Can A Hot Tub Sit on Gravel?
After you’ve decided to purchase a hot tub your mind has probably already started dreaming of scenarios where you relax in the warm waters with friends and family while cool, fall air swirls around your head. But before your day dreams become reality, you’ll have to consider where and how you’re going to install your new hot tub. Most importantly will be the surface underneath the hot tub. Depending on the layout of your yard, the base of your hot tub could take many forms.
An empty hot tub is normally quite light. Although there are hot tubs composed of cedar or stainless steel, many are comprised of fibreglass, plastic or acrylic these days. The fact that they greatly increase in weight once filled with people and water people necessitates the fact that they’re constructed of relatively lightweight material. However, wherever you end up choosing a location for your tub, the base must be able to support a great deal of weight without shifting or deviating from the level.
Patio Or Deck Installations
Many people are inclined to install their hot tub on their patio or deck. This can make good sense as it can be quite convenient to use an existing structure that’s attached to, or a short distance from your house as the location for your hot tub. However, you have to ensure that the area is both level and strong. It should be able to easily handle the weight of a full hot tub while providing a stable, even surface for proper weight distribution to prevent the tub from warping or buckling.
Long Term Planning
If you’re planning on using a pre-existing base such as a deck or patio, take the time before the hot tub arrives to inspect the construction and convince yourself that not only will it provide a solid base for the tub at that moment, but for many years into the future as well. If you have any doubts, shore up the structure or plan for a different location altogether.
If you’re thinking of placing your hot tub on the ground, rather than on a deck or patio, you’ll still need some sort of stable base for the tub to sit upon. Placing it directly onto your lawn or a patch of dirt may cause problems in the future. The weight of the hot tub could cause the ground to sink and shift over time which might cause irreparable damage to your tub.
You can purchase premade bases composed of concrete which you lay on your lawn or a patch of dirt that will provide a stable and level surface on which to place your tub. These are typically quite easy to install by your average person as long as the surface underneath the pad is already level.
An alternative to a prefab concrete pad is to use a layer of gravel for the hot tub base. The advantages of using gravel are its ability to allow for good drainage and the ease of installation. You’ll need to remove about 6 inches of soil before lining the hole with landscaping cloth and laying a 4 inch layer of construction gravel over top. You should top the construction gravel with another layer of smaller sized pea gravel until it’s even with the edges of the excavated area.
To find out more about hot tub installation, download a hot tub buyer’s guide.