We’re all spending a lot more time at home these days. Living and working in the same space can be stressful, and what better way to ease the tension than with a hot tub? The hot water and powerful jets can instantly work wonders for stress reduction, and there are many proven benefits of hydrotherapy for an aching body. But if you don’t quite have the space in your yard for an outdoor hot tub, you may be tempted to use your garage as a DIY spa. Here’s a few things for prospective bathers to consider before adding a hot tub in your garage:
Hot Tubs 101
Indoor hot tubs have a few advantages, a big one being that weather isn’t a factor! Come cold temperatures or elements like rain or snow, you can enjoy your indoor hot tub at any time. Outdoor spas need to be kept at a consistent temperature or drained completely in colder months to avoid freezing water and pipes.
There are many different types of spas to consider for your hot tub room. Portable hot tubs are self-contained, meaning everything needed for their operation is built into the unit itself. These hot tubs are generally made of fiberglass, plastic, or acrylic shells that rest on a wooden or metal platform. There are also inflatable vinyl and latex models available, which are typically less expensive. Popular brands are Hot Spring, Jacuzzi, and Bullfrog.
Hot Tub Size & Voltage
In order to find out how large you want your indoor hot tub to be, you have to consider how many people you want to occupy your personal oasis. Standard hot tubs hold 4-5 people, but if you’re more of a party animal (and have the indoor space), you can get a 6-7 person hot tub, or even one for 8+ people! Keep in mind that more size = more water to fill up the tub.
Space aside, hot tub owners need to think about the power that their hot tub will require. 110V hot tubs (better known as “Plug and Play” models) can be plugged into your standard outlet — perfect for indoor use in your garage, sunroom or basement. 240V hot tubs on the other hand need to be hard wired by an electrician. The big benefit of a 240V hot tub is that it takes half the time to heat up, which means you can get your spa time in much quicker!
Indoor Hot Tub Placement: Things to Consider
Now that you’ve chosen the right hot tub for your needs, it’s time to figure out how it will impact the spot you choose to place it. The garage may seem like the perfect location, but keep in mind the following when preparing your space for an indoor hot tub:
Insulating Your Garage
Most garages aren’t equipped with a heating system, as they’re mostly used for tool and vehicle storage. Before putting your hot tub in your garage, it’s best to insulate the walls. This especially goes for the exterior walls if you have an attached garage unit (chances are the wall attached to your home is already properly insulated). Insulating your garage also means you’ll have less condensation on the “cold” surfaces of the garage walls and ceiling, which means less chance of growing mold and mildew. Garage doors are also easy to insulate. Just add foam panels on the inside of the door to warm things up.
Mold & Mildew
Most hot tub owners prefer to keep their tub between 100°F-102°F, with the maximum recommended temperature being 104°F. This hot water will, in turn, create a good amount of warm, moist air. When that moist air settles on the drywall surfaces inside your garage, mold trouble can start. Mold needs three things to grow: moisture, air and an organic food source (like drywall!) As the warm, moist air comes off the hot tub, it rises, condenses, and releases moisture. This completes the perfect mold trifecta! , resulting in the perfect recipe for Toxic “black” mold, which LOVES growing on drywall. This is why ventilation of any indoor pool or hot tub area is super important.
Ventilation is Crucial
Another way to help prevent mold is to ensure your garage is properly ventilated. A proper ventilation system not only lets out excess steam, but also reduces the smell of chlorine from the tub and lessens the chance for respiratory irritation. You can invest in something as simple and inexpensive window fan. However, adding a properly sized exhaust fan, hooked up to a moisture-sensing humidistat switch, is really the key to creating a safe, mold-free space.
Caution! Slippery When Wet…
The last thing any hot tub owner wants is to cramp their zen by injuring themselves while exiting their spa. Make sure your garage floor is made of a material that is non-slip, like poured concrete, stone, or textured rubber mats. It’s also a good idea to have a floor drain to get rid of any excess spillage. Heck, even grab a decorative plush bath mat to give your toes a little treat when you get out of the hot tub.
Whether indoor or outdoor, a hot tub can provide tons of fun and relaxation for family and friends alike. Good luck with your hot tub project!