Hot tub on top of the deck

Can My Deck Support a Hot Tub?

In Lawn & Garden, Tips by Jamie

A hot tub is an ideal addition to any backyard entertainment space. What better way to bring friends together than through a relaxing chat in a hot tub? Hot tubs may be an excellent backyard addition for entertaining, but can they be installed on any type of deck or patio?

Most decks are built already to be able to support the weight of most hot tubs. If it isn’t built to withstand a hot tub, there are ways for you to add additional support underneath. A professional can help you determine if your deck can handle a hot tub. 

In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about whether or not a hot tub can be installed on a deck or patio.

Things to Consider Before Placing a Hot Tub on a Deck

Before installing the hot tub, it’s important to make note of the type of surface you’re placing it on, the weight of the tub, and in what condition your deck or patio is. Factoring in these variables will help prevent you from making mistakes that can cause serious damage.

Let’s explore the criteria in a little more detail.

Type of Deck or Patio

There are five different types of deck designs: wrap-around, multi-tier, attached, detached, and rooftop. Of the different designs you have to choose from, there are several different materials a deck can be made from. Materials used in deck building include pressure-treated wood, cedar, redwood, vinyl, and composite decking. You may also see decks made from steel too.

Regardless of the material or deck design, it will hold a hot tub as long as the supports underneath can support the weight.

Weight of the Hot Tub

In most cases, decks are designed to hold roughly 100 pounds per square foot. The weight of a hot tub not only depends on the size but also the style of the hot tub. Generally, small hot tubs that fit between 2-4 people will weigh around 500 pounds empty but 3,000 pounds when filled with water. However, a larger model may weigh 1,000 pounds empty and up to 6,000 pounds when it’s full.

Age and Condition of the Deck or Patio

A deck or patio should adequately support a hot tub as long as it’s up-to-code and in good condition. With that said, a deck ages just like any other project, and over time, the wood or other material it’s made from will deteriorate.

Before installing the hot tub, it’s important to double-check the integrity of your deck or patio to make sure it can still withstand the excessive weight. This usually won’t be an issue unless you aren’t sure when your deck was built.

The Different Types of Hot Tubs and Their Weights

Depending on the type of tub you need, the weight will vary. While inflatable or small stationary hot tubs will weigh less, a larger hot tub will weigh more. To get a general idea of the weight for each type of hot tub, check out this chart:

Type of Hot Tub Empty Weight (lbs) Weight With Water (lbs)
Inflatable Hot Tubs < 1 lb. 1500-3700 lbs
Small Hot Tubs (2-4 people) 300-500 lbs. 2000-3000 lbs.
Medium Hot Tubs (4-6 people) 600-700 lbs. 4000-5000 lbs.
Large Hot Tubs (7+ people) 800-1000 lbs. 5000-15,000 lbs.
Swim Spas 1000-2000 lbs. 7000-20,000 lbs.
Wood Burning Hot Tubs 675 lbs. 2500-6000 lbs.

1. Inflatable Hot Tubs Bestway SaluSpa Miami Inflatable Hot Tub, 4-Person AirJet Spa

Inflatable hot tubs are usually extremely light when they’re empty. However, after being filled, they can weigh up to 3700 lbs. This type of hot tub is made from materials like vinyl and PVC to provide a sturdy outer structure to keep the water inside.

With this type of hot tub, it’s best to get the one with the most layers. The more layers of material used for the hot tub, the less likely it is to be punctured by an animal or a rogue tree branch. In some cases, you may even find a model that offers reinforced walls.

2. Small Hot Tubs (2-4 People)

Small hot tubs are perfect for anyone who just wants a cozy addition to their deck. This type holds up to four people and weighs less than most other hot tub types. When full of water, small hot tubs can weigh up to 3000 lbs.

3. Medium Hot Tubs (4-6 People)

If you have a bigger family or you like inviting over the same few friends, a medium-sized hot tub may suffice better. Because it can hold up to six people, you get more space to move around. When filled to the recommended amount, medium-sized hot tubs can weigh as much as 5000 lbs.

4. Large Hot Tubs (7+ People)

For people who enjoy entertaining larger groups, a large hot tub is your best bet. These types can hold at least seven people with some models having the capability to hold more than that. You’ll need to be extra careful when installing a large hot tub on a deck or patio because this type of hot tub can weigh up to 15,000 lbs when it’s full.

5. Swim Spas

Carefree Stuff Cover Roller (Swim Spa - 6 arms)

Swim spas are basically a smaller version of a swimming pool. Although they usually come between 12-24 feet in length, their sizes vary depending on the brand and model. Because of this, the amount it weighs can vary widely. With that said, this type of hot tub usually weighs up to 10,000 to 20,000lbs or more when it’s full.

6. Wood Burning Hot Tubs

Wood-burning hot tubs are an excellent addition to any home that likes having a rustic look or anyone that wants to embrace their inner hygge. The outer panels are made from wood and use a wood-burning stove to heat the water instead of electricity. When these are full, they can weigh more than 6000 lbs.

Hot Tub FAQs

Can You Measure the Weight of Your Hot Tub?

To measure the weight of your hot tub, you need to know the empty weight as given by the manufacturer. You’ll also need to know the number of gallons needed to fill the hot tub to the recommended amount. One gallon of water is equal to roughly 8.34 pounds, so you need to multiply that number by the amount of water needed.

For example, let’s say a hot tub has an empty weight of 500 pounds and the amount of water needed to fill it is 220 gallons. When you multiply 220 by 8.34, you end up with 1834.8 lbs. Now take that product and add 500 to get the total weight of the filled hot tub. The end result would be 2334.8 lbs.

Can My Deck Support a Hot Tub?

Any deck is capable of supporting a hot tub as long as it’s built-to-code and can support at least 100 lbs per square foot. The material the deck is made from doesn’t necessarily matter as long as the support beams underneath are placed correctly.

Rooftop decks and decks made from composite may bring up concern from prospective hot tub buyers but there’s no need to worry as long as the deck was built correctly. This is also the case for raised decks as well as any decks built over water.

Beyond that, you should also remember to pay close attention to weights. For a rooftop deck, you can usually install a hot tub as long as the roof can support at least 55 lbs. Of weight per square foot.

Can My Concrete Slab Patio Support a Hot Tub?

Your concrete slab patio should adequately support a hot tub as long as the slab is at least four inches thick. On top of that, the concrete should have the ability to hold at least 115 lbs per square foot. In some cases, hot tubs are built with drainage features, so you may want to also put additional support underneath the tub.

Can My Pavers Support a Hot Tub?

You can absolutely install a hot tub on top of a paver patio. However, you’ll need to make sure it’s installed on a flat surface and that the pavers have the ability to support the weight of the tub when it’s full.

Modifying Your Deck to Hold a Hot Tub

To modify your deck with more support, you should first decide whereabouts on the deck you want to place the hot tub. Once you figure that out, you may need to add additional support to the underside of your deck.

This can be quite a complicated process so it’s best to call in a professional when you’re ready for the project to start. Additionally, you may need to have a concrete slab or another foundational support placed to go underneath the hot tub.

For a deck to adequately hold a hot tub without falling apart, it’s best to ensure the deck can hold at least 100 lbs per square foot of space.

Additional Tips for Placing a Hot Tub on a Deck

It’s important to keep in mind that it’s best to install the hot tub between 17-24 inches above the decking. Doing this will help prevent issues when getting in or out of the tub. On top of that, hot tubs installed on a deck will also need steps to help guests enter and leave the hot tub with no issue.

Parting Thoughts

Regardless of the style or material your deck is made from, you’re more than likely able to install a hot tub on it. As long as you keep the criteria mentioned at the beginning of this article in mind, you should have no issue with a successful installation.

Whether you choose to install your hot tub on your deck or in your yard, we hope this article has helped you in your decision-making process.