What to put under the inflatable pool on concrete? Inflatable above-ground pools can be set up anywhere from grass, gravel, deck, or dirt.

What To Put Under Inflatable Pool on Concrete

But setting up your inflatable, above-ground pool is best done on concrete because it can be completely leveled, grass cannot grow through it, and it supports heavy weights.

However, concrete has a rough surface and can cause the pool liner to chafe and tear as time goes by. Therefore, here are some of the up top materials to put under your inflatable above-ground pool on concrete.

Best Materials To Put Under an Above-ground Pool on Concrete

1. Foam Interlocking Tiles

Often used as exercise or yoga mats or in kids’ playrooms and pet areas, foam interlocking tiles are cost-effective materials to use under your intex pools. 

– Features

These square-shaped interlocking tiles can be purchased at any major store and are soft, water-resistant, and help protect the basement of the intex ground pool from wear and tear caused by the concrete. Made from high-density EVA foam and high-density polyethylene, your pool will be feeling more valued for the pleasant feel of these padding materials.

You can use as many interlocking foam tiles as you want, depending on the size of your pool. They even come in a wide range of colors, so you can mix different colors of the foam tiles to make your pool area colorful. All you need to do to install them is to simply join together the teeth or the key segments of each mat till you get your desired size.

foam interlocking tiles are cost-effective

– Pros

Interlocking foam mats help to cut down on mold and mild dew caused by moisture. They also have thick, soft padding, which is easy on bare feet and will not cause any abrasions.

Interlocking foam tiles help to protect the vinyl liner of the swimming pool and are affordable and straightforward to handle as you can quickly assemble and dismantle them to store when you dismantle your pool. In addition, what is best about this is that they come lightweight, so they are easy to cut and resize and adjust to the perfect corner.

– Cons

A significant disadvantage of foam interlocking mats is that they can easily disconnect from each other, even when the pool is set. Using these tiles can be expensive if you have a very large pool and require more than one set of padding. They also are not breathable, and no particle can get through it, as it would stay firm.

2. Tarpaulin

Tarpaulin is a kind of large sheet of heavy-duty waterproof material usually made from polyester or tarred canvas, traditionally used over or on top of anything. The tarp is a very durable material and can withstand damage caused by water. They come with a thick layer over them which helps them protect anything they cover.

– Features

Their thickness and flexibility make them a viable option for your above-ground pool liner, as they help protect the pools from insects or algae. To install, you can simply spread the tarp and smoothen it before assembling the pool, which would give it a more soothing feel.

Tarpaulin has Waterproof Material

– Pros

Tarpaulin is very functional as you can use them beneath your pool as a line and above it as a cover. The thick materials help to prevent any leakages and damages. It is a cost-effective method of lining your pool.

– Cons

Tarpaulin is made of very heavy quality of a material, so it might not be easy to pack up every time you level your pool. It can easily slide around on abrasive concrete, and you can only use it for a short period of time, as it will stay there for a given time, but not on the long run.

On the other hand, the tarp does not provide adequate cushioning, and it is only great when the concrete is leveled. If there are lumps on your concrete slab, you will still feel them through the tarp.

3. Intex Ground Cloth

Intex ground cloth is a durable material that comes with most intex ground pools, which they take into consideration so that the pool’s grounding doesn’t get damaged. Basically, to narrow it down, it helps to protect the pool liner and acts as a barrier between the feet and concrete.

Most intex ground cloths are more of tarp materials, which help protect the feet from abrasions and prevent them from taking dirt into the pool when entering or going out. It is very easy to install as all you have to do is spread it before installing your pool.

Intex Ground Cloth to install

– Pros

Intex ground cloth is a cost-effective solution since you don’t have to purchase it, and it comes with your intex pool, as you have paid for it already, which is part of the bundle. Furthermore, it is easy to install and comes in the perfect size for your pool.

– Cons

The material of the ground cloth is generally of low quality, quite thin, and offers the barest protection. It also has a really short life span.

4. Carpet Padding

If you have an old carpet that you’re ready to let go of, it might be a good idea to use it beneath your pool. It would work. However, a better alternative is to use the padding under the carpet under your inflatable pool.

Rug pads or memory foams are the best types of carpet padding for intex inflatable pools. Although the padding also comes in rubber and felt materials, it is not advisable to use them.

– Features

Forming a sponge-like material, they come in different densities, but often need to be thick enough for above-ground pools. You may need to use more than one carpet padding to get your desired thickness. 

use Carpet Padding beneath pool

However, you can cut them into your preferred shapes and sizes using the pool walls when installing, and this would be an amazing feature. You should also ensure you select carpet padding meant for high-traffic areas because they are typically denser than those meant for lighter traffic.

– Pros

Carpet padding are very durable materials for pool lining, due to the quality. They make the pool ground more comfortable and prevent rocks from tearing the lining.

Carpet paddings are easy to cut and shape, and this beneficial for you when you are installing. You can easily recycle the paddings of old carpets to save costs.

Because they are not pool-specific, they are very easy to find and purchase. Moreover, remember that they are inexpensive and can last for a while, maybe for a full year or two.

– Cons

You need to use more than one carpet padding to achieve desired cushioning and softness. They are not breathable and don’t come in large widths, and this could be a topic to think through. They also do not offer as much protection and cushioning as other options.

5. Pool Liner Pads

Commonly referred to as gorilla pad or rhino pad, a pool liner pad is made of geotextile material, typically heavy-duty felt, which works to prevent damage to your pool lining.

– Features

It is important to note that these materials are strictly for inflatable above-ground pools and not for the permanent ones that require an installer. Felt is a tough material that is resistant to tearing from rocks or insects. It also does not trap moisture. 

This liner pad comes in a wide range or variety of sizes and shapes, and you can use your pool walls to cut the pads to your exact pool shape.

Pool liner pads are unarguably one of the best options when deciding what to put under your intex pool due to how they are made specifically for use on concrete slabs. Note that before installing the pads, you must be sure that you get rid of any sharp objects or dirt. It would be ideal if you replaced your pool liner pad when it has become brittle.  

Pool Liner Pads prevent damage

– Pros

Pool pads are made of rugged, durable material that is chemical, insect, and weather-resistant. They are also mold, mildew, and acid-resistant, which means that you don’t have to worry about this aspect as you decide to set it.

The felt they are made with is a breathable material and will not allow moisture to get trapped under the pool. They provide adequate cushioning and an easy method for proper or fix installation. The liner pads can last for a very long time, therefore saving you money.  

Pool liner pads are usually pre-cut, so it comes in the exact shape and size of your inflatable pool. The pool pad is also resistant to tears from the concrete because of the tough material it is made with.

– Cons

Pool liner pads only work best on concrete slabs. Note that they don’t typically come thick, so you might need to lay more than one for effective results. They are also quite expensive to purchase. In addition, the liner pads with tight weaves can lead to metal corrosion due to water condensation.

6. Flooring Underlayment

If you are looking for a cost-effective material to put under your above-ground pool, then flooring underlayment is perfect for you. 

– Features

This thin, spongy, flexible sheet that comes in rolls can be used under inflatable pools to protect it from the abrasive concrete. Often made from foam, sponge rubber, or recycled plastic, underlayment sheets are typically used for sound absorption, insulation, and reduction of wear on floors.

Underlayment sheets are one of the least expensive options for laying beneath your pool. However, their materials are not thick, which means you need to use multiple layers to get proper cushioning.

Flooring Underlayment from recycled plastic

– Pros

Flooring underlayment is a cheap padding option and is very effective for protecting your vinyl liner from abrasion. The underlayment can be easily cut to size using your pool wall as a guide.

– Cons

The material of the underlayment is very thin, so you would need to use a number of layers to get your desired thickness, and this would be a bit expensive. It only provides little cushioning and is not a breathable material.

7. Solid Foam Sheet

Solid foam sheet is an excellent material to use under an above-ground inflatable on a concrete patio. It is made of polyurethane and polystyrene, which makes it a good choice as it can easily be shaped. 

– Features

Due to its thickness, it can be pretty tricky to cut when you’re shaping it to the size of your pool wall. Additionally, the thicker it is, the more difficult it is to cut and shape, which would be an extra challenge for the setter. 

Nevertheless, this foam is popular because it comes in different thick sizes, making it a more suitable choice than others that need extra layers to achieve thickness.

Solid Foam Sheet Made of Polyurethane

In addition, before installing a solid foam sheet, you must make sure that it is suitable for outdoor use because some of them are rated for indoor use. You should also install the sheet on the concrete after the padding inside the pool walls and place a liner on top of the foam.  

– Pros

Foam sheets come in a wide range of thicknesses and cannot easily slide around on concrete. You don’t need to purchase more than one to achieve thickness.

You must also consider how it provides adequate cushioning for your inflatable pool’s beneath layering, is a cost-effective material as it can last for a while, and can be cut and shaped to the size of your pool.

– Cons

Solid foam sheets can be expensive, the more the quality gets better, hence the thicker the foam, the more it will cost. It can also be complicated and stressful to cut and shape the sheet, and to measure them properly.

8. Sand

Sand is a traditional and most common material for putting under inflatable pools on concrete. But it is not an ideal material for your inflatable pool, even though it is easy to lay, level, and put down. The latter is because the layering may be very challenging to have in a perfect layer, because as you step on it, in the pool, it may also get a little crooked.

– Features

If you choose to use it, you must remove any dirt, or sharp items around your pool area, pass a rake through the sand to make it smooth and flat, and fill any spots that are lower than others when installing. After all, it is very easy to come by.

Sand is not a Full-proof Method

Oftentimes, the use of sand is combined with other methods, such as installing pads or mats over it. This is because it is not a full-proof method for padding above-ground pools. Moreover, it is best used when installing oval pools because the pools’ support needs to be sucked in.

– Pros

Sand is a very accessible material, making it a cheap solution for your pool on concrete. It does not require any cutting or shaping and can be a relatively firm support for your pool when it pushes down on it, and it would dry of its own in the sun, and it is good to last for a full time use.

– Cons

The sand can easily be washed away by water from the pool or rain. Insects and other animals can easily get into the sand or your pool and damage it.

Big animals such as cats or rats can release their solid waste in the sand, causing the area around your pool to smell. It can easily shift your pool around or create soft spots on the concrete. And it does not offer proper cushioning for your pool. If you really want to use sand, you can add plants on the sand that repel rats and other animals


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