Question concerning base for pool


Active member
May 17, 2012
Dunn, NC
We are planning to set up a rectangular Splash Superpool (which is similar to an intex pool in design) partially in ground and am not sure what would be the best base to use under the pool. A local pool installer came and excavated and leveled the ground for us this weekend. The area is 3 feet deep at one end going to 2 feet at the other due to installing on a slight hill and 2 feet wider than the size of the pool. The extra width and length is to allow access around the pool under the deck in case we need to access it for some reason.
We are planning to install a sump pump at one end that will automatically remove any water that may buildup with heavy rainfall, though the pool installers didn't think it would be much buildup due to them creating a small berm of dirt around the entire top edge of the "hole" to prevent rain from washing in.
They said instead of sand which is more expensive and can wash out, that they use a 1 inch layer of pea gravel under their above ground pools. They said they level it and then place Happy Bottom on top and then set the pool on top of that. I asked didn't they have problems with sharp edges being felt through the liner and they said no because the pea gravel compacts real flat. They told me I needed it under the pool to allow the water that got in there to drain away from the pool. The bottom of the dug out area is clay. Would it not be okay to just lay a ground cloth or tarp down, then Happy Bottom, and then the pool? Do you think I need to use sand or pea gravel under it also? The pool itself is just a liner which will not rust. The legs are going to be sitting on Splash foot blocks that help serve the purpose of keeping the legs from working their way into the ground from the weight.
I just don't like the idea of setting the pool up on top of rocks of any kind. If anyone has an opinion or any better ideas please share them. And thanks for your time and help!!


Active member
May 17, 2012
Dunn, NC
Thanks for replying. Well, I have someone bringing pea gravel this afternoon already cause we are trying to beat the rain that is coming here in NC so I had to make a call early this morning. I have debated on going with the Happy Bottom or foam insulation but know that people with the insulation sometimes report it starting to sepearate after time and it leaving creases in the bottom of the pool where the foam seperated. I know to use a good tape like gorilla tape but am afraid that might happen and then I'd have to drain the pool to fix it. With the Happy Bottom you can overlap it 6 inches if you want and that would prevent that from happening. I wondered if the tongue and groove insulation might would be more likely not to come apart?


Well-known member
Mar 21, 2012
Anyone? (sorry linen, I tend to measure twice and cut once : ) ) I havent bought my pool bottom yet, but was planning on the insulation board as well.


TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 30, 2010
Twin Cities, MN
I have not had trouble with my panels separating, though there are small witness lines where some of them meet up. Once the water is on the panels they will not much weight/pressure. I would guess overlapping happy bottom will have more of a witness line then the extruded polystyrene panels I used.

I would think the tongue and groove could also work, though it is more expensive, and I would still tape.