Are you wanting to enhance your yard with a spa but struggling to find the right type of base? From finding the perfect hot tub to creating a hot tub foundation, installing a backyard spa can be a daunting task. In this article, we’ll be discussing different material ideas and how to choose the right base for your hot tub!
Hot Tub Foundation Materials
Hot tub bases are often made from materials like concrete, gravel, and even high-density plastic. These materials are all suitable options but do come with their own pros and cons. Without added support, these materials can be susceptible to erosion, shifting, and flooding.
Concrete bases can support the weight of the hot tub of your choosing. Concrete is also a great choice for inflatable hot tubs because it’s smoother than most other options. Unfortunately, concrete hot tub pads can be expensive and damaged by weather.
In winter, concrete can freeze and crack, making for a recurring maintenance cycle. Keep in mind that a concrete pad needs to be at least 4” thick for a hot tub. This means you will likely have to hire a professional to ensure it’s done correctly.
Gravel bases come in a variety of options, including pea gravel, medium-grade gravel, and crushed rock. Gravel hot tub bases are often a combination of sizes to increase stability and facilitate drainage. The type of gravel you need will depend on the specifics of your yard.
Unlike concrete, gravel cannot withstand heavy loads on its own. It requires some type of reinforcement, whether it be wood, pavers, or a stabilizing base layer. Gravel also needs to be resealed every 2-3 years, which is not always an easy task if you’ve put a hot tub on top of it.
Stone pavers can be one of the more aesthetically pleasing options for a hot tub base. Pavers come in a large variety of shapes, sizes, and colors meaning you can customize the design to match other features in your backyard. They do, however, require a substrate to be laid down first. Also, they can only be built on already level ground, an important factor if you live in a particularly hilly area.
Geocells are a durable, eco-friendly material made of HDPE. They provide structure and support using an infill material. The geocell’s honeycomb structure evenly distributes the load and prevents shifting.
BaseCore Geocell can be installed as a hot tub base and can be filled with materials of your choice. BaseCore Geocell only requires a quick, do-it-yourself installation, and can be a fun family project!
Dirt is not a recommended material for a hot tub pad. Dirt, soil, and sand are very susceptible to erosion and can compact considerably from the weight of a hot tub. Furthermore, placing your hot tub directly onto dirt can create moisture problems, resulting in mold or rot that shortens its lifespan and potentially voids its warranty.
Choosing the Right Hot Tub Base Material
At the end of the day, it will be up to you to decide which base material to choose for your hot tub or spa base. Among other things, you’ll need to find a balance between cost and longevity.
Concrete and stone pavers are costly options, but they will last a long time if properly maintained. On the other hand, gravel is a cheaper solution, but more susceptible to erosion. All of the different options can benefit from a solid foundation of BaseCore geocells.
Furthermore, it’s important to know what is and is not compliant with your hot tub’s warranty. Improper installation or installation on a substandard material can void your warranty, leaving you liable for costly repairs or even replacement.
Next Steps for Installing Your Hot Tub Base
The first, and most important step to creating your custom backyard spa is to find the perfect hot tub. Once you’ve chosen your desired hot tub, determine if a reinforced base layer is necessary. If so, you can order your BaseCore geocell using the correct measurements. Once your new BaseCore Geocell has arrived, you can install it using our do-it-yourself guide!
If you are ready to create your custom spa pad but have a few questions, we are here to help! Our team of BaseCore Geocell experts has worked on many spa pad projects! You can access our FAQ page or contact us directly at (888)897-2224. We look forward to helping you design your dream backyard spa!