Preparing ground for installing above ground pool


May 2, 2019
There are bushes and a small tree in the area where I want to install my 18' above ground pool. Will it be OK if I back fill the holes and compact them? I'm going to rent a compactor to do this.
Also are the floor pads worth it or is sand good enough?


TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 16, 2007
Sand is good enough if you dont want to spend the extra on the pad. Make sure you compact those holes really good. I'd even water them and compact it some more just to make sure you got all the air out. Good luck n post pics.


Gold Supporter
Bronze Supporter
May 23, 2018
Fuquay-Varina, NC
Only what I've seen in my pool. The cove was just built up sand from my installers. I actually bought a foam cove to use but the installer (who had been doing this around the Raleigh area for over 10 years) said he would strongly suggest returning it for a refund.

But sorry, I didn't even know they made such a thing as wall padding. LOL


TFP Expert
Apr 29, 2016
Quaker Hill, CT
Wall padding offers very little benefit and may potentially increase the risk corrosion by allowing more moisture to be present between the wall and the liner.

Foam cove tends to be hated by professional installers and liked by DIY folks. There are reasons to like and hate each. Personally I think sand is fine and is quicker and easier to install than foam coving.


Bronze Supporter
Jan 7, 2019
Chickamauga, GA
I found a deal on foam coves amazon warehouse and paid about $30 I think. This saved some money for the .5 yd additional sand and it is supposed to be easier to install/ more uniform. I haven't actually installed mine yet though so can't say yet.

Wichita Chief

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 29, 2015
Andover KS.
Everyone says to level to undisturbed earth. To back fill an area from removing a small tree (3' small or 10' small?) to undisturbed quality is really difficult. But you are not building a building. I would pack it as you go. Put some dirt back in the hole (not filling hole yet) and pack it with with something you can tamp it down real firmly. Add more dirt, repeat. Again, this all depends on how big and deep a hole you leave from the removal.