How to Fix Your Outdated Garden Tub

Mar 12, 2021

Some bathroom design styles stand the test of time – but the garden tub isn’t one of them.

Once the sign of an upscale master bathroom, now the garden tub is outdated and no longer trendy. From gallons of extra water use to difficulty climbing in and out, garden tubs have a lot working against them. In fact, garden tub removal has become one of the most common bathroom renovations among Improveit customers – especially in homes built in the late 1980s and early 90s.

What is a Garden style Tub?

Originally, a garden tub was any deep soaking tub (usually a standalone tub) installed near a window. This allowed the bather to relax while gazing outside, hence the term “garden tub.”

Sounds luxurious, right?

Outdated Garden Tub

This definition changed over the years. By the early 1990s, garden tubs were a popular amenity in new homes. They were usually built into a corner or alcove in the master bathroom and had extensive tiled tub surrounds.  

Garden tubs themselves may be oval or triangular, and often feature seating ledges and whirlpool jets to create a spa bathroom feel. Larger garden tub surrounds often include steps or ledges to allow for easier entry and exit from the tub, and may also include an access panel for the whirlpool compressor.  

Are garden bathtubs outdated?

Owing to their large size, these bathroom behemoths are on their way out. A 5-foot triangular corner tub can hold as much as 96 gallons of water, and take up nearly 25 square feet of valuable floor space in the master bathroom! These deep tubs with large surrounds are also challenging to climb in and out of safely, not to mention the hassle of cleaning so much grout. 

What is a garden tub

With all these challenges, many homeowners are choosing to remove their garden tubs. In fact, the Houzz 2020 Bathroom Trends Update suggests that bathtubs are leaving master bathrooms more than ever before. Houzz researchers found that half of renovated master bathrooms no longer have a bathtub. 

More than a quarter of renovators (27%) reported that they had previously done away with their master bathtubs (up 7 points from 2019), and another 23% removed theirs as part of a master bathroom remodel during the reporting period. 
Before
After
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The Youngs struggled to climb in and out of their built-in garden tub and were looking for a better solution for their aging-in-place needs. A tub-to-shower conversion solved the problem and gave them a beautiful, bright, and – most importantly – safe bathing solution solution with a bench, grab bars, and storage right where they need them.

Before
After
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The Davises’ old garden tub was a bulky, outdated, and inconvenient place to bathe. They worked with an Improveit designer to create a sleek shower with glass on two sides, modern black finishes, and the look of stylish large-format tiles to the ceiling.

Beautiful Tub-to-Shower Conversions 

Not surprisingly, most homeowners that removed their bathtubs (nearly 80%) did so with the goal of enlarging their shower space. At Improveit, our popular tub-to-shower conversion lets bathers customize their perfect shower oasis and do away with all the inconvenience and outdated style of a garden tub.  

In a tub-to-shower conversion, our expert installers remove the existing bathtub, fixtures, and tile, taking the bathing space all the way down to the studs. After a thorough cleaning, they install all new waterproofing, followed by your selection of shower base, wall color, fixtures, doors, and accessories. The result is a beautiful walk-in shower that meets all your needs and style preferences. And because each shower is custom designed to fit your space, this process works perfectly whether your tub-to-shower conversion is in a corner or an alcove! 

Before & After: Alan Lancaster knew he wouldn’t use an oversized garden tub. He worked with Improveit to update his master bath with a larger shower that better fits his lifestyle. Our crews kept plumbing behind the walls in the bathtub area in case his needs change in the future.

Convert garden tub to shower columbus bath design
After: New Oversized Walk-in Shower With Seat
Garden style tub shower combo
Before: Cramped Shower + Garden Tub

Pickerington, Ohio resident Alan Lancaster worked with Improveit to remove his garden tub and update his existing walk-in shower. “I’ve done all kinds of project on my house,” Alan says. “I know you can spend money on a lot of things that won’t have that big of an impact on you. But if it’s something you use every single day, that money’s going to go a long way.” Now Alan’s master bath meets his needs every day. No more outdated garden tub taking up space – and a gorgeous shower to boot!

Ready to get rid of your outdated garden tub?

Improveit can help! Our design team is eager to help you update your bathroom to suit your needs and style. Click here to schedule your custom design consultation today! 

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