Sunken Hot Tub: Ideas & Advice for Sinking a Hot Tub

Posted by Nick Clamp in Hot Tub Installation Guides on 31st August 2021

There’s no doubt about it – a sunken hot tub look incredible.

Sinking your home spa into decking or the ground transforms it into a stylish statement piece as well as a place to relax each day.

But there’s a fair few things you should be aware of before you have a sunken hot tub installed.

Here’s everything you need to know about sinking a hot tub into your garden – as well as some design ideas for inspiration. 

Everything you need to know about sunken hot tubs

The first thing to keep in mind when you’re thinking about having a sunken hot tub fitted is that it can take quite a bit longer and cost quite a bit more than a standard hot tub installation. Of course, how much longer and how much more expensive depends on how you choose to sink it (more on that later). 

It’s also well worth noting that there’s a lot that can go wrong when you sink a hot tub if you don’t know what you’re doing. So, be sure to work closely with a reputable hot tub dealership to make sure the whole process goes as smoothly as possible and you aren’t left out of pocket after a botched installation. 

A good dealership will also have recommended suppliers we’d urge you to hire for the job. There’s quite a few specific things you need to accommodate for when you’re sinking a hot tub, and hiring someone who’s been there and done it before is the best guarantee that you won’t end up with any problems down the line. 

By far the most important thing to keep in mind when you’re sinking a hot tub is that you need to ensure there’s ample repair access. That means room for two technicians to lower themselves down and access at least the side with the control panel for maintenance and repairs. 

Another reason to buy from a trusted showroom is that the staff will know the ins-and-outs of the home spas they stock and walk you through exactly where the electronics sit on the models you’ve got your eyes on. On some hot spas it’s all four – in which case you’ll need to ensure there’s ample access to all four sides through removable panels.

Fail to accommodate for repair access and you’ll have to remove your sunken hot tub from the ground to make even basic repairs. You might get lucky and never need to do this – or it could be a constant headache that costs you an arm and a leg over the years. 

Neglecting to leave room for repair access around your sunken home spa will make removing it a pain as well. It might even mean you’ll need to hack it up with a saw to get it out of the ground, removing the possibility you’ll recoup any costs in resale value. 

It’s also important to realise that sunken hot tubs are a bit harder to get in and out of, which is something well worth keeping in mind if anyone in your family has mobility issues. 

And removing a sunken hot tub to replace or repair it can be anything from an inconvenience to a landscaping project, depending on how it’s been installed.

With all this in mind, the site visit that any quality hot tub dealer will offer as part of their services is a crucial step in having a sunken hot tub installed. Make sure to follow the technician’s guidance on the best option when it comes to sinking your hot tub here, even if it isn’t what you’d envisioned. Going against their advice could cost you a pretty penny down the road – especially if it means there’s limited repair access.

Sunken hot tub ideas

Now you’re clued up on everything you need to know before you install a sunken hot tub in your garden, here’s some real-life examples to help inspire some ideas for how you’d sink a home spa into your garden.

Sunken hot tub in a deck

The most common – and one of the most stunning – ways to sink a hot tub is in decking.

Disguising your home spa in decking lends a sleek and sophisticated look to your garden. It stops your hot tub from distracting from the rest of your garden or blocking the view to your borders. And it works particularly well if you want to have your hot tub near your home to slip straight into. 

Sinking your hot tub into decking is also a great option if your garden is on a hill, as it can help add visual layers to your outdoor space and double up as a space to sit out in. 

Photo © ERGO Group

Submerge a hot tub in the corner of your decking and the panels will also be easy to pull away for repair access, meaning you never have to worry about going through the hassle of removing your sunken home spa for basic maintenance and repairs. 

Half-sunken hot tub in a deck

A great way to add a splash of style to your home spa is by half-sinking it into decking. 

This isn’t as expensive or time-consuming as fully sinking your home spa into decking – and certainly not into the ground. And it will actually make your hot tub easier to get in and out of rather than harder, making it the perfect option if accessibility is an issue for anyone in your household. 

And a hot tub that’s only half-submerged is a lot easier to access and remove.

Sunken hot tub in a garden

Photo © Catalina Spas

Perhaps the most stunning option of all is to sink a hot tub straight into the ground. This can be a great option if you’re already landscaping your garden and can add a sunken hot tub to your plans. 

If you go this route, just be sure to make accommodations for repair access. Removable sections made of decking that surround the spa are a good option here, as they can be easily lifted up for maintenance and repairs.

Fail to provide repair access and you’ll need to dig up your hot tub if it needs repairs, which will turn your garden upside-down as well as cost a bomb. Of course, you might get lucky and your hot tub might never need repairs, but in our book it’s just not worth the risk.

Create the illusion of a sunken hot tub

Photo © Outdoor Heaven

Another great option is to sit your hot tub on the ground as standard and then build steps leading up to it to give the illusion that it’s sunken. 

This will make your home spa a stylish statement piece in your garden without the hassle, expense, and drawbacks of sinking it into your decking or garden. 

Photo © Tanby Pools

It will also make your hot tub easier to get in and out of rather than more awkward.

This can be a particularly effective look if you uplight your hot tub, which will draw the eye up and add to the layered effect the steps provide. 

How much does it cost to sink a hot tub?

Sinking a hot tub is certainly an added expense on top of the retail price of a home spa. 

If you want to sink your home spa into decking, you’re looking at hundreds of pounds to do it yourself and thousands to bring in a contractor to do it. And unless you’re a dab hand at DIY, we strongly recommend hiring a professional for the job, as it’s crucial you build in enough service space. Your best bet is hiring your hot tub dealership’s recommended contractor, as they’ll know exactly what they’re doing when it comes to sinking a hot tub.

If you’re looking to sink a hot tub into the ground, the landscaping costs will obviously depend on the size of your garden – but it’s safe to say they’ll be in the thousands. We’d strongly recommend you leave sinking a hot tub into the ground to the professionals, so be sure to ask your dealership for recommended landscapers.

So, sinking a hot tub certainly isn’t cheap. But, if you’re already having decking built or landscaping work done it’s well worth making a sunken hot tub part of your plans, as the added costs will be negligible and the end results completely eye-catching. 

How do you get rid of a sunken hot tub?

Removing a sunken hot tub can be anything from an inconvenience to a major landscaping project, depending on how it’s been installed. 

If a home spa was sunk or half-sunk into decking with ample repair access, it could be a relatively easy case of fitting some heavy-duty straps around the tub and pulling it out.

Unfortunately, it’s not always that easy – and sometimes the only way to get a hot tub out of decking is to take a saw to its acrylic shell and cut it into pieces. 

If your hot tub has been sunk into the ground with removable panels, you should be able to strap it up and lift it out. However, it will unfortunately be a case of digging it out if it doesn’t have access panels, which will come at a considerable expense and cause a real headache. 

Prevent this problem down the line by making sure you plan ample repair access around your sunken home spa. Trust us – you’ll be glad you did if it ever needs any repairs.

Sinking a hot tub into your decking or the ground of your garden gives a seriously spectacular look. But there’s plenty you need to keep in mind to make sure sinking your home spa doesn’t come back to bite you. 

So, be sure to make plenty of repair access part of your plans, as well as consulting with a WhatSpa? recommended dealership to ensure you’re doing everything by the book.

About the author

Nick Clamp

I am the Editor-in-Chief at WhatSpa? Media Group and my job is to keep you informed about the very latest hot tubs on the UK market... the best job in the world! When I'm not being deluged with press releases and hot tub brochures I enjoy keeping fit and participating in endurance events including triathlons and distance running.

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