What To Put Under Intex Pools – 4 Ideas For Longevity and The One Mistake To Avoid

Last Updated on October 20, 2021

Intex pools are a great way to add family fun to your backyard this summer. Swimming pool games will be a great memory for your family! If you are ready to buy your Intex pool (or you already have it) you may be stuck on the question – “what should I put under my Intex pool?”

This article will cover 4 ideas of what to put under Intex pools:

What to use at a glance

Intex Pool Ground Cloth for 8ft to 15ft Round Above Ground Pools
Blue Wave 15-Feet Round Liner Pad for Above Ground Pools Gray
Our Favorite
ProsourceFit Extra Thick Puzzle Exercise Mat ¾” and 1", EVA Foam Interlocking Tiles for Protective, Cushioned Workout Flooring for Home and Gym Equipment
The standard INTEX ground cloth is OK
Third party pool pads are a BETTER option
Foam Tiles are the BEST option to protect your pool
Intex Pool Ground Cloth for 8ft to 15ft Round Above Ground Pools
The standard INTEX ground cloth is OK
Blue Wave 15-Feet Round Liner Pad for Above Ground Pools Gray
Third party pool pads are a BETTER option
Our Favorite
ProsourceFit Extra Thick Puzzle Exercise Mat ¾” and 1", EVA Foam Interlocking Tiles for Protective, Cushioned Workout Flooring for Home and Gym Equipment
Foam Tiles are the BEST option to protect your pool

After reading this article, you’ll be able to answer the following questions.

  • What kind of products or materials can I put under my Intex pool?
  • What are the products or materials you should avoid putting under your Intex pool?
  • Where’s the best place to put my Intex pool?

Why Do You need to put ANYTHING under your pool?

Temporary above-ground pools like Intex, Summer Waves, Bestway, or Coleman all have one thing in common. They have a thin vinyl liner that is susceptible to punctures if installed incorrectly. Roots, stones, pebbles, and anything else on the ground below the pool are potential sources of leak-causing punctures.

For this reason, it is important to not put your temporary pool directly on the grass, dirt, or concrete.

No matter what style of Intex Pool you are installing, this decision can make a big difference in how long your pool will last.

What to put under intex pools
Photo by Editor B what to put under intex pools

Avoid this common mistake – SAND

One of the most common mistakes that new Intex pool owners make is that they put sand under their pool. We understand why! It is easier to level, which is very important for your pool. However, sand easily washes away from under the pool during hard rain. For this reason, Intex VOIDS THE WARRANTY if you in fact had sand under the pool! Please read the warranty carefully to avoid this problem.

what to put under intex pools
Here is a screenshot from the Intex FAQ page that specifically addresses the sand question

Here are 4 Ideas of What to Put Under Intex Above Ground Pools

There are a handful of things you can put under your Intex pool to make sure that it lasts longer, but we only recommend the following materials to put under your Intex pool. Keep in mind that Intex pools vary in size. See our article on Intex Pool Sizes to learn about all the different pools available.

The Intex Ground Cloth

The Intex Ground Cloth is included with most Intex Pool sets. It provides added protection for the pool bottom from rocks, twigs, or other items that could potentially puncture the liner. However, even though Intex Pools, in general, receive good reviews from the owners, the Ground Cloth is generally described as a sub-standard item and is too thin to provide much real protection. This is why many Intex Pool owners decide to opt for another option.

Intex Pool Ground Cloth for 8ft to 15ft Round Above Ground Pools
  • Durable ground cover sheet for above-ground pools
  • Provide added protection for pool bottom
  • Measures 15.5-foot square; fits 8-foot,10-foot, 12-foot,and 15-foot pools; use with Easy Set or frame pools
  • English (Publication Language)

Third-Party Pool Pads

There are many companies that manufacture alternatives to the Intex Ground Cloth that provide more thickness and therefore more protection for your liner. Make sure you choose the right size for your pool. If your pool is 15′ diameter, then choose the 15′ diameter pad. There is no benefit to having a larger pad than the pool, and in fact, the excess can be cumbersome to manage and you will just have to cut it off anyway.

Gorilla Pad 15'
  • Gorilla Floor Padding Cut and Sized to Fit 15ft Round Above Ground Swimming Pool
  • Sits Underneath Your Pool Liner for Added Cushioning and Extra Liner Protection - Extends the Lifetime and Safety of Your Liner and Pool / Cushioning Eliminates Footprints from Forming
  • Extremely Hard to Penetrate - Specially Designed Geotextile / Strong Felt-Like Material Approximately 1/8in Thick
  • Impervious to Cuts from Sharp Objects, such as Glass, Roots and Rocks, Virtually Eliminating Vinyl Liner Bottom Leaks!
Home Furniture

Interlocking Foam Tiles – OUR FAVORITE

This is a good way to add a decent amount of padding under your pool bottom. Without lots of padding, you can feel every texture of the ground under your feet in the pool. This bothers some people and foam padding feels great under the pool. It also makes cleaning the bottom of your pool using an Intex pool vacuum much easier since you have a more uniform surface without dips and divots for the dirt to get trapped.

Pro Tip: A common question is whether your pool legs should rest directly on the foam tiles. The answer is NO. Your pool legs should rest on wood blocks or concrete pavers that are set level with the foam pads. This avoids undue stress on the liner.

You simply need to calculate how many squares you need for your pool. Here are some quick calculations using 2’x2′ foam tiles.

  • 10′ diameter pool = 35 Tiles (140sq.ft)
  • 15′ diameter pool = 60 Tiles (240sq.ft)
  • 18′ diameter pool = 80 Tiles (320sq.ft)
  • 20′ diameter pool = 115 Tiles (460sq.ft)
  • 24′ diameter pool = 145 Tiles (580sq.ft)
We Sell Mats 3/8 Inch Thick Multipurpose Exercise Floor Mat with EVA Foam, Interlocking Tiles, Anti-Fatigue for Home or Gym, 24 in x 24 in, Charcoal Gray, 24 Square Feet (6 Tiles) (M24-10M)
  • Protective & Cushioned - The high-density foam construction of We Sell Mats floor tiles provides a firm cushion to reduce the impact of exercising, playing, or standing for extended periods,...
  • Easy Installation & Cleaning - We Sell Mats foam tiles can be easily assembled in minutes over any flat indoor surface, providing extra padding throughout the home. They're easy to clean - simply wipe...
  • Kid Friendly - We Sell Mats foam tiles are ideal for use in playrooms, daycares, or classrooms, as they provide extra thick padding that makes playtime safe for kids. Puzzle design adds a fun element...
  • Versatile Usage - Multipurpose foam floor tiles are perfect for a variety of activities and lifestyles, providing safe cushioning for light fitness exercises, yoga. They're also great for standing...

What Real World Users Say…

“we put it on a concrete slab with only a tarp and regretted it

“I put down a tarp and the pool but I could feel little clumps of dirt that were hard enough to feel like rocks. So then I put down the interlocking gym pads and a tarp (since I already had it) on top. I’m glad I did. When I walk around in the pool it’s nice and cushiony.

“So far ours have held up really well. Tape them together with the wide black gorilla tape

Under Intex Pools
Don’t let your Intex pool look like this!

Old Carpet – A free option!

This is another good material that will help you decide. We really like this solution since it can be FREE if you can find someone disposing of their old carpet. Just put the carpet down under the pool, with the plush side up. The carpet provides good protection from the stones and pebbles that could cause a tear in the liner, but it does not provide as much cushion and uniform surface for cleaning as the foam tiles do.

What To Put Under Intex Pools - Own The Pool

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use sand under my Intex Pool?

The folks at Intex are fairly clear that you should NOT put sand under your pool. The sand can easily wash away, causing voids under your pool and risking your pool leaning and even collapsing.

Where’s the best location to put my Intex Pool?

The most important point for choosing a location for your pool is that it must be a flat, level, and stable surface. That is the most important thing when choosing a location.

Can I put my Intex Pool on the driveway or concrete patio?

YES. As long as your driveway or patio is level, this is a great place for an Intex Pool. If you do choose to put your Intex Pool on your driveway or patio, then we highly recommend the We Sell Mats interlocking foam floor tiles mentioned above as a way to provide cushioning for the bottom of the pool.

What should I put under other types of above ground pools?

These tips are the same for any type of above-ground pool. Bestway, Summer Waves, and Coleman are great alternatives to Intex Pools and this advice is the same for those brands.

What should I put under the legs of my Intex pool?

The stability of the legs is vital to a sturdy Intex pool. You should NOT put the legs directly on the ground, they will sink in once the weight of the water is pushing down. You SHOULD put a wood block or concrete paver under each leg. The paver should be at least 1ft x 1ft in size and should be level with the ground.


Those pretty much sums up everything we could discuss on this topic, and hopefully, we were able to answer your question earlier, “what to put under Intex pools?”.

Intex Pool Reviews and Buying Guide

If you want to upgrade your Intex Pool, you should check out this comprehensive review we made just for you.

73 thoughts on “What To Put Under Intex Pools – 4 Ideas For Longevity and The One Mistake To Avoid”

  1. I’m so happy that I found this post because I’m planning to get an Intex pool for this summer. Now I know what else I need to buy😊

  2. I used to manage pools and these are great tips. People don’t realize how adding something underneath can help ensure a longer life for the pool, it saves you so much!

  3. Its good to know not to use sand underneath the pool. Thanks for showing us what would be a safe option to use under the pool.

  4. Oooh this is a great blog post. We have been wanting to put one in our backyard but I honestly know very little about them. I’m glad I came across this and hope we get to use our pool this summer.

  5. Great tips. a lot of people think that having an above ground pool is just a set up and leave it and that is not the case

  6. What are the best interlocking foam pads and can they be purchased at Home Depot or Lowes. We have a 24×12 Intex Pool that we will be putting up. We purchased sand but not sure if we should use it.

    • We recommend using the Fatapaese Puzzle Exercise Mat Gym Mat with EVA Foam Interlocking Tiles. You can get them via Amazon. And please don’t use sand. Cheers!

  7. Do you have to do any prep work to the grass before putting the liner/foam pads/etc to avoid any stinking smells due to dead grass? Any recommendations. Thanks.

  8. I have an old pool that broke due to age, I was hoping to put Intex pool in its place. However it is dug out because of sloping yard, and there is sand underneath my old pool. Will I be able to make my Intex pool work?

    • We don’t advise setting an above ground pool on a sloping surface. And Intex highly recommends that you set your pool on a hard and level surface.

  9. I getting ready to set up a new INTEX Ultra XTR Frame 18 ft Round x 52in Pool Set. Do need 70 tiles and do you put the foam tiles in between the liner and the ground cloth provided or under the ground cloth?

    • You’re going to need more tiles than this page suggests. Their math is way off. I special ordered the number they reccomend, and tried to put them together today.
      I need at least 16 more to have an area large enough to set a 15ft pool.
      I’m furious because now I’m having to drive all over, trying to find enough tiles to MAKE something work by mishmashing them together. I don’t have enough time to order and ship before my water is delivered on Saturday, so now I’m spending twice as much because I have to buy them local, if I can even FIND them.

  10. How much square footage is needed for the Intex 10 by 30 quickset pool? Also, we have a gently sloping yard. Any thoughts on whether we can make this work? Thank you!

    • You’ll need about 80 square feet. For the slope on your yard as long as it is not more than 2 inches, you’ll be fine. If it’s more than that, you’ll have to level it first.

  11. This is an excellent post! I’ve already ruined a pool because I used the thin ground sheet on concrete. I am going to buy foam pads for my new pool. Thank you!

  12. Great ideas!! Do the interlocking tiles smell or get sour?
    Don’t want to have a bad smell I can’t get rid of around the pool.
    Thank you

    • The tiles won’t smell. If you want to be 100% certain, you can cover it with an old tarp or the ground cloth that came with your pool if you got one.

  13. I have a 12ft x 30 in pool that I want to put on my driveway which is level enough. I read somewhere that the pool can not be directly put on asphalt due to chemical reaction. Not sure if I can put foam tiles directly on asphalt pavement, and then put the pool on top of foam tiles?

  14. I have the 10 x 30 Intex metal pool. Can you let me know what products I need to put in the pool to get started. Hoping to have it up and running by the 4th. Just ordered my interlock foam pieces as well to put underneath, do I need a tarp as well?
    I have it on a concerted patio, level.

  15. Hi Ross,

    Would you put the ground cloth down first, them the foam tiles, then the pool or would you put the ground cloth on top of the foam tiles? Need to know ASAP. Thank you!

  16. I am curious which way I should have the foam pieces. They have a smooth side and a textured side like the blue ones pictured above in the article. Should I have the textured side up or the the smooth side up?

  17. I just bought a new Intex 26′ round. I have a sloped back yard, so I leveled a spot ( 1/2 hard ground, 1/2 ruffled ground and am going to put a rock wall around dirt, then compact it again. Will that work? And can I use Intex ground cover that came with pool, then carpet on top of that, then a third party ‘liner guard’ that I purchased from Amazon? and in that order? if 1/2 of ground is disturbed dirt…how long should I let it settle after I smash it? Also you are talking about a brick under each vertical pole?

  18. Hi should I tape the tiles together as well as to prevent from coming apart or is interlocking them as is fine? If tape is the way to go what type do you suggest?

  19. We have an Intel inflatable 10ft pool that we are trying to put on an existing concrete slab. The slab does slope to drain rain water. We were going to use landscape stones all around the perimeter and fill with sand to level the area. What can we use to level the area if we can’t use mason sand? We don’t want it in the grass.

  20. My yard is so uneven so we have to even it out. Someone was going to come build a wooden plank type and put your ground cover on that. Will this not work? They’re coming tomorrow!

  21. We purchased is 12 ft that’s it for this year. How many seasons do those typically last? The inflatable part seems warped. Also, can you please tell me how many square feet of tiles I would need. Definitely going to use these next year.

  22. I am buying one on Sunday. The area where the pool will go was where an old playset was and it has a huge sand area. How can I make the area stable?

  23. HELLO I just got an deluxe series above ground pool the carpet idea sounds like a good idea however I have access to carpet padding please inform will that work as well thank you

  24. About to put up Intex 8 x 15 pool over a level bed of river rocks. They are small (2″) rounded stones with no sharp edges. Most padding sold seem to be for round pools. I’m thinking a large carpet (or two) will create a suitable base, with a tarp underneath. Thoughts?

  25. We are worried if we use the foam tiles there will be a mold/mildew accumulation for the summer. Any ways to avoid this?

    • Hi. I’m planning to put the 3/8″ foam mat. Now if the pool legs has to be level with wooden or concrete pavers which most are 1.5 to 2″ so does that means I have to raise the foam mats to be level with pavers?
      Planning to install artificial grass before pool. Thank you.

  26. We had our pool professionally installed 2 years ago. They used sand! The pool is now in level by about 3″. I had to drain it because I couldn’t get it cleared up and noticed a lot of dirt in the bottom. Now I think my sand filter is broken also. Thank you for the tip on what to put under the pool and under the legs!!! We had no idea! Great advice.


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