How thick of foam to use under the pool?

maxshuty

Member
Jun 8, 2021
9
Minnesota
Hi all, I am going to be digging and leveling out the foundation this weekend for our new Intex 18' x 48" above ground pool.

1. I see that Menards has lots of different foam board insulation thicknesses available, what is the preferred thickness I should buy? 3/4", 1", 2", 4"?

2. Does the foam board just lay directly on the dirt or is there a preference as to what to put underneath the foam boards?

3. Finally from reading other threads here it seems like I should cut out square holes in the insulation boards for the frame support posts and put pavers down to support those, the rest of the frame will sit on the insulation though, right?

I live in Minnesota where it gets very cold, will any of this be a problem for me here? Should I leave this foundation in place even after removing the pool during the winter?

Thanks for all your help and advice!
 

Mdragger88

Bronze Supporter
Jun 1, 2018
3,321
Hernando, Ms
Pool Size
26000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Intex Krystal Clear
Hey Max👋
I’ll try to answer your questions in order:
1. Whichever you can afford (although I think 4” is a bit of overkill & would make it harder to get the pavers right) Many people (myself included) only used the included ground cloth (tarp) or maybe also some sand so any one u pick will be better than nothing.
2. Up to u - those pools usually come w/ the above mentioned “ground cover” so that would be a good choice as an extra barrier against weeds etc. (ps. Don’t forget to remove & kill the grass/weeds. A granular insecticide is also good insurance)
3. With those pools the only part of the frame that touches the ground is the legs which will be supported by the pavers that should be buried w/ their tops level to the ground. The frame only consists of two components- legs & top rails.
The liner & frame work together to support the pool.
4. Lots of folks winterize their intex pools & leave them up year round (some in quite cold places) not sure if that would work in your area. If u plan to take it down for the winter you could use that area for something else like a fire pit or whatever. I would remove the foam & leave the pavers.
Some have used pea gravel or artificial turf, maybe some patio/rv mats anything really to protect the dirt base & keep it from washing away/becoming unlevel in the off season
 
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maxshuty

Member
Jun 8, 2021
9
Minnesota
Hey Max👋
I’ll try to answer your questions in order:
1. Whichever you can afford (although I think 4” is a bit of overkill & would make it harder to get the pavers right) Many people (myself included) only used the included ground cloth (tarp) or maybe also some sand so any one u pick will be better than nothing.
2. Up to u - those pools usually come w/ the above mentioned “ground cover” so that would be a good choice as an extra barrier against weeds etc. (ps. Don’t forget to remove & kill the grass/weeds. A granular insecticide is also good insurance)
3. With those pools the only part of the frame that touches the ground is the legs which will be supported by the pavers that should be buried w/ their tops level to the ground. The frame only consists of two components- legs & top rails.
The liner & frame work together to support the pool.
4. Lots of folks winterize their intex pools & leave them up year round (some in quite cold places) not sure if that would work in your area. If u plan to take it down for the winter you could use that area for something else like a fire pit or whatever. I would remove the foam & leave the pavers.
Some have used pea gravel or artificial turf, maybe some patio/rv mats anything really to protect the dirt base & keep it from washing away/becoming unlevel in the off season
Thank you much for all of the answers! I think the 1" foam will probably be sufficient to use with the ground cover over those and perhaps some weed prevention below the foam though I still need to figure that part out. Our backyard has a bit of a slope towards the house where the pool will be so I am going to be leveling that and leaving an extra couple feet around where the slope meets the pool.
 
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kellyfair

Gold Supporter
Bronze Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 29, 2016
4,767
Tampa, FL
Pool Size
7000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Intex Krystal Clear
Use your ground cover/tarp on the ground, then the foam. Cut out around the pavers so they can be flush with surface of foam, and we’ve seen at least one thread where the thicker foam is difficult to cut, so good decision on the 1”.

Don‘t forget a good test kit! Either the Taylor K-2006C or the one in my signature. You can also find a link to the ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry, which I urge you to read.
 

maxshuty

Member
Jun 8, 2021
9
Minnesota
Use your ground cover/tarp on the ground, then the foam. Cut out around the pavers so they can be flush with surface of foam, and we’ve seen at least one thread where the thicker foam is difficult to cut, so good decision on the 1”.

Don‘t forget a good test kit! Either the Taylor K-2006C or the one in my signature. You can also find a link to the ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry, which I urge you to read.
Awesome thank you!
 
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