There are several leveling options for hot tubs. Well, here I am going to try to give you the simplest explanation regarding ‘How to level a hot tub’? I will guide you through hot tub installation and different types of leveling options.
Leveling your hot tub before the installation process is very important to avoid any kind of dips or voids in the area of the hot tub. We have seen there has been an increasing demand for outdoor hot tubs.
It is because a hot tub built on the outdoor ground, with a nice background around it, increases the value to the home. Also, if your hot tub is not level, it might cause stress or crack to both the wood and the shell.
Does a Hot Tub have to be Perfectly Level?
Yes! You must install a hot tub in a perfectly level position. It helps the water inside the tub to sit or flow evenly instead of flowing to one side. But, the important factor that lies behind leveling a hot tub is that to avoid stress, voids and cracks to its exterior.
However, the frame of the hot tub gets most affected when the hot tub is not leveled perfectly. When it is not leveled, it can add extra weight to the area that might affect the acrylic shell of the wooden frame. This will ruin your hot tub in the long run leading to cracks, stress fracture, and breakage.
If you are going for an outdoor hot tub, you will choose decks and a patio to place your hot tub. But, before that, you need to check on the surface whether it is evenly placed or not. As both are made from brick or concrete, there might be a chance of having an uneven surface.
On the positive part, you can avoid leveling your hot tub, if the surface is already uniform, even, solid, or leveled. But make sure you never install your tub on grass or bare grounds.
It is because bare ground or grass cannot take the weight of the hot tub. As when a hot tub is filled with water, it weighs close to 5,000 pounds. Hence, in the long run, the hot tub will gradually sink in the ground or may not stay at the level.
Also, when you are choosing a wooden deck for the hot tub, make sure it can bear the weight of the hot tub. Whether the deck can hold the weight filled with water and occupants.
However, if you choose to place the hot tub indoors, it will only require a regular floor. Therefore, these are the few important things one should keep in mind while deciding the place of the hot tub.
What are Hot Tub Leveling Options?
To protect the hot tub’s wood frame under an acrylic shell, a hot tub needs to be level. Therefore, various leveling options like making a new concrete slab, purchasing hot tub shims, or laying gravel or a hot tub lever can prevent crack or breakage to its exterior.
How to Level a Hot Tub on Uneven Concrete?
Leveling a hot tub on uneven concrete is simple and easy to utilize. Here, we will provide you with some useful tips to level your hot tub on an uneven surface.
If the slope of the hot tub is less than an inch, you can simply use plastic shims to level it on uneven concrete. However, if the slopes are steeper, you will need to find a more intense solution.
For this, you can try for sand or gravel, a new concrete pad, or a custom-built pad of wood. Also, if your hot tub is built on an uneven concrete surface, you need to check whether it is due to drainage or poor construction.
Let’s look at some of the useful tips to level your hot tub on uneven concrete:
Using Plastic Shims
To raise the low end of the hot tub, try to use heavy-duty plastic shims. It should be done if you notice the hot tub is level less than an inch. Plastic shims are very economical to bear heavy loads like a hot tub. However, you must check with the manufacturer’s guidelines for working with shims safely.
Use Wooden Shims and a Platform
A hot tub can be leveled on uneven concrete by using wooden shims and a platform. If the slope of the hot tub is less than an inch, you can use a wooden shim and a platform to create pressure with a lumber.
Using New Concrete Pad
Well, using a concrete pad also works as a good option for leveling the hot tub on uneven concrete. To provide extra support to the hot tub, you can add a new concrete pad over the existing pad.
However, pouring or adding a new concrete pad can be an expensive method, but in the long run, you will find it worthwhile. You can always contact a local concrete supplier to find out the cost in your area.
Yes! A hot tub can sit on gravel. Gravel is a good alternative option to level the hot tub on uneven concrete. You can use a coat of gravel for the hot tub base. However, it works as an incredible hot tub base for easy drainage to handle the high weight of a hot tub.
Also, gravel is simple to use and easy to install. Firstly, you need to pull out 6 inches of soil from the ground before layering the hole with a piece of landscape fabric.
This should be done by laying down a 4-inch layering of gravel on top. Also, the edge of the excavated area should be perfectly balanced by topping it with another layer of small-sized gravel.
Build a Raised Pad
Why not build your own custom-built raised pad? Yes! It is inexpensive and easy to use. It is constructed from wood that provides a stable platform for your hot tub.
If you are trying for custom-built pads of wood, you need to have some carpentry knowledge to deal with it. Also, you can go for a local carpenter who can help you out with this.
Before you start, you need to keep a few things in mind. The slope measurement, amount of framing material needed, and the amount of sand or gravel needed to fill the frame. However, the sand or gravel is filled over the raised pad to ensure it provides a stable surface for the hot tub.
Apart from these leveling options for uneven concrete, you must also check up on the nearby water source for refilling. The area of the hot tub should have a proper drainage facility. Required a wooden frame with 2-by-10 boards cut size. Paint or stain the wood to make it weather resistant.
Lastly, an electric source or power should be near the hot tub to plug it in. However, make sure the electric power is not too close to the hot tub to cause any causality or short circuit issues.
Preparing the Ground for a Hot Tub
Make sure before you start with the installation process or leveling of the hot tub, you must consider the preparation process of the ground. It is important to consider these measures to ensure a relaxing bath in the hot tub this Christmas. What do you say?
Let’s look at the below-mentioned points for preparing the ground for a hot tub:
- Make sure you check on the sewer lines with no blockage.
- Make sure you remove or pull out large debris or rock from the area.
- Pull out tree roots and messy shrubs.
- Make sure your tub is not around mud or puddles.
- Overhead power lines should be checked carefully.
- Make sure the area of your hot tub should support its weight to prevent any crack or breakage to its exterior.
Use of a Spa Leveler
Spa Lever provides a secure and stable base for the hot tub. It not only helps for proper water run-off but also prevents wood rot damage. Therefore, a spa lever is widely known for its rot-resistant, solid, and secure platform.
However, the use of a spa lever that elevates the hot tub off the ground. Therefore, it perfectly levels the hot tub on uneven concrete.
Can I place a hot tub on gravel?
Yes! A hot tub can be placed on gravel. However, it can only happen if the gravel is thick or sturdy enough to hold the weight of the tub. Also, it depends on the surface of the ground. Therefore, if the surface below the gravel is strong enough with a secure layer, it won’t be a major issue.
However, try to go for the larger gravel than the small-sized pea gravel for better results. It is because large gravel is solid and secure to hold the weight of the hot tub. Not only gravel has added advantages but it is also a good alternative option to level the hot tub in a hassle-free way.
Use of Pavers to Level the Hot Tub
Pavers can also be a good option to level the hot tub on uneven concrete surfaces. However, look for pavers that are smooth and solid at the same time. These pavers range from brick pavers to concrete pavers and from cobblestone pavers to flagstone pavers.
How to Use Pavers for Hot Tub Leveling?
- Choose a proper ground surface area to install the hot tub.
- Prepare a sand bed at the lowermost base of the foundation and press it down properly to make a smooth and leveled surface.
- Make sure the sand bed matches the size of the hot tub.
- Put the pavers on the top surface of the sand bed and make a leveled pavers bed.
- The hot tub must be placed over the layer of pavers.
Benefits of the Pavers
- It gives more support as it is built of heavy substance.
- It is highly durable and sturdy.
- Due to its low absorption power it will prevent salt scaling.
- Several choices to choose from based on your need and preferences.
Drawbacks of Pavers
- Pavers might cause voids and stress fracture to its outer surface.
However, to avoid stress levels to the hot tub exterior, choose smooth and interlock pavers to give a flat surface.
How Thick Should a Concrete Slab be to Hold a Hot Tub?
A 4-inch thickness, a concrete slab must have to hold a hot tub. Moreover, a hot tub weighs about 115 pounds approximately. Therefore, the concrete slab must have adequate capacity to hold the weight of the hot tub.
Also, the concrete slab should be completely cured before placing the hot tub. Therefore, a strong concrete slab gives an excellent long-term foundation base. Though concrete slabs are expensive, it adds value to your home with a little maintenance.
So, if you are planning to place your hot tub on a concrete slab, it might pinch your pocket. However, in the long term, it will not be a bad deal. What do you say?
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Well, the answer is obviously no. Hence, a flat, smooth, and level ground is required to install a hot tub. A hot tub should never be placed or installed on an uneven or sloped surface. It will result in cracks or breakage to its exterior.
The space needed around a hot tub is about a foot of space. However, it is applicable for each side of the hot tub. Moreover, for further queries, talk to your local dealer, who will guide you on how much space you need to have around the hot tub.
No! The hot tub cannot be slightly off-level. It will, in a way, affect the structure and performance of the spa. You must keep in mind that the hot tub must not have any slope or uneven surface. It should be placed or installed on an even surface.
Therefore, leveling of the hot tub is an important thing to consider maintaining the integrity of the tub itself. It will not only make the tub long-lasting but will also ensure the user’s safety. We hope our article has given you several ways and techniques to deal with the leveling of the hot tub.