By Mark J. Donovan
What better way to relieve the stress of a long, hard day than soaking in a hot tub? Whether in your bathroom or on your deck, little can beat the warmth and relaxing benefits of a hot tub. It simply has a way of shedding the hassles of a hectic day.
If you’re considering buying and installing a hot tub, it’s smart to have some idea of what is available on the market and how you plan to use one prior to making your purchase. The installation of a hot tub is significantly more complicated than that of your standard bathtub. So if your bathroom remodeling plans include a hot tub, talk with your framing contractor, plumber and electrician prior to purchasing one. A hot tub requires additional framing, and the extra weight of it when filled with water may require strengthening of the floor. In addition, a hot tub typically requires larger plumbing supply lines and electricity to drive the necessary electrical system.
Another key consideration is the size and shape of the tub. Hot tubs come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Prior to shopping, write down the measurements for the area you have reserved for it. Some hot tubs fit a rectangular footprint similar to that of a standard tub and are perfect for mounting on walls, whereas others are oval or circular in shape. There are even hot tubs that are designed to fit into corners to conserve floor space.
Although most large home improvement centers sell hot tubs, you may find a wider selection and more options by shopping at a specialty store. A specialty store often offers installation services, as well, and no doubt the people there will know more about hot tubs than the average employee working at a home improvement center. Also, they will likely have better access to replacement parts when the time comes for making repairs to your hot tub — which inevitably will happen. Pumps and motors are moveable parts that over time wear out. When shopping for a hot tub, compare warranties. They can vary significantly between manufacturers. The specialty store may also offer its own warranty for installation.
Expect to pay two to three times the cost of a standard bathtub for your hot tub. Also, expect to pay several hundred dollars more for the installation of the hot tub. There is simply a lot more work required in installing a hot tub than there is with a basic bathtub.
So go for it. Spend some extra money on that hot tub. You won’t regret it down the road. Really, there is little that can dissolve the day’s headaches and hassles better than a hot evening soak in a hot tub.