighting and music.

Accessories and Add-ons for Garden Tubs

Enrich your garden tub experience by adding water jets that provide a spa-like sensation. Consider incorporating aromatherapy features to create a soothing environment. Install mood lighting to enhance relaxation.

Explore options for built-in sound systems or Bluetooth speakers for a more enjoyable bathing experience. Invest in comfortable bath pillows or headrests to maximize comfort and support.

These accessories and add-ons can transform your garden tub into a luxurious oasis of relaxation.

Can Standard Tubs Offer a Luxurious Bathing Experience?

Standard tubs may lack the capacity of garden tubs, but they can still provide a luxurious bathing experience. Add bath salts, essential oils, or bubble bath products to enhance your bath. Install adjustable water temperature controls for personalized comfort.

Consider investing in a high-quality showerhead or handheld shower attachment for added versatility. Create a serene ambiance with scented candles or soothing music.


When deciding between a garden tub and a standard tub, you must consider your personal preferences, space availability, and budget. Garden tubs are known for their luxurious and spacious design, perfect for creating a relaxing and tranquil bathing experience.

On the other hand, standard tubs are more practical and cost-effective, ideal for smaller bathrooms or those on a tighter budget. Choosing between a garden tub and a standard tub depends on your individual needs and preferences.

Whichever option you choose, don’t forget to enhance your bathing experience with accessories and add-ons for added comfort and relaxation.