Placing an inflatable hot tub on a wooden deck has always been a concern of mine. I feel like so much can go wrong due to the slightly delicate nature of the inflatable tub and the wooden structure of the deck. So, can you place an inflatable hot tub on a deck?
Yes, you can place an inflatable hot tub on the deck. However, you need to take into account a few factors such as the strength of the deck, the condition of the deck, and you need to calculate how much weight your deck can support.
Though inflatable hot tubs aren’t as heavy as normal hot tubs, they can still weigh over 3500 pounds when filled to the full capacity of water and bathers. That weight can be too much for a wooden deck to carry
Can a Deck Hold A Hot Tub?
Yes, a deck can hold up to 100 pounds per square foot. A wooden deck shouldn’t have any issues holding an inflatable hot tub. But, the deck height should be less than 2 feet from the ground.
If your deck is 2 feet above the ground then you can place an inflatable hot tub without any problem. But, if it’s more than 2 feet then your deck needs reinforcements.
A deck placed 3 feet above the ground can hold 70 pounds per square foot. That’s 20 pounds less. The higher the deck is the less weight it can hold. The best option for higher decks is to install support beams.
Also, if you enjoy the inflatable hot tub you can go for a regular hot tub in the future. So, it’s best to install support to the decks now.
How Much Does an Inflatable Hot Tub Weight?
Inflatable hot tubs weigh way less than regular hot tubs. But, there is no specific weight for all inflatable hot tubs. The weights vary based on the model of the tub, the size, the capacity, and sometimes the material used to make the inflatable tub.
On average, an inflatable hot tub weighs about 2400 pounds when at full capacity. When empty, inflatable hot tubs weigh nearly nothing.
When you calculate the weight of an inflatable hot tub, you should calculate the weight of the water and the weight of the people inside. The more people there are in an inflatable hot tub the more it will weigh.
Here’s a table that shows how much inflatable hot tubs weigh:
|Type of The Hot Tub||Empty||Water Only||Total Weight|
|Inflatable Hot Tub (2-3 People)||n/a||2,200 lbs||2,700 lbs|
|Inflatable Hot Tub (4-6 People)||n/a||2,700 lbs||3.700 lbs|
As you can see, having a deck on a ground level means that it can hold the weight of an inflatable hot tub. If it’s more than 2 feet, then it can’t. However, since there’s no exact weight of an inflatable hot tub, here’s how you can calculate for your model:
- An empty inflatable hot tub weights nothing.
- Calculate how many gallons of water your inflatable hot tub hold (8,35 pounds x number of water gallons)
- Add the weight of the people that will use the inflatable at the same time
The final number is the weight of your inflatable hot tub.
Will the Water From an Inflatable Hot Tub Hurt a Wooden Deck?
The treated hot water from the tub can damage a wooden deck over time. Wood and water do not go well together especially if the wood is exposed to water frequently as will your deck with a hot tub on it.
Water can get underneath the deck easily and if care is not taken, consistent exposure to water will damage and weaken the deck. The chemicals and sanitizers you use in treating the water such as chlorine and bromine can also damage the wood.
If you start to notice discoloration on the deck or you notice the wood looks waterlogged, you need to repair that spot as soon as possible.
Though the water from your hot tub can damage the wood, there are a few precautionary measures you can use to minimize and even eliminate that damage.
- Cover the spot on the deck where you placed the hot tub with water-resistant paint. Water-resistant paint costs a bit more than regular paint but they will do your deck a lot of good.
- Use artificial grass. Cover the area where your hot tub is with artificial grass. The water from your tub cannot damage artificial grass since the grass is synthetic. You can even do this after painting the floor with water-resistant paint. It will give your deck additional protection.
- Clean the area regularly especially after a dip in the tub. After a hot tub dip, water is sure to get on the deck either from your body or from your activities in the tub.
But, if you are using pressure-treated lumber then you will be fine. Since the deck is above the ground level, then there will be winds that can help you get rid of the water faster. Obviously, you shouldn’t drain the hot tub on the wood decks.
Can You Put an Inflatable Hot Tub on Composite Decking?
Composite decks are known as decks that don’t require maintenance. Plus, water won’t damage composite decks like it damages wood decks because they are made of plastic. So, can you put an inflatable hot tub on the composite deck?
Yes, composite decks can hold up to 500 lbs per square foot (depending on the brand). Inflatable hot tubs exert only 100 lbs per square foot. But, you have to reinforce the composite deck footing, beams, and joists.
That means that a composite deck can easily hold an inflatable hot tub. Composite decks will not break when you put an inflatable on top of them.
Most of the composite deck can hold up to 10 times the weight of the hot tub. So, you are safe. The inflatable hot tub weight isn’t enough to bend or indent the composite deck either.
While the composite deck is strong enough to hold an inflatable hot tub. The footing of the composite deck isn’t strong enough to hold the inflatable hot tub. Most beams, footing, or joists under the deck can only hold up 40 lbs per square foot.
You have to reinforce the footing of the deck. It’s recommended to add 3 additional deck footing under the place where the inflatable hot tub will be. You should also triple the composite deck beams and should increase the number of joists. If you don’t know how to do this, then you should fire a professional.
Related Read: Can You Place a Hot Tub on a Gravel Base?
How To Reinforce a Deck for an Inflatable Hot Tub?
The most common way of reinforcing a deck is by adding extra support beams or poles beneath the deck. If you are not a professional carpenter or deck builder, I wouldn’t advise you to take on this task by yourself.
It is best to contact a professional to make recommendations and help you out. Better safe than sorry.
Anyway, if you want to do this by yourself then here’s how to reinforce a deck to hold an inflatable hot tub:
- First, decide on where you want to place the inflatable tub. Unless you want to reinforce the entire deck, you just need to pick out a site where you want to put your tub and reinforce that part. Before you pick a site on the deck, ensure the site is close to the power supply, a water supply, and it is convenient.
- You would need to get wooden poles or beams. The size of posts needed varies based on different factors such as the distance between the posts. Usually, 4×4 wooden posts are used to reinforce decks.
- The posts would be placed at least 1 foot in the ground. To do this, holes will be dug in the ground. Your contractor might recommend pouring a concrete mix into the holes after putting the poles in them to further strengthen the base. While using concrete would be a tad more expensive, it is worth every penny because the deck will be even stronger.
- While reinforcing the deck with posts, you should use that opportunity to fumigate the base of the deck and get rid of any pest that can pose a threat to your inflatable hot tub. You should also inspect and repair the worn-out, rotten, cracked, or broken parts of the deck so it wouldn’t damage the tub.
- You should also increase the number of joists in your deck.
Related Read: Can a Deck Support a Regular Hot Tub?
Things To Check Before Placing an Inflatable Hot Tub on Deck
Here are things that you should check before placing an inflatable hot tub on the deck. These apply for any kind of deck, whenever the deck is 2-feet above the ground or higher.
1. The Condition of the Deck Plays a Big Role
To put an inflatable hot tub on a deck, you have to ensure the deck is in good condition. A broken deck, old deck, rotting deck, or one with splinters and cracks would not be a good choice for an inflatable hot tub.
Though most inflatable hot tubs are made to be puncture-resistant, you shouldn’t test the resistance level by placing them on a foundation with cracks, splinters, or pointed wood. If the deck is also damaged or rotten, it can crumble under the weight of the hot tub thereby causing damages.
The deck should also be flat and smooth. If the deck isn’t flat then the inflatable hot tub won’t be leveled, and you won’t feel comfortable while sitting on the inflatable hot tub. An un-leveled ground also means that the water will flow on one side while giving the other side of the inflatable hot tub stress.
2. Inflatable Hot Tubs Need to Be Near a Water Source
Hot tubs, be it inflatable or not need to be placed close to a power source and constant water supply for times when you want to drain and refill the hot tub.
3. Check for pest infestation
You will most likely have some type of pest activity underneath or in your wooden deck. Ants, rodents, termites, bugs, and even snakes might have inhabited the space and shelter provided by the hot tub.
These pests can damage and shorten the lifespan of your inflatable hot tub.