Hot Tub Base – Whats under your hot tub??

Hot Tub Base – Whats under your hot tub??
7.2 Total Score

The Base of a hot tub is what it sits on and there are a lot of options from basic vapor barrier to ABS bottom pans and Fiberglass trays. Scare tactics like telling you your hot tub will fall apart without a good base and that rats and cats and elephants will nest in your hot tub if you don’t have one are all used to pull more money out of your pocket.

There are lots of what I like to call spin topics in the world, These are things that are spun up to be important usually to detract us from what is really important and in my opinion the base of your hot tub is one of those spin issues.

7.2 Total Score

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You don’t mention anything about putting a hot tub on a deck. My ground drops significantly where I want to place my hot tub and building up the area would require a retaining wall. We are leaning toward a deck with footings as a better alternative. Do we need to place anything between the deck and the hot tub?

Hi Kim,

No issues at all putting a tub on a deck provided the deck is engineered well enough to support the weight. Remember typically hot tubs with water weight in the neighborhood of two tons

Thanks for all the great info you provide! We’re installing our tub on a cured concrete patio. The question is, should we put down some kind of barrier or base on top of the concrete for insulation purposes? My husband thinks lifting the hot tub off the cold ground, building wooden deck structure and adding insulation between the “joists” so the tub doesn’t sit on the cold concrete will help reduce operating costs. Is it worth the extra cost to build and insulate the deck? If insulating under the tub is worthwhile, is there a ready made option out there… Read more »

Hi Linda,

The insulated deck would be overkill. You’d likely save so little that it would take decades to pay off the expense. Even something like spa pads (made to provide a base over crusher dust) would not give you any real return on investment. I’ve seen people lay 2 inch hard foam down but I’d be concerned with uneven compression stressing the shell – not likely but why risk it for the tiny amount you’d save. I’d put the tub right on the concrete

Thanks so much for the response! Yay. No more time or money spent on the base:)!

What’s a better base poly sheet or abs base pan? Does it matter?
Hot tub would be sitting on a patio slab.

Hi Joann,

On a patio slab it would make no difference having the poly sheet vs the ABS pan. ABS is great for some surfaces but a stone slab means either will work just fine

Thank you

Hi Steve. We made a 20×8 concrete for our hot tub. After finishing it I saw an area with a puddle of water about 4 mm deep. Would that be a problem when I put my hot tub. Thanks

Hey Jeff,

4mm is not gonna cause any issues for you

Hi Chris, This web site has been so much help in the hot tub buying process! Thank you! Have an Artesian on the way. Wondering about the pad…I dug down 6 inches, compacted the ground, put down a thick layer of felt and then added gravel compacting along the way. Then I topped it with 24” patio stones. The pad is nice and level in every direction but since the patio stones are not all uniform, there is a bit of variation in height from stone to stone. In most cases it is very slight but in one spot there… Read more »

Hi Steve,

When it comes to the pad, true is far more important than level because while you want your tub as level as possible, if the surface is not true you run the risk of stressing the shell and risking a crack. Get the stones as close as possible to the same height and 1/4″ difference is the absolute most I’d wanna see between stones

Hi Chris,I had my hot tub fixed and winterized over the winter at the place where it was bought.They delivered a few days ago and it ran with debris inside and they said that it would be gone in the morning.The next day..way more debris.Hot tub not running.with a message,heater too hot.They said it was a airlock.I drained it says sensor B fault.Pump will not come on.I need help!!

Hi Chris, can you use EZ Pad after prepping the ground to be level for Master Twilight 7.2?


Thank you very much Chris

I drained my 2004 hotsprings vista… with the plug that is under the shell.. somehow.. when pushing the plug in.. it broke. There is nowhere for me to get to it.. it wont turn.. go in or put… i got the outside plastic nut off… but how do i replace the internal parts? Do i have to lift it up?

CHRIS. I’ve never in all my time seen a person respond to so many people’s inquiries, and lots of times having to be repeating yourself time and time again, always seem to do it with a smile.. Your truly unbelievable .. I have been scanning your web site reading lots of information. I need to ask, Did I make a huge mistake by purchasing a 2016 Hot Springs Spa model called The Sovereign? I paid $9500 total cost installed,delivered, including running the 220 power from my basement electric panel about 70 feet to the spa.. The included warranty is 5… Read more »

Hi Chris,

I am in Northern California and need help finding a dealer. We are looking to purchase a quality hot tub. Would you please recommend a dealer in our area (95709)? Thanks!

Chris I have two options…both used tubs because I’m not looking at spending thousands of dollars. 1st option is a 2014 Viking Heritage 1 tub that boasts 61 jets 2 pumps (they claim 12 HP but I think they are really (2) 4 HP motors with breaking power of 12HP) one 2 speed the other single stage that boosts jet power. Internals made by balboa and waterway pumps. The 2 speed pump is bad and that’s the reason he’s selling. Cover is toast so that will need replaced as well. Option 2 is a 2002 Marquis Leisure series. Only has… Read more »

Hi Chris– I love your blog. I take many notes since I am looking to buy a hot tub. I cannot find any information about the Costco hot tubs that they are pushing : Aquaterra Spas, Evoution Spas or Divine Spas. I’m not sure of the parts (are they made in China?) or quality. Do you have any info on those brands. thanks so much!–or-7-person-Spa.product.100239358.html

Your website is GREAT! So hard to shop for and find a good quality hot tub. When shopping for hot tub at local dealer he seemed to get offended when asking about insulation and wondered why it would make a difference in efficiency of heating? We have narrowed down our search to your three top picks Artesian, Master spa, and Caldera. the artesian sells for less at $7000 for the Island Spa Elite Antiqua from a local dealer. Most recently searching online I found website that discussed similar hot tub quality issues. It offers what appears to be similar hot… Read more »

Hey Chris,

Two things:
a) I am battling to get quote for Twilight 8.2 or 8.3 out of UK distributor. Have sent two follow up emails and a call and not getting much response. Anything you can do to nudge them along?

b) I know Twilight 8.2 is your favourite. How close is Marquis Signature Epic? (Following your advice on going basics, have been offered pretty significant discount of RRP).


Thanks – they actually came back to so no worries..

Hey Chris,

I just bought the Hydromaster DLX – 7 person 65 jet tub. Please tell me I didn’t buy a dud?! The price was just too good to pass up as I guess they have now replaced this model with a newer version. I did buy the extended (additional 5 years) coverage of parts and labor. Any insight would be much appreciated!

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