Do I Have To Put Sand Under My Above Ground Pool?

Above-ground pools are found more than in ground ones as they are easy to install comparatively and do not need long-term maintenance. Homeowners simply need to level the ground, set up the walls, secure the boundary and fill the pool with water.

While the rest of the steps sound easy, ensuring a flat base for the pool is time-consuming and laborious, but is the most important step. It’s imperative to set up a swimming pool on a leveled ground, especially above-ground pools. They should be installed on a flat leveled surface. The ground must be firm and compact and shouldn’t shift after it rains. If the yard shifts, the swimming pool is likely to collapse.

Now, while leveling the ground for an above-ground swimming pool, there are multiple items that one can use for preparing an above-ground pool base. However, sand is the most used base material by pool owners.

In this guide, we have discussed why sand is the most used base material for above-ground pools and the best kind of sand that one should use for this purpose. If you too intend to install an above-ground swimming pool in your backyard, this guide is just what you need.

Do I Have To Put Sand Under My Above Ground Pool?

Do I Have To Put Sand Under My Above Ground Pool

Yes, sand is the most recommended base material that one should use as a base material for an above-ground swimming pool. The sand protects the pool’s vinyl liner from abrasive rocks and sharp objects, which might cut or tear the liner. A damaged liner results in a leaking pool. Therefore, the sand acts as a cushion for the pool. Also, a thick layer of sand underneath makes it comfortable for swimmers to place their feet. At least two inches of sand must be used to create a sufficient base for the above-ground pool.

Sometimes above ground pool owners like to install some kind of rubber padding on top the sand base. Doing that doesn’t do any harm. The additional layer on top of the sand base ensures that the liner doesn’t get ripped, torn or cut. However, we would advise homeowners to check the instruction manual before installing any kind of padding for an above-ground pool.

Note: The only disadvantage of using sand is that it will wear away with time and become unreliable in times of rains. Consequently, this will affect the pool quality and your swimming experience.

What Kind Of Sand Do You Put Under An Above Ground Pool?

What Kind Of Sand Do You Put Under An Above Ground Pool

Masonry sand, also called mortar sand, is the most recommended sand type that one must use for setting up an above-ground pool base.

Installing an above-ground pool involves a lot of money and creating a solid base is the most important part. Obviously, you would want to use the best kind of sand under your above-ground pool. Nowadays, most people aren’t aware of the different kinds of sands available, their characteristics and end up using the wrong ones as a base material. Ultimately, the swimming pool doesn’t last long.

The sand you choose as a base material shouldn’t be too fine. At the same time, sand that’s large grained isn’t favorable either. It can tear the liner and cause leaks. Therefore, considering all these factors, masonry sand is the best kind of pool base material according to experts.

This kind of sand is usually found at any gravel yard or a masonry supply yard. Masonry sand is extremely fine textured and doesn’t contain rocks or pebbles. This sand creates a smooth, flat base, extremely comfortable to step on. That’s why it’s most preferred by homeowners. For years, this has been the go to option when it comes to choosing a base material for an above-ground pool.

Not only is it one of the finest quality of sand, but also the easiest to handle. This sand goes through an additional refinement procedure, which explains its super- fine texture. It’s nonabrasive and small, which makes it an ideal base material for installing an above-ground pool. It creates a soft base, feels like a cushion when stepped on and protects the vinyl liner altogether.

Never install your above-ground swimming pool on a natural surface as it’s filled with rocks, pebbles, dirt, debris and what not.

If you place your liner directly on top of the ground, it will get ripped in no time. It will simply be a waste of time and energy. That’s why adding a thick layer of sand on top of the natural ground is important. It acts as a barrier between the natural ground and the liner. Besides that, it also prevents plants from growing and punctures the liner.


The amount of mortar sand required for your pool’s base must be measured in yards and not by weight. As we know, sand doesn’t retain moisture.

So, if you are buying sand by ton and it’s moist, it would fall short for your above-ground pool’s base. While adding a layer of sand, start from the pool’s center and radiate in an outward direction as you keep filling the ground.

After the entire base has been covered with sand, you can smooth out the sand to ensure the base is flat. Afterward, you can proceed to place a rubber padding on top of the sand layer.

Now that you know the right kind of sand for above ground pool base, you must be wondering how much do you need. Well, you must have at least two inches of sand base beneath your pool.

Now, to calculate the quantity of sand you need, you need to note the height and radius of the pool and find out its area. An average above-ground pool that’s 18 foot round will require about 2.5 cubic yards of sand to ensure there’s a 2 inch solid sand base underneath. The cost of this much of sand will vary according to the supplier.

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The Bottom Line

Using the best quality sand as the base material ensures the longevity of your pool. It’s crucial as it keeps the pool stable and comfortable for swimmers. Drainage also is an important factor that comes into play while choosing a base material. Masonry sand fulfills all the criteria of an ideal pool base material which rightly justifies its rising demand.

After adding the top-quality sand as the base, it’s important to level it and make it firm and compact. It’s important to ensure that your above-ground swimming pool perfectly sits on the solid base and gives you the ideal summer swimming experience.

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