The first thing most people generally notice when they see a hot tub is the spa skirt. A well-made, visually-pleasing spa skirt will enhance its aesthetic appeal and, if indoors, will enable it be easily incorporated with other furniture in the room it is installed in.
The two types of spa skirting generally available in the US are wood and synthetic (plastic). Both spa skirt types are usually included at no charge with the hot tub, and can typically be ordered in a redwood or gray finish, although some spa manufacturers carry other specialty finishes and colors that can be purchased for an additional charge.
All wood spa skirts require regular treatment and maintenance to ensure their longevity and beauty. You should be aware that this is a “hidden” expense when you are considering a wood spa skirt. Additionally, there can be many different types of wood – and, therefore, quality – used in making a wood spa skirt. Please be aware, for example, that most “redwood cabinets” are not actually manufactured using the redwood tree’s wood, but instead are a less-expensive wood that is stained with the redwood color. Because wood cabinets tend to be more expensive than synthetic ones, you also need to be aware that a wood cabinet will most likely be thinner than a synthetic cabinet, which will affect the efficiency of the hot tub heating and maintaining its heat and may also cause the cabinet to degrade (warping, cracking, splitting, etc.) very rapidly (which means it will have to be replaced).
Synthetic spa skirts have become more favored as the standard spa skirt used with hot tub manufacturers. A well-made synthetic spa skirt can look like wood and requires very little maintenance. One drawback is that some synthetic spa skirts can be prone to fading or yellowing from sunlight over time.
While the type of material used in a spa skirt is important, so is the way the spa skirt is constructed.
- Removable Walls:
Removable panels allow for removal from the hot tub in case repairs are needed. Just imagine trying to repair a car without having the ability to open the hood. The repairing process becomes nearly impossible, extremely time consuming, and expensive. With this design, your spa can be easily checked and serviced when needed.
- Interior Frame Construction:
Having removable wall panels is only part of the solution to your spa’s “serviceability”. Another key is having solid 2 x 4 construction. This provides enough strength to hold 200-300 gallons of water (between 1,600 and 2,400 lbs.) when the wall panels are removed.
2 x 4 construction provides plenty of strength to support a spa full of water, even when the panel walls are removed.
- ABS or Synthetic Plastic Base:
This type of base will far outlast even the best pressure treated wood base. Besides being impervious to rot and decay, an ABS base can also do a better job at keeping insect, rodents, snakes, and other undesirables from crawling into and making a home inside the hot tub.