Bathtubs have long been valued for their relaxing qualities. Garden tubs and Roman tubs take that concept to greater heights today with their many design options, including shape, depth and color.
Originally, Roman tubs were sunken tubs which required you to step down into them, reminiscent of the ancient Roman baths. Today Roman tubs may be freestanding. They are deeper than standard bathtubs and have faucets that are either in the middle of the side of the tub or mounted on the top of the tub rather than inside it.
During the 18th century in France, garden tubs were sometimes literally placed in the garden by wealthy landowners. The used water was then drained straight into the garden. In later years, this term came to be used for any tub from which you could see the outdoors. Today garden tubs normally do not have whirlpool jets or showers and are made for soaking.
Both garden tubs and Roman tubs are somewhat larger than standard bathtubs. They are usually much deeper as they are designed more for a relaxing soak than actual bathing.
For all practical purposes, there are no differences today between a garden tub and a Roman tub. In fact, the exact same tub may be called by either name in different areas of the country.
Both garden and Roman tubs are somewhat inconvenient to clean because they are wider and deeper than a traditional tub.