Inflatable hot tubs are a brilliant option for some fun at parties, stag and hen dos, and a wide range of other fun activities! However, they are fairly easy to damage if placed on the wrong surface. This makes the question “what can I put under my inflatable hot tub?” one that needs a clear answer.
In truth, you’ve got a whole bunch of options. When you’re thinking about what to put under a hot tub, you’re really looking for a mix of comfort, protection, and insulation.
Here are some good options and considerations to bear in mind:
What Can I Put Under My Inflatable Hot Tub?
1) A Specially Designed Hot Tub Mat
A specifically-designed mat is your best bet if you’re in any doubt at all as to what to put under an inflatable tub that you’ve hired or purchased.
These mats are easy to set up (they’re usually supplied as tiles that fit together like a big jigsaw puzzle) and they’re specifically designed to protect the base of your inflatable hot tub at the same time as providing comfort and insulation
Most hot tub mats are made from one of the following materials:
- Foam – despite often being the most cost-effective option, foam mats or tiles provide excellent insulation and comfort as well as good protection for your tub.
- Plastic or rubber – these sturdy materials are common options for hot tub base layers. They provide great protection, but you will get different levels of insulation and less comfort depending on material. As a plus, rubber in particular will prevent your tub from sliding around.
- Wood – wooden tiles or mats give you a solid, level base to put your tub on. Because these elevate your tub off the floor, they’re likely to improve heat retention too. One added advantage is that wood tends to be more aesthetically pleasing than other options. It also tends to be more expensive.
Grass is a possible option for under your hot tub. Simply whacking your tub down on the grass certainly feels like an okay choice – especially in summer! Well-trimmed grass is usually pretty soft, meaning it’s well-cushioned and comfy when your tub is on top.
However, grass is not a perfect choice. It doesn’t do a great job of insulating your tub. You’re basically putting it on the bare ground, so your tub water will take more time to heat up and more energy to keep at a comfortable temperature.
In fact, you may find that some inflatable hot tub rental companies don’t like it if you place a tub you’ve hired on grass or the bare ground.
This is because it’s common for grass to mark the bottom of the tub if it’s not protected. Grass can also contain unseen hazards – such as branches, for example – that could scratch or even puncture the tub.
You should also bear in mind that, while leaving your inflatable hot tub in place on grass ensures you minimise the chance of damaging it, you also risk killing or ruining the grass it sits on.
3) Crushed Gravel
Another possible but imperfect option for putting beneath a hot tub is crushed gravel. Gravel has some upsides, however it:
- Provides an uneven base
- Allows the tub to move around relatively easily (you may need an extra layer or mat anyway)
- Does not help your tub retain heat
- Can actually damage your tub fairly easily if the gravel isn’t finely crushed enough
- Can retain water, requiring drainage channels to be dug
In short, you’re often better off choosing a different material for a hot tub base or buying a mat to go between your tub and the gravel beneath.
Can You Put An Inflatable Hot Tub On Concrete?
You certainly can put an inflatable hot tub on concrete on paving slabs. The question is, should you?
Placing your inflatable tub directly on concrete will have all kinds of negative results. Firstly, it will be hard and uncomfortable to sit on – not much padding there. Plus, it will leech heat away from your tub and can scrape and scratch the bottom.
However, as a solid foundation that you’re then going to cover with a purposefully-designed hot tub mat before plonking down your tub and starting to inflate and fill it, well-laid flat paving slabs or concrete are a really good option.
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