A white hot tub on a beautiful patio with a black hot tub pad installed

The Ultimate Guide to Hot Tub Pads

Posted by Jonathan Hill on

Introduction to Hot Tub Pads

Whether you're a seasoned hot tub owner or just thinking about investing in one for your backyard, one thing you should consider is a hot tub pad. Now, you may be asking, "What on earth is a hot tub pad?" That's a great question and precisely what we aim to answer in this comprehensive guide. We'll explore the purpose, types, and benefits of hot tub pads, focusing on their relevance to inflatable hot tubs primarily brands and models found in the UK.

Why You Need a Hot Tub Pad

Protecting Your Hot Tub

Before setting up your hot tub, one thing you should consider is the type of surface it will sit on. A hot tub full of water and people can weigh a tonne or more, which can damage some surfaces or cause your hot tub to sink into softer grounds. This is where a hot tub pad, or hot tub base, comes in. These pads provide a solid, level base, protecting both the hot tub and the surface below. Think of it as a mat for your hot tub, but it's more than that - let's explore further.

Increasing Hot Tub Efficiency

Did you know that a hot tub pad can increase the efficiency of your hot tub? Yup, you heard it right. Especially if you opt for an insulated hot tub base, which adds an extra layer of insulation to your hot tub setup. This means your hot tub heater won't have to work as hard to keep the water warm, and you'll save on your energy bills. It's a win-win situation.

Different Types of Hot Tub Pads

Hot tub pads come in a variety of forms. Let's dive into the differences between them so you can choose what's right for your setup.

Insulated Hot Tub Base

An insulated hot tub base is a pad made with heat-retaining materials. Its primary role is to prevent heat loss, which is especially valuable in the colder months. An insulated base typically includes a layer of compacted gravel covered by a heat-insulating layer, often made of polystyrene or similar material.

Hot Tub Underbase

The term hot tub underbase refers to any material that goes under the hot tub. This could be a mat, a specially designed pad, or a custom-built platform. The main goal of an underbase is to provide a sturdy, level platform for the hot tub, but the best underbases also offer insulation and are easy to install and remove.

Hot Tub Mat

A hot tub mat is a popular type of hot tub pad that's often made of rubber or similar materials. These mats are generally simple to install, portable, and suitable for most surfaces. Typically, their role is to provide a non-slip surface around the spa but by their very nature, they can offer a minimal level of insulation.

The Importance of Hot Tub Insulation Base

A hot tub insulation base can be a game-changer for hot tub owners. By trapping the heat within the tub, these bases can significantly reduce your energy consumption. They also add an extra layer of protection, preventing your hot tub from coming into direct contact with the ground and reducing the risk of damage over time.

How to Choose the Best Hot Tub Pads

Choosing the best hot tub pad depends on a few factors. You need to consider the type and size of your hot tub, the surface you're placing it on, your budget, and your specific needs. For instance, if energy efficiency is a priority for you, an insulated hot tub base would be a good choice.

How to Install a Hot Tub Pad

Installing a hot tub pad doesn't have to be a difficult task. However, it's crucial to ensure that the installation is done correctly to provide a stable and level base for your hot tub. Here's a simple guide:

  1. Choose the Location: First, decide where you want your hot tub. Look for a location that's close to a water supply and electrical outlet, has good drainage, and offers some privacy.

  2. Prepare the Ground: Remove any debris from the chosen area and ensure it's as level as possible.

  3. Place the Pad: Lay down your hot tub pad. If you're using an interlocking pad, assemble the pieces as per the manufacturer's instructions.

  4. Check Level: Use a spirit level to check that the pad is completely level. Adjust as necessary.

  5. Install the Hot Tub: With the pad in place and level, you can install your hot tub. Follow the manufacturer's instructions to set up and fill your hot tub.

Caring for Your Hot Tub Pad

Hot tub pads are pretty low maintenance, but that doesn't mean you should neglect them. Regularly check your pad for any signs of wear and tear, and replace it if it starts to degrade. If you've opted for an interlocking pad, check the locks from time to time to ensure they're still firmly in place. A well-cared-for hot tub pad can prolong the life of your hot tub and keep it running efficiently.


In the world of hot tubs, a hot tub pad may seem like a minor detail, but as we've seen, it plays a crucial role in protecting your hot tub and enhancing its efficiency. Whether you choose an insulated hot tub base, a hot tub underbase, or a simple hot tub mat, what matters most is that you choose a pad that fits your specific needs and environment. And remember, even the best hot tub pad won't be of much use if it's not properly installed and maintained!

FAQs about Hot Tub Pads

  1. Do I need a hot tub pad for an inflatable hot tub?
    Yes, even inflatable hot tubs benefit from hot tub pads. They provide a level base and can help protect the hot tub from any sharp objects on the ground that could potentially puncture it.

  2. How do I clean my hot tub pad?
    Most hot tub pads can be hosed down with water. If there are tougher stains, a mild detergent and a brush can be used.

  3. Does a hot tub pad replace a hot tub cover?
    No, a hot tub pad and a hot tub cover serve different purposes. A pad is placed under the hot tub to provide a stable base and insulation, while a cover is placed over the top of the hot tub to maintain water temperature and keep out debris.

  4. Can I use a hot tub pad on grass?
    Yes, you can. However, it's recommended to use a thicker, more durable pad to protect against any potential damage from sharp objects in the ground.

  5. Where can I buy a hot tub pad in the UK?
    Hot tub pads can be purchased at home improvement stores, pool and spa stores, and online retailers like Amazon.

  6. Are all hot tub pads the same size?
    No, hot tub pads come in various sizes. It's crucial to choose a pad that fits the dimensions of your hot tub.

  7. Are hot tub pads necessary for patios or decks?
    While not as crucial as on softer ground, a hot tub pad can still provide additional protection and insulation when used on patios or decks.

  8. What is the best material for a hot tub pad?
    Different materials can work well, but it depends on your needs. Rubber mats offer durability and insulation, while concrete pads provide a super stable base.

  9. Can I move my hot tub once the pad is installed?
    Yes, you can, but it may be a bit challenging. It's best to be certain of where you want your hot tub before you set up the pad.

  10. How long do hot tub pads last?
    The lifespan of a hot tub pad depends on its material and how well it's cared for. Most high-quality pads should last for several years.

  11. Can I install a hot tub pad myself?
    Yes, most hot tub pads are designed to be easy to install. But always follow the manufacturer's instructions.

  12. Can a hot tub pad help reduce noise?
    Some hot tub pads can help to absorb the vibration of the hot tub, which in turn can reduce the noise it makes.

  13. Can I use multiple hot tub pads together?
    For larger hot tubs, it's possible to use multiple interlocking pads to create a larger surface area.

  14. What is the cost of a hot tub pad?
    The cost can vary depending on the type and size of the pad. Generally, you can expect to pay anywhere from £20 to over £100.

  15. Is a hot tub pad the same as a hot tub foundation?
    They serve similar purposes, but a foundation usually refers to a more permanent, often concrete base, while a pad is typically a portable and sometimes temporary solution.

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