11+ Sunken Hot Tub Ideas (with Photos)

Sunken hot tubs are a glamorous way of relaxing after a hard day's work. Or, no work at all! When trying to build the perfect space for your tub, be sure to check out the designs which have inspired us the most! We're sure that they'll help you find the perfect hot tub!

sunken hot tub ideas

So many of us when becoming homeowners dream of owning a hot tub. When on the market for a hot tub, you do have different options, one of them being sunken hot tubs that go right into the ground or your deck. Thinking of the project alone may seem intimidating, so it’s important to plan ahead if this is a project you plan to take on.

If you need to relax after having a long day, a hot tub can deliver a relaxing pleasure. When creating your space, you can often run into problems while trying to make it aesthetically pleasing and blend well with your landscape.

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11+ Sunken Hot Tub Ideas

I have put together a wonderful list of sunken hot tubs to help you incorporate them into the back of your home. Sometimes a little inspiration is all you need to get started. Let’s take a look!

1. White Stone

If you’re not looking to have your hot tub be sunk into the ground, this option still allows you to achieve that sunken look. Around it, we have the black rocks to bring out the brightness of the hot tub. The hot tub is then surrounded by cobblestone with a surface around the edges that would allow you and your friends to bring over food or beverages when having a night out.

2. Tropical Feel

Here we have an option with the hot sub sunken right into the deck. The deck itself is completed in horizontal and vertical finishing. The wood around the hot tub is surrounded by a darker cedar for further enhancement of the space. This space reminds me of a tropical feel as if you were going on vacation to a tropical paradise. You can achieve this look right at home depending on how much space you have to work with.

3. Natural Boho

This space gives me a bohemian feel with its shape and deck space. While this space isn’t ideal if you’re planning to have a lot of company are, it’s perfect just for you and your partner. The hot tub is circular with benches inside with relaxation. The deck around it gives it that sunken look while also adding stairs for entry. If you’re looking for a natural bohemian appeal, this is right down your alley.

4. Rocky Falls

This creative space is one of my favorites because of the waterfall created right from the rocks. If you do decide to put an additional touch on your hot tub, waterfalls are always the go-to. I love the different patterns they used here around the outside that flatters the rock. The waterfall seems to be the focal piece of this hot tub and the stone design complements it perfectly.

5. Lazy Spa

No shame if you’re on a budget and still want the relaxation of owning your own hot tub. We have ideas for that too! Not everyone has the money to splurge on a space right off the bat. This is what I like to call the Lazy Spa. Here we have a sunken space with an inflatable hot tub perfectly placed inside. This would be ideal for you if this is your first time going the hot tub route or if you just want something temporary. We had one of these for our first home and our friends loved it when they came over to visit.

6. Stairway to Heaven

This design space gives you an above ground, but sunken look at the same time. My favorite feature about this space is the stairs leading up to the hot tub. Many I’ve seen don’t include stairs, which can sometimes make it difficult for the person to enter. One other feature to also make sure you’re including is a space for beverages. I listed one above that had this feature, but I think it’s so important to have because the majority of the time adults are coming out to relax and indulge in conversation.

7. Custom-Built

This design space is custom-built, so if you’re looking to take on a big project this would be a great one to take on. This hot tub is large enough in diameter that it can also serve as a little pool. The wall on the outside is high enough that you can sit and dangle your legs over the water. The granite stone on the outside also gives it a rich and more appealing look.

8. Deck Design

This creative space is a Sundance hot tub. It’s perfectly placed around a wooden deck, and partially into the ground that still allows a sunken look. This owner chose to design their space with plenty of greenery around. You don’t have to add additional landscaping around your space if you’re on a budget, but many choose to go this route for more appeal and for imagery purposes.

9. Shaded Beauty

This is one of my favorite design spaces. If you have a pool and are deciding to add a hot tub in additional, the shaded design is beautiful. The incorporated shades surround the hot tub are an ideal feature when relaxing on a sunny day. No matter which side the sun may be on that day, you’ll be able to adjust and pull down the shades if the sun is irritating your eyes. The deck is concrete, but also non-slip to prevent slipping for when it becomes wet.

10. Backdrop Vibes

If you’re considering designing your space against a water backdrop, such as an ocean or lake, this design is another favorite of mine. This space is set against the water backdrop and skyline, with low-maintenance garden pieces surrounding it. If you’re designing on a patio deck you can also consider adding the bars for the surrounding enclosure and more garden scenery for appeal.

11. Backyard Garden

This hot tub gives all the feels of simplicity. It’s surrounded by steps leading up to the hot tub, and a beautiful garden landscape. On the inside, you have a ledge that surrounds the entire outline to provide accommodating seating for guests. It’s not too big, but perfect for a long, stressful day at the office.

Hot Tub Maintenance

It is essential that when owning your own hot tub you keep it free from bacteria to provide a relaxing experience. There are basic elements that are required to keep your hot tub balanced which are shock treatments, pH adjusters, and sanitizer.


To control bacteria growth, your hot tub will need to be controlled with sanitizer. In a hot environment, bacteria can rapidly multiply so you need to maintain the proper sanitizer level to kill the bacteria. To keep your hot tub clean there are two different types of sanitizer available.


You can add chlorine by spreading the chlorine granules across the surface or by using warm water to pre-dilute them. In the beginning, it is suggested to use a small amount to prevent overdosing. After spreading the granules, leave the water as is for two hours, then come back to check the levels. By letting the water sit this is giving the chlorine time to work especially if it’s already very dirty. Once the water is properly balanced, then you don’t have to add any additional chlorine. Some people even add a little hint of chlorine after they’re finished using their hot tub, just to have it ready for their next use.

Another option you have is putting chlorine tablets in a dispenser. One benefit to going this route is that chlorine is being dispensed constantly. The only downside is that it may give less control than the granules. Start in the beginning by adding three to four tablets, then adjusting where need be.

pH Level

When testing pH levels you’re testing whether your water is acidic or alkaline. The pH scales range from zero to fourteen with seven remaining neutral. If your water is below a seven, it’s considered acidic. If your water is above a seven it is considered alkaline.

Low pH level problems

  • components corrosion
  • irritation of the skin and eyes
  • the efficiency of sanitizer is poor (meaning you’ve added too much)

High pH level problems

  • water is cloudy
  • irritation of the skin and eyes
  • the efficiency of sanitizer is poor (meaning you’re still adding too much)

Having the incorrect pH level can cause problems with the balance of your sanitizer level. You should always adjust your pH level before adding any sanitizer.

Shock Treatments

As with pools, it is recommended that you oxidize your hot tub with a non-chlorine treatment every week. When your shock dose your hot tub, it does the following:

  1. Chloramines break down – sanitizer reacts with any pollutants such as dead skin. It can produce a chemical compound that is less effective called chloramines that need to be broken down.
  2. Kill bacteria – since some bacteria came to become resistant to sanitizer, having shock treatments will kill any bacteria that is left over. 
  3. Organic compounds removed – as humans we carry organized compounds on our body, like dead skin and oils. Dead skin and oils can build up in the hot tub to cause cloudy water. Luckily, shock treatments will remove any cloudiness. 

Changing Water

When owning a hot tub, it is recommended that you change your water every three to four months depending on your usage level. Before emptying your hot tub, I’d recommend using a piper cleaner to remove and loosen any dirt or calcium build-up from the pipes. When you go to empty your hot tub, this will be washed away as it drains.

Clean Your Filters

To ensure the overall health of your hot tub, make sure that you’re cleaning your filters. Filters can collect dirty spa water, as well as trap oils and other particles. All of those things will remain there until your filter is cleaned. Not keeping up with filter maintenance could put a strain on the pumps of your hot tub and its heating system. To ensure that your hot tub has a long and healthy life, cleaning your filters is crucial.

Benefits of a Clean Filter

  • water is clearer
  • you can increase the power and jet output
  • easy going cleaning and maintenance
  • reliable heating and circulation

Mental Health Benefits

There have been numerous studies that have proven that soaking in hot water can improve our mental health. Not only does relaxing in a hot tub improve our mental health, but it also can improve our physical health without putting out a ton of energy.

Balance Hormones

Spending time in your hot tub can result in both relaxed breathing and increased blood flow. The combination of these results will increase serotonin levels and the dopamine levels in our brains, all while decreasing our epinephrine and cortisol levels. By soaking in hot water regularly our “happy” hormones will increase we can see a decrease in the “stressful” hormones. To fight against anxiety, stress, and depression, we need a healthy hormone balance.

Deeper Sleep

One of the things that can trigger our anxieties is awful sleeping habits. I get it, the stress from the day, staying up, and thinking about everything on your to-do list can take its toll. If you suffer from anxiety, you know you either suffer from insomnia or light sleep habits. By regularly using your hot tub, you can acquire a more restful and deeper sleep.

The hot water will raise your body’s temperature once you enter, and once you leave, your body will enter its cooling stage. These are the same body temperature stages that we go through right before we fall asleep. Improved sleeping habits are one of the best weapons against stress.

Ease of Physical Symptoms

After my aunt had two knee replacements, she purchased a hot tub to help with her aching joints. Hot tubs can take your mind off ailments by physically relaxing your body. Instead of focusing on the pain of your joints, your mind goes through thoughts of relaxation.

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Get Your Soak On

To conclude, when you’re creating your space for your hot tub, remember to have fun, play around with ideas, and overall just make sure that it fits your personality. Adding a sunken hot tub to any area of your home can become a big project so just take your time with it.

Weigh out the pros and cons of your design space before purchasing supplies or consulting a contractor. I hope some of these creative spaces can push to give you the inspiration you need to starting your new home addition.

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Nicole Abbott

I'm a stay at home mom of 2 who loves DIY projects! Since childhood I've always enjoyed to design and put personal touches on rooms around my home that fit my personality. When I'm not writing I'm doing DIY projects, as well as homeschooling and caring for my 2 children.

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