Confused if my pavers should be set to be at the same height of the dirt, or should they be a little higher and be at level of the foam pad?

PaulieR

Member
Apr 4, 2021
5
Toronto, Ontario
Hello,

I just finished digging out the Sod and creating a nice levelled dirt area where my AGP from Bestway will sit. I have 12"x12"x 1.5" thick paver stones for all the legs, but now am confused as to how deep they should be placed.

I am planning on installing a 1" Extruded Styrofoam base on top of the dirt. so my question is should my paver be levelled with the dirt or should i just dig down 1/2 so that the paver is levelled with the foam ?
Or doesn't make a difference, and my pavers should be levelled with the dirt, because the increase in height of 1" on the base wont matter

Thanks in advance, this is my first pool install attempt, and am also building a deck around it. if it all works out and ends up being something we use, we will be going bigger in the next few years as kids grow.
 

kellyfair

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Jun 29, 2016
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top should be level with dirt. The foam will compress due to weight of pool.
 
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BoringDamo

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Aug 3, 2020
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London U.K.
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top should be level with dirt. The foam will compress due to weight of pool.
I’ve not seen it in practice so can only quote the theory (I’ll find out this summer as I’m just about to put some under my Intex pool) but I think how much the foam compresses would be dependant upon its type and grade.
In the uk typical xps (extruded polystyrene) strength is 300kpa. That means it should support 30 tonnes per m2 and compress less than 10%. Long term compressive strength ( compressive creep - measured over time for a compression of 2%) is typically a lower value say 18 tonnes per m2.

An 18ft round pool is roughly 25m2 in area (sorry I normally work in metric) and a 52” depth will be 32500L so 32 tonnes total weight. My maths make that roughly 1.3 tonnes per m2 so well below the compression thresholds for XPS. (Hopefully my high school maths is ok and I’m not factors out)
XPS is made to go under 5”+ thick concrete floors and it can’t be compressing too much otherwise it would cause massive problems in the buildings.
(there is other common insulation such as EPS and PIR that are thermally better than XPS but have way less strength).

That’s the theory, I’d be interested to hear from people who have XPS insulation on what compression they have. Also how much does human feet cause dents?
 

PaulieR

Member
Apr 4, 2021
5
Toronto, Ontario
top should be level with dirt. The foam will compress due to weight of pool.
Thank you for the response, interesting, i didnt think the the foam would compress being it is rigid XPS. and it is only an 12' x 40" round pool.
Is there any concerns with the pool legs sitting 1" lower then the actual pool bottom?
 

Teald024

TFP Guide
If you are putting down foam, the top of the pavers should be level with the top of the foam. If If it is the pink or blue foam, it should hold up well under the liner. Maybe get some heel prints but it is more than strong enough to hold the weight of the water.
 
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PaulieR

Member
Apr 4, 2021
5
Toronto, Ontario
If you are putting down foam, the top of the pavers should be level with the top of the foam. If If it is the pink or blue foam, it should hold up well under the liner. Maybe get some heel prints but it is more than strong enough to hold the weight of the water.
Yeah that is what I was thinking. I have been reading that I run the risk of the 1.5” pavers cracking with the weight of the pool, what are your thoughts of setting the pavers levelled with the dirt. Then adding 5/4 board on top of the pavers under legs, this would bring it within 1/4 level off the 1” foam.
I haven’t set the pavers so I can go either way, set the pavers on 1/2” into the dirt or build up with wood. Considering the amount of work I put into this already I really don’t want to run the risk of the paver cracking and the legs dipping.

who would have thought a 12’ pool would require so much work. Lol, and I am building a deck as well. Crazy. !!
 

detlion1643

Well-known member
May 14, 2020
62
Erie, PA
I went with 4" x 8" pavers under each of my legs, leveled to the dirt. I used 1" foam boards and the top of the foam was about the top of the bottom rail. The bottom rail was leveled across the pavers and the dirt. This put the foam boards on top of the dirt/pavers nice and flush, right up to the rail.
 

kellyfair

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Jun 29, 2016
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Tampa, FL
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Sorry, clearly I need to quit skimming and pay attention!
 

PaulieR

Member
Apr 4, 2021
5
Toronto, Ontario
Thanks everyone for their tips, this forum has been great help with my project.

here is a pic of the project, I built a deck around the pad as well for easier access into the pool and an area to sun bathe.
Hoping the pad is leveled as I spend quite some time levelling as it is the most important part.
2668F4F9-DFA8-446D-AD6E-F4B0F9839A8B.jpeg
 

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kellyfair

Gold Supporter
Bronze Supporter
Jun 29, 2016
4,299
Tampa, FL
Pool Size
7000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Intex Krystal Clear
wow, fantastic job on that deck!