When it comes to purchasing and installing a hot tub, there are numerous options to consider. One of the most important decisions is where to put the hot tub.
Having said that, the surface on which the hot tub will be placed is just as significant as its position. In this article, we will discuss numerous factors to consider when thinking about where and how to install a hot tub.
To briefly answer the question, yes, a hot tub can, as a general rule, be put on gravel. Gravel is actually an ideal hot tub base because it allows for water drainage while also being strong enough to support the weight of a hot tub.
This is, however, only a brief overview of the answer and solution to the question. There is much more that goes into installing and maintaining a hot tub performing at its best.
First and foremost, we must consider the weight of the hot tub. The actual hot tub and its framework are quite light when there is no water or people in it. The majority of hot tubs are composed of fiberglass or acrylic, which are lightweight materials that may be easily moved.
This leads people to believe that their hot tub does not require a robust base because it is not as hefty as you might expect. But when you add a lot of water and a bunch of people to the mix, the hot tub weight balloons to hundreds of pounds. With that much weight, you must ensure that the hot tub is supported by a solid base.
More Reasons Why Gravel Is A Great Option
Gravel is visually appealing, and it can be used in practically any backyard. It goes well with a variety of backyard ideas.
Gravel is a quick alternative that can be installed in a matter of hours, as opposed to other solutions that may necessitate more time and work.
Gravel, unlike concrete, will not break. This is because the gravel allows adequate water drainage rather than having it lying on the surface. Concrete, on the other hand, will crack over time due to all of the surplus water remaining on the surface.
Gravel will mold to your hot tub, forming a strong seating platform, and unlike some other materials, will not shift over time.
Finally, gravel is reasonably priced. It’s one of the less expensive hot tub foundation alternatives, but it’s still robust and sturdy enough for huge and heavy hot tubs.
How to Install a Gravel Hot Tub Base
If you have already decided to install your hot tub on a gravel pad, here is a step-by-step instruction on how to install it:
You must be aware of the dimensions of your hot tub. Take precise measurements of the hot tub. You’ll need a few extra feet around the hot tub to place the gravel for drainage and aesthetic reasons.
Choose a location and measure the ground. Mark it with spray paint or some markers. Make clear borders.
Once you’ve done that, start digging into the ground to make way for the gravel layers. You should dig out at least 6 inches with a shovel.
Cover the bottom of your hole with a layer of landscape fabric. This is entirely optional, however, it can improve the overall appearance and support of your hot tub foundation.
Fill in the excavated area with gravel. Some people prefer to fully cover the pit with medium-grade construction gravel, while others prefer a top layer of pea gravel. It’s entirely up to you.
If you choose pea gravel, use it in combination with medium-grade construction gravel. You should add 4 inches of the medium-grade gravel at the base, and fill the remaining two inches on the area with the pea gravel.
With your shovel, smooth off the surface. It is critical that the hot tub sits on a totally level surface, therefore take the time to verify that all gravel pieces are flat and aligned on the corners.
Things To Remember
Make sure that you’re building a gravel basis on a fully flat and level surface. Attempting to build your base in an area where the earth is uneven, steep, or has other abnormalities may cause the hot tub to malfunction or be damaged. A level surface is essential for a functional hot tub base.
Make sure you dig at least 6 inches for your base, but no more. Drainage can be hampered if there isn’t enough gravel, but with too much gravel, the hot tub base may become excessively soft and cause damage over time.
Also, make sure you have adequate space around the hot tub, especially if it has a gazebo area, to allow for draining. There should be enough space to go outside the hot tub and stroll a few steps before returning to the yard, deck or patio.
Reasons To Avoid Putting Your Hot Tub On Gravel
A gravel pad, when correctly constructed, can sustain the hot tub. However, there are certain disadvantages to using gravel as a hot tub foundation, and we feel obligated to let you know what those are, so you can make a well-informed decision. Here is a list of things you should consider:
- The majority of hot tub manufacturers advise putting a hot tub on a reinforced concrete pad. It not only provides a flat surface, but it can also hold the weight of a hot tub loaded with water.
- Depending on where you live and the slope of your yard, gravel can wash away.
- You should also take into account the sort of soil you have and how it settles. If you reside in a colder region, you must additionally consider ground freezing.
- A DIY gravel pad may appear to be a simple project, but it may take longer than you expect.
- Some DIY methods for building a hot tub on gravel also include the construction of a wood frame, which may come as a surprise.
- Putting your new spa on gravel may void its warranty. Check your manufacturer’s guarantee to determine if it is allowed to place your hot tub on gravel.
Other Base Options
If you intend to use a pre-existing base, such as a deck or patio, evaluate the construction to ensure that it will not only provide a sturdy foundation for your hot tub at the time but for many years to come. If you are thinking of reusing an existing structure, you should seek the advice of an expert. If you have any doubts, change the construction or prepare for a more suited site.
Installing Your Hot Tub On A Patio Or Deck
Installing hot tubs on decks or patios is one of the most popular options. This is due in part to the fact that it can be fairly simple to use an existing structure, and decks or patios are usually close to your house, making them conveniently accessible, especially on cooler or wet nights.
You must, however, guarantee that the space is both flat and robust. It should be strong enough to support the weight of a full hot tub while also providing a solid, uniform surface for correct weight distribution to keep the tub from warping or buckling.
If you also intend to build a large entertaining space with an outdoor kitchen where additional guests can congregate, you should consult a professional to ensure that your building is up to code.
Premade Concrete Pads
Prefabricated concrete bases can be purchased and installed on your lawn or on a patch of dirt to create a firm, flat foundation for your hot tub. Concrete pads are often relatively simple to install on your own if the surface beneath the pad is already level.
Buying a hot tub is thrilling, but deciding where to put it may be a difficult challenge. A structurally sound location that can support the weight of the hot tub is a must.
But before you select a hot tub foundation, consider what will work best for your area and budget while also protecting your hot tub.