When shopping for a hot tub, it’s easy to get inundated with an onslaught of confusing terms. Is there a difference between a “spa” and “hot tub”? Why such a big deal about the number of jets the tub offers? Is acrylic better? Or Fiberglass? What about polyethylene?
Relax. There’s an easy way to choose a hot tub, and it all starts with basic research like reading this article. Here’s how to choose what’s really important, and ignore all the marketing gobbledygook that simply clouds the issue.
What do you want a hot tub for?
Hot tubs are a lot like cars: they come in basic economy models, sleek and sporty models, roomy luxury models, etc. Will your hot tub be for therapy, such as rehabbing after injury or surgery? Do you want a romantic spot for date nights? Are you looking for something the whole family can enjoy — or perhaps a spa you can entertain in? Once you can picture what you’re using it for, you can quickly determine if the spa meets your criteria.
Where will you put it?
A filled hot tub can weigh upwards of 3,000 lbs. You’ll need a place to put it that’s large enough for the hot tub, as well as an area around the unit for maintenance and service. You’ll want to include a walkway, so you aren’t introducing dirt, grass clippings, and other clutter into your spa, and you aren’t tracking your wet feet across the yard into the house after your soak! You’ll need space for the spa, a service area, and a concrete pad or reinforced deck. You’ll want it convenient to water and power sources, as well. Armed with this information, you can more accurately determine which size, shape, and style tub will work best for you.
What is your budget?
Hot tub prices range from a few thousand dollars to over twenty thousand, with multiple price points in between. Is it worth the cost? That depends. If you need lots of adjustable jets for therapy purposes, then it’s definitely worth investing in. Good insulation is also worth paying for, especially in this cold Midwestern climate, because what you invest in insulation now, you’ll save in heating costs over the life of the tub. You can often tell a lot about the quality of any product by the length of warranty they offer. You won’t get a great warranty on a cheaply-made spa that’s going to give up the ghost in a few years.
Time to Wet Test!
The questions above should have helped you narrow your search to a few models that look right for you. Now, the only deciding factor is how they feel. This is especially true if you’re larger or smaller, shorter or taller than the average person. Manufacturers usually design their tubs to fit the “average” person. So taller, shorter, heavier, or lighter people might feel very differently sitting in the spa. Visit one of our showrooms in Worth or Homer Glen to take a test soak and see which spa suits you the absolute best.