Obviously, hot tub shells need to be made of a completely waterproof material; however, other than that stipulation, there are many choices when choosing your spa shell and the choice is really up to you. All shells basically provide the same function, but each shell has different pros and cons and may or may not be as pleasing to the eye. Things to consider when choosing your hot tub shell are:
Take for example the soft sided spa, also known as the portable spa. It provides the same functionality as a basic fiberglass and acrylic hot tub, but most soft sided shells aren't really that attractive. A soft-sided spa has an aluminum frame and waterproof foam rubber fabric and usually come with everything you require for a basic experience. They have basic jets, and the pump and motor are contained within the spa itself. The advantage of these portable hot tubs is they can be moved and are quite popular with people who move frequently, people who live in ground-based apartments and people with RVs.
Spas made of wood can be quite beautiful and can blend very nicely into the surroundings. However, they are not as durable as the manmade hot tub shells. The most popular finishes include redwood or cedar, and they will last, if you do the proper maintenance as advised by the manufacturer. One of the most popular brands of wooden hot tubs is the Snorkel Stove Company . These handcrafted tubs do not require an electrical hook-up; they are wood fire based and perfect for properties that have large backyards or the cottage where there is a limited supply of electricity.
Generally, these types of spa shells are in-ground models used indoors and outdoors. They are very beautiful and can be inlayed with fantastic and stylish mosaic tiles to match your décor or landscaping. If you are going to go this route with your hot tub, ensure you get a qualified professional to install it. Many people have tried to make their own hot tubs and have laid the concrete incorrectly, resulting in cracking. If a ruined hot tub is used indoors not only will you have an unusable spa, you will also create water damage leading to dangerous mold colonies in your home's structure.
Another thing to consider is the pumps, heaters and basic innards of the hot tub which are placed underneath the tub. You get what you pay for. If you are planning to create your one-of-a-kind spa, make sure you buy top of the line mechanical and plumbing parts - you don't want to dig up the base of your tub later to fix any issues which may arise.
These hot tubs are definitely the most popular type because of the easy installation, the variety of styles and features, and the durability of the hot tub shell. Of all the different types of hot tub shells this type is the easiest to install because they are generally molded in one piece. All you need to worry about is where you want the plumbing placed - in the ground or in a self-contained, outer cabinet. One thing to be wary of is these shells aren't easy to move if you plan to take it wherever you go - despite looking like they are portable.
Akin to the texture and manufacture of the above ground pool, these easy to install aluminum & vinyl shells can be portable and are most certainly one of the most inexpensive spa models. While these hot tub shells are inexpensive in the realm of the hot tub world, the cabinetry can be costly, making the expense for the unit as a whole comparable to many other types of hot tubs. Do your homework.
There are many other types of spa shells to consider, like bathtubs or tubs made of composite materials. Talking to a dealer or contractor about hot tub shells will allow you to make the right decision for you, your space and your home's resale value.