Tarp, pad, sand, foam board, oh my! so many options!!!

TBalcom

Active member
Aug 15, 2016
27
Tacoma, WA
We moved our pool location this year and I'm trying to slow my husband down and encourage him to do it "right" this time :). It was simply on a tarp and the grass the last two years, so we've used a sod cutter and removed all the grass, used a 2x4 with a level to take down the high spots. We're ready to prep the site for the pool and there's so many options!! We have an intex with the soft sides, not the steel sides, so many of the posts where people are talking about how to prep the ground has to do with steel sided pools. We were going to do sand, a pad of some sort and then tarp and the pool, then add river rock around the perimeter of the pool. (I will add that we have two liners - the one that came with the used pool that eventually started getting holes in it and a Swimline 18' Round Overlap Pool Liner that we made PVC clips to attach. Getting the holes lined up will pose it's own challenges!)
So my ultimate question:
Due to already having two liners, I'm curious if we can forego the sand & gorilla-type padding and just use the form board, what else do we need? A tarp? The cost of the padding ($60) and the sand ($??) will be about the same for the board ($180) and the board seems to take less work than hauling and leveling sand?
I always appreciate any and all input! Thanks!!
 

Attachments

zea3

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2009
11,604
Houston, Texas
Sand is for padding only. Level the ground properly by digging down and don't try to build up low spots. The process of leveling the ground is the same for a soft wall pool as it is for a hard wall pool. The ground needs to be hard packed, level and the legs need to rest on pavers sunk flush with the ground.
You can spray the ground with nut grass killer and put down a tarp with foam board on top of that. You don't have to use sand if you don't want to.
 

scout123

Well-known member
Feb 18, 2018
127
Chattanooga, TN
Last year I did foam boards, tarp, then pool. This year I did sand, tarp, then pool. I like the foam boards better than sand.....more cushion, smoother bottom. Sand is much cheaper (at least where I live) than the boards. If you use the foam, be sure and tape the seams really well. I triple taped with gorilla tape.
 

TBalcom

Active member
Aug 15, 2016
27
Tacoma, WA
Last year I did foam boards, tarp, then pool. This year I did sand, tarp, then pool. I like the foam boards better than sand.....more cushion, smoother bottom. Sand is much cheaper (at least where I live) than the boards. If you use the foam, be sure and tape the seams really well. I triple taped with gorilla tape.
@scout123 may I ask why you had to do it again? Did the foam boards not hold up? I don't want to put $200+ into the base of the pool to have to redo it again next year!
 
Last edited: