Is a above ground pool possible on a gravel/stone driveway?


New member
Mar 22, 2021
Kansas City, Missouri
With the pandemic going on and summer almost here, I would like to get a 12 foot round above ground steel framed pool. Our house is on a steep hill and there is no flat land. We have a gravel stone (1 inch rocks) driveway that is mostly flat and wanted to know if there is any possible way to make it work. In our ideal spot we can not move the rock as it is 3 feet deep or more. Can we put something under it like a plywood base or carpet? Is there anything we can do to make it work or is it a no go?


Well-known member
Mar 17, 2021
Northern California
Sure for a soft side steel frame pool you can do basically whatever you want as long it's not more than a couple inches off level across 12ft.

You could put it straight on gravel but it will be uncomfortable to feet, and the pokey bits will be more likely to wear through the liner (from stuff scraping against the protrusion on the top of it, not the rock itself rubbing through).

You can put foam boards under it and it will be lumpy but acceptable.

Plywood would probably work although a bit of a risk of the edge poking up, and have you seen the cost of that stuff this year.

The hard part will be getting the pool, if you have your eye on one in stock buy it right away, they will be gone soon.


TFP Guide
Hello and Welcome to TFP!!
Many members have used a heavy duty pad under the pool liner. Like this or this.
A soft side pool would be ok on the gravel, with the pad, but you would still want it to be level, ideally less than 1/2" across the full width of the pool. Then put pavers under each leg.
For a hard sided pool, I'd be a bit weary about it. I wouldn't recommend it without knowing more details.


Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2009
Houston, Texas
Hi, welcome to TFP! You have a couple of options for this site. If it is off level by more than 1” across a 12 foot span, you can build a box approximately 14x14 and fill it with crusher or decomposed granite about 6" thick and well compacted in 2" lifts to use as a level base. You can put foam board on top of that to cushion the floor of the pool. Whether you use a hard or soft wall pool the pavers will need to be sunk level with the ground under each upright.

If the pad is level then you can build either pool on top of it. You will still need to install the pavers for the uprights flush with the ground, then you can add sand or foam boards to cushion the floor.


TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 16, 2007
Pool Size
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Jandy Aquapure 1400
I'd definitely look into crusher and compact it nicely in a framed box and use 1/2" foam insulation board as a padding duct taped 3 times at the seam. This is definitely doable.
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