Lawn & Garden

What to Put Under Your Above Ground Pool?

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1 March, 2024 • Updated 20 days ago

We’ve all been there; dreaming of purchasing an above ground pool on a hot day, already planning your fun in the sun… only to realize that you have nowhere to put it.

We did above ground solar pool heaters as one of the must-haves for your pool but we did miss out one of the major pain point and that is Where to put under your above grounnd pool”.

If you have had to deal with pool leaning, water waste, or dying grass from having your above ground pool on an unstable grass surface, this article is for you. 

Below you will find the best ways to reach your summer goals, without having to deal with torn pools or rotten grass once fall rolls around.


Unfortunately, this is a necessary step to protect your swimming pool liner, plants, and water bill – you’ll have to even out your lawn. Not your entire lawn, of course, but at least enough space to safely keep your above ground pool in place, even during stormy weather or violent splash fights.

Mason Sand

Sand is going to be your most inexpensive option, and might just prove to be the most effective.

Mason sand should be your sand of choice, as its finely ground texture and lack of pebbles and rocks makes for safe padding for your pool.

You will need at least 2 inches of mason sand underneath your above ground pool to protect the swimming pool liner from any rocks, thorns, or other abrasive objects it may encounter if placed on the grass alone. More sand will be necessary if your chosen area is very uneven.

Mason sand is not only great for the swimming pool, but also great for the swimmers. It offers a padded feel to anyone utilizing the above ground pool, minimizing the chance of injuries occurring.

If you choose to use this method, you will need to make sure your sand is compacted and won’t shift over the course of the summer.


Concrete is a great foundation for your above ground swimming pool if you want to ensure no shifting is possible, but that does not mean it is without its drawbacks.

While not extremely expensive, concrete is sure to be more costly than sand. It is also considerably more abrasive than sand and poses a risk to your pool liner if not evened out well or handled with care.

However, concrete pads are less likely to trap moisture and cultivate mold under your above ground pool, which might contribute to the longevity of your swimming pool liner.

If you want the security of knowing your above ground pool foundation will be sturdy for years to come and will require very minimal upkeep, concrete might just make for the perfect foundation for you.


Linings are placed on top of your level surface to further protect the pool from abrasions or to prevent the collection of water under the pool.

Linings can be put on sand, concrete, or even grass foundations if you are fortunate enough to already have an evened out lawn.

Sometimes, your above ground pool may come with its own lining, such as the Intex ground cloth, but it is pretty widely suggested to rather opt for an aftermarket option if durability is your aim.

Commercial Pool Pad

Commercial pool pads may be the most expensive liner option, but they offer a bang for your buck.

These pool pads are often made from thin but extremely tough materials, making them easy to set up and effective against any jagged objects.

Pool pads tend not to absorb the water that is splashed from your pool but rather let it pass through, making mold much less likely to form underneath your above ground pool.

While they don’t offer added comfort for your feet, high-quality commercial pads are sure to add to the longevity of your above ground pool.

Carpet Padding

If your main concern is comfort and protection for your pool lining, you can’t go wrong with a normal household carpet.

This could be a very inexpensive alternative to commercial pool floor padding and is sure to offer similar puncture protection.

Carpet padding is, however, more likely to retain water, meaning you may need to replace your carpet lining from time to time.

It may also be an eyesore if you don’t have the perfect carpet to suit your backyard.

Interlocking Foam Tiles

Interlocking foam tiles offer optimal comfort and, depending on thickness, could be a very protective pool floor pad.

Foam tiles also make for a very easy setup, as they are light and simply slot together like puzzle pieces.

As can be expected with foam, it absorbs water, making foam tiles less than perfect as a pool liner, but still a great option if they are easily accessible to you.

You are bound to get at least a summer of use out of some comfortable foam tiles.

Gym Floor Tiles

Gym floor tiles offer a clean look, solid pool protection, simple setup, and no water absorption.

If it wasn’t for their hard feel and black color that makes them hot to the touch, they would be the whole package for above ground pool protection.

Gym floor tiles are also fairly inexpensive, further adding to the list of reasons they make for a great above ground pool liner.


Be it an inflatable pool, an Intex pool, or a DIY pool, there is no limit to the things you can put under your above ground pool to protect it from instability and tears caused by sharp objects.

The only restriction is that your swimming pool can’t be placed on an uneven, grass surface if you want to enjoy it for years to come.

If you have a bit of money set aside, we’d suggest you invest in a sand foundation for comfort and a commercial pool pad for protection, but any of foundation and liner combinations above are sure to make for a great above ground pool experience.

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