Steel v Wood frame Hot Tubs – What is the difference
Updated: Nov 11
So for many years hot tubs were made with wood frames. That was the industry standard. But in 2009 Maax Spas in the USA, manufacturers of Vita Spas, made the first steel framed hot tub and it was a game changer. Steel is much stronger and more durable than wood. You don’t need a degree to know that. But why is that important and why are some spas still made with wood frames. Well the answer is simple – Cost. Wooden frames are much cheaper to produce.
So is it a problem if you buy a spa with a wood frame? Well as long as the area underneath the spa is well drained with no standing water you might be OK. But there is a wide array of qualities with a wood frame depending on the spa brand. Some manufacturers are using top quality wood with a weather treatment to prevent rot. Others are using much cheaper lower grade wood that may only last a few years.
It also depends on the craftmanship of the factory as to how they produce the frame. This type of frame varies dramatically. You can tell some are mass produced at speed and others are handcrafted with care and precision. So do your homework on the brand.
Another way to protect the underneath of a spa is to use a PAN base or PVC/Plastic. This is quite common and works extremely well. The pan base protects the spa from the cold and wet ground beneath.
So is a Steel Frame more expensive? Yes a spa with a steel frame is more expensive to produce and thus highly likely to be more expensive to purchase.
So in summary a wood framed spa is OK but steel is better.