DIY Projects Rabbits

Building a raised base for a rabbit hutch

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The rabbit hutch we purchased has two levels of living for the bunnies. Click here to see how we decorated it!

 It’s great that they have lots of space to live, 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.

Rabbit Hutch

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 long, tall enough to avoid any snow drifts and also tall enough to allow us to store rabbit supplies underneath.

Building a raised base for rabbit hutch

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 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 keeping human caretakers happy, and allow 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 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!

Building a raised base for rabbit hutch

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.

Disclaimer:  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.

Building a raised base for rabbit hutch
Wipe up excess grout from tiles and let dry completely.  Then you just move the table base into place and secure hutch to edges!  To provide extra weather protection, apply water sealer to the exposed 2x4s.

Easy Outdoor Bunting Flag Banners
One final addition:

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!

Building a raised base for rabbit hutch

Rabbit Play Yard

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Hey, I just wanted to let you know: rabbits eat cecotropes (those poops that they’re supposed to eat) right out of their own bottoms; if the cecotropes are falling to the ground, they’re probably too overweight to reach their bottoms.

    1. That is both disgusting and interesting lol! I had not heard that before, thanks for the info!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Using ceramic tiles was a great idea, by the way!

  3. Veronica says:

    Awesome! Thanks for sharing! I’ve been reading a lot about rabbits and their care and my most worrisome part are the snow days here in Chicago, which get terrible! This raised base for hutch answers my most fears!

    1. Glad I could help! 🙂

  4. Hellie says:

    Thank you for posting this. I recently purchased that cage and was trying to figure out a table or suitable base for it so it’s really helpful to see it completed. I have wire reinforced the inside as my bunny likes to chew wood. A lot. I was going to paint it white but love your turquoise with trim – it can be a bit of east coast in So Cal.

    Love the rest of the website too – really informative. Well done!

    1. Glad I could help! 🙂

  5. Skipper Sue says:

    In more temperate climates, where snow falls an inch at most and soaring summer heat is the biggest worry, put the hutch on the ground in the shade. Heat rises, so a raised cage allows heat to permeate cage from above and below. Remove any wire flooring, for all the reasons Liz gave. Litter box should go in the corner the bunny prefers to use for dumping.
    Place pavers or bricks directly into the earth, a few inches down so they absorb the earth’s cooler temperatures. Place ceramic tiles on top of pavers for cool non gritty feeling. Add ice bottle if really hot, and for long haired bunnies.

    1. excellent suggestions for warm weather! 🙂

  6. Tanya says:

    We have exactly the same hutch for our two bunnies and my husband build a very similar base to yours. I found some stick on vinyl tiles for a great deal, so used those for our flooring. But, they are SO slippery. Our poor bunnies can’t even stand on them. What have you put over your tiles? Straw? Hay?

    1. That is strange, are they a high gloss tile? My bunnies have really furry feet and have not had a problem standing on them, the tiles themselves have a matte finish. In the winter I put down a rug so it’s warmer but I haven’t had an issue with sliding with the bare tiles. Straw or hay would be good options though if they are having problems with your tiles

  7. Sandy says:

    My rabbits are in the home and wonderful pets. It’s a huge bummer to me that some people have them living in wire hutches in extreme climates. Ugh.

    1. I agree rabbits are wonderful pets, and we enjoy spending time with them. They come in our house often, but they have way more space to live a more natural life outdoors digging, running and jumping like they never could inside. They are safe & happy out there and that’s what matters to me. I’m glad you are enjoying your bunnies as well

      1. cathy hogue says:

        my bunnies live outdoors as well. and they seem to be very happy! they have a wood floor with tiles covering as well,plenty of grassy areas to run and jump and dig. they love digging!!!! in the winter i put 2 heat lamps inside hutch and it stays a toasty 60 degrees. i have a thermometer gadget inside that reads the temp and runs it to a read out in my kitchen. very handy. at times i have to turn off 2nd lamp because it gets too hot. lol plese readers dont try to change your bunnies natural born can take the bunny out of nature ,but you cant take nature out of bunnies.

        1. Sounds like an excellent set up for happy bunnies!

      2. Kristen Jutzi Riley says:

        Do you keep them outdoors all winter? We’re in Chicago and I’m worried about our winter coming up… ours are outside right now

        1. This year we moved so our bunnies have a stall in a barn now – not heated, but more sheltered than our old set up. But yes, we did keep them for over 5 years outside pretty much all year. We are in southern New England, there were a few really cold snaps here and there when it would be in single digits for over a week and we would bring them inside to a little makeshift pen in our utility room. You can read about how we winterized our outdoor set up here:

    2. I saw your comment. I totally agree. But I need help with this because my partner will not sleep in the same bedroom with me because I love my bunny(Aero) so much like he is part of the family but he urinates and poops in one area of my bedroom and it sure smells bad. I keep him with me because Aero can run so freely and get cuddles off me whenever he wants. He will always have contact with us humans but my partner won’t have him anywhere in the house. He wants to burden him into a small cage in the shed. That’s it! Just like that! I can’t hop in their with him. It’s hot in there. It smells of fuel and other chemicals and it’s loud with grinding tools going on a lot and he won’t interact with us at all. He will be so lonely. I’ve already tried putting him out there and he hates it. He starts gnawing on the cage and cardboard as though he wants to break free. I come back in half an hour and he looks miserable. Not before long, I’m opening up his door and sneaking him back into my room. How can you live with a rabbit without those awful smells? Where can I put him?

      1. oh no that is a really hard spot to be in! Rabbit urine can be a really strong smell. Is Aero neutered? Intact male rabbits tend to mark their territory often by spraying urine. Getting him neutered will cut way down on that habit. If you litter box train him then the urine will be just in the box and you can just change it out frequently. Even if you clean up the shed, get right of the smells & noise and gave him free run of the shed, you are right he will be lonely. My rabbits live in my barn, but I have 8 of them so they have each other for companionship when I can’t be out there. I hope you can figure out a way to keep him inside, he sounds like a little love bug 🙂

  8. Lisa says:

    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?

    1. 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!

  9. Annika says:

    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….

    1. 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

  10. 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.


    1. Hi Kimberly, we dug down two feet in the ground and buried a wall of hardware cloth wire around the entire perimeter

  11. Needing to make ramps for my rabbits so they can come out of there hutch what best kind plywood to get

    1. 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

  12. Nita says:

    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!!

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