How Much Does a Hot Tub REALLY Cost You in Canada in 2024 (A Complete, Honest Analysis)
If you’ve ever made inquiries into buying a hot tub, chances are you’ve found figuring out the ultimate cost is similar to asking a financial advisor how much money you will need to retire.
The answer is often, “That depends. Let’s talk about your needs first ...” And you don’t get an answer – if ever – until you complete a series of skill-testing questions.
This process can be more straightforward. “How much will a hot tub cost?” is a fair question and one that we get at Hydropool all the time. It’s the absolute No. 1 query we are asked.
Here’s the answer. At Hydropool, the average cost for a hot tub installation is $20,000 Canadian all in – that includes the tub, any platform or pad it needs to be on, electrical needs, cover, you name it.
See? That’s easy. (And isn’t it great that we gave you the average range for everything?)
In this article we will cover all of the costs associated with buying a hot tub and break them down as best as we can.
- The three main types of hot tubs and their costs
- The fixed and variable hot tub costs when buying
- What to look for when buying a hot tub
Hopefully, by the end, you’ll have a good idea of why a hot tub costs what it does and if one is right for you and your budget.
What are the three main types of hot tubs? (and their costs)
How much is a quality hot tub? There are three main types of hot tubs. They are:
- Inflatable: This is the kind sold at places like Costco, that look like outdoor play pools but with a little motor attached to the outside of them. Inflatable hot tubs are routinely sold for around $1000 in Canada and are considered entry-level hot tubs.
- Roto Molded: This is a hot tub made out of molded plastic. It’s a growing sector in the market but struggles in the looks department: plastic just doesn’t shine like acrylic does. The average here is around $6,500-$10,000 in Canada.
- Acrylic: This is what most people think of when they think of a hot tub: the luxury hot tubs that look like glamourous jetted bathtubs with shiny acrylic shells. Although they are the premium hot tubs on this list, they make up close to 80 per cent of the market. It’s the only kind that Hydropool makes. You can find them for as low as $7,000 and going up to over $25,000 (Hydropool’s lineup starts around $10,000 and tops out over $20,000).
How did we come up with $20,000 as our average hot tub price?
Hydropool’s Signature 579 Gold is the company’s best-selling hot tub. It holds five and is priced to start around $14,400 (the comparable sized model in our mid-range Serenity lineup is the 4500, and in 2024 it is priced around $12,000.) These are both top sellers for Hydropool, because they offer everything higher-end hot tubs feature, but in the price range where the largest percentage of consumers are shopping.
What can we take from this? The average buyer will spend more than $10,000 on their hot tub in 2024 and most will spend closer to $15,000. This is a very competitive part of the marketplace for hot tubs because you get sufficient seating for five: intimate enough for two with space for more if needed.
So we’re going to write in $14,000 towards our total price of $20,000 Cdn.
What are the fixed hot tub installation costs?
After the hot tub itself, hot tub installation involves two major elements.
- The first is what you put the hot tub on.
- The second is the electrical hook up.
Let’s look at each in turn.
What does a hot tub need to sit on?
You need a strong, level flat surface. This can be a deck, a concrete pad or pavers on top of compressed gravel. The big thing is that the surface can’t move once you put the hot tub on it, because hot tubs weigh a lot once filled with water. If it does move, it’s going to look unsightly at best and at worst it is going to damage your hot tub over time, by causing warping or creating pressure points.
The cost to this in Canada will vary, depending on if you do the work yourself or if you hire someone to do it. In general, we estimate the cost to be around $2000, if you’re hiring someone to do the work for you.
If you’re building your hot tub into the ground, either partially or entirely, or surrounding your hot tub with a deck, your costs will increase. In Canada, what most people do is put the hot tub on a flat surface and build around it.
We explain all that in a full article on installation.
What are the electrical costs when installing a hot tub?
To hook up your hot tub usually costs around $2,000. This will vary regionally but needs to be done by a licensed electrician. You will need a GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter), an available spot on your electrical box and your hot tub needs to be in place where you can get wiring to it.
Some hot tubs are simpler: They are called plug and play hot tubs. They plug into a standard outdoor plug in. The main tradeoff with them is that they can’t run heat and power at the same time. Depending on where you live though, this may not be a concern.
Let’s check in on our running total so far. At $14,000 for the hot tub, and $2,000 each for the platform and the electrical, we’re at $18,000 Cdn.
What are the variable hot tub costs?
If we’re at $18,000 in fixed costs, where does the additional $2,000 come from to get to our average cost of $20,000?
The following costs will vary much more as they involve individual choice and situations, but we wanted to include them because most people don’t just plunk a hot tub down and call it a day. They buy chemicals to keep the hot tub running and outfit the hot tub as well so that it blends into their backyard and is entirely usable. We wanted to include everything, so you have no surprises and know how to budget.
There’s a variety of things most people spend money on when they first get the hot tub. These include
- Startup chemical costs
- Hot tub covers & cover lifter
- Other accessories around your hot tub
We’re going to go through each in turn.
What chemicals do you need to start out with your hot tub?
You will need an initial investment in chemicals. This can vary. You will need to buy:
- ph increaser and decreaser
- chlorine or bromine tablets
- oxidizer (also known as shock)
- other cleaning chemicals that will vary depending on what type of hot tub you have (if you have a salt water hot tub, you will need saltwater tablets that turn into chlorine or bromine: Sadly, there is no hot tub you can buy where you won’t need chemicals of some kind).
- you may want an extra filter to put in your hot tub when you’re cleaning your current filter (at Hydropool, we often recommend this).
You may have a dealer give you a start-up kit, which will save you some money here. But our estimate is that you will need about $200 in chemicals to get up and running for your first year and we’d recommend having them in place when you get your hot tub.
How much does a hot tub cost to be delivered?
Delivery will often be under $500, although this will vary depending on where you live and how far the dealer has to drive to get to you. In some cases, this can be negotiated into the total price of the hot tub as well.
How much does a hot tub cover cost?
A decent cover costs about $800, although you can pay more or less than this. A cover lifter is often around $250. This is also something often built into the existing price of the hot tub when you buy it but can vary depending on who you buy from.
Do you need steps to get into your hot tub?
This depends on how you installed your hot tub in the first place. If you put the hot tub above ground, then yes, you will want steps. Steps at Hydropool cost around $350 (although there’s a good chance you can negotiate this into your purchase price – this is the kind of thing that frequently is built into sales).
If you put your hot tub below ground or partially submerged it, you will want decking or concrete around it, and your costs will be significantly higher.
Are there any extra costs when buying a hot tub?
Most people want accessories to help their hot tub blend into their backyard and these costs are entirely variable.
They often include chairs, a bench, hooks for the wall or a table, plus personal accessories such as bathrobes and outdoor towels. Again, the cost of this can vary but since we know most people buy elements like this, we wanted to factor it in.
For example, for my hot tub that I bought in late 2023, I spent $200 on a metal table, plus an outdoor Adirondack chair and a side table for it and a row of robe hooks that I installed on a wall. Those elements added another $200, so $400 total.
Other options include towel warmers and heat racks, additional seating, stools & a bar, outdoor lighting, outdoor TV or stereo installations, pergolas or other covers, area rugs ... you have a lot of choice here.
How much are hot tubs in Canada?
In this article, we have done our best to give you the most comprehensive list of costs involved in buying a hot tub possible. We have added everything we can think of that most people purchase when buying a hot tub, including:
- The hot tub model itself
- What the hot tub sits on
- The electrical
- Initial chemical costs
- Hot tub covers & steps
- Optional design costs
What we find is that most people wind up spending around $20,000 in Canada, all in. That includes everything - and we mean everything! - that they need to have a hot tub fully-functioning in their backyard.
It’s entirely possible we missed something that applies to your specific situation, or you want to see if you can get a better price than what we have here (you almost certainly can: this is an average!). If so, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your local dealer here.