What are the Different Types of Hot Tub Decks?

Dan Cavallari

An in-ground hot tub is not often an option for most homeowners, since they can be cost-prohibitive and the structure cannot be moved once installed. To capitalize on the benefits of having the top of the hot tub on the level of the ground, many homeowners choose hot tub decks which can be built around the hot tub. The types of hot tub decks available are limited only by the builder's imagination and the space available, but the most common versions are smaller structures that are built around the tub and feature stairs up to the deck, or full decks built off the house that are modified or built around the hot tub.

Cedar is a good choice for hot-tub decking.
Cedar is a good choice for hot-tub decking.

Wooden hot tub decks are quite popular because wood is easy to use when building around custom shapes such as hot tubs. Cedar planking is often used because cedar is naturally water-resistant as well as resistant to mold and mildew. The hot tub itself must be supported by a concrete slab or other substantial foundation beneath the deck, and the deck can be built around it. A semi-sunk design can work well, too, as the hot tub is placed only halfway beneath the level of the deck. Stairs or a raised platform can be built around the hot tub to enhance the aesthetic of the tub and surrounding areas while still allowing for the functionality of a concealed tub.

Lag screws, which have coarse threading and a hexagonal head, can be used to secure wooden planks, such as those used for building decks.
Lag screws, which have coarse threading and a hexagonal head, can be used to secure wooden planks, such as those used for building decks.

Less commonly, hot tub decks are made of concrete. Such structures are more permanent, and the hot tub is often fixed in place. Concrete decks are easy to construct, but once built, repairs to the tub or the deck can be quite labor-intensive. Concrete can be painted or tinted to enhance the aesthetic of the deck, and very often tiles or stones are used to enhance the visual appeal of the tub.

Hot tub decks do not necessarily need to conceal the tub. The tub itself may sit on a concrete foundation just off the edge of the deck, and the deck itself may be built so it is elevated just enough that the lip of the hot tub is even with the deck or slightly above or below it. Such a design allows the owner to access key components of the tub should a problem arise. Parts can be easily replaced and maintenance can be done quickly and without hassle. Such a design also makes installation of the tub much easier, as the deck will not need to be built after tub installation, and the tub can be moved more easily should the need arise.

A hot tub needs a sturdy bottom and close enough to the house for electrical power.
A hot tub needs a sturdy bottom and close enough to the house for electrical power.

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