Adding a hot tub to your back yard provides an ideal way to unwind at the end of a long day or soothe muscle aches and joint pain. However, given its size and weight, you can't just place the tub anywhere in your yard. It requires a base that provides adequate support once it is full of water and people. There are several options when it comes to hot tub bases, so you can choose a material that works well with the rest of your landscape.
One of the most common bases used for a freestanding hot tub is a concrete pad. Concrete provides a long-lasting, durable platform for your hot tub, though it is usually a costly investment. To ensure that it is strong enough to hold your hot tub, the pad should be reinforced and measure at least four inches thick. It should be able to bear a minimum of 115 pounds per square feet, particularly if you have a larger hot tub. One of the main benefits of using concrete as a base for your hot tub is that it is less likely to need repairs than other platform options.
If you don't want a freestanding hot tub in the middle of your yard, you may also place it on a deck. To ensure that the deck's structure is adequate to support a hot tub, consult with a contractor or engineer about what changes may need to be made to the deck's structure. In addition, if your deck is the right height, you can also inset the hot tub so its top is level with the deck's surface. Place a concrete pad beneath the tub to ensure that it has sufficient support.
If you're looking for a budget-friendly base for your hot tub, gravel is an ideal option. You can use any type of crushed stone or gravel, but the ground beneath it must be level and compact before you lay down the gravel base. Drain the area of any collected water as well. After the hot tub is installed, add a stepping stone path from your home to the tub for a finished look.
Concrete paver stones also make an effective and attractive hot tub platform. They are available in wide range of colors and shapes, so you can create a truly decorative base for the hot tub. However, a paver platform requires that the ground beneath it is level and compact so a layer of gravel and sand can be placed beneath the stones. Once the pavers are in place, sweep additional sand into the joints between the stones to lock them into place.
Based in New York City, Jennifer Blair has been covering all things home and garden since 2001. Her writing has appeared on BobVila.com, World Lifestyle, and House Logic. Blair holds a Bachelor of Arts in Writing Seminars from the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.