I know most people like hot tubs because of the outdoor life they offer, but if it came down to it, can a hot tub be installed indoors?
As a general rule, a hot tub can be installed indoors. However, most hot tubs will not fit through a standard doorway and may require cutting a section of a wall to maneuver it. But proper ventilation, humidity control, and drainage are also crucial considerations.
But how do you vent a room?
Or control humidity, for that matter? And where do you drain it if you aren’t building the room from scratch? Or does it work to just stick it in a garage or use an inflatable hot tub?
We’ll answer all of those questions and more.
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Pros of having an indoor hot tub
An indoor installation of a hot tub can bring numerous benefits and enhance your overall relaxation and well-being. Here are some pros to consider:
- Year-round enjoyment: With an indoor hot tub, you can enjoy soothing hydrotherapy and relaxation regardless of the weather or season. It’s a perfect escape from the cold winters or rainy days.
- Privacy: Indoor hot tubs offer increased privacy compared to outdoor ones. You can indulge in a peaceful soak without worrying about prying eyes or neighbors.
- Convenience: Having an indoor hot tub means it’s always readily accessible. No need to venture outside or face the elements, making it convenient for a quick dip whenever you desire.
- Protection from the elements: Indoor hot tubs shield you from external factors like wind, rain, or extreme temperatures. This provides a more comfortable and enjoyable experience, especially during harsh weather conditions.
- Versatile design options: Indoor hot tubs allow for more design flexibility and customization. You can integrate them seamlessly into your home’s interior, matching your aesthetic preferences and creating a harmonious ambiance.
- Ease of maintenance: Indoor hot tubs are generally easier to maintain since they are protected from outdoor debris, leaves, and pests. This can save you time and effort when it comes to cleaning and upkeep.
- Increased longevity: Indoor hot tubs tend to have a longer lifespan compared to outdoor ones. The protection from the elements helps prevent premature wear and tear, extending the longevity of your investment.
- Year-round health benefits: Regular hot tub use provides various health benefits, including stress relief, improved circulation, muscle relaxation, and better sleep. Having an indoor hot tub ensures you can reap these advantages all year long.
Remember to consult with professionals for proper installation, ventilation, and maintenance requirements to ensure a safe and enjoyable indoor hot tub experience.
Cons of having an indoor hot tub
While having an indoor hot tub offers many advantages, it’s essential to consider the potential drawbacks of an indoor hot tub installation before making a decision. Here are some cons to keep in mind:
- Limited space: Indoor hot tubs require dedicated space within your home. Depending on the size, it can take up a significant amount of room, potentially reducing the available space for other activities or furniture.
- Installation costs: Installing an indoor hot tub involves additional expenses, including plumbing, electrical work, and ventilation requirements. These costs can add up, especially if modifications to your home’s infrastructure are necessary.
- Humidity and moisture: Hot tubs generate heat and moisture, which can lead to increased humidity levels in the surrounding area. If not properly managed, this excess moisture can cause mold, mildew, and damage to walls, ceilings, and other structures.
- Ventilation challenges: Adequate ventilation is crucial for indoor hot tubs to prevent moisture buildup and control odors. Ensuring proper ventilation may require additional measures, such as exhaust fans or dehumidifiers, which can be costly to install and maintain.
- Noise and disturbance: Hot tubs can generate noise from the jets, pumps, and equipment. If your hot tub is located near living spaces or bedrooms, the noise can be disruptive, especially during late-night use or for light sleepers.
- Maintenance and cleaning: Indoor hot tubs require regular maintenance, including water treatment, filter cleaning, and surface cleaning. The confined indoor space may make it more challenging to perform these tasks and dispose of used water properly.
- Potential damage to the interior: Accidental spills, leaks, or splashes can occur when using an indoor hot tub, potentially causing damage to flooring, walls, or furniture. Extra precautions and protective measures may be needed to prevent such incidents.
- Home resale value: While hot tubs can be appealing to some homebuyers, others may view them as an added responsibility or potential maintenance concern. The presence of an indoor hot tub may not necessarily increase the resale value of your home.
Consider these cons alongside the pros to determine if an indoor hot tub aligns with your lifestyle, space availability, and budget.
Now let’s review the . . .
13 Things to Consider When Installing a Hot Tub Indoors
1. Indoor surface options for a hot tub
The beauty of an indoor hot tub is that you can place them on almost anything. You don’t need to worry about insulation, which is a factor for outdoor hot tubs.
Things to avoid are:
- Laminate flooring
Ideal floor materials include:
- Stained concrete
- Stone pavers
- Ceramic tiles
- Vinyl flooring (sheet or tiles)
The final choice is down to you.
As I said earlier, bringing your hot tub indoors provides a great opportunity to create a spa experience second to none, especially if there is a sunroom you can use or other space you can open up to the outside world while remaining in your home.
However, the floor in your house was probably not designed to take a hot tub, so it’s not a case of what you put under it but what it sits on.
The weight of the hot tub is far more critical inside your home than it is outside. But how much do they weigh?
Just read this recent article to see a quick and easy way to calculate yours in minutes. And yes, I cover empty, with all the gallon of water, and with people.
Just click that link to read it on my site.
An average 6-person hot tub full of water and people can weigh as much as 4,000 pounds.
On a solid concrete floor, this won’t be a problem, but wood floors, and especially houses built on pier and beam foundations, aren’t designed for this kind of weight, so you will have to look at floor reinforcement.
This is not a straightforward matter, and I recommend you get a professional to look at this on your behalf.
Having established that the floor is strong enough to take the weight, you next need to look at the floor covering. This must be a material that can resist moisture and not create a slip hazard.
This hot tub room is something. pic.twitter.com/dmXBAE0YcA
— Qenny the Lawyer (@AKBrews) February 13, 2022
2. Ventilating an indoor hot tub
A nearby window and ventilation fan are crucial in an indoor room with a hot tub unless the room is a screened-in porch or enclosed patio and naturally well-ventilated with fresh air.
As we all know, hot tubs create an enormous amount of steam water vapor, usually laden with the chemicals from the sanitization process. In the open, this doesn’t present a problem, but in your home, it can lead to major issues.
In most rooms in your home, you will have windows, but even leaving these fully open will not get rid of the steam generated by your hot tub. Plus, who wants to do that when it’s 30° or 100° outside?
Small portable fans do little to help either.
The average 90″ x 90″ hot tub will lose around 8,000 cubic inches of water in a week. That’s about 35 gallons. Imagine 5 gallons of water vapor swishing around the room every day!
Okay, I get that you won’t be using your hot tub every day, and when not in use, you will keep the cover on, but you get the idea.
So, for your hot tub room, you need something much bigger.
The other consideration is the size of your hot tub room. Obviously, in a smaller space, you will get a greater concentration of water vapor, but in some ways, that’s easier to handle.
Larger rooms have more space for the water vapor to hide and cause damage to the structure and finishes.
The perfect solution is the Genesis Twin Fan High-Velocity Reversible AirFlow from Amazon. You can find the latest prices and availability on Amazon by clicking the link.
Sized at 24″ x 12″ x 4″ wide, the Genesis twin fan sits neatly into the window opening, just like an AC window unit. The expandable side panels provide an additional 6.5″ of cover for each side for larger window openings.
It has a fully adjustable thermostat with a range from 60 to 80 degrees and 3 speed settings to make sure you’re getting rid of all that steam.
The great thing about this unit is the twin 9″ fan heads, each with its own copper motor, essential in the harsh environment of a spa room.
One final feature worth mentioning is the reversible blades that allow the unit to operate for intake or exhaust at the press of a button. But if it were me, I’d leave it on all the time as the hot tub will still be releasing some steam even when the cover is on.
— Platinum Poolcare (@platinum_pools) March 19, 2022
3. Controlling humidity for an indoor hot tub
Use a dehumidifier to control the humidity from the release of the warm water vapors from a hot tub.
The other important thing to consider when installing a hot tub indoors is humidity. While it’s essential to get rid of all that steam, you also need to maintain good humidity levels for your comfort.
Dehumidifiers are designed to absorb moisture from the air near the hot tub. They use heat to draw in the moisture through a compressor, which runs into a tank for manual emptying when full.
There are lots of these around, but one I like, because of the great reviews, is the hOmeLabs Energy Star Dehumidifier from Amazon. (Home Technologies, LLC is the trading name). Check out the latest price and availability here on Amazon by clicking on the link.
Designed for use in rooms of varying sizes – 1,500, 3,000, 3,500, 4,000, and 4,500 sq ft. – you are sure to get one that suits your space. The larger models have a pump to improve efficiency.
The hOmeLabs Energy Star Dehumidifier can remove between 22 and 50 pints of water a day, and being Energy Star certified, it can do this without racking up a huge energy bill.
This portable dehumidifier features a turbo mode to increase the fan speed from 118 cu. ft. per minute to 135 cu. ft. per minute for maximum moisture removal.
The other great thing about these models is they look good too, with a nice sleek finish that won’t spoil the ambiance of your spa room.
It’s easy to adjust the settings, so all you do is leave the dehumidifier to run through the preset 24-hour cycle or until the tank is full, at which point it shuts off automatically.
The hOmeLabs Energy Star Dehumidifier can be connected via a garden hose to a drain outlet for continuous draining if you don’t like the idea of emptying the tank yourself.
we’re at the lake and there’s a HOT TUB ROOM right off the kitchen pic.twitter.com/tCW1V4fsxM
— Katie Aki ✶ (@jinxland) March 18, 2021
4. Getting a hot tub inside your house
Often the problem is not where to position your hot tub but how to get it there in the first place.
The first thing to ask is, “will I get it through the door?” Take a look at this recent article on my website on this subject. I get into average doorways sizes, average hot tub sizes, and the perfect size for a hot tub if you don’t want to have to remove part of your wall.
Just click on the link to read it.
For an average hot tub, you will need a clear opening size of 33″ x 80″. This shouldn’t be a problem for most installations because hot tubs are maneuvered into place on their side.
Unless you are prepared to go to trouble and expense of making the opening taller or wider – which would involve major structural work – you should choose your hot tub based on what will fit through the existing opening.
But what brand of hot tub is best if you will be using it indoors?
I wrote about the best hot tubs for indoor use in a recent article. I get into all the top brands, considerations to think about if you know you’re using it indoors, and a few brands to definitely avoid!
Just click that link to read it on my site.
The other aspect of getting a hot tub inside your home is the physical process of manhandling it through the passages and openings. This is something best left to the installation team – they are the experts in how to lift, carry and maneuver the hot tub without causing damage to the tub or your walls.
Until someone presents me with a good reason to leave my garage hot tub I will continue to wrinkle and dissolve. pic.twitter.com/CvTyKHiMrZ
— T I M E S C A N N E R (@timescanner) March 16, 2021
5. Is a garage a good option for a hot tub?
Putting a hot tub inside a garage is an excellent idea as it’s easier to ventilate the room, the floors are typically solid concrete, and it’s easier to run the drain hose outside. Plus the garage door can be left open when the weather is nice, or closed when it’s not.
But there are a few things you have to think about. First of all, aspect.
Garages are designed to house a car, therefore they usually face onto your driveway. At best, you will have a view of the street, but with a little bit of thought, you can screen off the garage from your neighbors to give you privacy.
The next consideration should be the water supply and electricity.
The usual way to fill a hot tub is by using a garden hose, so provided you have a connection nearby, this shouldn’t be a problem.
A 220v tub must be hard-wired into the main electrical system for the house via a disconnect box, which cuts off the electrical supply in the event of a fault such as a short-circuit. If your garage doesn’t have a suitable supply, then you will have to install one.
Having established that you can get water and power to your hot tub, you then need to think about how you get to your garage from the house. Running down the driveway in a robe in full view of the neighbors isn’t ideal, so you might want to think about how this is going to work as well.
But for an attached garage when you can enter from the house, that’s no problem.
— Olly @ APlanToGo (@APlanToGo) July 6, 2021
6. Do you need a floor drain for an indoor hot tub?
As a general rule, a floor drain is not necessary for an indoor hot tub. However, access to a water source that can accommodate a hose is necessary as is a nearby window or door where a drain hose can be run for periodic water changes.
However, if your budget can extend to making internal alterations, you will find significant benefits in installing a floor drain and a water supply, just for convenience. You can position your hot tub over the floor drain for direct emptying or a few feet away if you use a pump.
Plus, in the event of a leak, cleanup will be far easier if you have nearby proper drainage.
A word of warning! A submersible pump can drain 2,000 gallons of water in one hour, emptying a 300-gallon tub in less than 10 minutes. That’s a lot of water over a short time, so you need to size your floor drain to match this.
You will also need a floor drain with a removable cover so that the pump can be connected directly into the drain. Otherwise, you risk the water running out all over the floor.
The next thing to consider is where to connect the floor drain. The best solution would be to connect to the main sewer, but you shouldn’t run it to a storm drain as these lead to watercourses, and your hot tub water will contain contaminants.
7. How do you fill up an indoor hot tub?
Filling up an indoor hot tub is a straightforward process that requires a few simple steps:
- Prepare the water source: Ensure you have a clean water source, such as a hose or a water supply line specifically designated for filling the hot tub.
- Check the water quality: Before filling, test the water quality to ensure it meets the recommended standards. Adjust the pH and alkalinity levels if necessary.
- Attach the hose: Connect the hose to the water source and securely attach it to the hot tub’s designated water inlet or fill valve.
- Turn on the water: Slowly turn on the water supply, allowing it to fill the hot tub. Monitor the water level to prevent overflowing.
- Monitor and adjust: As the tub fills, periodically check the water level and make any necessary adjustments to maintain the desired level.
- Stop the water flow: Once the hot tub is filled to the desired level, turn off the water supply and disconnect the hose.
- Check water chemistry: After filling, test the water chemistry and make any necessary adjustments to ensure it is safe and balanced for use.
By following these steps, you can easily fill up your indoor hot tub and get ready to enjoy a relaxing soak.
8. Where do you drain an indoor hot tub?
When it comes to draining an indoor hot tub, there are a few options to consider:
- Floor drain: Many indoor hot tubs are designed with a built-in floor drain specifically for draining purposes. If your hot tub has a floor drain, simply connect a hose to the drain outlet and direct it towards a suitable drainage area.
- Utility sink or laundry tub: If your indoor hot tub is located near a utility sink or laundry tub, you can drain the water directly into these fixtures. Make sure to secure the hose properly to avoid any leakage.
- External drainage system: If there is no floor drain or suitable fixture nearby, you can connect a hose to the hot tub’s drain outlet and direct it outside through the nearest window to an appropriate drainage area, such as a nearby yard or garden.
Remember to consider the local regulations and guidelines regarding water drainage to ensure compliance. Additionally, it’s important to monitor the water flow and make sure the drainage area can handle the volume of water being drained from the hot tub.
9. Is the chemical odor too strong with an indoor hot tub?
When it comes to the chemical odor in an indoor hot tub, it can vary depending on various factors. Here are some points to consider:
- Proper ventilation: Adequate ventilation is essential to minimize the buildup of chemical odors. Ensure your indoor hot tub area has good airflow and consider installing exhaust fans or windows that can be opened to help dissipate any strong odors.
- Proper chemical balance: Maintaining the proper chemical balance in your hot tub is crucial. Regularly test the water and adjust the chemical levels as needed to prevent excessive chemical odors.
- Proper cleaning and maintenance: Regular cleaning and maintenance of your hot tub, including the filter, can help reduce chemical odors. Clean the filter regularly and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for maintaining the cleanliness of your hot tub.
- Use of alternative sanitizers: If the chemical odor is a concern, consider using alternative sanitization methods, such as mineral systems or ozone generators, which can reduce the reliance on traditional chemical sanitizers.
It’s important to note that while some chemical odor is normal in hot tubs, it should not be overpowering or irritating. If you find the odor to be extremely strong or unpleasant, it may indicate an issue with water chemistry or maintenance that should be addressed.
10. Wiring an indoor hot tub
When it comes to wiring an indoor hot tub, it’s crucial to ensure proper electrical installation for safety and functionality. Here are some key points to consider:
- Proximity to breaker panel: The location of your indoor hot tub in relation to the nearest breaker panel is important. If the breaker panel is nearby, it simplifies the wiring process and reduces costs.
- Electrical capacity: Determine if your existing electrical system can handle the additional load of the hot tub. Consult with a qualified electrician to ensure the breaker panel has sufficient capacity for the hot tub’s electrical requirements.
- Ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI): An indoor hot tub typically requires a GFCI breaker for added protection against electrical shocks. This breaker monitors the electrical current and shuts off the power if it detects a fault.
- Disconnect box: While not always required, a disconnect box near the hot tub is recommended for safety and convenience. It allows you to easily cut off power to the hot tub without having to access the main breaker panel.
It’s crucial to consult with a licensed electrician who is familiar with local electrical codes and regulations to ensure the proper wiring and installation of your indoor hot tub.
11. Best wall surfaces to deal with the humidity of an indoor hot tub
When it comes to dealing with the humidity of an indoor hot tub, choosing the right wall surfaces can help prevent moisture-related issues and maintain a pleasant environment. Of course, if you’re building a room from scratch, you can use water-resistant building materials. But otherwise, you may have to retrofit.
Here are some wall surface options to consider:
- Tile: Ceramic or porcelain tiles are a popular choice for hot tub areas due to their water-resistant properties. They are easy to clean and can withstand high humidity levels without warping or damage.
- Fiberglass panels: Fiberglass panels offer excellent resistance to moisture and are relatively easy to install. They provide a smooth and durable surface that can handle the humidity generated by the hot tub.
- Waterproof paint: Specialized waterproof paints designed for high-moisture areas can be used on walls surrounding the hot tub. These paints create a barrier that prevents moisture penetration and protects the underlying surfaces.
- Stone veneer: Natural stone veneer or manufactured stone panels can add a luxurious touch to your hot tub area. They are moisture-resistant and provide a durable surface that can withstand humidity.
Remember to consider proper ventilation and ventilation systems to control humidity levels. It’s also important to follow manufacturer recommendations and consult with professionals to ensure the best wall surface choice for your specific indoor hot tub setup.
12. Do you need a ceiling fan in a room with an indoor hot tub?
Having a ceiling fan in a room with an indoor hot tub can provide several benefits and enhance the overall experience. Here’s why it might be a good idea:
- Improved air circulation: A ceiling fan helps to circulate the air in the room, reducing stagnant pockets of hot and humid air near the hot tub. This can enhance comfort and prevent the feeling of stuffiness.
- Condensation control: The warm temperature and high humidity generated by the hot tub can lead to condensation on windows, walls, and other surfaces. A ceiling fan can help minimize condensation by promoting air movement and preventing moisture buildup.
- Odor reduction: With proper ventilation, a ceiling fan can help dissipate any chemical odors from sanitizing products or the hot tub itself. It can freshen the air and prevent any lingering smells.
- Comfort enhancement: The gentle breeze from a ceiling fan can provide a cooling effect, making the hot tub experience more comfortable, especially during warmer seasons.
While a ceiling fan is not mandatory, it can contribute to a more enjoyable and well-regulated environment in a room with an indoor hot tub. Consider the size of the room, ceiling height, and personal preferences when deciding whether to install a ceiling fan.
13. How tall should the ceilings be for an indoor hot tub?
When considering the height of ceilings for an indoor hot tub, it’s important to prioritize practicality and convenience, especially when it comes to lifting the cover off the hot tub. Here are a few things to consider:
- Adequate clearance: Ensure that the ceiling height allows for enough clearance when lifting and removing the hot tub cover. The cover can be heavy and bulky, so having sufficient vertical space is crucial to avoid any potential accidents or difficulty in maneuvering.
- Recommended height: While there is no standard height requirement, it’s generally recommended to have ceilings that are at least a few inches higher than the height of the hot tub and cover combined. This provides enough room for lifting the cover without any obstructions or limitations.
- Consider the cover lifting mechanism: If your hot tub has a cover lifting mechanism, make sure the ceiling height accommodates the full range of motion required for the lifting mechanism to function properly.
Ultimately, the ideal ceiling height for an indoor hot tub depends on the specific dimensions of the hot tub and cover, as well as personal preferences and the availability of space in the room. It’s always a good idea to measure and assess the clearance before finalizing the installation.
— olivia (@commaolivia) July 25, 2021
Indoor hot tub common problems
From my research, I have compiled a list of common problems and potential solutions to indoor hot tub installations.
|Getting water in the hot tub||If you don’t have a water supply in the room where the tub is located, run a hose to the nearest point.||If your water supply has a softener attached, disconnect this while you fill.|
|Emptying the hot tub||Install a floor drain or use a sump pump to pump the water outside.||You should not connect a floor drain to storm drains.|
|Getting rid of steam||Use a twin 9” high-velocity fan in a window opening.||You may need a separate electrical supply for this.|
|Floor collapsing because of the weight||Have the floor checked out by a professional. The hot tub supplier may have people who can do this for you.||A full hot tub is likely to weigh at least twice as much as the standard floor capacity of a house.|
|Water damage to the structure and finishes||Good ventilation and humidity control are essential, but the use of anti-mold paint will also help keep surfaces looking good.||Water vapor gets everywhere. Also, spillage can seep through gaps in finishes. Be sure to cover all aspects.|
|Getting the hot tub into position||Doorways and corridors can make life difficult, so leave it to the installation team if you can.||Even empty, an average hot tub can weigh up to 1,000 pounds.|
|Storage for chemicals||Ideally, you should have a cupboard where you can store your chlorine, test strips, and cleaning materials safely and away from dampness.||It’s important to keep certain materials separately to avoid toxic fumes building up.|
An indoor hot tub can be a great addition to your home, especially if you can combine it in some ways with the outside world. Imagine if you can look out onto your garden, lit up at night, even in the depths of winter.
But you have a lot to think about. Bringing something like a hot tub indoors has its problems, and you will need to address these before making the investment.
I hope this article gives you all you need to help you decide what’s best for you. And don’t forget to click on those links to read other associated articles here on my site.
Photo which requires attribution:
DURING- self leveling concrete is installed over the heating mat. by David Cedrone is licensed under CC2.0 and was cropped, edited, and had a text overlay added.