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Thread: Daycare Pool on gravel?

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    Daycare Pool on gravel?

    Hello! I need some help!
    I have a daycare and for safety a pool over 12 inches must be fenced off. Our fenced off area is gravel as it is partially in front of our shop. The pool we have is just the easy set up 15' around and 48" deep.. with the inflatable ring My husband and I are having a hard time agreeing on how to pad the area. He REFUSES to use sand bc he says it will look crappy the rest of the year. The pool would only be set up 2-3 months during the summer. I have googled to see if anyone has set a pool on gravel but pretty much have found nothing. My husband wants to build a wood platform but I don't think that's a good idea at all. Please tell me what the best way to go would be!

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Daycare Pool on gravel?

    Welcome to TFP! I seem to recall some people using pads or matting as a base. Have you checked into that? Also, try the TFP "search" feature for AGP base materials. I'm sure there are lots of threads on that subject. Nice to have you with us.
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    Mod Squad woodyp's Avatar
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    Re: Daycare Pool on gravel?

    Google gorilla pad.
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    Re: Daycare Pool on gravel?

    Some friends made a deck at basically ground level and it worked fine.

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    Maybe also AstroTurf or similar on top of the gravel would be enough, and could store in a roll in the garage in the off season.
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    Scuba_Steve's Avatar
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    Re: Daycare Pool on gravel?

    Carpet will also work. It will be stinky after you take the pool down though. You can get some for free usually if you look around or post on craigslist requesting old worn out carpet from a new install. You could even call a carpet company and ask if you could take some of their garbage. They would probably be happy to not to pay to dispose of it.
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    Re: Daycare Pool on gravel?

    Thanks everyone.. I have looked at the Gorilla pad but the reviews are iffy and it just doesn't seem to be thick enough.

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    Would you happen to have a photo of how their deck was made? I've just read that the water weight is too much for wood to hold. I like the idea of astro turf.. After googling it though it looks like it can be pretty expensive.

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    cubbybeave08's Avatar
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    Re: Daycare Pool on gravel?

    Quote Originally Posted by Casyakers8 View Post
    Thanks everyone.. I have looked at the Gorilla pad but the reviews are iffy and it just doesn't seem to be thick enough.

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    Would you happen to have a photo of how their deck was made? I've just read that the water weight is too much for wood to hold. I like the idea of astro turf.. After googling it though it looks like it can be pretty expensive.
    If you are just using it for a small pool...throw it away at the end of the year and buy it new next spring.
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    Scuba_Steve's Avatar
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    Re: Daycare Pool on gravel?

    Just remember that a properly built deck is not holding very much weight in any given area. That water weight is distributed over a huge span. Especially if it is low lying. The key is to ensure that the wood it is sitting on is not only being supported by screws.

    Example: In this aquarium stand the frame is being supported by the red boards. If those red boards were gone the frame would only be supported by screws and would fail under weight. On a deck the boards should be supported with the outside frame. The more additional cross bars that run underneath the deck, the more weight it can support.


    Also if you got carpet, you could throw it away after every season and get new. It was free after all.
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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Daycare Pool on gravel?

    You can also use Styrofoam sheets under the bottom of the pool. I'm not sure what type gravel you have but some 1" or 2" Styrofoam sheeting would provide a better cushion between the rocks and the bottom of the pool. It'll also "feel" nice on your feet.
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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: Daycare Pool on gravel?

    A lot is going to depend on the size of gravel you have, adding a layer of pea gravel to the top may help smoothing the surface some. Also considering you are talking about an easyset, I would consider it somewhat disposable as the whole pool with filter and pump sells for under $400
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    Re: Daycare Pool on gravel?

    Thankyou for all your help! All of your suggestions are super helpful. I still don't know what to do ., I am very tempted with the carpet idea but I'm worried about how stinky and nasty the carpet would be. I guess it doesn't matter since it would be thrown out but just the thought of wet carpet sounds gross! Lol I would like some astro turf bc it's made to let water drain through but I haven't found any online that is decent for a good price. I have read about the foam and it seems to work well but I just couldn't find anyone who had put it over gravel. For some reason I just picture the rocks making that hard foam crack or fall apart. My husband is really stuck on doing a platform.. He has so many projects as it is I would just rather not have to wait on him to build it 😕

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    Quote Originally Posted by Isaac-1 View Post
    A lot is going to depend on the size of gravel you have, adding a layer of pea gravel to the top may help smoothing the surface some. Also considering you are talking about an easyset, I would consider it somewhat disposable as the whole pool with filter and pump sells for under $400
    It's 3/4 crush. I actually bought the pool from one of my daycare kids parents. They only had it up for a month last summer so I got a great deal on it. I don't expect easy set pools to really last all that long.. I just would hate for it to be ruined the first summer 😬

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    Re: Daycare Pool on gravel?

    If I were to use the carpet I would cut/drill holes throughout to help with drainage. It will still get wet and smell, but hopefully not quite as much.
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    Re: Daycare Pool on gravel?

    A lot depends on how big the stones in the actual gravel is. I have what we call an "a-base" gravel in my place, others have crushed limestone, other crushed granite around here.
    If it a-base (sand, clay and small stone mixed), then foam or a gorilla pad would work just fine, anything else I would suggest a wood barrier such as plywood sheets or a platform.
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