Above-ground pools, especially inflatable pools such as kiddie pools, are an affordable and straightforward way to get a pool set up so that you can escape the summer heat.
With brands like Intex making it easy to install an above-ground pool, more families are starting to consider having a pool in their backyard for when warmer weather comes around.
One thing that many first-time above-ground pool owners overlook is what to place underneath their pool. Above-ground pools, particularly inflatable pools, need a layer of protection to protect the bottom from tearing and rupturing.
The best products to place under your inflatable pool on grass are: the included ground cloth if your pool comes with one, pool pads, interlocking foam tiles, carpet padding, a tarp, and solid foam sheets. Even with this protection, you have to remember to move https://openwaterhq.com/swimming/what-to-put-under-inflatable-pool-on-concrete/concyour pool often otherwise the grass underneath will perish from lack of sunlight, water, and air.
In this article, we will go over each of the various options in more detail to help you find the optimal solution for your backyard pool.
Best options to put under inflatable pool on grass
Included ground cloth
Depending on which brand you purchased your inflatable pool from, such as Intex or Summer Waves, a ground cloth may already come included in the box. In that case, you may not need to buy a third-party pool pad if you are on a tight budget.
The bigger your inflatable pool is, the more water it can hold, and therefore the heavier it is. The extra weight means that the bottom of your inflatable pool is more susceptible to sharp rocks, twigs, or other sharp materials puncturing the pool liner.
Before placing the ground cloth down, make sure there are no twigs or rocks in that patch of grass because they can still potentially damage your pool liner through the ground cloth.
If you are worried that the included ground cloth does not provide sufficient protection, then you may need to use it with one of the other options below.
The included ground cloth is just serviceable, but if you want something even more resistant and reliable, consider purchasing some pool pads to preserve your pool liner better.
Pool pads are more durable thanks to the material, which is often thick, woven fabric. With this durability, you can have peace of mind knowing that the pool liner and pad itself can last years without tearing.
Another benefit is that commercial pool pads come in a variety of sizes and shapes to suit your pool. Make sure you are aware of how big your pool is so you can buy an appropriately big pool pad.
If you accidentally buy a pool pad that is much bigger than your pool, you have the option to cut it to the right shape and size you want. However, high quality pool pads do cost a bit of money compared to some of the other options, but the investment is worth it.
Interlocking foam tiles
Interlocking foam tiles are often used in children’s play areas, but they can also be placed underneath your inflatable pool on grass. They are a popular option because of how affordable and accessible they are.
There are a few caveats to keep in mind. First is that you will be able to feel the texture of the ground, dirt, or rocks under your feet inside the pool since the tiles are too soft to completely block the sensation, but can remove the edge from them.
Additionally, the pool legs should be placed on wood blocks or concrete pavers instead of directly on the ground so that the legs don’t sink into the yard. Then all you need to figure out is how much tiles you need for the bottom of your pool.
A major advantage of foam tiles, aside from the price, is how easy they are to dismantle and store. You can stack up the tiles and reuse them later on. Their modular design allows you to adjust the shape by moving the tiles around, and you can always buy more if needed.
Carpet padding can be placed under your inflatable pool on grass because they are flexible foam sheets that can be easily purchased from any hardware store. You may already have some if you recently installed laminate flooring or a new carpet.
This is a cheap option, but there are a few considerations. Since carpet padding is so thin, it offers minimal protection. That said, it is cheap, so you can buy multiple layers and stack them on top of each other for extra protection against rocks and twigs under your pool.
Tarps are usually placed over a pool, but can be used in a pinch to put under your pool on grass. Despite companies boasting about their tarp’s thickness, tarps still aren’t as thick or cushion-y as a pool pad. However, it can still get the job done.
A major advantage of tarpaulin is that it’s waterproof, suitable for all weather, and is tear-resistant. So even though you won’t get the same padded feeling as a pool pad, it can still provide decent protection for the pool liner.
Their price point typically is between pool pads and interlocking mats, and tarps can be used for other purposes, so it is well worth it if you can take advantage of it in other ways.
Solid foam sheets
Another good option to provide sturdy and even ground on grass for your inflatable pool is solid foam sheets. They are a bit on the expensive side, but people who have tried them out swear they work wonders.
Solid foam sheets are available in a wide range of thicknesses and dimensions, and can be further tailored to your liking with a pair of sharp scissors or a knife.
Just make sure you purchase sheets that are thick enough to withstand the weight of your pool filled with water. I recommend rigid urethane foam which will not compress as much under pressure.
Move your pool frequently to save your grass
You may be worried about chlorinated water splashing out onto your grass and killing them. However, the more likely culprit is the inflatable pool itself.
Consider that grass needs sunlight, water, and air to survive. When you leave your inflatable pool in one place for a few days, you are depriving the grass underneath of these vital energy sources. Very quickly, your grass will die out unless you move your pool every 12-24 hours.
The most straightforward option is to drain your pool, store it, and set it up at a new location the next day. Grass can die as quickly as 24-48 hours when it is covered up, so you have to be quick about moving your pool.
This solution is feasible only if you have a small inflatable pool. It can be a hassle, and a huge waste of water, for larger pools. That said, there are more alternatives for protecting the grass for larger pools. However, even these methods can only protect your grass for about a week before it is necessary for you to move your pool again.