Styrofoam for Above Ground Pool

by Lola
(Salisbury, NC, USA)

I have been hearing that using foam pad instead of sand makes for an easier liner installation - to get a smoother bottom. I have also read people asking if pink or blue is better.

What I would like to know is this foam you are referring to the insulation type foam pads you would get at a home improvement store? What thickness is most recommended? - thanks Lola

Hi Lola.

The sheets of Styrofoam I am talking about are 4' x 8' sheets in a basic white color. The thickness can be either 1" or 1 1/2". This type of material is usually available at the larger hardware stores. Aluminum awning companies might carry them also. They are the same material used in mobile home roof overs. The Styrofoam gets installed onto the roof and covered with an aluminum roof roll.

It is important when using these sheets that the ground is as smooth as possible. The Styrofoam could easily crack if laid on ground that is to uneven.

The hardest part of working with these sheets is cutting the round edges for laying against the pool wall. All the factory edges should be in the center area and the cuts used on the outer edge only. Every seam needs taped with duct tape. Any open spaces around the outer edge can be packed full using any scraps you may have. Preformed pool cove should be used around the outer edge. This will cover any rough cuts in the foam and give the correct shape to the pool base.

More reading about above ground pool base materials is here.

Pool Floor Pads

Comments for Styrofoam for Above Ground Pool

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Jun 10, 2013
Which Foam
by: Tom

Can anyone list a product id from Menards or Lowes of the foam board to use.

Hi Tom You are looking for R-Matte Plus 3 R-3.2 1/2 in. 4 ft. x 8 ft. Foam Insulating Sheathing, or something similar. That listing is from the Home Depot website, but that should at least give you something to work with.

May 30, 2014

It's very rare that I would write about a company on the Net. This company helped me so much during my problems with my pool liner.
I had to replace my liner and Styrofoam bottom. I found a company Maypak Inc. in Wayne NJ Maypak Sales staff told me to use a foam called Polyethylene Foam. Same foam you find in packaging of a new computer. Maypak had all thickness of sheets for bottom and had thin material on rolls for the sides. It cut so easily with a knife and you can hit it with a hammer with no dents like the Styrofoam. It made a 100% improvement over the hard to cut styrofoam. Best of all I purchases 1" for the bottom (saved money over the Home Depot Styrofoam) and they gave me enough thin material for the sides for Free! I give two thumbs up for all the help from Maypak Inc. Thanks again and again!! Just need some warm weather to warm up the water. Fred from Fairfield, NJ

Apr 10, 2015
Pool liner issues
by: Anonymous

We have replaced our liner for 24ft diameter pool 3 years in a row due to moles?? Would styrofoam padding be helpful in preventing this? Our eradication method for moles keeps failing us, year after year. We currently use sand under liner.

Hi There are many different pads for under the liner. Most of them should help. Foam sheets should help. The best, and most expensive, is concrete. But if you measure the cost against new liners every year, it gets pretty cheap.

Jun 07, 2017
Seeking clarification
by: Anonymous

Can styrofoam, the kind that is made up of many little pieces be used under the liner or do you have to use the solid pink panther or blue insulation?

Hi That should be fine.

Jun 26, 2018
pool on concrete
by: Anonymous

We placed a pool on concrete. Apparently it was suppose to be smooth concrete to make it work, but no one told us that. So we set here, on our second liner...we used pool cove and happy bottom. Rocks after the weight of the water started to pop up. Pool company says they have never seen this happen before and is blaming the concrete now. SO I am having them replace the liner(or taking them to small claims) anyway...Will adding this 1 inch styrofoam on top of the happy bottom help in my situation..? NO ONE wants to help PLEASE
Thank you

Hi That would be perfect.

Jun 18, 2019
by: Mike

I read the article about Maytak foam board posted here in 2014. I was basically looking for the same kind of thing for a pool bottom so iI contacted Maypack by email and posted the 2014 article that had steered me to their company. I never got a reply by email, so I called and left a message with the secretary who said she would pass it on to the correct sales person. Waited, never got a call back. Called again, did the same thing, no callback. Tried a third and fourth time, nothing. So their product may be the best for pool bottoms, they may be at a good price, may even give you wall padding for free, but none of means a thing if they can't or won't follow basic business practices and take 5 minutes and pick up a phone. Not sure what's going on my experience with them thus far has been less than favorable. Gonna have to find it at the box stores I guess, pathetic customer service. Be happy to update this if I am ever contacted by Maytak, but as of tomorrow it will be too late. Maybe you will have better luck

May 13, 2020
INTEX Pool on concrete slab
by: Dave

I just set up a 15" x 48" Intex pool on a concrete slab. Slab is level and used 8 sheets of 1 inch 4 ft by 8ft styrofoam insulation board. Used duct tape to tape all the boards together. Laid the tarp on top of the foam boards and set the pool up. It works great, protects the liner and feels good on feet as well.

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