What is the Best Base for a Hot Tub?
When you're planning to install a hot tub, one of the crucial factors to consider is the type of base that will support it. Choosing the right foundation is essential for ensuring that your hot tub remains stable and secure for years to come.
There are several hot tub base options to choose from, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. The most common ones include concrete pads, gravel bases, wooden decks, prefabricated bases, and pavers. While some options may be more expensive or time-consuming to install than others, the right choice will depend on various factors, such as the size and weight of your hot tub, the location, and your budget.
It's also essential to ensure that the base is level, stable, and able to support the weight of the hot tub when it’s at full capacity. If the base is unstable or uneven this can cause damage to the hot tub, such as punctures, and even worse, it can cause accidents and injuries.
Why is a Hot Tub Base Important
A hot tub base is crucial because it supports the weight of the hot tub, which can weigh several hundreds of kilos when it is in use the hot tub's structural integrity from damage, as without a proper base, the hot tub can sink, become unstable, or incur damage over time.
Before we look at what good hot tub base options are out there, let’s first look at hot tub bases that you should avoid.
Hot Tub Bases
Soil or Grass Base
Soil or Grass Hot Tub bases are not recommended, this is because the hot tub can actually damage your grass, water with chlorine and other pool cleansing chemicals splashing onto the grass can kill the area of grass. This combined with the fact that the soil or grass surface will likely absorb water from the hot tub, can frequently lead to sinking and creating an uneven base for your hot tub.
So now that we’ve looked at bad base options, let's look at what are good options for a hot tub base?
A concrete base is a popular option for hot tub installation due to its ability to provide strong support for the weight of the hot tub. It's also easy to lay and relatively affordable compared to other base options. Additionally, a concrete pad can help keep the surrounding area clean and tidy.
One potential concern with a concrete hot tub foundation is its appearance, as some people may find it aesthetically unappealing. However, this can be easily addressed by making the pad slightly bigger than the hot tub's footprint to hide the concrete, or by adding a deck or patio trim around the bottom.
When it comes to installing a concrete pad for your hot tub, it's essential to ensure that it's thick enough to support the weight of the hot tub at full capacity (in other words, how much the hot tub would weigh when filled with people).
Decking is another popular option for a hot tub base, especially if you already have a pre-existing deck in your backyard. If you plan on placing your hot tub on a pre-existing deck, it's best to have it evaluated by a professional before you start using it.
You can book a home consultation from Hydropool to assess the best area to place your new hot tub or swim spa.
Keep in mind that a wooden deck may not be able to support the weight of a full hot tub, so depending on the weight capacity of your deck, it may need to be reinforced with additional framing, including extra joists.
Reinforcing a deck should typically be done by a professional, although you may be able to DIY it if you have prior construction and reinforcement experience.
A gravel base is another option to consider when installing a hot tub. It's a popular choice due to its low cost and it provides great drainage ability (especially if you go for drainage gravel). Good drainage is important for your hot tub as this will allow spill from your hot tub to drain away from the base.
However, it's important to note that creating an effective and high-quality gravel base requires some work. For example, you’ll likely need to dig out a deep hole for the gravel and then fill it in with various grades of gravel.
When installing the gravel pad, ensure that the gravel is thick and secure enough to support the weight of the hot tub.
Preparing your Hot Tub Base
So now you’ve decided on your hot tub foundation, let's look take a brief look at how you should prepare it.
1. Choose a Suitable Location for Your Hot Tub:
Select a flat, level, and stable surface for your hot tub. Avoid placing it on an uneven surface or a sloping area, as this can cause the hot tub to shift or become unlevel over time.
2. Clear the Area:
Remove any grass, rocks, debris, or other obstacles from the site where you plan to place the hot tub. The area should be clear and free from any potential hazards that could damage the hot tub.
3. Create a Solid Foundation:
Depending on the type of base you choose, you may need to create a solid foundation to support the weight of the hot tub. This could involve pouring a concrete slab, laying a base of compacted gravel, or using pre-made hot tub pads or blocks.
4. Ensure Proper Drainage:
Adequate drainage is important for preventing water buildup around the base of the hot tub. Make sure that the site you choose allows for proper drainage, and consider adding a drainage system or trench to divert water away from the base.
5. Check for Stability:
Once you have prepared the base, check for stability by placing a level on top of the surface. The base should be level in all directions to ensure that the hot tub does not shift or become unbalanced.
By following these steps, you can ensure that your hot tub has a stable, level, and suitable base that will support its weight and provide a safe and enjoyable experience for years to come.
So there you have it, those are hydropools top recommendations for a hot tub base, we believe that a solid, deck, gravel or concrete foundation will serve your hot tub the best.
If you're interested in learning more about our hot tubs, swim spas, or pool rooms, feel free to browse our website for more information. At Hydropool, we strive to provide our customers with the highest quality products and services to enhance their relaxation and overall well-being. Don't hesitate to contact us for any inquiries or schedule a home visit.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it easy to move a hot tub once it is down?
Moving a hot tub once it is in place can be a difficult and challenging task, especially if you are doing it on your own. Hot tubs are heavy and bulky, and can weigh anywhere from 500 to 1,000 pounds lbs more, depending on the size and type of hot tub.
To move a hot tub, you will need to have the right equipment and tools, including dollies, straps, and a vehicle with a trailer hitch. You may also need several people to help you lift and manoeuvre the hot tub safely.
It’s likely that hiring a professional to do the job is the best way to go.
Can you sink a hot tub into the ground?
Hot Tubs can sink into the ground, this is especially true when placing your hot tub on a grass or soil like foundation. The grass may begin to absorb the water and chemicals from hot tub and the surface may sink into the ground.
Do I need a base for my hot tub?
A base is necessary to support the weight of your hot tub and protect it from damage over time. Without a proper base, your hot tub may sink or become unstable.
What are the best materials for a hot tub base?
Concrete and gravel are both popular materials for a hot tub base. A reinforced deck can also be a good option if it can support the weight of the hot tub.
How thick should my concrete pad be for my hot tub?
We recommend a concrete pad that is at least 10cm thick to provide strong support for the
weight of the hot tub, however it’s always a good idea to get a professional to look at your specific foundations.
Can I use an existing deck as a base for my hot tub?
An existing deck can be used as a base for your hot tub, but it's essential to ensure that the deck can support the weight of the hot tub before placing it on top.
Can I install a hot tub base myself?
You can install a hot tub base yourself if you have prior construction experience. However, it's important to ensure that the base is installed correctly and can support the weight of the hot tub. Consider consulting with a professional if you're unsure about the installation process.