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What To Put Under Above Ground Pool On Dirt

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What Is The Best Thing To Put Under An Above Ground Pool

Part 1 Dirt Work! Detailed Inground Above Ground Pool Build

poolabove ground poolpool

In respect to this, how do you prepare the ground for an above ground pool?

Yard Preparation

  • Step 1: Placement. The first step is deciding where you want to place the swimming pool in the backyard.
  • Step 2: Clean the Area. Remove all items that could make it difficult to secure a proper foundation for the pool.
  • Step 3: Measure.
  • Step 5: Level the Pool Hole.
  • Step 6: Wait 24 hours.
  • Subsequently, question is, what is the best surface for an above ground pool? Sand is the best foundation for an above ground pool. If the ground isn’t level you will in time have problems as the water is a natural level. If you want your pool to last more than one season you’ll want to prepare the area correctly by digging out the grass, putting down a good base of sand and leveling it.

    Similarly, do you need to put sand under an above ground pool?

    Sand is the recommended base material upon which an aboveground pool should sit. Sand is used under an aboveground pool to protect the pool’s vinyl liner from rocks and objects that could tear the liner. Also, sand under an aboveground pool acts as cushioning for its floor, making it more comfortable for feet.

    What is a gorilla pad for pool?

    Build Stone Dust Base

    Once you have a clean surface that is mostly level, you can start to bring in stone dust.

    Lay down at least 2 inches of the stone around where the pool wall will sit. Be sure to read the specification of your pool make and model, since every manufacturer has slight differences.

    Pro Tip: If you wanted to build up your pool, you can increase the thinkness of the stone dust in the lower areas. But don’t go over 8 inches.

    The Circle should be at least 1 foot wide, with the exact circomference of the pool being in the center.

    Your first round of leveling should be within 1/4 inch . We have this tool we use on the crew at Campbell Pools which allows us to set it down on the base and with the transit, we look at the measurements on the tool. You can do the same with a ruler, but it will be pretty low.

    Using a rake, make sure your level everything around the base, ensuring that the area where the wall will sit is the most accurate.

    When you are within 1/4 inch all around, bring in the compacter. Do use a garden hose to lightly spray the stone dust to prevent dust and to improve the effects of compacting.

    But it doesn’t stop there, that was round one.

    Now that everything is compacted, you need to measure again. Go around the pool and this time, bring everything within 1/8 inch . and you measure absolutely every area where the wall will sit. This will ensure your pool will be level and stable.

    What To Put Under Above Ground Pools

    After youve decided where to put your pool, its time to decide what under pool mat you will use for your Intex pool. The right material can extend the life of your pool.

    Heres a list of the most popular materials to put underneath an above ground pool, whether its on grass, pavers, gravel or concrete.

    • Interlocking Foam Tiles
    • Easy to Install
    • Cost

    Having a breathable material will help prevent mildew and mound which is caused by trapped moisture.

    Some materials are naturally tougher than others, such as commercial under pool pads. This is more important if you plan to put your pool on grass or dirt.

    Having the right material just feels nicer on your feet. Some people dont mind it but having stones sticking into my feet isnt my preference. Going for a thicker material or combining two materials together will produce a better feel.

    A material that is easy to get to lay flat is also beneficial. This will mean that the bottom of your pool will be wrinkle free making it easier to clean .

    Lastly, when deciding on what to put under an above ground pool you want to consider how easy the material is to work with and the cost. Although carpet could be free , its not easy to cut and could be quite a lot of effort to install.

    Interlocking foam tiles can be found here and at Walmart, Home Depot and many other stores.

    They provide thick padding and will feel great under your feet. Provided you install them on a level surface, the bottom of the pool will feel nice and smooth.

    Recommended Reading: Above Ground Hot Tub Costco

    Tips For Installing Plates Rails Covers:

    • Follow manufacturers instructions carefully. The pieces should all fit together easily.
    • Check to ensure the sides and top are level.
    • Make sure the top plates are perfectly straight using a level before you tighten them.
    • Bottom rails must always be held in place in the bottom plate.
    • You must recheck the gaps at each and every one of the bottom rails so that they are all equal in gap size.

    Using Pavers Under The Above Ground Pool

    What to Put under Above Ground Pool on Grass?

    Nowadays, pool installers add leveling blocks under the bottom of rail connectors. The installers do this even if they have already managed to get a level and smooth ground for the pool.

    If you are wondering how to level ground for the Intex pool using the leveling blocks, you can do it in 2 ways:

    • Lay down the pools bottom rails on the ground to see where the connectors will end up, mark the spots, remove your rails, and place the leveling blocks on the spots before you install the rails properly.
    • Follow the same process but without removing the rails once you place them on the ground. The installer will have to insert leveling blocks below the connectors. However, this process tends to be more difficult for most installers.

    Pavers or patio blocks are generally used as leveling blocks. They are ideal because of their durability, but some pool installers often opt to make use of makeshift blocks, such as wood that has been pressure treated and concrete blocks.

    The blocks help keep the uprights stable. For this reason, you should make sure that the leveling blocks you decide to use when setting up your Intex pool or any other above ground pool are capable of offering ample support. When it comes to offering support, wood and concrete blocks are unreliable for this reason, these materials are not recommended.

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    Speak With A Northern Va Land Grading Contractor

    While leveling smaller slopes is entirely possible to do on your own, bigger jobs require the assistance of a professional. For example, you could probably level a slope that was 5 to 10 degrees all on your own. It would not necessarily be easy, but it would possible. Any slope bigger than that would require you to reach out to a professional for assistance.

    We encourage you to contact a Northern VA land grading contractor for your needs leading up to your pool installation, especially if you are still questioning how to level ground for a pool without digging. Dirt Connections is one land grading contractor that can fulfill those needs. Contact them for more information or to schedule a backyard land grading consultation. Then, you can be well on your way to enjoying your backyard pool as soon as possible.

    Top 5 Mistakes Installing An Above Ground Pool

    Avoid these common mistakes when building your above ground pool.

    Mistake 1: Building up the low areas with dirt taken from the higher areas.

    This is probably the top mistake we see people make. If you are pushing the dirt around to level out the site for the pool, eventually the dirt will settle and your pool will no longer be level. This might happen right away when you fill the pool, or shortly down the road, one thing is for sure, it will happen. Pool Pros always digs out to the lowest spot so the entire pool is sitting on virgin soil.

    Mistake 2: Using too much mason sand.

    The ground should be dug level on virgin soil always. The sand is simply a buffer from the pool liner to the ground. The purpose of the sand is not to level your pool. If you are using sand to level things out you will have nothing but problems.

    Mistake 3: Setting the track on sand.

    The sand should be inside the pool track, never under the track. If the track of the pool is set on sand, it will wash out and the pool will settle or sink, reducing the longevity of your pool.

    Mistake 4: Not compacting or troweling the sand.

    First the sand should be compacted with a plate compactor, and then hand troweled to a smooth finish. If this is not done, the first time you get into the pool, your feet will sink into the sand creating divots in the sand which could lead to wrinkles in your liner, and ultimately shorten the lifespan of your liner.

    Mistake 5: Placing patio blocks under your uprights.

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    And That’s How To Install An Above Ground Pool Yourself

    Congratulation! You have completed your swimming pool installation. This is no easy task, but we give you our respect for doing so. If you did use our tips to install your own pool, we would like to know! send us a email with pictures at . Maybe we will even have work for you ) .

    If you are still looking to buy a pool to install yourself, do get a quote from us. You just need to add in the notes that you want a to install yourself. You can request a quote by clicking below.

    We hope this post has helped you. If you need clarifications or help during your install, you can always call our stores for advice.

    We would like to recognise Pierre Menard for providing the pictures in this post. Him and his crew have been installing pools with Campbell Pools for over 20 years. I have learned everything from him as my mentor to write this post.

    What’s The Difference Between Pool Sand And Play Sand

    Doing the dirt work to set up our above ground summer waves pool

    Pool sand is exclusively made of small silica particles and is often tinted white, pink, or light green. Meanwhile, play sand is typically brown and can be made from a wide range of different materials. Pool sand can trap particles in a filter, while play sand is too large to adequately filter a pool.

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    What Is A Gorilla Pad For Pool

    Gorilla Pads are pre-cut floor pads designed to protect and cushion the bottom of above ground pools. Unlike old pool foam padding, which can be easily be cut or pierced by grass, roots, or rocks under your above ground pool liner, Gorilla Bottom pool floor padding is impervious to almost any sharp object.

    Leveling The Pools Bottom Track

    When I started building above grounds in the eighties, we didnt use blocks for leveling. We would just level the earth and lay the track down and roll out the wall. The result was some of those pools were pretty off level. Today every pool installer uses some kind of blocks for leveling the track and we place a block under every one of the bottom track connectors. Ive seen people use all kinds of things for leveling blocks from cutting pieces of small pressure treated wood all the way to full 8x8x16concrete blocks buried . Most do-it-yourselfers use too big of a block for this as they think the blocks have some structural value and they dont. I use 6×6 standard thickness square pavers.


    When I explain that the blocks under the track have no structural value, some homeowners look at me sideways and dont believe or agree with me on this. If you work in computer science or are an engineer of some kind, chances are you wont agree with me as these two professions must attract the overly intellectually arrogant. In this case, it doesnt matter if you are wrong, as it wont hurt anything to overbuild. You can spend your whole week digging and leveling giant unnecessary pieces of concrete materials. Im sure your body needs the exertion and your soul will enjoy being outside for a change. Certainly there is value in everything we do.

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    Install Strucuture Part 2

    It’s now time to finish the structure. Start by leveling all the posts that you installed earlier. The pieces of the top cap and posts are different for every pool, so make sure to consult with the “instructions” provided in the box.

    Yours posts should somehow be lightly secured to the wall. It’s now time to install the top rails. One you have installed at least 3 top rails, your friends inside the pool should be able to jump out from that area, assisted by the friends outside.

    Finish installing all the top rails and add the top caps as well. Your pool should be looking really nice at this point. You are done with the major structure now.

    How To Install A Base For Your Above Ground Pool Liner

    Were putting in an above ground pool

    Many do-it-yourselfers installing an above ground swimming pool for the first time have questions regarding how to properly install a base underneath a pool liner.

    This article will illustrate the correct way to do this in order to make the installation go smoother and protect the pool liner and pool wall from being damaged.

    One of the biggest problems that we see is with the height of the base beneath the above ground pool liner. When the sand base is not high enough there is excess strain put on the pool liner and pool wall, and this tremendous weight of the water can easily cause the vinyl pool liner to blowout and/or the metal pool wall to be pulled down.

    Pool liners are obviously not built to withstand water weight, they are simply made to line the inside of a pool to hold the water. Therefore, when installing a new swimming pool or a new above ground pool liner it is extremely important to make sure that the vinyl pool liner is supported by the proper height sand base. There should be NO AIR SPACE between the vinyl pool liner and the base that it should be resting on.

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    What To Put Under Above Ground Pool On Grass: A Sand Bed

    You can use sand to stabilize the ground or grass, smoothing out uneven parts of the surface. There is a critical thing that you will need to follow to ensure that it turns out as intended. Thats, you will need to place a lot of sand on the grass or surface.

    Without a doubt, there is a risk of getting sand all over the grass, but dont fret it will come in handy to mask the nasty smell from those offering of your neighbors cat.

    Then, sprinkle water on top of the sand bed while rolling or tamping. Finally, place your groundsheet on top of the bed to prevent the growth of grass. Roll out this sheet to fit your above ground pool.

    After that, you can position or inflate the pool itself.

    Installing Pool Over Landscape Rocks

    Do you think I will be ok? I am putting up a 24′ x 16′ x 52″ above ground pool. I have put carpet padding, carpet 2 layers and ground cover, I forgot to put the heavy duty tarp, do you think I will be ok with out it?

    Hi Liz.

    I would say slow down before you ruin a perfectly good above ground pool. You might get away with that if it is a soft sided pool. It’s going to be too lumpy to keep clean, and you will have to block under all the side supports, but it might be possible.

    If you are talking about a Doughboy steel wall pool I would not consider doing it. The pool framework needs to sit on perfectly level, solid dirt. The brace assemblies need to be set into the dirt, with solid dirt packed around them.

    If it were me, I would clear the rock, level the ground, set the braces, level the end rails and then bring in some mortar sand.

    This page shows an oval pool being installed in a desert landscape yard. This would be the correct way of doing it.

    Read Also: How To Clean Concrete Pool

    Can You Put Pea Gravel Under A Pool

    What is the best thing to put under a swimming pool?

    Pool Floor Padding

    By far the best material to place under a swimming pool liner is Armor Shield or Gorilla Pad. These materials are breathable allowing moisture to escape and are extremely tough, keeping insects and moles from coming through and piercing the vinyl pool liner.

    Can I use gravel under my pool?

    Gravel itself compacts really well, and it is far greater than sand or dirt that may be used in place of it. Gravel is a permeable material, so pretty much what you are doing by using gravel around a pool is installing a french drain system around your pool also.

    What kind of gravel goes under pool?

    Pea gravel is most often recommended for the base of fiberglass pools. Get a tamper in there on the base material, and compact in lifts. Pea gravel gets everywhere – it is too small to put around the pool. It gets knocked out of wherever you put it too easily.

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