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How to Level a Hot Tub: 7 Different DIY Methods to Try

How to Level a Hot Tub
Written by Joe Richter

As soon as you have acquired a hot tub, you will need to install it. Hot tubs should be leveled properly for a perfect installation. The problem is that many new hot tub owners are unclear about balancing, and many have no idea how to do it?

It is not difficult to level a hot tub, but it is imperative to the proper functioning of the spa. Keep reading to learn how to balance your spa on an uneven surface.

How to Level a Hot Tub

Method 1: Use a spa or a hot tub leveler

hot tub leveler

Step 1: Gather tools

  • A hot tub or spa leveler

Step 2: The hot tub needs to be moved away from the installation area

Step 3: Put the leveler at the right placement

Step 4: Now you can reinstall the tub on the new leveled space

Pros

  • Portable so it can be moved easily
  • Easily available
  • Perfect for those areas that are out an inch or more

Cons

  • The purchasing cost is higher than other types, roughly around $600 plus shipping.

Method 2: Use pavers

Use pavers

Step 1: Gather tools

  • Sand and pavers

Step 2: Choose the pavers size, then identify the area where the hot tub is

Step 3: Make a smooth bed of sand  to the size dimensions of the hot tub

Step 4: Ensure the sand bed is level and compact

Step 5: Place down the pavers and ensure they are level

Step 6: Now, you can install the tub over the paving

Pros

  • More support comes with high-density materials
  • Low absorption
  • Won’t cause salt scaling
  • Readily available in different colors

Cons

  • Can sometimes cause stress to the exterior of the tub

Method 3: Use plastic shims

Use plastic shims

Step 1: Gather tools

  • Good quality plastic shims

Step 2: Find the sloppy, uneven area under your tub

Step 3: Make sure all the water has been drained

Step 4: The plastic shims need to be under the hot tub on the lowest side

Step 5: Place the plastic shims on the sloppy areas at regular intervals

Pros

  • Readily available
  • Affordable
  • Easy to install
  • Pressure resistant

Cons

  • Won’t work properly if the slope happens to be more than an inch off
  • Only certain hot tubs can use them
  • Not recommended by many manufacturers for leveling hot tubs

Method 4: Use a wooden platform

Use a wooden platform

Step 1: Gather tools

  • Pressure-treated boards 2×4
  • Sheet of exterior plywood
  • Cutting tool

Step 2: Move the hot tub out

Step 3: Cut the boards to suit the slope shape

Step 4: Place these on the slope area

Step 5: Attach the plywood to the boards

Step 6: cut the extra wedges

Step 7: Place the hot tub back into the leveled area

Pros

  • Budget-friendly
  • Solid platform for leveling
  • Easy installation
  • Readily available

Cons

  • Doesn’t work well for areas more than an inch off

Method 5: Level on concrete

Level on concrete

Step 1: Gather tools

  • Mixed up concrete
  • Shims

Step 2: Empty the hot tub

Step 3: Use shims if the slope is less than 1 inch. Shims cannot be used if the slope is more than that.

Step 4: Use spa-level if the spa is out more than 1 inch

Pros

  • Solid level area
  • Won’t deteriorate

Cons

  • Can be expensive
  • Can be difficult for those not familiar with installing concrete

Method 6: Build a customized pad

Build a customized pad

Step 1: Gather tools

  • Wood
  • Sand
  • Your design

Step 2: Take measurements of the area and drain the spa

Step 3: Move the spa off the area you are working on

Step 4: Create a customized pad design for the spa

Step 5: Make your cuts and join everything together

Step 6: If you haven’t used marine wood, then seal the wood to avoid water damage

Step 7: Put your creation together

Step 8: Place your tub onto its new pad and enjoy!

Pros

  • Design it how you want
  • Use the products you want
  • You can make it affordable

Cons

  • Difficult if you don’t have carpentry skills
  • It might be hard for some to create a design from scratch
  • Time-consuming

Method 7: Build a box

Build a box

Step 1: Gather tools

  • 2 x 4 lumber pressure treated

Step 2: Create a box with the lumber. It needs to be 1 inch wider than the base of your hot tub.

Step 3: The wood needs to be tapered and ripped on the bottom. This will make the boards on the top level all around.

Step 4: Fill the box up with sand or gravel once you have it installed at the site. Fill it until it is an inch from the top.

Step 5: Paint or stain if you want it to match the color of the base.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Easy to make
  • Quick process

Cons

  • It can be difficult without carpentry skills
  • Gravel needed can be costly

How to Level a Hot Tub on Sloped Concrete?

Step 1: Gather tools

  • Safety goggles
  • Chemical cleaner
  • Scrubber brush
  • Vegetable oil
  • Frame made from lumbar boards
  • Paint brush
  • Boning agent
  • Wooden stakes

Step 2: Put your gloves and safety goggles on.

Step 3: Clean the concrete already there with a cleaner

Step 4: Use a power washer to remove dirt or a power jet hose

Step 5: You need a wooden frame made with 2 x 8 lumber boards nailed together. You should use two-inch nails. Build this around the concrete

Step 6: Spray the inside of the boards with vegetable oil, so there is no sticking when the leveling compound is used.

Step 7: Use wooden stakes at 2 feet apart on the outside of the boards to hold them in place.

Step 8: Prepare the concrete bonding agent and ensure you dilute it as per instructions

Step 9: Apply the bonding agent to the concrete with a paintbrush

Step 10: mix up the concrete as per instructions and apply it

Step 11: smooth with a trowel and allow to dry completely

What happens if you don’t level your hot tub?

You might crack the spa

Excess pressure can build up in concentrated spots if the hot tub isn’t level; this pressure is greater than the frame and shell can withstand.

So, you may get cracks in the acrylic shell or a stress fracture in the frame under the shell over time.

You might need to repair the tub

If your hot tub’s shell is damaged and cracked, the tub cannot be used until it is repaired. Unfortunately, the repairs can be quite costly.

FAQs

1. What is the minimum amount of flatness required for a hot tub base?

Ans. It won’t affect the performance or structure of your spa if the pad is slightly slanted. The slope in an 8′(2.44m) run should not exceed 1″ (1.27cm).

2. What’s the maximum slope for a hot tub?

Ans. A hot tub cannot be installed on a slope greater than half an inch.

3. Can I set a hot tub on sand?

Ans. No, not on its own. As a result of this choice, the foundation must be stable and not prone to shifting. Sand or gravel can be used underneath the pad for leveling the surface.

About the author

Joe Richter

Academically brilliant, technically flawless and professionally successful, Joe Richter is Toiletsguide’s head of the market research team. He studied Business Studies from the University of Houston and started his professional career as a Market Data Compliance Analyst in the stock market. He’s been following the updates on the bathroomware industries for a long time now and his elaborate studies have profoundly enriched his knowledge on the newer trends of toilets, showers, and related fittings. Apart from that, Joe goes around the street with his Leica Q2 taking pictures of people and buildings. He does most of the photography of the site.

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