Base for inflatable hot tub
June 27, 2018 10:01 AM   Subscribe

I’m getting a portable, inflatable hot tub as a gift. The only place we have to put it is on our small concrete pad in the backyard. The pad has the aggregate finish so it’s not smooth. What is the best and/or cheapest thing I can put under the hot tub to protect it and make tubbing comfortable? Being able to adjust for leveling would be a plus but we don’t have much to spend.
posted by Kalatraz to Home & Garden (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
How rough is the surface you're looking to smooth out? The rougher it is, the less likely something like foam is going to cut it unless it's super thick. My first inclination would be to look around for some secondhand sheets of plywood.
posted by craven_morhead at 10:06 AM on June 27, 2018

Sand, maybe.

You could put a mat inside the tub for your comfort, something like the rubber mats one puts in showers for grip. Foam rubber would be comfortable, but it would really want to float, so I'd say a dense rubber mat.
posted by Sunburnt at 10:11 AM on June 27, 2018

would rubber playmat tiles work?
posted by fingersandtoes at 10:16 AM on June 27, 2018 [1 favorite]

People use horse stall mats to make gym flooring. It might be the right thickness and density for this, too.
posted by mercredi at 10:36 AM on June 27, 2018 [2 favorites]

How about a piece of foam carpet underlayment? You might be able to find remnants/scraps at a local carpet store.
posted by mareli at 11:00 AM on June 27, 2018

If it's a permanent installation, sand is by far the cheapest, and it's what's used for above-ground pool installations.

But if you need something removable, heavy-duty rubber pads are probably best, though given the weight of the water, you'll either need substantially thick pads or at least two layers of them.
posted by Lunaloon at 11:06 AM on June 27, 2018

Best answer: They make products for this exact purpose.

I suspect you might be able to find some sort of cheaper interlocking flooring that's cheaper than that, because anything that contains the word "spa" in the product name is needlessly expensive, but that's the sort of thing I would get. Google "interlocking patio tiles" if you want to see some of the products that are out there.

Note that if you have your tub filled with 36" of water, the ground pressure is about 1.3 PSI, which is significantly less than the ground pressure of an average adult person standing in bare feet. So any sort of flooring that doesn't completely "bottom out" when you stand on it should be okay for the weight of the water. What you really want is something that "smooths out" the ground so you don't poke a hole in the bottom due to a protrusion.
posted by Kadin2048 at 12:02 PM on June 27, 2018 [1 favorite]

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