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

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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:

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?

Intex Pools provide hours of fun and enjoyment for your family during those hot summer days, and since it’s one of the best things you can buy for your kids and family, you should know how to properly use this wonderful product.

If you are installing your Intex pool for the first time, then one of the important considerations you should decide is what to put under the Intex pool to protect the bottom from punctures.

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 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
Our Favorite
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
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
Third party pool pads are a BETTER option
Our Favorite
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
Foam Tiles are the BEST option to protect your pool
Home Furniture

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

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.

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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!

Interlocking Foam Tiles

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 much easier since you have a more uniform surface without dips and divots for the dirt to get trapped.

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)
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  • DURABLE MULTIPURPOSE FOAM FLOOR TILES: High density, foam tiles available in 24” x 24” tiles in 3/8” thickness for firm cushion to lessen the impact of exercising and playing.
  • EASY INSTALLATION & CLEAN-UP: Assembles in minutes over any hardwood floor or flat indoor surface for extra padding needed throughout the home. Wipe clean with soap and water and air dry to finish.
  • KIDS PUZZLE MAT FOR PLAYROOM SAFETY: Designed for peace of mind when kids play on the floor. Use in playrooms, daycares or classrooms, for extra thick padding that makes playtime safe.
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Old Carpet

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.

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 foam tile solution 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 and Summer Waves are great alternatives to Intex Pools and this advice is the same for those brands.

Conclusion

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?”.

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

Intex Pool Reviews and Buying Guide




47 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😊

    Reply
  2. Ah! I wish I had a garden! I would have such a pool for sure! I’ll share it with my friends, they will be interested in this article for sure! 🙂

    Reply
  3. 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!

    Reply
  4. 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.

    Reply
  5. 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.

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  6. 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

    Reply
  7. 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.

    Reply
    • 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!

      Reply
  8. 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.

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  9. 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?

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    • 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.

      Reply
  10. 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?

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
  11. 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!

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
  12. 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!

    Reply
  13. 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

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
  14. 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?

    Reply
  15. 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.

    Reply
  16. 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!

    Reply
  17. 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?

    Reply

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