The rabbit hutch we purchased when starting out with rabbits had two levels of living for the bunnies. Click here to see how we decorated it!
It’s great having lots of safe space, but the lower level is on the ground. In New England, we often have snowfalls of more than a few inches so we knew when we bought it we would have to raise the hutch off the ground.
We started by building a simple frame out of 2x4s, the length and width of the hutch then covered the frame top with plywood. We made the legs 2 feet tall, enough to avoid any snow drifts and also tall enough to allow us to store rabbit supplies underneath.
Solid flooring vs wire flooring
Why cover the frame in plywood? Don’t most rabbit hutches have wire floors? Unfortunately, yes many commercial rabbit hutches have wire floors because wire floors are easy for humans. The poop falls through the mesh and into a bucket for composting. The downside is the rabbits are forced to support their entire weight on the wire mesh causing irritation to their feet and the potential for injury or infection.
Rabbits need a safe, enclosed place to hide away at. Having the bottom of their cage exposed is very stressful for them. Rabbits take to litter box training very easily, so putting a litter box in the hutch will keep most of the poop in one, easy-to-dispose-of place. This keeps human caretakers happy and allows the bunnies to have a solid floor, keeping them happy. If you keep a small hand broom & dust pan near your hutch, you can quickly sweep up any stray poop and dump them in the litter box.
The problem with wood floors
The problem with leaving the floor as plywood is that wood is porous – making it hard to clean & disinfect. We opted to cover the plywood with cheap ceramic tiles (it was under $10 for the tiles needed for this base). The ceramic tiles will be easy to keep clean and they will also stay cool in the summer, providing relief for hot bunnies.
We bought a small tub of tile adhesive that can double as grout. It was already premixed, super easy!
First, spread the adhesive and stick the tiles down. Notice, we did not tile all the way to the edge of the plywood base. We left space for the hutch to rest on. We got lucky that the inside of our hutch is 2 feet wide by 7 feet long. So buying standard 12×12 tiles meant we didn’t even have to cut tiles at all.
We have never tiled anything before. Does it look great? No. Have we found a new career path? Unlikely. The rabbits don’t care if some of the tiles are crooked or if the grout lines are even though, so don’t be afraid to tackle projects like this!
Let adhesive cure for 24 hours before grouting. After curing, fill the grout lines with the adhesive/grout.
Wipe up excess grout from the tiles and let dry completely. Then you just move the table base into place and secure the hutch to the edges! To provide extra weather protection, apply water sealer to the exposed 2x4s.
Now the rabbits can’t simply hop out the door into their play yard, so we used some scrap plywood and some cheap welcome mats to make a bunny ramp!