How to Build Hot Tub Bases

Nichole Liandi

Many people install a hot tub on their deck. If you've got other plans on where to install your hot tub, one of the most important things to have is a solid and stable base for the hot tub. A full hot tub is heavy, and if it's simply placed on the ground, it may shift and settle over time.

An example of base planning

In addition, spilled water around the tub can make the ground around the tub muddy and unattractive--not the setting you're looking for when you go for a relaxing dip in the tub. Here's a way to make a base that's solid and secure, as well as neat, clean and attractive.

  1. Measure the area you'll need. Measure the diameter of the hot tub and add several feet around it. For example, if your tub is 5 feet across, you may want to plan on a base that's 7 by 7 feet. This isn't a hard and fast rule--you can go larger if you wish.

  2. Decide where you want the hot tub base to be located. A relatively level area is best, and the tub base should be located relatively close to water and power connections. When you've decided, measure out the area and mark it with string or marking paint.

  3. Dig out the area where the base will be to a depth of 18 inches. If the area is very large, you may want to consider renting a small backhoe. Otherwise, some shovels and willing hands is all you'll need.

  4. The foundation for the base
  5. Fill the first 12 inches of the excavation with medium-grade gravel. Then top that off with 4 inches of sand. Level the top of the sand so you have a flat surface. A good way to do this is to lay a long board across sections of the sand and lay your level on top of that. You can also support a taut string 1 inch above the surface and check that with a level as well. Tamp down the sand so the surface is firm.

  6. Edge the perimeter of the base with pavers. By doing the perimeter first with a consistent size of pavers, you'll give the base a finished look. Check to make sure that they're level as you install them.

  7. A creative use of pavers
  8. Fill the interior of the base with pavers. Some pavers come in different sizes, so you can vary the look by integrating the different sizes. If the pavers are of the same shape, changing the directions can give your base an interesting dimension. Examine some different styles and looks (see Resources below) to come up with ideas that will work for you.