How Air Tubs Work

Installing an Air Tub

Once you purchase a new air tub, you'll have to get it installed, which can be a tricky process and will probably require the assistance of another person. Air tubs come in all kinds of configurations, whether you're thinking of putting yours in the backyard or replacing an existing bathtub. There are several tried-and-true installation methods that should help with most situations:

Drop-in Method -- If you've got an outdoor air tub, give this method a try. Drop the tub into a pre-built frame where it will rest on a subfloor, while the lip of the tub creates a frame around the pre-built deck. This lip should never bear weight and should have a very thin space between itself and the deck that you should seal with silicone.


Alcove Method -- Just like your everyday bath/shower combo, an alcove air tub has walls on three sides. These tubs don't need a pre-built deck, but you should always measure before installation to ensure your tub has a nice snug fit.

Undermount Method -- The lip of an undermounted tub is hidden completely beneath a covering layer creating a seamless edge from the surface of the cover into the tub. Install the tub first, followed by its decorative casing. Then the top, often made of stone or marble, is cut and fitted over the tub to serve as a kind of lid for the casing. This method requires a bit more planning, and possibly professional installation, due to the relocation of the tub's controls to the top of the cover.

Make sure to install an access panel near the air pump. The panel should be big enough to remove all of the tub's interior parts if necessary. And while it is possible to build your own air tub or retrofit your current tub with air jets, it's a huge endeavor [source: Leisure Concepts, Spa Depot, Quality Bath].

Now that you know what an air tub is, let's see what it's like to own one.