I have built pools on cement tennis courts, basketball courts, once in a barn, for fishing Expos, and yes on Pavers too. You should probably know right off the bat that above-ground pools are mostly constructed by using pavers underneath the uprights.
4 Steps to building an above-ground pool on top of pavers
- Pavers must sit on solid earth, level and covered up with a solid layer of 3-4 inches of compacted stone dust inside the pool. This will make for a solid base and a professional pool bottom that will last the lifetime of the pool.
Pools are heavy when water is in them. Make sure the pavers are on solid earth!
- Don’t forget the Pool pad for on top of the stone dust. This will provide a little cusion on the toes when swimming. (Rhino Pool Pads on Amazon)
- You want to make sure the pool is level. Read the following article for information regarding. How far out of level can your above-ground pool be?
- Landscaping around the finished pool with stone dust (Rock Dust, Quarry dust) and crushed stone mixture is needed to support the entire structure. Just placing clear crushed stone alone will not be enough. The entire pool must sit in this specific gravel mixture reffered to as “Dense Graded Base 3/4”.
What are the Best Base Materials for an Above Ground Pool?
There are two areas of base you need to be concerned about. One Is the Inside base material and the second is the landscape materials on the outside.
Inside The Pool Base Materials
Above-ground pools must have a base material in order to withstand many tons of water weight. Mason Sand or Stone Dust is what installers use. Other accessories include Rhino Pad, Armor Guard, and or Liner Shield. These three items are GEO textile materials that protect the pool’s liner. They all lay between the liner and the base material.
What is Mason Sand?
Mason Sand comes from larger rocks like granite, trap rock, and or limestone. It’s crushed and then it goes through a screening process. It goes through the screening process twice. By doing this it creates a nice smooth consistency. It feels like beach sand or what we in the business call pool sand.
What is Stone Dust?
Stone dust is a larger rock crushed into dust. Also called Quarry dust is coarser than Mason sand. It packs like concrete and creates a hard pool base. Much like an in-ground pool base. It’s used in concrete construction. A Stone Mason will use for laying pavers.
How Much Material do we need?
These materials come in volumes of yards and or tons. We have a chart that we use to know what amount we’ll need to get for a particular size pool. See the following chart it will show you the amount we order when installing a pool.
Base Material Chart for Different Sized Pools
|Pool Size in ft||Mason Sand Yards||Mason Sand Tons||Stone Dust Yards||Stone Dust Tons|
Do I need a Protective Padding Under my Pool’s Liner?
A floor pad goes between the base material and your pool’s liner. It protects the underside of your pool’s liner from smaller-sized rocks from poking the liner. It’s a good idea to have one.
Most pool manufacturers will extend the liner warranty if you use the padding. For that reason, it’s a great idea. Generally speaking any added security you can get is a Good Idea.
We recommend Rhino Pads for your above-ground pool.
Outside The Pool Landscape Materials
Landscape rocks or crushed stones are most common around a pool after it’s installed. They serve two purposes. One is they keep moisture from staying near the pool wall. Moisture against the pool wall can cause it to rust faster. Second, when spread around the pool perimeter it creates a strong base. Pool and base become one solid structure.
The most used rocks are 3/4″ crushed stones. It can be anything you like. What you don’t want around an above-ground pool is mulch! Do not use mulch as it keeps moisture against the wall. It will cause the pool wall to rust quicker. We recommend Peastone for most above-ground pool landscape materials.
Building An Above Ground Pool On A Cement Pad
First off if you’re in Canada it’s probably not a great Idea. It gets way too cold and the amount of digging you would need to do. You may as well just have an in-ground pool. The following is a Frost Heave map of North America and Canada.
Is building an above-ground pool on a cement base a good Idea? It’s a great idea if the pool is a smaller type. The Larger the pool the heavier it becomes. I believe anything above 10,000lbs will need a serious foundation in place. The following pool sizes will be OK to have a cement slab underneath them.
Round pools up to 18ft round and ovals up to 15ftx30ft. You wouldn’t want to do a 30ft round as this holds the equivalent water weight of a small house.
You want to make sure the size of the pad is thick enough. also, you want a proper layer of crushed stone used underneath so that it doesn’t succumb to frost heaving. It’s not uncommon for sheds and sidewalks of 6-8 Inches thick to get frost heave damages.
You want to dig approximately 1-1.5ft and add a layer of 4-6 inches of crushed stones will help to prevent frost heaving. The thickness of the slab should be at least 6 inches.
How large should the slab be?
|Size Pool||Diameter of Slab|
Landscaping the inside and outside of the pool built on cement. This is handled in the same steps mentioned at the beginning of this article. Stone dust inside with floor pad and dense-graded 3/4″ gravel mixture on the outside.
You do not want to leave the outside bottom of the pool open to the elements. Rainwater can get underneath and cause floor deterioration. Cover about 3 inches high around the whole perimeter.
Why Mulch Around an Above-ground Pool Should Be Avoided
The reason mulch should not be used is that it holds water against the pool wall. Above-ground pool walls are made of steel or aluminum. They will rust and pit sooner when water is kept against the pool. Proper steps to landscaping should take place to ensure the longevity of the pool itself.
Manufacturers also state proper drainage is necessary for their warranties to work. the following excerpt is taken from Wilbar International’s warranty addendum.
As discussed early in this article stones ether in an aggregate mixture or loose offers the best drainage solution. Ask any pool installer and they will tell you landscape stones are very important to receiving their workmanship warranties.
Proper landscaping will provide the best chance for your pool to reach the warranty length in years.
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Nothing can give you the chills like a dip in the pool on a cold day in New England. But with AquaComfort’s state-of-the-art heating systems, you can enjoy your pool
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