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Hot Tub 101
Hot Tub Maintenance
Outdoor Oasis

Tips for creating a custom hot tub pad

A hot tub pad is essential as it will keep the tub off the ground preventing uneven sinkage and damage to the bottom of the spa. You need to keep in mind this hot tub base will need to accommodate the hot tub weight and electrical requirements. Hot tub Pads are a really easy DIY project that can be accomplished pretty quickly over a weekend. There are even new synthetic options that a lot of hot tub owners are using because they are less expensive and quicker to install than concrete or wood. One of the most used products for hot tub and spa bases is the Handi-Spa Pad.

Different Hot Tub Pad Options

There are many different ways of creating a base for your spa and some of them will work better for you depending on where you want to put it and how flat the land is. Here are the easiest ways of creating a custom hot tub pad for your home:

Synthetic Hot Tub Base System

This new and exciting way to level your hot tub can save you money and time. The synthetic hot tub or spa pad is made from a high density polyethylene that is made to take the weight of a hot tub or spa. The best part of the product is how durable it is over time. The synthetic spa pad will need little to no maintenance like the other hot tub pad options available. Over the past few years we have seen more and more portable hot tub owners making this choice over the more traditional concrete, wood, or patio stone options.

Synthetic Spa Pad Manual Download

Concrete Pad

One of the more popular hot tub bases is of course a concrete base. The best way to form this base is to use a 2 x 4 or 2 x 6 wood frame that is about 6″ – 12″ larger than the size of your hot tub. However, you may want to consider an even larger pad to accommodate steps or a walkway around your hot tub. Remove all the grass and dig down at least 6 – 8 inches to prepare the base for your concrete spa pad. layer with crush stone and wire mesh to keep the concrete from shifting or cracking. Pour your concrete and finish level for your hot tub water line to be level when in place.

Wooden Decking

A sturdy wooden frame made of 2x4s sandwiched together is a simple, inexpensive, attractive, and effective way of keeping your tub off the ground. Make sure any vertical beams are strong enough to support the weight of not just the full tub but also the people using it! This is also a great method because it can be relatively easily raised if one corner begins to sink. Simply jack the hot tub up and use shims to level out the frame.

If you want to install a hot tub on a prebuilt deck, carefully check the supports around the area to make sure it is strong enough and stable enough to support the weight without tipping, tilting, or breaking. You may need to add additional supports in the area you plan to install the tub.

Gravel Base

A gravel bed is another great way to pad the bottom of your hot tub or spa.

To create one simply follow these easy steps:

  • Remove the sod from a section of lawn that is large enough to hold your tub.
  • Dig out an area several inches deep and make sure the ground at the bottom is pressed flat.
  • Fill the hole with gravel and press it down to make sure it will not shift or sink once it has weight on it. The gravel will conform to the shape of the bottom of your tub to hold it firmly in place.

When using gravel, you may want to consider installing low showers near the tub to wash dirt off your feet before getting in.

Cement Pavers (Patio Stones)

No longer the most popular choice due to their tendency to crack or sink un-uniformly, cement pavers can still be used to great success if done properly.

  • Remove the pavers and flatten the ground underneath as much as possible. Pack the dirt down so it will not compress under the weight of the filled tub.
  • Replace the pavers making sure that they are level with each other and the entire surface is flat.
  • Be careful when placing the tub in position to avoid cracking or damaging the bottom on the hard surface of the tiles.

As with gravel, you may want low showers nearby to prevent tracking grass and dirt into your spa. Whichever style of hot tub pad you choose, treat your hot tub well and you will be sure to get lots of use out of it for years to come.