Can You Put a Hot Tub on a Deck? [Yes, Here’s How…]

By Dillon •  Updated: 03/02/21 •  13 min read

Can I put a hot tub on my deck?

Yes, you can put a hot tub on a deck. Decks that are built 2 feet off the ground can typically withstand 100 lbs per square foot. If the deck is any higher, then it must be reinforced. Installing support posts placed in poured concrete no more than 30 inches apart will work. The hot tub should also be placed on a level surface where the wood is well-treated to prevent water damage. Any electrical, drainage, and maintenance access should be planned before installing the hot tub.

Check out my list of high-quality hot tub products to help keep your hot tub clean and running great all year long!

I recommend high-quality deck flooring from RevTime to make your hot tub deck experience more professional.

Having your spa on your deck gives you the pleasure and the convenience of walking out of your patio door to relax or entertain yourself with friends and family. I have prepared a full guide on putting a hot tub on the deck, making sure to include everything you need to know about this topic.

Let’s get started!

Can You Put a Hot Tub on a Deck?

A deck should be the first area that comes to mind when looking for the best location for a hot tub. Indeed, a deck can support a hot tub under the right conditions.

Most decks no higher than 2 feet can support a hot tub weighing 100 pounds per square foot or less. However, if the deck is more elevated than 2 feet, it must be reinforced with support posts that are placed in poured concrete for maximum support.

The deck should also be properly leveled and well-treated. Well-treated means the wood should be sanded and refinished with proper staining and sealing chemicals to ensure the wood is protected from moisture, insects, and other elements.

How Much Does a Hot Tub Weigh?

I can determine the weight of a hot tub by calculation. It’s important to understand that different hot tubs have different weight measurements when empty.

The variation is caused by differences in the size and construction materials of the specific hot tub. You can find information on the weight of a hot tub from the manufacturer’s manual. The parameters required to estimate the weight of a hot tub are:

The values for these parameters are as follows:

{Weight of the hot tub X (total water gallons in the hot tub X 8.34 pounds) + (capacity of the hot tub X 175 pounds)} / area in square feet = lbs / sqft

As an example, I can assume that you have an average-sized hard-sided hot tub. The weight of this hot tub is 695 lbs when empty. The hot tub has a capacity of 325 gallons and can carry five people. It measures 7.25 ft in both length and width. I can substitute these parameters in our formula above to estimate the average weight of this hot tub as follows:

{Weight of the hot tub X (total water gallons in the hot tub X 8.34 pounds) + (capacity of the hot tub X 175 pounds)} / area in square feet = lbs / ft^2

{695 X (325 X 8.34 pounds) + (5 X 175 pounds)} / 52.56 square feet  = 81.44 lbs / sqft

Below is a chart that shows an estimation of some different sized hard-sided hot tubs. This is just a rough estimation.

You can easily contact the manufacturer of your hot tub to determine what the total weight of your spa will be once it’s filled and people are using it.

Hot Tub Type Empty Maximum
Small Hot Tub (2-3 Person) 700 lbs 3,100 lbs
Medium Hot Tub (4-5 Person) 850 lbs 4,520 lbs
Large Hot Tub (6-8 Person) 950 lbs 6,600 lbs

Below is a chart that shows an estimation of some different-sized inflatable hot tubs. This is just a rough estimation.

Hot Tub Type Empty Maximum
Small Inflatable Hot Tub (2-3 Person) 55 lbs 2,800 lbs
Large Inflatable Hot Tub (4-6 Person) 65 lbs 3,800 lbs

How to Determine if a Deck is Strong Enough for a Hot Tub

You must first determine the weight of your hot tub, and then typically, if the deck is only 2 feet high off the ground; the calculation would look like this: Total Area X 50 PSF (pounds per square foot) = Total Load. If the Total Load exceeds the weight of the hot tub by a significant margin then the deck should be strong enough. However, always consult with a professional structural engineer first.

Besides, a hot tub whose average weight exceeds 100 pounds per square foot cannot be sustained by a standard deck. Therefore, determining the weight that a deck can support is the biggest challenge.

Once you have determined the hot tub’s weight, it’s time to determine if the deck can support the hot tub adequately. The best thing to do in this situation is to consult a structural engineer if you’re not sure about your deck’s load capacity. Safety is always the number one concern.

installing hot tub on a deck

How to Reinforce a Deck for a Hot Tub

Reinforcement for a structural deck is determined by calculating the necessary structural support. Materials such as concrete, wood, and steel beams can be used to reinforce your deck. Often these posts and beams are placed in concrete which is secured to a hard level surface such as a concrete slab.

It would be best to consider a flat concrete slab as the most suitable location for a hot tub.

When building a new deck, you should pour the concrete for the slab while creating the footings. Experts recommend making a slab to the thickness of 3.5 to 4 inches for standard hot tubs, but larger ones could require a thicker slab.

The suitable reinforcement of a deck can be established when you calculate the proper structural support. Determining the spa’s weight and then adequately planning for an abundance of support that exceeds the hot tub’s maximum weight will result in the best-case scenario.

The best approach to determining the size of beams and joists is to consult a structural engineer for accurate estimations. Alternatively, you can use calculators, software packages, or charts designed for use by deck builders. For the elevated decks, the local municipality will help by providing the engineered designs.

Allow for Maintenance Accessibility

When installing a hot tub on a deck, you should always provide accessibility for maintenance.

Remember that you will need to maintain the hot tub water regularly by shocking and sanitization. Therefore, provide enough space around the hot tub for the ease of balancing the water and cleaning the filters, among other maintenance measures that could be required to keep your hot tub water at the proper chemical balance.

Monitoring the health of your hot tub can often be challenging if you are not testing the water on a regular basis. This can also be a problem if you go on holiday or you are unable to take care of your hot tub due to mobility issues.

The pHin Smart Water Care Monitor for pools, hot tubs, and inflatable spas continuously tests the water and alerts you when to add chemicals with the integrated mobile app.

If a component were to fail inside the hot tub, allowing a repair crew access to all sides of the hot tub is very important. If this is not done correctly, you may need to remove parts of your deck to access your hot tub’s side panels.

What is the Best Surface to Put a Hot Tub on?

The best surface for a hot tub to rest on is concrete slabs. However, a slab made of treated wood, gravel, or a heavy-duty spa pad made of plastic will also work. These slaps should be at least 2 feet larger than the hot tub on all sides. Always consult your manufacturer to determine which foundation is needed for your hot tub.

I recommend high-quality deck flooring from RevTime to make your hot tub deck experience more professional.

3 Tips on Installing a Hot Tub on a Deck

Most builders recommend installing a hot tub on a deck in a way that the hot tub’s edges are offset by 17 to 24 inches. This installation allows guests to sit on the rim while also easily getting around the hot tub.

But some people locate hot tubs in a manner that flushes the edge to the surface of the decking. Although this provides an elegant appearance, it can prove hazardous to children. Kids can step on the cover or even fall in the hot tub without noticing. As such, it’s good to choose a slightly elevated design during the hot tub installation.

You may also consider placing a cover with a lock for any installation.

There are other critical aspects that you must consider when installing a hot tub on a deck, including accessibility, privacy, weight, condition of the decking materials, and the size of the structure.

When it comes to accessibility, you should ensure enough space for entering, exiting, and placing or removing the cover. You should also provide ease of accessing the pumps, heater, and motherboard for maintenance and repair. Further, don’t locate the hot tub too close to a tree to prevent leaves from falling into the water.

Secondly, adding privacy foliage, pergola, or a fence could be a great idea to add to your privacy.

Check out our full article on hot tub privacy for some great ideas!

Inspect the condition of the decking materials if you’re installing a hot tub on an existing deck. The older deck could be supported by weathered wood, which might require replacing. More so, the construction standards might not meet the current guidelines. As such, it could be necessary to replace or reinforce the existing decking.

Your deck’s structural integrity can be influenced by everything from the location of the joist hangers, main beams, and the structural screws. It would be best to have the deck inspected adequately by a structural engineer or a professional builder to ascertain its strength.

Furthermore, space is very critical in relaxation. You should ensure that placing a hot tub on the deck does not consume all your space. Instead, leave room for sitting and placing other accessories. Consider leaving space for a table, a couch, or any suitable furniture for an outdoor hot tub. If your structure does not leave any room, then it might not be the best option to install it on the deck.

To have a better idea about the cost of installing a hot tub, check out our full article on the topic for more information.

Here are three further tips on installing a hot tub on a deck.

1. Proper Distance from the House

How close can a hot tub be to your house?

If your hot tub is right next to your house then you should allow space of at least 2 – 3 feet between the house and the hot tub. This will allow for proper access to maintenance. The water from the hot tub could get on the siding of the house if it’s too close. Even the steam from the spa could become problematic. So having a small distance between the two structures is advisable.

Placing the hot tub against the walls of your house blocks the wind while providing additional privacy. As such, this location will provide comfort and privacy while soaking in chilly weather. Besides, nearness to the house increases the probability of using the hot tub. Nevertheless, you can install the hot tub on the deck further from the home if chilly weather does not bother you.

However, ensure that the deck is slip-resistant as you transit between the hot tub and the house. One option could be the placement of a non-slip mat. You can also sand the deck to prevent splinting when the users are stepping out of the hot tub to the deck.

2. Electrical Installation to the Deck

Electrical installation is an important consideration that you must remember when installing a hot tub. You need a nearby electricity source to power your hot tub and an electrician to do the installation.

When the electrical installation is done, ensure a Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupter is provided. The device helps in shutting down the power immediately if it detects a change in electricity flow.

The size of the hot tub will determine the kind of Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupter you will install. A 120v/20-amp will work adequately for small hot tubs, but larger ones will require 240v/50 outlets.

Another electrical installation requirement is to have an emergency shut-off located about 5 to 15 feet from the unit. If your tub sits on the concrete, the code requires running the electrical wiring through the conduit. The conduits are usually placed before pouring the concrete.

The circuit interrupters I recommend are the Siemens Breaker Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters.

120 Volt

240 Volt

Please consult a professional electrician for further questions.

3. Accessibility to a Drain and Tap Water

You cannot get the hot tub’s desired experience if there is poor drainage or access to the tap water. You must do everything to ensure that standing water does not build around your hot tub. Improper drainage can cause the water to rise and enter back into the hot tub, causing significant damage to the components. Further, these waters can rot or interfere with structural integrity.

Access to the tap water is also vital in the installation of the hot tub. The deck should facilitate ease of filling and draining a hot tub. A hot tub without water access is of no use, so ensure that water access will not be an issue when doing the installation.

Check out our full article on how to drain a hot tub for more information.

One of the best ways to drain any type of hot tub is to use a submersible pump. I recommend the Superior 1/4 HP Thermoplastic Utility Pump.

Can You Put a Hot Tub on a Deck? Conclusion

Can you put a hot tub on a deck

I hope that installing a hot tub on no deck is no longer a significant challenge for you. I have seen that a deck is one of the best spots you can place your hot tub.

This guide explored how to determine a hot tub’s weight, the weight that a deck can support, and reinforce a deck for a hot tub. I have also addressed installing a hot tub and the prerequisites you need to consider when installing the hot tub.

I hope you found this article on can you put a hot tub on a deck helpful.

Thanks for visiting spatoolkit.com

Dillon

I'm Dillon, creator of SpaToolKit.com. During the day I'm a software developer for an engineering company. At night I enjoy sitting in my hot tub and relaxing. My hope is that Spa Tool Kit will be a place where you can find the best information on hot tubs, spa equipment, setups, parts, and accessories. Let's get started!