Any recommendations for ABG pool base?


Bronze Supporter
Aug 7, 2019
Hi, I have a 21 x 41 ABG pool that is planned for outdoors. This is my first time and I've been reading all sorts of threads on this topic but I'm afraid I'm not using the correct keywords so I thought I would post. What is the best type of material to put down prior to putting my pool down? I read some threads about some foam boards over crusher run stone but this is all new to me. Would love some expert opinions.


Bronze Supporter
Feb 18, 2018
Chattanooga, TN
I'm not an expert, but I loved the foam boards (XPS extruded polystyrene). I used it for one year and then when I put my pool back up I decided to go with sand. Sand is a lot cheaper, but I didn't like it as much as the XPS foam. When my new pool goes up this spring, it will have the XPS foam for the bottom. You don't need anything else unless you want to put a tarp over whatever base before the liner. The most important part of putting up a pool is getting the ground completely level. You don't want to build up to level; you remove the high spots and level to the lowest point. Then you can use sand or XPS under the liner. Some people buy something called 'happy bottom', which is a really thin pad. Good luck and I'm sure others will give you some information too.
  • Like
Reactions: Jasper1


TFP Guide
May 10, 2017
Hays, Kansas
Go with a crusher base (can use sand but it can wash) to get the area level, then maybe a liner for a vapor barrier, then xps foam with tape on the seams, the running suggestion is to triple tape the seams. Then then the pool on top of that with pavers even with the xps foam on the load bearing spots.
  • Like
Reactions: Jasper1


LifeTime Supporter
Jul 1, 2014
Denton, TX
Hi Jasper, welcome to TFP, and congratulations on your new pool!
We have a sand base for our pool, but from what I hear from people I know that used foam boards, they are very nice. That being said, I've only ever had a sand base and I have no complaints. We did end up with some tiny divots, but they don't bother me or the family at all. There were things that I wanted to spend the extra $$ on (wedding cake steps for instance), so we cut back in other areas for those.
Let us know what you decide, and good luck!

Also, that's a nice size pool you'll be putting in, try to post some pictures as it goes if you can!
  • Like
Reactions: Jasper1


LifeTime Supporter
Jun 3, 2015
Pittsboro NC
I did a sand base, Gorilla pad, then 1/2" foam board (that I got for free form a friend). And don't forget the cove. This was our first summer with a permanent pool at our new house. We Loved it. Temps still in the 90's here for this weekend. One more Weekend of pool time!



Well-known member
Jun 12, 2012
I removed the sod, put down geotextile fabric, put down granular 'A' gravel and compacted it, leveled and put down crusher fines on top and packed those. Then, I put the pool walls up and put down 3/4" XPS foam. triple taped all the seams, then put gorilla pad on top. It is nice and soft and smooth and I think it should hold up. I also did weeping tile around the perimeter of the pool and run it to a dry well 10-15 feet away.

Kevin R.

Sep 11, 2019
Central Texas
I built a concrete curb (8" x 14' x26') laround mine (12' x 24') and filled with a fine/playground grade sand and it has worked great.
The concrete firmly supports the legs for the pool, and the sand is super comfortable on your feet
Natural effects such as rain and runoff can and will erode around your legs causing the pool to get dips and uneven areas that will eventually have your pool inches of difference in level.