Hot Tub Surfacing

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With winter knocking on the door here in the Indianapolis area, you’re probably already thinking about ways to stay warm this season. And as you probably already know, a hot tub is a great investment that the whole family will love – especially during the chilly months here in the Midwest! When you’re ready to find your perfect hot tub, give us a call at (317) 773-3545 or visit the Recreation Unlimited showroom in Noblesville.

Surfacing for Your Hot Tub

As you begin shopping for your new hot tub, you’ll want to consider where it will be placed, and what will be underneath it. One question we often hear from customers is “Do I need a special surface or leveling underneath my hot tub?” The answer is – yes! Having a surface that is both level and that can handle the weight of your hot tub is very important.

An unlevel surface can cause stress fractures and cracks in the hot tub shell, which WILL NOT be covered under any manufacturer warranty due to improper installation. Placing your hot tub directly on the ground is not recommended because of the weight of the hot tub when full will shift and sink into the ground. This too can cause fractures and cracks in the shell. To prevent damage to the hot tub and to ensure it functions properly, you will need a stable surface under the hot tub.

Here are a few options for surfaces under your hot tub:

Concrete Pad – This is the best, most suitable surface for your hot tub. A 4” (or more) thick concrete pad will not shift or move under the weight. A one piece slab is the best for underneath, as it is the most durable and gives you the best level option.

Hot Tub Concrete Pad

Packed Gravel – If you’re looking for a slightly more affordable surface for your hot tub, packed gravel is another option. You’ll need to make sure it is level and packed down (again, 4” thick or more). You’ll also need to remove any grass before putting gravel into place. This can be cheaper than the concrete pad, but takes more work.
Deck – A deck is a popular choice for obvious reasons. Aesthetically, a hot tub is a very nice addition to wooden deck. However, it’s important to keep in mind that when filled, a hot tub can be very heavy: up to 3000 lbs or more, depending on the size. If the deck is pre-existing, you will need to find out if there is enough support under the deck to handle the weight. If you are having a deck built specifically for the hot tub, make sure your contractor knows the weight of the tub (filled) so that the correct amount of support is built into it.

hot-tub-on-deck
If you plan to sink the hot tub into the deck, you will still need a level surface under it, i.e. concrete or gravel. We do not suggest this option unless you will be putting access panels into the deck for future maintenance.

Spa Pad – This is an option that some spa companies offer. We do not suggest a spa pad because it CANNOT just be set on the grass: you will still need a solid level surface to set it on (packed gravel, concrete, etc.) Spa pads are also not well suited for Indiana winters, as they are made of plastic and do not hold up in cold weather.

If you have questions about hot tub surfaces or would like to learn more about the various options, give us a call at (317) 773-3545 and a Recreation Unlimited hot tub specialist will be happy to help you. We’re your Indy Spa Experts, and we look forward to hearing from you!

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Molly Campbell

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