Road Base Gravel To Level The Ground

Want to know if you can use road base gravel to level the ground underneath your above ground pool? Instead of using sand that shifts and moves or even putting sand on top of it to prevent any tears in the bottom.


It sounds like we both agree, you should never level your pool area with sand. Sand should only be used as an even base under the liner, not more than 2-3 inches.

Good leveling material is dirt, crushed granite, crusher run, stuff like that. You want a material that will pack solid.

I imagine road base gravel would do that but have not had experience with it. Make sure your final grade is not too course, if so you could add a small layer of crusher run. You want a very smooth and solid surface before adding the sand.

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Pool Underlay

by Steve
(Goderich, Ontario, Canada)

I am installing a 18' x 33' above ground pool for the first time. Never done this before. I am undecided as what to use under the pool; sand, foam, gorilla liner, or a combination of some.

There are some tree roots present, small ones, which are a concern. This also makes me lean towards foam. If I do use foam do I also have to put sand under it.

Thanks, Steve

Hi Steve.

I would stick with sand myself. If the roots look like they could be a problem black plastic would be good to use under the sand. The sand and plastic option is the least expensive, and in my opinion, the best. The biggest problem with the gorilla pad is that it conforms to the ground under it. Used on smooth concrete it works great but over dirt or sand it show all of the lumps and footprints. It is very difficult to get a really smooth bottom.

If time and patience are used foam is an excellent base. It is a little expensive but it is feet and liner friendly. Take the time to smooth the ground under the foam and even more time piecing it all together. The edges are the hardest but you need full coverage. The water pressure on the liner will show any and all imperfections. I use lots of duck tape over all of the joints and where the foam meets the wall.

Visit these pages to read more about pool underlays.

Preformed Pool Cove

Gorilla Pad, Happy Bottom and Foam

Comments for Pool Underlay

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Jul 29, 2011
Ground Cover for Pool
by: Anonymous

Would you recommend gorilla liner to keep anything from growing up into your liner and then 1' foam over that for the bottom of the pool?

Thank you

Hi. I think you would be just fine with black plastic and it's a lot cheaper.

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Big Rocks, Little Rocks, and Bolder's

by April
(Iberia, MO)

Rocky Pool Base

Rocky Pool Base

Get a pool they said, It will be fun they said...
Well, the pool nightmares have started just in the leveling the foundation. We have dug down about 2 and half feet to level the area out only to find what looks like a rocky mess of dirt. every size and shape. I have raked rocks only to rake wholes in what was once level mess of jagged edges.

My question as you probably have figured, is Do I need to put down some kind of leveling base in the entire 32' foot dig and something diffrent inside the 30' round pool?
Or can we just put something inside the pool that will keep the rocks from coming through? I don't trust the sand to do the trick.

Someone suggested that I use lime dust, but I don't know if that is the answer or not, or how much to use since its a fine powder that packs down.

I have also heard to use Road Base. But then I am unsure if they mean just for the inside the pool or even to the outside of the pool?

If you put in the pool area only, would you put sand on top? Then there is the question of how much road base and how much sand?

We have been able to get this rocky mess level, so I think putting the patio blocks down level shouldn't be a problem. But if it is, THEN WHAT? Yes, I am thinking ahead.

I read that crusher run is one of your choices. I believe that is a lot like road base if its not the same thing. I am just not sure if it should go just inside the pool and how many inches to do. Do you put sand on top of it.. What is the exact processes of this?

I have watched a zillion videos and read article and even spoke to a pool guy and have never gotten a clear answer. I want to move forward but want to do it without risk of ruining a $6000 pool or even worse, it collapsing with my grandchildren in it.

Thanks for your website.

Hi April
What you use to level the area is what you feel is best based on what is available in your area. You are looking at two different materials. Use the base material on the entire area and the sand goes only inside the pool frame. It gets piled in the center and only spread out after the wall has been installed.

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