What Is The Best Base For A Hot Tub? The Complete Guide To 5 Different Bases

Do you know that using a good base can increase the durability of your hot tub? To that effect, you may be wondering what the best base for your hot tub could be.

I will simply give you the direct answer to this question. A gravel bed is the best base for a hot tub because it is very sturdy, aesthetic, and allows the drainage of water. Moreover, it doesn’t crack over time.

Reports have it that 20% of the hot tubs that get damage are a result of a faulty base or no base at all. So, it’s pertinent that you have a base for your hot tub. Gravel has proven to be the best base you can use for your hot tub. Consider using pea gravel for the base.

In this post, we discussed further the best base for your hot tub.

The Importance Of A Base To A Hot Tub

Before you know the best type of gravel you could use for your hot tub, it is of great importance that you get acquainted with the essence of a base to a hot tub.

First and foremost, the base of a hot tub simply refers to the foundation where your hot tub is laid. Never buy the idea of placing your hot tub just anywhere. It’s risky! 

A newly purchased hot tub weighs a few pounds and will settle evenly when placed anywhere. The reverse is the case when water is poured into the hot tub.

The hot tub becomes a thousand pounds heavier and becomes uneven; this causes inefficiency. Also, when a hot tub is placed on the ground where dirt and water could easily be found, it could cause damage to the tub.

The external part of a hot tub was not designed to resist water even though the internal part was designed to hold water.

Now that you know the reason why you need a base for your hot tub, below is a compilation of the possible bases you could use for your hot tub.

Six Bases To Consider For Your Hot Tub

  1. An Existing Patio

Most people who purchase hot tubs already have patios in their homes. This could be used as a base for a hot tub. The most important thing to look out for when installing a hot tub is 100% level ground, and patios are level grounds.

They are paved with concrete which makes them level enough to install a hot tub. Also, most patios are made with additional reinforcements for hot tubs.

Using a patio means no construction is needed. This is very good news for anyone with an existing patio in their house. If your patio is dented, you can make use of under shims to make the tub and water leveled.

An additional advantage of using an existing patio for a hot tub base is the fact that it doesn’t require you to spend money.

You can also make a patio if you do not have any existing patios. Make sure the patio is made with strong concrete and is perfectly leveled. Moreso, make sure the patio construction is overseen by an expert in other to be done excellently well.

2. An Existing Deck

Like in the case of a patio, you can make use of an already existing deck as a base for your hot tub. Although a pre-existing deck might not be strong enough to hold a hot tub when it has water in it. So, you need to invite a professional to check it out.

However, If you find out that the strength of your deck is not good enough for a hot tub, you can reinforce additional framing and joists. You can also make a new deck if you feel the deck in your house cannot withstand the weight of a water-filled hot tub.

3. Concrete

concrete is another material you can use to create a base for your hot tub. Also, concrete is a common element used for constructing structures. It is a very brilliant material to use for a hot tub base.

The surface of concrete is strong and long-lasting. One incredible thing about concrete is that you can make the shape and size of your concrete to fit the specific dimension of your hot tub.

The concrete used for a hot tub base should be about 100mm and 500mm thick. Fill concrete to the top to make it level. Also, concrete is the second-best option to use as a base for your hot tub.

4. Gravel

Base For A Hot Tub

After reading the previous information about concrete, you might begin to wonder what the number one best option for a hot tub base is. The answer is “gravel.”

Although all other bases for a hot tub are excellent in their ways, gravel is the best of them all for the following reasons:

  • It is very sturdy.
  • It can be installed within a short period.
  • Gravel is aesthetic: it adds up to the beauty of a house.
  • Gravel will eventually mold your hot tub.
  • It allows the drainage of water which other materials do not allow.
  • It doesn’t crack over time.

The best type of gravel to use for the base of your hot tub is “pea gravel.”

5. Prefabricated Spa Pad

This is another excellent material you can use for your hot tub base. It is readily made for your hot tub. A prefabricated spa is made from high-density polythene. It can be placed on any dried leveled ground including grasses.  

One of the best-prefabricated pads out there is the EZ pad. It is quite durable and resistant to impact and abrasion. This light grey pad needs no serious maintenance as the case may be. The pad comes in four different pieces. Furthermore, it can be easily installed.

6. Using Pavers

Pavers are quite attractive and of different types. When choosing pavers, choose smooth ones that can easily be interlocked at a level ground to create a solid flat layer on top of concrete.

Examples of pavers include: cobblestones, brick, rubber, flagstone

To know more about pavers, you can look them up on this page.

How To Build A Base For Your Hot Tub

In this section, we will be taking a look at the ways you can build the various hot tub bases available.

First, most dealerships of hot tubs would always recommend a professional to help in the construction of your hot tub base. However, if you feel confident enough to build a sturdy and well-leveled base for your hot tub, then this post would be of immense help to you.

Moreover, a DIY will save you some money and it would enable you to construct a base that suits your taste.

Taking Note Of A Hot Tub Weight

Before you commence the construction of your hot tub base, it is of utmost importance that you know the manufacturer’s weight specifications of your hot tub after water is poured into the hot tub.

After taking note of the hot tub’s weight when water is in it, you need to add the maximum number of people that may be in the hot tub at a particular time.

For instance, In a standard 5 person hot tub, the maximum amount of people that can occupy the hot tub in a worst-case scenario, is 6 people.

An average person weighs 185 lb, so the maximum added weight would be 185 x 6= 1,110 lbs.

Knowing this information would help you build a leveled and sturdy base

Decide Where To Build Your Hot Tub Base

Deciding where to build your hot tub base is very crucial as it would determine the results that come after the installation of your hot tub.

Factors to look out for when choosing a place for your hot base includes:

  • Space: You need space for your hot tub in other to be able to shut and open the lid of the tub. Also, you need space to allow comfortable servicing of the hot tub in the future.
  • Accessibility: The place has to be near your house.
  • Drainage: The area you plan to put your hot tub must have drainage or have a space to create drainage.
  • Closeness To Electricity And Water Supply: this is one of the very obvious factors.

Building A Base For Your Hot Tub

Concrete Hot Tub Base

Start with building the frame for your concrete

First, you need a timber frame to set your concrete mix. You can make the wooden frame yourself. Also, the size of the base needs to be larger than the hot tub so, you might as well add an inch to the frame in all directions.

after that, remove any turf and topsoil. Then dig down the same thickness as you are going to make the base (five inches will be sufficient). Leveling the top of your base with surrounding soil makes it easier to position the steps where you need them.

You will not be needing expansion joints if your base is under 10 feet in each direction. This will allow you to mix and pour concrete at once.

Ratio of cement to all-in aggregate

I recommend all-in aggregate because it will save you some time. All the sand you need is already in it.

It is not a necessity to make the concrete mix too strong. Mix to a ratio of 1:6 

That is, mix 6 buckets of all-in aggregate to one bucket of cement. Most people might suggest a ratio of 1:3 but it’s uncalled for. Ratio 1:3 is the same ratio used for building the foundation for buildings. You are only building a base for your hot tub!

Mixing too much concrete might be great work for your hands so you can buy a cement mixer and sell it at an auction if you don’t need it afterward.

Gravel Hot Tub Base

Building a gravel base for your hot tub is one of the best decisions you might ever make. The reason being that, it is the easiest hot tub base to build and it’s also very easy to install. Also, it is very environmentally friendly. Like I mentioned earlier, it adds to the beauty of your house.

The frame for your gravel base

Unlike the concrete, the wooden structure of a gravel base remains. So, it is of utmost importance that you use a wood that is pressure treated.

Also, make sure you use a wood preserver for the wood in other to prevent termites from burrowing into the wood.  Secure the frame with a 10½ lag screw.

The construction of a gravel base is almost similar to that of a concrete base. The only difference is that you need to put down a water-permeable landscaping cloth before laying the gravel. This is done to prevent weeds from growing up through the gravel.

Make use of slightly crushed gravel, it should be tightly packed.

Placing Your Hot Tub On A Patio

This is another amazing way to place your hot tub since it doesn’t require you to spend money. Most houses already have existing patios, which makes it ideal to choose it as an option for your hot tub base.

 Furthermore, most patios are made at a slight inclination to allow the easy drainage of water.

A Deck Hot Tub Base

Just like in the case of the patio, you can easily place your hot tub on a deck if you have one in your house. If you don’t have a deck, and you want to build one, here are some useful tips for you

Building Tips For A Deck

  • Leave gaps between your deck boards; it’s important.
  • Cover your joists when building your deck frame.
  • Don’t put screws too far into the decking.
  • Use diamond laths around your deck to keep visitors out.

Conclusion

Constructing a base is paramount to the lifespan of your hot tub. So, choose wisely from all the bases mentioned in the article. However, I strongly recommend using gravel.

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