Posted by Ethan | Posted in In the Garden | Posted on 02-01-2015
Having a hot tub can provide an immense amount of enjoyment.
You’ll be able to relax in the bubbling water under the stars, solo, with friends or with that special someone. However, a hot tub can provide additional enjoyment when seclusion is provided by great landscaping and a bubbling wall.
To hide your hot tub behind foliage and your own bubbling wall, you’ll just need to allow your creativity to flow. Use the suggestions provided here for creating an envelope of lush greenery. Follow the provided steps to build a bubbling wall, that can be placed according to your preference. The steps provided will create a single wall, however you can always build more than one.
Measure and Cut all Bubble Wall Acrylic Pieces
- 2 Acrylic pieces measured at 4’ X 2’1/2” – Front and back panel
- 1 Acrylic piece measured at 3” X 2’ – bottom of panel
- 1 Acrylic piece measured at 4” X 2’1” – Top of panel
- 2 Acrylic pieces measured at 4’1/2” X 4” – Side panels
Prior to cutting acrylic pieces, be sure to remove paper backing. Cut all pieces with a circular saw equipped with a triple tooth carbide blade. While cutting, be sure to make consistent slow cuts. You’ll also need to consistently apply water to the saw blade to prevent the acrylic from melting.
Drill an Opening for Air Tubing
Using a 1/2” acrylic drill bit, drill a hole into one side panel 1” up from the 4” width base. The hole should be centered at the 2” mark across the 4” width. While drilling, be sure to consistently wet the acrylic and drill bit, to prevent melting caused by the drill bit heating up. Avoid applying extra pressure while drilling.
Once the hole has been made, use a 1/2” countersink to smooth out the edges of the drilled hole, this will prevent fractures caused by stress.
Applying Silicone to Acrylic Edges, LED Lighting and Air Tubing
Applying silicone caulking, is a relatively easy process provided that you follow a few caulking guidelines. Silicone caulking will connect all of the panels of a bubble wall and ensure that it doesn’t leak. Start by caulking the two sides of the bottom panel and attaching the side panels to the caulked area. The sides will extend 1/2” beyond the bottom panel on both ends.
When connecting the sides, the side that has an air tube hole will be connected so that the hole is at the bottom of the bubble wall. A bead of caulk should be ran on the inside and outside of the panel joints. Allow the caulk to fully dry before adding the front and back panels.
With the side panels connected to the bottom panel, you’re ready to insert the air tubing. A bead of silicone should be ran along the length of the bottom panel. Insert standard aquarium air tubing through the drilled hole and press the tubing into the silicone caulking. Close off the far end of the tubing with silicone, so that air is unable to pass through the end.
Use a needle to pierce holes into the tubing. This will allow air bubbles to rise within your bubble wall. Keep in mind, the amount of rising bubbles will be based on the number of holes made, too little or too many could affect the flow of your bubbles. Once you have finished piercing your holes, caulk the air tubing hole on the inside and outside to prevent leaks.
To attach the front and back panels, run a bead of caulk along the edges and press the panel into position. You’ll want to do one panel at a time, allowing caulk to fully dry between each panel. Be sure to caulk the inside and outside with silicone.
While the back panel is drying, you can add the LED lights. To add lights, add a bead of caulk around the back panel edges and press an LED light rope into the silicone caulking. For added effect, you can use a multi-colored LED light rope, providing a rainbow of colors.
Once all silicone has dried, you can stand your bubble wall up and add water. At this point, you’ll also want to connect an air pump to the air tubing. With the bubble wall filled with water, you’ll need to apply a final bead of silicone across the top of the panels and add the top panel.
Bubble Wall Variations
After creating your first bubble wall, you can set it along any side of your hot tub in any type of stand chosen. However, if you would prefer to create an entire wall, you can build a wooden frame that can house several bubble walls. If you choose this route, you may want to use single colored LED light ropes of varying colors. A variation of colored LED light ropes will allow you to have a different color for each bubble wall.
Adding a Little landscaping
To add landscaping, choose an area along your hot tub that doesn’t have a bubble wall. You can plant a variety of aloe vera plants, agave cacti and then throw in some wildflowers and succulents for added ground cover. This combination will create soft vegetation. An advantage to plant aloe, is that aloe will thrive throughout the winter.