Hot Tub Location Guidelines

locationLocationThe most important part of any hot tub installation is proper planning and the first two steps of the planning process are deciding the ideal location for your hot tub and your hot tub equipment.

The vast majority of our customers prefer to install their hot tubs outdoors, but our tubs can be installed just as easily inside your home as out.

Our Hot Tub Photo Gallery is full of unique location ideas, creative inspiration and great examples of where other hot tub owners have located their hot tubs.

Location of Your Hot Tub

roundtub56Roberts Hot Tubs has been in business for almost 40 years and history has taught us that your tub will be used and enjoyed more often the closer it is to your house or bedroom.

Installing your hot tub on or submerged in an existing outdoor deck is ideal for many hot tub owners, but please be aware that most decks are not designed to support the weight of a hot tub filled with water.

We strongly advise that all hot tub owners considering tub installations on existing decking check with a licensed engineer prior to beginning tub installation. Please remember that the average hot tub filled with water weighs in excess of 5000 lbs. before you and your friends jump in!

hottub37Outdoor Installation Locations

Depending on where you live and the size of your yard, there can be an endless number of ways and places to install an outdoor tub.

That said, there are certain health and safety restrictions that will influence where your tub can be located.

1. For stability and settling purposes, the tub itself must sit on a single solid concrete surface. Everything settles over time and just like the concrete slab under most homes, concrete settles but remains flat.

If your tub was set in gravel or on piers, the settling process could easily be uneven. This puts undue stress on a single area of the tub and can cause cracks and leaks.

2. The tub rests on joists that we provide rather than making direct contact with the concrete pad. The size of the concrete pad can be 6 inches smaller than the tub’s diameter, so a 6′ diameter tub only requires a 5′ 6″‘ square concrete pad.

Saving 6″ on the pad means pouring less concrete as well as insuring that the pad won’t protrude any farther out than it absolutely has to. The typical thickness of the concrete pad should be 3-1/2″ with reinforcement wire for extra strength.

3. The type of ground underneath the pad should be stable as well. If the soil has a propensity for expanding and contracting due to extreme temperatures, you may be required to add concrete footings to stabilize the pad. Checking with a local contractor is an easy way to find out whether you need footings or not.

4. The overall height of the tub is also a consideration. A 4′ tall standard hot tub will stand a total of 49-3/4″ off the top of the concrete pad with the exception of our European Timber Tubs which stand 50-5/8″ high.

Based on this height, you may want to consider sinking part of the tub into the ground. Sunken tubs are extremely popular and are much easier to get in and out of.

In order to safely “sink” your tub, you will need to dig/construct a tub pit. The pit should have retaining walls to keep any excess dirt from eroding and coming into contact with the tub itself.

We recommend that there be a minimum 12″ clearance between the walls of the pit and the tub itself; a 5′ diameter tub will need a 7′ diameter pit. Another thing to keep in mind is that the tub will require a minimum of 24″, preferably 36″, of clearance around the entire tub. This will allow the tub to be assembled above the pit and then lowered down.

Indoor Installation Locations

6Indoor installations aren’t that much different than outdoor installations, but they do require a few extra considerations.

The main consideration with indoor installations is moisture and the effect it has on other areas of your home.

1. Moisture – It’s common practice to use hot tub insulated covers on outdoor hot tubs and the same is true with indoor hot tubs. Insulating covers save time, money and energy inside and outside, but quite a bit of steam is released when you take off an indoor cover.

Steam doesn’t play well with other interior sections of your house, so you need to make sure that the room your tub is located in has good air flow and very good ventilation.

2. Chemicals – Along with the steam factor, there’s also the issue of sanitation and the use of hot tub chemicals. Hot tubs that are used regularly need to be sanitized with chlorine, bromine or a non-chlorine shock treatment in combination with smaller amounts of chlorine or bromine.

These sanitizers can produce foul smelling odors that go well beyond the room your hot tub is located in. Ozone is another form of sanitizer that should not be used indoors. High concentrations of ozone can accumulate in the room that your tub is located in and cause severe throat irritations as well as corrode plastic and printed electronic circuitry.

The best sanitizer to use indoors is an ionizer in combination with periodic non-chlorine shock treatments. One maintenance advantage to indoor installations is that less dirt, debris and pollen get into your tub which might save you a few dollars per year on sanitizers.

3. Leaks – The other big moisture consideration is “leaks.” As much as we hate to admit it, the possibility of an indoor hot tub cracking, breaking or leaking does exist and the odds increase as the tub gets older.

After years and years of use, a seal or gasket could wear out and cause anything from a small drip to a giant flood. We strongly recommend that indoor hot tub owners take special precautions by installing a waterproof flooring membrane and floor drain in the room that the tub and equipment are located in.

If the tub equipment is installed in a garage or basement, it’s a very good idea to set the equipment in a waterproof pan with a drain to insure that any possible leaks won’t damage surrounding items.