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Can A Hot Tub Sit On Gravel? (And Why To Use It)

by Lianne Jones June 09, 2022

Can A Hot Tub Sit On Gravel? (And Why To Use It)

When it comes to buying a hot tub, the first thing you’ll need to consider is the layout of your garden. You might have planned to have a large stretch of gravel, which can make an excellent addition to your house.

However, once you have literally laid the groundwork, you might afterward have decided that you’ll need to have a hot tub.

These things are great for you and your friends or family to relax in, especially during the summer. However, can you lay a hot tub on gravel?

How heavy does your hot tub need to be for you to lay your gravel on it? How much will you have to pay for a decent hot tub?

What factors will you have to consider when you are laying a hot tub on gravel? Well, if you are wanting all the answers to these questions and a lot more, then we would recommend that you keep reading.

Why Choose Gravel For Your Garden?

Gravel is a great material for use in your garden, because not only does it look good, but it will help you drain some of the water from the other parts of your garden.

If you have lawn parts of your garden, then you might notice that when the rain gets heavy that you might experience puddles forming on the surface of your lawn.

Having gravel will certainly help any excess water drain from your lawn. This is because of the spaces between the gravel will help the water to drain a lot easier. Gravel is also very versatile.

You’ll be able to use gravel not only for parking, but you can use it for pathways, rockeries and decorating the borders of your garden. It is great for differentiating the different areas of your garden.

Can You Lay A Hot Tub On Your Gravel?

The short answer to this question is, yes you can. The gravel will act as a drainage system that you can use to siphon off any excess water from your hot tub.

If you have a drainage plug, then you can simply let the water run through the gaps to evaporate at a later date.

However, there will be a few factors that you’ll need to consider before you plonk your hot tub straight over your gravel.

Here are a few things that you’ll want to bear in mind when you are purchasing your next hot tub if you are going to lay it on gravel.

What About The Material Of Your Hot Tub?

Most hot tubs that you can get on the market are made from fiberglass or acrylic. The reasons for this are twofold: they are very lightweight and durable.

The reason why your hot tub should be lightweight is that when it is empty you’ll be able to shift it from one place to another.

This is very useful when you first get your hot tub, as you might want to shift it around a bit before you find the right spot.

However, your hot tub will also need to be durable, as it will be filled with a lot of water.

This will add to the overall weight of your hot tub by a few hundred pounds. The last thing you’ll want is your hot tub springing a leak.

Where Can You Put Your Hot Tub?

There are many places where you can situate your hot tub in your garden. Here is a brief list of them along with the reasons why you might want to do this:

  • Decking/patio - this is the one place that a lot of people might first choose to mount their hot tub. This si because of aesthetic reasons as well as giving you a great vantage point of the rest of your garden (especially if it is raised). You’ll need to make sure that you consider the weight of a hot tub that is not only full of water but also people. If your hot tub is too heavy it can break or split the wood underneath.
  • Flat ground - If you have a flat bit of lawn or tarmac in your backyard, then you can also use this area to mount your hot tub. Hoover, you’ll need to bear drainage in mind once again. If you are mounting it on the tarmac, then your water will simply have nowhere to go. The weight of your hot tub might also cause it to sink into softer soil over time.
  • Concrete - this is one of the most resilient surfaces that you can mount your hot tub on. This will not cost you too much either, all you need are a few tons of hot concrete spread evenly over a certain surface. You’ll need to make sure that the ground is even or your tub could end up lopsided.
  • Hot tub support pad - that’s right, some geniuses have decided to design hot tub support pads especially to mount your hot tub. This is great when it comes to functionality, however, it might not be the most aesthetically pleasing addition to your garden.

However, we would certainly say that gravel is indeed the best option for you hot tub. Let’s look at some of the properties of gravel and why it will really help drain some of the water from your hot tub.

Gravel And Hot Tubs - How The Two Go Together

Gravel has some pretty great qualities when you are mounting your hot tub. Here are a few things that you’ll be looking for when it comes to gravel and hot tubs:

  1. Drainage - you can be sure that gravel will be able to drain the excess water from your hot tub extremely quickly. The ravel itself is not absorbent and the water will instead run through the gaps in the rocks.
  2. Good aesthetic choice - gravel will also make your garden look nice. Sometimes it is possible to have too much greenery and flower and gravel will help to break that up. Some people like to have certain sections of their garden and gravel will act as a great border.
  3. Easy installation - when it comes to laying gravel around your garden, then the easiest option will surely be gravel. All you have to do is pour it from the bucket into an area of soil that has been partitioned off with wood. You’ll have the whole thing laid in just a few hours. A lot of other materials might take days to install.
  4. It is very durable - this material is far more durable than concrete, which does tend to crack over time. Concrete will also discolor.
  5. Retains and even surface - you can be sure that your gravel surface will not subside or move over time, as the stones are always shifting into place. However, you might want to give them a rake over time to maintain a smooth surface.
  6. Covers up the joins in your hot tub - if you don’yt want anyone to see the unsightly joins in your hot tub, then gravel will also be a great choice. This material will almost mold itself to the base of your tub. This is great for the aesthetics of your tub. This will also stop your tub from migrating across your backyard. This will also stabilize your tub, which will behelpful when there are people splashing around in it.
  7. Affordable - you can alos get a lot of gravel for very cheap. This is great if you are looking to deck out your garden for next-to-nothing. This is great if you need to make sure your heavy hot tub is stable.

What Is The Best Way Of Intsalling A Gravel Under Your Hot Tub?

What Is The Best Way Of Intsalling A Gravel Under Your Hot Tub

Installing gravel under your hot tub need not be that hard a job. However, you will need to know how to do this properly to avoid making any mistakes. Here is our step-by-step guide for installing your hot tub:

  1. Measure out your hot tub - you should make sure that you know the dimensions of the base of your hot tub. If you do not have enough gravel for under your hot tub and have made the wrong measurements, then you might find yourself overshooting, which will cause you leaks.
  2. Make room - you’ll need to make usre that you have a few feets of gravel around the outisd eof your hot tub. This is so that all overspill from your hot tub can drain properly.
  3. Know where your hot tub is going to go - taking the measurements from step 1, mark out on the floor with some water-soluble paint where the corners of your hot tub will be exactly.
  4. Dig - you’ll need to make sure that there is a small pit into which you’ll pour your gravel. This is so that the gravel will not shift that much when you install your hot tub. Make sure that the hole is at least 6 inches deep and the gravel itself does not exceed the floor level.
  5. Fill your hole - once the hole is dug, make sure that the gravel is filled up to the line. However, before you do this, you might want to think about the type of gravel that you’ll be using.
  6. Pea or construction gravel - some people will just want to use construction gravel to fill the whole of their pit. However, if you wnat your gravel to be aesthetically pleaisng, then you might want to put a layer of pea gravel on the top. If you are going to use pea gravel on top of construction gravel, then make sure you only fill the hole with 4 inches of the latter, leaving 2 inches of room on the top for the former.
  7. Smooth the surface - once you have filled this, you’ll need to make sure that you smooth out the surface so that it is more or less even. We would recommend using a spirit level, although you can do this by eyesight alone. Take a shovel and use this to rake the gravel smooth.

There are a few other things that you’ll need to bear in mind when construction your gravel pit.

Make sure that the surface that you’re going to be filling with gravel is level. If your original surface is not level, then you might experience some slippage and your final hot tub will be leaning to one side.

If your hot tub is leaning, then you will certainly experience some leaking. This might also result in your having to reposition your hot tub. This will certainly be a time consuming job.

If you are going to be using construction gravel, then you should know that it is not that appealing to the eye. We would recommend that you use a more refined gravel at the top of your construction gravel layer.

Make sure that when you are digging your gravel pit that you are not exceeding the 6 inches.

If you dig too deep then you might compromise the drainage qualities of your hot tub. If you are using too much gravel, then your hot top might start to get lopsided over time as the gravel shifts.

The measurements for your gravel pit will have to be completely even and have enough room on the outside. If you do not have the room, then you might suffer from inadequate draining.

You’ll need to make sure that you have enough space to walk at least a few feet on gravel when you exit your hot tub.

How To Maintain Your Gravel Hot Tub Pit

If you are going to be keeping your gravel pit for the long term, then here are some tips in making sure that it stays nice and tidy.

  1. Rake it regularly - if you have a shovel or a rake, then we would recommend smoothing out the surface of your gravel pit. You won’t have to remove your hot tub, just make sure that the areas around the sides are completely smooth.
  2. Replace the top layer of gravel - if you are noticing that the layer of pea gravel on the top layer of your gravel pit is starting to become stained of discolored, the remove this with a shovel and replace it with fresh pea or marble gravel.
  3. Decorate your gravel trim - if you don’t want want that dull grey look for your hot tub, then you can always place some decorate flowers of shrubs nearby. However, make sure they are out of the splash zone of your hot tub, as this could ruin them.
  4. Wash the gravel every month - gravel can succumb to moss in much the same manner as concrete, so you should make sure that you are blasting off some of the unwanted elements that might make your garden start to look drab.

How To Install Your Hot Tub On Other Surfaces

If you don’t fancy the gravel option, there are plenty of other surfaces that you’ll need to install your hot tub. Here is a guide to each one along with the potential issues that you might encounter.

Concrete Base

  1. Take your hot tub measurements - make sure that you measure the whole length of your hot tub from one corner to another. This way, you’ll be sure whether or not your hot tub will fit on your designated space.
  2. Mark the floor - mark out the exactly position you’ll put your hot tub in on the concrete floor. If you have measured it accurately, then you should be able to fit in this hot tub very easily.
  3. Place the hot tub - you might need some specialist equipment for this, but you should place the hot tub exactly where the corners on your concrete are marked.
  4. Make sure the edges have enough room - you’ll need to make sure that there are at least a few feet of room around every side of your hot tub. This is to make sure that the water can escape when it spills over the edge. We would recommend that you place your concrete base near some water.
  5. Drainage - you might even want to have a drainage pipe constructed so that your water can run in a specific direction.This will really help if your lawn is far away from your concrete base.

Decking

  1. Take your hot tub’s measurements - in much the same way as you want to make sure that you’ll have the right amount of space for your hot tub on concrete, you’ll wnat to make sure that you have the right measurements for decking.
  2. Make sure you have enough room to mount it - this will be especially true if you have bannisters around your decking. You’ll need to make sure there is enough room to move your hot tub onto the decking in the first place.
  3. Make sure your decking is well supported - calculate the weight of your hot tub, not just empty, but with water and people in it. For people, you’ll have to get a rough estimate of the average weight of everyone inside. You should overestimate the amount of weight you’ll have in your hot tub.
  4. Drainage - make sure that your decking has plenty of space underneath to drain the water. You might want to construction a proper drainage point for your hot tub. This way you’ll be able to control the flow of the water.

Why Should You Avoid Putting Your Hot Tub On Grass?

One of the main reasons you should not out your hot tub idrectly onto grass is that it will eventually sink.

This is because of the consistent pressure placed on the hot tub onto a soft surface like grass that will ultimately cause it to sink.

Another reason why you won’t want to put your hot tub on grass is because grass does not drain water well.

Couple this with the fact that your hot tub will be resting on the grass itself, then you have a recipe for your hot tub sinking over time.

If your hot tub sinks, then you will definitely experience leaking and waterlogging.

You should make sure that you hot tub is on an elevate surface or above a surface that comes with plenty of drainage underneath.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Is Gravel Good To Mount My Hot Tub?

Gravel will provide you with a solid and stable surface, as well as giving you everything that you’ll need for a decent drainage. For our money, it is also the best-looking gravel surface.

How Much Does It Cost To Buy A Lot Of Gravel?

If you buy gravel in bulk, then you get a lot more for your money. It is also very easy to attain gravel.

As most of it can be bought at your local hardware store. You can also get pea gravel and white marble stone from similar hardware or garden stores.

Can I Install My Hot Tub On A Balcony?

A: Yes, you should be able to, although you will need to pay a lot of attention to the structural composition of your balcony.

If you do not consult an engineer before installing your hot tub, then you might run the risk of causing some serious damage to your building and yourself.

Conclusion

We hope that our guide to having a gravel base for you hot tub has given you a clearer idea about whether you want this for your backyard and how to install it properly.

Lianne Jones
Lianne Jones


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