What to put under the above ground pool? The most popular solutions (2023)


the question afterwhat to put under the above ground poolremains relevant and causes much controversy. Some cannot understand the good or bad of putting an above ground pool on grass. Others argue that it is necessary to put a solid surface underneath. The most common materials used as the base for above ground pools are concrete slab, commercial slab, sand, solid foam, carpet padding, and decking.

Why is it important to choose pool pads?

If you don't have adequate surface area under your above ground pool, you run the risk of owning a leaky pool that you can no longer use. This leads to a spoiled summer and poor rest, and makes you think about spending extra money.

I honestly believe that an above ground pool floor mat protects the pool liner and prevents it from tearing or ripping from things below the pool. Now let's take a closer look at what should be under your above ground pool.

What to put under a raised pool during installation?

Before using the pool for its intended purpose, you must ensure that it is on the correct base during installation. Otherwise you will get in trouble if you don't remember to put it under the pool liner. This article gives you tips on the topic and shows you how to choose the right substrate for your pool.

What are our favorite pool pads?


  • 1 What to put under the above ground pool and pool legs?
    • 1.1 Interlocking foam tiles
    • 1.2 Pool Coatings
    • 1.3 Basis do piso
    • 1.4 Old carpet upholstery
    • 1,5 Sand
    • 1.6 canvas on the floor
  • 2 Place the inflatable pool on the natural bottom line
  • 3 What to put under Intex pools
  • 4 Frequently Asked Questions
    • 4.1 Can I put an above ground pool on grass?
    • 4.2 How do I prepare my yard for a raised pool?
    • 4.3 How do I prepare the bottom for an Intex pool?
    • 4.4 Is it possible to put a raised pool directly on the lawn?
    • 4.5 Should I put pavers under the pelvic legs?
    • 4.6 What if the raised pelvis is uneven?
    • 4.7 How big are the decking blocks for an above ground pool?
    • 4.8 What can I use instead of sand under my pool?
    • 4.9 What sand do I put under my pool?
    • 4.10 Can plywood be laid under the above ground pool?
    • 4.11 How many sandbags do I need for a 15 foot pool?
    • 4.12 Can tarpaulin be used as pool liner?

What to put under the above ground pool and pool legs?

So now let's take a closer look at what is most commonly used as a base for pool legs to make everything work perfectly.

If the pool has support feet that need support, as most frame pools do, use concrete or wood blocks under each. Use the laser pass on each of them so they are perfectly level. The result is a level, smooth-bottomed pool free of lumps, bumps, and rocks.

interlocking foam tiles

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

This material ensures a smooth above ground pool surface and protects the pool from damage and cuts. It is worth considering that before laying such material under the pool, you also need to additionally level the surface. The material is easy to handle.


  • Super smooth surface under above ground pool liners
  • Excellent pool mat for above ground pool protection

In contrast

  • High costs
  • No air escapes at all

The question often arises as to whether the pelvic feet should rest directly on the foam board.
The answer is not at all! The pool feet must be supported on blocks of wood or concrete placed at the level of the foam. This will prevent excessive stress on the foam tiles.

Here is an example of how many foam tiles you will need.

What to put under the above ground pool? The most popular solutions (1)

Polar foil

A pool floor mat for the surface of the pool liner is an excellent solution for those who don't like to play around a lot and don't want to waste a lot of time looking for and installing a suitable base with improvised means. They are already fully made to fit the surface of the pool. They are super stable, high quality, beautiful and already tailored to the size of your pool.


The underlay, also known as the fill, is a spongy, flexible sheet of foam that comes in rolls. It is usually laid between the laminate and the subfloor.

This can be a good pool pad if you are not sure what to put under the inflatable pool when installing the pool. It's cheap and easy to work with. However, this pool mat is very thin and offers the lowest cushioning ever. To get a smoother surface, you need to apply several layers.

Otherwise you will feel pebbles or stones under your feet while swimming. Styrofoam sheets are the best choice if you don't want that.


  • very low cost
  • Easy to cut and edit
  • widespread

In contrast

  • Offers minimal protection
  • not breathable
  • Thinner than foam tiles

old carpet upholstery

Carpet pads are excellent protection for your above ground pool from damage caused by sharp objects. In addition, you can of course take some old and unnecessary carpets with you and in this case provide the above-ground pools with a protective base free of charge.

When considering carpet padding for use below the bottom of an above ground pool, choose one that is rated for high-traffic areas. Depending on how soft you want the pool floor to be, you may need two layers of carpet underneath to be effective.

But you should know, if water falls on the mat, it's not very good. Carpet traps moisture and becomes damp, further promoting rust. This keeps the pool wall and structure constantly soaked with water and quickly leads to extensive corrosion. In addition, under these conditions, the carpet smells bad and rots.


  • free or cheap
  • good protection
  • Provides air

In contrast

  • Difficult to deal with
  • Not as smooth as foam tiles


What to put under the above ground pool? The most popular solutions (2)

Experts do not recommend using loose substances such as sand as a substrate. Therefore, sand is predominant, but sand can deform quickly. After the first dive, the bottom is covered with tracks left by the feet of vigorous swimmers. Soft, loose soil is no less uncomfortable for the well-being of the vinyl pool liner than sand.

Sand is primarily used to create a smooth, level base beneath the liner of above ground pools. While sand works, it's not the most effective alternative. The sand would no doubt act as a snag that would no doubt soak up water or moisture, rather than having all that liquid seep into the ground under the puddles above ground and possibly not kill the grass.

canvas on the floor

It's okay to use a tarp under the sand; but not instead. A tarp undoubtedly allows all the lumps and imperfections of an earth foundation to show up at the base of your above ground pools. With just a tarp, you still need a cove for the pool or Intex above ground pool to be safe. The cove can be dirt, sand or foam, but it has to be there.

Place the inflatable pool on the natural floor line

What to put under the above ground pool? The most popular solutions (3)

Pay attention to the resilience of the bottom of the pool and the bottom - they can withstand the pressure of a significant amount of liquid. The mass of water is roughly equal to its volume. That is, by weight of 1 cubic meter of water ≈ 1 ton. Calculate the mass that affects your lawn and you will be amazed.

When you put the inground pool on the grass, tighten it and clean it from dirt and plants. Make sure the location you choose is free of roots and young trees if you place the pool in the grass.

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

Danger of installing directly on grass

If we are talking about a giant bowl, the answer is unequivocal: no, putting an above ground pool on grass is impossible. Quite reliably - at first glance - the long-term turf begins to sag unevenly under the influence of moisture and significant water weight. Moles, rats, debris from other construction activities make the ground uneven. After screening, the pelvis will soon deform and lose its functional properties.

Also, without litter, there will be constant debris around the pool. And yet - as soon as you leave, the ubiquitous herbs will immediately begin to actively grow. If you arrive in two or three weeks, chances are your pool will be obscured by rampant weeds.

Also be prepared that you will most likely get dead grass due to the weight of the pool.

Surface preparation

The construction of frame pools is designed for static loads. All changes redistribute the loads, the vector of forces acting on the joints of the structure changes. It usually results in above ground pools being destroyed.

Only a level and horizontal platform can ensure the standard and long-lasting use of frame pools.

When choosing a site, it must be flat and clear of all types of debris and vegetation. The soil needs to be compacted, residential and residential buildings, power lines, trees, roads are far away. It is best to build it in a sunny or partially shaded place that will not block the passage of people.

Also avoid that there are trees or bushes near the pool as your water will get dirty faster.

What to put on the grass under the pool: sand

The best solution would be to remove the grass before installing the pool above ground as some types of grass can damage the bottom of the pool. Use an herbicide. Then place the padding mentioned in the article above under the pool. You can also use sand, but do not forget about the problems that can arise if you choose sand as a substrate.

You can opt for cinder blocks, commercial blocks, sand or foam, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. Consider which option best suits your needs and budget before committing to one.

What to put in Intex pools

All of the above substrates are now ready to be used properly for your Intex pools. Now you know all the pros and cons of each material.

Where to place an Intex pool?

Monitoring! If you have an Intex pool, the manufacturer advises against using sand as a pool substrate. This can void the warranty!

What to put under the above ground pool? The most popular solutions (4)

The Intex pool can be placed either on a softer surface or on a hard surface like concrete. If you embed the pool in concrete, you don't have to worry about the liner becoming too hard. But if there is grass or bare earth instead of concrete, you should choose a more durable material for the subfloor.

Floor cloth for Intex pools

The Intex Ground Clothis is included in the Intex Pool Set. It provides extra protection for the bottom of your Intex pool from rocks, branches or anything else that could puncture the liner. While Intex pools generally get good reviews from homeowners, the Intex floorcloth is often referred to as an inferior item. It is very thin to offer a lot of natural protection. Because of this, many Intex pool owners choose another option.

What to put under the above ground pool? The most popular solutions (5)

Frequently Asked Questions

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

You must thoroughly clean the playground from grass and debris.

How to prepare the bottom for an Intex pool?

Use a line level to measure the level at 12-36 points around the pool. Use flat shovels or a lawnmower to clear grass and lower high spots. Add a 1 inch (2.5 cm) layer of sand. The wrong way: raising low points with sand – without checking the level.

Can you put an above ground pool directly on the lawn?

Yes you can, but you must consider some of the risks that may arise if you do so (see article above).

Should I put pavers under the pool legs?

Yes, you want cobblestones under your legs. This will prevent them from sinking. Paving stones need to be level with the ground so they don't bump into the liner.

What if the above ground pool is uneven?

Incorrect pressure distribution can cause the pool wall or pool walls to collapse.

What decking blocks for an above ground pool?

Patio stones 12" x 12" x 1" deep or larger work well. Round patio stones 12 inches in diameter or larger will also work.

What can I use instead of sand under my pool?

Carpet foam, carpet felt, indoor/outdoor carpet, anything similar to these materials.

What sand do I put under my pool?

Wall sand or mortar sand is valuable and harmless for the pool.

Can you put plywood under the above ground pool?

Plywood is expensive. In addition, this material can damage your pool.

How many sandbags do I need for a 15 foot pool?

You will need 38 50 pound bags of sand.

Can you use a tarp as a pool liner?

A vinyl tarpaulin under the pool is an excellent solution as a substrate.

David Wilson

Hey! My name is David Wilson. I'm an industry expert, certified pool technician and an avid lover of all things water. On my website you will find tutorials, buying guides and reviews as well as inspirational ideas. Do you have any doubts? Let me know.

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