Pea gravel base, thickness of underlayment


New member
Jun 21, 2020
I’m just bought and installed a 12x24x52’ Intex above ground pool. I installed it on a concrete driveway pad. Some of the pad had a meaningful slope (old) so I used pea gravel to level it before pool installation. Anticipating some issues here, I put 4 layers of underlayment under the pool. Two 6 mm plastic sheets, one 14mm heavy duty tarp, and then the ground cover (10mm?) that comes with the pool.
So I have approx 36mm—1 3/8”—of underlayment over the base. Notwithstanding, during the installation process (I did it myself without help) some of the gravel was drug out from the recessed areas when I was positioning the tarps such that there a some random “rogue” pieces isolated underneath the pool. I believe they are all the way I’m the bottom—below the underlayment.

They cannot be much bigger than a penny in diameter, but are annoying (but not painful underfoot) to me. More to the point, I’m concerned they’ll puncture the liner. I am thinking about adding a layer of 3/4” rubber mats (sand isn’t supposed to be used over concrete), which will require draining the pool and getting 6 people to lift it up. Really do not want to do that.

I want to know if I can leave the pool as is for the next 4 months till I take it down and do it better next year. Does anyone have ACTUAL experience with a situation like this, and if so, any guidance would be appreciated.


Gold Supporter
Bronze Supporter
Jun 29, 2016
Tampa, FL
So, I’m guessing no actual experience?

I‘m thinking that’s a lot of thickness for a small pebble to poke through. I would be inclined to watch the spots for signs of wear.


Active member
Aug 7, 2018
Portland OR
I used 1/4- crushed gravel under my 12x24 intex and put down 1”x4’x8’ foam board insulation from Lowe’s. The bottom of the pool is very soft and cushy. I would recommend buying 12 sheets of that insulation, then draining, put insulation underneath and refill. I think it would be much better in the long run. I hear the intex pools have a tendency to leak if taken down over winter and set back up next season. To drain, set insulation and refill should only have you down for a couple days, then you can relax with a nice cold adult beverage!