What to put under above ground pool on the grass is a query that you would be wondering. And rightly so — above-ground pools are awesome since their installation is easy and quick.
But these pools can become tricky and lean or sink with time if you don’t secure a firm base layer to put them on.
The grass is fine, but not stable enough, so this is why, this article brings you the best possible things you can do and put under your swimming pool to ensure stability and long summer days of fun in the water.
List of Things To Put Under Above Ground Pool
1. Vinyl Pool Liner
One of the most obvious and fastest pool solutions is a vinyl pool liner. These pool liners are so readily available and cheap, and come in many different colors, shapes, and sizes that you can combine with the terrain, but with a catch that you may be required to change them every so often.
Vinyl pool liners are fast and readily available, and one of the cheapest options out there, it can be easily found whether in a hardware store or even online, but probably the recommended ones would be an Intex pool liner pad, because it is one of the most qualified ones.
Vinyl pool liners are fast but aren’t the most durable options available and provide a minimal cushion. Being made of a weak material, they aren’t proven to stabilize the terrain around your swimming pool and some stronger grass may even grow and pierce right through them.
Also, being an excellent water insulators, they can dry up and burn the grass below your above-ground pool as well. They can even get algae forming on top, which isn’t something you’d like around your pool.
They’re quite easy to install. Simply lay the vinyl liner on the ground and cut to measure and place your pool on top. This is a reason why so many people love this padding, because the installation isn’t a challenging one.
2. Inflatable Pool
Some people even put other inflatable pools or similar materials under to make for insulation and stabilization of their above-the-ground pool.
Well, if you have a good enough lawn that’s well-maintained you can put something like an inflatable pool under your above-ground pool, just inspect the lawn beforehand for anything that may tear or cut or damage the material.
Much like pieces of vinyl, inflatable pools will only do so much at protecting your pool from getting torn quickly. They are cheap as well, which means that it is a pocket friendly option that you can pump it up and easily place it.
Although inflatable pools will give you some protection, they won’t be stabilizing your above-ground pool very much. These will move around with the pool and are probably a viable option only if you’re putting them under another inflatable above-ground swimming pool. They, too, have the potential to ruin, dry up and burn the grass below.
Fairly easy to install, although can be messier than with vinyl liner, what you must do is to pump it and it would be set easily. You should give some effort to level things up, but the option may come cheaper for your pocket!
3. Interlocking Foam Tiles
Interlocking foam tiles are another source for your above-ground pool insulation and are readily available in most stores. You can find these anywhere from Walmart to Home Depot and are a much better option than liners or other inflatable pool materials.
You will have to level out the surface to have them placed, but they are so easy to install and will provide thick padding and will feel nice and smooth under your feet. The foams are usually made from polystyrene or polyurethane and offer a great many benefits.
If you go with an inflatable strong pool, such as Intex pools, or a smaller but more quality inflatable jacuzzi pool these are the option for you. One big advantage is that they’re easy to place and install, provided you work with a well-flat terrain.
You can be sure you won’t be spending too much as they’re often made to size and look esthetically well with any kind of background, as it would do great when you set it with the rightest measures.
They also come in a variety of thicknesses to further adjust to your budget, and your grass can breathe under them just fine, this is also preventing your grass from developing any fungi when the place is closed, and it will also give aeration. It will get squashed but will recover quite fast.
Foam pads, and especially interlocking foam pads won’t give you quite the support for your pool, although they will be a worthy option for smaller pools. If you’ve got solid enough ground below your interlocking foam, then go for it.
Another disadvantage, considering other options is they’re sometimes quite expensive, so you should look out for discounts, or maybe look at a solid piece of foam option.
Foam interlocking is quite easy, you should just pick an area and start clicking the interlocking tiles until you have the surface covered, and you’re good to go, because it’s that simple. A good idea is to dig them an inch into the ground before you begin foam interlocking to ensure they stay in place.
4. Concrete Pool Pad
If you own a quality enough Intex above-the-ground pool, or any other high-end swimming pool you’d want to splash out on a good enough surface to secure the pool and prevent it from moving or getting torn.
There is no better surface than concrete pool pads for this. Any pool installation guide mandates this option and for quite a several good reasons to do so.
Solid concrete is a reliable surface that will last for years, even decades. Using it will ensure your pool stays secure in one place with little to no shifts in position.
Note that the hard grasses, such as the nut grass which is very tough and can break through almost all ground layers. With a concrete pool pad in place, you won’t have such problems and most grasses won’t even come close to your pool!
Concrete pads are nice, flat, and level which will provide quite some esthetic to the overall look of your pool. Since it starts and is laid on the ground in a liquid state, it’s fairly easy to flatten and level it to your liking and can go on any type or level of terrain.
On the other hand, there are some disadvantages you need to be aware of before you spend money on the concrete pad option.
You cannot simply place pools on a flat concrete surface. That’s because you can seldom achieve a completely smooth surface with concrete and this can severely damage your pool floor. That’s why concrete pads almost always have to come with another smooth surface for your pool — be it foam, tiles, or other.
The main disadvantage is that concrete pads are expensive. However, besides the cost of materials, you have to account for the expenses of the workforce and families that will do the concrete laying work. If you plan to go for concrete pads for your pool you’d want to factor in all those expenses coming with them.
Concrete pads can be tricky to install on your own, you want to hire a specialist. But the idea is to mark the deck for your concrete pad with straight slabs of wood or planks and pour the concrete in. Not that the concrete can take a few days to set in, but the result is one tough pool pad.
5. Ground Cloth
One thing you can place directly on grass that’s quality-wise sitting above vinyl materials is ground cloth. If you don’t mind spending some more, an Intex ground cloth will do a great job. It will give you some of that thickness of the foam, but with a more pleasant feel under the feet. And you won’t have to give many alterations to the terrain.
One of the biggest pros of ground cloth is probably the pricing, it’s a low-cost protection you can place ideally on grass, but it will grow great on concrete as well, as a result you may want to consider the concrete’s price point.
However, the cloth is fairly easy to work with, simple to lay on the ground, and you can cut it to the size and shape of your swimming pool and on the grass. The other note is that you can reuse this cloth for several years, of course if the quality would let you do so, and this is one of the key benefits.
You won’t get much quality with these pool floor options. Pool ground cloth pads are easily torn, they make unpleasant sounds when damaged, and you will have to change them quite often.
You’re probably looking at a low-cost option for your swimming pool, but if you have to make repeat buys, this won’t be so cheap in the end. Not advisable for high-end quality pools, such as Intex — although Intex offers their cloth pads on site for their smaller size and Kiddies pool ranges.
Cloth padding is super easy to install! Simply lay a sheet of pool ground cloth, or Intex pool ground cloth on the ground and cut to the shape of your pool. And whenever you take off the pool, you can simply give it a proper wash, and let it sun dry, and it will be good for the next year.
6. Pool Legs
Pool legs will often come with the above-ground pools, but sometimes it’s a great idea to get some more support by adding additional legs for structure and stability. Pool legs to come with their advantages and disadvantages.
Pool legs will ensure your pool has a solid structure and doesn’t lean on any sides, which would give it a very well stability if you consider it. These are strong reinforcers and if placed on solid ground you can be sure that your pool is safe from any damage.
Pool legs are fairly strong and keep your pool structure, however, you should remember that they won’t do much for stability unless you place them on solid ground.
That’s why you’re again looking at extra expenses. The legs can stand on lawns but will pierce through with time and your pool will lose level eventually.
Pool legs will be somewhat tricky to install, but as long as you buy legs modeled after your pool and the same brand you should be well set. Here we recommend with higher-quality pool, that made of durable material.
7. Carpet Padding
A lot of people like to use carpets because they won’t harm the budget. In essence, carpets will do the job at the same level as cloth or inflatable pool materials.
Much like with the aforementioned, you won’t get much thickness with carpets either. However, you can add a few extra layers of carpet padding to make it somewhat softer on the feet. If you’re not sure about what to place under your above-ground pool, this is a good starting point.
Being highly economical and widely available is a big plus for carpet padding for your pool. Note that the carpet padding offers excellent protection against sharp objects that can cut through the pool’s floor. Another advantage is that it is fairly easy to work with, and you can cut it to size.
Carpet paddings provide minimal protection against long and sharp objects and the stability isn’t high either. Being a non-breathable material it can suffocate the patch of grass you place it on, and you won’t have an equally beautiful lawn patch for the remainder of the year.
Note that since it is a cheaper substitute to foam pads, you may want to consider spending an extra buck on interlocking pads.
Carpets are rather easy to install. Simply place them on the ground and cut them to the shape of your pool, or leave them as they are.
Is putting sand below your above-ground pool a good idea? Well, depends on what kind of pool you’re working with, this is one of the prominent considerations. However, sand probably isn’t a good idea for portable pools such as Intex Easy Set ones.
Sand may seem like a perfect material since it’s so easy to work with and level, but it can actually erode pretty quickly and get washed away by rain.
Also, sand is going to be a place of interest for your pets to play in, so you may see your pool shift or float away at best. Nevertheless, sand may be a lower-cost alternative to concrete and you can place your above-ground pool on it.
As long as you give it some kind of boundary in the form of wooden planks or other hardy material, so it stays in place, and this is an important aspect.
Sand is fairly inexpensive to work with, especially if you compare it with other things you can have as padding. If you’re crafty and good with tools you can save money with labor as well.
Sand will give in to the weight of your swimming pool, but you can be sure it will hold it in one place, as long as your sand doesn’t go anywhere.
Sand won’t work well being placed on other pads, be it concrete or foam materials as it may easily slide and make your pool do so at the same time. On another note, it won’t stay very well leveled, and this is an aspect that keepers would complain about.
You also need to be mindful of how to achieve the sand to stay in one place and not erode over a short period, so there actually may be some added cost to placing sand under your above-ground pool.
Sand can be tricky if simply poured directly on grass. Probably the best idea is to prepare a trench for the sandy area and lay some kind of insulation material so it doesn’t erode into the ground. You can also border the sand with wooden planks to prevent the sand from eroding to the sides.
9. Flooring Underlayment
Much like carpets, flooring underlayments are thin flexible sheets made of foam that usually come in rolls.
Flooring underlayment is used as an insulation layer for laminate installations. If you’re unsure of what to place on the grass beneath your pool this is a good and cheap option, but without much protection, as it’s quite thin, so it wouldn’thave an uncomfortable fit.
Flooring under-layments are quite cheap, and you may have rolls laying around from your previous laminate works.
They are easy to work with, you can cut them to shape and have your pool installation sorted in seconds. The material isn’t as slick, so you can be sure that your pool won’t be sliding around, and this aspect is a perfect one for a pool that’s above ground.
Remember that the padding that you choose should protect against abrasions and punctures to the pool floor, also it should provide some cushion and feel smooth.
Nonetheless, it must even prevent mold and algae from forming, and make pool cleaning and maintenance easy. Also take into consideration how it is keen to prevent damage from sharp grass and insects.
Being thinner than foam pads, under layment won’t give you much protection, as you would consider. It won’t be easy on your grass or lawn either, as the material isn’t breathable. If you want to achieve some kind of cushioning effect, you may stack a couple of layers on top of each other.
Flooring underlayment is easy to install. Simply unroll the sheets of underlayment and cut them to a size a bit larger than your ground pool. And when you decide to roll it off, it is very simple to store it away as well.
10. Wood Planks
One last interesting option to have under your above-ground pool is wooden planks. This can provide quite some stability if done well, and the cushioning isn’t as bad as with concrete pads. Wood can look quite effective on grass and you can get that landscaping esthetic bonus from using them.
Wooden planks can either be costly or quite cheap, depending on availability. Nevertheless, stacking a dozen wood boards on the grass can look quite effective in your yard! Wood is breathable, probably the most out of the before-mentioned paddings, and won’t do much harm to your grass surface.
Wooden planks can be quite messy to level and install on the ground, but if you’re crafty enough you should go for it. Also, you should sandblast them to prevent injuries and get them as smooth as possible. Wood also won’t react well with the splashes of water from the pool in addition, it will expand, so there’s a cost of lacquering the planks.
You can simply lay wooden planks one next to the other, but this can quickly turn into a messy scene. Try to connect them with some tools or dig them in the ground at the height of the boards. That way you get a nice clean wooden pad for your pool.
Placing an above-the-ground pool on the grass isn’t as easy if you plan for your pool to last more than a season.
For the best protection against poking grass, mildew, or insects it’s advisable to go with:
- Interlocking foam tiles are the ones that you could easily set and also to take off once the season has ended.
- Concrete padding is another option that would stay firmly as the pool wouldn’t move.
- Add padding to protect your high-quality pool such as the Intex swimming pool or another.
However, some cheaper options may prove effective as well! Together with the pros and cons, you can simply come to a very quick choice and decide with would you rather invest in.
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