Alternatives To Sand Under Pool

Adding an above-ground pool to your backyard is a terrific and cost-effective way to make your summer more enjoyable for your family. Of course, you’ll need to make the necessary adjustments to guarantee that the pool looks good in your yard.

The sand underneath is usually used to cushion the pool’s dug floor, where the vinyl liner on the pool’s bottom is protected against abrasion by the sand. It’s critical to have a solid foundation beneath your pool. You’ve chosen your location, cleared the vegetation, used your weed killer, and leveled the area where you will install your pool.

What can you lay down to guarantee a firm and comfortable foundation if you don’t have access to sand? You may ask, what can you put under a pool besides sand? Concrete pads, industrial pads, sand, solid foam, carpet padding, and flooring underlayment are typical materials used as above-ground pool liner pad alternatives.

sand under pool

By the end, you’ll know how to prevent common mistakes and create a smooth surface beneath your pool with any of the pool liner pad options rather than relying on a layer of sand for under-pool use. (Learn How Much Liquid Chlorine To Add To Pool)

What Can I Put Under My Pool Instead Of Sand?

When determining the material to utilize under your pool, there are five considerations to keep in mind.

  • Breathability
  • Puncture Resistant
  • Thickness, Feel, and Durability
  • Easy Installation
  • Cost

Porous materials help avoid mildew and mounds created by moisture. However, like commercial under-pool padding, some materials are naturally harder, especially if your pool is on grass or dirt.

When choosing what to put under your above-ground pool, you need to consider ease of use and cost.

Here you can find under pool liner alternative options.

Interlocking Foam Tiles

Under pool EVA, interlocking foam tiles are available in various colors. The foam tiles feel velvety and provide a protective layer under your pool padding.

Foam tiles offer cushioning to the bottom of the pool when placed on a level surface.



Underneath an Intex pool, you can use an old carpet. Carpet is a great material under kids pools, Summer Waves, and Bestway inflatable pools. A carpet is an excellent option because it protects the bottom of your pool from stones and sharp items in your backyard while also offering some comfort.

Intex Ground Cloth

A ground cloth is included with most Intex pools. The Intex pool cloth is more of a tarp underneath than fabric. It will provide some protection against abrasions or sharp objects, but it is thin, and many Intex pool owners claim they don’t last long and offer little comfort to feet.

Aftermarket Pool Pads

Intex does not just manufacture padding liners for above-ground pools. Many of them offer high-quality goods that can be used under your pool.

They’re frequently made of exceptionally robust materials that can withstand bugs, grass, roots, animals, insects, and other stones.

Another benefit of utilizing a professional pool pad is that some of them arrive pre-cut to the size of your pool, saving you time and effort during installation.

Flooring Underlayment & Carpet Padding

Padding, commonly known as flooring underlayment, is a spongy, flexible foam sheet in rolls. It’s commonly put in between the laminate and the subfloor.

Carpet padding is thicker than underlayment for hardwood floors. It’s also a low-cost alternative for putting beneath an above-ground or Intex pool. (Read Whirlpool Dishwasher Filter Cleaning Guide)

Is It Necessary to Put Sand Under a Pool?

The most suitable substrate for an above-ground pool is mason sand. Sand is used beneath above-ground pools to protect the vinyl liner from being torn by pebbles or other objects.

The sand beneath swimming pools helps cushion the floor and makes feet comfy besides filling low areas.

Above-ground pools from Intex pools, Summer Waves, and others have one thing in common: they’re all temporary.

They come with a thin vinyl lining that can easily puncture when incorrectly installed. Therefore, it’s critical to avoid placing your temporary pool directly on grass, soil, or concrete.

What Is The Best Thing To Put Under A Pool?

Before looking more at some solutions for leveling your above-ground pool, you need to know how to level your pool to offer good protection for the stability of your pool and ensure your several layers of padding do what they are supposed to do.

Here are the installation steps for above-ground swimming pools.

  1. Locate a suitable location for your pool installation and make there are no utility lines beneath the surface.
  2. Use a leveling tool to assess the steeper slopes and locations after you’ve chosen your spot.
  3. Mark the locations with stakes or other markers.
  4. To obtain the same level, dig out the upper slopes. Digging the upper parts is more effective than adding dirt and other lower sections.
  5. Confirm that the elevated places are on the same level as the lower spots using the leveling tool.
  6. Remove garbage, branches, and rocks with a rake.
  7. Wet the dirt using a garden hose to make compacting simpler.
  8. Make the earth compact with a hand tamper.
  9. Cover the altered ground with sand or one of the other options for your base material.

If the chosen location has sod, you’ll need to follow the steps below:

  1. First, kill the grass by covering it with a tarpaulin or plastic sheet at least 2-weeks before your pool installation.
  2. Wet the ground and remove the dead grass. Use a sod cutter or a grub hoe.


If you’re looking for a way to level the ground for a pool without digging, this could be the perfect answer for you.

It is the most cost-effective method of leveling the ground for the pool. It’s easier to level the sand than to level the ground.

If you plan to level your above-ground pool using sand, all you have to do is pour the sand on the installation site, spread it properly, and compact it. If done correctly, this should result in a flat surface.

Sand has certain issues with above-ground pool leveling. The pool’s loose particles enable creatures to crawl beneath it and make it their home, for starters.

The pool’s base material is frequently damaged because of this.

Because sand is loose, it can be swept away or dislodged from its original location, making it untrustworthy for leveling where the pool walls could give way under uneven pressure.

It’s not a good idea to put sand on top of concrete. Because sand quickly rolls around on concrete surfaces, it might cause your pool to become unsteady and cause the same issues as above with your pool walls. (Learn How To Keep Frogs Out Of Pool)

concrete slab

Concrete Slab or Pad

Concrete is the most convenient way to level the ground for a swimming pool. It is simple to achieve a smooth and level surface with concrete, and its rough texture ensures that the pool remains motionless even when a significant number of people use it.

The rough surface of the concrete is a significant disadvantage. Later on, the pool may be damaged because of abrasions caused by being exposed to the concrete’s surface regularly, which can cause pool leaks.

Therefore, another layer is placed between the concrete and swimming pool in most cases. While sand to level your pool is inexpensive, you’ll need one of the other options that offer extremely tough materials to offer as much cushion and protection from the concrete when installing your pool.

Solid Foam

Aside from providing a protective layer between a concrete surface and an above-ground swimming pool, foam is an ideal solution to level your yard for installing your pool without excavating; apply the foam on top of the grass.

Pavers Under Above Ground Pool

Pool builders often place leveling blocks under rail connectors even if the pool’s ground is level and smooth.

There are two ways to level ground for an Intex pool using leveling blocks:

  1. Then, before reinstalling the rails, lay leveling blocks on the areas where the connectors will go.
  2. Reverse the process, but don’t remove the rails after they’re down. Instead, installers must place leveling blocks beneath the connectors. However, most installers find this technique challenging.
  3. Leveling blocks are usually pavers or patio blocks. They are great for durability, but some pool installers use substitutes like pressure-treated wood and concrete blocks.
  4. The blocks stabilize the uprights. As a result, ensure that the leveling blocks you use for your Intex or other above-ground pool are strong enough to support the pool. Wood and concrete blocks are unreliable support materials and are not advised.

Leveling an Installed Above Ground Pool

Even experienced pool installers find it difficult to level off the uneven ground once the pool has been installed. This requires dismantling the pool before leveling and smoothing the land in most situations. In addition, the above-ground pool liners will likely need to be replaced. (Find the Best Above Ground Pool)

If the ground is off by less than 3 inches, the pool can be repaired without dismantling it. The methods below show how to re-arrange the leveling blocks in an above-ground pool with water:

  1. Drain your above-ground pool almost completely. Try not to level the earth while the pool is full. It’s not just a matter of being hard; it’s also risky.
  2. Find the lower section.
  3. Find the lower leveling blocks and remove them first.
  4. Find the pool’s bottom connectors and pry the walls to level it.
  5. Reinsert the balancing blocks
  6. Repeat for all bottom sections.
  7. Stack the earth beneath all raised walls.
  8. Refill your pool once the lower sections match the upper sections. Now get your swim cap, active swimsuit, and go for a swim.
  9. Trying to work with the upper sides of the pool is a common mistake made by beginners learning to a level above ground pools. Instead, it is easier to work with the pool’s lower sides; raising them is more straightforward than lowering them.
  10. Fill your pool once done, and enjoy your swimming at ground pool level.

Alternatives To Sand Under Pool (1)

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