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A hot tub that sits on uneven concrete may be difficult to level. Nobody wants to be half-swimmer and half-dry at the same time.
Shims can be used to level a hot tub on uneven concrete if the slope is less than an inch.
It may be necessary to construct a new concrete pad or use more sophisticated leveling techniques for slopes that are steeper.
How to level a hot tub on gravel is something we’ve covered in the past.
Because of faulty construction or drainage issues, you may notice that the concrete beneath your hot tub is slightly out of level.
Even if your hot tub is on an uneven surface, you’ll want to keep reading for some helpful advice.
Does a hot tub have to be perfectly level?
The simple answer is yes.
The level of your hot tub is really important. This will prevent your hot tub’s water from collecting in one spot.
More significantly, the thousands of pounds of water and people in the hot tub will be dispersed uniformly throughout the structure and shell.
When a hot tub isn’t level, the structure and/or acrylic shell can take on additional weight. Cracking and stress fractures might result as a result of this. Your hot tub may become damaged if you use it excessively.
It’s not uncommon for outdoor hot tubs to be installed on concrete or brick patios or decks.
Indeed, hot tubs may be installed on any flat, homogeneous surface. You can, however, set up your hot tub on a patio or deck. It should never, ever be placed on bare ground. Period.
To ensure the safety of your hot tub, it is important to consider the weight of the tub (particularly when filled with water and people) and the weight that the deck can handle.
Any standard floor that is code-compliant can be used for an indoor hot tub. Also, level basement concrete floors are acceptable.
If you plan to put a hot tub on a porch, such as a wooden deck, make sure that the structure is strong enough to bear the weight.
Would you like to learn more about why level hot tub steps are important and what can happen if they are not?
In a recent essay, I explain how to level the ground and how to shim it up if it’s too low or too high for you. To read it on my website, simply click on the link provided.
Leveling a hot tub
Use Plastic Shims
Think about putting heavy-duty plastic shils in your hot tub to lift the bottom end up by an inch or less. If your hot tub has an uneven surface, these shims are a cost-effective solution.
Use shims in accordance with your hot tub manufacturer’s instructions. Shimming the tub wrongly could result in a crack. To avoid voiding the guarantee on your tub, some manufacturers do not recommend using shims at all.
Ideally, begin by taping in shims on the lowest side of the tub, which is easier to handle. Place shims at regular intervals across the tub’s low side to ensure that the tub’s weight is evenly distributed.
Use Wooden Shims and a Platform
You can make your own shims and a platform from pressure-treated lumber for slopes of about an inch. Using pressure-treated 24 boards and an external quality plywood panel, remove the tub and then:
- Cut the 2x4s into wedge-shaped pieces based on your specific slope.
- Insert them every foot or so across the low end of the tub base.
- Cut and attach exterior grade plywood to the wood shims with screws.
- Return the tub to its new, level platform.
Add an E-Z pad or similar spa pad on top of your platform for extra stability. These hot tub cushions are quite affordable and come with a lifetime warranty.
If you ever need to move your hot tub, you can simply lift and carry these heavy-duty plastic containers. Your platform must be totally level in order to get the greatest results. Any level surface can be used with E-Z pads.
Purchase a Spa Leveler
Although it can be used for any hot tub that isn’t exactly flat, spa levellers are most effective when the slope is larger than an inch.
Spa levellers come with a variety of adjustable feet that allow you to tailor the height of the spa to the slope you’re dealing with.
It’s best to move your hot tub out of the way so that the spa leveller may be positioned properly.
Before placing the hot tub on the new leveller, you’ll need to know how far the concrete pad is from the level.
An expensive choice, a spa leveller normally costs around $600 plus shipping, but it is built to last.
Since the tub’s design allows water to drain away from the bottom, you won’t have to worry about rot or mildew building up there.
Its portability is an added bonus. Spa levellers can be moved and then repositioned to conform to the new location’s contours by simply adjusting the feet once more.
Build a Raised Pad
If you don’t want to spend this year’s Christmas money on a spa leveller or a new concrete pad, what can you do? Consider making a leveller yourself.
A wooden platform packed with sand or gravel provides a firm platform for your hot tub to rest on.
If you want to build your own elevated pad, you’ll need some carpentry skills and supplies.
A neighbourhood handyman should be able to undertake the job for a fair price if that prospect makes you shiver.
How to Make a Custom-Built Pad
Build a box frame out of timber and fill it with gravel to make a level space for your hot tub in order to have this great, new, and level spa pad.
The term “custom-built” denotes exactly what it says. To get started, you’ll need to figure out a few basic numbers:
- Slope measurement: how out of level is your existing concrete pad?
- Amount of framing materials needed: 2×4 pressure-treated lumber and screws
- Amount of sand or gravel needed to fill the frame
Build a Box
To build a box structure that is one inch wider than your hot tub base, use 2×4 lumber.
It is important that the bottoms of each piece of wood are ripped and tapered so that when the box is created and placed on an uneven surface, the top boards are level.
- Pro Tip # 1: It’s critical that you use pressure-treated lumber to ensure that your new pad will stand up to the weather and any moisture around the hot tub.
- Pro Tip # 2: Drill several holes along the lowest board on the long (and lower) side; this will allow any water that splashes out of the tub or puddles after a rain to make its way down through the gravel or sand and drain out.
Fill the Box with Gravel or Sand
Fill the box to within an inch of the top with pea gravel or sand after it has been constructed and fitted to the sloping concrete; this offers you a stable base on which to place the hot tub.
Cement can be used as an alternative filler for your custom-built frame box. Since this is a more long-term solution, you’ll want to be certain you’ll never want to move the hot tub before deciding to go with this choice.
Make your own concrete using bags of cement purchased from a home improvement store. Before reinstalling your hot tub on the new pad, mix and pour the mixture into the frame as instructed.
Paint or Stain the Wood
Paint or stain your new hot tub pad to match the colour of your tub foundation if you want the final effect.
If you want to present yourself in a more polished manner, this is an optional extra that can help.
In addition to its existing pressure-treated nature, paint or stain provides further weather protection for the wood.
Pour a New Concrete Pad
Consider having a new, level concrete pad poured if everything else fails and you’re dissatisfied with alternative levelling choices.
In order to provide additional support, you might have it poured on top of the current pad.
Or, you may take advantage of the opportunity to move your hot tub to a new location in the yard that you’ve always wanted.
Pouring concrete is a costly endeavour, but it could pay off in the long term. Contact a concrete mixing facility in your neighbourhood to get an estimate of pricing.
It is advised that a hot tub be leveled on uneven concrete in order to protect the tub’s integrity and the safety of its users.
Depending on the severity of the tilt and your level of DIY experience, you can go about this in a variety of ways.
It doesn’t matter whether you use a prefab leveler, a new pad, or shims to get your hot tub level; you’ll soon be able to rest in it.