Do you dream of owning a hot tub, but live in a cold state? Or maybe you just need some privacy and installing an indoor hot tub seems like the perfect solution?
While installing an indoor hot tub has its complications, the process is straightforward if you tick all the installation requirements.
Use this 5-point checklist to see if your place is suitable for installing an indoor hot tub.
5-Point Indoor Hot Tub Installation Checklist
Before you rush out and let a salesman talk a hole in your pocket, consider these points to see if your home can handle all that heat of an indoor hot tub.
1. Check the Way in for Your Hot Tub
Remember your hot tub is essentially a solid bath. This means it needs to be carried to the room where you plan on installing your hot tub. If you choose the patio, it may be a fairly easy trip, but if you want to use that out-of-the-way sunroom that never gets used, it might be harder to haul your oversized bathtub there.
Measure the dimensions of any potential tub you are considering or get the specifications from the supplier before you purchase a tub. Then walk the route, checking to see if the tub can make the turns at your stairs, behind the door you have to open to get into the room, or down the landing that everyone trips over.
This may seem like a minor concern, but it isn’t. If you don’t plan well, you could end up having to take out a series of windows to safely get the hot tub inside, which could cost more than the tub.
2. Inspect Your Flooring and Foundation
A hot tub, while light enough to be lifted by two people when empty, is substantially heavier when filled with several thousand gallons of water. If you have a wooden floor, the support might not be sufficient to carry all this weight.
Finding out if the part of your home where you want to set up your hot tub is sufficiently supported for that weight is essential, or you may start your sauna session on the second floor and end up in the basement when gravity sets in.
Having a concrete floor is always the best option, but this is not always viable for all homes. Your floor support system may determine the size of hot tub you can safely install, so consult with a professional in the industry to find out before you buy.
Also avoid using a floor that turns slippery or rots under excessive moisture, like carpet or grass turf.
3. Supply Water to And From the Hot Tub
A hot tub is still a bath. While you don’t have to empty it every day, you will have to replace the water at least once a year or more if you use it often. This means you will need access to water and also the use of a drainage point to help empty the tub.
Like adding a second bathroom to your home, you will need to consider where the plumbing lines are in your home. However, this can also work in your favor as these areas are usually also the better-reinforced floor spaces of your home, so you will be better able to balance the hot tub weight when you are naturally near your home’s plumbing areas.
If you don’t have access to water and drainage, you will have to install hoses to help with the filling and emptying of your tub, which can be costly and unsightly.
4. Provide Electrical Access for Your Indoor Hot Tub
When you install an outdoor hot tub, it is quite easy to set up your electrical supply, which is essential to work the jets of the hot tub.
However, when you install an indoor hot tub, you need to access your home’s main circuit breakers to install the tub directly into the mains, which requires a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) to prevent unwanted short circuits. After all, you will be using water and electricity at the same time, so you need to ensure a qualified electrician performs this connection.
5. Waterproof Your Hot Tub Room
Wherever you choose to place your indoor hot tub, you need to keep in mind it is like making a bathroom, except that area is probably not set up as a bathroom. You will have increased humidity with all the warm water, and you will also have water spilling on the floor when the jets are on and people are splashing about.
If you don’t take care, you can end up with a massive damp, rot, and mold problem. Your glorious indoor hot tub can quickly turn into a cesspit. To prevent hot tub hell from happening, you need to ensure you take care of the following:
Install fans and exhaust units to remove unwanted hot air and humidity from the room. When not in use, you should open windows and doors so your indoor hot tub area can ventilate and freshen up.
Use a dehumidifier or place dehumidifying chemicals in the room to keep the latent moisture content of the air under control.
A room with an indoor hot tub is the equivalent of a bathroom with five or more steaming hot baths in it. As you can imagine, it will get quite hot and sticky in there. Use a large-capacity dehumidifier to complement your exhaust fan and ceiling fan.
- Keep It Dry
Hot tubs are usually for more than one person, so you will have multiple wet bodies splashing all over and walking barefoot across the floors, spreading water around.
Aside from using a dehumidifier, you should also get into the habit of drying up the floor with a sponge mop or a squeegee to help you dry the floor after use. Note, this needs to be immediately after use, not the next day as water stains will already be forming by then.
- Clean It Well
An indoor hot tub can be an even bigger breeding place for unhealthy bacteria and mold since it is indoors and not exposed to the natural ventilation of an outdoor hot tub. This means you need to clean it regularly, maintain it well, and use the appropriate chemicals to keep the water of a hygienic quality.
In the enclosed space of an indoor hot tub, using a chlorine-based chemical can create strong fumes, which may be unpleasant. Opting for a salt-based cleaning system may provide the hygienic care you need while keeping the air quality more tolerable in the indoor space.
- Prepare Floors and Walls
Since your hot tub will be generating a lot of heat and humidity, you need to use appropriate flooring.
While Pinterest abounds with images of all-wood indoor spas and jacuzzis, your own indoor hot tub would be better served with a water-resistant flooring type such as ceramic tiles. If you want to keep things warm, then you can always install underfloor heating with ceramic tiles, which will help you dry up the floor after using your hot tub.
Your walls also need to be waterproofed to prevent unsightly mold stains from forming. Using shower panels instead of painted surfaces is a great idea, and you can also tile the walls to the ceiling. Whichever wall or floor finish you choose, be sure you can dry them easily after your hot tub use.
Can hot tubs be installed indoors? Yes, you can absolutely install an indoor hot tub, and it need not cost an arm and a leg.
However, if you don’t take the time to check that your home is suitable, you’ll end up with a burst bubble of regret. So, be sure to look into the following 5-point checklist:
- Can you get your tub into the room?
- Is there support for the weight?
- Can you fill and empty it?
- Can you wire it electrically?
- Will your room survive all that humidity?