Currently enjoying a European-led resurgence, it is thought that the early American settlers were among the first to build wooden tubs.
The earliest examples were put together with cedar planking, made water-tight in much the same way as a wooden barrel with heating to warm the water generated from natural springs.
These early wooden spas rose to prominence across America and were widely used until the introduction of today’s more modern looking acrylic-lined hot tubs.
“The wooden hot tub market is on the up,” declares Aurimas Makauskas, director of Pembrokeshire-based Eco Hot Tubs.
“However, it has been made tougher by new companies entering the market with cheap tubs to make quick money,” adds Aurimas.
“There is no typical customer for wooden hot tubs, it’s more a case of personal preference. We find that the simplicity appeals to many of our customers,” she continues.
“You can place the hot tub in any spot where you can get water access, so even in the middle of nowhere you can enjoy hot water, fresh air, and the sounds and smell of nature,” says Aurimas.
Wood is health-friendly compared to all other man-made materials of hot tubs. Wooden hot tubs are mainly available in cedar, spruce and larch, and for most customers it’s a case of personal preference.
Spruce is a soft wood and is often the cheapest option, but can darken quickly, while larch is slightly more expensive, but is more resistant and has a deep colour and grain pattern. Cedar is often a popular choice due to its density and refined appearance.
Whereas acrylic tubs are heated by electricity, wooden hot tubs are usually heated by a wood burner, meaning they can be situated almost anywhere.
Although they can take longer to heat, wood burners are very fuel efficient. About two bags of dry logs should get the water up to a good temperature and keep it there while bathing. Internal heaters are also available which decrease the heating time but also reduce space within the tub, they also take longer to clean.
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