Hot tub stairs can be built to specific designs that are custom for a certain hot tub, or a tub owner can simply buy a prefabricated set of hot tub stairs for their configuration. Most hot tub stairs are made of wood, metal, or plastic, and many feature non-slip materials to allow bathers to get in and out of the tub safely, even when the stairs are wet. Some stairs feature hand rails, though this is usually not necessary, as most hot tubs are not tall enough to necessitate more than two or three stairs. In-ground hot tubs feature stairs that are submerged in the water; these are usually a built-in feature of the tub.
Simple hot tub stairs are usually made from cedar. Cedar is naturally resistant to water damage such as mold and mildew, and it is an attractive wood that will complement the look of the hot tub. Most cedar hot tub stairs are two or three steps high, since this is often more than enough height to allow people into the hot tub. The steps can be modified with adhesive slip-resistant materials to enhance traction, particularly when the steps are wet. Very often the steps are straight, but other designs are curved to accommodate a round hot tub.
One of the disadvantages of cedar hot tub stairs is the price. Cedar is a fairly expensive wood because of its resistance to water damage and its visual appeal, so other options are available. Plastic or PVC steps are much less expensive, and they can mimic the look of cedar steps in some cases. These steps are very lightweight, making them easy to move around the tub if necessary. PVC does tend to get quite slippery when wet, however, so a tub owner should consider purchasing PVC steps that are treated with some sort of anti-slip surfacing.
Larger hot tub steps may allow a bather to walk up to the height of the hot tub wall. These are usually four-step stairs and they very often feature hand rails to prevent falling or slipping while attempting to enter or exit the pool. Such stairs are usually made from more durable materials such as cedar, and they can be somewhat difficult to move.
A more permanent type of hot tub stairs can be made from stone pavers or brick. These types of stairs require much more effort for installation, and in some cases, knowledge of proper masonry. The advantage of such steps include durability and natural slip resistance, though the price of such steps will be much higher than other, simpler designs.