wood fired hot tub
Cody Medina
Cody Medina
October 15, 2020 ·  7 min read

How to Build Your Own Wood-Fired Hot Tub

As the weather becomes chillier and seasons begin to change, you’re going to want to be able to keep yourself warm somehow! Have you ever considered building your own rustic wood-fired hot tub? With the proper materials and effort, you can have instant relaxation right in your backyard just in time for winter.

What kind of wood-fired hot tub should you build?

If you are budgeting to build your wood-fired hot tub, then you may want to consider looking into the old stock tank styled hot tub. The reason why this style of hot tub is so great is because of how cheap the materials are overall. Not to mention the cleaning process for these wood-fired hot tubs is very easy. Although you can fit a lot of people into a stock tank, you might want to consider the number of oils and other bacteria that are excreted from people’s skin, the more people you have in there, the more cleaning you’re going to have to do. So if you’re not trying to be super fancy but like to soak alone or with your partner in your spare time, then this might be the ideal hot tub you’re looking for. (1)

Cedar wood-fired hot tubs are definitely going to be the larger investment of both time and money. The materials alone are not cheap and the amount of labor you’ll spend on building this hot tub will take some time if you’re not exactly handy with tools. However, the end result of making this kind of wood-fired hot tub can be incredible. Some of the most beautifully made cedar wood-fired hot tubs are the most relaxing and fulfilling things you can sit in. The longevity you’ll get out of this tub will also prove it’s worth over time. You’ll truly feel the success wash over you once it’s made. Since this style of wood-fired hot tubs has a little more involvement with cleaning, you can have quite a few people in it, considering you’ll have to perform regular maintenance on this hot tub anyways. (2)

Are wood-fired hot tubs healthier than regular hot tubs?

Technically speaking, yes, they are. The reason is based entirely on how you choose to clean your hot tub. If you are using chemicals to shock your hot tub, then your overall experience isn’t going to be as fulfilling as you want it to be. The way the water looks feels and smells are huge components in trying to enjoy any kind of hot tub. Wood-fired hot tubs are healthier because there are a variety of sanitizing methods you can use that work just as well, if not better, that don’t have a harmful effect on your body afterward. (3)

Cleaning methods for a healthy and happy wood-fired hot tub

The stock tank styled wood-fired hot tub doesn’t need a lot of maintenance other than changing the water after every 2nd or 3rd use. The stock tank wood-fired hot tub is honestly going to be your best bet of a chemical-free hot tub. Since there isn’t a lot of water in the stock tank to begin with and doesn’t take a long time to heat up. Most people who are living on their own or with a partner tend to make this style of hot tub since they’re pretty easy to clean. (4)

Cleaning your cedar wood-fired hot tub is a different story since you are not only maintaining the healthiness of the water but the wood as well.

If you’re looking to avoid using chlorine or bromine to clean your hot tub, then we recommend trying hydrogen peroxide or an ozone generator. It’s recommended to use gloves when using hydrogen peroxide as it can cause chemical burns. This is because it’s a 27% solution versus your standard 3%. (3)

Using an ozone generator is another great cleaning method and if you change your hot tub water enough. This particular device is designed to inject little ozone bubbles into the water that then seek and destroy any bacteria it comes into contact with. The only problem with using this cleaning method by itself is that it isn’t able to clean the cedar wood of the hot tub, which is why it may be wise to use hydrogen peroxide to help prevent any other harmful bacteria or algae build-up that may still be clinging to the wood. (3)

Which wood-fired hot tub should you choose?

The stock tank styled wood-fired hot tub may be your best bet if you’re wanting something that’s easy to maintain and suits your solo lifestyle. There are a variety of ways you can make this kind of hot tub and for a pretty cheap price too if you can find the right materials. Some designs of stock tank hot tubs can actually be transported in the back of your truck! (1)

The cedar wood-fired hot tub is going to be a little more expensive than the stock tank hot tub, but if you’re wanting something that was built to last, then you are absolutely going to love having one of these hot tubs in your life. If you are able to find the materials and build it yourself then this tub can actually be more attainable than you think it is, it’s just going to require some handy work, time, and effort. The cleaning for this kind of hot tub is also a little more involved, but definitely worth it if you’re willing to keep up with the maintenance of the hot tub. (3)

How to build your cedar wood-fired hot tub

Step 1: Choosing your cedar

This video will show you how to find the affordable materials in order for you to start the building process of your cedar wood-fired hot tub. 

Step 2: Cutting the staves

These are the instructions on how you should cut your staves to the perfect size for your wood-fired hot tub and how big  you should make it depending on your preference as well as how you can get the most out of the materials you bought.

Step 3: Stave Joinery

You will want to pay extra close attention when watching this video. It is crucial that you are able to fit your staves together perfectly as this will prevent any leaks or other problems in the future when using your wood-fired hot tub.

Step 4: Building the floor

You can now start creating the cedar wood flooring of your wood-fired hot tub. This video recommends that you use a guide when figuring out the diameter of your hot tub. 

Step 5: Hot tub assembly

It is now time for you to assemble the staves together to create the hot tub! This is the true test of how well you were able to place all of the joints together. You may have to do some maneuvering and improvising depending on how well your staves join together. 

Step 6: Benches and plumbing

You are now ready to start making your benches! This video demonstrates how shaping the bench into a half hexagonal shape can be one of the best methods since this allows room for your wood stove for later. This video will also talk about how to install the plumbing system.

Step 7: Filling the tub

Finally, if everything seems to line up and make sense, you are now ready to start filling up your tub with water.This is so that the cedar wood of the hot tub can swell tightly together so that it will prevent leaks and any other openings in your hot tub. This process may take a while, so be patient as the wood soaks the water.

Step 8: Adding the wood stove

It is time to add your stove into your wood-fired hot tub now! You are almost there and this is one of the last key elements of having an incredible cedar wood-fired hot tub. For this style of hot tub, this video shows you how to install the wood-fired stove directly into the hot tub itself. 

Step 9: More helpful hot tub tips

You should now be able to fully enjoy your cedar wood-fired hot tub! This video gives you some more tips and tricks as to how you can maintain your new hot tub as well as other good things to know going into the future in owning this beautiful, newly hand-crafted luxury you just made for yourself. 

Keep Reading: This Woman DIY’ed a Floor Out of 7,500 Pennies and It’s Stunning


  1. “Wood Fired Hot Tub.” Instructables Workshop.
  2. “DIY Wood Fired Cedar Hot Tub” Instructables Workshop.
  3. “Cedar Hot Tub Maintenance.” Back Country Hot Tubs & Saunas.
  4. “STOCK TANK POOL CLEANING (HOW-TO)” Slightly Organic.