How To Choose The Best Base For Your Hot Tub

Whether you’re looking to buy a new hot tub or already have one, getting the base right is essential. At some point, you’ll need to purchase and install a base so that your hot tub has somewhere safe and secure to sit. But what’s the best base option?

Hot tub base options include gravel, decking, spa pads, and concrete. Gravel is long-lasting and affordable, while concrete and decking are more expensive options. Decking can rot over time, so proper maintenance is key. Spa pads, meanwhile, are a cheap base option that can be moved as needed.

Let’s take a closer look at the various hot tub base options and the important factors to consider, so that you can pick the perfect option for your setup.

Why Are Hot Tub Bases Important to Consider?

Hot tub in the garden

It’s possible to place your hot tub almost anywhere. Inside or outside, hot tubs can be situated wherever you wish — as long as they have a reliable and sturdy base. 

In fact, hot tub bases are more important to get right than the type of hot tub you have. If you have a poor base, your hot tub could experience faults, or you could damage your home. A hot tub that moves could easily cause water leaks or experience damage, which will result in your hot tub no longer being usable. 

Furthermore, the right base will ensure you have to pursue minimal hot tub maintenance. If it sits well and is installed correctly, you won’t need to move your hot tub to ensure it’s safe and sturdy. 

Hot Tub Base Options

There are various hot tub base options to consider. Ensuring the base is flat, solid, and easy to drain is important so that water can drain from the area and the base maintains its sturdiness. 

Below are the most efficient and safe hot tub base options to consider:


A gravel hot tub base is one of the most common thanks to its affordability and reliability. Laying gravel in a secured space (so that the gravel can’t move too much) will ensure the hot tub remains where you position it. 

Gravel is an excellent idea if your area is on a slope, since you can add more gravel to the lower end to balance the base. 

It’s important to ensure the gravel is thick enough to hold the hot tub but also so that the stones don’t move unexpectedly.


Many people have concrete patios (or similar) existing in their gardens. Concrete areas can be used as a hot tub base as long as they’re flat and solid. If you already have a concrete area, you can go ahead with the hot tub installation

Consider installing a concrete area to house your hot tub if your yard doesn’t already feature one. Concrete is slightly more expensive than gravel but can withstand more weight and will be less likely to move.

For the installation of a concrete hot tub base, it’s recommended to hire a professional. The material is heavy and difficult to install, and a professional knows how to get it right.

Spa Pads

Spa pads (on Amazon) are another common base option for hot tubs. These are typically made from robust plastic and positioned on a flat surface for the hot tub to sit on. 

The spa pads typically consist of several small interlocking panels. These are easy to set up to make a strong and reliable base for your hot tub.


Placing a hot tub on a deck is a popular option because it’s solid, flat, and easy to drain water from. It looks great and often modernizes a yard or garden, which is what most homeowners look for. 

However, decking can be expensive, depending on the size and desired wood. Still, it’s often worth it to make your yard look attractive with the hot tub. 

On the downside, decking is often less long lasting. The wood can rot over time as it gets wet and weathered. It’s possible to enjoy it for years, but not as long as concrete materials. 

Can a Hot Tub Sit on Grass?

Many homeowners wonder if a hot tub can be placed on grass. Unfortunately, a hot tub can’t safely sit on grass.

The earth isn’t secure or flat enough to hold a hot tub. If you wish to place it in a grassy area, you should install spa pads, concrete, decking, or gravel on top to create a flat and solid base.

What’s the Best Base for a Hot Tub?

There isn’t one base that outshines all the others, since the best base depends on your specific situation and personal preferences.

If you’re looking for an all-around material, gravel is the most popular for its reliability and affordability. It might require more maintenance than concrete, but it costs much less. 

Therefore, many people might choose gravel over other hot tub base options to save money yet achieve similar results.

However, if you want something more aesthetic and attractive for your garden, decking can be a great choice. That said, regular maintenance will be required since the material can rot due to weather conditions. 

How to Choose Which Hot Tub Base Is Right for You

Choosing between the various options can be tough, so here are some key factors to keep in mind as you make a decision:


Your budget is an important factor that will impact which hot tub base is right for you. 

Those with a more limited budget will be better off choosing spa pads or gravel. These are inexpensive options, and you only need to pay for the desired amount, no more or no less.

When you install decking or concrete, on the other hand, you will likely need to buy in bulk and often purchase more than you need. Plus, gravel and spa pads are more affordable than other options. 

Consider concrete if you wish to spend money on the perfect long-lasting hot tub base. It requires less maintenance than gravel as it consists of a solid material that’s less likely to move.

However, you’ll need to pay for professional installation, which will increase the cost. For many, the investment is worthwhile nonetheless.


The right hot tub base for you also depends how long you need the base. 

You might know you’re moving in a few years, for example. In that case, you won’t need a concrete patio that will last decades. Instead, you can rely on spa pads, which you can take with you when you move. 

On the other hand, if you want something that will last decades, choosing gravel or solid concrete will be the best choice. 

Garden preferences

If you’re someone who takes great pride in their garden or wherever the hot tub will sit, it’s important to consider the aesthetics of the area when choosing a hot tub base. 

For example, if you like your greenery and want to keep your grass and plants, you will want to consider how to make the grass look attractive with a hot tub. 

If you’re not prepared to change the grass for decking or concrete, you will likely consider gravel or spa pads as an option. These take up less space and only need to be slightly larger than the hot tub to provide stability.

Click here for a complete hot tub landscaping guide.

How to Choose Where to Place Your Hot Tub 

An outdoors hot tub

Choosing where to place your hot tub should be relatively easy since you can position it almost anywhere, as long as it has an efficient base. 

You can choose to place it inside or outside. An indoor hot tub will require more care than one outside due to the electrical needs and potential interior damage. 

Consider having an outside hot tub to prevent issues and damage to your home. 

It’s best to position it somewhere accessible with a great drainage system. Once you’ve picked a place, whether it’s in a corner, on the grass, or built into the decking, you’ll need to ensure it’s flat, solid, and easy to drain so that you can enjoy using your hot tub with no issues.

Nothing is impossible with hot tub placement. You must ensure to invest in and install the correct base so that your hot tub is safe for daily use.

With a base in place, you can continue with the installation and use of your hot tub. Never attempt to install a hot tub without an efficient and reliable base. 

Is It Possible to Sink A Hot Tub Into the Ground?

Hot Tub

Some people appreciate the look and convenience of a sunken hot tub. These are especially popular in hotels, but they can be built in private homes too. 

It’s certainly possible to sink a hot tub into the ground. You can sink a hot tub into a hole, but you must consider the drainage and access to the service panel.

If the hot tub can easily be drained, it will be safe. If there isn’t sufficient drainage, you risk flooding the area. 

Installing a Hot Tub on a Balcony

It’s also possible and safe to install a hot tub on a balcony with the correct planning. 

You will still need a base as you would in a garden or an inside room. It’s essential to contact an engineer to help place the hot tub and ensure your chosen base is safe and easy to drain. 

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