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.
Adding a Ramp
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!
Sunday 21st of March 2021
Super easy way to build a stand for our babies and their hutch. We used vinyl flooring bc the $10 box of tiles, I couldn't find. This works just as well for $15 and quicker. We had to raise one side with scraps of wood we had left over, just to level it. We do need to have a wider ramp and still need to cover it bc it's rather slick. And to deco it out, getting ideas together. Thanks so much for the inspiration!!
Friday 18th of September 2020
Needing to make ramps for my rabbits so they can come out of there hutch what best kind plywood to get
Sunday 20th of September 2020
Rabbits don't weigh a lot, but you don't want it bowing over time so I would recommend you go with 3/4 inch thick to give them a nice stable ramp
Monday 27th of July 2020
Liz, How do you keep the Rabbits from digging out of the play yard? We have a similar area but they keep digging out. Thanks for any tips and advice.
Tuesday 28th of July 2020
Hi Kimberly, we dug down two feet in the ground and buried a wall of hardware cloth wire around the entire perimeter
Thursday 23rd of April 2020
I am redoing a bunny hutch for my new rabbits. It is wire right now. I am very glad i came across this it is a good idea. so I could just put down plywood or osb and than just put tiles down. would you also put it where they would have babies. I like the idea of the rug for them in winter. Thank you for your ideas. Will make my cages better....
Thursday 23rd of April 2020
I’m glad I could help! You could have the tile everywhere and then just have a little nest box area for when there are babies
Tuesday 14th of April 2020
Do you worry about predators getting through the coop? I bought the same hutch and I was planning on surrounding the whole area with a huge pen with wire mesh. Maybe I’m over complicating things though?! If a simple fence would work and then just close them in the hutch overnight maybe that would be better?
Wednesday 15th of April 2020
I think the hutch is quite secure - I replaced the upper & lower door latches with spring loaded eye hooks because the ones it came with were flimsy. If you are going to let your rabbits out of the hutch unsupervised the wire mesh pen will be great for an exercise area. The hutch is a good secure place for them at night, but they will need more space to run and stretch out during the day. I've moved since I wrote this article and I currently have the hutch in a huge horse stall for them to run around in, but at the other house I had the picket fence surrounding the pen, and attached to the picket fence was hardware cloth wire. The wire was buried down 2 feet in the ground to prevent critters from digging in and to stop them from digging out. They were very secure and happy there!