The Ultimate Guide to In-ground Hot Tubs

Published on

September 8, 2023

In-ground hot tubs have become increasingly popular in recent years, offering a luxurious and relaxing addition to any backyard. Unlike above-ground hot tubs, in-ground models are installed directly into the ground, creating a seamless and integrated look with the surrounding landscape. They can be customized to fit any size or shape, offering a range of benefits beyond relaxation. 

In this ultimate guide to in-ground hot tubs, you will learn everything you need to know about these luxurious backyard additions, including the benefits of owning one, how to choose the right model, installation considerations, and maintenance tips. 

In-ground Hot Tub Benefits

In-ground hot tubs offer many benefits, making them an attractive option for homeowners upgrading their back deck or outdoor living space.

Here are some of the key benefits of in-ground hot tubs:

  1. Relaxation and stress relief: In-ground hot tubs can provide a relaxing and therapeutic experience that can help reduce stress and improve overall well-being.
  2. Pain relief: The heat and massage provided by in-ground hot tubs can help alleviate various pain conditions, including arthritis, back pain, and muscle soreness.
  3. Improved sleep: Soaking in a hot tub before bed can help improve sleep quality and promote relaxation.
  4. Increased home value: In-ground hot tubs can increase the value of your home, making them a worthwhile investment for homeowners looking to improve their property.
  5. Entertainment and socialization: In-ground hot tubs can be a great place to entertain guests and spend time with family and friends.

In-ground Spas Installation and Maintenance

While most hot tub owners are interested in the benefits of having an in-ground model, you should consider the installation process and the maintenance of in-ground spas. Unlike portable hot tubs that don’t require a complex installation, inground spas are not that simple. Here are the main aspects you should consider before purchasing one. 

Choosing the Right Location

Compared to a portable hot tub or an above-the-ground hot tub, an inground spa is difficult to move around. Choosing the right location for an inground hot tub is an important decision that can affect your enjoyment and the longevity of your investment.

Here are some key factors to consider when selecting a location for your inground hot tub:

  1. Accessibility: You want to place your hot tub in a location that is easily accessible. This means considering factors such as how far it is from the house, how easy it is to walk to, and whether any obstacles may make it difficult to access.
  2. Privacy: An inground hot tub can be a great way to relax in privacy, away from the prying eyes of neighbors or passersby. Consider whether your chosen location will offer the level of privacy you desire.
  3. Views: Many people choose to install their hot tubs in locations that offer a great view, such as overlooking a lake or mountain. Consider whether your chosen location offers a scenic view or a peaceful atmosphere you can enjoy while soaking.
  4. Ground conditions: It's essential to ensure that the ground where you plan to install your hot tub is stable and can support the weight of the tub, water, and occupants. Hire a professional to perform a soil test and ensure that your location is stable enough to hold the weight of the hot tub.
  5. Climate: Consider the climate in your area and how it will affect your enjoyment of your hot tub. For example, if you live in a hot, sunny area, you may want to place your hot tub in a shaded area to avoid overheating. Conversely, if you live in a cooler climate, you may want to place your hot tub in a location with plenty of sun to help keep the water warm.

Excavation and Construction

The excavation and construction of creating an in-ground hot tub installation can be a complex process, and it is important to work with experienced professionals to ensure that the job is done right. 

Here is some information on what to expect during the excavation and construction process:


  • Site preparation: The first step in excavation is to prepare the site. This may involve removing existing landscaping or other obstacles and leveling the ground to ensure a stable foundation.
  • Digging the hole: Once the site is prepared, the next step is to dig the hole for the hot tub. The size and shape of the hole will depend on the hot tub's specific dimensions, as well as any additional features, such as seating areas or waterfalls.
  • Installing plumbing and electrical lines: Once the hole is dug, plumbing and electrical lines must be installed to connect the hot tub to the water and power sources.
  • Pouring the foundation: With the plumbing and electrical lines in place, pouring the foundation for the hot tub is the next step. This may involve pouring a concrete slab or building a reinforced frame out of wood or other materials.


  • Installing the hot tub shell: With the foundation in place, the hot tub shell can be installed. This may involve placing a pre-fabricated shell into the hole or constructing a custom shell out of concrete or other materials.
  • Adding features and finishes: Once the shell is in place, the hot tub can be customized with additional features such as seating, lighting, and jet systems. The hot tub may also be finished with various materials, such as tile, stone, or plaster.
  • Final plumbing and electrical connections: With the hot tub shell and features in place, the final plumbing and electrical connections can be made to ensure the hot tub is properly connected to the water and power sources.
  • Testing and commissioning: Once construction is complete, the hot tub must be thoroughly tested to ensure it functions properly. This may involve filling the hot tub with water, checking for leaks, and adjusting the jet and heating systems to ensure optimal performance.

Electrical and Plumbing Considerations

When it comes to installing an in-ground hot tub, electrical and plumbing considerations are critical to ensure proper functionality and safety. 

The following tables list the key factors to keep in mind during hot tub installation.

Tips for Maintaining an In-ground Hot Tub

Maintaining an in-ground hot tub ensures longevity and enjoyment. Here are some tips for keeping your in-ground spa or hot tub in good condition:

Regular Cleaning and Water Treatment:

  • Skim the surface: Use a skimmer to remove any debris from the water's surface, such as leaves or bugs.
  • Scrub the walls and floor: Use a mild, non-abrasive cleaner to clean the walls and floor of the hot tub. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive materials that could damage the surface.
  • Test the water: Use a test strip to check the water's pH and chlorine/bromine levels. Adjust the levels as needed using the appropriate chemicals.
  • Drain and refill the water: It is recommended to drain and refill the water every 3-4 months to keep the water fresh and prevent the buildup of minerals and bacteria.

Cover and Enclosure Options:

  • Use a cover: Cover your hot tub when it is not in use to keep debris out and maintain the water temperature.
  • Enclose the area: Consider enclosing the area around your hot tub with a fence or privacy screen to increase privacy and reduce wind exposure.

Seasonal Maintenance:

  • Spring cleaning: Drain and thoroughly clean your hot tub at the start of the season. Check all components, including jets, filters, and pumps, and replace or repair as needed.
  • Summer maintenance: During the summer months, regularly monitor the water levels and temperature, and adjust chemicals and filtration as needed.
  • Fall maintenance: As the weather cools down, consider installing a heater or using a thermal blanket to help maintain water temperature. Also, prepare for winterization by draining the water and taking steps to protect the hot tub from freezing temperatures.


  • Drain and winterize: If you live in a colder climate, it is important to properly winterize your hot tub to prevent damage from freezing temperatures. This may involve draining the water, removing any remaining water from the plumbing system, and covering the hot tub with a winter cover.
  • Protect the components: It is important to protect the components of your hot tub, such as the pump and heater, from freezing temperatures. This may involve insulating or wrapping the components or storing them indoors for the winter.

In-ground Hot Tubs Design and Customization

A discussion of the design and customization options available for inground hot tubs, including:

Size and Shape Options

An inground spa differs from a portable spa. It can come in various sizes and shapes to fit different needs and preferences. Here are some of the options available in terms of size:

Shape Options:

  • Circular: Circular in-ground hot tubs are a popular option and are available in a variety of sizes. They offer a classic look and provide equal seating all around.
  • Rectangular: Rectangular in-ground hot tubs are a great option for those who prefer a modern look. They offer more space for stretching out and lounging.
  • Custom: For those who want a unique and personalized hot tub, custom in-ground hot tubs can be designed to fit any shape or size. This option allows for complete customization to fit your specific needs and preferences.

When choosing the size and shape of your in-ground hot tub, consider factors such as:

  • The number of people who will be using it.
  • The available space in your front yard or backyard.
  • Your personal style and preferences for backyard design. 

It's also important to work with a reputable hot tub dealer, builder, or contractor who can help you choose the right size and shape for your needs and provide guidance throughout the installation process.

Material and Color Options

In-ground hot tubs come in various materials and color options to fit different styles and preferences. The infinity edge effect is popular among hot tub owners. Hot tub infinity edges can be custom-designed to fit the desired aesthetic of the owner and can be constructed using a variety of materials, including concrete, stone, or tile. 

Here are some of the options available for building an inground hot tub:

Material Options:

  • Concrete: Concrete is a durable and long-lasting material that can be customized to fit any shape or size. It can be finished in various colors and textures to match your outdoor space. You can also use natural stone to blend it more to the environment.
  • Fiberglass: Fiberglass is a lightweight, low-maintenance option in various colors and finishes. It's popular for those who want a quick and easy installation process.
  • Acrylic: Acrylic is a popular material for in-ground hot tubs because it is durable, easy to clean, and has a wide range of colors and finishes. It's also resistant to scratches and fading.

Color Options:

  • White: White is a classic and timeless color option that can create a clean and modern look for your hot tub.
  • Blue: Blue is a popular color option for in-ground hot tubs because it creates a relaxing and tranquil atmosphere. It can come in various shades, from light blue to dark navy.
  • Gray: Grey is a versatile color option that can create a sleek and modern look for your hot tub. It can come in a range of shades, from light grey to dark charcoal.
  • Custom: Custom color options are available for those who want a truly unique and personalized hot tub. This option lets you choose any color or finish matching your outdoor space.

When choosing the material and color of your in-ground hot tub, consider factors such as:

  • Your personal style and preferences
  • The existing decor of your backyard or outdoor space
  • The level of maintenance required for each material

Jet and Massage System Options

In-ground hot tubs come with full access to a variety of jet and massage system options and accessories that can enhance your hot tub and spa experience. Here are some of the luxury hot tub top options available:

Jet Options:

  1. Standard Jets: Standard jets are the most common jet option for in-ground hot tubs. They provide a basic water flow and pressure.
  2. Directional Jets: Directional jets allow you to adjust the direction of the water flow for a more targeted massage experience.
  3. Pulsating Jets: Pulsating jets provide a rhythmic pulsation for a more soothing massage experience.
  4. Cluster Jets: Cluster jets provide a concentrated water flow in one area for a more intense massage experience.
  5. Rotating Jets: Rotating jets provide a circular water flow for a wider massage area.

Massage System Options:

  1. Air Jets: Air jets provide a gentle massage experience by releasing air bubbles into the water.
  2. Water Jets: Water jets provide a more intense massage experience by releasing pressurized water into the hot tub.
  3. Combination Jets: Combination jets provide both air and water jets for a customizable massage experience.
  4. Loungers: Loungers are a specialized seating option that provides a full-body massage experience.

When choosing the jet and massage system for your in-ground hot tub installation, consider factors such as:

  • The type of massage experience you prefer.
  • The number of users who will be using your in-ground hot tub.
  • Your budget. 

It's also important to work with a reputable hot tub dealer or contractor who can help you choose the right brand of jet and massage system for your needs and provide guidance throughout the installation process.

FAQs About In-ground Spas

1. How long does it take to install an in-ground hot tub?

The time it takes to install an in-ground pool or hot tub can vary depending on several factors, including the size and complexity of the project, the type of materials being used, and the price and availability of contractors to install it. The installation process can generally take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks.

2. Are in-ground hot tubs safe?

Yes, in-ground hot tubs are generally safe as long as they are installed and maintained properly. Safety considerations for in-ground hot tubs include electrical safety, slip and fall hazards, and water chemistry. Hiring a licensed electrician, adding slip-resistant materials, and using handrails can help reduce the risk of accidents around the hot tub.

Proper water chemistry and regular water testing and treatment can help prevent the growth of harmful bacteria. Following safety guidelines and performing regular maintenance can also help ensure a safe and enjoyable hot tub and spa experience.

3. Are there any permits or regulations I need to be aware of when installing an inground hot tub?

Regulations and permit requirements can vary depending on your location. It's important to check with your local authorities or building department to understand any necessary permits, zoning restrictions, or safety regulations that may apply to the installation of an in-ground hot tub in your area.


In-ground hot tubs offer a wide range of benefits that make them a great investment for homeowners looking to upgrade their outdoor living space. From relaxation and stress relief to improved health and socializing, there are numerous reasons to consider adding an in-ground hot tub to your backyard. 

With the right care and attention, your in-ground hot tub can provide a luxurious and therapeutic retreat that you and your family can enjoy for years. To make your experience even more pleasant, consider using mineral products, such as O-care. Designed with customers’ safety in mind, O-care reduces the amount of sanitizer you need to use. As a result, you will be able to enjoy a chlorine-odor-free bath and your skin will remain soft. Moreover, you won’t need to shower afterward in order to reduce the smell on your skin, because there won’t be any. Use our online app to find out more about hot tub maintenance.

Our store locator helps you find a dealer near you. In case you want to become a dealer you can contact us and we’ll provide you with our support. And remember, you can make your bathing experience luxurious by using fewer chemicals and embracing healthy alternatives.