The right foundation can extend the lifespan of your inflatable hot tub and significantly enhance your soaking experience.
Here’s what to put under an inflatable hot tub:
Under an inflatable hot tub, put a stable foundation like concrete slabs for permanence, or pavers for semi-permanence. Decking is ideal if you have a sturdy platform. For temporary setups, consider rubber mats, sand, or gravel. Indoor options include foam tiles.
In this guide, you’ll learn about the 19 best options for what to put under an inflatable hot tub.
Why You Need a Good Foundation for Your Hot Tub
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The ground underneath your inflatable hot tub plays a crucial role in its durability and functionality.
A solid, level foundation ensures even weight distribution, which helps prevent wear and tear on the bottom and sides of the tub.
It also impacts the efficiency of your hot tub’s heating system.
An uneven or soft surface can cause the heater to work overtime.
This can lead to increased electricity costs.
Besides, having a secure foundation can make your hot tub experience more comfortable and enjoyable.
It gives you a stable surface to step on when getting in or out, reducing the risk of slips and falls.
Moreover, a good base can also help in proper drainage, which is essential for maintaining the cleanliness and hygiene of your hot tub.
Top 5 Inflatable Hot Tub Foundations and When to Use Them
To make your decision easier, here’s a simple two-column table summarizing the top 5 foundations:
|Foundation||When to Use|
|Concrete Slabs||When you want a permanent, sturdy foundation.|
|Pavers||For a semi-permanent, aesthetically pleasing option.|
|Decking||When you already have a sturdy deck or plan to build one.|
|Rubber Mats||For temporary or seasonal setups.|
|Sand||When you need an affordable, easily adjustable foundation.|
All 19 Best Materials To Put Under an Inflatable Hot Tub
Now let’s look at all 19 of the best materials you can place under your inflatable hot tub.
Grass might seem like a convenient option since it’s often already there in your yard.
However, placing an inflatable hot tub directly on grass is generally not advised.
The grass can become compacted over time, causing uneven surfaces that may damage your hot tub.
Plus, the moisture can cause mold and mildew to form on the underside of your hot tub.
That being said, if you do opt for grass, consider laying a tarp or other barrier between the tub and the grass.
This can help minimize the cons, though it still won’t offer the most stable foundation.
Grass is generally better for temporary setups, where the tub will be deflated and stored away when not in use.
Concrete slabs provide a sturdy, reliable base for your inflatable hot tub.
They’re excellent for even weight distribution and are less likely to cause any damage to the bottom of your tub
Concrete is also easy to clean, making it easier to maintain the area around your hot tub.
However, concrete can be expensive and may require professional installation.
It’s also a permanent solution, so you’ll need to be sure of your hot tub’s location.
If you’re renting or plan to move your hot tub frequently, concrete might not be the best choice.
Pavers are individual paving stones that can be laid out to create a stable and flat surface.
They come in various shapes, sizes, and materials, offering a lot of design flexibility.
You can also easily remove and rearrange them, making pavers a semi-permanent solution suitable for renters.
The downside of pavers is that they require a fair amount of preparation.
The ground beneath them needs to be flat and even, which often means excavating the area and laying a bed of sand or gravel first.
Pavers can also be expensive, especially if you opt for higher-end materials like natural stone.
If you already have a deck or are considering installing one, it could serve as an excellent foundation for your inflatable hot tub.
Decks offer the aesthetic appeal of wood and are generally sturdy enough to support the weight of the hot tub and the water.
They also provide a convenient height for easy access to the tub.
However, not all decks are created equal.
Make sure that your deck can handle the weight of a filled hot tub, which can be several thousand pounds.
You might need to reinforce your deck or consult with a professional to ensure it’s up to the task.
Rubber mats are an easy, portable option for hot tub foundations.
They provide a good amount of cushioning and are generally slip-resistant, making them safe and comfortable to walk on.
Rubber mats can also be quickly cleaned, usually with just a hose and some soap.
The downside is that rubber mats may not offer the level of stability that other, more rigid options do.
Over time, they can wear down and may need to be replaced. They’re best suited for temporary or seasonal hot tub setups.
Sand offers a cheap and relatively easy foundation option for your inflatable hot tub.
It’s easy to level and can be used in various settings, whether you’re placing your hot tub in the backyard or on a larger piece of property.
Sand also drains well, which can be a benefit if you live in a wet climate.
However, sand can shift over time, requiring regular maintenance to keep the surface level.
It can also be a home for bugs and can get messy, especially when wet.
Using a weed barrier or tarp over the sand can mitigate some of these issues.
Gravel is another affordable option that provides good drainage and is relatively easy to install.
Like sand, it can be easily leveled to provide a stable base for your hot tub.
Gravel also has the added benefit of discouraging pests like ants from setting up shop under your tub.
On the downside, gravel can be uncomfortable to walk on, and sharp stones could potentially puncture the bottom of your inflatable hot tub.
It’s recommended to use a protective barrier like a tarp if you choose gravel as your foundation.
Foam tiles, often used in children’s play areas or gyms, offer a cushioned, easy-to-install foundation for your inflatable hot tub.
They’re lightweight, easy to clean, and provide a level of insulation that can help maintain the water temperature.
However, foam tiles are not as durable as some other options.
Over time, they can compress and lose their effectiveness.
They’re best used for indoor setups or as a temporary outdoor solution.
Here is a good video about how to put foam tiles under an inflatable hot tub:
Patio tiles offer a more elegant look compared to foam tiles or rubber mats.
They’re typically made of wood or composite materials and snap together easily.
Patio tiles offer a stable and attractive option for your hot tub foundation.
However, they can be pricey and may require additional care to maintain their appearance.
Like pavers, the ground underneath needs to be flat and even, adding to the installation time and potential cost.
Wood chips offer a rustic, natural look and are among the most affordable options available.
They also provide some cushioning and are easy to level, making them a convenient choice for many people.
The downside is that wood chips can decompose over time and may attract insects.
They’re also not as stable as some of the other options, so it’s recommended to lay down a tarp or other barrier beneath the hot tub.
An outdoor carpet can serve as a convenient and affordable foundation.
Carpets offer cushioning and can be aesthetically pleasing, matching the décor of your outdoor space.
They’re also easy to roll out and set up, requiring minimal preparation.
However, carpets can absorb water and may develop mold or mildew if not properly maintained.
They’re generally better suited for covered areas or indoor setups where moisture is less of a concern.
Plastic sheets or tarps are among the most straightforward options for a hot tub foundation.
They’re cheap, easy to install, and can be used in combination with other foundation materials like sand or gravel.
The downside is that plastic sheets offer little in terms of cushioning or stability.
They’re best used as a barrier layer to protect against moisture or to prevent weeds from growing through other foundation materials.
Artificial grass provides the aesthetic appeal of natural grass without the maintenance concerns.
It’s soft, cushiony, and offers a level of insulation that can help maintain your hot tub’s temperature.
However, artificial grass can be expensive and may require professional installation.
Like natural grass, it can also become compressed over time, so it’s essential to choose a high-quality, durable product.
Old Blankets or Towels
If you’re looking for a quick and temporary solution, old blankets or towels can serve as a makeshift foundation.
They offer cushioning and can be easily replaced if they become worn or damaged.
However, this is not a long-term solution.
Blankets and towels can become waterlogged, leading to mold and mildew.
They offer little in terms of stability and are not recommended for prolonged use.
If you’re setting up your hot tub in a more rural setting, compact earth can serve as a natural foundation.
It’s obviously the cheapest option available and can be leveled relatively easily with the right tools.
The downside is that earth can become muddy when wet and may require a protective layer to prevent water absorption.
It’s also not the most stable option and can shift over time, especially in areas prone to freezing and thawing.
Plywood sheets can provide a relatively cheap and easy-to-install foundation.
They offer a level of stability that’s better than some other makeshift options like blankets or towels.
Plywood can also be easily removed and stored when not in use.
However, plywood is not very durable and can become warped or rotted if exposed to moisture.
It’s generally better for temporary setups and should be used in conjunction with a moisture barrier.
Crushed stone offers excellent drainage and is easy to level, making it a good option for many hot tub owners.
It’s also relatively affordable and can be easily sourced from local landscaping or construction suppliers.
The downside is that crushed stone can be uncomfortable to walk on and may require a barrier to prevent potential damage to your hot tub.
Like gravel, it’s best used in conjunction with a tarp or other protective layer.
Interlocking tiles offer a modern, clean look and are relatively easy to install.
They snap together like puzzle pieces, providing a stable and durable foundation for your inflatable hot tub.
Many are made from durable polyethylene plastic, which is resistant to weather and UV rays.
However, interlocking tiles can be expensive and may not offer the same level of cushioning as some other options.
They’re best for those looking for a long-lasting, low-maintenance solution.
EVA foam is a soft, durable material commonly used in sporting equipment and children’s toys.
It offers excellent cushioning and insulation, making it a comfortable and energy-efficient choice for your hot tub foundation.
The downside is that EVA foam can be expensive and may not offer the same level of stability as some of the more rigid options.
It’s best suited for indoor or covered setups where weather exposure is minimal.
My Personal Favorite Foundation for Inflatable Hot Tubs
When it comes to setting up an inflatable hot tub, I’ve found that natural materials like gravel, sand, or crushed stone offer a fantastic combination of affordability, ease of installation, and drainage capabilities.
Each options offer a unique set of benefits that make your hot tub experience enjoyable and hassle-free.
Gravel is particularly great for its drainage properties.
I’ve never had to worry about water pooling around the hot tub, which can be a significant concern with some other materials.
Sand offers a level of adjustability that’s hard to beat.
You can easily rake it to create a perfectly flat surface.
Crushed stone sits somewhere in the middle, combining the drainage advantages of gravel with the leveling ease of sand.
Plus, all three options are budget-friendly and readily available at local landscaping or construction supply stores.
For someone who loves DIY projects and saving money, these natural materials are a win-win.
Final Thoughts: What to Put Under an Inflatable Hot Tub?
What’s your favorite foundation for inflatable hot tubs? Do you have one or did you choose one while reading this guide?
I think you will love your inflatable spa even more with the right placement.
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