With paved patios being such a popular option for sprucing up your garden, it’s no surprise that we’re often asked, can a hot tub sit on pavers? The simple answer is yes. Paving is one of the top bases for inflatable hot tubs. Though there are a few notable exceptions!
Our team has been working tirelessly for over ten years not only to learn everything there is to know about portable spas but how best to install and look after these products to get your money’s worth.
Today we’ll be looking at how well inflatable hot tubs are suited to pavers and patio stones.
We’ll cover the types of pavers that are ideal for hot tubs, the benefits an installation like this may bring, and the things to watch out for when considering popping your hot tub directly onto patio pavers.
Sounds good? Let’s get stuck in!
Pavers For a Hot Tub Foundation
Yes, provided the hot tub is level and supported by something like a hot tub base of crushed rock, patio stones also offer a durable, solid and aesthetically pleasing foundation that can support the heavy weight of a filled hot tub, but some materials will work better than others!
Best Pavers for a Hot Tub
The ideal pavers to provide the best base for hot tubs will be at least a few inches thick, laid on a level surface, and have a strong foundation that can support at least a few thousand pounds of weight like a filled hot tub. Here are some of the best candidates!
Block paving contains thick blocks between 50ml or 60ml with supporting sand-filled joints, allowing for a little flexibility to bear heavy loads, and providing drainage channels for any spilt water from the hot tub or rain to wash away safely.
Provided the blocks you choose are smooth and properly levelled, this style of paving can be ideal for hot tubs!
Concrete flagstones are another decent choice as a hot tub base. They’re inexpensive, thick enough to hold a filled hot tub spa without cracking, and particularly resistant to weathering!
Just like block paving, your concrete flagstones must be level and supported by a thick aggregate base, and the surface of the stones should be smooth and free from any sharp edges to prevent a puncture in the hot tub.
Natural stone patios are generally hard-wearing, resistant to weathering and aesthetically pleasing. The type of stone used will matter here though, as the pavers will need to be able to cope with the water splashing out of your hot tub.
Porous sedimentary stones may discolour or flake when in contact with chlorinated hot tub water, so be mindful if these pavers aren’t sealed.
Rubber pavers are super low maintenance, naturally non-slip when getting out of the tub and made from recycled materials, so you’ll be doing some good for the environment!
This type also doesn’t absorb as much heat as stones do in direct sunlight, so you’re much less likely to burn your feet getting in and out of your hot tub during the summer months.
How Much Weight Can Patio Pavers Hold?
This will depend on your specific type and the thickness of their base. Considering that a full 6-seater hot tub can weigh as much as 2500-3000kg, you’ll want your paving to be able to support at least 50kg per square foot so the tub is evenly spread.
Start by ensuring your patio has a sand or gravel base at least 6 inches deep and that the pavers themselves are at least 2 inches thick, with the area of your patio being larger than your hot tub’s size.
Most are plenty strong enough to support filled hot tubs, though; for example:
Avoid having your hot tub sit on thin or brittle tiles like ceramic or porcelain, as these pavers are much more likely to crack which can also cause damage to the hot tub.
The Benefits Of A Paved Hot Tub Base
They offer a flat surface.
Choosing a flat surface for your hot tub is incredibly important as if the weight of all that hot tub water isn’t evenly distributed, cracks and tears can form where parts of the hot tub shell are under more stress.
A set of well-laid pavers will be pretty level, and their thick aggregate base will evenly support any hot tub weight above, so you can be sure that your hot tub is as flat as can be.
How To Level Pavers
If this level is slightly out, then this guide has some quick fixes around levelling pavers for hot tubs.
Patios are usually close to your home, so getting in and out of your hot tub during the winter won’t be as much of a struggle, and you’ll have easy access to your plumbing and electrics should you need to hook them up to your hot tub.
Good for drainage
Most paving styles provide excellent hot tub drainage, especially block paving and porous paving stones, which allow excess water from the hot tub and rain to drain away into the aggregate below.
This isn’t the case for all pavers though. For example, non-porous ceramic or rubber pavers with thin joints won’t provide enough space for adequate hot tub drainage!
Patios are designed to look good; it’s as simple as that. A bespoke hot tub frame built on a patio laid by a professional contractor will look much nicer than a hot tub or spa tub shoved on a concrete pad.
Efflorescence is that flaky white substance you may have seen coating bricks, concrete or mortar caused by the salts and minerals left behind by evaporating hot tub water.
Hot tub water can cause efflorescence, as can rainwater, but on a paved surface, you’re much less likely to see this issue as the water will (in most cases) drain away from the tub before evaporating!
Quick to install
Setting up a hot tub on paving requires little prep, you shouldn’t have to level the surface, and your smooth pavers should already protect the base of your hot tub spa.
Also, your hot tub drainage will already be sorted and you should be close enough to any electrical outlets or outdoor taps that you’ll need to get your hot tub running!
The Downside Of Hot Tubs On Paving
Raised pavers cause problems.
Raised pavers can be a bit of an issue for a hot tub, as they may impact your base’s level, leading to weight distribution problems for the hot tub, uneven stones, and even subsidence around the tub.
Some are non-permeable
Non-permeable pavers will lead to drainage problems around your hot tub. With nowhere for the hot tub water to safely drain away, you’ll end up with slippery puddles of dirty standing water, which can pose a trip hazard or leave an unsightly mess around the hot tub.
They can be slippy
Some pavers like rubber, riven-cut or textured stone are slip-resistant, but you’ll want to place hot tub pads or mats down if your paving is made from a honed material like granite or polished sandstone; as these materials are very slippery around the tub when wet! This can cause people to damage themselves by falling over and it’s better to have a layer of protection around the hot tub anyway.
Susceptible to stains
Porous pavers can be susceptible to staining, especially if they’re unsealed, as any water absorbed into the stones will leave behind minerals that can cause discolouration. Any hot tub owner will know that avoiding spilt water is impossible, so expect to see some stains develop over time.
Between hiring a professional contractor and material costs, you’ll be looking at around £1000-£1500 just to lay a 20m2 concrete slab installation for your hot tub! Using natural stone pavers can see costs rise to £3000+, but we’ll cover this in a little more detail later!
The Ideal Paving Base Depth
For paving to support a full hot tub, it will need either a concrete base pad or a sand/gravel bed beneath at least 6 inches deep. This ensures the pavers above don’t settle unevenly and helps the water from the hot tub to drain away beneath your patio.
A base any shallower than this won’t distribute the weight of the hot tub evenly, leading to ruts, bumps and uneven paving above ground.
When Not To Place A Garden Spa On Paving Slabs
It’s important that you learn the correct setup for a jacuzzi installation and along with the rain, having a hot tub sit on a paved base will lead to the ground coming into contact with a lot of water from the tub, so you’ll want to make sure it can drain away from the tub quickly and safely and that the ground above can be regularly washed without puddles forming.
Loose, rocking flags
Putting a hot tub on loose flags increases the risk of damaging the hot tub shell. Hot tubs are designed to spread their mass evenly across the entire spa tub, but loose flags will cause unwanted stress on smaller areas and may even raise sharp edges that can puncture inflatable hot tub models!
The paving is on a slope.
Not only will a sloped base increase the likelihood of cracks and tears in your hot tub, but it will also make draining your hot tub difficult as the water will pool at one end of the tub, and you’ll be more likely to slip over on a slope when exiting your hot tub spa.
Is Creating A Paved Patio Expensive?
Yes, typically, a professional contractor will have a day rate of around £100-£150, with even a smaller 10m2 area of paving taking two workers around 2-3 days to complete.
Then there are your materials, including the sand/gravel needed to create the best base and the price of the pavers, grout, edging and any sealers you might need.
One of the cheapest options would be to lay concrete flags, which for a 20m2 patio could cost around £600 in materials and £600 in labour, though the material price alone for some natural stones can reach £1800+ for an area of the same size!
Typical installation costs can be:
- Rubber paving: £40-£50 per m2
- Concrete flags: £60-£65 per m2
- Block paving: £70-£75 per m2
- Natural stone: £80-£100+ per m2
- Hot tubs are best suited to permeable paving with good drainage, paver stones at least 2 inches thick, and a 6-inch deep sub-base that can adequately distribute the heavy mass of a full hot tub.
- Don’t pop your hot tub on uneven paving or pavers that slope, as these surfaces will increase the likelihood of cracks and tears in your hot tub’s shell.
- Some materials are particularly slippery when wet and susceptible to staining, so avoid honed stones and sedimentary rocks as pavers.
- Laying a new patio is expensive, so it’s worth spending time to do the job professionally, including levelling the installation for your hot tub, choosing pavers that can support at least 50kg per square foot for the tub, and making sure the hot tub water can properly drain through the base.
So there are the ins and outs of using paving as a solid base for your hot tub! Remember to check for sand, gravel or concrete base at least 6 inches deep, and check that your pavers can hold at least 50kg per sq foot to support a heavy hot tub.
Provided that your paving has good drainage for the hot tub, the tub isn’t on a slope and is levelled with no exposed sharp edges which can tear the hot tub. A patio can be the ideal location for your hot tub. Just be aware that the stones may stain over time and some pavers can be particularly slippery! With all that in mind, we hope you can enjoy your daily dips on the patio for many years to come.