Pros and Cons of Outdoor Soaking Tubs

July 2, 2019

There are so many options to consider when you think about what you want in your custom home. Not only do you get to design the inside of your home, but you also get to determine what you want in your landscaping and other outdoor features. As outdoor living becomes more and more luxurious, outdoor soaking tubs are becoming more popular as well. If you’re not sure if this outdoor feature is right for you, consider the pros and cons of outdoor soaking tubs to help you decide:

What is an Outdoor Soaking Tub?

An outdoor soaking tub is a great addition to the exterior of your custom home. Many spas and resorts offer access to these tubs to provide guests with a relaxing environment to rejuvenate and recharge the body and mind. However, due to their general simplicity and a variety of other benefits they can provide, they are becoming increasingly popular with homeowners and are finding their way into the design plans of many new homes.

Traditionally, these tubs are made of aromatic wood, such as cedar, but other materials are often used in the construction of these relaxing tubs. Outdoor soaking tubs have roots in Japanese culture where the bathing experience is also a time for meditation. The high water temperature in these small tubs is traditionally generated by wood-burning heating elements, but is now also achieved through more modern and energy-efficient means. They also offer several benefits.

4 Pros of Outdoor Soaking Tubs

1. Outdoor soaking tubs are relaxing.

Soaking in a tub outside creates a relaxing experiencing that is hard to replicate. A relaxing soak in these tubs in a natural environment restores the body and mind in profound ways. From a general comfort and relaxation standpoint, these tubs are second to none. They typically incorporate some sort of aromatic wood, which provides the user with an added bonus to their soaking session.

The high heat of the water temperature in an outdoor soaking tub does wonders to promote vascular circulation and, as such, can rejuvenate muscles and reduce tension. Receiving all these benefits while listening to the sounds of nature on a calm morning adds to the overall experience and sense wellness that these tubs can provide.

2. They are customizable.

Not only are outdoor soaking tubs customizable, but they are easily customizable. Due to a relatively simple design, these tubs are easily tailored to each unique, individual backyard or patio space. Shape, construction, materials, and location can all be easily customized to fit your specific preferences and help you create an incredible outdoor living space.

3. Outdoor soaking tubs don’t take up a lot of space.

Because these tubs are traditionally designed to favor a bathtub in size more so than a multi-person hot tub, they generally don’t take up much space. This means they are flexible and can fit more easily into backyards and outdoor spaces with limited space than larger features.

Because they are so easily customized, some outdoor soaking tub designs are more elaborate than others, so the size of each tub may vary. However, by design, the tubs are typically smaller in size and tend to be more integrated into the design and aesthetics of the outside of the home. In this way, even outdoor soaking tubs that are a bit larger in size or have larger heating elements, don’t typically give the appearance as being large imposing objects within the outdoor landscaping and design.

4. They add to the aesthetics of the home.

These tubs have the ability to transform the outside of a home into something really special. They provide a certain style and aesthetic that can be incorporated into the theme of a custom home quite easily. Outdoor soaking tubs are an affordable way to enhance the look of a patio or backyard area while adding additional functionality. Coupled with its ability to transform the look and feel of the outside of a new home into something truly special and unique is the tub’s ability to transform how you use this area of the home as well.

3 Cons of Outdoor Soaking Tubs

1. Outdoor soaking tubs require water.

In order for your outdoor soaking tub to be functional, efficient, and convenient, it will require a water source. This means that pipes and plumbing will need to run to your tub. Depending on the placement of the tub, this can add obstacles to the logistics of construction and installation. If the tub you choose to go with is of a more traditional Japanese style, it will require a heat source in addition to plumbing.

Traditional Japanese soaking tubs require higher water temperatures than may be able to be produced by the home’s hot water heater. Also, in order to maintain the heat required in these tubs, the heating element is typically in close proximity to the actual tub itself. The need for water supply and a heat source is one of the minor drawbacks of these outdoor tubs.

2. Although they vary in size, they still take up space.

Because outdoor soaking tubs are so easily customized, they vary in size and can be made on the smaller side. However, an outdoor soaking tub will still take up some space in the layout and design of the outside of the home. Since a certain level of seclusion is an integral element, additional space may be required to provide the area with adequate amounts of privacy.

When planning to incorporate an outdoor soaking tub into your custom home design, make sure you take the time to consider how much space you have to work with. Once you know how much space you have available, you can use that to make further decisions about the size, shape, and design of your outdoor soaking tub and its surrounding components. With careful planning, you can make the most of your available space and overcome this potential obstacle to installation and construction. In some cases, it may make sense to switch to an outdoor shower instead. 

3. Outdoor soaking tubs can add other challenges.

In addition to heating sources, water sources, and space, an outdoor soaking tub can add other challenges. It’s common to create a sense of privacy around outdoor soaking tubs, so there is usually a need for privacy fencing or vegetation that restricts lines of sight. However, these elements also create additional costs along with the challenges of incorporating them into the layout and design so they don’t detract from the aesthetics and intended serene nature of the area containing the tub.

This affordably implemented feature provides some significant benefits, along with being a unique addition with nearly endless possibilities, to a custom home design. Creative homeowners, working with a reputable builder to create their next dream home, can add something special and luxurious to the construction and design of their home with an outdoor soaking tub. If you’re ready to start designing and building your dream home, contact Custom Home Group at 717-284-4090!