Location Is Key

Privacy and drainage are the most important factors to consider when choosing a location for your bathtub. Since nudity and bathing tend to go together, it’s important to be conscientious of your surroundings. Use some common sense; your neighbors will appreciate your well-placed cedar fence or landscaping. The objective is to truly relax, and to do so in your birthday suit, you need to know that you and your rubber ducky won’t show up on YouTube in the morning. Choose a spot that also has high elevation to allow for proper drainage away from the bathing area and your house.

Check your site’s grade with a level. If it isn’t flat, adjust it when you build your foundation (see Design the Foundation, next page).

Installing an outdoor bathtub can turn the duty of bathing into a stimulating and sensory event.

Choose a Chariot

The most affordable option is a recycled tub. The ReBuilding Center (3625 N Mississippi Ave, rebuildingcenter.org) and Rejuvenation (1100 SE Grand Ave, rejuvenation.com) have many options, some for as little as $50. Find a fitting balance between budget and style. A clawfoot tub is a good choice since there’s no need to build a frame to hold the tub in place. Plant some French lavender and wisteria nearby, and you’ll be well on your way to reenacting the cover of a Desperate Duchess romance novel.

Too feminine? Try hops and acanthus surrounding a standard tub sunk into a cedar deck. This will definitely say, “Real men take baths.” Or for a stylish splurge, try an ofuro —a Japanese soaking tub handmade of solid wood. With some tasteful landscaping incorporating eucalyptus and white peonies, you’ll feel like you could write your own Memoirs of a Geisha (visit cedartubs.com or rhtubs.com for options).