Hot Tub Spas – What you need to know

If you are looking to purchase your very first hot tub, there are many things that you should really consider first before shelling out a substantial investment from your pocket. It really is advisable to read on product reviews and study these carefully so that you would know the difference in the many options available in the market.

Technically speaking, the terms “hot tub” and “spa” are two different things. ‘Hot tub’ is a wooden soaking tub with bench seating, with minimal to no jets. Typical of the wine barrel soaking that the Californians popularized in the 1960’s. on the other hand, a ‘spa’ is made from synthetic materials and added on jets, blowers, various seating configurations, and lighting on some and many other optional technologies offered in this digital age.

However, in reality, these two terms are used by both consumers and retailers interchangeably. In fact, even Jacuzzi has become a general -use term, whereas Jacuzzi is really a brand name that has been trademarked. It was Roy Jacuzzi who invented the first Jacuzzi tub that propelled water using a hydrotherapeutic system pump in 1968. It was from this invention by Jacuzzi that we recognize as what we now know as the hot tub.

Types of Hot Tubs

There are four main types of hot tubs: the above-ground hot tub made of acrylic; the portable inflatable hot tub; the rustic wooden hot tub; and the in-ground spa.

Hot Tub SpasThe above-ground hot tub is the most popular. It is made of an acrylic shell and fiberglass understructure, where sometimes foam is used, and synthetic or wood cabinet. Although considered portable, it is quite difficult to move and you will need a firm surface. Some models require special electrical work. There are a huge number of manufacturers of this type of hot tub therefore you have an equally huge range of options.

The downside is that you will generate a high electric bill, it is quite expensive with prices ranging from $3,000 to $10,000, and you will need to get professionals to install it. You will find it from difficult to impossible to install yourself.

Hot Tub SpasThe portable inflatable hot tub is the least expensive. Made of a combination of nylon, vinyl and plastic, it is considerably less durable than most hot tubs.

The major snag is that water temperature drops quickly therefore it is only good for short soaks of 15-30 minutes. This is due to the blowing system used to circulate air in the water to create bubbles easily cools down the hot water. The upside is you can store it when you’re not using it. Estimated price range is between $800 and $2,000.

Hot Tub SpasThe third type is the rustic wooden soaking tubs. These are generally constructed in teak, cedar or redwood. The value added is the natural aromatherapy that is provided by the fragrant wood used to construct it. Very simple in style but aesthetically pleasing, it uses electric, wood or gas as heat source and requires regular and extensive maintenance. Price ranges from $1,500 to $7,000.

Hot Tub SpasThe last but not the least type, which is also the most expensive on the list, is the in-ground spa. Installation requires excavation, electrical and plumbing works, therefore only professionals are required. Quite an attractive looking tub, it is generally made of gunite or standard concrete. It has basic seating arrangements using step or bench seats. It heats quite quickly and holds the heat better. Adding one to your home will raise your home’s re-sale value.

The disadvantages are it is expensive with prices starting only from $5,000 upwards; seating is very basic, and installation requires professionals only.

For more information, go to:;
Pool & Spa Living Magazine;;

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