(Port Charlotte, FL USA)
We are looking to set up an above ground pool and are interested in using the foam board to pad the bottom of the liner. All we have available to us here is the beaded styrofoam sheets in 3/4" and 1" (which I am not impressed with, I can poke my finger into them) and the 3/4" pink molded foam sheets.
I know you say that 1-1/2" is the best, but could we get away with 3/4" or should we layer the beaded styrofoam with the denser pink on top? Or just double up the pink board?
I am looking to be cost effective here too without sacrificing the quality. The beaded styrofoam is of course cheaper than the pink board.
The biggest factor with using the thinner foam is going to be the ground you are laying it on. On a smooth concrete slab, 3/4" foam would work just fine. If the ground is rocky and lumpy you will find the foam breaking and cracking as you are working it into place and taping the seams. You need to be able to walk around on it as you are installing it.
I would recommend that you work on getting your base as smooth as possible before you start working with the foam. I would then buy enough 1" sheets for the first layer. If you can install those, and walk around without them cracking or breaking, you should be just fine to install the liner. You may find a second layer is needed, but my guess is the first layer will hold up just fine.
More information about a foam base for an above ground pool can be found on these pages.
Gorilla Pad, Happy Bottom and Foam
Styrofoam For Above Ground Pool
The Best Above Ground Pool Base
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