What to put under above ground pool?

The question of what to put under above ground pool remains relevant and causes a lot of controversies. Some cannot understand whether it is good or bad to put an above-ground pool on the grass. Others argue that it is necessary to put a solid surface under itThe most common materials to use as a base for above ground pools include concrete pads, commercial pads, sand, solid foam, carpet padding, and flooring underlayment. 

Why It’s Important to Choose the Pool Pads?

If there is no proper surface under your above-ground pool, then you risk becoming the owner of a punctured swimming pool that will no longer be usable. It will lead to a spoiled summer and a lousy rest and make you think about spending extra money.

I honestly believe that a pool floor pad for above-ground pools will protect the pool liner and stop it from getting rips or tears from stuff under the pool.Now let’s examine in detail the question of what should be under your above-ground swimming pool.

What to put under an above ground pool during installation

Before you start using the pool for its intended purpose, you should ensure that it is located on the correct surface during installation. Otherwise, you will be in trouble if you don’t think about putting it underneath the pool liner. This article will give you tips on this matter and teach you how to choose the suitable substrate for the pool.

What are our favorite pool pads?

What to put under above ground pool and pool legs?

So, now let’s take a closer look at what is most often used as a substrate for the pool legs so that everything functions flawlessly.

If the pool has support legs that need to be supported, as most structure pools do, make use of concrete or wood blocks under each one. Use the laser transit on each one of these so that they are all flawlessly level. The result is a level pool with a soft base, free of lumps, bumps as well as rocks.

Interlocking foam tiles

Interlocking foam tiles are easily accessible materials. They are sold in many stores.

This material will ensure a smooth above-ground pool surface while protecting the pool from damage and cuts. It is worth considering that before putting this material under the pool, you also need to level the surface additionally. The material is easy to handle.

  • Super smooth surface under the above ground pool liners
  • Excellent pool pad for above ground pool protection
  • High cost
  • Does not leak air at all

The question often arises as to whether your pool feet should rest directly on the foam tile.
The answer is not in any way! Your pool feet should rest on wood or concrete blocks that are set at foam level. This avoids undue stress on the foam tiles.

Here is some guick example how many foam tiles you need

How many squares 2x2 ft foam tiles you need

Pool liner pads

A pool floor pad for the surface of the swimming pool liner will be an excellent solution for those who do not like to mess around a lot and do not want to spend a lot of time searching for and installing the suitable substrate from improvised means. They are made already wholly suitable for the surface of the pool. They are super-strong, high-quality, look beautiful, and are already made to fit the size of your pool.

  • Super-strong
  • High quality
  • Fit the right pool size
  • May be too expensive

Flooring underlayment

The flooring underlayment, also known as padding, is a spongy flexible foam sheet that comes in rolls. It is usually installed between the laminate and the subfloor.

This can be a good pool pad if you are unsure of what to put under the inflatable pool when installing the pool. It’s cheap and easy to work with. However, such pool pad very thin and offers the least cushioning of all. To get a softer surface, you will need to apply several layers.

Otherwise, while swimming, you will feel stones or stones under your feet. Styrofoam tiles are the best choice if you don’t want that.

  • Very low cost
  • Easy to cut and work with
  • Widely available
  • Provides minimal protection
  • Not breathable
  • Thinner than foam tiles

Old Carpet Padding

The carpet padding will be an excellent protector of your above-ground pool from damage from sharp objects. Also, of course, you can take some old and unnecessary carpet, and in this case, you will provide the above-ground pools with a protective substrate for free.

If you’re considering carpet padding for use under an above-ground swimming pool’s floor, go with one that’s rated for high-traffic areas. Depending on how soft you want your pool floor to be, you may need two layers of carpet padding beneath it to be effective.

But you should know if water gets on the carpet it’s not too good. Carpet holds moisture and will stay soggy further promoting rust. This keeps the pool wall and frame soaked around the clock and quickly leads to extensive corrosion. Aside from that, carpet smells bad in these conditions and will rot away.

  • Free or cheap
  • Good protection
  • Provides air
  • Hard to handle
  • Not so smooth as foam tiles



Experts do not recommend using loose substances such as sand for the base. So, sand is prevalent, but sand is capable of deforming quickly. After the first swim will cover the bottom with dents left by the feet of energetic bathers. Soft, loose soil is no less uncomfortable than sand for the well-being of the vinyl pool liner.

Mainly sand is used to provide a smooth level base under the liner of the above-ground pools. While sand works, it is not the most effective alternative. The sand would undoubtedly serve as an obstacle that would undoubtedly take in any water or wetness rather than all of that fluid going into the soil underneath the above-ground pools, potentially not killing the grass.

  • Easy to lay and level
  • Low price
  • May move or erode over time
  • Animals and bugs can tunnel through it

Tarp on the Ground

It’s OK to utilize a tarp under the sand; however, not instead of it. A tarp will undoubtedly permit all the lumps and bumps of a dirt base to reveal into the base of your above-ground pools. With simply a tarp, you still have to have a cove for the swimming pool or Intex above ground pool to be safe. The cove can be dirt, sand, or foam, but it needs to be there.

Put the Inflatable Pool on Natural Ground Line

pool walls

Take care of the strength of the base for the pool and the flooring – they take on the pressure of a considerable amount of liquid. The mass of water is approximately equal to its volume. That is, by weight of 1 cubic meter of water ≈ 1 ton. Calculate what mass will affect your grass flooring, and you will be surprised.

If you put the ground pool on grass, tamp it down, clean it of debris and plants. Make sure that there are no roots on the selected site and young woody growth when you put the ground pool on the grass.

The famous question is whether it is possible to put the above-ground pools on grass? Experts recommend installing pools with a volume of no more than 2 tons on the grass.

Risk of Installing Directly On Grass

If we are talking about a giant bowl, the answer is unequivocal: no, putting an above-ground pool on the grass is impossible. Quite reliable – at first glance – long-term turf under the influence of dampness and significant weight of the water will begin to sink unevenly. Moles, mice, remnants of other construction activities make the soil uneven. After sifting, the pool will soon deform and lose its functional properties.

In addition, there will be constant dirt around the pool without bedding. And yet – as soon as you leave, the ubiquitous herbs will immediately actively grow. It is likely that upon arrival in two or three weeks, your pool will be hidden from view by a rampant weed.

Also, be prepared for the fact that, most likely, you will get dead grass because of the weight of the pool.

Preparing the Surface

The design of the frame swimming pools is designed for static loads. Any changes redistribute the loads, the vector of forces acting on the joints of the frame changes. Usually, it ends up destroying the above-ground pools.

Only a flat and horizontal platform can ensure the standard and long-lasting service of the frame swimming pools.

When choosing a site, it must be flat, cleared of all kinds of debris and plants. The soil should be compacted, household and residential buildings, wires, trees, roads are far away. It is better to build it in a sunny or half-shaded place that does not block the passage for people.

It is also necessary to avoid the fact that there will be trees or shrubs near the pool, because of them your water will get dirty faster.

What To Put Under Pool On Grass: A Sand

The best solution would be to remove the grass before putting the above-ground pool on it because some types of grass can damage the bottom of the pool. Use a weed killer. Then put any padding mentioned in the above article under the pool. You can also use sand, but do not forget about the troubles you may encounter if you choose sand as a substrate.

You can go for concrete pads, commercial pads, sand, or foam with each of them having their own pros and cons. Consider which option would best suit your needs and budget before committing to any of them.

What to Put Under Intex Pools 

All the substrates mentioned above can now be used appropriately for your Intex pools. Now you know all the pros and cons of each material.

Where to Put an Intex Pool?

Note! If you have an Intex pool, the manufacturer does not recommend using sand as a substrate for the pool. This can void the warranty!

pool pads

Intex pool can be placed both on a softer and a hard surface such as concrete. If you put the pool on concrete, you can not worry that the lining will not be very hard. But if there is grass or bare soil instead of concrete, you should choose a more durable material as a substrate.

Intex Pool Ground Cloth

The Intex Ground Cloth is included in the Intex Pool set. It provides added protection for the Intex pool bottom from rocks, twigs, or other items that could potentially puncture the liner. However, even though Intex Pools generally receive good reviews from the owners, the Intex Ground Cloth is generally described as a sub-standard item. It is too thin to provide much natural protection. This is why many Intex Pool owners decide to opt for another option.

pool walls, intex pool


Can I put above ground pool on the grass?

Yes, you can, but you need to take into account some of the risks that may arise in this case (see the article above)

How do I prepare my yard for an above-ground pool?

You need to clear your playground of grass and debris completely.

How do you prepare the ground for an Intex pool?

Use a line level on the string to measure the level at 12-36 points around the pool. Use flat shovels or a sod cutter machine to remove turf and lower the high spots. Add a one-inch layer of sand. The Wrong Way: Raise the low spots by adding sand – not checking for level.

Can you put an above-ground pool directly on the grass?

Yes, you can, but you need to take into account some of the risks that may arise in this case (see the article above)

Should I put pavers under Pool legs?

Yes, you DO want pavers under your legs. That will keep them from sinking. The pavers need to be level with the ground, so they do not poke your liner.

What happens if the above-ground pool is unlevel?

Due to the incorrect distribution of pressure, the pool wall or the pool walls can collapse.

What size patio blocks for an above-ground pool?

Patio stones 12″ x 12″ x 1″ deep or larger will do nicely. Round patio stones 12″ in diameter or larger will also work.

What can I use instead of sand under my pool?

Carpet foam, carpet felt, indoor/outdoor carpet, something else like these materials.

What kind of sand do I put under my pool?

Mason sand, or mortar sand, is valuable and safe for the pool.

Can you put plywood under above ground pool?

Plywood is expensive. And also, this material can damage your pool.

How many bags of sand do I need for a 15-foot pool?

You will need 38, 50lb bags of sand.

Can you use a tarp as a swimming pool liner?

A vinyl liner tarp underneath the pool will be an excellent solution for use as a substrate.

1 thought on “What to put under above ground pool?”

  1. Nice post. I was checking constantly this blog and I’m
    impressed! Extremely helpful info specially the last part 🙂 I
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    very long time. Thank you and best of luck.


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