If you want a superb hot tub installation, you must ensure they are properly leveled.
But many new hot tub owners are unsure how to level a hot tub, especially in sloped concrete.
Balancing hot tubs is simple and is important if you want to avoid causing any cracks in your hot tub in the long run.
And it’s always enjoyable to soak in smooth running water.
So, make sure to level your hot tub as much as possible.
We won’t leave you hanging, and we’ll give you a complete guide on how to do it!
How to Level a Hot Tub: 6 Methods
If you want your tub to function smoothly, it should be on the right hot tub level.
As an uneven position of the hot tub can break its exterior.
To level a hot tub, you should use effective materials and tools.
Here are our six hot tub leveling options:
1: Wooden Platform
First on the list is a wooden platform to level a hot tub.
If there’s a slope of one or two inches on the installation portion of the hot tub, then you can opt for a wooden platform for leveling.
A wooden platform will give a well-grounded spot for a stable surface.
You can easily find a suitable wooden platform that fits right into the budget.
The installation is straightforward, too. Here’s how you can do it:
How to install the wooden platform?
- Place the hot tub aside from the installation area.
- Use pressure-treated lumber 2×4 boards and a sheet of pressure-treated plywood.
- Cut the boards into wedge-shaped pieces according to the specific shape of the slope.
- Put them over each foot across the lower portion of the tub base
- Cut and fasten the exterior grade plywood to the wood shims with screws and clean extra wedges.
- Reinstall the hot tub to its new platform.
Do know that the wooden platform has its limitations
They are great to use in a sloppy area in an inch or two, but they’re not as good if the slope is more than two inches.
You can choose from wooden shims or plastic shims.
Most hot tubs today are built with shim points but refer to your manual if it does, and you can also see how these shim points are used.
With wooden shims, you can level the hot tub on uneven concrete.
If the slope of the hot tub is less than an inch, you can use a wooden shim and a platform to generate pressure with lumber.
Alternatively, you can use heavy-duty plastic shims to elevate the lower portion of the hot tub.
Plastic shims are practical, pressure resistant, and can carry massive loads.
But still, inspect the owner’s manual when working with shims for safety purposes.
How to install plastic shims?
- Determine the sloppy portion beneath the hot tub.
- Drain and empty the tub first before positioning the plastic shims.
- Put the plastic shims on the lowest edge of the hot tub.
- Then, position the shims in an orderly interval at the uneven slope of the hot tub.
Plastic shims are an excellent option if the sloppy portion is about an inch or less, but they may not be great when the slope is more than an inch.
They’re suitable for some hot tubs, but your hot tub manufacturer might suggest something other than working on plastic shims for hot tub leveling as a permanent solution.
3: Plastic Resin Base Pad
If you want to add balance, you can top your platform with a plastic resin base pad. They are specifically made for use with most hot tubs.
Plus! They are cheaper and have a lifetime guarantee.
Plastic resin base pads are designed with heavy-duty plastic and are pretty flexible, as they can be picked out and transferred if you need to shift your hot tub.
These pads can be utilized on any concrete surface but also ensure that your platform is perfectly level.
4: Spa Leveler
The spa or hot tub leveler gives more support and a steady tub base.
It can elevate it from the ground and perfectly level the hot tub on uneven concrete.
It also helps the tub base avoid wood rot damage, removes green mildew stains on the concrete, and helps the patio oasis and spa area look good.
The hot tub leveler is suitable for use when there’s an uneven slope greater than one inch. But a few adjustable feet will let you spa leveler’s height depending on the slope.
How to Install a Spa Leveler?
- If the hot tub is already in its place, shift it aside to position the spa leveler in place.
- Then, know how far out of the level of the concrete pad so you can modify the feet.
- Reinstall the hot tub in the new leveled space.
One thing you need to know about the spa or hot tub leveler is that they usually cost about $600 plus the shipping charges, so they are more costly than other materials.
Nonetheless, they are designed to last and allow the water to drain properly.
If you prefer portability, you can opt for this one, as you can quickly relocate it to the new installation area.
5: Raised Pad
If you want to spend something other than this year’s Christmas budget on a new spa leveler, you can also make your own personalized raised pads of wood.
It’s cheaper and very convenient to use! It is built from wood and gives a steady platform for your tub.
If you want to try this option, you will need some carpentry skills.
How to create a raised pad?
To build a new spa pad, you must create a wooden box frame from lumber and fill it with gravel to make a level area.
Record the slope measurement, the number of framing materials in 2×4 pressure-treated lumber and screws, and the amount of sand and gravel needed to top up the frame.
Also, note that the sand or gravel is filled over the raised pad to ensure that it will not result in an uneven surface for the hot tub.
How to Build a Box?
- With the 2×4 lumber, construct a box frame about one inch wider than the hot tub base.
- Every piece of the wood must be ripped and tapered at the bottom. So if the entire box is positioned on an uneven surface, the top boards are level all the way around.
- It is important to use pressure-treated lumber so your pad will hold up to the weather and any moisture.
- You should also drill several holes on the lowest board on the lower side. This will let splashes of water easily make their way down by the gravel and get drained out.
Fill in the Box With Gravel or Sand
- After you have built the box and fit it into the sloped concrete, you will have to top it up with a lot of gravel or sand and come within an inch of the top.
- You can also use cement as a filler. But note that this is a more permanent solution, and you may never have to move the hot tub.
- Make your own concrete by mixing and pouring it after into the frame and let it dry before restoring your hot tub on the new raised pad.
Finish this project by painting or staining your new hot tub pad.
Not only will they have a more upgraded look, but they will also add protection from the weather and pressure-treated nature.
But if you need help with your carpentry skills, you can always call a local handyman to help you out.
6: New Concrete Pad
If you doubt other leveling options, a new concrete pad to level a hot tub on uneven concrete can be a good choice.
As this will give extra support to the hot tub, you can also attach a new poured concrete pad over the existing concrete pad.
Adding a new concrete pad to an existing pad might be expensive but it is worth it in the long run.
This will also allow you to move your tub to one of the perfect spots in your yard.
Give your local concrete supplier a call and find out the market price.
Related: How to Pour a Concrete Slab for a Hot Tub
Does a Hot Tub Have to be Perfectly Level?
Yes. You should install a hot tub in an appropriate position as this will help the water inside to flow proportionately than just flowing to one side.
The core reason you need to level a hot tub is to prevent excess stress, hollowness, and cracks in its exterior.
The frame of the hot tub will receive the most damage when the hot tub is not on the right level surface.
It can put extra weight on the region that may affect the acrylic shell of the wooden frame. This will eventually damage your hot tub causing cracks and stress fractures.
If you prefer outdoor hot tubs, you will need to select decks and a patio to position the hot tub.
Inspect the surface to see if it’s even because they are made from brick and concrete and likely have an uneven surface.
What if the Surface Is Already Uniform?
You can waive the leveling of the hot tub if it’s already on an even and flat surface. Still, ensure that you don’t put the tub on the grass or grounds.
The bare ground will not stand the weight of the hot tub, especially if it is filled with water. It will eventually sink into the ground, or its weight will not be evenly distributed.
When picking out wooden decks for the hot tub, they should hold the tub’s weight.
Even if the wooden deck can bear the weight filled with water and bathers.
And if you opt for an indoor hot tub, you will only need a standard floor that is code-compliant or basement concrete floors that are on the level.
What if a Hot Tub Is Not Level?
If the hot tub is charged with water and bathers, it can hold up to over 8,000 lbs.
Any surface dips can produce stress on the hot tub shell, resulting in breakage.
So when you level a hot tub, ensure the surface is flat, and the water drainage can easily function.
Leveling a hot tub on uneven and sloping concrete can be remedied with shims if the slope is less than one inch.
But for steeper slopes, you will need custom-built pads made of wood, sand, or gravel. Adding a new concrete slab on the existing concrete surface is also a choice.
If you don’t want the concrete slabs, you can opt for the raised pavers.
Various types of pavers will suit your installation area, including brick, rubber, and concrete pavers.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here is some additional information to answer your queries on leveling hot tubs:
How Can I Fix an Uneven Concrete Floor?
The fastest way to solve this problem for uneven concrete floors is to use a self-leveling compound.
This will fill in the spots and make your concrete floor level.
Floor topping is a great way to fix many concrete floor problems besides the uneven surface.
The self-leveling concrete compound can correct floor defects such as small cracks, scratches, and holes.
How Do You Move and Install the Hot Tub?
If you plan to move your hot tub to another location at your house or across the country, drain it, lift it, move it to a new location, and reinstall it.
But the problem is that an empty tub can weigh between 500 and 1000 lbs. Obviously, this is not a one-man’s work.
So, gather four people capable of moving a hot tub, and let’s get to work.
- Step 1: Disconnect the power and drain the water from the tub.
- Step 2: Lift the tub towards the furniture dolly. Two people must hold the opposite corners on the same side and lift half of it so you can slide a 4×4 lumber underneath it.
- Step 3: Wheel the hot tub to a new location or a moving truck. If you only move it across the yard, you can lift the tub from the dolly,
- Or load it in a moving truck by pulling the dolly up the furniture loading ramp and pushing the hot tub from below.
- Step 4: Set it up in the new location.
- Step 4: Install the level foundation. You can select either a concrete slab, spa pads, or decks.
- Step 5: Install the electrical system. You can hire an electrician to wire the power source to avoid any electrical issues.
How Long Should It Take a Hot Tub to Get Hot?
Hot tubs are relished at about 100 to 102 degrees Fahrenheit.
This may take an average of four hours and range from three to eight hours. Water can normally heat up to 5 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit per hour.
Yes, four hours may be too long for you to wait to indulge in your hot tub, but it’ll be worth it.
What Are Other Things to Consider?
Aside from these leveling alternatives for uneven concrete, you should also inspect the nearby water source for refilling.
The region of the hot tub must have an appropriate drainage facility. You can use a wooden frame with 2-by-10 boards cut to size. Then paint the wood for added weather resistance.
An electric source should also be near the hot tub for a plug-in.
NOTE: Make sure the power is not too close to the hot tub to create any circuit problems.
The hot tub can be quite relaxing,
The hot tub can be quite relaxing, but you’ll find some exterior breakage and salt scaling. Then, it may be time for some work.
You can always choose from the leveling options (concrete slab, shim, a wooden platform, etc.) that will suit your budget and workload.
If you want spa-level comfort, ensure that your hot tub is on the right level!
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I’m a passionate home and garden enthusiast and the founder of Materialsix Home. With over 10 years of experience in the field, I’ve cultivated a deep love for all things related to home improvement, gardening, and interior design.