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As a kid, I remember dreaming of what it would be like to have a pool in my parent’s basement. I never really thought about how feasible of an idea it was, or the cost of such a house feature. As an adult, I know putting a pool in a basement would have monumental ramifications and costs. But what about a hot tub, can that be done?
A hot tub can be put in a basement and may be one of the best decisions for you. It will take extra effort to ensure the space has adequate flooring, ventilation, and safety precautions. If you are willing to do the work, you can install a hot tub in your basement.
Putting a hot tub in your basement is going to have its challenges, but the benefits could make it all worth it in the end. Continue reading and we will get into the details of how to make this dream a reality.
What Things Should I Consider When Putting A Hot Tub In My Basement?
Ok, so you have decided the best place for your new hot tub is in your basement. Where do you even start?
Size Of Your Space
One of the first things you should consider is the size of the space where you have chosen to put the hot tub. The size of the space will help narrow down your hot tub search. If you want a massive hot tub, everything about the space will need to be sized up to accommodate.
When measuring your space, it is important to consider distances to electrical panels, drains, water sources, and access points. You will want to create a quick sketch of the area with clearly marked measurements. This will help you during your hot tub search and if you need to bid out any work to prepare the site.
I have compiled a quick reference table to help you consider what can fit your specific situation.
|Number of People||Size (ft)||Dry Weight (lbs)|
|2 – 4||5′ x 5′ to 7′ x 7′||500 – 600|
|5-6||6′ x 6′ to 8′ x 8′||700-800|
|7+||7′ x 7′ to 9′ x 9′||900+|
The exact numbers for each brand of hot tub might differ from above, but as a general rule of thumb, this should help you with your initial considerations. One caveat I will make is these numbers assume a standard portable hot tub like a Jacuzzi. If you are considering an inflatable hot tub, the dry weight will be considerably less.
How the basement is accessed is arguably the most important thing to consider, especially the opening size. However, I listed it second because if you are dead set on a specific size hot tub, there may be ways to modify the current or create a temporary access point to get the hot tub installed.
Depending on where you live, you may have a different style entrance to your basement than I do. For example, we just modified our basement to add a walk-out door. Long story short, we wanted to do this when we built the house but our builder didn’t want to do it. So we finally got it done and it turned out to be cheaper, in the end, to do it later. I digress…
If I wanted to move my hot tub into my basement, I have a fairly straightforward access point. Now my hot tub is 91″ x 91″, so I wouldn’t be able to fit it through my basement door which is only 7 feet tall. This is ok because I like my hot tub outside.
If you do not have a walkout basement or exterior access, it will be more of a challenge to get the hot tub into your selected space. Here are the steps you need to take.
- Measure the smallest opening from the exterior of your house to your basement.
- Map out all turns you will have to make on the path in.
- Determine what obstructions you will need to navigate once inside.
- Ensure all the surfaces can handle the weight of the tub.
I would recommend you consider some professional help getting your hot tub installed. Unless you have experience moving large bulky items, there is a high risk of damage to your home or hot tub. It may cost a little extra to hire someone, but in the end, you are probably better off.
The are a few things to consider when planning the flooring for your basement hot tub. The first is the load capacity of your existing floor. If the basement floor is a floating slab like mine, then you will need to know the thickness of the concrete pour as well as the base material.
A concrete pad of at least 4 inches thick with a properly prepared base of gravel should be sufficient to support most hot tubs. If you have concerns about the structural capability of your floor, make sure you reach out to an engineer or contractor that specializes in concrete.
After you have determined your floor can support the hot tub, you will want to select a strong, waterproof flooring that handles standing water. You will want to also outfit the area with some sort of rubberized non-slip mats for your own safety when entering and exiting the hot tub.
Once the hot tub is inside and set up, you will need to fill it with water. Depending on its size, it could hold hundreds of gallons of water. You won’t want to be carrying buckets from your kitchen sink.
The easiest water source would be a faucet or spigot that can take a garden hose adaptor. This would allow you to easily fill your hot tub without having to get creative.
If you do not have a compatible sink, or maybe you do not have a sink at all, you may consider having something installed near your hot tub.
Assuming none of the above options work, then it is time to get creative. Do you have a window near buy? You could run a hose from an outside spigot to your hot tub. Another option would be to run a hose from an upstairs sink. Otherwise, we are talking about buckets.
In all reality, if you do not have an easily accessible water source, you probably do not want to put a hot tub in your basement. You will need to change out the water regularly.
A hot tub produces a lot of moisture through evaporation. When outside, this doesn’t usually present any problems. In fact, the “steam” effect can be preferable in the winter because it will give off a relaxing mist as well as help keep the area directly above the hot tub water (where your head is) warmer.
In the confined space of your basement, the moisture will need to be handled properly. If not, the moisture coming off the hot tub will increase the humidity in the air. When the warm humid air comes in contact with cooler surfaces like windows, air ducts, and exterior walls, it will condense. Over time, if the condensation is not removed, you will have the perfect environment for mold to grow.
To prevent this, a high-quality exhaust fan that is designed to vent the proper amount of humid air is essential. Any air that is exhausted should be replaced with fresh air from outside of the room. With a continuous mechanical ventilation system, your basement hot tub will be safer and more enjoyable.
As with any hot tub install, you will need access to an electrical power source. Depending on the needs of your selected hot tub you may need a 110/120V or 220/240V hookup. Consult with a licensed electrician to ensure the install meets all local codes and safety requirements.
There is not much creativity with the electrical install. You will need it and it has to be safe. Make sure it is done properly.
If you bring the water into your basement, you better have a way to get it out. A floor drain is probably the easiest method of draining your hot tub. You can use the gravity drain built into your hot tub or a submersible pump to pump out the water directly into a floor drain.
If you ever find yourself having issues draining your hot tub, check out my article that walks through some easy troubleshooting steps.
You may be able to drain into a sink, or out a window if you do not have a floor drain. To do this, you will need not be able to use the gravity drain and could require a large pump depending on the elevation you are pumping the water to.
The final consideration is a fun one, lighting! I am a huge nerd when it comes to lighting design. I have some ideas for how I want to add some lighting ambiance to my outdoor hot tub install, which I will be sure to describe in a future post. Having an indoor hot tub install can open the door to some really cool and creative lighting options. You will definitely want to consider upgrading your lighting to enhance the hot tub experience as well as make the space feel less like a basement.
As with anything electrical around water, make sure you are following all safety requirements when designing and installing your custom lighting setup. Otherwise, get creative with it and if you end up with something awesome, send me a message. I will want to see it.
What Are The Benefits Of A Hot Tub In Your Basement?
There are a lot of benefits to a hot tub in general, but there are some specific benefits of an indoor hot tub that mentioning.
- Privacy – There are many ways to develop privacy for an exterior hot tub install, but that benefit is built into a hot tub inside your home.
- Convience – Not having to go outside does add some convience, especially in the winter.
- Less Maintenance – While you will still have to maintain the water chemistry, clean your filters, etc. Being inside does lend itself to less general cleaning of the exterior of the hot tub. No brushing snow off the cover is a perk.
- No Weather – The weather inside your home is hopefully fairly constant and what you want it to be. So you can use your hot tub year round without having to consider the weather.
- Cool Factor – How many people can say thay have a hot tub in their basement? I bet you will be the talk of the neighborhood.
What Are The Drawbacks Of A Hot Tub In Your Basement?
So far I have mentioned how amazing your life will become if you install a hot tub in your basement, but what are the drawbacks?
- Moisture Issues – Even with proper ventilation you are still introducing a large volume of mosture into an enclosed space. There could be problems.
- High Upfront Cost – An indoor installation will likely take some customization of the space to add all the pieces required. All of this costs money to implement.
- Higher Monthly Energy Bills – With a large steaming hot tub inside, it will cost more to condition the air in your home.
- Chlorine/Chemical Smell and Air Quality – When you walk into a hotel lobby you can always tell if they have a pool. That same occurance could happen in your house because the off gassing of your hot tub.
- Being Inside – You will be missing the serenity of relaxing in nature. There are no mountain views, birds churping, or the soft sound of leaves rustling in the breeze. Ok, I don’t have mountain views, but inside could get boring after a while.
Will An Indoor Hot Tub Cause Mold?
There is the risk of mold growth that is unique to an indoor hot tub install. Most homes are not designed to handle the moisture load that is produced by a 300-gallon hot tub at 100 degrees. Think of how steamy your bathroom gets after a 15-minute shower. Even with the fan running, sometimes it just isn’t sufficient.
A hot tub will release many times more moisture into the air and runs constantly. Keeping the cover on the hot tub will trap most of the moisture in, but not all of it. Your indoor space will not get a chance to breathe and over time, mold can form.
Proper ventilation, both exhaust, and intake can reduce the risk of mold growth. If done properly, you should be able to enjoy your indoor hot tub for years to come. Just be on the lookout for signs of moisture issues and take steps to proactively select materials that are moisture resistant, just in case.
Are There Any Additional Considerations For Inflatable Hot Tubs?
For the most part, no, there are not any additional considerations that would differ from a normal portable hot tub install. You will still need to consider all of the points made in this post with a few exceptions.
- Electrical Install – Inflatible hot tubs run off of a standard 110/120V outlet so you will have an easier electrical install
- Access Point – Being inflatible has its advantages from a mobility standpoint. It will be easier to install and will fit through a smaller access point.
- Easy To Change Your Mind – Just drain the tub, deflate, and haul it out.
How Do You Remove A Hot Tub From A Basement?
Disposing of a hot tub can be an involved process regardless of where it is installed. They are bulky objects that cannot just be placed on the curb. More than likely you will need to hire a company to haul your hot tub away. Being in your basement just adds to the complexity of the problem. Fortunately, the hot tub got down there somehow, so it should be able to come back out.
Step 1: Disconnect The Electrical System
Before working on your hot tub it is always important to be safe. Disconnecting the power to the hot tub will ensure nothing will accidentally turn on. Make sure you turn off the main breaker to the hot tub first. Then you can remove the electrical wires from the hot tub control panel.
Step 2: Drain The Hot Tub
You will not be able to move a full hot tub. Water weighs roughly 8lbs per gallon, so with hundreds of gallons in the hot tub, it will be unmovable.
Step 3: Remove The Hot Tub From Its Installation
If your hot tub is sitting directly on the basement floor then you can skip this step, but if your hot tub is installed into the concrete you will need to break up the concrete before you can remove it.
Step 4: Remove The Hot Tub
This is where things can quickly become complicated. Depending on access, you may be able to take the hot tub out in one piece. This should be the case because you got it down there in one piece. But, if you cannot get it out you may have to disassemble it or cut it into movable pieces. You will definitely want some help with this part.
Would I Put A Hot Tub In My Basement?
Probably not, in fact, I will just say no. I lead off this post with my childhood fantasy of having a basement pool and I think for me it will remain a fantasy. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t install a hot tub in your basement. It might make perfect sense given your situation. Hopefully, this post has helped you decide if a basement hot tub is right for you. If you had a similar childhood dream as me, you should now know what it would take to make it a reality. As always, Happy Hot Tubbing!