Can a portable spa be installed inground?

07 May, 2022

Portable spas are a popular choice for many reasons. They tend to be lower maintenance than inground spas, have a wider range of seating configurations, include extras such as LED lighting and inbuilt speakers and so much more. But there are also a few drawbacks to purchasing a portable spa over an inground one.

Inground spas can look more aesthetically pleasing to the eye and have much better accessibility for people with mobility issues. However, they often have fewer jets, are much more expensive to build, and their fixed-height bench seats are not overly friendly for the vertically challenged.

But is there a way to combine the advantages of both spa types? There absolutely is! This leads us to the brilliant idea of buying a portable hot tub and then completing in inground installation.


You can see that at least 1.0metre has been provided around this swim spa to allow easy access from underneath the decking which has been constructed around this pool

Complete decking with access to cabinetry & equipment from behind the grey feature wall


Benefits of installing a portable spa inground

When you have a portable spa installed inground, you create a luxury oasis with a sleek, sophisticated feel that will be the envy of everybody on your block. But why are inground spas considered so much more lavish than above-ground spas?

The first reason inground spas are considered more desirable is that they usually cost much more to have built and installed. So sinking your portable spa into the ground will automatically make your yard look more expensive.

If you live somewhere with a view, sinking your spa into the ground leaves the landscape unobstructed. This ensures that you can enjoy your view from the hot tub, a deck chair or even sun-baking on your lawn.

To complete your yard’s transformation into a natural oasis, you can also add some additional aesthetics. Try adding a stone path, vibrant gardens or custom decking. Not only do they look great but decking can be used to cover maintenance access to your spa. Gardens are also a beautiful way to hide any unsightly maintenance equipment.

Things to know BEFORE installing your spa inground

Whether you are looking to buy a new portable spa or if you want to reinvigorate your old spa by moving it to an inground setting, there are a few key things you need to know before going ahead with your plan.


It makes your spa semi-permanent

Don’t consider this option if you are going to be making any changes to your spa in the near future. If you are planning to upgrade your spa, it is best to wait to install your spa inground until after your new unit arrives. If you install your current spa inground and then upgrade, you will be limited in the spa you can select as the new unit will need to exactly match the size of your current spa to fit in place.

If you are going to be moving soon (within the next 1-2 years), you may want to wait for an inground installation until after your move is complete. Prepping the area for your spa will have large costs associated with it so you won’t want to install it twice in 2 years.


The area still needs to be properly prepared

Despite the fact that it is going directly into the ground, your spa will still need to be installed on a solid concrete base. Check out our blog article re site prep here

You will also need to incorporate drainage into your slab. If water from your spa splashes over the sides and onto the concrete slab, it needs somewhere to go to prevent pooling and damage to your spa.


Portable spas need external access for maintenance

Maintenance on portable spas is performed from the outside of the unit

Maintenance personnel will need to be able to access the external maintenance hatch of the spa to complete any repairs.

Some people account for this by making the area for your spa 90cm wider and then covering the gap with a well-designed deck that contains a trapdoor leading into the spa area. Not only does this add an aesthetic element to your spa, but your maintenance can also be performed effectively and efficiently.


Consider the fit of your spa cover

When you install your portable spa inground, the hardcover it came with will need to be fixed to the decking or spa surround rather than to the portable cabinet that your spa was manufactured with.

You may wish to request additional hardcover clips to secure it or simply unscrew the clips from the spa cabinet so they can be fixed onto the built in surround.


Getting into your spa can be more difficult

While an inground spa is much more accessible for people with mobility issues, some people find it more inconvenient. Rather than using steps or sitting on the edge of the spa and sliding in, you will need to sit on the ground and drop into the spa.

A compromise to this issue is leaving your spa slightly raised. Raising your spa by about 30cm will not only ensure your cover fits, but it may also make it easier to enter the water. By leaving it 30cm off of the ground, people with mobility issues will still be able to enter the spa with ease. People who prefer getting into a spa by sitting on the edge will also have fewer issues entering the spa.


Final thought on installing your portable spa inground

Portable spas offer a wide range of benefits that an inground spa cannot compete with. Not only can you get additional features included with your portable spa, but you can also take them with you from place to place. However, inground spas do offer a much more luxurious feel and can be the perfect way to complete your oasis.

To attain the benefits of both, you should consider installing your portable spa inground. A portable spa that has been installed inground becomes semi-permanent but it can still be moved if needed. On the other hand, a permanent inground spa is in place until the unit is demolished. This makes inground models perfect for people who know exactly what they want and are going to be staying at the same residence for many years to come. However, it is impractical for people who intend to move in the next 5-10 years. In this case, an inground portable spa becomes the most practical and appealing option.


myHotTub & other family sized spa pools that may suit your lifestyle

The family range of spas are bigger than the compact range and offer a variety of seating and jet layouts. Most of these spas are over 2m square, allowing for greater personal space for each occupant, but without being so large as to take over your outside space. These spas are designed with groups in mind, big enough for the whole family or to catch up with friends. Most of the family range has been created with enlarged footwells to allow space for multiple users, including undercut footwells to accommodate even the tallest people. Many models include his and hers recliners or captain’s chairs to account for the different heights of individuals and ensure everyone has a position just for them. Their powerful air and water jets ensure a blissful therapeutic experience for all users. So if you want a slice of heaven in your backyard, a spa from the Sapphire Spas family range could be just what you are looking for.