The feeling you experience when your hot tub arrives at your home is one of excitement. I had that exact feeling when I got my first hot tub. But you need to set up your hot tub before using it and a crucial part of the set-up process is deciding where to put the hot tub.
You might be asking– can you put a hot tub on grass? I know how cozy the grass can be but through my experience, this is what I found out about hot tubs and placing them on the grass:
You should not put your hot tub on the grass either for use temporarily or permanently. This is because your hot tub weighs a lot. If you place your hot tub on grass, the treated water when drained or splashed can kill the grass.
Also, the weight will be too much for the grass to support. The hot tub will begin to sink into the ground after a while leading to an unbalanced hot tub. A sunken hot tub will lead to discomfort while bathing and will cause damages to different parts of the hot tub. Eventually, some of the working parts of the hot tub will start to malfunction.
How Heavy is a Hot Tub?
Hot tubs are usually big and they weigh a lot. Why? The overall weight of a functional hot tub depends largely on its capacity. The capacity refers to the amount of water it can hold and the number of people it can accommodate.
A small-sized hot tub can accommodate two to three people and it weighs about 500 pounds. When you add water into the hot tub and the bathers get in it, the weight will be around 3500 pounds and that is for the small size. When you consider the larger 6-person models, you are looking at well over 5000 pounds in weight when it is in use. Give or take a few pounds.
That will be too much for an ordinary surface to support and after some time, the hot tub will begin to sink into the ground. Asides from the capacity, the weight of your hot tub also depends on the size of the tub, and the materials used in making the tub.
Wood, vinyl, plastic, acrylic, and the likes are materials used in making most hot tubs. While your hot tub might not be made from all of the above-mentioned materials, it would be made from some of them or other related materials.
The weight of the hot tub influences a lot of decisions concerning the set-up of the hot tub such as where to place it, the method of carrying, and if you will need to reinforce the intended surface amongst other decisions. With hot tubs, size, and weight matter.
Related Read: Using a Hot Tub With Cold Water
Can You Put an Inflatable Hot Tub on Grass?
Inflatable hot tubs are the lightest models in the world of hot tubs. On average, an inflatable hot tub weighs between 250 pounds for the smallest size to 600 pounds for the larger versions.
When filled to the maximum capacity of water and bathers, it can weigh between 2300 pounds and 4000 pounds. Does this mean you can place an inflatable hot tub on grass?
Well, not quite. While the lighter weight of the inflatable hot tub makes it suitable for most surfaces, you still need to exercise caution when setting up the inflatable hot tub. It’s not that simple with inflatable hot tubs. With inflatable hot tubs, you need to consider the weight of the tub, the smoothness of the foundation, and the sharpness of the surface amongst other factors.
You would not be 100% guaranteed of all these with grass. The grass might be too sharp, uneven, have hidden stones, and or be too rough for an inflatable hot tub. So, I wouldn’t advise that. If you must, ensure it’s only as a temporary provision.
Inflatable hot tubs are made from diverse materials. The most popular being Tritech materials or Fiber-Tech materials. Though these materials are technologically enhanced to ensure they are tough enough to be puncture-resistant as well as durable, it is best not to test the level of resistance.
This is why it is not advised to place your hot tub on grass especially if the grass is long. Long lawns will make it difficult to spot and pick out small stones, sharp sticks, and other materials that can eventually puncture your hot tub.
You don’t even want to get me started on the activities of insects that may be in your grass which can also damage the inflated hot tub in the long run. On the other end, the chemically treated water can also kill the grass.
The water in your hot tub will be regularly treated to ensure it is bacteria-free, algae-free, and it is safe enough to bathe in. The chemicals used in treating the water can damage and kill the grass around your hot tub when drained or splashed on the ground except you have artificial grass.
Related Read: Placing Your Hot Tub in Basement Tips
Can You Put a Hot Tub on Artificial Grass?
Artificial grass is gradually becoming a hot cake when it comes to home décor, so there is a chance you have one in your home. Probably the nylon-made type or the polythene-made type. But can you place your hot tub on the artificial grass?
The answer is no. Artificial grass is a type of carpet or rug used to improve the ambiance and look of a room or corner. This means the grass is designed for beauty and décor and not to support equipment of over 5000 pounds.
If you place your hot tub on artificial grass, you will likely face the same problem as placing it on natural grass because the artificial grass will not be capable of providing the strength and stability required for a hot tub.
While artificial grass does not have the power to support your hot tub, it does have an edge over natural grass when it comes to tubs. The artificial grass is synthetic. This means you can use astroturf to beautify the area around your tub without getting worried about damage to the grass from the treated water.
Note, “I stated the area around your hot tub.” I still maintain the point that you shouldn’t place your hot tub on artificial grass but there is no denying the level of beauty and feel you get from a lawn.
After you set up your hot tub on the deck, concrete slab, or any foundation deemed strong enough to support the hot tub, you can place layers of artificial grass around the area you placed the tub. This will beautify the area and give it a natural feel.
With more details like lights, wallpapers, and a shade, you will feel like you are taken a warm refreshing dip in a natural hot water spring. Now that will be taking hot tub dips to another level. Post a picture of that on the gram and you will be the envy of many.
You don’t even have to worry about the water from your tub killing or damaging the grass because the grass is synthetic. The chemically treated water cannot damage the grass, so splash all you want.
Related Read: How to Determine if a Deck Can Support a Hot Tub?
Can You Put a Hot Tub on the Ground?
It is never a good idea to put equipment that is intended for use on the bare ground. You will be risking a lot with it.
If you are wondering if you can place your hot tub on the ground, you shouldn’t. The normal ground or soil is not suitable for your hot tub. While the ground can and will support the hot tub initially, the tub will begin to sink into the ground after a while if it is placed there permanently due to the weight of the tub.
It is just the same issue with placing your hot tub on the grass. This is not to say that the ground cannot support the weight of the hot tub. Sure it can, but it needs to be reinforced to do so and you also need to take into consideration the scope or topography of the ground.
You may think of skyscrapers, enormous buildings, and mechanical plants that are placed on the ground and you feel if the ground is strong enough to support such buildings, it should be able to bear the weight of your hot tub too.
That is not entirely the case. For large buildings and objects to be placed on the ground, the ground is always reinforced with concrete, steel, and or tar.
This is the same case for your hot tub. The ground needs to be reinforced. The reinforcement could come in the form of concrete, hot tub pads, gravel, crushed stone, and the likes. So how should you reinforce the ground for a hot tub?
How Do You Prepare the Ground for a Hot Tub?
To place your hot tub on the ground, you need to prep the ground. While prepping the ground for your hot tub base, you need to make sure:
- It is level
- It is strong enough to support the weight of the tub long term
- The finished ground or foundation doesn’t look odd in your garden or yard. This is more important if you take home décor seriously.
So how do you prep the ground for your hot tub?
Pick Out a Site for the Hot Tub Placement
When picking out a site for your tub, you should not just consider the space. You need to consider the convenience, the proximity to a power and water source, and the method of drainage.
If the site doesn’t guarantee good drainage, then it could become muddy and waterlogged. You also don’t want to place your tub in a space that would be inconvenient to access.
Inspect the Site
Make sure the site is plain and level enough. You might need to use equipment or consult help for this. Don’t just use the mere appearance. That could be deceiving.
Also, you need to ensure the site doesn’t block any utility coming into your home like the sewer and water pipes. So you wouldn’t damage any pipeline while digging the ground. That will lead to another issue that you did not plan for.
Dig the Ground
It is always advised to dig 4-6 inches into the soil around the intended space. This will enable the base or foundation to sit firmly into the soil.
Level the Site
This is a very crucial process. Leveling the ground involves removing the tree roots, plants, stones, edges, and bumps in the ground. The process ensures you have a ground smooth enough for a hot tub when you are done.
Pour Sand Reinforced With Gravel Into the Dug Area
The sand you pour into the dug area should fill the area to about 2-3 inches. It is this reinforced sand that the concrete slab will sit on. Even if you are not planning on a concrete slab, it is still a good idea to strengthen the ground before applying the base.
Apply the Base or Foundation
Whichever base you decide to go for, be it a concrete slab or any other, you should ensure the slab extends a few inches around the hot tub base. This way, you are assured of maximum strength and durability.
What is the Best Foundation for a Hot Tub?
The most widely-used foundation or base for hot tubs includes:
- Concrete slab
- Hot tub pads
- Gravel or crushed stone-reinforced sand
A hot tub requires a strong and stable foundation that will don’t tear or give way eventually due to the weight of the hot tub.
Most of the time, the manual that comes with your tub or the company officers that deliver it to your home will likely advise you to install the tub on a strong surface such as concrete slabs, a hot tub pad, a strengthened deck, or sand reinforced with gravel, crushed stone, and concrete.
This is to ensure that the surface you place the tub on is strong enough to support the weight of the tub over time. The strength of the foundation is just one determinant of the best foundation to use for your tub. Other factors that influence the decision on which foundation is the best include:
- The topography of the ground: this refers to the features of the land such as slope,
- Your budget: how much are you willing to spend on the hot tub foundation?
- The location you want to place the tub: are you planning to place the tub on the ground, in your home, or on the deck?
Overall, the best and most pocket-friendly foundation for your hot tub might just be a concrete slab. The concrete slab is strong and secure enough to withstand the weight of the hot tub over a long period.
This is because the concrete slab is thick, usually around 4-6 inches and it can be reinforced with gravel or and steel to increase its strength.
The major advantages of the concrete slab are that it is not an expensive project and it is something you can do yourself.